Saving some of your earnings by living below your means is a key to successful investing. There are many ways to find money to invest, such as living simply so you’ll save more money and developing a career so you’ll make more money. The Earning and Saving category equips you with practical tips for spending less and earning more.

3 Steps to Avoiding Fear in Personal Finance

Are you afraid of revealing your personal financial situation and being judged harshly by financial professionals, your parents, or other people in your social circle? If yes, then you are not alone.

According to a 2014 survey of 2,000+ U.S. adults commissioned by TradeKing Advisors, 57% of would-be investors say that the thought of speaking with a financial adviser in person (either in a face-to-face meeting or on the telephone) has stopped them from investing. Seventy-four percent of Millennials (ages 18-34) and 66% of Gen X (ages 35-44) have allowed fear to paralyze them.

Whether you are part of these generations or not, you don’t have to be afraid.

Why (and How) to Engage a Financial Adviser

Recently, I wrote a series on financial advisers. I shared my bad experiences and covered many of the worst practices of financial advisers.

Not all financial advisers are predatory and dispense generic or lousy advice. But to get my money’s worth in terms of fees and commissions, I realized that I need to choose an adviser carefully and make sure my choice doesn’t overreach his or her boundaries in terms of professional expertise and credentials.

Earned Income: Why It Matters for IRA Contributions

I’m not a tax expert but my understanding is that, generally, you need to have earned income (or some form of taxable compensation) to contribute to an IRA. If you’re working full-time in a regular job, then you may have enough earned income to make a full contribution of $5,500 as long as you meet other requirements. But if you work part-time, then you may not make enough to contribute this amount; still, you may be able to contribute up to the amount of your earned income.

Investing Can Help You Avoid Debt

It seems that we have been trained to borrow money rather than save and invest. Even those of us who are savers and investors barely think twice about getting a car loan, student loan, mortgage loan, home equity loan, etc. or putting charges on a credit card. As a result, we may (falsely) believe that debt is inevitable and forever.