Your bank profits off money sitting in your savings account by lending it out at a higher rate than it returns to you.
So why not eliminate the middleman and lend your money to others yourself?
What is a SIV? Does the SEC regulate SIVs? -- R.P.
Recently, everyone's been talking about SIVs. So what are they all about and what's the big deal?
The letters S-I-V stand for structured investment vehicle. SIVs have been in the news a lot in connection with the credit crunch and subprime mortgage blowup.
Q: I have a tough one for you! For years I have used my home equity to grow my small business. Whenever we needed money -- for whatever reason -- I would refinance. But now, with the mortgage crisis, doing so suddenly is a lot harder. What am I to do?
-- Larry, Photographer, New York
A: Is that your best shot?
When money gets tight and there isn't enough to go around, people sometimes begin to panic when it comes to prioritizing outstanding debts.
Today's topic: How much of an emergency fund do you need?
A listener named Nick emailed me with this question about building an emergency fund:
I've often heard that, as a rule of thumb, you should have enough money in savings to live for three months. I don't have this now. Does it make sense for me to spend a few months building up my savings account while making minimum payments on debt, so that I have some reserves?
Thanks for the question, Nick.
As the dollar plummets in value vs. a myriad of foreign currencies, don't be caught by surprise at the ways it could affect your everyday life.
Putting off for tomorrow what you can do today could end up hurting your wallet.
Every time someone tells you to do something inconvenient in order to save money, make sure you listen to that lazy part of yourself that doesn't want to get off the couch and clip coupons.
Few things affect your quality of life more than financial literacy.
The basics go well beyond being able to open up a bank account or get a job. They entail knowing how to make a wide variety of financial decisions throughout your life.
Travel isn't getting any cheaper, but there are ways to save money without sacrificing quality.