The Millionaire Next Door. In this newly updated book, authors Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D. attempt to debunk the myth that most American millionaires have inherited their wealth. They even go as far as to identify seven common traits that are shared among many of those who have accumulated significant wealth. By demonstrating how hard work and smart investing have made millionaires out of average Americans, this book shows us that we too can be among the ranks of the wealthy. The book makes for a very interesting and motivating read.
Best Visuals: Mobills. Mobills organizes your expenses in categories so you can track your spending is progressing toward your budgeted amount. See the amount you have remaining to spend in each budget category so you can rein in your spending as needed. The budget planning app includes interactive charts that allow you to analyze your financial life; you can use them to make adjustments as you need to reach your larger financial goals. Add your credit cards to the app so you can see your current balance and spending limits all in one place. You can add all your bills and due dates to keep track of when your bills need to be paid. The free version of the app has limited functionality while upgrading to the premium version will give you full access to all the app’s features.
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Moneydance for Linux offers several impressive features, including multiple currency support, currency rate updates, an organized home page, and backup to Dropbox. Easy-to-install extensions are available to enhance many of these features. Like most good personal finance software, Moneydance has online banking capabilities. It features graphs, reports, and a nice summary page to give you a visual feel for where your finances stand. You can use it to set up payment schedules for recurring or one-time transactions. You can also get a Moneydance app for your iPhone if you want to keep your budget with you at all times.
Complete Idiot’s Guide to Managing Your Money. Don’t be offended by the title. This plainly written book shows that anybody can learn to manage their money effectively, and is full of consumer tips, advice on mortgages, debt, mutual funds, auto loans, bank fees, credit cards, and other money-related matters. The book, written by expert financial columnist Robert K. Heady and financial writer Christine Heady, has already gone through four editions and sold millions of copies.
The double billing cycle uses the average daily balance of the current and previous billing cycles. This is the most expensive way finance charges are calculated and is unfair to cardholders because it charges interest on balances that have already been paid. Fortunately for credit cardholders, the double billing cycle method of calculating finance charges was outlawed with the passing of the Credit CARD Act of 2009.