Glossary and Definitions
What's an Emergency Fund?
Most experts advise having an emergency fund -- but what, exactly, is this? Why do you need an emergency fund? When would you use one?
What's a Millionaire?
What's a millionaire? The answer is not as straightforward as you might expect.
What's A Fixed Expense? What's a Variable Expense?
You might hear people throwing around the terms "fixed expenses" and "variable expenses." What do those two terms mean, particularly as they apply to your personal budget? How do these terms differ from necessary vs. discretionary spending? Find out here.
What's a 401k Retirement Plan?
You keep hearing people talk about 401k retirement plans ... but what, exactly, is a 401k? What are the tax implications? How does it help you save for retirement?
What's a Roth IRA?
One of the best ways to save for retirement is through a Roth IRA. Learn all about this special retirement savings account.
What’s the Difference Between a Budget and a Ledger?
People use ledgers to track their spending habits. But is a ledger the same thing as a budget? How are these different?
What’s a Cash Cushion? How is it Different From an Emergency Fund?
A checking account cushion, or "cash cushion" as some people like to call it, is a small balance you keep in order to avoiding bouncing checks. An emergency fund is a large balance that can save from a dire situation like a job loss. Learn more about the difference between these two concepts.
The S&P 500, NASDAQ, Dow Jones - What is This Stuff?
The S&P 500, the NASDAQ, the Dow Jones, the Russell 2000, the Wilshire 5000 - what is this stuff? Those terms get thrown around on the news everyday, but what do they mean, exactly? How are they defined and what do they represent?
What is a Checking Account?
What's a checking account? What are the typical fees associated with checking accounts?
What is a Savings Account?
What's a savings account? How is it different from a checking account or a brokerage account?
What is Life Insurance?
Life insurance protects your loved ones in the event that you pass away. Learn the difference between term life, whole life and universal life insurance.
What Does APR Stand For?
What does "APR" mean, and how does it impact your budget?
What is Asset Allocation?
You hear people talk about the importance of asset allocation, but you're not sure what it means. Here's a primer.
What Does "Compound Interest" Mean?
Albert Einstein reportedly said that compound interest is "the most powerful force in the universe." What is it, and how will it help you become a millionaire and/or retire?
What is a Certificate of Deposit, or CD?
What is a "CD," or Certificate of Deposit? Can you earn money from a CD? How long will it take? Learn the answers to all these questions and more.
How to Calculate Internal Rate of Return
You invest money in small amounts throughout the year. So how can you calculate your annualized returns? Discover your annual return through a formula called the Internal Rate of Return, or IRR. This article explains what IRR is, and how you can calculate it.
What's a Traditional IRA?
What's a Traditional IRA? How does it differ from a Roth IRA? Which one should you open?
What's a Savings Bond?
You've probably heard stories of grandparents giving their grandkids "savings bonds." But what exactly are savings bonds?
What is a Beneficiary?
What's a primary beneficiary? What's a contingent beneficiary? Who is the benefactor? Learn the definitions of these financial-planning and estate-planning terms.
What is Equity?
You often hear people say the word "equity" within the world of finance. But what does it mean?
What is Insurance?
There are many types of insurance -- car, home, life, disability, long-term care, just to name a few. But what exactly IS insurance?
What's a Retirement Account?
"Retirement account" is actually a broad term that refers to anything ranging from a 401k, 403b, IRA and more.
What is Variance?
What is variance, as it relates to budgeting?
What's a Ledger?
What's a ledger, and how can it help you create a budget?
What's a Credit Score?
What's a credit score? How is it different from a credit report? Who uses my credit score? And what's considered a "good" credit score?