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Financial Planning

Your Essential Financial Toolkit

Pressed for time? We show you how to make short work of dozens of money tasks.

Laurin Mack is a PHD candidate in clinical psychology, which leaves her little time to bone up on her finances. But Mack, 29, wants to learn how to diversify a portfolio, monitor her investments online and roll over a retirement account into an IRA. Mack and other time-starved readers can use our absolutely essential financial toolkit to accomplish each of those tasks, and 33 others, in five easy steps or less.

These tasks are organized into four key areas: Personal Finances, Investing, Credit and Retirement. Take a look and see what you can accomplish today.



Personal Finance Toolkit


Boost Your Paycheck

Track Your Spending

Complain and Get Results

Stop Junk Mail Forever

Land a College Scholarship

Replace a Social Security Card

Hire a Reliable Contractor

Protect Your Home and Valuables

Write a Will Without the Hassle

Start a 529 Plan

Lock in a Cheap Mortgage

Prepare for a Natural Disaster






Your Credit Toolkit


Get Your Credit Report in a Flash

Fix an Error on Your Credit Report

Get Your Three Credit Scores

Lower Your Credit Card Rate

Decipher Your Credit Card Statement

Pay Your Bills Online






Retirement Toolkit


Transfer an IRA

Set Up a Roth IRA

Buy a Medigap Policy to Supplement Medicare

Roll Over Your 401(k)




Investing Toolkit


When to Dump Stock

Find the Value of an Old Stock Certificate

Build a Bond Ladder

How Much Stock to Buy

Diversify Your Investments

Buy Treausries Online

Invest in a DRIP

Replace a Lost Savings Bond

Understand a Mutual Fund Prospectus

Track Your Investments Online

Get the Inside Skinny on a Stock

How to Open a Brokerage Account