Your Holiday "Honey Do" List: 5 Financial Tasks In 5 Minutes

Picture this. It’s the Christmas holiday and you’re taking several well-deserved vacation days. You’re laying on the couch with a belly full of holiday goodness. You’ve napped, perused a book, and conquered a few family members in a rousing game of Monopoly.

If you’re anything like me, after a couple days you may start feeling a little antsy to get something done--but “working” will get you chided by your family, right?

Well if you need a little “work around” here are a few quick things you can do to shape up your financial life, each one literally taking about 5 minutes to complete. You’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something, and no one can blame you for working too much.

The Best Way to Save for Your Child's Education

One of the top priorities of many young families I talk with is to save for their children’s college. College costs are rising quickly, and parents are seeing an opportunity to help the next generation along the way.

Fortunately, the U.S. Government sees it the same way. A section of the IRS tax code--Section 529--created a special savings account, administered by the states, to help families pay for college expenses.

Here’s some information on how 529 plans work, their advantages, and three pointers to get started using one.

How to Invest for the Kiddos' College

When my daughter was born, my obsession with financial planning had a terrible collision with the reality of steep child rearing costs.  So many financial questions ran through my mind.  My MBA training slowly clicking into gear, I dove into a spreadsheet to run a bunch of calculations, based on various assumptions.  I felt like Will Hunting solving an unsolvable math problem.