Friday Finance Findings for June 18th

Can you believe how low mortgage rates are these days? I was looking yesterday and was shocked to see rates well under 5% in some cases. That’s crazy. I remember last year when we got a 5.25% rate we thought that was pretty good considering our last mortgage was close to 7%, but what can you do? […]

Sales Tax Holidays, 2011

For several years, many states offer sales tax holidays, several dates set aside during which merchants will not charge customers sales tax. Each year, the dates and the participating states change. I’ve updated this list for 2011 as we’re approach the back-to-school shopping season. […]

How to Agree without Compromise

June is a popular month for weddings. During this time, many couples will probably hear that compromise is the key to a healthy relationship. I disagree. When my husband and I got married more than 25 years ago, we talked about compromise. […]

Your Take: OK to Lie About Previous Salary in Interviews?

This post about “a little white lie in salary negotiation” sparked a bit of a heated debate in the Daily Worth community (I discovered it through a post on the New York Times Bucks blog). The original post said: I’d found a position I liked and applied for it. The recruiter asked for my current salary. Let’s just say I inflated the figure—and told her I was earning $5,000 more than I was. […]

I'd Be Kicking Myself if This Happened to Me

Here's an NPR story about Warren Buffett's son Peter who inherited $90,000 in Berkshire Hathaway stock when he turned 19. It's been long documented and discussed that Buffett has decided not to leave his great wealth to his kids. Besides, the $90k is from Peter's grandfather, not his father. The grandfather left the family a farm upon his death. […]

Are You Ready For A Social Security System Overhaul?

I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to wonder about belonging to the sandwich generation. Not only am I taking care of my kids, but also my aging parents. And we’re all seeing less and less of our paychecks thanks to an ever increasing deficit in the funds pool for Social Security, among other things. […]

Living “The Simple Dollar”

As many of you know, my new book, The Simple Dollar: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams is due to be released at the end of this month and should be available in bookstores all over the United States in early July. […]

Help a Reader: Buying Cash Value Insurance

Here's an email I recently received from a reader: I am being advised to use cash value insurance to help fund my retirement by my financial adviser. I have always heard that I should stay way from cash value insurance. […]

Free Checking Designed to Generate Fee Income

Nearly three years ago, I talked about how free checking isn’t really free because you are earning 0% interest on your money there. […]

Income Smoothing and Emergency Funds

A reader named Vivian recently wrote in to ask if it’s okay for people with variable incomes to tap into their emergency fund during anticipated slowdowns: My husband is a landscaper. During the winter his work gets a little slack. […]

Citi Diamond Preferred Rewards Card $100 Bonus

For a limited time only, Citibank if offering a promotion with their Diamond Preferred Rewards Card where all new cardholders will earn a $100 statement credit soon after they generate at least $300 in new purchases within the first three months. […]

Money Ethics: What Would You Do with Found Money?

The Bucks Blog asks what would you do if you found a $100 bill? This got me thinking about the ethics of what to do with found money. At first it seems like it's a fairly straight-forward question -- would you keep found money or wouldn't you? But the answer could be different based on a variety of factors: Does the location make a difference? What if it was found in an elevator? […]

Reader Mailbag: Rain

What’s inside? Here are summaries of the included questions in five words or less. 1. Downgrading a car for e-fund 2. Handling an increase in income 3. Dealing with financially unsound parents 4. Starting out with a Roth IRA 5. Quicken or GnuCash? 6. Preparing for a second baby 7. Buy CD or pay debt? 8. Minimizing impact of car payment 9. Getting a detailed insurance policy 10. […]

How Not to Buy Too Much

ShareThisCreating a budget is a lot like going on a diet. You begin full of hope and enthusiasm. Every pound lost is a victory. You probably tweet it while you're still on the scale. Then the excitement starts to wear thin, so to speak. You're still hungry after meals. […]

Six Months as an Amazon Seller

Back in January, I looked at my contract work for the spring and realized things were going to get a little sparse for a few months. I also was cleaning house and realized my books were not only double rowed on the shelves but tripled in some places. I had to stop the madness and also be able to still pay bills. […]

Long Term Capital Gains Tax Rates Increase in 2011

When people talk about the Bush-era tax cuts, they’re usually referring to the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) signed by President Bush in June of 2001. Many of the provisions were set to phase in over 9 years but those were accelerated when the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (JGTRRA) was signed just two years later. […]

Ask the Readers: Methods for Effective Money Management?

On Monday I confessed that since I stopped tracking my spending, I’ve actually had some trouble paying my bills. It’s not that I don’t have the money — I have plenty! — but that I no longer have a system in place to remind myself to take care of routine financial tasks. […]

Secret Billionaire Meeting Revealed

In May 2009, a group of the most powerful individuals in the world held a secret meeting to discuss the plans for their significant wealth. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett convinced David Rockefeller to to preside over the first of several billionaire meet-ups. […]

Join Our Tweetchat at 4:00 CDT For a Chance to Win Prizes

Link for teaser title: twitter-logo-225x150.png Today's topic: What's your best advice for new grads? Join the fun and you'll be entered to win an Amazon GC! […]