Carnivals for the Week of Aug 23

Let's start off with a reminder: FMF is on Facebook. Every weekday I post a couple pieces that usually aren't on FMF. […]

It’s CLEARANCE time at

CLEARANCE is the word that will give you 80% off of your dining certificates! For those of you who aren’t familiar with, here’s a quick rundown. sells dining certificates for thousands of restaurants across the US.  A $25 dining certificate gives you $25 off of qualifying expenses at that restaurant.  Normally, a $25 dining certificate […]

MonaVie: Multi-Level Marketing Gone Haywire

A fellow blogger who’s also a good friend has embraced a particular cause and speaks out quite a bit against a large multi-level marketing firm. He’s been quite the consumer advocate against MLM schemes. His blog is at and has long stood up for consumers. […]

A Long Weekend Retreat

Rhonda writes in with a great idea for how she’s going to spend her Labor Day weekend: I’m planning on using my 3-day Labor Day weekend as an at-home retreat (I live alone) to do some short- and long-term planning. I’m about 10 years away from retirement and want to review ‘Your money or your life’ and ‘What color is your paracute? for retirement’ over the 3 days. […]

Talking about Deflation

The following is a guest post from Squirrelers. It's a bit heavy on the economics side of personal finance, but I know many of you like to discuss those sort of topics, so I'm going with it. For those of you who prefer only true personal finance posts, stay tuned -- a new one will be up shortly, as usual. […]

Save Money by Donating Things You Were Going to Throw Away

As I noted in Update on Our Shopping List, we recently got a new door. We went through quite a process to shop for the door and the company to install it that we felt worked best for our family, home, and budget. […]

Reader Mailbag: Shortcut Fixing

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Higher salary or better benefits? 2. Cheap land lines 3. Moving in with parents 4. Prepaying student loans in forbearance 5. The Hindenburg Omen 6. Post-graduation financial independence 7. […]

The Avocado Face Mask and Other Natural Beauty Experiments

ShareThisIn my ongoing effort to use natural resources and still stick to my frugal lifestyle, I do things that perhaps the average person may not do. In fact, when I wrote about washing my hair in baking soda for a week and making my own laundry detergent, many of my friends laughed at me, until I explained the savings. […]

3 Proven Ways to Save Real Money at Garage Sales

I just ended my whirlwind tour of a recent neighborhood garage sale event in a nearby community. Having been an annual tradition for as long as I could remember, I got up at 7 a.m., took breakfast on the road, and hit the sales with my mom in the driver's seat and my newborn son in the car seat. […]

Why I Don’t Chase the Highest Interest Rate

When a bank, particularly a bank that functions without branches solely or almost completely online, wants to increase its deposits, they employ several specific tactics. The bank increase the interest rates on the savings accounts, establish a significant marketing and advertising push, and if they’re smart, offer new customer or referral bonuses. […]

Review: How Rich People Think by Steve Siebold

I didn’t know much about Steve Siebold before I received his book, How Rich People Think, but he’s a “mental toughness” couch who has written books about mental toughness, weight loss, and other “mind over body” type of subjects. […]

Why I Buy Local

Kris and I live in a small, quiet neighborhood south of Portland. When the trolley line ran through here — between 1893 and 1959 — Oak Grove was actually thriving community, with shops and stores and more. (It’s true! […]

Character Flaws and Financial Success

It occurred to me recently that I can use my character flaws to make much smarter life choices going forward – financial and otherwise. More importantly, so can you. The thought popped into my head while my wife and I were on vacation in New York. (Side note – the vacation was debt free!) While there, we visited two of our best friends – Lori and Nathan. […]

Deciding When to Sell a Mutual Fund

The following is an excerpt from Personal Investing: The Missing Manual. If a fund is performing badly, investors are prone to making one of two mistakes. Some sell in a panic, while others hold onto the fund hoping it will turn things around. Most funds give a few warning signs before they crash. […]

Stores can now refuse small credit card charges

Fresh after posting on whether small credit card charges are shameful or otherwise to be avoided, I got a comment on that post.  “Paul” asks: “Wasn’t a provision of the financial reform bill that passed this July that store owners are now legally allowed to not accept a credit card charge for less than $10? […]

Use The Debt Reduction Mindset To Save For Future Purchases

Determined. Back when I was getting out of debt, I was the very definition of determined.  I worked hard, extremely hard, to stay on budget, earn extra money, and rapidly pay down my debts. Once I paid off my debts, I remained determined, and worked hard to fully-fund my emergency fund.  I also worked hard to fund retirement and education savings accounts.  I was motivated, pumped about the progr […]

Save Money on Furniture: Don’t Buy Chairs!

Want to save some money on furniture? Well, as a wannabe interior designer, I’ve previously talked about a few ways to do just that. Here are a number of ways to save some bucks on the stuff you use at home — chairs, tables, beds, armoires. Let’s check out some of the interesting and clever methods to furnishing your home. […]

Getting Real Value from Budgets

When I reached my financial bottom in April 2006, one of my first responses was to simply start reading a lot about personal finance. […]

Help a Reader: Retirement Saving

Here's an email I recently received from a reader: My wife may start earning self-employment income from some contract work a few days a month on her days off from her full-time job. We’re considering putting all of it away for retirement. What would be the most advantageous vehicle for this? […]

Do you feel bad for charging less than a dollar on your credit card?

Visa and MasterCard have very clear rules with regard to requiring a certain minimum amount before accepting credit card as payment.  They can’t. […]