Success in the Margins Isn’t Marginal Success

A few months ago, I wrote a post called “Two Paths to Financial Success.” In it, I outlined how there are two distinct ways to succeed financially. One, which I called “success in the margins,” refers to things like frugality, cutting costs, saving diligently, and so forth. […]

Your Take: Did You Use Up Your Vacation Days?

Here’s a statistic that is always surprising and this year was no different – the average American worker gets 14 vacation days a year and only uses 12 of them. That adds up to 226 million unused vacation days, or approximately $34.3 billion dollars of work. That’s amazing. […]

The Best and Worst Things to Buy in December

December is a month when you almost can't avoid shopping. You may have skipped Black Friday — overwhelmed by the offers, hype, and crowds — but the holiday season is a different beast altogether, with gifts from loved ones, friends, and people you barely know coming at you from all angles. Keep your holiday cheer level high by shopping wisely. […]

The Power of Lists: Getting More Creative and Efficient

Efficiency and creativity aren’t two qualities that typically go hand in hand. You never picture the creative genius going, "I'll spend five more minutes on this idea because I need to get started on the next project." So what’s the best way to become more efficient and more creative? Read a bunch of books? Take some classes? […]

Best Money Tips: Bring Your Life in Balance

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on bringing your life into balance, finishing what you start, and money saving tips for the holidays. Top 5 Articles 7 Powerful Actions to Bring Your Life in Balance Today — Bring balance into your life by listening to the people around you. […]

Ask the Readers: Staying Motivated to Save?

Sometimes you do everything right — you work hard, you cut back on spending, you invest for retirement — but all of your effort seems for nought. You get sick. You wreck your car. Or, as has been the case for the past several years, the entire global economy seems determined to thwart your long-term plans. What happens when you do all the right things, but the right things don’t seem to work? […]

The Best 5 Credit Cards for Groceries

Last year my Chase credit card, with which I had earned 5% back on groceries and gas since 2007, suddenly changed. They switched to some sort of rotating-category-that-earns-more-points system that I didn't particularly care for. Every few months, I have to opt in all over again to take advantage of whatever category they're giving the most points for that month. […]

Paying Sales Tax for Online Purchases

One of the reasons that many people love to shop online is that they can often get away without paying sales taxes. The reason for this is that companies without a physical presence (nexus) in a state aren’t typically required to collect sales tax. This isn’t to say that you’re not supposed to pay tax on these purchases. […]

Reader Profile: JS

The following is the latest post in my "Reader Profiles" series. Each post in this series details the financial situation and challenges of an FMF reader. […]

Restaurants, tips, and gift cards

A couple of weeks ago we had dinner with a friend visiting from Hawaii.  We had a $100 Visa gift card in hand to put a big dent into the bill. We were confused when the card came back declined.  At first we checked the balance on the card because we thought that they had given us less than they had promised (it was for a rebate).  That wasn’t the problem: we knew how much was on the card, and we d […]

How Does Your Credit Score Compare?

Yahoo lists the average credit scores by age as follows: 18-24 years old; Average credit score: 638 25-34 years old; Average credit score: 652 35-44 years old; Average credit score: 659 45-54 years old; Average credit score: 685 55+ years old; Average credit score: 724 Obviously credit scores get higher as people get older. […]

Finding Things to Do That Don’t Involve Continually Spending Money

A reader writes in: “It seems like so many people who write in are caught up in our consumer-driven society, and I think we all struggle sometimes with having “nothing better to do” than shop. Besides contributing to rampant debt, shopping is like an addiction that satisfies boredom, and leads to fake fulfilment and non-productivity. […]

Personal Capital Review

What if you have investment accounts, more than one mortgage, banks accounts and credit spending scattered all over the place? […]

Why Americans Take Fewer Vacation Days

In most workplaces throughout the United States, employees receive vacation days to use every year as a benefit, and in some cases, unused vacation days expire at the end of the year. According to the latest survey by Expedia, on average, Americans earned 14 vacation days this year but used only 12. […]

Does the IRS Owe You Money?

According to a blurb on CNN/Money, the IRS is sitting on a little more than 99k undelivered tax refund checks totaling $153M. The checks in question, worth an average of $1547 each, were returned to the IRS due to mailing address errors. […]

Betterment iPad 2, Kindle Fire, and Nook Giveaway

Santa is coming early this year because I’ve got a great giveaway for you. I’ve teamed up with a few other bloggers and Betterment to bring you some great prizes. We are giving away three great tablets: a Nook, a Kindle Fire, and a 16 GB iPad 2. That’s three chances to win. Thanks to Betterment This giveaway is in large part thanks to Betterment. […]

Another Plug for the Thank-You Note

Have I beaten the "you need to write a thank you note after you have an interview" drum enough? […]

10 Ridiculous gadgets worth the money. Maybe.

I’ve bought a few ridiculous gadgets over the years. Go ahead and throw me your best side-eye and squint in my direction with a little indignant disdain. I can take it. But hear me out for a second, ’cause most days I’ll only purchase products with proven value, need, and quality. […]

Spirituality and Money: How to Make Holiday Gifts Meaningful

This article is written by Consumerism Commentary’s columnist, Ellen Cooper-Davis. Ellen’s column looks at the role of spirituality within the context of personal finance. For an introduction to this column, see Ellen’s first article, The Pastor and the Purse. Your feedback is welcome. We know by reports of the annual feeding frenzy that the gift-giving season is fully upon us. […]

Reader Mailbag: Winter Hands

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. Splitting up retirement contributions 2. Surveys at retail shops 3. Investment or debt? 4. Gum as impulse buy 5. Outsized medical bill 6. Breadmaking tip 7. Avoiding Christmas 8. Savings bonds and student loans 9. […]