IKEA Survival Guide

When it comes to buying stylish furniture on the cheap, IKEA has become the number one destination. My wife is an interior designer and I know how expensive "real" furniture is from "fancy" stores. So I know how awesome IKEA's prices are. But shopping at IKEA can be kind of a nightmare. […]

Avoiding and Reducing Mutual Fund Fees and Expenses

Investing in mutual funds is a wonderful way to grow your investments, but all the fees associated with such investments them can be a financial drain. Learning about these expenses and how to reduce or eliminate them is a relatively easy way to increase your returns. […]

If Budgeting Isn't Fun, You're Doing It Wrong

Make a list of your favorite things to do. Start with your most favorite thing to do, then your next most favorite, and keep going until you get to budgeting. Go ahead; I'll wait. If you haven't gotten down to budgeting yet, that's okay. There's a reason that most people don't enjoy budgeting, which I'll get to in a minute. […]

Everlasting Fun Ball: It’s All True

As you might know, I live alongside three ridiculous dogs. We take turns being in charge, but most of the time I end up feeling like their servant with titles like “Emergency Backup Food Giver” or “Guy With the Food That Smells Better Than Mine.” The eldest of our three dogs has a friendly relationship with me, though. […]

How Much is Minimum Wage?

The labor laws in the United States can be, at times, very confusing. Ever wonder why waiters at a restaurant can be paid as little as $2.13 while the federal minimum wage is over three times higher? How much is the minimum wage? Why is overtime pay 1.5x regular pay for nonexempt employees but not required for exempt employees? […]

Finding a Financial Guru

This post is from GRS staff writer April Dykman. At certain stages in your financial journey, you need a catalyst to get you to the next stage. Perhaps right now you are coming out of the zeroth stage of personal finance, deep in debt and trying to take that first step to turn things around. Maybe you are debt-free, but you have no clue how to invest in the stock market. […]

Earned Income Tax Credit: Do I Qualify?

For people with low and moderate income level, the earned income tax credit (EITC/EIC) is one of the most overlooked tax credit. In 2008, 25% of taxpayers that qualify for this tax credit but miss out on it because the rules can be complicated (no surprises there), or simply because they did not know the credit exist or that they qualify for it. […]

How My New Furnace is on Track to Save Me Thousands

Last fall, we got a new furnace and AC unit. A couple months ago I asked how to compare cost savings from one furnace to another because I wanted to see if the new unit was a "good deal." There was some discussion as to whether or not I needed to account for temperature differences from year to year, then one reader added this: I've got a better way if you're heating with DTE natural gas. […]

Target Date Funds or LifeCycle Funds: Pros and Cons

I remember when “Target Funds” or “Target Date Funds” were first launched. This particular kind of fund was designed to make asset allocation easier for people, allowing investors to adjust and rebalance their investment portfolios automatically over time, to address specific goals. […]

Murphy – NCN, NCN – Murphy

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. - Murphy’s Law It’s been a very interesting couple of weeks around No Credit Needed land.  As many will recall, we recently purchased our first home.  The first month in the new house was awesome.  The second month? […]

Appreciating Assets Part 1: Stocks and Bonds

The following is a guest post from Marotta Wealth Management.  All assets are not equal. Some investments appreciate better on average than others. If you have $100,000 saved toward your retirement, how you invest it can make a difference in the likelihood and standard of living of your retirement. Let's look at various investments over a 25-year time horizon. […]

Win $10,000 for Tuition or a $500 Gift Card

Upromise is sponsoring a contest in honor of Financial Literacy Month. There are two grand prizes of $10,000, cash that can be used for higher education expenses. We touched on the topic of the cost of education on yesterday’s podcast with financial columnist Kara McGuire. […]

Planning for Summer Vacation

This summer, my wife and I and our three children – a four year old, a two year old, and a baby – are going on at least three different family trips. One will be to downstate Illinois, another will be to northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin, and the third will be to northern Minnesota. […]

Trading Happiness for Money: A Bad Bargain?

I think a lot about happiness — about my own happiness and about the happiness of those around me. Knowing my interest in the subject, Kris forwarded a recent column from David Brooks of The New York Times about what he terms “the Sandra Bullock trade”: Two things happened to Sandra Bullock [in March]. First, she won an Academy Award for best actress. […]

Do-It-Yourself Laundry Detergent

Do you really need to use as much laundry detergent as they say on the bottle? Do you need to use laundry detergent at all? We investigated and you'll be shocked by what we found. […]

21 Best Money Tips Ever

CNN Money lists what they call the 21 best money tips ever. They asked "some of the nation's leading business owners, investors, and thinkers" to "share their thoughts on rebuilding your wealth." Here are some of the highlights IMO: Jane Bryant Quinn - "Pay off your mortgage before you retire if you want financial safety and security. […]

Latest Best of Money Carnival

Just a note that the newest edition of the Best of Money Carnival is now up. Congrats to all participants and especially the winning post, 10 Tips to Save You from an ATM Skimmer. Enjoy! […]

Don’t Pay Taxes With Credit Cards

If you’re one of the many taxpayers who owe the Department of the Treasury some money, you might be tempted to pull out the plastic and push the payment decision off another month. Or maybe you’re thinking about paying with a credit card for the rewards. Or maybe you can’t pay and think putting it on the credit card is your only option. […]

Comcast Blows It, then Recovers, Again

When I wrote Comcast Blows It and then Saves It, it was a happy time. I had a problem, they fixed it (in a very nice way, BTW), and I was enjoying life with my new Comcast programming. I was happy even though not everyone was rejoicing with me. […]