Ask the Readers: How Do I Survive Until I Get My First Paycheck?

Isaac wrote recently with a question about how to make the transition from college to the Real World. He has a good degree, but it’ll take him time to find a job, especially since the economy is still sluggish. He’s worried about how he should handle is finances in the meantime. Here’s his question: I recently graduated from college with a degree in electrical engineering. […]

15-year fixed mortgage rates are below 4%

Nine years ago when I got a 30-year mortgage for my first house, people said that I got a really good rate:  5.875%. Now, if I still had that mortgage, it would almost be a no-brainer for me to refinance to a 15-year mortgage.  I saw that rates were 3.875% for a fixed 15-year mortgage!  Refinancing my 30-year mortgage with the principal balance at what it would have been at the be […]

U.S. Currency Bills, Bank Notes, Credentials in Finance

Fun With U.S. Currency Bills I thought this was fun. In case these pics weren’t clear, these are $5, $10, $20 and $50 bills aligned against the buildings that are seen on each note. […]

The Challenge of Couponing

I’ve long been an advocate of using coupons at the grocery store. I often clip coupons for toiletries and household products and, when there are opportunities, for some food items like organic milk (I had a great coupon for this a while back). […]

Help a Reader: Writing a Will

Here's an email I recently received from a reader: My mother is updating her will to be more specific about how to divide her property. There are 3 children, and the primary assets include 2 houses and some land. Her goals are to divide the property equally and fairly, and to keep the property in the family. […]

Talking About Money with Family and Friends

What does a blogger’s spouse do while the blogger is out of town? Hang out with other bloggers and their spouses, of course! While Chris Guillebeau was off playing with the tigers in Thailand, his wife Jolie spent some time with Kris and me. Last Friday morning, we picked peaches (and then Kris and Jolie canned them). […]

Update on Our Shopping List

In January I gave you all an update on our shopping list. Now that a few months have passed, I thought it was time to give another report. Here goes: Car -- I'm planning to begin my car-buying process in the next couple of weeks and have a new vehicle by the end of October at the latest. […]

Reader Mailbag: Grandparents’ Week

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. Switching to joint checking 2. Transferring a Roth IRA 3. Accounts and goals 4. Which debt goes first? 5. Using HELOC to repay debts 6. Gift card arbitrage 7. Debts or further property buying 8. […]

Save Money on Baby Goodies With Daily Deal Websites

Every parent knows that buying baby goods can wipe out a budget faster than you can say, "It's a Girl!" Setting up a nursery, buying a stroller, bottles, clothes, pacifiers, blankets, and more can cost a good chunk of change, and that's before you buy any of the everyday things, like soap, shampoo, diapers and wipes. […]

Will That Thing Really Change Your Life?

Will it make you happy? Will it bring you the endless hours of joy that you imagine when you look at it? What thing am I talking about? Well, it's different for every person, but it's usually a material possession that you dream about often. […]

Vanguard Expands Target Date Funds to Young Investors

Do you plan to retire in 2055? For some reason, that particular year strikes me as the distant future. It’s only 45 years from now — a year today’s 20-year-olds will be checking out of the cubicle and checking into active adult communities. Perhaps it’s because it’s one century after the year Dr. […]

Petroleum Engineering Tops List of Best Undergrad Degrees periodically updates their list of Best Undergrad College Degrees by Salary and earlier this year the list was led by Aerospace Engineering – rocket scientists. […]

Money CAN Buy You Happiness!

This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at In today’s article, she tackles a topic I’ve been meaning to write about, but haven’t made the time. Contrary to popular belief, money can buy you happiness — if you spend it on the right things. […]

How to Negotiate Like a Pro

Some people are scared to death when confronted with the need to negotiate with others. They’d rather pay more or do whatever they have to – anything – in order to avoid this process. I completely understand the sentiment. The only problem is, if this describes you, you might end up paying too much for your mortgage, credit cards, etc. […]

Making the Most of Tax-Advantaged Accounts

The following is an excerpt from Personal Investing: The Missing Manual. Tax-advantaged accounts come with a variety of features, but the most common characteristic is delaying the time when you have to pay taxes. Tax-deferred means your money can grow unfettered by taxes, which come due only when you withdraw from the account. […]

Was mandatory overdraft privilege such a bad thing?

Smithee, a staff writer over at Consumerism Commentary, gave his opinions on the positive opt-in that’s now necessary for banks and credit unions to enroll customers in overdraft privilege services.  In a previous life as a Bank of America customer service representative, he had to tell customers that they couldn’t opt out of the overdraft service privilege — a fee-based service t […]

Back to School Tips: Student Budget Planner

The Student Budget Planner is part of a financial planning series called How to Make a Budget. To start this series from the beginning, read the introduction. Not a student? Then head on over to the Free Budget Spreadsheet to get your budget buzzing without all the textbook costs and tuition fees. […]

Should You Invest In An Ivy League College Education?

We’ve pondered the questions here before — is a liberal arts education worth it? What about a college education of any sort? We even showcased people who quit school and became quite successful despite having no college degree. Today, the wondering continues. […]

Vote for Your Favorite Name

I announced awhile ago that Moose Tracks ice cream (one of FMF's long-time sponsors) was having a "Name a New Flavor" contest on Facebook. They have now selected five options and are allowing fans to vote on the winner (one finalist is even an FMF reader. No, I'm not saying which one.). If you'd like a chance at making ice cream history (ha!), then go to their Facebook page and vote away! […]

How The Simple Dollar Works

Two or three times a week, I receive an email from someone who is trying to figure out how on earth I earn an income from The Simple Dollar (or some specific aspect of it). Sometimes, it’s because they have an idea for a site and would love to make a big chunk of money off of it. […]