Extreme Boomerang: Heidi Montag

I am completely disconnected from the genre of television shows called “reality.” The fascination with people whose celebrity status stemmed from reality television, or most celebrities in general, seems to be built on a foundation of schadenfreude. […]

8 Ways Convenience is Screwing Your Finances

Our collective hunger for more is great, motivating us to keep pushing the limits and never settling for the status quo. Because of this desire, we've found ways to make everything from finding the nearest gas station to staying in touch with a distant relative easier and easier, but all that convenience comes at a cost too. The U.S. […]

What to Do With 100 Tomatoes

Recently I tried my hand at being a little bit more self-sufficient by growing some veggies at home, a great way to eat well for less money. You can certainly get your produce from Safeway or even your local farmers market, but a garden can be a fun family project to tend to, especially when your kids are participating. […]

6 Alternatives to Expensive Household Cleaners

Laundry detergent, dish soap, bleach, furniture polish, disinfectant: how many different cleaning products do we really need? Save space and money with these tips for homemade cleaners. […]

Why I Don’t Care About Inflation

In my post Growing Your Tax Refund much earlier in the year, an anonymous commenter noted that I didn’t account for inflation in my comparisons. I bring this up again (this has been brewing in the drafts for quite some time) because with the Federal Reserve opening the spigots with QE2, a lot of people are thinking about how inflation might be affecting them. […]

8 Ways to Eliminate Debt While in Grad School

While we were in graduate school, my then-girlfriend and I both became debt-free, and you can too. Graduate school doesn’t have to wreak such havoc on your finances that it takes decades to recover. Here are eight tips for how to eliminate debt while in school. 1. […]

Productivity Hack: Using the Web to Minimize Internet Distractions

This post is from staff writer April Dykman. There have been days when I’ve wasted an embarrassing amount of time mindlessly surfing the Internet. While I try to make that the exception rather than the rule, it’s a massive time suck that usually puts me behind on things I actually needed to do that day. Obviously the web makes life easier in many respects. […]

You May Want to Tip Your Hotel Housekeeper

Here's a confession from a hotel housekeeper that made me think: I didn't know maids received tips, so it took me weeks to realize that the coins left in rooms were an intentional gift. My tips were paltry: I almost never received more than $1, and at times guests left religious pamphlets. One day, however, I was shocked to find a crisp $100 bill lying on a table. […]

Marriott Rewards Visa Signature Cards Review: Save On Hotel Stays

If you often stay at hotels for business or personal trips, and you prefer to stay loyal to one hotel chain, then a specialty hotel credit card can become an essential tool. These can help you gain points to make future stays less expensive or even free. […]

Financial Stress Level

I recently went to the doctor with back pain.  While I was there, I was asked to describe the pain and assign it a number on the pain scale, with 1 being no pain and 10 being excruciating pain.  (For those interested, I gave my pain a 6, for distressing.  The doc gave me some medication.  I took it for a week and my back now feels just fine.) It was interesting how such a simple scale allowed me […]

Spare Change: Faster Stronger Farther Edition

This afternoon I did a very non-J.D. thing. I drove to Duniway Park here in Portland, and I timed myself to see how fast I can run a mile. After nearly six months of Crossfit and nearly 40 pounds lost, I decided it was time to see where things stood. As an adult, I’ve been a non-athlete. Mostly, I’ve been a fat slug, sitting behind the computer all day long. […]

Christmas Decorations: 5 Ways to Decorate Your Holiday Table on a Budget

Wandering through the stores this festive time of year often makes me wonder — why is there so much kitsch on sale costing so much? Big plastic inflatable Santas, bright blinking outdoor strobe lights, and a myriad of other Christmas decorations that will see the landfill once the big day is done. […]

Impulse Control

As I’ve mentioned on here several times, I have a weekly piano lesson, something I enjoy very much. On my way to my lesson, I drive by a bookstore and a game shop. On my way home from my lesson, I drive by that same bookstore and same game shop. Every week, especially on the way home, I’m tempted to stop. I see the game shop coming up on the right and I get an impulse to stop there. […]

But what I really want is the cover of Vogue

I’ve been splashed across the media and it feels weird. I’m just not the type of person the media seek out for serious commentary on money matters and market movements. Since I don’t own a suit, have an MBA, or yell about the price of gold on television, I tend to remain a stealth blogger who gets her kicks by writing about bank fees and budgets. […]

You Fix The Budget

A lot of the political rhetoric during the mid-term elections focused on reducing government spending and reducing the deficit (I found it a little hypocritical considering the average household credit card debt was in the thousands of dollars). […]

Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limits for 2011

There is still time to contribute to your 2010 retirement accounts. If you’re starting your 2011 contributions with the new year, consider the limits for 2011 are not changing. The combined contribution limit across traditional and Roth IRAs is $5,000. […]

Five Common 401k Mistakes

The Wall Street Journal lists five common 401k mistakes as follows: Mistake No. 1: Thinking the most important decision is how you invest your money. Your first priority should be determining how much you need to save—and figuring out how to make that happen. Mistake No. 2: Investing only enough to get the company match. […]

How to Raise Financially Savvy Kids

Children are often not adequately prepared for a financially savvy adult life. Between a lack of formal education and bad habits at home, kids can often be set up to make some costly mistakes once they set out on their own. […]