401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) Contribution Limits for 2010

Back in August, I suggested that 401(k) limits might be decreasing in 2010. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Rather, the limit on elective deferrals will be holding steady at $16,500/year. This limit not only applies to 401(k) accounts, but to 403(b) and 457(b) accounts, as well. […]

New Credit Card Costs ±14 FICO Points

We recently purchased a Fujitsu ScanSnap S300 and have been scanning a lot of our documents to reduce the number of documents we retain. One of the documents we came upon were two printouts of my wife’s FICO credit score and credit reports from Equifax, through myFICO. […]

Netbooks Guide: How to Buy the Best New Netbook

By Lynn Truong This article shares tips from the 19th episode of Dealista, our new podcast that'll help you get more for less. Click play to listen, or subscribe via iTunes to take the episode with you! Download episode mp3 | Check out show archive Netbooks are all the rage right now, and it’s easy to see why. They’re light, cheap (relatively), and have a long battery life. […]

There's Still Time for Charitable Giving

The following is a guest post from Marotta Wealth Management. The markets are up, and yet most nonprofits are still struggling financially. If you are charitably inclined, there's still time for end-of-year giving. Charities are hit especially hard during tough economic times. They face reduced giving and often greater needs. […]

Best Deals for Monday 12/28/09

Bakugan Toys Under $10 at Amazon 4 Avon Hand Creams for $5 (Ship Free!) Up to 70% off athletic shoes at Amazon.com Amazon Year End Video Game Sale FREE Sample Kashi TLC Trail Mix Granola Bar […]

Get a Grip on Your Debt: How to Obtain a Clear, Concise Financial Snapshot

By Adam Baker This is part three of my Getting Out of Debt: The Essentials series. In the first two parts of the series we laid the 'mental foundation' to start our surge against debt.  For most, this groundwork is essential to succeeding, however there comes a time for action.  That time is now. Before we can know where we are going, it helps to know where we currently are.  Studying the past do […]

Five Foolproof Financial Strategies That Will Ensure You a Better 2010

2009 saw its fair share of economic hardships.  With bank closings, bad mortgages, and unemployment rates at an all-time high, people found themselves cutting back and doing without items that they once purchased and enjoyed. Family vacations became shorter while the average workday got longer.  Items like eggs, milk, and gasoline gradually increased in cost and ate away at even the most liberal b […]

Reader Mailbag #95

Each Monday, The Simple Dollar opens up the reader mailbags and answers ten to twenty simple questions offered up by the readers on personal finance topics and many other things. Got a question? Ask it in the comments. […]

A Box of Wine, a Loaf of Bread, and Thou: 6 Box Wine Comparisons

By Marla Walters What on earth inspired me to try boxed wine? The price. A five-liter box of wine can sell for as little as $11. As a Wise Bread reader, I am sure you understand the pull of a bargain. I confess that, for years, I snubbed it. Boxed wine is nothing new, but I wouldn’t give it the time of day. […]

How to Donate Appreciated Stock

It’s well understood that when you donate $100 to an eligible charity, you get a $100 tax deduction if you itemize your deductions. What happens when you donate $100 in stock to an eligible charity? The exact same thing. You get a $100 deduction to your taxes if you itemize your deductions. If that’s the case, why is donating appreciate stock such a big deal? […]

Should All Amazon Shoppers Pay Sales Tax?

I almost participated in a boycott of Amazon.com. This was almost a decade ago when Amazon filed for a patent for its 1-Click ordering process. The patent was struck down in 2007 but I didn’t notice. In the face of Amazon’s low prices and, in my state, exemption from sales tax, my convictions didn’t stand a chance. Today, Amazon is still my retailer of choice. […]

It’s More Important to Be Happy Than to Be Rich

This article is the final installment of a 14-part series that explored the core tenets of Get Rich Slowly. Here’s the opening paragraph from my forthcoming book, Your Money: The Missing Manual. It’s the sum of everything I’ve learned during my five year journey to get rich slowly: You don’t want to be rich — you want to be happy. […]

The Economics of Gift Giving

With Christmas now in the rearview mirror, I thought it would be interesting to talk about gift giving strategies. According to a recent blurb in Money Magazine, Joel Waldfogel (Wharton School economist) has argued the following about gift-giving: “The problem with buying presents is that it’s economically inefficient. […]

Contrarian Thoughts on Charity and Giving

The following is a guest post from Free Money Finance reader Mike Hunt (someone whom I admire and respect – he regularly shares his wisdom in the comments.) That said, I generally disagree with the following tone and nature of this post and am not sure it’s even factually accurate in spots (such as in point #1 below.) But this blog has always been about highlighting and discussing different viewpo […]

Would you like some McWiFi with that?

Wireless internet access is becoming the new air conditioning: something to put on your sign to draw in customers. In a few weeks, McDonald’s will be nixing its $2.95 per 2 hours wi-fi fee for customers, apparently in an effort to take another bite out of Starbucks with its new McCafe offerings. Yeah, I’d tap into that, especially on a day trip up to the parents.  Why not bring the laptop in to ch […]

Personal Financial Planning For The Next Year: 10 Best Money Moves

This is a guest post from Mr Credit Card of www.askmrcreditcard.com. If you are looking for a credit card, please check out his best credit card offers. Image by Road Trip America. As we approach the end of the year and probably have emptied our wallets quite a bit, I think it is time to take stock of things that we should be doing to lower our cost of living in the next year. […]

Review: The Little Book of Safe Money

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. The Little Book of Safe Money by Jason Zweig is the ninth book in the “Little Books…” series, which each tackle a particular investing topic or strategy. […]

Recession-Proofing Your Life Insurance

This is a guest post from Joe Taylor Jr. Taylor is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who also writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College. I remember an evening a few years ago, when the company I helped start had to close its doors. I’d sunk my entire savings into building a business that had thrived. […]

Podcast 36: Being Financially Secure in Today’s Economy, Jane Bryant Quinn

Today’s episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast features Jany Bryant Quinn, author of Making the Most of Your Money Now: The Classic Bestseller Completely Revised for the New Economy. The book will be released this Tuesday, December 29, 2009 and here is a review. […]

Your After-Christmas Shopping Checklist

A few days after Christmas, Sarah and I will usually head out to the store to stock up on post-Christmas sales. It’s often easy to find many items at bargain-basement prices in the days after Christmas – items which can easily be saved until next year. We usually make a list of things to look for (as we do virtually every time we go shopping). […]