11 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Under $15

It’s that time again. You think you’ve got presents for everyone on your list, but somehow you forgot Great Aunt Noonie. Or your neighbor pops over with a gift and now you want to return the sentiment. […]

Financially Preparing for the Holidays

With it being a few short days until Christmas and nearly two weeks since the end of Hannukah, it’s a little late to be “preparing” for the holidays. That, however, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be financially prudent in the waning few days before the crescendo. […]

Your Relationship With Money

Have you ever had a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife you want to see again the moment he or she is out of your sight? Has love ever felt like a drug, something you need every minute, and you need more each time? Have you ever failed to understand why you constantly desire a lover who treats you poorly? Perhaps you long for the guy or girl you knew twenty years ago, a fleeting infatuation. […]

An Example of Why to Give Appreciated Securities Rather than Cash

In their piece on end of year tax tips for the generous, Kiplinger gives an example why it's better to give appreciated securities (assuming you do not want to hold on to them any longer) rather than cash. Their thoughts: When you give $1,000 in cash, you get to deduct $1,000, and that saves you $250 in the 25% bracket. […]

Finding a Charity to Support in 2011

One of our goals in 2011 is to increase our charitable contributions throughout the year. We’ve been getting a better handle of our finances and our monthly budget has enough room to accomodate increased charitable giving. Have you thought about which charities you’d like to support during the coming year? […]

Homemade Gift Series: Wrap-Up (Both Literally and Otherwise)

Throughout the fall, I ran a series of posts on homemade gifts with enough lead time so that interested parties could make some of the gifts on their own if they so chose. […]

How Will the Obama Tax-Cut Deal Affect You?

On December 17th, 2010, President Obama signed a $858-billion tax-cut package into law. […]

8 Job-Getting Tips from a Guy Who's Hired 500 People in the Past 5 Years

August Nielsen has hired about 300 people in the last 20 months. Seriously. He's the Human Resources manager for one of the nation's fast-growing private companies. In the spirit of full disclosure, let me say upfront that I work for the same company (VA Mortgage Center, which happens to be the country's largest dedicated VA lender). […]

5 Ways to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

The American philosopher and psychologist William James said “Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.” Since thinking or deciding is the first step in launching a new behavior, I began wondering what the primary methods of success are as we all run headlong in our New Year’s resolutions and new habits. […]

Why You Shouldn’t Cheat On Your Taxes

Have you ever been tempted to cheat on your taxes? asks a recent article in the NYT’s You’re the Boss column. […]

Readers Gave $8,000 to Charity Since Thanksgiving

For the second year in a row, I offered to match Consumerism Commentary readers’ charitable contributions donated during the two weeks following Thanksgiving, up to $5,000. After extending the matching period a third week, and with MoneyCrush‘s offer to match the contributions made between $5,000 and $6,000, we surpassed all goals. […]

Getting Paid to Tell Lies: Mystery Shopping as a Frugal Hack

This post is from new GRS staff writer Donna Freedman. Donna writes the Living With Less personal finance column for MSN Money, and writes about frugality and intentional living at Surviving And Thriving. Two persistent rumors about mystery shopping: It’s a scam. It’s not a scam — and you can get rich doing it! Allow me to set these rumors to rest: Mystery shopping is not a scam. […]

12 Rules for Money-Saving Negotiation Success

The book The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means lists 12 rules for negotiation success as follows: #1 Nice guys finish first.#2 Speak to the right person.#3 Be honest, but don't be shy.#4 "I can't afford it."#5 Cheaper by the dozen.#6 Watch for sales before and after you buy.#7 Show them the money.#8 Don't sell yourself short by naming a p […]

My favorite kind of holiday party

I attended a wonderful holiday party this weekend.  It was in a beautifully-decorated house.  The food was abundant and delicious.  The desserts were scrumptious.  The family hosting the party was kind and gracious. I had never met them before that night.  Nor any of the guests. The only person I knew there was another musician.  We played for two hours: him on trumpet, and me on keyboard.  We wer […]

Stretch Your Food Budget! How To Make Your Meals Go Further

Can you eat well for less money? When you go to the grocery store to do some major food shopping, how long is it before you find yourself having to go back to do it all again? It’s tough when you can’t seem to make stuff last as long as you would like. But I’ve found some great ways of stretching our groceries so that I can make the next shopping trip go a little bit further into the future. […]

Ask the Readers: What's Your Favorite Discovery of 2010

Thanks to the recommendations of many good friends and readers, I discovered a lot of awesome things this year. I fell in love with NBC's Community, LastPass, Radiolab, Kim Palmer's Generation Earn, and Youtube Music Channels (hipster versions of Lady Gaga? Yes please!) What is your favorite discovery of 2010? […]

Big Savings for Small Businesses and Shops on Swipe Fees

Last week, the Federal Reserve Board announced two proposals for limiting the fees paid to transaction processing companies. MasterCard and Visa would be the most affected if either of these new proposals, set into motion by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, are put into effect. […]

5 Easy Ways to Ruin Your Retirement

Yahoo lists five easy ways to ruin your retirement as follows: 1. Not Running the Numbers. Anybody over the age of, say, 40 should have at least a rough notion of how much money he or she will need for retirement. 2. Having Only One Plan. Even if you retire right on schedule, the economy, stock market, or any number of other forces beyond your control might disrupt your plans. […]

Citi® Platinum Select® Card 24 Month 0% Balance Transfer

Last month I wrote about Citibank’s increased 0% balance transfer opportunity provided by the company’s Citi® Platinum Select® Card. That article is now out-of-date because Citi has once again increased the balance transfer offer by three months, bringing the total amount of time consumers will have to pay their balance transfer in full without interest to two full years. […]