How We Are Our Own Saboteurs

Ultimately we control our destiny, meaning we have some say in the decisions that affect our personal finance in our adult lives. Yet the three biggest life decisions we make may be sabotaging our ultimate financial goal, saving enough and being financially independent come retirement. […]

Help a Reader: Size of Emergency Fund

Here's a question recently left on this site: I am a neophyte in regards to investing and getting my emergency fund up to date. I figure that my monthly expenses are about $2,000 and I have $4,500 in my emergency fund right now. I recently bought a home (rates are so low and the cost of my home was excellent). […]

Avoiding the Hedonic Treadmill: Travel vs. Stuff

The latest issue of Money Magazine has an interesting blurb from Dan Ariely, author of “Predictably Irrational” and “The Upside of Irrationality.” In it, he tackles the issue of why you don’t necessarily get more (or lasting) enjoyment from the things that you buy. “Why don’t you get more enjoyment from the things you buy? […]

Book Review: The Twitter Job Search Guide

I’ve been reading, re-reading, and testing out Twitter techniques from The Twitter Job Search Guide. […]

Carnival of Financial Planning - Edition #144

Welcome to the June 4, 2010 Edition #144 of the Carnival of Financial Planning. The Carnival of Financial Planning takes a long-term view of personal financial planning for individuals and families. […]

Your Take: Your First Summer Job

Now that summer has unofficially started (officially it won’t be for another few weeks), I thought it would be fun if everyone shared their first summer job and what they learned from it. My first summer job was as an intern at Periphonics, an interactive voice response company that was acquired by Nortel Networks shortly after I left. […]

The Calculus of Cats and Dogs

The other day, I made a passing comment in my article about judging (or not judging) others. I mentioned that although my friend Michael is in dire financial straits, he’s still making life decisions based around the fact that his family has two dogs. (They’re renting a larger, more expensive home than they otherwise would, for example.) “What about getting rid of the dogs?” I asked. Well. […]

Carnivals for the Week of May 31

For weekday updates of what I find to be some of the most interesting personal finance articles on the web, follow me on Twitter. Here are some carnivals Free Money Finance was in this week and my posts that were included: EDITOR'S CHOICE! […]

Roth IRA Rules & Tips: 2010 and Beyond

It’s not uncommon for people to use their retirement plans and only their retirement plans through work as savings vehicles over the course of their careers. For a lot of people, that’s all they can manage and, frankly, it is really the most convenient. […]

Help a Reader: Buying a Car

Here's an email I recently received from a reader: I'm in the market for my first car, and I plan to buy using a car loan. I've read dozens of articles about the importance of making a big down payment so as not to be 'upside-down' on my car loan. However, something's just not making sense to me - what's so bad about being upside-down? […]

How to Handle Pets When You Can’t Afford Them Any More

Hey, look, today I’m going to wade into something that’s bound to get hundreds of angry comments! Yesterday, I read an article over at Get Rich Slowly where J.D. wrote the following (with my own emphasis added): “Thanks for finding that place,” Michael told me as he took a bite of mashed potatoes and gravy. “But we’ve decided to rent someplace else. […]

Three Passive Barriers I Use to Counter Consumerism

This video post is by staff writer Adam Baker. Baker previously featured a post on his own blog entitled, Dave Ramsey Vs. Suze Orman. Passive barriers are those small mental impediments that keep us from making smart choices. […]

$100 Chase Checking Account Bonus for June 2010

It’s another month and another promotion from Chase Bank. This time it’s a $100 cash bonus if you open an account, setup a direct deposit or make 5 debit purchases. From the looks of it, it’s the same offer as last month only with a new expiration date. All you need to do is visit the promotion page and request that a coupon be mailed to you. […]

The Top Five Unexpected Costs of Retirement

Yahoo lists the top five unexpected costs of retirement as follows: 1. Living Longer2. Adult Children With Money Problems3. Higher Taxes, Higher Inflation4. Health Costs and Dental Care5. Repairs for Your Older Home Here are my thoughts on these: 1. Living Longer - This is what makes retirement planning so difficult. […]

Reader Mailbag: A Bit of Auden

“You need not see what someone is doing to know if it is his vocation, you have only to watch his eyes: a cook mixing a sauce, a surgeon making a primary incision, a clerk completing a bill of lading, wear the same rapt expression, forgetting themselves in a function. How beautiful it is, that eye-on-the-object look.” - W.H. […]

Cheap Hotel Rates with Hotwire

We all love to travel and stay in hotels. From having our bed made for us and getting the newspaper delivered to our door, very few things in life compare to staying at a nice hotel. […]

The Importance of Creating a Savings Account

Saving money. It’s something everyone knows they should do. So why does it seem so difficult to get started? The fact is everyone has to start somewhere, and starting is the hardest part. […]

You're Going to Get a Traffic Ticket Soon

How soon? Well that depends on what kind of shape your state's economy is in. But from the experiences I have been gathering from friends, relatives, co-workers, and of course my own life, I think it's safe to say you'll be paying some sort of penalty within one year. I've written about speeding tickets before, and parking tickets, too. […]

Personal Balance Sheet, May 2010 ($344,474, -2.7%)

After the end of each month, I take a closer look at my personal finances. Although I’ve moved away from tracking every cent I spend, I still look at most of my purchases and expenses to ensure I’m not doing anything I consider financially unreasonable. […]

Bargain Shopping at Whole Foods: 12 Strategies for Success

Trying to eat healthier? Wanting to explore organics and plant-based eating without spending the equivalent of a second mortgage? Whole Foods is considered by many to be out of financial reach. Believe it or not, you can go bargain shopping at Whole Foods and actually save money. I know, I know. […]