3 Proven Ways to Save Real Money at Garage Sales

I just ended my whirlwind tour of a recent neighborhood garage sale event in a nearby community. Having been an annual tradition for as long as I could remember, I got up at 7 a.m., took breakfast on the road, and hit the sales with my mom in the driver's seat and my newborn son in the car seat. […]

Why I Don’t Chase the Highest Interest Rate

When a bank, particularly a bank that functions without branches solely or almost completely online, wants to increase its deposits, they employ several specific tactics. The bank increase the interest rates on the savings accounts, establish a significant marketing and advertising push, and if they’re smart, offer new customer or referral bonuses. […]

Review: How Rich People Think by Steve Siebold

I didn’t know much about Steve Siebold before I received his book, How Rich People Think, but he’s a “mental toughness” couch who has written books about mental toughness, weight loss, and other “mind over body” type of subjects. […]

Why I Buy Local

Kris and I live in a small, quiet neighborhood south of Portland. When the trolley line ran through here — between 1893 and 1959 — Oak Grove was actually thriving community, with shops and stores and more. (It’s true! […]

Character Flaws and Financial Success

It occurred to me recently that I can use my character flaws to make much smarter life choices going forward – financial and otherwise. More importantly, so can you. The thought popped into my head while my wife and I were on vacation in New York. (Side note – the vacation was debt free!) While there, we visited two of our best friends – Lori and Nathan. […]

Deciding When to Sell a Mutual Fund

The following is an excerpt from Personal Investing: The Missing Manual. If a fund is performing badly, investors are prone to making one of two mistakes. Some sell in a panic, while others hold onto the fund hoping it will turn things around. Most funds give a few warning signs before they crash. […]

Stores can now refuse small credit card charges

Fresh after posting on whether small credit card charges are shameful or otherwise to be avoided, I got a comment on that post.  “Paul” asks: “Wasn’t a provision of the financial reform bill that passed this July that store owners are now legally allowed to not accept a credit card charge for less than $10? […]

Use The Debt Reduction Mindset To Save For Future Purchases

Determined. Back when I was getting out of debt, I was the very definition of determined.  I worked hard, extremely hard, to stay on budget, earn extra money, and rapidly pay down my debts. Once I paid off my debts, I remained determined, and worked hard to fully-fund my emergency fund.  I also worked hard to fund retirement and education savings accounts.  I was motivated, pumped about the progr […]

Save Money on Furniture: Don’t Buy Chairs!

Want to save some money on furniture? Well, as a wannabe interior designer, I’ve previously talked about a few ways to do just that. Here are a number of ways to save some bucks on the stuff you use at home — chairs, tables, beds, armoires. Let’s check out some of the interesting and clever methods to furnishing your home. […]

Getting Real Value from Budgets

When I reached my financial bottom in April 2006, one of my first responses was to simply start reading a lot about personal finance. […]

Help a Reader: Retirement Saving

Here's an email I recently received from a reader: My wife may start earning self-employment income from some contract work a few days a month on her days off from her full-time job. We’re considering putting all of it away for retirement. What would be the most advantageous vehicle for this? […]

Do you feel bad for charging less than a dollar on your credit card?

Visa and MasterCard have very clear rules with regard to requiring a certain minimum amount before accepting credit card as payment.  They can’t. […]

On Debt Freedom and Being Weird

The other night while driving my son to soccer practice, I passed by a local church. On the sign out front it said: “Be weird. […]

Treat Everyone At Work With Respect

It’s been a while since I’ve written about career, I think we fired off both barrels during Career Week 2009 last year. […]

My Comcast Saga Continues

Here's the latest on my dealings with Comcast. For background, see this post and work your way backwards through the links. My annual promotion with Comcast ($19 including tax for basic service plus sports package) was set to expire in early August. […]

Poll: What’s Your Take on the Hindenburg Omen?

If you’ve been listening to the media lately you may have heard something about the Hindenburg Omen. It sounds kind of ominous, and I guess it should because it predicts a severe market crash. The Omen has been behind every market crash since 1987, but significant stock-market declines have followed only 25% of the time. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Making It All Work Edition

Earlier this year, I did a very popular series on David Allen’s book Getting Things Done, one that’s still generating a fair amount of email. Given that I personally found at least as much value in Allen’s follow-up, Making It All Work (which approaches GTD a bit more philosophically), I’m wondering if there would be interest in a similar chapter-by-chapter review of this latter book as well. […]

What Is True Affordability?

During the past decade, lenders and the media had us believe that affordability simply meant qualifying to buy it with a loan. Of course, that era ended with dire consequences, so that can't be right. What is true affordability anyway? […]

Buying Restaurant-Quality Cookware

I have a grudge match going against some of my older baking sheets. They've warped, gotten scratched, and generally haven't held up particularly well. I'll admit, I bought them from stores like Target inexpensively and you do get what you pay for. […]