Review Your Insurance Policies

With many aspects of your financial life, there’s a certain amount of “set it and forget it.” In some cases it works out well, such as setting a contribution to a retirement account or establishing a savings plan that auto-transfers money from your checking account to a savings account. […]

When To Walk Away From A Bad Mortgage

This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at Since the housing bubble burst, many Americans have found their finances underwater. They’re paying on homes that are worth much less than the mortgages against them. […]

A Reminder: Networking is Important to Your Career

In talking about job searches, MSNBC says the following about networking: Just posting stuff on Facebook is not serious networking. Sorry. If you want to find a gig you have to put yourself out there and meet people face to face. Stefanie Smith, an executive consultant-coach, suggested you commit to inviting five people out to lunch or dinner this year. […]

Organizing for taxes and beyond, Part 2: Painting the broad strokes

In Part 1 of this series, I explained the motivation for cracking out Quicken to get a handle on our family’s finances for this year’s tax season and beyond.  I began by entering  our primary checking account’s transactions for 2010.  Along the way, I created accounts in Quicken for the other financial vehicles we have as they came up in our checking account transactions, but didn’t stop to enter […]

Series: Life After Salary

In December 2010, I left the day job where I had worked since 2002. My intent was to focus on Consumerism Commentary, the blog I started in 2003, and other related projects, without distraction from a nine-to-five day job. […]

Achieving Financial Goals – The Process Remains The Same

I do not like distractions.  When I am working on an article, I don’t want to listen to music.  When I am watching television, I do not want to hear the noise of the dish washer.  My mind is of the proverbial “one-track” variety.  Multitasking is not for me. When it comes to the management of our finances, I find things work best when I’m focused – intensely focused – on either one goal – or a fe […]

Leasing vs Buying A Car: Things To Consider

Getting a new vehicle involves a lot of decisions, such as what type of vehicle to buy and where to shop. In addition, it’s a good idea to compare the pros and cons of buying versus leasing a car. We’re actually ready to embark on replacing our older model Honda Odyssey van. […]

Check Your Federal Tax Refund With Your Phone

Although the tax code is mired with decades-old rules, fixed up with temporary bandages every year, and convoluted, the IRS is still able to produce something fresh, modern, and simple. Today, the government agency released its free application for iPhone and Android phones, IRS2Go. […]

Do You Get a Gas Receipt?

Here's an interesting question for today: When you get gas and pay by credit card, you usually have the option to get a receipt or not. Do you get one? Why or why not? Personally, I get a receipt because I like to know where my credit card charges stand at all times. […]

Seven Monthly Bills Most People Have, and Seven Ways to Reduce Each Bill

The other day, I opened my mailbox and what I found inside was painful. I found an energy bill and a mortgage statement and a phone bill and a water bill and an insurance statement and an internet bill. […]

How to Close an FNBO Direct Savings Account

As part of our New Year’s reorganization, I’ve been closing extraneous accounts that we’re no longer using. One of these is our old FNBO Direct savings account, which has been sitting dormant with a dollar plus a few cents of interest for the past year. This is one of several online savings accounts that I opened back when banks were actually competing with each other for business. […]

Consolidate Your Financial Accounts

Long time readers of Bargaineering will know that in the last year I’ve been aggressively consolidating our financial accounts in a quest to simplify my finances. […]

Mobile Payments Could Be the End of Credit Cards

In my wallet, plastic is king. I use my credit card for almost every transaction, though in rare cases I still go for cash. Like many others in this country and around the developed world, I also carry my cell phone around with me everywhere I go. […]

How to Save Money with the Disney Dining Plan

A couple weeks ago I mentioned that we're considering a trip to Hawaii this year. An FMF reader emailed me some of his thoughts on Hawaii and we struck up a conversation. […]

Free Money Finance March Money Madness, Round 1, Posts 13-16

Here we go with the first round of Free Money Finance March Money Madness (to follow all the action click on my March Money Madness category link and scroll down to read all the posts involved in this subject.) I've listed each "game" (one post versus another) in segments along with the wording provided by the author when the post was submitted. […]

The Best of Money Carnival

The Best of Money Carnival is now up. Congrats to all participants and especially the winning post, Frugal Lessons from People Who Survived the Great Depression. Enjoy! […]

Thred Up Because Kids Outgrow Clothing Fast

Clothing exchanges are wildly popular right now.  The reason behind this is really quite simple.  Frugal families simply can’t afford to buy new things every time their children hit a growth spurt or grow tired of the toys that they already have.  Rather than shell out money to purchase new clothing and stuffed animals, parents turn to their peers and work out a deal. Websites lik […]

Reader Mailbag: Winter Blues

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Helping a rock bottom friend 2. Moving around the world 3. Easing a tax burden 4. Financial wedding propriety 5. Small claims court question 6. Deeply worried about parents’ future 7. Credit report issues 8. […]

Win a Free Copy of You Need a Budget!

I am giving away a copy of You Need a Budget! Here's how the giveaway will work: 1. All you need to do to enter is to leave any comment on this post. Be sure to leave your email address (no one else will be able to see it) when you leave the comment. 2. Sometime next week, I'll select the winner at random and announce the winner on this post. 3. […]

Braces and Orthodontics: Costs and Benefits

Through most of my four years of high school, I had braces on my teeth. The braces helped to correct an overbite, and I wore them longer than most kids my age most likely because I wasn’t consistently wearing the head gear during the night as prescribed. It’s hard for me to weigh the cost versus the benefits because my parents paid. […]