Reader Mailbag: The Cost of Friendship

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. Balancing limited income and values 2. Getting started with a Roth 3. Balancing social obligations and money 4. Investing for non-retirement goals 5. Economical recipe collections 6. Overpaying for life insurance? 7. […]

Deal With Your Debt or You May Go to Jail

ShareThisCollection agencies are using severe methods to go after debtors. They're going through the courts to collect. The choices are show up, pay up — or get locked up. First, the collection agency files a lawsuit against the debtor. […]

Veteran Business Owners Benefit from a Marketing Makeover

Military members have access to an array of benefits and opportunities earned by their service. Credibility and marketability in the business world just happens to be an added bonus. There are more than 25 million veterans nationwide. […]

All About Deflation

Deflation is back in the news, and for good reason: It's a real risk. Let me say up front that my own experience makes me much more inclined to worry about inflation. I have first-hand experience with the harm of inflation: the 14 percent inflation of 1980-1981 devastated my very first budget. […]

TD Ameritrade In Trouble For Misleading Investors

According to the Pennsylvania Securities Commission, brokers for TD Ameritrade misled investors in 2007 in order to sell a mutual fund, taking advantage of customers looking for higher returns. A certain mutual fund, the Reserve Yield Plus Fund, was sold as a high-rate investment to investors looking for a money market fund. […]

Convert Purchases from Dollars into Time

One strategy that seems to work well for people looking to conquer bad spending habits is to convert purchases into hours of work. A $4 latte, the classic enemy of frugalists everywhere, doesn’t seem too expensive because it’s only four dollars. If you only earn minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, that’s nearly half an hour of work before you take taxes into consideration. […]

Unusual Abodes: The Grain Bin Home

This post is from GRS staff writer April Dykman. I’m a fan of unusual homes. From tiny homes to recycled homes, I’m fascinated by unconventional ways one can build houses that save on construction costs and future utility bills. Our own house plans are for plastered walls with straw bale infill, and we’re close to breaking ground. […]

How to Survive Financial Betrayal

If you’re old enough to read, then you’ve almost certainly been “had” financially once or twice. Perhaps a “friend” borrowed money and didn’t pay it back. Instead, she “remembers” that it was a gift from the start — and tirelessly tries to convince you. Or maybe your brother-in-law sold you mortgage life insurance — and you didn’t need it. […]

How to Catch Up on Retirement Savings

We've been talking a lot lately about how most Americans are woefully unprepared for retirement. MSN Money reinforces these thoughts with the following facts: One in four workers has nothing or virtually nothing saved for retirement. The Employee Benefit Research Institute, which conducts an annual retirement confidence survey, found 26% have less than $1,000 put aside, up from 20% in 2009. […]

Should Unemployment Benefits Be Extended?

It’s unfortunate that in recent times, I’ve been receiving more and more blog comments from people who are having a really tough time dealing with their finances in this job market. The truth is, we are facing some long drawn out periods where employment opportunities are scarce. […]

Daily Links: Size 32 Edition

I did a semi-unfrugal thing today. I drove to Costco to buy a new pair of pants. While I was there, I bought a new shirt. I’ve lost a lot of weight this year, you see; but more than that, I’ve lost a lot of girth. My Crossfit workouts and improved diet are starting to pay off. On January 1st, my size 38 jeans felt tight. […]

Frugality, Usability, and Phone Shopping

About a year ago, I decided to get a low-end smartphone, mostly so I could check and make sure The Simple Dollar was still up and running from the road and perhaps tweet on occasion. […]

Seven Ways to Ruin Your Resume

Yahoo lists seven ways to ruin your resume as follows 1. Apply for a job for which you are not remotely qualified 2. Include a lofty mission statement 3. Use one generic resume for every job listing 4. Make recruiters or hiring managers guess how exactly you can help their client 5. Don’t explain how past experience translates to a new position 6. […]

The Best Small Business Credit Cards, April 2012

Small businesses often require a substantial line of credit early on to survive the start-up stage. In a perfect world, everyone would have the cash to fund their start-up but it’s not always that easy. […]

Are You Good at Naming Ice Cream?

Just wanted to let you all know that FMF's long-time sponsor, Moose Tracks ice cream, is holding a Facebook contest to help name their latest Moose Tracks flavor (details here). And yes, there are prizes. ;-) If you’d like to participate, simply go here to enter (look under the “Contest” tab if this link doesn’t get you to the exact page). May the best name win!!!!!! […]

Low Interest Rates Do Not Make Homes Affordable

Does the sales price of your home matter if the mortgage rate is low enough? If you ever thought about buying a home, the recent all-time low mortgage rates must be enticing. And this is exactly how the government wants everybody to feel, by the way. […]

New Debit Card Rules

Debit-card rules are changing. You won’t notice the difference if you keep a cushion in your checking account, maintain meticulous records of your balance and all pending transactions, and your bank never makes a mistake. Otherwise, pay attention. Overdraft Opt-Out Is the New Default Mode On August 15, 2010, the rules change. […]

Why Inflation Is Good For You

Inflation is the invisible erosion of our money’s purchasing power. It doesn’t sound like it’s good for you, right? Economists have said for quite some time now that inflation is good for you, it’s good for the economy, and part of a healthy market. […]

Three Good Reasons for Retiring and Three Good Reasons for Not Retiring

How to Retire Happy: The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire, Third Edition lists three good reasons for retiring and three more for not retiring as follows: Three good reasons to retire: The time is right. You've got more compelling things to do. Your job is changing. Three good reasons not to retire: Work is your identity. […]

Saving Money on Back to School Supplies

Save Money When Back to School Shopping Back to school normally means a shopping trip that can quickly overtax your wallet. This single shopping excursion can have a major impact on your budget if it gets out of hand. There are a few ways to save money and still provide your children with the experience and excitement of getting ready for school. […]