Credit Card Companies are Wooing the Wealthy

This is a guest post from Jim Sloan. If your mailbox is filling up these days with zero percent balance transfer offers and other goodies from credit card companies, consider yourself among the elite. Credit card companies, stung by new federal regulations that are preventing them from making money through punitive interest rate increases and penalty fees, are redoubling their efforts to court on […]

Being an Active Investor is a Lot of Work

Here's a quote I love from the book The 10 Commandments of Money: Survive and Thrive in the New Economy: Being an active investor is a lot of work, I'll warn you. You'll have to do extensive research, monitor your investments carefully and be disciplined about when you buy and sell. You will pay more as well: active management simply costs more in trading commissions, fees and taxes. […]

Two keys to spending financial windfalls wisely

Financial windfalls, planned or otherwise, are almost always welcome additions to the family budget.  (No doubt they’re preferable to large unexpected expenses!) Whether those financial windfalls are spent or saved wisely, though, is an entirely different matter.  Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to put these windfalls to effective use.  Here are two simple but broad principles that will help […]

When You Receive A Windfall, Treat It Right

Have you ever received a windfall? This would be money that lands on your lap unexpectedly, putting a grin on your face. It’s the opposite of what normally happens to us regular folks who often come across unexpected bills and costs that throw our budgets out of whack. Ever notice how easy it seems for [...]When You Receive A Windfall, Treat It Right Copyright 2011 […]

Spending Without Worries

As I’ve mentioned on The Simple Dollar before, one component of our monthly budget is what we call “fun” money. Each of us gets a relatively small amount of pocket money to spend on what we wish. We can hold onto it for a few months to buy something big or use it on frivolous things like stops at a coffee shop. For us, this is a vital part of our budget. […]

Millionaire Facts

CNN Money has a piece that lists facts about millionaires. I thought I'd list some of their findings (in red) and my thoughts on them. Here goes: About 7% of households have seven figures. Whenever I write a piece about trying to become a millionaire, someone always makes a comment similar to, "Having $1 million is no big deal these days." Oh yeah? […]

Robin Hood Tax

The Robin Hood Tax is a collection of financial transaction taxes similar to the Tobin tax, proposed in the United States. The Tobin tax, suggested by Nobel economist James Tobin, was a tax on all spot currency conversions and designed to penalize short term forex trades. […]

Series I Savings Bonds Rates – May 2011

This is just a quick note to say that the March inflation numbers are out, so we can now calculate the new Series I Savings Bond rates that will go into effect in May. As I’ve noted in the past, the Series I Savings Bond rate is composed of a fixed and a variable portion. Based on recent inflation data, it looks like the variable portion of the rate will be roughly 4.60%. […]

The Budget Deficit and Debt: Is the Government Like a Household?

Financial experts tell families to “spend less than they earn” and “don’t pay interest to borrow money.” The government does the opposite, running a budget deficit and paying billions of taxpayer dollars every year in interest payments. There is no question that deficit spending by the federal government is a problem. […]

Finances in 55 Seconds: Juice Up Your Savings

Take a look at your savings accounts. What kind of interest yield are you receiving? Chances are that you could do better — especially if your money is sitting in a traditional savings account at your brick and mortar bank. Indeed, most “regular” savings accounts offered by banks and credit unions feature miniscule returns. […]

The Thrift Store Junkie Strikes Again

“I’m cutting you a deal,” she said.  “Those books are really old.  I should be charging you more for them.” With twenty dollar bill in clenched fist, I steady myself and prepare to wage war. “You always do this to me!” I reply.  “You can’t change the prices once I come to the counter.” It’s an ongoing ordeal–the battle between me and the Salvation Army lady.  She thinks I’m some snot-nosed kid, I […]

How to Stay Relaxed During (And Make the Most of) a Job Interview

US News shares some thoughts on how to stay relaxed during a job interview. It's an "ok" piece in my opinion, but they leave out the BEST way (again, in my opinion) to stay relaxed during a job interview: rehearse. Yep, you heard it correctly. If you rehearse the job interview in advance, you will be much more relaxed. […]

The Best of Money Carnival

The Best of Money Carnival is now up. Congrats to all participants and especially the winning post, How often do you wash your jeans? Enjoy! […]

Reader Mailbag: 3 AM

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. Locking in student loan rates 2. Future of Roth IRAs 3. Handling a mini-windfall 4. Planning for the unpredictable 5. Time for fun hobbies? 6. Stay at home mom decision 7. Overseas trip planning 8. Personal threats 9. […]

Have You Checked Your Tax Receipt?

In honor of taxes being due today, I thought I’d point out the new Tax Receipt calculator over on the White House website. In short, this is a tool that gives you a percentage breakdown of how your tax dollars are being spent. […]

The Good Side of Stocks’ Lost Decade

This is a guest article by Rob Bennett, a personal finance journalist and author of the blog A Rich Life. Rob developed the Passion Saving approach to money management; Passion Savers save not to finance their old-age retirements but to enjoy more freedom and opportunity in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. Most view the years from 2000 through 2009 as bad years for stocks. […]

How to Dine Out on a Budget

We all enjoy a night out with a fancy, or not, meal in a restaurant. There’s something fun about going out, being served food you didn’t have to cook yourself on plates you won’t have to clean up later. […]

Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without

This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and raising children at My shower is broken. The water comes out just fine, and it doesn’t leak. […]

10 Ways to Do Less Laundry

Let's be realistic. Doing less laundry means wearing clothing more than once. It does not mean buying a new wardrobe and donating the dirty clothes to Goodwill. Sparing clothes from the wash for as long as possible means clothing will last longer, and you will have more time to devote to your favorite hobby. […]

20 Creative Uses for Peeps Beyond the Easter Basket

Love them or hate them, Peeps are here to stay. And I mean stay. The apocalypse will happen before they will go bad. And if there's ever a nuclear meltdown, viola! You have roasted Peeps. Here are new ways to use the eternal Easter treats. (See also: 5 Affordable, Eco-Friendly Easter Ideas) 1. […]