Medical Expense Tracking Spreadsheet

The Medical Expense Tracking Spreadsheet is part of a financial planning series called How to Make a Budget. To start this series from the beginning, read the introduction. Reader Question: Kerry, I’ve been following your budgeting series — where’s the best place to record my medical expenses? Right now I just stack everything in a pile. […]

Series I Savings Bond Fixed Rate Falls to 0% (Nov 2010)

About a week ago, I posted about the forthcoming Series I Savings Bond interest rates. For those that are unaware, these rates update twice per year, and are composed of both a fixed and a variable component. The variable component is based on recent inflation and, as I noted in my previous post, the variable portion of the rate will be 0.74% for the next six months. […]

Ten Fun Facts About Crane & Co.

Who are Crane & Co. and why would we want to know ten fun facts about them? Open up your wallet or your purse, wherever you put your money, and pull out a bill. Crane & Co. manufactures the paper the money is printed on. In fact, Crane & Co. prints money for Sweden, Saudi Arabia, India, several African countries, India, and Paraguay. […]

Real-Life Case Study: How to Take Early Semi-Retirement, Part 1

A few weeks ago I wrote several posts on early semi-retirement. One reader commented that he had done this (moved from working five days a week to four) and I asked if he'd be interested in sharing his story. He said he would, so we conducted the following interview by phone. Here's part 1 of our discussion (my questions in red and his answers below them). Tell us a bit about your situation. […]

The Best of Money Carnival

The Best of Money Carnival is up. Congrats to all participants and especially the winning post, Time to Stop the Bubble Machine? Enjoy!  […]

Reader Mailbag: National Novel Writing Month Begins

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. Trust fund family problems 2. New job, retirement issues 3. Long term care insurance 4. How do CDs work? 5. Book on blogging 6. Paying ahead on mortgage 7. Books on fatherhood 8. Roll over my TSP? 9. World Series redux 10. […]

Ten New Uses for Old T-Shirts

I am on this big t-shirt kick right now.  I picked up a copy of Generation T and was instantly enthralled.  There are so many suggestions listed in the book on how to resurrect old garments and make them new again.  I think that is one skill that I can develop that will help keep me on track financially.  It will also assist me with my mission to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Rather […]

Financial Rules of Thumb: The Value of Keeping it Simple

Do you have any favorite financial rules of thumb? I recently ran across an interesting study in which the researchers looked at the impact of formal financial training vs. simplified, rule-of-thumb training on financial decision making. While the focus of the study was rather narrow (micro-entrepreneurs in the Dominican Republic), the results were quite interesting. […]

The Brag Book for Job Hunters: E-Book Review and Tips

Some of my career-services clients have had tremendous success with “brag books" (professional portfolios of career highlights and areas of expertise), propelling them from good-but-average positions to the next level of leadership with accompanying salary and commission increases. Those in pharmaceutical sales are likely familiar with brag […]

Series I Bonds Inflation Rate Update (Nov 2010)

With another September come and gone, it’s time to take a look at our good friend, the Series I savings bond. Savings bonds are a nice safe way to diversify your savings since they are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. […]

Gaming The System: Score Points With Your Savings

This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at I’m at a bit of a personal-finance plateau. I’ve conquered my credit cards. I’m chipping away at my loans using the same tactics that helped me pay off the plastic debt. I’m living about as frugally as I comfortably can. […]

How My Net Worth Stacks Up

CNN Money's net worth calculator lists median net worths of Americans two different ways -- by age and by income. […]

Carnival of Debt Reduction

Welcome to No Credit Needed and this week’s Carnival of Debt Reduction: Studenomics leads things off, reminding us about how we get into debt in the first place. […]

Review of Questions and Answers on Life Insurance

I was fortunate to receive an evaluation copy of Tony Steuer’s Questions and Answers on Life Insurance: The Life Insurance Toolbook. This 368-page book contains just what it says it contains: 134 common questions on the topic of life insurance, along with answers in plain English. Mr. […]

A Single Girl’s Savings Plan

It isn’t often that I come across a blog and find myself shaking my head, smiling while turning slightly crimson. Okay it happens sometimes when I read stuff at Punch Debt In The Face. And I only shake my head when I read stuff from Stop Buying Crap. But hands down, the funniest personal finance post I’ve read in a long time is this one from this gal from L.A. […]

Review: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half is the follow-up to America’s Cheapest Family, a very solid book on frugality by Steve and Annette Economides from 2007 that I quite liked. Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half seems to be a detailed expansion of the second chapter of their first book. […]

Podcast 80: Psych Yourself Rich, Farnoosh Torabi

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek talks to Farnoosh Torabi, author of the book Psych Yourself Rich: Get the Mindset and Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life and Money Coach on the SOAPnet reality TV show Bank of Mom and Dad. […]

Still Need A Costume For Halloween? How To Get Creative

Well, it’s Halloween, and I have some nifty Halloween themed cartoons I planned to present today. They provide some commentary on our economy, and weigh in on what’s the latest in finance and politics. Mildly amusing. This one’s on the foreclosure crisis:   While this one is on health care reform: But then I came across this video which I thought was a lot more fun. […]