Capital One Buys ING Direct

The news broke yesterday that Capital One would be the happy recipient of the keys to a brand new ING Direct. Everyone knew that ING Direct was up for sale, the ING Groep was required to sell it, but no one was sure who would be the happy new owner. The acquisition puts Capital One in the lead as the largest online bank, mostly because ING Direct was absolutely enormous. The final price? […]

Shallow Bottoms and Deep Bottoms

For many people, making a significant change in their life requires them to hit bottom. They have to reach a low point of some sort where the drawbacks of continuing down their current path are so severe that they overcome the addictions or behavioral tendencies that have taken them down their current path. I’ve discussed my own personal finance bottom on here many times. […]

Get a $500+ Bonus from the Citi Premier Card

Around a month ago, I wrote about a generous $500+ bonus offering from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Today I wanted to share another big bonus, this time from the Citi Premier Card. It’s a pretty simple deal… Apply for the card and use it to spend $2k within three months and you’ll get 50k bonus points. Once you earn the bonus points, you can redeem them for a variety of ThankYou Rewards. […]

Chase Freedom Visa Sign-Up Bonus Increased to $200

Ugh. I knew this was bound to happen...Over the past few weeks I've been talking about how the Chase Freedom credit card is one of the best (if not the best) cash back credit card. And I've noted each time that there was a $150 sign-up bonus available to new applicants. […]

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card $250 Bonus

A few months ago, Citibank launched the Citi ThankYou℠ Preferred Card. Even though the card included some good features, the card was not well-received. Not standing up well to other issuers, Citi’s ThankYou points were not worth as much as other issuers’ rewards programs. With lackluster rewards and no sign-up bonus, this offer was an average credit card. […]

Your Take: Tipping, Taxes & Social Norms

What do you think of Ron Paul’s proposal to stop taxing tips? I think servers everyone would love it but it might have some unintended consequences if it were to pass (which it probably won’t). […]

Ask the Readers: Pay Off the Mortgage or Keep the Money in Savings?

It’s tough to write a personal-finance blog for five years without repeating topics. New readers come and old readers go. Meanwhile, the needs of existing readers are constantly changing. I try not to repeat material too often, but sometimes it’s clear it’s time to revisit a subject. […]

8 Personal Finance Basics to Tackle NOW

If you are like many of us (yes, me included), you probably visit several websites to read financial literature frequently. Many of us really read these articles to kill time, even though they often have useful advice. Reading is a form of entertainment, after all...but reading won't do you any good if you don't take action. […]

9 Helpful (and Weird) Uses for Hair and Excess Pet Fur

There are several things — from plastic bags to old clothes — that I make a regular effort to reuse. Plastic bags mean no need to buy expensive bubble wrap. Clothes too stained to keep wearing make great cleaning rags. But there are some things that I've never thought about recycling, like hair. And especially not those great fluffy tufts of fur that come from brushing cats and dogs. […]

Best Money Tips: 10 Free Things To Do For Dad On Father's Day

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on 10 free things to do for dad on Father's Day, how to double your cash back spending rewards, and how to spot a scam. Top 5 Articles 10 Free Things to Do for Dad on Father's Day — This Father's Day, mow the lawn and take out the garbage so your dad doesn't have to do it! […]

Help a Reader: What to Do with a Windfall

Here's an email I recently received from a reader: I am a 29 year old unmarried male (have a girlfriend who doesn't live with me). I make about $50K/yr. + bonus potential every month (should have at least $6K in bonuses this year). I live in a low cost of living area. I have approximately $15K in a 401-K. I contribute 9% of my salary every month with no matching right now. […]

Star Money Articles and Carnivals for the Week of June 13

Here are some pieces I found especially worthwhile and some of the carnivals Free Money Finance was in this week: Festival of Frugality Totally Money Blog Carnival Lazy Man and Money bought a house. FrugalDad talks life insurance. BripBlap offers thoughts on retirement. My Dollar Plan is thinking of down-sizing. Money Smart Life discusses mutual funds. […]

Personal Finance 101: What Is an Asset?

When I’m writing about personal finance issues, I often use a subset of terms that, to me, feel like common sense. Stocks. Bonds. Savings. Frugality. These things all seem commonplace. One word that’s nearly in that group for me is “asset.” It’s a simple term to describe a simple thing. Which brings me to this email from “Jodie”: You have mentioned assets in a few emails recently. […]

Effective Networking

The following is an excerpt reprinted with permission from What Color Is Your Parachute? Guide to Job-Hunting Online, Sixth Edition: Blogging, Career Sites, Gateways, Getting Interviews, Job Boards, Job Search ... Resumes, Research Sites, Social Networking. Copyright © 2011 by Mark Emery Bolles and Richard Nelson Bolles, Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. […]

Should You Manage Your Money Like President Obama?

Not too long ago, President Obama and the First Lady disclosed their financial assets publicly. Their balance sheet showed no liabilities — the First Family is debt-free. Additionally, the financial disclosure includes money made on book royalties, as well as information about where the Obamas are investing some of their cash. […]

Help a Reader: Buying a New Car

Here's an email I recently received from a reader: I'm in the market for a new/used car and am not sure what safety features I actually need. I don't want to overspend on a car, trying to get safety features that aren't essential. My current car is 13 years old and has more than 200,000 miles. I'm looking to spend less than $10K on my next car. […]

Make a Starbucks Frappuccino for $0.32

I wanted one. Badly. The intoxicating sip of caffeine and the sweet taste of sugar, all blended together into a mixture of iced creamy goodness and designed to melt in your mouth. […]

Reader Mailbag: Working Ahead

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. Recovering from a big loss 2. A disastrous turn of events 3. Feeling scared all the time 4. Dodgy seminar? 5. Basic budgeting for young adult 6. Credit card strategies 7. SAHM transitioning to career 8. Investing with risk 9. […]

America’s Lost Decade

Larry Summers, former economic adviser to Barack Obama and Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton’s presidency, shared his thoughts on the economy through opinion pieces in the Financial Times and Washington Post. His concern is the possibility that the United States is heading for a “lost decade” similar to Japan’s lost decade in the 1990s. […]

Money Leaks: Canceling Unused Memberships

How many memberships do you have? How many of those do you use often enough to justify the fees? When was the last time you sat down and took a long look at what you were paying and whether it was still worth it? If it’s been a while, now’s a pretty good time to do it. The classic unused membership is, of course, the gym membership. […]