Friday Finance Findings for November 6th

Money trivia time. What was the highest value note ever printed by the U.S.? If you guessed $100,000, you’d be right, but not so fast. It wasn’t your typical bill. The highest-value bank note ever printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was the $100,000 Gold Certificate, Series 1934. […]

Way to Save #110: The Furnace Pilot Light

Turn off your furnace pilot light in the summer. You can also save by turning off your stove’s pilot light and using a lighter. […]

Ten Spectacular Tips for Getting Started in the Kitchen

I love cooking at home. I used to hate cooking at home, though. I was awful at it. I burnt things. I messed up scrambled eggs beyond all recognition. But over time, I got better at it. I started figuring out lots of little things that made the entire process smoother and made my results much better without necessarily improving my skills. […]

The First Step to Budgeting

By Nora Dunn Why do so many budgets fail? Because the first step to budgeting is omitted. When implemented correctly, it can make a huge difference. When the first step is neglected, intangible and unrealistic budgets are often created — a recipe for disaster. So, you ask, what is the first step to budgeting? Keeping Track of Expenses It’s that simple. […]

Your Take: Will Your Recession Changes Stick?

While most of us don’t believe we’re out of the recession, no matter what the statistics say, we can all agree that we made a few sacrifices over the last year and a half. Some have made a lot of sacrifices. One of the things my wife and I cut back on was dining out. We would go out to restaurants several times a week, not counting weekend festivities with our friends. […]

President Obama and Congress Extend the $8,000 Home Buyers’ Credit

It’s official. Today President Obama will sign a bill into law that extends the $8,000 First Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit, recently set to expire on November 30, until April 30 next year. […]

The Curse of a Big-Win Mentality

This article is by GRS staff writer Adam Baker. Despite his best attempts, Baker struggles to budget while adapting to life in New Zealand. Earlier this week J.D. […]

What I Have to Deal With

I don't write much about the ins and outs of having a blog because I assume most of you don't really care. As long as the site is up and continues to offer updates regularly, that's all that matters. And that's as it should be. After all, if the blog talks too much about blogging, it's not a personal finance blog now is it? […]

Carnivals for the Week of Nov 2

For weekday updates of what I find to be some of the most interesting personal finance articles on the web, follow me on Twitter. For now, here are the carnivals Free Money Finance was in this week (and last -- I was traveling last week and missed this post) and my posts that were included: EDITOR'S CHOICE! […]

Convenience credit card users are not perfect customers

This article on MSN Money misses a bit in the title: Banks punish perfect customers The article is another one on how credit card companies are hitting otherwise conscientious users with annual fees.  The users that are being targeted now are those who pay their bills on time and don’t carry a balance. These are not perfect customers as far as the bank is concerned.  They are close to the worst, a […]

Personal Balance Sheet, October 2009

Although it’s a little late this month, it’s now time to share my personal finances. I’ve been doing this roughly every month since Consumerism Commentary started in July 2003. I did recently make one important change — I am no longer counting my “business” bank accounts in my net worth. […]

Congress Extends $8000 Homebuyer Tax Credit, Adds New $6500 Credit

This just in… The House of Representatives has voted to extend — and expand — the first time homebuyer tax credit. Extending the $8000 credit, adding a $6500 credit According to the NY Times: The bill extends an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers that was due to expire on Nov. […]

How to Get the Best Deal on Cable or Satellite TV

Bible Money Matters has a great piece on how to get the best deal when signing up for cable or satellite TV. He details the process he went through to get a cable package that retails for $84.99/month for only $36.99/month and offers several tips along the way. […]

Lending Club Update – October 2009 Performance

As October came to a close, things were still going well with my Lending Club investments. The one loan that has gone bad has stayed bad, but everything else is being paid on time. Even with that delinquency, however, my “High Risk” portfolio is back in the black, as I’ve earned more than enough in interest to cover the loan that I lost. […]

Best Ways To Invest Small Amounts of Money

Investing simply means putting your money to good use with the expectation that you’ll receive a return or reward for doing so. A lot of us don’t have much money to spare. Sometimes you may find yourself with an extra $100; maybe someone finally paid you back for a long-forgotten debt (it’s happened to me!) or your mom sent you over a cash gift for your birthday. […]

A Reflection of Your Closest Friends

It’s often said that people are reflections of their five closest friends in many ways: behaviors, income levels, values, and so on. Five years ago, almost all of my closest friends spent money like it was water. […]

BVC #22: Big Impact of Small Everyday Spending

All too often we go through our lives spending a little here, a little there. We make these purchases automatically because they can be so small and so routine that we forget we even make it. A lot of these things are habits, like smoking, or they’re part of our daily routine, like a cup of coffee in the morning. […]

American Express Cardmember Gift Offers

If you’re an American Express cardmember, you probably recognize the annual mailings from American Express about their cardmember gifts. They usually send out a couple of these types of offers each year and if you’re like, many of them go into the recycling bin. […]

Americans Not Ready for Retirement

Here's a piece from MarketWatch about how your home equity figures into your retirement plans. But what struck me were these figures on what Americans have saved for retirement: The equity in your home represents a big part of your wealth. […]

The Law (of) Suits: Insurance for Men

By Jabulani Leffall In this blog, on this site, I usually explore ways to think about spending rather than ways to actually spend. That’s not my blogcallojob (blog calling or job) to tell you how to spend. But I’d like to pop a sales tag of conversation for fellow men, or women with fellow men in mind, reading this right now and speak plainly. […]