How Dave Ramsey Helped Me Pay Off My Debt

Late last December I came across a post on Bargaineering about Dave Ramsey’s book, “The Total Money Makeover.” Prior to this, I had never heard of Dave or his somewhat controversial teachings (e.g., he recommends folks pay off their debts from smallest to largest, regardless of interest rates, he quotes Bible verses – though mostly to share common sense financial wisdom, etc.). Somewhat intrigued, […]

A Few Black Friday Shopping Tips

Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving in the United States) provides consumers with bargains beyond their wildest imaginations.  Retailers offer their goods and services at decreased prices as a way of persuading men and women to start their holiday shopping earlier. […]

2010 Roth Conversion: Factors to Consider Before Making a Decision

The following is a guest post by Bryan Olson, CFA, Vice President, Head of Portfolio Consulting for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. For more than a decade, Roth IRAs have been offering investors a number of benefits generally including tax free growth in earnings, tax free withdrawals assuming you begin your withdrawals after the age of 59 1/2 and have held the Roth account for the minimum five-year h […]

Best Deals For Monday 11/23/09

By Paul Michael Today's WISEBUY. 500 MP3 Albums Just $5 at Amazon - First 1 Million Customers Pay Only $2! The Amazon.com MP3 Store now offers downloads of 500 MP3 albums for $5 each. […]

Is a College Degree Worth the Investment?

Over the next couple of weeks, six finalists will be auditioning for the opening of “staff writer” at Consumerism Commentary. Each will be providing two guest articles to share with readers. […]

The Fallacy of Homeownership as a Sound Investment

By Brandon Laughridge Homeownership is ingrained in the American psyche. Beyond that, the idea of owning a home has become a moral imperative in the United States. Presidents from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush have extolled the virtues of homeownership as a symbol of American freedoms and values. […]

Best of Money Carnival Now Up

Here's my weekly note that the latest Best of Money Carnival is up. Congrats to all participants and especially the winning post, The X-Men Guide To Unlocking Your Financial Mutant Powers. I made the carnival as well with a guest post titled Steps To Grow Your Net Worth When You Don't Make A Six Figure Income (though if you follow my advice you can earn six figures.) ;-) […]

Giving Back to Those Not Necessarily on Your Christmas List

By Tisha Tolar As we rush to find the "perfect gift" for friends and family, we tend to get tunnel vision about the holiday season. No matter how tight our budgets or shopping time may be, remember still there are some people who would be thrilled to be in our shoes, amongst the chaos of family, friends, and festivities. […]

Streamlining Our Netflix Subscription

Back in April, I wrote up a fairly detailed comparison of Netflix vs. Blockbuster. In a nutshell, we started out as Netflix subscribers, eventually migrated over to Blockbuster Total Access for the in-store exchanges, and then came back to Netflix when Blockbuster tightened up their exchange policy. Overall, we’ve been quite happy with this decision. […]

Reader Mailbag #90

Each Monday, The Simple Dollar opens up the reader mailbags and answers ten to twenty simple questions offered up by the readers on personal finance topics and many other things. Got a question? Ask it in the comments. […]

Way to Save #128: Use Calling Cards

If you travel, calling cards are important because they allow you to get the same rates from the road that you’re used to paying at home, at least theoretically. But the big three long distance carriers often have ridiculously high rates and fees for their cards. Before you enroll in any plan, be sure to [...] […]

Get Out of Debt First, Then Focus on Saving

By Debbie Dragon When you’re in debt, it’s nearly impossible to save money. To motivate yourself for the mission of getting out of debt, ask yourself these two questions: How much money am I paying towards my debt monthly? How else would I like to use my money? The money you save while paying off debt is not likely to earn as much interest as the interest you pay towards your debt. […]

Avoiding Black Friday Online and Offline

Many retailers — those who have survived the rough economy — have struggled this past year. Companies are looking forward to the holiday season because they know consumers are in a tough position, too. Here is how it works: the economy is recovering, but unemployment is the last piece of the economy to improve in a recovery. […]

PerkStreet Financial Free $50 Promotion

I gotta tell you, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen any account opening bonus offers from banks — or at least, one that doesn’t require you to jump through numerous hoops.  PerkStreet Financial is now offering a $50 sign-up bonus for any new PerkStreet Financial checking account with a minimum deposit of $25.  Deposit $25 and get $50?  No hard credit inquiry? […]

Why Tipping Is The Best Investment Ever

I’ve always found that tipping, by far, is the best investment you can ever make in almost any situation. Anyone who has ever bellied up to a bar knows that a dollar a drink is all it takes to get the speediest of service on even the busiest of nights. Want a nicer hotel room? […]

Quicken Premier 2010 Review

With the arrival of free online personal finance tools (like Mint, Quicken Online, Wesabe, and many others), you might think that a desktop application like Quicken would be a hard sell. As it turns out, a lot of people out there are like me – a little uncomfortable giving out so much personal finance information to an online tool. […]

The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

This article is the ninth of a thirteen-part series that explores the core tenets of Get Rich Slowly. You want the best — for yourself, for your spouse, for your family. You want the best car, the best house and mortgage, the best job, the best mutual funds, and the best savings account. You want things to be perfect. We all do. But perfection comes with a price. […]

Americans Still Not Ready for Retirement

Here's some information that's a good follow-up to our discussion about Americans not being ready for retirement. We'll start with a summary of how most people fund their retirement. Americans typically build retirement savings in three ways, says Laibson. For all of us, our required contributions to Social Security will provide a guaranteed monthly check. […]

Discount Gift Cards and Online Gift Certificates: Ideas For The Holiday Shopper

Gift cards? Particularly helpful as a last minute gift idea. Image from latimes.com The shopping season will soon be alighting upon us and the question is — how much are you going to be spending (or saving?) during your shopping trips? […]