Help a Reader: Buying Assets

Here's an email I recently received from a reader: I'm a 30 yr old professional and have saved up about $40k from living within my means sitting in my savings account (I know, I could put it to better use).  I contribute about 10-15% in 401k off and on (due to job jumps and 6-12 months working period for eligibility) and have approximately $20k in it.  I recently read "rich dad poor dad" and […]

In Praise of Paying Yourself First

Can you bear with me for one more labored metaphor? As I’ve mentioned a few times already, I’m in the midst of a successful fitness program. […]


The Best of Money Carnival is up at Free from Broke. Congrats to all participants and especially the winning post, How Much Extra Should You Pay On Student Loans? I made the carnival myself with And Yet Another College Student Who Needs a Clue. Enjoy! […]

Fuel Surcharges – Still? Seriously?

Time for a minor rant… Back in the fall of 2008, I asked if fuel surcharges were here to stay. At the time, gas prices had fallen from $4+/gallon to the mid-$2 range, but those pesky surcharges that cropped up when fuel prices spiked were still persisting. At the time, I suggested that these sorts of fees are a one-way street in that they get added when times are tough, and they never go away. […]

Governments Benefits Direct Deposited in 2011

Today, the Obama administration will announce that all benefits payments from the government will be paid electronically, rather than with paper checks. This includes, but is not limited to, Social Security, unemployment, veterans benefits, railroad retirement, and other government benefits. […]

Ally Bank CD 60-Day Early Withdrawal Penalty

At most banks, if you close a CD before it’s maturity period you pay a penalty of 90 or 180 days. 90 days, or three months, is the penalty for shorter CDs, generally less than 12-months. The 180 day penalty is reserved for CDs with maturity periods of 12-months or more. […]

How to Prepare for a Performance Review

The following is reprinted, with permission of the publisher, from The Essential Performance Review Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource For Any Manager or HR Professional © 2010 Sharon Armstrong. Published by Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ. All rights reserved. Know your employee or your supervisor. […]

Reader Mailbag: Dad’s Health Update

What’s inside? Many readers have written to me asking for me to summarize the questions in the mailbag right at the top so that they know what’s inside. So, I’m going to try this out for this mailbag and see how it goes. Here are summaries of the included questions in five words or less. 1. Ethics of item return strategy 2. Budgeting after debt freedom 3. Lesser pay for more sanity 4. […]

Restaurants That Let Kids Eat Free

Save Money by Dining Where Kids Eat Free Today’s budget conscious family has made their fair share of financially sound decisions to save money.  From buying secondhand to growing their own backyard gardens, parents with multiple children take it upon themselves to cut back on unnecessary spending by doing almost anything.  With so many mouths to feed, the thought of going out to […]

A Crash Course in Offensive Budgeting

I live in a suburb of an ever-expanding, sprawling metropolis and yet I often chose to bike through the arteries of the city. I navigate my way over potholes, passed unobservant drivers and pedestrians, and pedal by garbage trucks on two spindly wheels. And I do this all by being an offensive cyclist. […]

Pet Ownership: A Financial and Emotional Responsibility

My household has almost always included pets. First, let me establish the true hierarchy. It’s very clear when you live with one cat or more that they own the place, and we humans are only permitted to share living space with them because we provide food and shelter. […]

Adjusting Financial Attitudes: Lessons for Parents and their Children

Most young adults say they wished they’d gotten better financial training from high-school teachers, parents, and even employers, according to a survey on young adults and money conducted on behalf of financial-services provider Charles Schwab. But when these young adults (ages 23-28) were teens, would they have listened, understood, and ac […]

How to Remove Private Personal Information from the Internet

Now that the Facebook privacy firestorm has, for the most part, eased up a bit, people seem to be a little more concerned about internet privacy. The scary thing is that of all the things that should worry you, Facebook probably has the least amount of information about it. […]

The Rewards of Routine Maintenance

I had a great weekend. In fact, it was probably one of the best weekends I’ve had in years. I spent all day Saturday and Sunday doing chores. (Well, I watched the World Cup a little, too.) I spent nearly 16 hours doing yardwork, and I loved every minute of it. This passion for pruning may seem strange to you, but it seems even stranger to me. I generally don’t like yardwork. […]

Traditional to Roth IRA Conversion at Vanguard

Last night, I finally got around to converting my wife’s recent traditional IRA contributions into her Roth account. […]

Billshrink's New TV Pricing Service: A Good Idea, But a Cheesy Requirement

I recently saw this piece on Billshrink's new TV pricing service. The idea is that you give them some information and they tell you the various pricing options for different TV providers (Comcast, DISH, DirecTV, etc.) Since I'm in "hunting mode" with my Comcast deal being up in a few months (not to mention the service I get from them), it looked interesting to me. […]

Getting in at the end of yard sales isn’t all bad

This weekend we went to a yard sale at the YMCA.  The yard sale was an event to raise money for the Kids’ Spot; people wanting to sell stuff bought a spot within the event, and this money went toward Kids’ Spot. Amongst a bunch of other things we had demanding our attention, we got the ending time of the sale wrong.  We had thought that we would have an hour or so at the sale, but […]

Submit Your Story! GRS Now Accepting New Reader Stories

After nearly six months, the first stage of a grand experiment has come to a close. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been using Sundays as a place to run reader stories. […]

How To Eat Healthy & Inexpensively

Everyone wants to eat healthy these days. Your health is priceless! Many claim, however, that it’s impossible to eat healthy on a limited food budget. But I would beg to differ; cheap meal ideas abound, and there are lots of ways to prepare your food inexpensively. […]