Your Take: Favorite Frugal Weekend Idea?

A while back I ran a short little series outlining a few fun frugal weekend ideas and with Labor Day around the corner, I thought it’d be fun if we all shared some fun ideas we had planned for the weekend. It doesn’t have to be a frugal weekend idea but it does have to be fun! For us, we’ll be taking our annual trip down to North Carolina to the Outer Banks for a week. […]

11 Money Lessons to Teach Your Kids

Since we've discussed what money skills kids should know before they leave home, I was interested in seeing if the authors of Lessons to My Children: Simple Life Lessons for Financial Success, Wealth, and Abundance agreed with those thoughts. Here are the 11 lessons they list (with some explanation from me where needed): Lesson 1: Pay yourself first.Lesson 2: Patience pays. […]

Star Money Articles and Carnivals for the Week of Aug 30

Let's start off with a reminder: FMF is on Facebook. Every weekday I post a couple pieces that usually aren't on FMF. It's a great way to connect and get some extra money advice/news if you're on Facebook quite often. Here are some pieces I found especially worthwhile and some of the carnivals Free Money Finance was in this week and my posts that were included: EDITOR'S CHOICE! […]

Are low mortgage rates around for a long time?

function sbmgValidateFormPostPg20(name,email) { var name_fld = document.getElementById('sbmgValidateFormPostPg20' + '_' + name); var email_fld = document.getElementById('sbmgValidateFormPostPg20' + '_' + email); var reg = /^([A-Za-z0-9_\-\.])+\@([A-Za-z0-9_\-\.])+\.([A-Za-z]{2,4})$/; var msg = ''; if ( name_fld.value == '' ) msg = '- Name Required\n'; if ( reg.tes […]

5 Frugal Chicken Dishes You Can Make Out of One Chicken

With barbecue season still going on strong and Labor Day coming up, we do a lot of grilling of hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, tomatoes and buns. But let’s depart from tradition for a moment: I thought it would be a good idea to find out how many meals we could squeeze out of one of those staples. When you want to be frugal, it helps to be somewhat creative. So how far can a chicken go? […]

Link Roundup: Transmission Trouble Edition

Over the past week or so, my wife’s 2004 Odyssey has given her a blinking green “D” (drive) light on several occasions. After looking in the owner’s manual, we were a bit concerned because the blinking green light is a sign of transmission trouble. For those that are unaware, the 2nd generation (1999-2004) Honda Odyssey has a history of transmission troubles, particularly in the earlier years. […]

Daily Links: Holiday Weekend Edition

Labor Day weekend begins tomorrow afternoon in the U.S. It’s the traditional end-of-summer holiday, and most folks will get Monday off as a paid holiday. My own vacation is going to be a bit different: I’m going to take tomorrow off instead. This will be the last post until Sunday evening. But as always when I take a short break, I’ll actually be working behind the scenes. […]

Healthy Snacks: Easy Banana Bread Recipe

I was rummaging through my fridge looking for something tasty to temp me. I do this most days. Sometimes I just stand there staring, waiting, searching for an interesting edible thing to leap from the cold and shout, “PICK ME.” No luck. Fridays are never the tastiest days of the week to find something munch-worthy. […]

Musical Bills b/w Treading Water

Katie writes in: The article on budgets was *great.* I’ve long felt guilty for not doing the whole formal budget thing, especially since I always liked and did well at math. (Like you, however, spreadsheets cause my eyes to roll back in my head.) But here’s a question/comment on one bit. You said: “First, this doesn´t work if you´re already spending more than you make. […]

The Four CFO Rules

The following is an excerpt from Your Life & Your Money In the book the author says every family needs a chief financial officer (CFO), and he gives these four rules for that person. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.—THEODORE ROOSEVELT Once you have a mission statement, you can start acting as your family’s CFO. […]

Personal Balance Sheet, August 2010 ($382,103, +3.4%)

If you follow the endless financial news, you might have heard that the stock market ended August on a sour note. My investments suffered like those of many investors around the world. The only investment I’ve been adding to for the last few months has been my 401(k) at regular intervals. […]

What I Learned From Working at a Bank

My boss has asked me in my last two performance appraisals what I enjoy about my job and each time, I say that having this job will make me 10 times wealthier in my personal life. I don't mean that I'm making a ridiculous salary. […]

Gas Companies Aren't Selling Me Their Credit Card

It seems like all the "rage" now in my city -- every time I fill up my car with gas I get a commercial on the pump screen before they print out my receipt. […]

Reader Mailbag: Dream House

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. 401(k) profit sharing 2. Online job application tips 3. Illness and challenges 4. College freshman advice 5. Mortgage decisions 6. Annuities for retirement? 7. Refinancing questions 8. Universal life policies 9. […]

What Does Being Rich Mean to You Anyway?

Money Magazine had an interesting article in the September 2010 issue titled "Do You Have What It Takes To Be Wealthy?" The article comprised of 15 questions aimed to tell you if, indeed, you have a good chance to be rich. […]

How to Get a Life: Consider the Worst Case Scenario

There is something that drives everything we do. Some actions are driven by love. Others motivated by hate. Money can get most of us moving. Some act based on their religious beliefs. The Purpose Driven Life reminds us that some are motivated by FEAR. And I believe it. […]

Is GDP Still Important?

Every pundit, politician, and economic forecaster (even smarmy financial dilettantes such as myself) have remarked that the recent recession was the worst economic calamity since the great depression. It's a very dramatic, historic and urgent thing to say — something that you want to have on record that you said — if for nothing else than t […]

How to Get Two Free Credit Reports a Year

Short answer: Live in Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey or Vermont. Long answer: In the seven states listed above, there are state laws that that require the credit bureaus to provide your credit reports absolutely free. […]

Help! My Debt Snowball Is Melting!

This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at The summer heat has taken a toll on my debt snowball. Two months ago, I paid off the last of my credit card debt, but I still have thousands of dollars in loans. […]

Continental Airlines OnePass Plus Card Review

As I live not too far from Newark, New Jersey, many of my flights around the country are serviced by Continental Airlines, an airline with a significant hub at Newark Liberty International Airport. Like all airlines, Continental has been cutting services and adding fees to keep fares low, but I’ve never had a bad experience with the airline. […]