Free Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day

It's not that Mom doesn't deserve an extravagantly expensive celebration of her day; it's just that over-the-top gifts and parties may not be feasible on a budget. And speaking as a mom, I can say that what matters most to me on Mother's Day isn't the amount of money spent (in fact, I get more of a kick out of saving money, usually). […]

Five Things to Consider When Choosing Where to Retire

Yahoo Finance lists five things to consider when choosing where to retire as follows: 1. Taxes2. Climate3. Work Opportunities and Recreation4. Cost of Living5. Housing Market A few thoughts from me: I think #1 is a sub-set of #4, isn't it? […]

Live like the Duke and Duchess without the royal bank account

You may not be able to drive off from your wedding day in an Aston Martin or have a shot at the British throne. So what?  Royalty does have its privileges, but many of the same luxuries that the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have at their disposal are surprisingly affordable.  This is a tip I picked up from one of Michael Masterson’s books — I think it was Automatic Wealth.  “The best money ca […]

Chase Freedom Named Best Overall Credit Card ($150 Bonus Still Available)

A week or so ago I told you about the $150 cash back bonus for those opening up new Chase Freedom credit card accounts (FYI, if you want the $150, it's still available. Simply go here: Chase Freedom® Visa - $150 Bonus Cash Back). […]

Announcing The Simple Dollar Personal Finance Seminar!

During the past month, I’ve been having some very casual discussions with an organization that handles the infrastructure of seminar programs for people who wish to run them. […]

Reader Profile: Kirk

The following is the latest post on my new "Reader Profiles" series. Each post in this series details the financial situation and challenges of an FMF reader. […]

2011 GRS Video Contest Winners

Participation in the Get Rich Slowly video contest was down this year, which makes me a little sad, but the quality of the entries made up for it. In fact, the quality of the videos was so high this year that it was tough to pick a handful of winners. As a reminder, contestants could share videos in two categories for this contest: Success Stories and Personal Finance Tips. […]

Concierge Medicine: Differentiated Healthcare for the Rich

Earning or having more money might not universally increase happiness or health. Wealthy people can be sad or sick just like those who are less financially fortunate. More money does provide more access to “stuff,” though, and people often like that “stuff.” Businesses that cater to the rich with services for which they might be willing to pay extra often thrive. […]

Finances in 55 Seconds: Create a Credit Card Debt Reduction Plan

One of the best things you can do for your finances is to pay down your credit card debt. Credit cards are notorious for high interest rates and fees. Once you are trapped in the cycle of making credit card payments, it can be difficult to get out. And, worst of all, the interest that you pay on your credit card balances goes straight into someone else’s bank account. […]

Net Worth Update, April 2011

As most of you know, I update my net worth monthly (using Quicken) to keep track of where I stand financially. […]

Treasury Confirms May 2011 Series I Savings Bond Rate

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the likely rates for Series I Savings Bonds staring in May 2011. At the time it appeared that the variable (inflation) portion of the rate would wind up being 4.60%. While the fixed portion was unknown, it seemed likely that it would remain at 0%. This morning, I awoke to an e-mail from the U.S. […]

The Best of Money Carnival

The Best of Money Carnival is now up. Congrats to all participants and especially the winning post, What Would You Do If You Needed to Buy a Car? - Part 1 - Sell Your Current Car.Enjoy! […]

Reader Mailbag: Friendships

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. Car seats 2. Graduation and internship question 3. Condo financing questions 4. Roth IRA worries 5. End of the tunnel 6. Anxiety 7. PMI worries 8. Cost of living abroad 9. Second mortgage or renovation fund 10. […]

Credit vs. Debit: Your Cards Don’t Have to Be Costly

On Friday, I shared an anecdote about a woman with (at least) 30 credit cards in her wallet, and I talked a bit about the cards that I carry in my wallet. […]

Osama bin Laden Killed in Pakistan

I was watching the Mets play the Phillies last night when there were suddenly chants of “USA USA USA” in the crowd. After a few minutes, the announces realized that the reason the crowd was chanting was because news of Osama Bin Laden’s death was circulating the crowd. That’s how I learned that bin Laden had been killed. […]

Want to Work From Home? Consider Direct Selling

Recently, I’ve been looking for additional sources of income and wanted to explore an area that I know nothing about. I wanted to do a little research on the direct selling industry which caters to the needs of and shows support to direct sellers. […]

Personal Balance Sheet, April 2011 ($761,127, +15.0%)

In 2003, I started Consumerism Commentary to teach myself more about personal finance and to track my progress as I strove to be financially secure. This was already a few years after my personal “rock bottom.” At the turn of the century, after a few years of letting my net worth as well as other aspects of my life decline, I realized I needed to turn everything around. […]

How to Calculate Your Full Effective Tax Rate

Now that tax season is in the rear view mirror, it’s time to take a look back to see how much you actually pay in taxes. It’s very easy to see aggregate tax statistics, like 45% of people don’t pay any tax, and make assumptions about how much you personally pay. It’s also very easy to fall into the trap of looking at tax brackets and assume that’s how much you pay. […]

How to Build a Better Budget

This article on building a better budget is the written version of a workshop I gave last week at a local public library. It refines material from several past posts on the subject. If I’d planned ahead, I could have used this for Financial Literacy Month in April. “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” ~ John C. […]

Which Salt Is Best?

The salt that we consume is mostly composed of sodium chloride, and any other color or flavor that you get from it, other than saltiness, comes from either impurities or additives. […]