6 Bulletproof Ways to Cut Your Budget

If you've spent any amount of time reading literature on the subject of personal finance, you have heard of "living below your means." Sure, you can always increase your income in theory, but the first thing most people should do to increase their bottom line is look at their expenses. […]

How to Spend Your Money

Yesterday, as I was otherwise occupied (I spent five hours writing a post about programmable thermostats, a post nobody will even like!), the conversation on Donna Freedman’s article got a little cranky. Donna wrote about pinching pennies on some things so that she could splurge on others. […]

Personal Finance Magazine Reviews

Back in the day (aka 2-3 years ago), I subscribed to the "big three" personal finance magazines: Money, Kiplinger's, and Smart Money. Every once in awhile I'd write a review and compare them for my readers. […]

Is bargain hunting frugal?

In my review of Jeff Yeager’s The Cheapskate Next Door, one of the points in that book that hit me squarely in the eyes was his distinction between “cheapskate” (meaning someone who’s frugal, and proud of it) with “bargain hunter” (people who enjoy ferreting out deals and buying for less).  He claims that there’s a misperception that the two are one and the same. “What?!  Of course the Mighty Barg […]

Survival Tips For A Sole Proprietor In A Competitive World

Any kind of crisis breeds opportunity and changes behavior. And when the financial world did its crazy jig in late 2008, it caused a lot of us to stop and evaluate our financial behaviors and consumer habits. You can probably get a lot of interesting examples along these lines in any type of financial, business [...]Survival Tips For A Sole Proprietor In A Competitive World […]

Why Should a Man Get Married?

I get asked this question all the time, and I think it’s one that’s got enough cultural pressure behind it that it’s worth discussing. From a purely financial standpoint, why should a man get married? Let’s look at the reasons behind this question first. The argument against marriage for men is pretty straightforward. […]

Rebalancing—Your Best Friend

The following is an excerpt from Never Buy Another Stock Again: The Investing Portfolio that Will Preserve Your Wealth and Your Sanity. By now we have established that mutual fund managers are more often than not going to fail to outperform the broader index, usually because costs will eat up their profits. […]

Secure Online Banking Security Tips

I love online banking. It’s so convenient. From bill pay to transfers, it’s easy to take care of just about any banking need online. […]

CoinStar is a Rip-Off

The whole premise is almost absurd. It reminds me of children on a playground — one invariably tries to trick another by offering three quarters in exchange for a dollar bill. Even kids are smart enough not to fall for this trick. For some reason, however, people are content using CoinStar machines. […]

Do Daily Deals Really Save You Money?

Over the past year or so, “deal-of-the-day” websites such as Groupon, LivingSocial, and a number of smaller competitors have really taken off. […]

Durbin Amendment: Limit Interchange Fees to 12 Cents

The Durbin Amendment to the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is set to be official in a little over a month. The amendment would have the Federal Reserve limit interchange fees on debit transactions, the fee a bank charges to process card transactions, to a mere 12 cents. It’s a proposal they put out for comment late last year and it’s drawn a lot of criticism. […]

Use a Gap Year to Help Pay for College

Here's a piece from MSNBC that discusses the "gap year" -- a year students take off between high school and college. […]

Reader Mailbag: NCAA Tournament Predictions

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. Handling a windfall 2. Underwater on mortgage 3. The best next step 4. More for the mortgage? 5. Saving up for payments 6. Package price increase 7. Maximize investments or pay mortgage? 8. Exercising at home 9. […]

Free Money Finance March Money Madness, Sweet 16, Posts 1-4

Here we go with the Sweet 16 round of Free Money Finance March Money Madness (to follow all the action click on my March Money Madness category link and scroll down to read all the posts involved in this subject.) I've listed each "game" (one post versus another) in segments along with the wording provided by the author when the post was submitted. […]

The Best of Money Carnival

The Best of Money Carnival is now up. Congrats to all participants and especially the winning post, Americans Finally Get It, But Is Saving Money Slowing Recovery? Enjoy! […]

How to Avoid Getting Hired

Jobs aren't exactly pouring out of every corner of the market right now. Whether you need a full-time job, a part-time bill payer, new clients for your business, or a second job, the market is tight even for the most qualified candidates. […]

Safe Donations to Victims of the Tsunami in Japan

Updated March 16, 2011. If you have been paying attention to the media, you most likely saw terrifying footage of tsunami waves destroying much of the eastern coastal areas of Japan, particularly Miyagi prefecture. […]

10 DIY Dog Toys You Can Make for Pennies

Dogs. These days, it seems like man’s best friend is an even better friend to the retail outlets. If you can think of a dog accessory or toy, it’s out there, and often at a whopping price tag. I sometimes scratch my head in the aisles of Pet Smart and PetCo, thinking “Really, $8 for a tennis ball and a white cord? […]

Do I Have to Report This Income?

Today we're going to play a game called "Do I Have to Report This Income?" It will teach us a little about tax filing requirements and present some interesting situations about what income is taxable and what can be left off a tax return. When doing taxes, there are a ton of ways to get around reporting income. […]

Understanding How Income Is Taxed

Remember when Warren Buffett famously declared that he paid a lower tax rate than his administrative assistant? It probably confused a lot of people who aren’t familiar with the myriad of ways our income is taxed and that confusion can lead to misplaced frustration and anger. […]