Five ways to make your hobbies pay

After you get to know someone for a while, you usually discover something that they do reasonably well — well enough that you say, “Wow!  I didn’t know you could do that.”  That level of proficiency doesn’t come without a fair amount of dedicated practice.  They may or may not be at expert level, but it’s certainly good enough that you could get started with their advice or instruction. Most peopl […]

Smart Tips On Buying Discount Airline Tickets

This is a guest post by Jason D. Steele, who has been reviewing credit cards for since 2008. He also hosts his personal blog, Steele Street where he writes about Travel, Aviation, and Consumer Issues. Image from Smart Tips On Buying Discount Airline Tickets If you fly a discount airline, are you getting value from your miles? I like discount carriers. […]

Gifts in a Jar: 12 Gift Ideas for Under $15

It’s time to put a lid on it. Stocking stuffers, presents under the tree, gifts for friends, gifts for teachers, and gifts for everyone else on your holiday gift list can all add up to mega moolah. Before you know it, you’ve got the spending ‘sads’ from trying to please everyone. So why not put a cap on costs this year by giving a few gifts in a jar? […]

Help a Reader: Getting Out of a Mess

Here's a question a reader recently left here: I am in a hot pickle, but I am trying to figure out how to get out of it and get started on the right road. I am 42, and I have an 18 year old daughter. I am a single mother and have been since she was 4 months old when her dad hit the road without so much as a fare-thee-well. […]

How to Save Money With Online Sample Sales

Designer duds don't have to be reserved for the affluent or those with a large fashion budget. In fact, samples sales have been giving those of us with a “regular Joe” income access to names such as Marc Jacobs, Chanel, and Jimmy Choo for deep discounts. […]

Out With The Old, In With The New: Reduce Your Phone Bill

Throughout the month of December, The Simple Dollar is posting a daily series focusing on specific activities you can do right now to set the stage for a great 2011. Out with the old, in with the new. 14. Reduce your phone bill. Two episodes in my own life are relevant here. A couple years ago, I cancelled my business phone line and moved to Skype. […]

Skip Fuel Saving Gimmicks, Alter Your Driving

Consumer Reports loves to find gas saving gadgets and gizmos, put them through the ringer, and report, almost never surprisingly, that it fails to increase miles per gallon fuel efficiency of a car. Then, add a little humor from the fine folks at The Consumerist and you have a thoroughly entertaining post about how there’s no possible way a particular gadget could’ve saved you gas. […]

Earning Your Age, Spending Your Age

The book The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means details what it calls an old financial rule-of-thumb (it admits that the concept is out-of-date -- saying it was valid 30 years ago.) But I'd never heard of it, so I thought it was worth sharing. […]

Conducting a Year-End Financial Review

Last week, I mentioned that now would be a good time to take care of any financial task you needed to do before the end of the year. One of these tasks was creating reasonable financial goals for next year. […]

5 Tips for Using the Internet at Work

Most employees get on the Internet for personal reasons while they’re at work. […]

Homemade Gift Series, Extra Edition: Photo Cubes

This is a last-minute extra addition to the homemade gift series. Sarah and I have gone back and forth for a long while about whether to post this one in the series, but when we showed the items to several people as we were making them, the comments from them were almost universal: “You need to show this to your readers, Trent!” Why didn’t I want to do a post about it? […]

Is it Time to Buy a House?

If you ask a Realtor or a national association of individuals within that profession whether now is the perfect time to buy a house, they would say yes. Of course, their answer was yes a year ago, when average prices were low, and their answer was yes a few years ago, when average prices were at all-time highs. […]

Giving to Charity is Great. But How Do You Pick One?

Although the declining economy has left many pinching pennies, thousands of Americans will still make charitable donations between now and year’s end. The holiday season often provides grateful organizations with half of their annual donations. […]

Attention Financial Bloggers: Free Promotion for Your Top Posts and $500 Given to the Charity of Your Choice

Yes, it's that time of year again -- Free Money Finance March Money Madness is upon us! For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, it's our annual "tournament" of the best personal finance articles of the past year. They face each other in an NCAA-style bracket system, FMF readers vote for the winner, and at the end of it all, the best post is left standing. […]

How to Stay Warm This Winter Without Turning Up the Heat

According to the Farmers' Almanac, the average temperature at the North Pole is -30°F, while the average temperature at the South Pole is -60°F. While both of those sound like miserably cold places to spend the winter, I would argue that my small, Midwestern city is also bone-chilling this time of year. […]

Dividend Achievers

A dividend aristocrat is a stock that has increased its annual regular dividend every year for twenty five years. A dividend champion is a stock that has paid out its dividend every year for twenty five years, not necessarily increasing it each year. […]

How to Build Your Own Personal-Finance Manual

When I started writing Your Money: The Missing Manual, I had problems finding a focus. I couldn’t figure out who my intended audience was. To get over this hump, I eventually hit upon a cunning plan: I would write the personal-finance book that I wish I’d had back when I started my personal-finance journey. […]

The Gap

The more and more I think and learn about personal finances the more I think that becoming wealthy really just comes down to one vital step: making sure the gap is as big as possible. The gap is simply the difference between what you make and what you spend. […]

Seven things to do when facing a pay freeze

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