The Ethics of Free: Is it Wrong to Get Free Stuff?

I love to get free stuff. Don't you? The problem with free is that it doesn't mean something is really free. It just means that someone else has paid for the product or service instead of you. Recently, I was surfing around the Wise Bread archives, and I came across a post on how to get movie rentals for free. […]

Sick Happens: How to Prepare for an Illness or Injury

This latest guest post is part of our Financial Contingency Plan series and is written by none other than Donna Freedman, so please give her a kind Bargaineering welcome! How many sick days do you have? Five? Assuming you have any at all. Maybe you’ll never need them. But one good case of the flu in January and you’re out of luck for the rest of the year. […]

When Will You Be Able to Retire?

This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. Permit me to introduce a new term into the financial planning lexicon: goals-based budgeting. […]

Money and Finance Apps for Your iPhone

About a year ago, I put together a list of handy iPhone apps for managing your money. In the time since then, the app market has grown dramatically, and I’ve discovered many more uses for my iPhone. Thus, I thought I’d put together another rundown of money and finance apps that I have on my iPhone. Bank of America – This is where we have our “local” bank accounts. […]

How to Hire a Home Inspector

The following is an excerpt from Buying a Home: The Missing Manual. And remember, there are certain things home inspectors don't do -- be sure you know what these are and handle them as needed. In the movie The Money Pit, a young couple buys what looks like a beautiful home at a bargain price—until the house starts to fall down around them. […]

Hidden Costs Of Home Improvements

This past Saturday, I had my kids playhouse moved from our old house to our new one.  The playhouse paint didn’t match our new house, so I spent some time today painting it.  I also repaired a few shingles that were damaged during the move.  Oh, and I also installed a small window-unit air conditioner, so the kids can play in the house and be comfortable. I have a list, a mile long, of home impro […]

The Rise of No Fee Money Market Funds, Savings and Cash Accounts

I always found it interesting that people often complain about and chase yields on money market funds and savings accounts. To me, they do what they are designed to do. They are not designed to pay high yields or large returns. Instead, they are, by their very nature, supposed to offer a safe place that also offers liquidity and stability. […]

Decline Your Own Credit Card With MasterCard’s Help

If you can’t control your own credit card spending, MasterCard is partnering with Citi to come to your rescue. The two companies are announcing a new credit card featuring a service called inControl. […]

When Keeping Your Head Above Water Takes All You’ve Got

“It takes all the running you can do just to stay in the same place.” - The Red Queen, Alice in Wonderland I receive piles of stories from readers, but the final question in yesterday’s reader mailbag really stuck with me for a while. I’ll quote it here, so you can read it again: So I sit here writing this at a very challenging job that I enjoy the bulk of, but zaps the life right out of me, and l […]

Help a Reader: Military House Options

Here's an email I recently received from a reader: My wife and I are both 28.  We have no kids but in 2-3 years will have our first and eventually hope to have 3.  My wife will be a stay at home mom.  We are currently stationed in the DC area.  Being in the military we will be moving around every 2-3 years but there is a high likelihood of coming back to this area for later assignments.  My big […]

Ask the Readers: Silly Ways to Save (Chance to win $20)

***Congrats to our winners!*** Guest - I entertain myself for free on weekends by going to "grand openings" -banks, stores, and new housing developments. Usually there is food, raffles, gifts or coupons for services, and entertainment. […]

Lending Club – July 2010 Performance

This is just a quick update on my Lending Club performance. During the month of July, I experienced my second charge off, dropping my net annualized return into the 9.5% range. I actually knew this one was coming because the borrower in question never made a single payment. Nice, huh? This is one of the reasons that I’ve been attracted to buying notes on the secondary market. […]

How Credit Karma Caught a Credit Report Error Before I Did

I’ve been a fan of Credit Karma for about as long as they’ve been around. It’s a cornerstone of my DIY identity theft protection strategy because it lets me view my TransUnion credit score for free about as often as I want to. I usually check once a month and it lets me see if my score has made any significant changes. […]

Great Places to Retire in the US

We've discussed five places to retire on Social Security alone -- five foreign locations where you can live completely on the average SS payment of $1,200 a month. But what if you prefer to stay in the US? If you're still strapped for retirement funds and want to retire in America, MSN Money lists five cheap places to retire in the US. […]

48 Things Frugality Has Taught Me

Today, let’s do something a little different. I’m going to list 48 things I’ve learned about myself and the world around me that I only discovered thanks to frugality. 1. I really like sun tea. 2. The patience and effort in teaching yourself something new is incredibly rewarding when you begin to succeed at it (like my piano playing). 3. […]

10 Ways to Make Money Online from Anywhere

Working and making money from anywhere – if you haven’t yet tried, might seem like a distant world or something you could never do.   The thought of having more control of your lifestyle by be able to work from home or any location you choose might not even enter your reality.  Perhaps you can’t fathom a lifestyle where you don’t have a place of work to show up every day.  Maybe t […]

I Am Doing Well Financially. Now What?

"Eventually, you can afford to better your life." You've worked hard all your life, saving up while making sensible decisions about your finances. […]

More Professional Collateral for Free

Many of us who want to earn more money have side jobs, or a flourishing freelance business or two. We want our customers and clients to take us seriously, but first impressions are often ruined by amateur—or even bad—graphic design. Unless you hire a designer, you’ll never get the constructive criticism you need in order to improve your collateral, but designers are expensive. […]

Making Personal Finance Fun while Fighting for Financial Freedom

This is my introductory post as a WiseBread staff writer. And I must admit, coming up with a topic was somewhat of a daunting task. I've been blogging for over two and a half years over at, but I'm not running out of ideas. […]

Dipping Into Our Emergency Fund

This week we’ve had both good and bad news. After our car accident, it’s quite possible that we may have to dip into our emergency fund. While I’m not happy to be using it, I’m very glad that it’s there for us. All of this got me to thinking about the slight difference (in my mind at least) between a regular savings account and an emergency fund. […]