How to Spend Less Without Starting a Budget

Some of the most common advice for helping someone spend less is to start a budget, but this approach doesn't always work. (See also: The First Step to Budgeting) With a budget, it's easy to get used to how much money you spend because you are so accustomed to seeing the total on a monthly basis. […]

25 Tasty Topping Ideas for Rice Cakes

When people start looking for ways to cut calories, one of the first products they tend to reach for is rice cakes. While I’ve previously thumbed my nose at them, a recent haul of generic items at my local Winn Dixie has me listing rice cakes at the top of my grocery list. […]

Best Money Tips: Financial Gifts for Children

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some great articles on financial gift ideas for children, preventing airport spending, and fun things to do for free or on the cheap. Top 5 Articles 10 Fantastic Financial Christmas Gift Ideas for Children — One great financial gift idea for a child: savings bonds. […]

How to Set Up Automatic Payments

Using automatic payments allows you to pay your bills on auto-pilot. You don't have to sit down and write out checks to mail to your creditors each month, and you don't even have to log into your various online accounts to pay your bills online, either. […]

Focus on Net Worth Over Income

Dr. Thomas Stanley tells us that those who have become wealthy do so in part because they focus on net worth over income. […]

15-year fixed mortgage rates are below 3%

Fixed-rate mortgages are almost as cheap as the teaser rates on adjustable-rate mortgages of a few years ago.  The average rate on a 15-year fixed rate mortgage for today (November 15th, 2011) stands at 2.97%.  (Note: It was at the time I wrote this post.  Rates change all the time.)  Rates haven’t been this low in at least fifty years.  Some new car financing isn’t this low, and the terms on new […]

APY vs APR: How Are Interest Rates Used In Finance?

Understand rates, returns and terms in order to make the right product choices in finance. APR, APY, effective APR, nominal APR and interest rate. We see these terms pop up a lot when we talk about finance. […]

Finding the Life Insurance That Is Best for You

The following is an excerpt from The Questions and Answers on Life Insurance Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Simple Answers for Your Complex Questions. Since this is a workbook (meant for you to fill in sections of it), you can't get the full meaning/impact in a basic blog post. But I think you'll get most of the key ideas.Take a breath. Thinking about death is serious, exhausting business. […]

Is it Time to Leave the Rich Alone?

Because of the Occupy Movement, people are focused on the rich, or the 1% as they are now known. CNN reported that in order to get in to the exclusive 1% you have to make a minimum of $343,927 each year. I figured it would be much higher and I thought of the article that appeared in my hometown newspaper that told the story of a city bus driver who was making $98,000. […]

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Christmas Lights

Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. […]

How to Create a Visual Budget Map

The following is a guest contribution by Kim Palmer. As much as I love the idea of tracking my money and sticking to a budget, Excel spreadsheets tend to make my eyes glaze over. All those lines and numbers remind me of some of my least favorite economics classes in school. […]

Insider Trading: Don’t Do It – Unless You’re in Congress

Back in 2003, Martha Stewart was indicted on multiple charges including securities fraud and obstruction of justice. These charges stemmed from an investigation into an investment move back in 2001, when she allegedly dumped her shares of ImClone based on insider information that she had received from her broker. […]

Do You Have Financial Blind Spots?

Sometimes, when we look at our finances, we don’t realize what we are missing. These blind spots can cost you in the long run, preventing you from making the most of your money. Missed opportunities, unnecessary expenses and other problems can arise from your financial blind spots. As you create your financial plan, evaluate your situation, and be honest. […]

FMF $5k Red Kettle Challenge

Update: If you are looking for the link to donate (and don't want/need to read the info below), you can find my donation page here. A few events have conspired over the past several months to lead me to this point. They are: I write often about giving, believe it is a key part of personal finances, and personally give myself. […]

The Best Black Friday Deals for 2011

Have you had a chance to look at the Black Friday sales ads from your favorite retailers this year?  Well, if you haven’t had the opportunity, we’ve done it for you.  If you’re one of those shoppers that get up at the crack of dawn to get your hands on the season’s most sought-after items, this post will apply to you.  You’ll want to plan accordingly because most stores won’t offer rainchecks to c […]

Reader Mailbag: Dress Up

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. Heating and cooling issues 2. Tax problems 3. Student loan debt juggling 4. Daylight Savings Time switch problems 5. Joint accounts with aging parents 6. Potential book selling scam 7. Multilingual children 8. […]

The Best of Money Carnival

The Best of Money Carnival is now up. Congrats to all participants and especially the winning post, Living Well on Less Than $10,000 a Year: Habits of Skilled Visa Workers. Enjoy! […]

Boost Your Human Capital: Stay Healthy

It’s easy to focus on the personal policies that help improve your net worth immediately. Saving money, investing thoughtfully, and earning income affect your bottom line immediately. This view can be shortsighted occasionally. Focusing effort on your personal human capital can have a greater affect on your net worth over the course of the rest of your life. […]

How to Overcome Your Fears in Stock Market Investing

One of the common stories from the recent recession is how shell shocked younger investors are. I’m not surprised because it seems like there is bad news every week and the market makes one hundred and two hundred points moves like it was nothing. […]

America’s Love-Hate Relationship with Wealth

I was on the road for the past two months, first in Chicago, and then in Bolivia and Peru. As always happens, one of the side effects of travel is that I’ve been living in a media vacuum. For the past few weeks, I’ve heard almost nothing of current events. That means I arrived home to find a strange phenomenon: Protestors “occupying” Wall Street. And Oakland. And Portland. […]