What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and How Do You Eliminate it?

Buying a home is a major financial decision and one of the most important ones most people will make. Finding a home to purchase is really only the beginning. Unless the buyer has a lot of cash on hand or a lot of liquid assets, they will have to take out a loan and find a mortgage to buy the house and there are many fees and expenses when it comes to buying a home. […]

The $20,000 Pet

Smart Money tells the story of a 7-year-old golden retriever who needed tests, blood work, surgery, radiation and then another surgery. Total price tag: $20,000. They go on to detail the increasingly costly world of pet health care. Here are some highlights: It's no secret that Americans love their pets. […]

Best Money Tips: Dealing With a Boring Job

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips roundup! Today, we share tips to help you deal with a boring job, handy kitchen uses for resealable bags, quick ways for busy moms to relax, and more. Top 5 Articles How to deal with a boring job — See if you can improve the situation by taking classes or getting training in your field. […]

Fearing the Unknown… Perhaps a Bit Too Much

Right now, our emergency fund would cover ten months’ worth of living expenses for our entire family. This is, of course, assuming that Sarah and I are both jobless (though able to care for our children) and that I’m earning absolutely no income from The Simple Dollar. […]

Runaway Debt, Can You Ever Pay It Back?

Do you ever hear a song that reminds you of someone from your past? I used to know a student named Andy who was always up to his eyeballs in debt. […]

10 Scams to Avoid in 2011

You work hard for your money: an honest day’s work for an honest paycheck. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same work ethic or honest streak that you do. […]

5 Places to Get Cheaper Diapers

I am a mom of five, and diapers have been a big part of my monthly budget for years now. Regardless of whether I’m diapering one or two at a time, I hate to spend more than I have to. […]

Buying Your Father’s Term Life Insurance Policy

Over the holidays, Reader John emailed me a question about secondary sales of life insurance policies. He had learned that his father was going to cancel his term-life insurance policy at the end of the month and he was considering “buying” it off his father by paying the premiums and collecting the death benefit. […]

Underachievement and the All-or-Nothing Mindset

This post is from staff writer April Dykman. There have been a slew of great articles lately on why resolutions fail, and I agree wholeheartedly with them. […]

Financial Tips for Couples in 2011

While you don’t have to wait for January to start working on your finances, this is often a great time to try a new approach. If you’re thinking of making some changes, you may be wondering where to start. Here are some ideas for optimizing your finances. Clean up your bank accounts If you have multiple bank accounts, make sure they’re all necessary and doing their job. […]

The Beauty of Index Funds

As most of you know, I'm a fan of investing in index funds. I've been using them as my primary investment vehicle for many years now. (for those of you interested, here's specifically what I invest in.) A month or so ago JD at Get Rich Slowly talked about index funds in detail. Here are the highlights of what he said: Index funds have very small expense ratios. […]

What’s with all the begging online?

Starting a website up in “spare time” with the purpose of developing expertise and getting a Plan B going is a great idea.  The Plan A job can go away at any time.  Actually, doing just about anything that provides a product or service — whether it’s holding a sign or painting numbers on curbs — is a good thing to do. Doing something productive should be a better option than looking for a handout, […]

Ask the Readers: Are You Optimistic About 2011?

According to a recent CNN article, a growing number of economists think 2011 will finally bring what we've been hoping for: More jobs and a self-sustaining recovery. But on the other hand, we all know friends and family members who are still struggling in this economy. Are you optimistic about 2011? […]

Happy Blogiversary! Year Three on Squawkfox!

Bloggers are a bunch of weirdos. Most write stuff online for free, some post photos for kicks, and many celebrate a yearly anniversary called a Blogiversary for fun. […]

Bill Paying Strategies To Help Find Your Spending Balance

We share a few tips to help you stop overspending now. When the recession hit, frugal became the “new black” and it was hip to thrift. The average savings rate jumped from .08% in 2005 to 7.6% in early 2009. But as we begin to emerge from the recession, will Americans go back to our overspending ways and resurrect their poor spending habits? Sadly, it appears so. […]

Charities Supported by FMF in 2010

As many of you know, I give away all the proceeds from Free Money Finance to charity each year. Everything from every sponsor, every affiliate, every sale, every everything. Every single penny goes to charity. With this year's donations, we're now close to $300,000 given since this blog started. […]

21 Best Money Blogs of 2010

Money Help for Christians just published his list of the 21 best money blogs of 2010 based on results from the Best of Money Carnival. Want to guess who was #1? :-) I'd like to really be the best personal finance blog out there, but I think this list is a bit skewed because it only includes blogs that submit to the Best of Money Carnival (which leaves out a lot of great sites). […]

When Investment Banks Fail, What Happens to the Little Guy?

One of the most frightening things (to me) about the 2008 investment bank failures of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns coupled with the fraud of Bernie Madoff is the impact it had on individual investors who had used these groups as a means to invest. […]

Life After Salary: COBRA vs. Individual Health Insurance

One month ago, I notified my boss at the corporation where I worked that I would be leaving. I was headed for the new frontier. Leaving my salary and benefits behind, I looked to the horizon and contemplated what I needed to do in order to keep my life secure. […]

Itemizing Taxpayers Must Wait to File Tax Returns

You know how it took until the 11th hour for Congress to extend the Bush era tax cuts? One of the consequences of that late change to the tax structure was that the IRS had been preparing for the the tax cut to expire. […]