Understanding 1st Party and 3rd Party Collectors

I have been following the How to Fight Debt Collectors series and noticed that the articles are all geared towards third party collections. For 3 years, I worked as a first party collector in the collections department for a mortgage company. During that time, I learned a lot about debt, people, and collection law. I did some things that may have been considered shady but I never broke the law. […]

Series I Bonds Inflation Rate Update (Nov 2009)

For the last six months, my Series I Savings Bonds have been earning exactly 0.00% APY interest. If you remember from the Savings Bond Foundation post, Series I savings bonds earn interest based on an equation that has both an inflation rate component and a fixed rate component. […]

Box of Books #2

My last box of books was a huge success -- I gave them away through my giveaway newsletter -- so I thought I'd do it again (if you want a chance to win, be sure to sign up for my newsletter here -- I'll be giving them away in November.) For now, here are the books I've received from publishers and a bit about them (from Amazon): 25 Ways to Make College Pay Off: Advice for Anxious Parents from […]

Here’s the one thing you can absolutely count on in this economy

This economic downturn hasn’t been kind to a lot of people.  Jobs that haven’t been taken away from people have had their hours cut, their workload increased, or their cost of living allowances taken away. […]

Money Management Software For The Desktop: YNAB 3 Review

A sneak peek at YNAB 3. There are a lot of great budgeting software products in the market, many of them free. […]

Best of Money Carnival #22 is Up

Just my weekly note saying the Best of Money Carnival #22 is up now. Congrats to all participants and especially the winning post, The Great Depression II: Says Who, Huh? […]

Economica: Women and the Global Economy

In his book Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty [my review], Nobel Peace Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus argues that one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty and overpopulation is to boost the economic status of women. […]

14 Ways a Notebook in Your Pocket Can Save You Money

Melinda writes in: You constantly write about how having a notebook in your pocket all the time helps you in life and saves you money. I get that you can write down your ideas in it all the time, but I’m not a creative type. […]

What Makes Wealthy People Wealthy

Yesterday I talked about the book The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper in Even The Toughest Times by Jean Chatzky. In particular I noted that the book broke survey respondents into four groups and listed the percentage each group was of the US population. […]

How to Close ING Direct Subaccounts

In my ongoing quest to simplify our personal finances, I started cleaning up some of the connections in my Financial Network Map. […]

Teach Kids Money: Tying Chores & Allowances

This is a guest post by Danny Kofke, a special education teacher and author of How to Survive (and Perhaps Thrive) on a Teacher’s Salary. Danny and I have been emailing back and forth for the better part of the last month or two, working on a guest post about children and allowances. […]

How to Save Money for Christmas in a Short Amount of Time

Build Up Your Holiday Gift Budget in Just Two Short Months Can you believe that Black Friday is just a month away? It’s the biggest shopping day of the year and there will be countless deals to take advantage of to ramp up for the holiday season. After that, you have just under a month until Christmas. How does your holiday budget look this year? […]

A Great Way to Get a Degree Without Paying For It

Here's a piece from Yahoo that talks about getting an employer-paid degree. It's a great idea if you can hack zero free time for several years (working full-time and going to school at night can be a real time sucker) -- you get a degree (usually an advanced degree like an MBA) and don't have to pay for it. […]

The game of Haggling: How to Get a Great Deal on a Used Car

By Sierra Black My husband and I bought a car over the weekend — a 2008 Mazda5. At the car dealership, I told my kids that we were playing an exciting game called "Haggle" with the car dealers. In this game, the car dealers want us to pay a lot of money for a car, and we want to get a very good car for a little money. All afternoon, the girls would whisper, "Are we winning?" I think we won. […]

PearBudget Review: Really Simple Budgeting

Last night, on the 25th episode of the Personal Finance Hour, we discussed mostly about budgeting and touched on some popular budgeting tools. PearBudget is an online budget management tool, mentioned by both JD and members of the chatroom, that I had never heard of. PearBudget’s tagline is “really simple budgeting” and it delivers on that promise. […]

Thoughts on Finding Good Customer Service

Whenever I mention a company on The Simple Dollar – Apple, Dell, Nintendo, Williams-Sonoma, etc. etc. – I usually receive an email or two from a reader telling me how absolutely horrible the company in question is. […]

Ask the Readers: How Do You Manage Stress and Spending? (Your Chance to Win $10)

By Linsey Knerl Our good friend Trent at The Simple Dollar recently made a good observation about stress and spending. It seems that for many of us, being stressed out causes us to be less mindful about our purchases, which leads to more spending, which causes more stress. Thus, you have a cycle that is really hard to break. A very small number of people I know are almost paralyzed by spending. […]

Best Deals For Tuesday 10/27/09

By Paul Michael Today's WISEBUY. Reebok Shoes From Just $8 at ShoeSteal.com ShoeSteal.com cut its prices on Reebok shoes to $29.99 or less. […]

25 Frugal Things I Do, 4 Spendthrift Confessions

By Frugal Duchess From time to time, I take inventory of my frugal habits. This review helps fine-tune my money-saving strategies. Here is my latest list of 25 Frugal Things I do, plus a few spendthrift habits. It's a tradition I've picked up from my friend Dawn at Frugal for Life. 1. Use mascara, coffee and tea to color my hair. 2. […]

Preparing for a Move

Things are moving along with regard to our new townhouse. We have approximately 5-6 weeks to get ready for our move to the new place. I’m excited and ready to leave the apartment. I thought it might be helpful to share our to-do list for others that are planning to move. I’m sure many of you have some moving tips of your own to add in the comments. […]