Answering Mail: Free Annual Credit Reports, Online Savings Accounts

Every so often I address questions and comments I receive via email. If you have a question, please contact me using the form on this page. I try to respond to everyone, but it might take a while before I read every email I receive. From Mary Lynn: I really liked your article that explained how freecreditreport.com isn’t free at all. […]

Is FreeCreditReport.com A Scam?

One of the best financial things you can do for yourself is to regularly check your credit report. Identity theft is a huge business with billions of losses each year, not to mention all the time it takes to unravel the mess, so checking regularly is a great way to catch a theft early. […]

Save Money by Questioning Your Purchases

Today I just wanted to highlight an excellent comment that I recently received. In response to “Quit Shopping, Save Money,” a reader named ‘sekishin‘ said: “When considering a purchase, picture a stranger offering you [the cash value of the purchase] or the item in question. Which is of greater value you? […]

What Branding Can Do for You and Your Career

The following is excerpted with permission from Managing Brand You: 7 Steps to Creating Your Most Successful Self by Jerry S. Wilson and Ira Blumenthal (AMACOM 2008). I've written that you need to market yourself when you're looking for a new job, but you also need to market yourself to grow your career. […]

What Are The Best Credit Card Rewards Programs?

Our guest writer today, Millie Kay G., is a self-proclaimed “credit card procrastinator”. She covers the basics of credit card rewards programs and wonders where the good ones are. Could it be too late for me? With credit cards harder to come by these days, I regret not checking out credit card rewards programs sooner. […]

Best of Money Carnival #8

Just a note to let you know that this week's Best of Money Carnival is up at Wise Bread. As usual, it includes 10 great personal finance posts including the winner, Median vs. Mean: Know the Difference or Risk Being Manipulated. […]

How Money-Transfer Scams Work

I’ve been half-heartedly looking at bicycles lately. Part of me pines for a new city bike, but the rational side of my brain knows that I have two decent bikes already. […]

The Simple Dollar Podcast #8: My Top Personal Finance and Personal Development Book Picks

The eighth episode focuses on the ten personal finance and personal development books that made a difference during my personal, financial, and professional turnaround. Hopefully, some of these can help you in your own life. […]

Wage slave, debt slave

By Philip Brewer This article has its roots in an article I wrote some time ago that used the terms wage slave and debt peonage--terms that some people objected to. Those making free choices aren't slaves, they said, even if their poor choices result in a hard life. There's some truth to that. […]

Does A Dollar Buy What it Did a Year Ago? (Answer to win $10)

By Linsey Knerl I notice it every time I go to the grocery store to shop for my family of six: Same food = higher prices.  With a little ingenuity, I can come away with about as much merchandise as did a year ago, and with only a slight increase in my total bill -- but it’s much more work.  Other items, like things I find on Craigslist and those hard-to-sell McMansions, are facing drastic crashes […]

Three Best Kept Secret Jobs of 2009

When I started college in 1998, the dot-com bubble was only an anxious froth. Computers were becoming increasingly popular and hardly a day went by when you didn’t hear about some hot new startup. […]

New Home Loan Rules Will Take Effect on July 30, 2009

By Xin Lu If you are in the process of buying a new primary residence or second home, or considering refinancing a loan, a new set of federal consumer protection rules taking effect on July 30th, 2009 may affect you.  These rules are a part of the Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act of 2008, and they are designed to give consumers more disclosure of the cost of a loan and also more time to make a […]

Still Waiting for EverBank to Open My Account

Last I checked, this is the twenty-first century. In the last few years, I have developed certain expectations for the banks I deal with, particularly those that offer online banking. On July 8, I signed up for an account with EverBank, a money market account offering a high bonus interest rate for the first three months after opening. […]

Nine Ways Parents Can Make College Pay Off

The following is excerpted from 25 Ways to Make College Pay Off: Advice for Anxious Parents from a Professor Who's See It All (an excellent book IMO -- I'll be featuring more of it in the weeks to come) by Professor Bill Coplin (AMACOM 2007). Today we'll cover nine of the 25 tips in the book -- the ones dealing with the parents' part of college planning. […]

Best Deals For Tuesday 7/21/09

By Paul Michael Today's WISEBUY. Up To 89% Off STEVE MADDEN Women's Shoes At 6PM.com (dealnews) Today only, 6pm.com offers over 200 styles of Steve Madden women's shoes for $19.95 each plus $6.95 for shipping. That's up to 89% off!   1. FREE Battery Dispenser From Energizer Simply submit your info...and get it FREE.   2. […]

How to Brew Your Own Beer and Maybe Even Save Some Money – Introduction

Homebrewing Can be a Rewarding and Frugal Hobby Have you ever thought about brewing your own beer? Did you come up with the idea because you love great beer, or because you thought it might be cheaper than buying it at the store? Homebrewing has experienced a recent surge in popularity, and it probably has something to do with the economy. […]

Over-Saving for Retirement?

Haruki writes in: I am putting 15% of my salary into my 401(k) which gets a 5% match from my employer. I also contribute the max to my Roth IRA. I followed up with Haruki and found that his salary is $46,000 per year and he’s twenty seven years old, just for calculation’s sake. So let’s put all of the math together. Haruki contributes $5,000 a year to his Roth IRA. […]

Delivery Charges, Massages & Other Ways to Earn Cash at Yard Sales

Sell food, set up a massage chair or display crafts. There's more to garage sales than second-hand merchandise, according to Kathryn Vercillo, of the Money Saving Blog. In this guest post, she offers suggestions about making extra money at yard sales.Making Extra Cash at the Yard SaleThe most efficient yard sales are those that allow you to make easy cash with some bonus sales. […]

30 Household Products Vinegar Can Replace

By Nora Dunn Who knew that vinegar could do so much? It serves a purpose in just about every room of the house, and there are dozens of household (and personal) products that vinegar can replace, as you will see below. […]