Reader Mailbag: Friends

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. GTD for stay-at-home moms 2. Loaning money to parents 3. Prepaying property taxes 4. Emergency fund or debt repayment 5. Starting a Roth IRA 6. Small business encouragement 7. Thinking ahead for college 8. […]

Build a Cable to Control Your Android Phone While You Drive

ShareThisI recently needed to replace my 5-year-old cell phone and my 3-year-old MP3 player simultaneously. So I bit the bullet and bought an Android-based smart phone, the famed Nexus One (N1). […]

Travel and Money: Using Prepaid Travel Cards

Traveling safely and managing your money along the way is an exercise in balancing multiple risks: theft, loss, high surcharges, and confusing discrepancies. […]

Expense Ratios as Predictors of Mutual Fund Performance

A recent study by Morningstar has provided support for something that many of us have long believed to be true… When it comes to investment performance, cost matters. A lot. In fact, looking across the past five years, low fees are perhaps the best predictor of future mutual fund performance – even better than Morningstar’s own star rating system. […]

No Recession for College Graduates

I’ve been fortunate that most of my local friends have not been affected by the economic downturn. I’m especially fortunate because I have not been affected by the economic downturn. While the companies we work at have downsized, for the most part, we’ve all escaped unscathed in what’s clearly the worse economic decline in our lifetime. […]

How to Replace Six Vital Documents

This post is from GRS staff writer April Dykman. Could you produce your birth certificate, car title, or an old tax return at a moment’s notice? You’re supposed to store vital documents in a fireproof box or keep them in a safe-deposit box, but how many of us actually do that? We may not need these papers often, but when we do need them, we really need them. […]

Philadelphia Wants Bloggers to Pay $300 Registration Fee

Though it was never intended initially, Consumerism Commentary and my writing is a business. I pay fees every year to ensure that the state in which I operate, New Jersey, is aware of my business. Business registration with the state is just one out of many possible fees governments charge entrepreneurs and small business owners. […]

Keep an Open Heart and a Critical Eye

The following is an excerpt from Buying a Home: The Missing Manual. Buying a home is an emotional experience. To buy smart, you need to engage heart and head alike. Although you should fall in love with the home you buy, you also want to be sure that you're getting a house that's a good value and will suit you and your family for the years you live there. […]

You Can Buy An Island For Half A Million

I’ve written about unusual properties before. Here’s one odd piece of real estate not far from where I live. And then there was the fire station that was bought and converted into a lovely green home. But what can be more cool than buying your very own island? […]

Help a Reader: My Computer Purchase

Last week I shared an update on our shopping list. I noted that a computer is on my list and I had started to narrow in on a purchase. Then through a series of discussions, comments, and so on from a variety of people, I started thinking of making the leap to the darkside (Apple) -- or maybe that's the light side and PCs are the darkside. […]

Review: The Art of Barter

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. A while back, I wrote a post called “Askers, Guessers, and Personal Finance” that proposed that bartering and negotiation are much easier for some people than for others, depending on their personality and the culture in which they were raised. […]

Podcast 70: Avoiding Cell Phone Bill Shock, Michael Gikas

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek talks to Michael Gikas, Senior Electronics Editor at Consumer Reports about avoiding cell phone bill shock. […]

Five Thoughts about Making College Great

Tomorrow, several people that matter a lot to me are starting their college experience. Here are fifteen things I’d like to suggest to them that they’re probably not hearing from anyone else who has been giving them advice on college over the past three months. You don’t have to know what you want to do right now. […]

Roundup: I Don’t Get 3D Televisions

I was in Costco the other day when I walked by Samsung’s 3D television. They had some computer animated movie playing when I donned the 3D glasses to see how the picture looked. […]

Reader Story: I Paid for Graduate School by Renting out Rooms

This guest post from Mike Choi is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes. Almost two years ago, J.D. […]

How Much Did It Cost to Become a Roman Citizen?

For those of you new to Free Money Finance, I post on The Bible and Money every Sunday. Here's why. […]

“Generics Make Me Feel Bad About Myself”

Monique writes in with a heartfelt observation: The biggest reason I can’t bring myself to actually buy generics when I’m in the store is that I feel cheap and poor when I buy the white labeled knockoffs. I don’t like feeling like that. […]

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: August 21, 2010

Many newer readers of The Simple Dollar haven’t been exposed to the hundreds of great articles in the archives of the site, so this is a weekly series that highlights the five best posts from one year ago this week, two years ago this week, and three years ago this week. […]

The Joys of Home Canning

This guest post from my wife is yet another installment in her ongoing quest to grow and preserve food for our household. Making jam makes me happy. Okay, that’s only partly true. I’m also happy making jelly, preserves, and syrups — and I’m pretty darn pleased with conserves, marmalades, and most things pickled. […]

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Mortgage

The following is an excerpt from Buying a Home: The Missing Manual. Before you apply for a mortgage, improve your chances of approval by putting your financial house in order. Improve your FICO score. […]