What Made You Care About Money?

Get Rich Slowly asks what made you care about money and shares the following responses from an admittedly unscientific survey as follows: Debt forced me to get better with money -- 22.5% I got engaged, married, and/or I reproduced -- 15.0% I got divorced, dumped, or widowed -- 12.5% I read a great book -- 12.5% I craved financial independence or a better life -- 11.3% I was making mor […]

America Is the No Vacation Nation

By Nora Dunn Here is a frightening (or enlightening, depending on how you look at it) passage from Wanderlust and Lipstick about the American approach to vacations: A 2009 survey from Expedia found that 1/3 of employees don’t take all of their vacation time. […]

Best Deals For Tuesday 10/06/09

By Lynn Truong FREE Star Ranch Angus Instant Read Meat Thermometer Cook your Star Ranch Angus steaks, burgers, and roasts to perfection with this handy instant-read thermometer. Sllow 3 – 4 weeks for shipping. While supplies last.   White Castle Coupon: Buy One Cheeseburger Slider, Get Another Free Use this printable coupon to get one Cheeseburger Slider free when you buy one. […]

Take Time to Learn About Your Benefits During Open Enrollment

Fall is in the air and that means many employers begin their open enrollment period for benefits. Even if your employer doesn’t do open enrollment in the fall, keep reading. Your employer provided benefits are an important aspect of your finances so it’s a good idea to study your options carefully. […]

Gasoline, Groceries, and a Simple Look at the Cost of Time

Recently, my wife was in rural area of Iowa where the gas prices were significantly higher than they are near where we live. While there, the amount of gas in her tank got low, so she stopped to fill up. […]

Ask the Readers: What Winter Savings Tip Do You Swear By?

By Linsey Knerl It's here! Fall has arrived, and with it reports of frost, breezy evenings, and *gasp* snow! If you're not already thinking ahead to how you'll ever pay that ominous heating bill, now is your chance to learn from your Wise Bread friends. We want to know your proven tips for saving money this winter. It can be on heating, gasoline, snow-shoveling bills, or even your ice rink fees. […]

Don't Go to College to Learn

By Philip Brewer There are good reasons to go to college. And, if you do go to college, you will no doubt learn a lot. But you can learn anywhere — and probably learn more, better, and faster if you do so on your own. […]

How to Stop Buying Clothes You Never Wear

This post is from GRS staff writer April Dykman. A couple of years ago, I had a Great Closet Clean-Out. My clothing racks and drawers were overflowing at the time, and some of it still had price tags. Hoping to accomplish that European knack for owning less and looking better, I donated, consigned, and gave away about 75 percent of my wardrobe. […]

The Real Cost of a Sandwich

The staff of cockeyed.com (it might just be this one guy named Rob, and sometimes his friends), has a series called “How Much is Inside?” which attempts to figure out how much mundane items should cost. Recently, they tackled the sandwich. He weighed and measured and inspected every ingredient in your average turkey & cheese, grilled cheese, and peanut butter & jelly. […]

How to Read Your Social Security Statement

If you have a job, you’re paying into the Social Security program. Social Security, or more officially and appropriately, the Old age, survivors, and disability insurance program (OASDI); is more than just a check when you retire or a payroll deduction on your pay stub. […]

How Much is a Good Commute Worth?

The Brazen Careerist talks about dealing with an insane commute and it got me to thinking -- just what is a "good" work commute worth? In other words, would you take a $10,000 a year pay cut if it meant you only had a 10-minute commute versus a 45-minute one? It's an interesting question. I had a friend who used to live in New Jersey and commute to New York City every day for work. […]

$50 TradeKing Promotion, $50 To Refer A Friend

If you happen to be shopping for a discount broker these days, you’re in luck because a couple of these brokerages have come up with promotions in recent months. […]

Why the tip jars are coming out

Liz Pulliam Weston had an article today on the new tip-jar economy — that new business practice of putting out the tip jar, raising the “customary” tipping percentage, and adding other tip-like fees that are no longer discretionary, but mandatory. Her take regarding the tip jars was, in essence:  Ignore the tip jars at businesses where the employees shouldn’t be tipped as a matter of custom, unles […]

Seeking A Mortgage Loan Modification To Save My Home

Stacey is a guest contributor who’s had her share of struggles with debt — in particular, her mortgage. I invited her to share her story about how she’s working to prevent her house from going into foreclosure. Her goal? To lower her home loan rate with a loan modification. Much like everyone else, I experience financial victories and losses based on the current economy. […]

The Personal Finance Hour, Episode 23: Money and Happiness

On today’s episode of The Personal Finance Hour, I joined Jim from Bargaineering to discuss the relationship between money and happiness. Will more money make you happier? Are we happy when we get the things we want? Does happiness have a genetic set-point? […]

15 Ways to Be a Leader Today – or Any Day

Three years ago, one of my mentors was debating internally about how to handle a personnel situation. There were enough funds to employ one person. The performance of one worker was better overall, but the other worker often showed flashes of brilliance and was trusted more by his coworker. In the end, the decision was made to keep the one with flashes of brilliance. […]

How to Retire Early

Here are some thoughts from the great personal finance book Grow Your Money!: 101 Easy Tips to Plan, Save, and Invest. They list secrets of successful early retirees as follows: Successful early retirees have their eyes on the early-retirement prize for decades in advance. Modest lifestyle -- before and after retirement. […]

Best of Consumerism Commentary, September 2009

Thank you for reading Consumerism Commentary. This website continues to be a success, thanks to visitors who participate in discussions, ask questions, and share stories. […]

Memories Appreciate, Stuff Depreciates

When JD and I had Greg Karp, author of The 1-2-3 Money Plan, on the Personal Finance Hour show a few weeks ago, something that Greg said really resonated with me (and I said so during the show). I paraphrase: Memories appreciate, while stuff depreciates. I suppose I intuitively knew this because I’ve always been an “memories” type of person. […]