How to Prepare for Refinancing Your Home Mortgage

With mortgage rates still at near record low levels, if you purchased a home or refinanced a few years ago when rates were significantly higher, you may be inclined to try to refinance that mortgage. Refinancing can certainly make sense when rates are low, but it isn’t a slam dunk and it may not even be worth it to refinance in some situations. […]

FMF March Money Madness, Round 2, Posts 13-16

Here we go with the second round of Free Money Finance March Money Madness (to follow all the action click on my March Money Madness category link and scroll down to read all the posts involved in this subject.) Today's games are brought to you by the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Rewards Card which is currently offering 15,000 bonus ThankYou Points after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 […]

Book Review: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Last week, we did an entire series centered on women and money. It was inspired by one of the books generating a great deal of buzz right now, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. Lean In is meant as encouragement to women to “sit at the table” and take charge of their careers. The book is interesting, and includes some great advice that anyone — woman or man — can use to further their careers. […]

Anonymous S February 2013 Net Worth

Naked With Cash is the year-long series on Consumerism Commentary where seven readers’ households share their financial progress on a monthly basis. I’ve partnered with financial planners who will offer some guidance along the way. Read this introduction to learn more about the series. Anonymous S is a 24-year-old engineer earning $67,000 a year plus bonus. […]

Twelve Tips for Minimizing Your Tax Bill

Want to reduce your taxes? Of course you do. We all do. Well, the latest issue of Money Magazine has a list of 12 ways to reduce your taxes. Here’s a quick rundown along with some thoughts on each. Deduct state sales taxes. You have a choice between deducting state income taxes or state sales taxes. Even if you didn’t save receipts, you can use a tabled value from the IRS. […]

Reader Mailbag: Endless Winter

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. Merging finances 2. Spending small windfalls 3. Handling parental stress 4. Career decisions and relationships 5. Energy drinks 6. Parents and financial disasters 7. Financial planning and self-education 8. […]

How Credit Card Issuers Pay Rewards Without Going Broke

This is a guest article by Lance, the founder of the blog Money Life and More. Earning rewards from credit card companies like cash back and sign-up bonuses, astute credit card users may be wondering how issuers afford to pay these bonuses for people who don’t pay interest or late fees. Lance takes a look at this feat. […]

See Your Life And Save Money

A few weeks ago, two huge trees were removed from the property directly behind our house.  The trees were massive oaks, 100+ years old.  Unfortunately, both were diseased and had to come down. After the trees were felled, I noticed something.  Right next to both trees, “hidden” in plain sight, were four smaller trees – all ready to leaf-out for Spring. We tend to focus on the “oaks” in our lives – […]

How to Get Free Shipping

I love shopping online for a lot of reasons, many of which tap into my deeply rooted love of laziness and sloth. I like that something is delivered straight to my door. I love that I usually don’t have to pay sales taxes on it. I love that I then have this awesome box or envelope I can use to ship other things (like the books you all win in the auctions!). […]

Spring-clean your closet and make money

This post is from staff writer Sarah Gilbert. We have all been there: standing in front of our closet or dresser drawers, looking at the contents, and waiting for something to emerge. That surprising dress or just-so shirt. That pair of pants that fits like it was tailored. […]

8 Vile Craigslist Scams to Watch Out For

Craigslist is great. Really, I love it for buying and selling, finding services, and even posting jobs. But for the 99% of ads that are completely legit, you'll find postings designed to con you. That's a sad reality of life, and of Craigslist, but if you know what to look out for you can avoid the pitfalls of an otherwise awesome service. (See also: How Safe Is Craigslist?) 1. […]

10 Inexpensive Spring Spruce-Up Ideas for Your Home

After a long cold winter, nothing warms a decorator’s heart like the first signs of spring. Spring is a time to pack up the old, usher in the new, kick off the snow boots, and slip on the gardening gloves. If the warm weather has you itching to spruce up around the house, here are a few budget-friendly ideas that spring to mind. (See also: Your One-Month Guide to Spring Cleaning) 1. […]

Best Money Tips: Secrets to Successful Haggling

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on secrets to successful haggling, tax breaks every mom needs to know about, and making money spring cleaning. Top 5 Articles Secrets to Successful Haggling — Be sure to haggle when purchasing something at a yard sale, thrift store, or from the classifieds. […]

6 Valid Reasons Not to Contribute to Your 401(k)

You’ve heard that you should contribute to your company’s 401(k), almost always. Don't feel bad or question your financial judgment if you've decided to invest elsewhere. There are valid reasons to be an exception to this general rule. (See also: Is It Time to Starve Your 401(k)?) 1. […]

Designer Checks Stinks

Before I get into this post I want to say one thing: Yes, I still use checks. Get over it. You all know that I use credit cards and have a debit card as well. So not all of my financial transactions are using instruments that were very popular in the 80's. But I'm not going to give certain companies my bank account information for electronic payments -- I simply don't trust them. […]

Dealing with Money Stress

All of us face stress from our financial situation at some point. For some, the stress might come from not being able to make our bills. […]

Taxes Done, I-Bonds Requested

With Tax Day fast approaching – and a soul-crushing week in my rearview mirror – I’m pleased to report that our taxes are done. We once again ended up owing and we did the old overpay to get I-Bonds trick. So now… We wait. As a reminder, the Treasury (mostly) eliminated paper savings bonds a couple of years ago. […]

More Than 25 Percent of Americans Are Making a Huge Financial Mistake

What mistake? According to the Arizona Star, more than 25% of Americans are raiding their 401(k)s to stay afloat. The only way this even looks like a good idea at all is if you’re looking only at the very, very short term. If you look beyond that, making this move is pretty clearly worse than using a high-interest credit card to pay your bills. […]

Avoiding credit card traps

This is a guest post from John Ulzheimer. John is a recognized expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft, and is the Senior Columnist at Credit Card Insider. He is twice Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) certified by the credit reporting industry’s trade association and has been an expert witness in more than 100 cases involving credit issues. […]

Planning for Success

For those of you new to Free Money Finance, I post on The Bible and Money every Sunday. Here's why. Today I'm posting Proverbs 21:5, a verse that talks about several factors which are keys to building wealth. […]