2011 401k, 403b, and 457 Plan Contribution Limits

Retirement Plan Contribution Limits Remain Unchanged in 2011 Employees saving for retirement are not getting any favors from the government this year. The contribution limits for the major employer-sponsored retirement plans: 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and 457(b)s will not get an increase. That means like in 2010, the 2011 limit remains $16,500 for those under age 50. […]

Seven Financial Resolutions for the New Year

The following is a guest post from Marotta Asset Management. Financial resolutions usually don't even last until the end of January. Making a permanent change in our behavior requires both time and a steely resolve. We can only develop financial character one action at a time. […]

Free Tax Software for a Good Writer

Ok, I have a deal for one of you... I have some free tax software (I have been given the codes by the company) and am willing to give it to an FMF reader IF that reader is willing to use the software and write an unbiased review that I can post here (here's an example of what I'm talking about -- though it's not the same software.) The conditions: You need to use the software to do your taxe […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: No Money Resolution Edition

Several people wrote to me expressing some surprise that I didn’t have a money-related resolution this year. To tell the truth, I don’t know where a single-year money resolution would come from in our budget or in our life. We have some ongoing three-to-five year goals that seem to be in a good place right now. […]

Buying a New Smartphone Without Extending Your Contract

Buying a new phone is great, especially since most carriers will give you a hefty discount ($199 vs. $529 for retail) in exchange for extending your contract for two years. Why would anyone hesitate to trade two years for a $329 discount? […]

Diagnose and Improve Your Financial Health: A 10-Item Checklist

Most people usually want to do one of three things every January: They want to lose weight, improve finances, or quit a bad habit. Since this is a personal finance blog, I guess we ought to focus on the goal to improve your finances. The problem with trying to improve your finances is that it is awfully broad. […]

Standard Deductions and Exemptions for Federal Income Tax

Most taxpayers can choose between itemizing tax deductions to reduce taxable income, which requires accurate record-keeping and support, and taking the standard deduction. The standard tax deduction is a fixed amount that reduces the amount of money on which taxpayers owe the federal government. […]

The Lazy Mom's Guide to Eczema Care

It seems there are as many views on how to treat kids' eczema as there are moms. Some moms carefully catalog everything the child has eaten in order to correlate foods with flare-ups. […]

Lower Tax Rate on Savings Accounts to Incentivize Saving

Over the break, I read about the winning idea for the TIAA-CREF’s Raise the Rate competition and was surprised that it was selected as the winner. […]

Beyond Tupperware: Frugal Food Storage

This post is from new GRS staff writer Donna Freedman. Donna writes the Living With Less personal finance column for MSN Money, and writes about frugality and intentional living at Surviving And Thriving. To hear the storage industry tell it, every kitchen needs plastic containers in a dozen sizes. […]

How to Get Financially Fit in the New Year

The Wall Street Journal tells how to get financially fit in the new year, listing the following month-by-month plan: JANUARY: Max those savings! FEBRUARY: Target your cash flow. MARCH: Live without plastic for a month. APRIL: Spring clean your investments. MAY: Zap the debt. JUNE: Invest in yourself. JULY: Check your progress on the cash flow. AUGUST: Convert your traditional individual […]

A hack to include online purchases in a cash budgeting system

A cash-only budgeting system can be the ticket to reining in spending and getting away from the temptation of credit cards.  The idea is this: Pull out the total of your weekly (biweekly, monthly) budget in cash. Separate the cash into envelopes by category according to how you’re budgeting that money. Spend down the envelopes as you buy things. Re-budget by transferring money from one envelope t […]

Bush Tax Cuts Extension: What Are The Effects? Infographic

While the following infographic on the subject of the Bush tax cuts made me somewhat dizzy and made my eyes spin, I thought it was interesting, nonetheless. […]

Consumerism Commentary Store

Welcome to the Consumerism Commentary Store! Have you registered for an account on Consumerism Commentary? If you have, and you have logged in, you can earn points for leaving comments and sharing articles via social media tools. Each day you visit Consumerism Commentary, you earn points for reading an article. […]

Top 10 Free Money Finance Posts of 2010

Last year I listed what I thought were my best posts of 2009 (and here are the ones from 2008 if you are interested.) I'm continuing that tradition now with what I feel were my top 10 posts of 2010 (listed in countdown order) out of the over 900 posts here last year. […]

Young Children, Allowances, and Financial Focus

For us, 2010 was a year of learning for both the parents and the children in our household about what allowance means, how it works, and what kinds of money lessons our children are learning. Let’s roll back the clock to November 2009, when our children each received piggy banks and the allowance adventure got underway: Our son received a Money Savvy Pig for his birthday, which has four slots to […]

2011 Federal Income Tax Brackets and Marginal Rates

If you are filing your income taxes in early 2011, you are filing your 2010 tax return. The article below is for 2011 income tax returns, which will be filed in early 2012. […]

5 Billionaires Who “Skated” On Death Tax

Anyone else find this slideshow distasteful? The estate tax had a one year reprieve this year and anyone who passed an estate, i.e. died, would not have to pay the estate tax. Fortune tallied up how much money five estates “saved” when their billionaire died. […]

What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and How Do You Eliminate it?

Buying a home is a major financial decision and one of the most important ones most people will make. Finding a home to purchase is really only the beginning. Unless the buyer has a lot of cash on hand or a lot of liquid assets, they will have to take out a loan and find a mortgage to buy the house and there are many fees and expenses when it comes to buying a home. […]