Questions to Ask about a Home You Might Buy

Buying a Home: The Missing Manual lists questions you should ask about a home you're thinking of buying: How long has this home been on the market? Why is the house on the market? Are there any problems or disputes with neighbors? What repairs or updates have you made recently? Are any repairs likely to become necessary within the next couple of years? How old is the roof? […]

Dealing With “Found” Cash: What’s Right and What’s Wrong?

Two readers wrote in yesterday with concerns about handling cash they found. First, James: I was at the grocery store this morning and I found a $20 bill on the floor. I picked it up and pocketed it and went home. My wife told me later on that I basically stole the money and I should have told the store manager about it. […]

Is "Health Food" Worse for You than Junk Food?

I've written about the evils of junk food in the past. I have jumped on that bandwagon that is happy to demonize the fast food industry. But after watching a 30-minute TV show on Showtime last week, I'm having something of a paradigm shift. Maybe I've been too hasty. The Showtime show Bullsh*t! […]

Are Your Financial Habits Just Bad?

I own one of those electric toothbrushes, and I brush my teeth for the full two minutes that the manufacturer suggests. This is easily accomplished, because the unit comes with a timer, which tells you when 60 seconds have elapsed. […]

5 Reasons to Skip College

When I was younger, the plan for my future was pretty straightforward. You go to high school to learn, get good grades, and get into a good college. You go to college to get good grades and then get a good job. After that, just circle the mouse wheel until retirement. OK, that last part about the wheel was my own addition but that basically was my “job” as a kid. […]

Bigger Isn’t Always Better: Remembering to Appreciate What I Already Have

Walking home from work today, I decided to take the long way. Most of the time, I choose the easy quarter-mile stroll downhill from the office to our happy half acre (or happy .62 acre, if you’d like to be precise). […]

Travel Insurance – What’s Necessary?

This past week has been a lot of fun, as we’ve been hanging in Los Angeles for our vacation. It’s great to have some fun while getting work done as we headed to the E3 Expo to check out the latest video game technology. Our trip out west went smoothly, and we arrived in LA on time. Our friend’s wife wasn’t so fortunate, as she got caught in Atlanta with multiple delays. […]

How One Family Went from Two Incomes to One -- And Developed a Business in the Process

Anyone read the book Miserly Moms: Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy? It was written by Jonni McCoy originally in 1994 as an extension of what was happening in her own life. Here's the scenario she faced prior to this time: She and her husband lived in San Francisco (a very expensive part of the country.) They had a child and Jonni wanted to stay home to care for him. […]

Overdraft Fees: Opting In

As we’ve addressed on Consumerism Commentary before, the Federal Reserve will be requiring banking customers to opt-in to overdraft protection. […]

Gift Giving Worksheet: Budget Today for Tomorrow’s Gifts

The Gift Giving Worksheet is part of a financial planning series called How to Make a Budget. To start this series from the beginning, read the introduction. It’s June 21st and I already know what Carl is getting for Christmas. […]

How To Be A Smart Investor Who Makes Wise Investments

The following is a guest post by Neal Frankle. He’s a Certified Financial Planner and blogs at Wealth Pilgrim. Neal writes about taking action steps to improve your financial situation and finding balance at the same time. People worry about money for all sorts of reasons. They worry about spending too much. They worry about earning too little. […]

The Big Choice

In today’s reader mailbag, I answered a question about digging out from under a pile of debt with some comments about a big choice people have to make in their twenties: The problem you’re having is the problem a lot of people our age have: we want everything but we don’t have the resources to pay for it. Many people solve that problem by taking on an absurd amount of debt, an amount that they’ll […]

Credit-Card Regulations: A Win for Consumers? Or an End to Credit?

This is a guest post from Adam Jusko, founder of IndexCreditCards.com, an information and comparison site for credit card offers that maintains a list of over 1200 cards. I’ve mentioned Index Credit Cards many times before, most notably in my post from 2006 called “The Only Credit Card Guide You’ll Ever Need”. […]

Help a Reader: Finding a Roommate

This is a "help a reader" question that's for me (FMF). Actually, it's for a friend of mine, but I need your advice on how to help him. Here's the situation: My friend (we'll call him Jim) is in the process of getting a divorce. This past Friday, he lost a case and now has to move out of his home in two weeks. […]

Green Lawn Care Tips and a Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe from a Golf Course Groundskeeper

I’ve been playing a lot of golf lately and it’s amazing how manicured some courses are. It’s also amazing how overrun others can be, considering the cost of your average round of golf! So it makes sense that the perfect person to dispense lawn care advice is the groundskeeper (really they’re called Greenskeepers) of your local golf course. […]

Five Ways to Cut the Fat from Your Grocery Bill

Yahoo offers five ways to cut the fat from your grocery bill as follows: 1. Make a grocery list and check it twice. 2. Stop clipping worthless coupons. 3. Watch the price scanner. 4. Buy generic items over big brand names. 5. Skip the cans, buy dried beans in bulk. […]

Reader Mailbag: Father’s Day

What’s inside? Here are five word summaries of the questions dealt with in today’s Reader Mailbag. Click on the number to hop down to the question. 1. Blogging as steady income? 2. Selling rental for debt repayment 3. Drowning in student loan debt 4. Fed up with overreaching charity 5. Should I join the Army? 6. Save money or prepay mortgage? 7. Paying for law school 8. […]

Caretaking As a Career Option – What’s In It For You?

I am suffering from a rabid case of wanderlust after reading through the listings featured in the Caretaker’s Gazette. Who doesn’t like the idea of earning their keep by caring for properties throughout the world? I personally find the thought of caring for a villa in Latin America or Europe very romantic. […]

Car Sharing: How Playing Nice and Sharing Cars Saves Money

One of the most important lessons we learn in kindergarten is also one of the best money saving tips of all time — share. People save money by sharing library books. We save money by sharing movies and renting. Those who share tools by renting them at the local hardware store save money. This is one of the foundational premises behind the […]