Tracking Your IRS Refund

If you filed your taxes already (kudos to you!), you probably want to know where your refund from the IRS is. They’re quick to collect the money, but are they quick to pay out? […]

What Is Your Net Worth?

Net worth is one of those terms that gets tossed around a lot, but is often misunderstood. While many people assume that a big house, a nice car, and designer clothes are signs of wealth, they aren’t always signs of signs of net worth. This is because the net worth equation has two sides: one is assets, and the other is debt. […]

Lifestyle Upgrades: Beware the Diderot Effect

Every noticed how upgrading one thing means you have to upgrade another? There's a name for that — the Diderot Effect. (See also: Have Style, Not a Lifestyle) We've just lived through an example of the phenomenon, because our apartment manager has just installed a bunch of upgrades in our apartment. It happened like this: The very old kitchen faucet started leaking, requiring a new fixture. […]

Best Money Tips: Free Ways to Prep Your Home for Disaster

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on free ways to prep for a disaster, how NOT to raise a spoiled child, and writing a terrific cover letter. Top 5 Articles 5 free ways to prep your home for disaster — Create an insurer emergency contact list, complete with policy details. […]

How to Preserve Your Relationships When Circumstances Change

When circumstances change, relationships can suffer. Couples, families, and friends may have a difficult time adjusting to new realities — even improved ones. Life's milestones and events that bring joy, such as a graduating from college, landing a great job, having a baby, winning a business contract, or gaining professional recognition, might strain relationships just as much as losses can. […]

Help a Reader: New Mortgage

Here's an email I recently received from a reader: I have a bit of dilemma I’m hoping readers can help me with.  I purchased a home at the end of 2008, with a rate of 4.75%.  I still owe PMI until I’ve reached 20% equity.  My area has not seen the worst of the economic downturn, but housing prices have taken quite a dip.A local bank is offering to refinance with as little as 5% equity, and they […]

Dealing With Long Term Care & Expenses In Your Later Years

None of us really want to think about the idea of getting older. But it’s something we can’t escape, and ironically enough, the best time to start thinking about planning for that time is when we are younger and healthier. […]

If You Overdraft for the First Time, Ask for the Fee to Be Waived (56/365)

Whenever I encounter a fee that I don’t feel I should have been charged, I will call and find out the details of that charge and whether or not it can be removed. The same is true for the first time I make an error and incur a charge due to my own mistake. I call up the company, apologize, discuss the situation, and ask for the fee to be waived. Why would they do that? […]

Podcast 149: Trends in Financial Planning

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Bryan J Busch talks with Flexo and Michael Kitces, Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group. They discuss how online money management tools compare to personalized financial planning and other trends in the changing field of financial advice. Consumerism Commentary Podcast Trends in Financial Planning: S06E19 / 149 […]

FMF March Money Madness, Round 1, Posts 41-44

Here we go with the first 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.) I've listed each "game" (one post versus another) in segments along with the wording provided by the author when the post was submitted. […]

Some Thoughts on Higher Gas Prices

I’m lucky. I don’t commute to work, unless you consider a stroll across the house to be a commute. I don’t put daily miles on a vehicle, though I do need to travel to the library and the post office for different work-related tasks. My wife, Sarah, does commute to work, though. She drives about 35 minutes each way every weekday. […]

Debt, Death, and Taxes

For those of you new to Free Money Finance, I post on The Bible and Money every Sunday. Here's why. The following is an excerpt from Building Your Financial Fortress in 52 Days: The Lessons of Nehemiah. This post is from Day 34. The enemy is within, the permanent resident in our hearts that is the DNA for all financial failure. It lies dormant until it is awakened by the stimulation of greed. […]

Reader Story: Home Haircuts Can Save Time and Money

This guest post from Shannon D 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. My wonderful husband likes to keep his hair short and precise. […]

Balance Your Checkbook as Often as Possible (55/365)

You should always know what your checking account balance is. Let me repeat that. You should always know what your checking account balance is. That includes outstanding payments you’ve made that haven’t posted to your account yet. […]

Three Credit Card Benefits You’re Paying For

I wrote about three credit card benefits you’re paying for but not using for GoBankingRates and BusinessInsider. Whether you pay interest on your carried credit card balances or whether you’re just subject to the natural increased cost of products due to retailers’ card processing fees, you’re paying for the cost of benefits that card issuers provide to their users. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #61

Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. Last week, I had a long conversation with my oldest child about happiness and motivation. What makes a person happy? What makes a person decide to keep going when things are hard in their life? […]

How Much Do You Spend on These Items?

Moneyland lists what the average American spends on a variety of purchases annually as follows: Gasoline: $4,155 Overall Driving Costs: 15,000 miles per year, $8,776 Christmas: $700 Cell Phone: $605.95 Electricity: $1,419 Health Insurance Premiums: $15,073 Pets: Average dog owner: $1,542; average cat owner: $1,183 Shoes: $370 I thought it would be fun to see what my […]

Are “cash mobs” the saving grace for local businesses?

I read on MSN today about cash mobs.  If you’ve heard of flash mobs — either the violent or the artistic kind — then it’s very similar to that.  The idea behind cash mobs is to give a booster shot to local businesses.  The cash mobs organize and descend on a particular local business to buy stuff.  It’s fun for the mobsters, and it’s great for the business, which gets an unusually brisk sales day. […]

FMF March Money Madness, Round 1, Posts 37-40

Here we go with the first 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.) I've listed each "game" (one post versus another) in segments along with the wording provided by the author when the post was submitted. […]

Learn How to Use Online Banking (54/365)

When I wrote 365 Ways to Live Cheap in 2007, online banking was a feature that was far from standard, yet well on its way to becoming a standard. […]