Reader Mailbag: Sandboxes

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. Laundry soap question 2. LED bulbs 3. Anticipating marriage 4. Ultra-frugal clothes washing 5. Applying for multiple credit cards 6. Teaching children simpler tastes 7. Paying estimated taxes 8. Engagement ring 9. […]

Top Money Guru Results: Community Results

I want to thank everyone who voted in our Top Money Guru poll and sharing who they considered as their top money guru! Before we get to the results, there were a few interesting voting patterns we noticed and we wanted to share that with you. One thing we discovered was that most people voted along “guru lines,” as in Clark Howard for everything (and Suze Orman for Least!). […]

My teens spent $400 on fast food last month (and how I learned to deal with it)

This guest post is from Naomi Mannino. Naomi is a freelance consumer personal finance and health journalist who reports on health, medical and personal finance news and how it will affect your life today. You can follow Naomi on Twitter @naomimannino. My 19-year-old daughter came to me sobbing and wanting to borrow $20 for a concert because she didn’t have any money. […]

Kids and credit cards — and chainsaws

This post is from staff writer Richard Barrington. I recently did an analysis for of some polling data on when parents thought was the right time to let their kids use a credit card. In thinking about this, it occurred to me that it’s a bit like asking when it’s OK to let a kid use a chainsaw — the answer depends very much on who the kid is, but in any case it’s a scary thought. […]

Mortgage Payoff Progress For June 2013

My wife and I continue to work hard to payoff our mortgage. As of the end of June 2013, my wife and I will have lived in our home for 3 years and 4 months. We have a conventional, fixed-rate, 15-year mortgage and our goal is to pay off our mortgage in less than ten total years. As of July 1, 2013, we will have made 40 regular, monthly mortgage payments. We have also made several additional princip […]

Living Frugally in a High Cost-of-Living Area

I make no bones about the fact that I live in a rather rural area. I live on the very edge of a small town. The nearest grocery store is about ten miles away. This is a low cost-of-living area, in other words. […]

Ten Years On, Here Are Some Thoughts on Saving Money on Your Wedding Day

Sarah and I have been married for ten years. As our tenth anniversary has passed by, we’ve had a few conversations where we’ve reminisced about our wedding day. Mostly, our memories seem to revolve around people. We remembered the unexpected old friend who showed up out of the blue even though we hadn’t seen him in years. We remembered the mixing of our extended families. […]

5 ways to cut costs to save more for retirement

David Bakke is an author and blogger for the personal finance resource Money Crashers, where he discusses tips for saving money for retirement and generating long-term wealth. When it comes to saving for retirement, many Americans are woefully behind. […]

Do you have a truly diversified investment portfolio?

User catandmouse asked this question over at the Personal Finance and Money Stack Exchange site: How should one structure a portfolio given the possibility that a Total Stock Market Index might decline and not recover for a long time? It’s a common financial advice to buy an index and hold it forever. […]

Do Low Interest Rates Change the Rules for a Mortgage?

A lot of different “rules” are passed around regarding the size of a mortgage that a person or a family should take out in order to afford a home. One common one I see and hear repeated is that you should never take out a mortgage that has a value of more than twice your annual income. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #131

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. 1. Sir Ken Robinson on being wrong “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.” – Sir Ken Robinson No one is ever right all of the time. Most of us aren’t even right most of the time. 2. […]

Will You Spend More on Vacations This Year?

Money magazine asked readers of their June issue if they will spend more on vacations this year. The results: 29% will spend less this year 27% will spend a little more 25% will spend about the same as last year 19% will spend a lot more My answer depends on how you define "this year". If you literally mean the 2013 calendar year, then we will be spending a lot more versus 2012. […]

Debt Isn’t Required

Like a lot of people in my twenties, I spent much of that decade in a rush to saddle myself with a lot of debt. I owed money for my education. I owed money for my car. I owed money for my home, too. I had this strong sense that I needed all of those things now to show the world and those around me that I had somehow arrived in adulthood. “Look at me,” I thought. “I have my own car. […]

LastDollar, May 2013 Net Worth

This month is Retirement Month in the series Naked With Cash. Each month, seven Consumerism Commentary readers anonymously share their financial reports to gain insight about their progress towards their goals. Read this introduction to learn more about the series. LastDollar is thirty-three years old, an entrepreneur and single mom with two children with learning differences in private school. […]

Best Deals for Friday 06/21

Link for teaser title: Virgin America offers select fares starting at $58.90, KitchenAid takes 40% off sitewide, 2 Mossimo Chiffon Dresses $25, and more! […]

The “Hand Me Down” Chain

A few years ago, the boys across the street gave a glove to my oldest son. It was a small baseball glove, one that they’d outgrown because it didn’t fit their hand well. It’s a pretty tiny glove. […]

Teaching Kids About Money: How to Go About It the Right Way

There are so many things we have to teach our children but one that is often overlooked in today’s world is teaching kids about money. Unless your child has a large trust fund in their name or some other financial windfall heading there way they will need to learn about personal finance. The earlier you start teaching children about financial matters the better. […]

Your Take: What is Your Favorite Free Summer Activity?

One of the best parts about the summer is the plethora of free summer activities available. Whether it’s free movies in the park or visiting your favorite hiking trail, there are a dozen things you can do on any given weekend and most of them are absolutely free. […]