Ask About Fees When Shopping for Loans (131/365)

On the radio in our car, the first two programmed buttons are set to NPR and to a local talk radio station that features a decent amount of local programming. Over the past few years, on that latter station, there have been quite a few ads for home loans, either new mortgages or refinancing. […]

Roundup: So… I’ve Been Running

I’m a little over thirty years old and only recently have I realized something about myself – I like to figure things out. I like to find things that I’m “not good at” and change it. Three years ago, I took up the infuriating sport of golf because it was something I knew I wasn’t good at. In a couple years, I’ve gone from shooting in the 110-120 to more 85-95. […]

Tavis Smiley: Poverty Is a Threat to Democracy

Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West have been working hard to bring the issue of poverty into the consciousness of the citizens and political discourse of the United States. As a team, Smiley and West have been touring city to city, speaking to audiences concerned about the increasing wealth gap in this country. […]

Generics: Six I Buy, Six I Avoid

Generic and store brand products can be a very nice money saver. If you can save a dollar or two by buying a generic item and wind up with essentially the same item, then it’s a very good financial move to buy those generics. I’ve tried the generic and store brand versions of items I use all the time. […]

Your Take: What Are You Doing With Your Tax Refund?

Now that we’re a couple weeks removed from tax day, with most folks having received their tax refunds, the most logical Your Take would be – what are you doing with your tax refund? Is it something good and responsible? Or something fun? […]

Ask the Readers: What Do You Wish You’d Learned About Money?

When we’re young, we think we know it all. We make decisions — financial and otherwise — based on what little we know of the world, and these decisions are colored by a relentless optimism that comes from not having to deal with the harsh realities of the world. […]

Slow and Steady Wins the Debt Race

When I woke up to the reality of having $20,000 of credit card debt, I had to face this hard truth — I didn’t get into debt overnight, so I’m probably not going to get out of debt overnight. In fact, it took me four and a half years to pay off my debt. There were plenty of times throughout that journey when I wished there was some easy way to just wipe it all out. But there was no easy way. […]

Alternative Wedding Registry Ideas

I don't want to buy my friends a $80+ stainless steel trashcan. And I certainly do not expect them to buy one for me. Or a soap dispenser, or ice tongs, or many of the other trappings that traditionally make up a wedding registry. Sure, getting new stuff is nice, and I love the idea of helping a new couple out. […]

Best Money Tips: Free Summer Activities for Kids

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on free summer activities for kids, money saving cooking tips, and finding balance with your savings goals. Top 5 Articles 40 Free (Or Nearly Free) Summer Activities for Kids — One great free summer activity to do with your kids is to take advantage of free National Park days. […]

Reader Profile: CW

The following is the latest post in my "Reader Profiles" series. Each post in this series details the financial situation and challenges of an FMF reader. […]

Star Money Articles and Carnivals for the Week of May 7

Here are some pieces I found especially worthwhile and some of the carnivals Free Money Finance was in this week: EDITOR'S CHOICE! Carnival of Personal Finance EDITOR'S CHOICE! Festival of Frugality My Money Counselor tells how he paid off his debt. Carnival of Wealth Lazy Man and Money lists the best newsletter you aren't reading. […]

Be Accountable – Use Your Family and Friends (130/365)

When you first make the decision to take control of your debts and your financial situation, the change can be really exciting. […]

Style Boxes and the Efficient Frontier

The following is a guest post from Marotta Wealth Management. Click any images below to enlarge them. Over the past few weeks we've been examining the investment science behind asset allocation. We learned that risk generally follows return. We learned that tilting small and value can boost returns. […]

How to Make Costly Weekend Activities More Affordable

It’s the weekend again and if you didn’t read my last post on low or no cost weekend activities, read it here. All of us work hard during the week. The majority of us reach Friday and feel like we deserve a fun, relaxing few days to unwind but we live in an economy where our paychecks are too small and the cost of having fun is too high. […]

How to Close an Ally CD Early

I’ve talked a lot in the past about using long-term CDs to improve your short-term savings yields. In particular, I’ve talked about using five year CDs from Ally thanks to their low early withdrawal penalty. Until now, however, much of that strategy was theoretical. […]

ING Direct Offers Remote Check Depositing

ING Direct was once far ahead of the pack in terms of banking innovation, offering a high yield savings account and pretty much scaring people with how good their rates were. The online service was fantastic, since that’s all you had in terms of interface with the bank, and it was amazing how quickly you could do things. […]

Seven Ways to Make Big Bucks at Your Garage Sale

As the weather grows warmer, many people start thinking about unloading those assorted, needless items they’ve accumulated over the last year by holding a garage sale. […]

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect is the term given to the theory that small, seemingly insignificant actions can have far-reaching effects. The term was first used in the 1960s by Edward Lorenz, while modeling weather patterns. He theorized that the formation of a hurricane could be impacted by small movements, like that of a butterfly’s wing, occurring a long way away. […]

Reader Mailbag: Hand Sanitizer

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. Gym or home exercise equipment? 2. Mother’s Day the frugal way? 3. Beginning personal finance books 4. Apprehensive about moving for career 5. Tossing a suboptimal item 6. Making or buying bread? 7. Minimal food costs? 8. […]

Classifying Wants and Needs

This post is from staff writer Tim Sullivan. We all have our ways of destressing after a long day. One of my weirdest and most beloved post-work, take-a-load-off strategies has always been cruising the aisles of gourmet grocery stores just to look at packaging. Give me an aisle of fancily bottled extra virgin olive oil, and I’ll need at least an hour. […]