Change Your Life with Storytelling

The most powerful tool that marketers use to sell you things is one that you can snatch from their grasp and turn to your own use: Telling stories. I first discovered this tool back in the 1980s in the catalogs of Banana Republic and J. Peterman. […]

The 254th Festival of Frugality – It’s Hard to be Frugal During the Holidays

Can you believe it’s already the second week of November? Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away and then we’re full-swing into the holiday season. It’s a wonderful time of year, but it’s probably one of the most difficult times to be frugal. We’re entertaining, taking time off of work, visiting family, and often pressured into buying gifts. […]

Underpaid? Here’s How to Fix It.

Are you underpaid? If yes, are you prepared to do something about it? The folks at are willing to bet $20 that you’ll have your raise inside of six months with their help. Find Out Where You Are on the Pay Scale By simply inputting your career, location, and income data, GetRaised will tell you if you may be underpaid or not. […]

5 Hi-Tech To-Do Lists: Get It Done!

While I still have those days where I write all of my important tasks on the back of an envelope or on my refrigerator white board, my most solid planning is done with a more technological flavor. Whether I’m at my desk, checking up on things with my iPhone, or utilizing cloud applications from a friend’s PC, the options for managing a busy […]

How Homeowners Beat Renters in a Down Housing Market

I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about home values. Many homeowners have seen their homes fall in value and they talk about how much money they’ve lost, how they can’t leave the house to seize other opportunities, how they won’t be able to sell for decades. In all the discussions, it seems there’s one thing that people focus on – purchase price. […]

The Coming of the Shopocalypse

This post is from staff writer April Dykman. Brace yourselves — the Christmas-shopping season is upon us. In fact, it’s been upon us since October at least, when I saw an early-bird Christmas shopper guide for the “it” gifts in 2010. […]

Do You Need Umbrella Insurance?

While surfing the web this past week, I came across an article on umbrella insurance and why some people should get it. I was curious, so I decided to look into it a bit more. I don’t personally know of anyone who has an umbrella insurance policy, but then again I don’t go around asking people about their insurance coverage. […]

Why I Buy New Cars

Every once in awhile, I get a question like this: I'm actually quite surprised you are considering getting rid of your current car and even more so that you are considering purchasing a NEW car! I'm in a similar situation with a '97 Honda Accord with 110,000 miles but highly doubt I would buy a new car. […]

Ask the Readers: What About Money DON'T You Know? (Chance to Win!)

Think you have ALL the answers? Chances are good that you don't! All of us have a chance to learn more than we already know, especially when it comes to money. Maybe you're unaware of the tax laws that could save your business money. […]

Help a Reader: Investing a Lump Sum

Here's an email I recently received from a reader: My wife and I are looking to max out our Roth IRA's for 2010 with one lump sum payment of $10k sometime before the end of this year. […]

When Customer Service Goes Awry

Recently, the credit union that handles our home mortgage had a bit of an issue. They called us up to inform us that our homeowners insurance had been cancelled, which was incredibly awkward considering we pay into an escrow account for our insurance and our insurance payments are taken straight from that account. What happened? […]

Carnival Hosts Needed

If you're a personal finance blogger and would like to drive some traffic to your site, do I have a deal for you. :-) I'm looking for the next round of hosts for the Best of Money Carnival.  It features only the ten best (in the opinion of the carnival host) money-related posts of the week -- giving readers the best of the best in personal finance. […]

S-Corporation Designations: Why and How

Last year, I mentioned my accountant saved me $15,000 by re-classifying my self-employment income from a limited liability corporation (LLC) to an S-corporation. I glossed over the process; in fact, getting to the $15,000 in tax savings was a bit more complicated than simply filing as an S-corporation. […]

Be Careful Who You Co-Sign With

When I first moved to Maryland for work, I rented an apartment with a friend of mine. He was a good roommate and a great friend, so much so that we even discussed buying a house together. We never got past the discussion phase because my parents recommended against it when I brought it up. His did as well. […]

Market Timing Doesn't Work. Yes, It Does. No, It Doesn't. Yes, It Does.

I've made it clear what my take is on market timing (I invest every month like clockwork whether the market is high or low). That said, I have taken some cash off the sidelines when the market has dipped, so some people could consider this market timing. […]

Where Frugal Writers Turn For Inspiration

As a writer, I know how costly my profession can be.  From workshops and conferences to special software for my computer, every purchase adds up and cuts into my already tight budget. I’m a big fan of self-learning.  I am particularly fond of books like New World Library’s A Writer’s Book Of Days: A Spirited Companion & Lively Muse for the Writing Life by Judy Reeves because it so […]

The Best of Money Carnival

The Best of Money Carnival is now up. Congrats to all participants and especially the winning post, How to Find Cars Under $1000. Enjoy! […]

Reader Mailbag: Birthday

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. Personal loans or credit cards 2. Maximizing savings return 3. Conflicted about parenthood 4. Education or savings 5. Motivating a twentysomething 6. Piano tools 7. Mobile home mortgage problem 8. Netflix and Hulu? 9. […]

Bank-Based Small-Dollar Loans: An Alternative to Payday Loans

Payday loans — your neighborhood loan shark in a retail box — have emerged as a hugely profitable underbelly to the banking business. Short-term loans with off-the-scale annual percentage rates that can exceed 500 percent are a growth industry in tough economic times; the industry raked in 42 billion dollars last year. […]

Ask Your Credit Card Company to Reverse Fees

Have you ever been hit by “accidental” credit card fees? By this, I mean fees that arose from an unintentional late payment, or some other mishap. I have. […]