American Express Gold & Premier Rewards Gold Card Review

If you aren’t happy with high interest rates, but you need a handy way to make purchases, then a charge card might be a good alternative to a regular credit card. […]

Why Are Interest Rates So Low Right Now? (and Where Should You Put Your Money?)

I’ve been plowing through my e-mail lately in my never-ending quest to reach inbox zero. As a result, I’ve been answering tons of reader questions. […]

Frugality and Organization

Save everything. Buy in bulk. Find second uses for everything. These are all powerful frugal tactics and they’ll all save you money. I’ll give you five examples. 1. Got an old t-shirt that’s worn out? Toss it into a “scrap cloth” bin and save it for times when you just need a big piece of cloth to clean up a mess or protect something else from getting too messy. 2. […]

Help a Reader: When to Tell Someone You're Dating About Your Finances

Here's a reader comment/question left on my post titled Who Do You Share Your Financial Status With?: I don't share my financial info with anyone except with my professional financial advisor. Oh, and I guess my divorce lawyer got a look at it a few years ago! […]

Home Resale Fees

I’m adding to my list another reason I’ll (probably) never buy a condominium. Condos and townhouses often require sellers to pay a fee when sold. The fee is often a percentage of the sale price, such as 1%. I didn’t know about this fee when first contemplating whether I’d ever buy a condo.Unfortunately, it’s becoming more common for houses to require a similar resale fee. […]

Bright Side of Lowered Home Values

A few weeks ago, two homes in my little neighborhood were put up for sale. We knew the owners of one of them, they were moving to Boston because the wife got into a graduate program at Harvard (we were sad to see them go), but the other was a stranger to us. […]

Ask the Readers: Do You Honestly Follow a Budget? (Chance to win $20)

Everyone claims to know about budgeting. Many more will say that they have one, and just as many will swear that they follow it. But do they really? Does following a budget involve more than just not overspending on your budgetary categories? […]

How Personal Finance Changes as You Begin to See Success

Five years ago, when I was working at a very stressful job and buried under piles of debt, I felt as though this is what life was going to be for me as an adult – an endless path of making payments to others, keeping my head just above water, and buying stuff I couldn’t afford because it took the sting of it away for a while. Today, I feel completely different about my relationship with money. […]

How to Do What Identity Theft Protection Companies Do...for FREE

Protecting and monitoring identity theft has become a big business. Simply Google "identity theft protection" and you'll find dozens of business outfits offering to protect your all too important identity for a measly $10, $12, or $20 per month. What will they protect? Sometimes, that is not clear. […]

Review and Giveaway: The Secret to a Successful Budget eBook

Our own Craig Ford recently launched an ebook designed to help readers with one of the most essential tools to living well on a modest income — the humble budget. […]

Video on How to Spot Counterfeits

As part of introducing the new $100 bill that'll come out in February, the US Treasury is producing a video podcast. The current episode is on spotting counterfeit notes. The previous video in the series looked in particular at the new features that are unique to the new $100 bill. […]

My Credit Score is Stuck at Good

I am a supporter of, a free service that shows you your TransUnion credit score, among other things, as many times as you want. Lately it seems like it hasn’t been working. It’s been reporting a FICO for me of 732 since March, and I’ve made what I feel are dramatic differences to my credit situation from January through August. […]

How to Contest a Property Tax Assessment

In Maryland, home property tax assessments work on a three year cycle. Every three years your home is evaluated for property tax purposes and you have that one opportunity to contest the new assessment. The schedule for your area may be different but the process is the same. […]

Insurance Basics: How Insurance Works

I don’t write a lot about insurance around here. For one thing, insurance is kind of boring. For another, I don’t know a lot about it. Still, insurance is an important part of personal finance, and my silence on the subject hasn’t gone unnoticed. Josh wrote last week to make a request: I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now, and I consider it a constant source of valuable information. […]

How Do I Handle a Stolen Credit Card?

Having your credit card (or card number) stolen can be extremely stressful. If the thief gets your entire wallet, the situation is even worse. […]

Asset Allocation Made Ridiculously Easy

The following is an excerpt from Personal Investing: The Missing Manual. In Chapter 5, you learned how index funds are a low-cost way to diversify your portfolio among all sorts of investments. They provide instant diversification, because they own many individual investments within categories like large and small companies, industries and sectors, bonds, and geographical regions. […]

Don’t use your time profitably? Sue someone!

If keeping your day job is the cake, then investing in yourself outside of your day job is at least the icing, or maybe even another four or five cakes’ worth. But if that sounds like way too much work, there’s always the chance you can hit the jackpot by suing the entity that consumed most of your time for an obscene amount of money.  That’s what Craig Smallwood is doing to NCSof […]

Amended Our Tax Return

I did something today that I’ve never done before – I filed an amended tax return.  Back in March, I filed my taxes but didn’t claim the first-time homebuyer credit.  Armed with the proper paperwork, forms, and software, it took, literally, 10 minutes to amend the return. According to the IRS website, returns claiming the first-time homebuyer credit must be mailed, with correct documentation, and […]

Best of Money Carnival

The Best of Money Carnival is now up. Congrats to all participants and especially the winning post, How to Graduate from College without Student Loan Debt. Enjoy! […]