April 30, 2009

Financial Battle: Emergency Fund vs. Retirement Savings vs. College Accounts

Turning 50 has made me think about how I want to live the next 50 years. And that thought process has sparked a fiscal battle between the competing goals of retirement savings, emergency fund and college savings accounts.After some thought, I ordered my priorities:1. Emergency Fund: This account will be my No 1 priority for the next six months. […]

2009 IRS Federal Income Tax Schedules - Tax Brackets

A few weeks ago, as I was searching the IRS website (for an unrelated publication), I stumbled across this PDF File, outlining the 2009 IRS Federal Income Tax Rate Schedules.  These rate schedules define various tax brackets.  It’s always good to have an idea of which tax bracket you are in, so that you can figure your effective tax rate.  Remember, your tax bracket and your effective tax rate are […]

Best of Personal Finance: Swine Flu Free Zone

By Andrea Dickson Nouriel Roubini on what to do now that we are experiencing our Great Recession in a series of videos at Consumer Reports. And since we're on the topic of the recession, why not learn how to barter at Recession Wire, since your money will be worthless in a few months anyway. Go Frugal Blog provides you with the right time of year to buy 45 items that you're going to buy anyway. A […]

Best High Interest Savings Accounts In Online Banking

These days, the “high interest savings” label seems more like a misnomer. The thing is, we’re all facing lower rates across the board, as many of the best rates we’re seeing for liquid savings accounts are currently lingering at 2% APY or lower. Nevertheless, there are other considerations that one may have when opening a high yield savings account. […]

Two Giveaway Winners Named

Just wanted to let you know that I named the winners of the Sound Mind Investing (from Sunday) and the Mogul games (from Monday) giveaways announced earlier this week. Click on the links in this post and scroll to the bottom of the new pages to see if you've won. If you want to win anything in May, you'll need to sign up for my giveaway newsletter. […]

Visa Debit Cards More Popular Than Visa Credit Cards

Are people falling in love with their debit cards? During the quarter ending December 31, 2008, people made $203 billion in purchases using their Visa credit cards.  During that same period, people made $206 billion in purchases using their Visa debit cards.  (You can read more by viewing Visa’s latest SEC Filing.  These figures are for U.S. […]

The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009

The following timeline and details will be updated as the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights and related bills progress through Congress, and if they pass, as they make their way to the President to be signed into law. […]

April 2009 Roundup: Finances, Food & Fun

Starting this month I’ll be doing a monthly roundup of some posts I found particular entertaining, interesting, or informative. […]

Five Frugal Lessons from My Parents

Over the last few weeks (since the passing of my grandmother), I’ve spent a ton of time with my parents, who live about four hours away. Because of these regular visits, I’ve been able to see lots of little details about how they’ve come to live their life since my father has retired. Here’s a recap: my parents have never earned a huge income. […]

15 Things You Should Do Today to Prepare for a Pandemic Flu

By Elizabeth Sanberg For the past few years people have been telling us that it's not a matter of "if" a pandemic occurs, but a matter of "when." Well, a pandemic may be upon us in the form of swine flu. Or it may not. […]

Make a Good Side Income by Mowing Lawns

I recently railed against what some people pay for lawn care, but a comment on that post has me rethinking my position on it. Instead of seeing lawn work as an expense, I should be seeing the extra income opportunity. Check out this comment from a reader: I charged $1/minute for mowing, trimming, or basically anything to do with the yard. […]

Plastic Packaging: Thirty Ways I'm Using Less and Why

By Myscha Theriault  It's everywhere, isn't it? And once you become more aware of the problem and commit to using less, one walk down any aisle of the grocery store is nearly enough to make you pass out. It's simply overwhelming. At our house, we still have quite a ways to go, but have taken a number of initial steps to start making an initial impact. […]

The Best Questions to Ask a Charity

CNN Money lists the best questions to ask a charity (with the suggested answers) as follows: Does the IRS recognize you as a charity? (Yes) How long have you been around? (Five years or more.) What % of my donation will go to charitable works? (75% or more.) Do you have a year's worth of working capital? (Yes.) Are you slashing services this year? […]

Southwest Freedom Awards Permit Mileage Dilution

Mileage dilution is when an airline starts asking for more miles for the same ticket. What used to cost 30,000 frequent flier miles would then cost 35,000 miles. It’s a bit like inflation, secret stealing pennies out of your wallet. I always proudly proclaimed that Southwest doesn’t play those games, it’s 16 credits for a flight and a one-way flight is worth a credit. […]

Best Deals For Thursday 4/30/09

By Paul Michael Today's Wisebuy: FREE Sex And The City Movie DVD, pay only $4.99 s/h (Via Dealnews) Get it QUICK! Today only, in honor of Mother's Day, Dealsclick.com offers the hit movie for FREE, based on the award-winning HBO series. ____________________________________________________________________ 1. […]

Get Your Quicken 2009 Discount Before May 31st - 33% Off

There are a number of financial management programs out there, but Quicken has been one of the leaders for years. I’ve been using Quicken for about three years and just recently upgraded to the 2009 edition. It’s really nice, and if you’re looking for a comprehensive financial management program it’s hard to beat. Luckily, Quicken has decided to extend their sale until the end of May. […]

The Little Things Matter to Interview Success

Yahoo has several tips they call minor matters that make your interview successful. I thought I'd highlight a few of these and comment on them. Here goes: Lay out your clothing in advance. Also, gather all the other important materials you'll need for the interview in one place, where you will be sure not to forget them. […]

Help! I Owe More On My Car Than It’s Worth!

“Michael” writes in with a common question: What do you do when you find your car is worth less than you owe on it? This is a pretty common question, particularly given the current state of the economy. Some people are out of work. Others are looking to seriously cut back. […]

Reminder to Sign Up if You Want Giveaways

I'll be sending out the May issue of my giveaway newsletter within the next week or two, and this is a reminder to sign up now if you want a chance at the giveaways. This month's prizes include a copy of Quicken Deluxe, more free Arby's Roastburgers, and a $50 gift card from SmartyPig. The only way to win any of these is to sign up for the newsletter. […]

The Secrets of Financial Freedom: An Interview with the Millionaire Next Door

Today is the last day of Financial Literacy Month. To tie everything together, I thought it would be fun to share an interview my real millionaire next door, a man we’ll call John. He used the basic tenets of money management to build wealth and to retire early. […]