May 29, 2009

Balance Transfer Credit Card Tips, Facts and Traps

I’m one of those people who appreciates credit cards (especially cash back credit cards) as great tools that can benefit our finances when used wisely. But you may have a different opinion, especially if you are struggling with card debt. […]

Ally Bank Savings Account Review

A brief history of Ally Bank and its parent, GMAC In the turmoil engulfing General Motors there have been some changes related to banking. 51% of GMAC, which was originally established as a wholly-owned subsidiary of GM to provide financing for automotive purchases, was sold several years ago to private investors. […]

netSpend - the story of the Visa debit card we did not apply for

By Xin Lu This week my husband received an unsolicited Visa debit card from a firm called netSpend.  It was certainly an odd experience to receive a card that looked official instead of a pre-approved application packet.  This is my story of shock, anger, and finally disgust at the practices of this financial firm. At first, I was confused as to why my husband would open an Visa debit account wit […]

DIY: 3 Attic Insulation Methods to Seal in Savings

It’s a dirty, dark, and dingy job, but it’s also the easiest and cheapest way to save mega money on your energy bills. Adding insulation to your attic and making the attic hatch airtight with weather stripping can reduce your year round energy use from 20 to 60 percent, saving you hundreds a year. […]

Sending Money Quickly: The Pros and Cons of Various Methods

Your brother is stuck in a small town a few states away. His wallet was stolen and he’s without a vehicle. “Help!” he cries! He needs some cash as soon as possible. What are you going to do to help him? Your daughter loses her job. She calls you up and begs for some help making the rent this month. How will you get the money to her? Transferring money between people is a tricky problem. […]

Help a Reader: Posting a Bond as Insurance

Here's a question a reader left on my post titled What It Means to Be Self-Insured: I have "heard" that instead of paying for liability insurance for your vehicle, you can post a bond for whatever the minimum amount of liability required. That way, YOU earn interest on your bond, not the insurance company. Anyone know different? I haven't heard anything about this. […]

Get a Free Experian Credit Score and Report from

Ever since Experian and Fair Isaac stopped offering an Experian based FICO score to consumers, I’ve had a large, unfulfilled hole in my life. […]

Smithee’s First Stock Sale

Well, I sold my first stock. I agonized over when would be the right time, but then I just pulled the trigger, anyway. Earlier this year, I started using the “free money” I was getting from this credit card to buy some stocks. In March, we paid our tax bill of over $3,300 using that card, so the 2% rewards were higher than normal. […]

Best Deals For Friday 5/29/09

By Paul Michael Today's WISEBUY. Up to 77% OFF Sofft Women's Shoes at (dealnews) knocks offers over 120 styles of Sofft women's shoes for $24.95. That's up to 77% off. Pay $6.95 for shipping.   1. FREE Pair Of Gloves From The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Just fill out the membership form, which is free, and indicate your preference for Men's or Women's gloves.   2. […]

Investment Strategies Part 1: Rebalance into Stable Investments in an Appreciating Market

The following is a guest post from Marotta Wealth Management. Diversifying your portfolio means finding assets that have value on their own merits but do not move exactly alike. A critical investment metric called "correlation" is used to construct a portfolio most likely to meet your personal financial goals. […]

Friday Finance Findings for May 29th

Just a few quick updates before getting into this week’s links. There are a few special offers ending in the next day or two, so if you were looking at getting in on these you’ll need to act fast. First, the $25 Ohio 529 plan bonus. Don’t forget that you can receive $25 just for opening an account with $25 and then receive another $25 for each referral. […]

The Art of the Marinade: Making Inexpensive Foods Dazzlingly Tasty for Pennies

Whenever I see great deals on free range chicken or beef, I stock up without hesitation, filling our freezer with pounds of roast, tenderloins, chicken breasts (and other pieces… and whole chickens), fish fillets, steaks, and chops. […]

Are You a Sucker for Health Trends?

By Tisha Tolar If Billy Mays was the pitch person for an "anti-heart attack medicine", there would likely be many consumers getting on the phone to place their orders. If Brad Pitt became a spokesperson for virility pills, chances are even greater that sales would go through the roof. […]

My Great Disney World Adventure

Yesterday I wrote about my recent business trip to Orlando. This is the “rest of the story”, a behind-the-scenes look at how I spent way too much money for a one-day vacation. When Kris and I agreed to fly to Orlando for the unveiling of The Great Piggy Bank Adventure, we hoped to have time to explore the rest of EPCOT Center. […]

Debt Reduction Methods and Philosophies: Snowball, Avalanche and More

When someone who has accumulated debt across a number of credit cards embarks on the journey to rid himself or herself of this debt, and when that person is generating enough monthly income to cover all expenses and the minimum payments due on all cards with additional funds left over, there are two main philosophies describing the best way to achieve this goal. […]

Your Take: How Often Do You Check Your Credit Score?

I’m a numbers guy. I love seeing numbers, trying to find trends, and playing with statistics. That’s probably one of the reasons why credit scores fascinate me so much, they are able to distill a bunch of actions you take as a person and package it up into this convenient three digit number that lenders go nuts over. […]

Questions to Ask Your Financial Planner

I recently ran across an interesting brochure that was put out by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board). This is the group that grants the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. […]

25 Traits Of The Not So Well To Do

I LOVE this list from Free from Broke. It's listed as "25 traits of the not so well to do", but to me it's more of a "you're probably poor the more you do/have of these things" list. […]

Star Money Articles and Carnivals for the Week of May 25

For weekday updates of what I find to be some of the most interesting personal finance articles on the web, follow me on Twitter. For now, here are some pieces I found especially worthwhile. After that, I have a list of the carnivals Free Money Finance was in this week and my posts that were included: My Dollar Plan is going to court. […]

Jim Cramer’s Stock Picks and Tips: Thoughts From A Follower

Do you think Jim Cramer knows what he’s talking about? There are several types of investors out there who commit their hard-earned bucks to the stock market (or other markets) to try to squeeze a little more from the savings they have. […]