June 23, 2009

Breaking Bad Financial Habits - Impulse Purchases

As you read this, you already know something about yourself, something very important.  You know, without even having to think about it, if you are the kind of person who makes impulse purchases.  You also know, with equal certainty, if this tendency to make impulse purchases is negatively affecting your financial situation.  Over the next few weeks, I’m going to write a series of articles about b […]

Black Holes in Relationships: What Spouses May Not Know About Money

You could fill a vault with the things men and women don’t know about their and the spouse’s money. That's the word from the folks at MassMutual. Here's a list of five great questions to ask."Who 'owns' the assets? Is anyone cheating on the budget? Will each spouse have to fight for what’s his or hers? […]

Investment Strategies Part 4: Don't Rebalance at the Sector Level

The following is a guest post from Marotta Wealth Management. Rebalancing between asset classes boosts returns and decreases volatility. But setting your asset classes based on sectors of the economy is not an effective strategy. You can rebalance your investment allocation at three levels: stocks and bonds, between asset classes and among subclasses. […]

Win My Book! 397 Ways To Save Money

I’m doing something a little bit different today. OK, I do things differently most days. But today is special because I want you to win my book 397 Ways To Save Money. I’ve got a couple of copies sitting on my kitchen table and I think they need a better home. There’s a catch though, you have to earn it. […]

Your Secret Credit Scores

During yesterday’s episode of The Personal Finance Hour, Jim and I spoke with Liz Pulliam Weston, financial columnist and credit score expert. Weston provided background on how the credit scoring system works, and offered tips for how to maintain (and improve) your credit score. During the show, Weston mentioned a past MSN Money article in which she wrote about 8 secret scores that lenders keep. […]

Europe on the Cheap: Take the Train

By Thursday Bram When it comes to traveling through Europe, there's a lot to be said for taking the train. With just a little planning, you can see five or six countries in just a week — and for a price that doesn't break the bank. […]

The Simple Dollar Podcast #4: Food

The fourth episode of The Simple Dollar Podcast focuses on food. I talk about ten tactics for reducing your food bills without reducing health and taste and include a lot of recipes and food suggestions along the way. I also tried a different approach - instead of reading from detailed notes, I tried a more conversational tack. […]

Do You Fly or Drive on Summer Vacation?

Here's an interesting piece from MSN Money about the costs associated with flying versus driving on vacation. Which is "better"? The summary: driving is usually cheaper but flying will save you time. We mostly drive. […]

Funny Taste Mystery: Using Google for Medical Diagnoses

By Elizabeth Sanberg I have just recovered from a case of pine nut mouth, or at least that's what I'm calling a recent health hiccup. And I have Google to thank for saving me thousands of dollars, countless trips to doctors, and plenty of time worrying. It started about a week ago.  One morning I woke up, poured a bowl of generic brand Cheerios for breakfast, and seriously considered throwing the […]

Credit Card and Debt Settlement? Would you Consider it? (Your Chance to Win $10!)

By Linsey Knerl It’s time for our weekly trivia question: What do you think of credit card and debt settlement?  Would you consider it?  Have you ever done it? Awhile back I interviewed Kim McGrigg, of Money Management International.  She explained the difference between traditional credit counseling programs and debt settlement.  With many ads on TV and the internet claiming to cut your debt by […]

Review: The Options Playbook

Stock options is something that has always both intrigued me and confused me. Fortunately, I’ve become friends with some people over at TradeKing and one of them sent me a copy of The Option’s Playbook, written by their Senior Options Analyst Brian Overby . […]

Another Good Experience

Remember when I went to my car dealership for a quick repair and they saved me $90 by being honest? When I was there, they tightened up the heat shield that was rattling under my car. A week later, it was rattling again (or maybe it was a different one -- they didn't say.) So I made an appointment, went in, and had them fix it. When I got to the cashier's desk, there was no charge. […]

Reader Question: I Don’t Have Much Savings So Can I Use Unused Credit as an Emergency Fund?

I occasionally get questions from readers and try to answer each one to the best of my ability, but there are some questions that get asked more than others. For these types of questions I like to turn it into a post so that it can help even more people. One of the questions I get a little more frequently than others has to do with emergency funds and credit cards or lines of credit. […]

Best Deals For Tuesday 6/23/09

By Paul Michael Today's WISEBUY. Huge GAP SALE. 50% Off Plus An Extra 20% Off (dealnews) Gap cuts up to 50% off a selection of styles for men, women, and kids. Plus, apply coupon code "SALE20" to take an extra 20% off. Shipping starts at $7.   1. FREE Tube Of Windsor & Newton Acrylic Paint A limited number of free 14ml sample tubes of Artists’ Acrylic available. […]

U.S. Will Likely Drop Case Against Swiss Bank Accounts

In February, I wrote that the United States was suing Swiss bank UBS in order to get the offshore institution to release the names of the wealthiest 19,000 of the 52,000 American bank account owners. These depositors have managed to evade paying United States income taxes on the interest earned within these foreign accounts. The New York Times is now reporting that the U.S. […]

The Personal Finance Chore List

When I sit back, take a breather, and evaluate the things I have on my plate, I often find that lots of little personal finance tasks have built up. I’d like to finish my emergency information binder. I’d like to spend some more time researching various Vanguard index funds. I’d like to get caught up on my filing - I have a few months’ worth of papers just sitting in a box, unorganized. I’d like t […]

How to Save Money at Restaurants: Budgeting Tips for Dining Out

By Myscha Theriault Whether you're looking for budgeting tips to accommodate restaurant dining on business trips, searching for affordable ways to grab lunch on bargain shopping days or trying to incorporate some occasional cheap dates as you balance affordable romance with family responsibilities, figuring out how to save money at restaurants can range from an occasional need to a huge priority. […]

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

A new law signed by the president yesterday gives the Food and Drug Administration the ability to regulate the tobacco industry. […]

Common Car-Dealer Tricks

When I bought my used Mini Cooper in April, things didn’t go exactly as I’d planned. Part of this was because I hadn’t done enough research. But a lot of it was because the dealer had some tricks up its sleeve and I did not. At Car and Driver, Jared Gall has compiled a list of car dealer tricks to watch for when buying a vehicle. […]