October 26, 2009

Halloween Costumes, Recipes, and Frugal Fun Oh My!

Boo! It’s that time of year when werewolves howl and vampires bite. It’s also the season for dishing out lots of dough on candy, costumes, and spooky decorations. The money spent on Halloween is enough to scare anyone off anything that goes bump in the night. A recent survey suggests that we consumers will spend an average of $56.31 each on Halloween this year. […]

Halloween Activities: Pumpkins, A Hay Maze and Family Traditions

Our Halloween will not suck this year. Are you doing anything special for Halloween? We already visited our local pumpkin patch and got ourselves some nice cheap pumpkins. By checking Yelp, we found a patch that sells pumpkins for half the price its next door neighbors sell them for. […]

The Personal Finance Hour, Episode 25: Why Does Everyone Hate Budgeting?

On today’s episode of The Personal Finance Hour, I’ll join Jim from Bargaineering to discuss personal budgets. What works and what doesn’t? And why are so many people scared of them? (Personal finance writers especially seem afraid to talk about budgets.) This show will air live at 3pm Pacific (6pm Eastern). It’s much more entertaining for everyone when you call in to participate. […]

Stress and Overspending

Lately, I’ve been under a lot of stress – perhaps the highest level of stress I’ve been under since switching to a full-time writing career. I’m in absolute crunch mode with my second book, with a manuscript due in a few days. I’ve also been slowly moving into public speaking – and I certainly get a healthy amount of stage nervousness. […]

The Difference Between the Wealthy and Everyone Else

I've been reading the book The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper in Even The Toughest Times by Jean Chatzky. It's quite fascinating. The skinny on the book is that a comprehensive survey was given to 5,000 people asking hundreds of questions in four main categories: financial attitudes and behaviors, goals, personality, and nonfinancial behaviors. […]

Schwab Mutual Funds: Ideal for Investors With Limited Means?

A common criticism of mutual funds is that many fund families have a relatively high minimum investment, often in the $1000-$3000 range. […]

Dealista Tip: 5 Ways to Get Free Tech Advice Online

By Linsey Knerl This article shares tips from the 10th episode of Dealista, our new podcast that'll help you get more for less. Click play to listen, or subscribe via iTunes to take the episode with you! Download episode mp3 | Check out show archive It happens almost weekly for some: your computer freezes, your iPhone won’t power down, or your printer is jammed in a big way. […]

Avoid Credit Card Cash Advances!

Reader Jane emailed me last week to warn me about cash advances on credit cards. She recently stuck her credit card into an ATM, withdrew money, and was surprised to learn all the fees associated with a cash advance. […]

List of Failed Banks, Updated October 26, 2009

As of October 26, 2009, over 100 banks have failed this year. Most of these are smaller regional banks who, in order to compete with larger banks, offered risky loans and are now facing customer defaults. […]

Three Ways to Avoid Overdraft Fees

After I wrote the piece on how debit cards can rack up tons of overdraft fees for users, I saw this piece by Kiplinger that suggests three ways to avoid overdraft fees as follows: Bank at a credit union or small bank. Link to another account. Set up two accounts. […]

7 Easy Ways You Can Save Money in College

Ah, college. Some say it’s the best time of your life, and while I wouldn’t necessarily agree or disagree with that, there is one drawback about college: you’re usually on a pretty tight budget. […]

Best Deals For Monday 10/26/09

By Paul Michael Today's WISEBUY. Timberland Sale - Up To 75% Off, Plus Extra 20% Off, Plus FREE s/h! Timberland takes up to 50% off select men's shoes and up to 75% off select women's shoes. […]

Reader Mailbag #86

Each Monday, The Simple Dollar opens up the reader mailbags and answers ten to twenty simple questions offered up by the readers on personal finance topics and many other things. Got a question? Ask it in the comments. You might also enjoy the archive of earlier reader mailbags. Can you tell me a little more about how banks like ING work? […]

19 Tips to Cut Costs by Using Your Oven Efficiently

By Nora Dunn Saving money is made all the sweeter when you also rest assured that you did your part to save power and energy. And although using the oven is not nearly as efficient as sticking to the stove-top, sometimes you just have to bake that casserole or cake. […]

Walt Disney Offers Refunds for Baby Einstein DVDs

By Xin Lu A few months ago I wrote that I thought that "educational" DVDs for babies such as Baby Einstein were a waste of money because their educational benefits were quite dubious. […]

Small Amounts Matter

This article is the fifth of a thirteen-part series that explores the core tenets of Get Rich Slowly. Getting started with smart personal finance isn’t always easy. It’s one thing to read about the steps you should take, but it’s another thing to actually do them. […]

Seven Zen Principles to Guide Your Money and Your Life

A few years ago, I visited the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Japanese gardens are designed precisely to appear natural, resulting in an interesting collision between nature and man. […]

Holiday Tipping Guide

The spirit of the holidays is about spending time with family and friends, being thankful for the things that we’ve accomplished and the lives we’ve led, and showing appreciation to everyone who has made the year possible. Sometimes the year ends on a high note, as we celebrate the achievements. Sometimes we simply want to turn the page on an otherwise difficult twelve months. […]

How Planning Your Meals Will Save You Money

This is a guest post from Kyle of Suburban Dollar. If you like what you see here, please consider subscribing to his RSS feed. Lets face it, one of our biggest expenses outside of our mortgages is the cost of keeping our bellies full. Unfortunately, eating is a necessity. […]

Examples of Making Money from Your Hobbies

Turning your hobby into an income is one of my 11 great ways to earn extra money. I've been doing this myself and have a few friends doing the same, so I thought I'd detail those jobs here -- maybe they'll spark some ideas for the rest of you. Here goes: My son and I spent Saturdays in September and October making money as soccer referees. […]