November 11, 2009

Help a Reader: Where to Save

Here's an email I recently received from a reader: I read one of your older 2008 posts about what order to invest in (meet company matching in your 401k before opening a Roth IRA), and I wondered if you have cash left after that, do you then open another Roth IRA if you’re married?  Or do you go back to increasing your 401k?  In case it depends on some stuff, here’s our quick financial summary. […]

The Hawthorne Effect and You

We all do it. When we know we’re being watched, we’re on our best behavior. We often tend to perform better and we usually tend to make better choices, too. […]

4 Reasons Why You Should Read Your Bill Every Month

Over the next couple of weeks, six finalists will be auditioning for the opening of “staff writer” at Consumerism Commentary. Each will be providing two guest articles to share with readers. […]

Best of Personal Finance: 12 Surprising Uses for Vick VapoRub

By Linsey Knerl Welcome to Wise Bread's Best of Personal Finance roundup. This week, we look at outrageous ways to use Vick's VapoRub, 23 ways to decorate that bedroom, and 10 of the best brands to follow on Twitter. Top 5 Articles of the Week 23 Decorating Tricks for Your Bedroom — These range from the simple to the more involved, but most of them can be done in a frugal manner. (Have no fear! […]

Money Manager from American Express

When I reviewed the Chase Blueprint payment program, I said I believed that credit card companies were offering money management tools and payment systems to help keep defaults and late payments down. The best credit card customer is a regularly paying one, despite what mainstream media would have you think (that credit card companies love to ding people with fees and send them to the poorhouse). […]

Have You Ever Had a Boss That's Hated You?

This piece from MSNBC about bosses that hate employees made me want to ask this question: Have you ever had a boss that's hated you? I've detailed my entire work history, so you all know a lot about my work life. But the one thing I didn't cover is the boss who hated me. […]

Coming Soon: Good Times for Temp Workers

By Philip Brewer During a recession is the worst time to be a temp — whatever work companies have will go to employees, as a way to avoid having to lay them off. Another bad time is the middle of a recovery — things are going so well that managers figure it's safe to hire new permanent employees. […]

A Final Reminder

If you haven't signed up for my giveaway newsletter, now's a good time to do so. I'm putting the finishing touches on the November issue and we've got lots of great prizes! They include a $50 SmartyPig gift card, three copies of Quicken personal finance software, one copy of You Need a Budget software and one box of books containing eight personal finance books. […]

Best Deals For Wednesday 11/11/09

By Paul Michael Today's WISEBUY. Up To 75% Off Shoes at knocks up to 75% off all shoes as part of its Fall Clearance Sale. Plus, coupon code "FALL20" takes an extra 20% off.   FREE Jennifer Lopez My Glow Perfume Sample Experience My Glow. […]

Avoid a Financial Holiday Hangover This Year

Plan Ahead to Avoid a Financial Holiday Hangover Does this scenario sound familiar? You use credit cards to do your holiday shopping, promising yourself you’ll pay the debt off within two or three months. […]

The High Cost of Music

By Lain Ehmann I’m all for the arts. I try to encourage my kids to express themselves: I hang all their “masterpieces” on the fridge, I listen to their kazoo solos, and I even let them play with Play-Doh (though I hate the stuff). But I had to balk when my nine-year-old told me she wanted to play the piano. It wasn’t the playing, per se. It was the learning. […]

What is Backup Withholding?

Last week I contacted Ally Bank with a last minute change of heart. I had intended to roll our 12 month CD into a 5 year CD upon expiration, but had second thoughts when I saw that Series I Savings Bonds are more attractive than CD rates. I actually contacted Ally on the renewal date and was thus able to get the money back out without any penalties. […]

Way to Save #115: Don't Waste Water

You don’t need to run the water while you’re shaving or brushing your teeth, so turn it off whenever you can. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Post-Book Lull Edition

After turning in my book a week ago, some of my friends who had already published books wrote to me with an interesting point. “After your book is done,” they said, “you’ll find that you go through a bit of ‘writing burnout.’ You won’t want to write anything for a while.” At first, I didn’t think this was true, as early last week, I got a lot of writing done. […]

Super Sports Gear for Less

By Sasha A. Rae Putting together the right clothes and gear to ensure a stellar outdoor outing can be quite the challenge, especially in these belt-tightening times. Some people might even live in easy walking or quick driving vicinity to the woods, like I did when I lived in Manitou Springs, Colorado. […]

Bargaineering Store Technical Issues

To everyone who has been bidding on the Bargaineering Store auctions, there has been a technical glitch this morning. It’s powered by an auction Wordpress plugin that I edited, to use Bargaineering Bucks, and apparently when you deactivate the plugin, it deletes every auction and every bid in the entire database. […]

Reader Question: Can You Write “See ID” Rather Than Signing Your Credit Card?

I can’t remember the last time I’ve signed the back of a credit card, and I use my credit cards (one for personal travel and big expenses, one for all other personal expenses, and one for business expenses) almost every day. […]

Credit Report Bumpage: Knocking Off Hard Inquiries

Before I started spending most of my time writing for, I spent many of my formative years at Fatwallet (as far back as 2001!). One of the big ideas in the Finance forums was the App-O-Rama, where you applied for a lot of credit cards in a short period of time (on the order of just a few days). […]

How to Establish a Credit History Without Losing Your Shirt

This is a guest post from Adam Jusko, founder of, an information and comparison site for credit cards that maintains a list of over 1200 cards. You can follow Adam on Twitter for quick credit tips and opinions. […]

Portfolio Recommendation Beats S&P 500 by 9.4%

The following is a guest post from Marotta Wealth Management. For those of you interested, I have a similar, though not exact, investing strategy to the one he details below. Exactly a year ago I encouraged you to avoid another lost decade in the markets. I recommended a specific balanced portfolio that today is beating the S&P 500 by 9.4%. […]