September 16, 2010

Health Savings Account Contribution Limits & Benefits

For financial planners like me, we tend to have been trained and educated in a little bit of everything. Of course, we have a handful of specialties, but it would be impossible to be specialized in the gamut of all things financial. That’s one of the main reasons why many planners or advisors use a team approach or outsource some of what I call “fringe topics”. […]

How to Sniff Out the Right Pet Sitter

When you travel without your pets, you have two options: board them at an expensive kennel, or hire a pet sitter. Pet sitters put less stress on your pets - but choose carefully. Here's how to find the right one. […]

Outcome Visioning and Personal Finance

It seemed so incredibly simple. But it actually worked. Last week, I visited a local bookstore. As I’ve mentioned many times, bookstores are one of my biggest weak spots. I can easily go into a bookstore and find myself picking up two or three interesting books before I’ve even really thought about it. My usual line of defense against doing that is to simply limit my visits to bookstores. […]

How FMF Readers Give Creatively

In the post A Creative Way to Give, I noted how one FMF reader would pay for meals at restaurants for other couples (and do it anonymously). He did it simply to show kindness to someone else. I asked other readers if they did anything like this and I got several responses. […]

Chase (Sort of) Addresses Downtime

If you have an account with Chase and you tried to access it online earlier this week, then you’re likely aware that their website suffered a major outage spanning parts of three days. Well, the site is now back up, along with a brief apology: To our customers: Please accept our apology for the difficulties that recently affected Giving you 24-hour access to your banking is of the utmos […]

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Gold

Shaun Connell Provides a Primer on Ways to Invest in Gold During challenging economic times, investors seek safe investments to protect their assets. Gold investments are a means of portfolio diversification. Experts recommend gold during an economic downturn, because the price of gold increases as the economy declines. […]

Elizabeth Warren To Head Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection

One of the creations of the financial reform bill (H.R. 4173 “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act”) was a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB), an organization that is charged with regulating financial products from payday loans to mortgages, credit cards to credit counseling, and a litany of products in between. […]

America's Got Talent: When $1 Million Isn't As Much As It Seems

Some of you may think I'm a dunce (not that you don't already) for watching America's Got Talent (AGT). For three years now it has been my family's guilty summertime entertainment choice. We enjoy following the contestants through the process, seeing how America votes, and watcing Piers Morgan blast many of the particimants. Yes, now's the time when you can call me a dunce. […]

Reader Mailbag: Emotional Control

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Costs of going to seminary 2. Is vehicle trade worth it? 3. Are we doing okay? 4. Roth IRA versus Roth 401(k) 5. Dealing with an overzealous client 6. Best “safe” option for money 7. Cash flow in big city 8. […]

8 Ways to Save Money on Entertainment

Sure, times are tough, but that doesn't mean you can't have a little fun. Here are eight ideas that will allow you to enjoy some entertainment and save money, too. 1. Discount days, or even free admission days, are a great way to save money on entertainment at zoos, galleries, museums, and even some theaters. […]

Is Real Estate a Good Investment?

ShareThisCurrently, we find ourselves in an economic quagmire with many investors ferreting opportunities to grow individual wealth. […]

You Don’t Need a Financial Advisor

With all the uncertainty in the economy, you might be asking yourself if you need a financial advisor. I’m a financial advisor so I make my living when people ask this question and decide that they do. But even so, I can tell you that not everyone needs an advisor. Here are some ideas to help you decide if you really need one if you’re thinking about it: 1. […]

Delayed Gratification and the Secret to Will Power

ShareThisRetirement saving, and indeed saving in general, is nothing more than delayed gratification in action. We all want to save something for the future, and even a small amount invested today can make a significant difference in our retirement funds tomorrow. […]

Getting the Most Out of Salary Comparison Sites

I'm a big believer in increasing your value as an employee to gain some job security and to potentially get a raise/bonus. That's why I wrote a whole series of posts on being a better employee. The idea is to bring more value to your employer, make yourself more valuable, and eventually get paid more for it. […]

3 Mistakes I Made That Cost Me Thousands

This is a guest article written by Darwin, the author of the blog Darwin’s Money. Darwin is a numbers guy with an MBA. If you like this article, subscribe to the Darwin’s Money RSS feed for more.You live and you learn, right? Well, that can be expensive when you’re first setting out in the world and haven’t had much exposure to the various significant financial decisions adults face in life. […]

$175 Family Value Bonuses from M&T Bank

M&T Bank has really gotten very aggressive in its promotions lately and this time they’re offering up to $175 in “Family Value Bonuses” when you open a checking account. […]

How Much is Enough? On Average, About $75,000 Per Year

This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at A few weeks ago I wrote about how money really can buy happiness — if you spend it right. A big-screen TV isn’t a ticket to happiness, but a vacation might be. […]

$1 Gold Coin Update

It's been awhile since I gave you all an update on what I'm doing with gold $1 coins (if you want to see the last update, read Update on My Gold Coin Purchases). For those of you new to this issue, I'm talking about the $1 coins the US Mint is issuing in an attempt to replace the $1 bill. […]

Mighty Bargains for 16 September 2010

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SmartyPig Race Out of Debt Promo: Earn 1.75% & Win $5,000

Well this sounds like fun. Here’s an interesting offer from SmartyPig, one of our favorite savings sites. For those who are not familiar with them, they offer a savings product that allows you to earn a relatively good rate of 1.75%. These days, this type of return is a little harder to come by for a safe, liquid account. […]