November 15, 2010

Ask the Readers: How Would You Balance America's Budget?

The New York Times recently released an interactive game that puts you in charge of balancing our nation's budget. While not everyone will agree with all the assumptions made by the Times, this game is an interesting starting point for discussion. How would you balance America's budget? What items would you cut? Would you raise taxes? […]

Bankruptcy & Going Broke In The U.S.A. (Infographic)

This guest post was brought to you by NerdWallet.com, a premier credit card review site. Times used to be such that anyone could file for bankruptcy when they wanted to screw over their creditors. If you found yourself over your skis, you could just file for Chapter 7 and start all over. […]

Thoughts on the "New" Way to Go to College

A few weeks ago I did a series of posts on the book Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents. If you know (or are) a student who is preparing for college, MAKE them read this book (or have their parents read it). It will change the way many of them think about college. […]

When the Bank of Mom and Dad Closes Up Shop

Recently, I had a long email exchange with a reader who asked me not to reprint her story, but gave me permission to discuss it in general terms (I showed her this post and she approved it). This reader – let’s call her Annie – is 38 years old. For almost all of her adult life, she had been a stay-at-home mom while her husband tried to start several businesses, failing each time. […]

Saving for Retirement Is Cheap!

A few years ago, when the economy was great, most of the people who didn’t save for retirement usually didn’t think about it. It’s difficult to think of the far future on a regular day, it’s even tougher to think about it when it’s sunny, beautiful, and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. […]

Night Owls Are More Intelligent Than Morning Birds

If I have to define myself by my productivity tendency based on the time of day, I would have to say I am not a morning person.I imagine my mother is nodding in agreement as she reads this article, as I didn’t make life easy for her while I was a teenager. Though I enjoyed school for the most part, I was not at my peak in the morning. […]

401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) Contribution Limits for 2011

It’s that time of year again… Time to start thinking about retirement plan contributions for next year. With that in mind, I wanted to point out that 401(k) contribution limits will not be changing from their 2010 levels. This means that individuals under the age of 50 will be able to contribute up to $16,500 to their 401(k) during 2011. […]

Is Now the Time to Ask for a Raise?

Here's a piece from CNBC that says during a bad economy is one of the best times to ask for a raise. Their thoughts: A lot of people are taking on more responsibilities because companies have laid off people. Taking on more responsibility makes a person more valuable to the organization. […]

Best of Money Carnival

The Best of Money Carnival is now up. Congrats to all participants and especially the winning post, Don’t Become A Slave To The Rat Race. Enjoy!!!! […]

A New Shopper’s Guide to Black Friday Shopping

The idea of Black Friday can be daunting for anyone that has never been a part of the mayhem.  Stores around the country lure shoppers in with promises of low priced items and plenty of door prizes and giveaways.  The only catch is that in order for you to get that $100 laptop or $3 kitchen appliance, you have to show up early.  I mean, really early.  Try like four a.m. […]

Reader Mailbag: Thanksgiving Week

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. A scary future 2. Effects of Kindle giveaway 3. Hiding savings from spouse 4. College accounts for grandchildren 5. Too much retirement, too young? 6. Snowblower? 7. Helping a financially distressed friend 8. […]

Opening a Solo 401(k) at Fidelity and Rolling Over My SEP-IRA

At long last, I’ve finally gotten around to opening a Solo 401(k) with Fidelity. My primary motivation for doing this is to move pre-tax contributions out of my SEP-IRA and into a “qualified” plan so I can convert non-deductible Traditional IRA contributions into a Roth IRA with minimal tax consequences. […]

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Last November, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began to take shape after being a part of a bill in Congress signed into law in July 2010. Now, a year later, the bureau is ready to launch. Elizabeth Warren was appointed by President Obama to assemble the bureau, and in this role, Congress pressed her on the bureau’s powers and accountability. […]

Monday’s Money Deals: Appliances, Jackets and Free Soda

This is the week to buy a new washer, dryer, or fridge, thanks to great deals at Home Depot. And every day is a good day for a free coffee at 7-Eleven. […]

Keeping Santa Sane: Budget Holiday Decorating

I started this article desperately wanting to coin a new term that combined the words "recession" and "holiday." Much like "staycation" implies a slightly downshifted and saner vacation, I think we need a word that describes a smarter approach to holiday spending and the crazy expectations that give rise to it. […]

Apperang: Get Paid for Trying iPhone Apps

Apperang is a service that pays iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users to try out applications from the iTunes store. I first signed up for Apperang a few months ago through an online ad, and it really sounded too good to be true.  My first experience was quite disappointing because I logged in, there was nothing I could download, and therefore […]

How to Avoid ATM Surcharges

The financial reform bill enacted some much needed reform in the banking industry, one of which was a crackdown on the overdraft fees banks charge. Overdraft fees were, and probably will continue to be, a multi-billion dollar revenue stream for banks and with these new regulations, it’s not surprising that the burden of earning that kind of money will fall on other fees. […]

Emergency Fund vs. Debt Snowball: What’s the Top Priority?

This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at Childwild.com. A few weeks ago, in my review of Mary Hunt’s Debt-Proof Your Marriage, I mentioned that she advocates building a 3-6 month emergency fund before beginning to snowball your debt payments. […]

Career Insurance: Insuring Your Most Valuable Asset

The following is a repost of a piece I originally wrote for Get Rich Slowly. For the vast majority of people, their career is their most valuable financial asset. Nothing else they own is likely worth as much (several million dollars over a lifetime). […]