November 12, 2012

FSA Limits Reduced for 2013

I mentioned this in passing when I recently wrote about open enrollment season, but I wanted to remind you that healthcare flexible spending account (FSA) contribution limits have been capped at $2500 for 2013. In most cases, this will be a reduction vs. what’s been possible in the past. This change actually traces back to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e., “Obamacare”). […]

Shop on Your State’s Tax-Free Holidays (316/365)

On the first Friday and Saturday of August each year, Iowa has a sales tax holiday on “select clothing and footwear,” which actually translates into “virtually all clothing and footwear.” It’s at a great time of the year. […]

Do You Need a College Education that Costs as Much as a Home?

Many high school advisers and parents encourage high school students to go to the best college they can get into. For many, that means striving for Ivy League schools, even though the competition is fierce to get into those schools. A recent report on CNN Money found that those top schools now cost more than $50,000 for room and board for one year. Planning to go to Darthmouth? […]

3 Awesome Things You Could Buy Instead of the iPhone 5

Recently, the iPhone 5 was released to a great deal of hype. The snafu with the maps app notwithstanding, many people are thrilled with the latest version of the iPhone. While I think that it would be fun to have an iPhone, it’s not something I consider a necessity. Indeed, I still have a “regular” cell phone on a prepaid plan. […]

Reader Mailbag: New Phone

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. Old houses 2. Student loan interest deduction 3. Interest rates and debt freedom 4. Mortgage or car payment? 5. Parents misused my SSN 6. Partial payoffs of credit cards? 7. 457(b) or Roth IRA? 8. […]

Stock Market: Time to Go All In

I don’t advocate trying to time the market. It’s impossible to predict with any kind of consistent accuracy what the stock market will do, and the impossibility increases — regardless that the concept defies logic — as the time frame is shorter. […]

Is ZipCar Worth It?

If I lived in a city with decent transportation options, I probably wouldn’t own a car. If I lived in a city with decent transportation and ZipCar, I definitely wouldn’t own a car. As it stands, we live in the suburbs so a car is a must but I am a little jealous of my friends who don’t have to take care of a 4,000 pound piece of metal on wheels. It also appears like I’m not alone. […]

Beyond money: How my community saves me, part two

After I turned in my last article, I thought of so many other instances of how my community pays big dividends: We got a 50-pound bag of free flour when a warehouse had a fire which slightly damaged the packaging At an auction, an acquaintance wanted a single item, but she had to buy the whole box to get it. Inside the box was a bag of clothespins that I’d been looking for. […]

Best Money Tips: Save on Wedding Expenses as a Guest

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some great articles on saving on wedding expenses as a guest, strategies to lower your healthcare costs, and making extra money this holiday season. Top 5 Articles 6 Tips to Save on Wedding Expenses as a Guest — Are you attending a wedding as a guest? Save on expenses by splitting costs with someone else. […]

What to Eat Every Day: A Month of Frugal Meals

I have planned menus for the duration of my marriage (nearly 31 years). Every Saturday morning, I do a couple of things. First, I make a fresh cup of coffee. Then I get out a piece of paper and a pencil, and I start planning my week’s menus. The following method works for me and has enabled me to stay within a household grocery budget for years. […]

6 Dumb Things Employment Recruiters See People Do

Back in the day I used to work as a "headhunter" for companies on a national basis. It certainly was an eye-opener to discover what people will or won’t say when it comes to the hunt for a good job. It always surprised me that so-called professional people seeking six-figure incomes kept making the same juvenile mistakes over and over when looking for a new job. […]

Reader Profile: RL

The following is the latest post in my "Reader Profiles" series. Each post in this series details the financial situation and challenges of an FMF reader. […]

Department store shopping isn’t that different from grocery shopping

As far as the landmines go, anyway. This article (well, slide deck) on MSN Money discusses seven things stores don’t want you to know.  Seven tricks, and seven pieces of advice from experts on how to overcome them: The lure:  Tastefully done and attractive  displays with high-markup items.  The cure:  Stick to a budget and a list.  Seems just like:  Attractive end caps and sticking to a grocery b […]