February 2013

Barclays Bank Online Savings and CDs

Not quite a year ago, Barclays entered the online banking space. They launched an online savings account with a 1% APY as well as a series of CDs of varying terms with competitive rates. Since that time, they’ve held their savings rate steady and now find themselves near the top of the heap amongst the major online banks. Granted, it’s not a very tall heap. […]

Kathleen January 2013 Net Worth

Naked With Cash is the year-long series on Consumerism Commentary where seven readers’ households share their financial progress on a monthly basis, and February is “insurance month.” I’ve partnered with financial planners who will offer some guidance along the way. Read this introduction to learn more about the series. Kathleen is thirty-one years old, single, and living in Portland, Oregon. […]

Living without money, Is it really possible?

A while back, I wrote about Mark Boyle (aka The Moneyless Man) and his year-long experimentation of living life without money in the UK.  It seems that this phenomenon is catching because a recent article on Yahoo Voices featured a Berlin couple and their 18-month-old who live entirely on the goodwill of others.  Raphael Fellmer, along with his wife, Nieves Palmer, and their young daughter, Alma L […]

FMF March Money Madness, Round 1, Posts 29-32

Here we go with the first round of Free Money Finance March Money Madness (to follow all the action click on my March Money Madness category link and scroll down to read all the posts involved in this subject.) I've listed each "game" (one post versus another) in segments along with the wording provided by the author when the post was submitted. […]

4 Ways Money CAN Buy Happiness

Many of us like to think that we don’t need money to be happy. While you may not be completely at the mercy of your paycheck for your happiness, the money you have can impact the level of contentment you feel about your life. Even if you don’t think that you need as much as $75,000 a year to be happy, there are ways that money can buy happiness. […]

What Is Your Motivation for Saving Money?

This week has been dubbed American Saves Week by the Consumer Federation of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1968 “to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education,” according to the organization’s website. […]

What is Sequestration?

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ve likely heard the term “sequestration” bandied about over the past few months, with increasing urgency in recent weeks. If you check out the linked graph of Google search traffic for that word “sequestration” over the past 12 months you’ll see just what I mean. So what exactly is sequestration and why are people going so crazy about it? […]

Reader Mailbag: Hostage Chess

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. Thoughts on Betterment 2. Swimming pool 3. Free puzzles 4. Evicting a child 5. HSA or FSA? 6. Charitable giving receipts 7. Credit limit increase? 8. Inexpensive ebooks 9. Frugality for other reasons 10. […]

The best time to redeem in-store coupons

I give grocery stores a lot of credit. They do seem to come up with new and exciting ways to get you to spend more money while giving you the impressing that you’re saving money. As I was going through my receipts to enter things in Quicken to track our spending, I ran across what looked like an in-store coupon for Mio Water Enhancers. […]

What You Need to Know Before Joining a Community Supported Agriculture

Every year, about this time, we start getting emails from the Community Support Agriculture (CSA) programs near where we live. They start talking about their plans for the upcoming year, about how their bounty will be great, any chances they made, and it makes for some interesting reading. […]

Jobless Americans Paying Fees for Unemployment Benefits

OK, brace yourself because I'm about to get on my soapbox again. This time, I'm very annoyed that unemployed workers are receiving their benefits on prepaid cards. The problem is that they have to pay fees to use the cards. There are fees for using out-of-network ATMs, withdrawals at a teller window, balance inquiries, talking to a customer service rep, and more. […]

Becoming Financially Secure: What to Do First

Standard financial advice is full of things to do first — emergency fund, 401(k), pay off debts, start investing, stockpile emergency supplies. What really comes first? (See also: Be In Charge of Your Finances) Because everybody's circumstances are different, there's no one true answer that applies to everyone. […]

Planning for a new financial paradigm

I’d tried and occasionally gotten by on very much less, and I’d shuffled small freelance gigs and guiltily spent windfalls instead of saving. […]

Best Money Tips: Keep Good Food From Going Bad

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on keeping good food from going bad, getting free stuff, and easy ways to make extra money. Top 5 Articles 12 Ways to Keep Good Food From Going Bad — To keep your bananas from going bad, freeze them! [Money Talks News] Want free stuff? […]

20 Great Body Weight Exercises (and Why You Should Do Them)

Maybe you'll never find yourself in a "Cliffhanger" kind of moment, but I'd venture to say that being able to lift your own body weight — whether with your arms, your legs, or your core — is an important life skill. What better, more basic measure of fitness could there be? […]

My Initial Impressions of LinkedIn

One of my New Year's financial resolutions was to get set up on LinkedIn. I have been recommending it for quite some time and tell you all how important it was in developing your network -- and yet I wasn't using it myself (which I freely admitted.) So the guilt finally got to me, I took the plunge, and signed up for the service in early January. […]

The Fear

Every single time I sit down to write an article for The Simple Dollar, I think of two things. The first thing I think of is how incredibly scared I was when we hit our financial bottom. I had a seven month old baby at home to take care of, one that I was constantly afraid of failing as a father. I had what seemed like an insurmountable pile of debt sitting in front of me. […]

A Deeper Look at the Average American’s Budget

Recently, I came across this wonderful graphic over at The Credit Blog that spells out how the average American spends their paycheck: I actually pointed to a similar graphic a few years ago, but this is a revised one with updated figures. Let’s pull out the data, shall we? An average “consumer unit” in this picture consists of 2.5 people, of which 1.3 are wage earners. […]

Great Counsel

For those of you new to Free Money Finance, I post on The Bible and Money every Sunday. Here's why. Today I'm posting Proverbs 15:22, a verse that at first blush seems like it might not apply to personal finances. […]