March 2013

How Does Inflation Affect a Mortgage?

Karen writes in: My brother has argued with me that I shouldn’t make any extra payments on our mortgage because we’re losing money over the long term by making early payments. He says that with inflation at 3% and our money able to earn 1% at minimum in a savings account and more if we do other things, we’re losing money by making early payments on our 3.75% mortgage. […]

The Recreational Choice

Connie writes in: I don’t see how saving money really works for a family making minimum wage. Let’s say you have two people who make minimum wage at home so they only bring home about $15,000 each. If the family spends $1,000 a month on housing and $500 a month on their automobiles and $500 a month on food, that’s $12,000 a year right there. […]

Reader Stories: I bought a duplex to save money on rent

This story is from Karl Boericke. He is the author of The Frugal Berry, money-saving tips of all kinds for home, office, and small business. In 1990, I was honorably discharged from the Navy and quickly found a job in an electronics manufacturing company as a technician in their test department. […]


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 21:17, a verse that talks about the impacts of over-indulging. […]

Extremely low-tech greywater toilet flushing system

Utilities make up a dependable expense in a family’s budget. Along with grocery expenses, it’s also a place that usually has a bit of slop that can be removed if things get tight. And if cleanliness is next to godliness, certainly we all take regular showers or baths. […]

My Plan for Handling a Big Windfall

Kelly writes in: What would you do if you won the lottery? Since I don’t play the lottery, I’ll answer this question under the assumption that instead I’m just receiving a very big inheritance from my unknown Uncle Rockefeller and Aunt Vanderbilt. The first step I’d take is to make absolutely sure all taxes on that income were paid. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #119

Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. 1. Joseph Addison on happiness “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” – Joseph Addison Something to love builds from your past. […]

Chase Freedom Categories for the Second Quarter

Most readers know that I use the Chase Freedom cash back credit card. IMO it's the best overall booster card out there today and a must-have for those of you with a multi-card strategy. The Chase Freedom card offers 5% cash back on certain categories each quarter. But you have to register online in advance to get the bonus for the next three months. […]

Buy Your Groceries Sensibly

I live close enough to the Des Moines area that I often shop in the city for groceries. In Des Moines, unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of grocery competition. […]

Ally Bank Review – Great option in online banking

A brief background about the bank Ally Bank is the banking unit of Ally Financial. The company started in 1919 as the General Motors Acceptance Corporation or GMAC and ever since has been involved in the financing of numerous vehicles for production. Because of the recent financial and economic crisis in the U.S., GMAC’s control and ownership has changed. […]

First Impressions and Displaying Your Social Status

Like it or not, we all display signs of social status when we go out in public. From our clothing to the car we drive, we give others indications of all kinds of things about us. Quite often, people buy into the idea that expensive items display high social status. […]

Damage Control: Taking an Unwarranted Vacation (From My Finances)

This week should have been a vacation. It has been, for the most part, but not entirely. While I’ve traveled occasionally over the past few years, and even chosen destinations meant for relaxation and time alone with loved ones, I haven’t had one of those fabled true vacations. My cell phone was still near by. I still took business-related calls. […]

FMF March Money Madness, Round 2, Posts 21-24

Here we go with the second 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. […]

Your Take: What Are Your Plans for Your Tax Refund?

The average tax refund is always in the neighborhood of three thousand bucks and we always enjoy asking you what you plan on doing with yours. Some people use it like “forced” savings and put the whole slug away for a rainy day. Others look to pay down debt. I always like hearing the stories of people who take a fun trip with the funds or buy something for themselves. […]

Ask the Readers: What will you invest in this month?

And before you know it, it’s April, and hopefully, you’re starting to see some signs of spring where you live. Our first two challenges were about sowing some seeds, and now maybe we can watch them grow. Here’s our challenge to the GRS community for April: What will you invest in this month? […]

8 Ways to Be a Better Human by Living Like a Vampire

If you were to make a quick list of "what's hot" in today's society, vampires would definitely rank in the top five. […]

The End of an Era

Nearly eight years ago – on May 1, 2005 – this site went live. In the time since then, we’ve published nearly 3,300 articles. I say “we” because, though I ran this site solo for nearly four years, it eventually became a group effort. In the spring of 2009, I took on my first two staff writers (Matt Jabs and Laura Martinez). […]

Best Money Tips: Spring-Clean Your Closet and Make Money

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on spring cleaning your closet and making money, requesting a tax extension, and getting on the road to riches. Top 5 Articles Spring-clean your closet and make money — When spring cleaning your closet, sell your unwanted clothes to make extra money. […]