April 2, 2013

The Investment Trinity

Every investment you make requires you to balance three different factors. The first factor is risk. How likely is it that you’re going to get the return you expect over the next year, or the next five years? Generally, lower risk is better. The second factor is liquidity. How easy is it for you to get money out of that investment? The easier it is, the greater that investment’s liquidity. […]

Who Needs a Budget?

There are a number of excuses for ignoring the concept of budgeting for one’s own personal finances. Budgeting has a poor reputation. It’s not fun, it’s time-consuming, it’s depressing. […]

Would You Use a Fortune Teller to Help Guide Your Finances?

With so much uncertainty in the world right now, especially in terms of the economic situation, many people are looking for guidance with their finances. […]

Your Degree Isn’t a Ticket to a Career

About once a week, I get an email from a panicked student about to graduate from college (or recently graduated). They’ll tell me about how they entered into a major that they thought led to a great career, only to find upon graduation that they’re working at Starbucks or not working at all, as are many of their friends. […]

Help a Reader: What to do with unwanted land?

Today’s question is really intriguing because it’s a problem I probably won’t ever experience but it does pique my interest. Cyndie emailed me to say that she had a large piece of land that she no longer wants and isn’t sure what she should do with it given that it’s likely difficult to sell. […]

Are automatic payments all they’re cracked up to be?

This post is by staff writer April Dykman. A few weeks ago, I paid a sky-high electric bill. After some investigation, I saw the problem: the electric company charged a $200 deposit fee for starting electric service at our new house. The deposit was supposed to be waived, since we had a good payment history with the electric company. Only here it was, on our bill. […]

Ask the Readers: How Do You Save on Transportation?

Everyday travel — to work, school, or just running errands around town — can cost a pretty penny in the form of gas, bus fare, or even bicycle maintenance costs. That's why many people research frugal ways to get from Point A to Point B. How do you save on transportation? Have you made any big changes to the way you travel? […]

What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in April

For some, April is sunny skies and green grass. But in many parts of the US, there are all sorts of issues with the weather. Is it time to buy for summer, or spring, or winter? Well, let's take a look at the bargains and budget busters that are in stores right now. First, What to Buy… Well, most people have done their taxes by now (if you haven't, you better get cracking!). […]

Bluebird card adds enhancements

Last fall, an odd couple – American Express and Walmart – introduced the Bluebird card, a debit card with almost no fees and with the member benefits of an American Express card. Cardholders can add money to the card via direct deposit, transfers, cash at Walmart or check. […]

The Five Stages of Not Shopping

On January 6, 2007 I joined The Compact, an environmental group whose members agree to “buy nothing new for one calendar year.” (See also: The Compact: Mindfulness and Frugality Through Buying Used) The goal of The Compact is to take as few virgin resources out of the planet as possible. I joined The Compact out of green guilt — in 2006 I had traveled to Italy three times and Spain once. […]

Best Money Tips: Saving Money on Coffee

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on saving money on coffee, ways to use your tax refund, and tips for decorating rentals without losing your security deposit. Top 5 Articles The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money on Coffee — Save money on coffee by getting a coffee maker and remembering that expensive doesn't always mean good. […]

Buying Your First Home: What to Do and When to Do It

Buying your first home is a beautiful thing. Actually, scratch that. Moving in to your first home is the beautiful part. Most of the stuff that comes before that is demanding, difficult, and often downright stressful. After all, for most people, that home purchase is the most money they’ll ever spend in one shot and the biggest loan they’ll ever ask for. […]

Reader Profile: KG

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. […]