May 2013

Elimination of the Payroll Tax Cut Reduced Consumer Spending

In 2010, Congress passed the Tax Hike Prevention Act, which among other things reduced the payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2% starting in 2011. For two years, workers saw higher take-home income than they would have had the law never existed, and consumers responded favorably by using the extra money throughout the two years to save, invest, pay off debt, and spend. […]

What Does Your ZIP Code Say about You?

Every few months, I receive coupons for baby formula in my mailbox — despite the fact that my only child is now 10 years old. I also receive the random copy of America Baby. […]

Reader Mailbag: Spring Allergies

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. Mortgage tax deduction calculator 2. Private school worth it? 3. Advice on inexpensive business clothes 4. Is home ownership necessary? 5. Fantasy writing progress 6. Learning about neighbors 7. Expatriate estate worries 8. […]

Stock Market Soaring, Many Americans Missing the Boat

Statistics are tricky whenever people try to guess their underlying cause but it doesn’t make it less fun. A recent Gallup poll results showed stock market investment by U.S. adults is at its lowest percentage since Gallup has started asking (1998). […]

Financial advice for my former self

This is a post from staff writer Holly Johnson. This year, our office welcomed a 24-year-old professional into our tight-knit group. Aside from making everyone else in the office feel really, really old, it’s been fun and exciting learning what the younger generation is into these days. Let’s face it — her life is much more exciting than mine. […]

2 Investing Concepts Everyone Should Know

Investing is arguably the most complicated and intimidating topic within personal finance. Understanding (and making use of) two key investing concepts will go a long way toward demystifying the process while dialing down the fear factor. Let's get started! (See also: The 10-Step Staircase to a Comfortable Retirement) Compound Interest At first glance, this one seems like no big deal. […]

The 5 Best Washing Machines

The washing machine is a staple appliance in any household because of our need to keep our clothes fresh and clean. But while many of us are familiar with the use of a washing machine, what happens when we have to purchase a brand new one for our homes? […]

Best Money Tips: Balance Multiple Jobs Without Losing Your Mind

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some great articles on balancing multiple jobs, better ways to invest your tax refund money, and saving on your home entertainment system upgrade. Top 5 Articles How Can I Balance Multiple Jobs Without Losing My Mind? — To balance multiple jobs without losing your sanity, pursue work that builds your career. […]

Target Investment Mix at Age 50

I'm approaching 50 years old. I remember when my mom became 50 and I thought "Man, she's old." :) Anyway, CNN Money ran a series on "Best Moves if You're _____ Years Old." This one is the piece for those 45 to 54 years old and contains a target investment mix at age 50 as follows: 39% U.S. Stocks 40% Bonds 21% Foreign Stocks I get the U.S. […]

How to get more rides at Disney for less?

Amusement parks can be a great vacation, especially if you like rides that test your ability to hold your lunch. The more popular amusement parks, like the Disney family of parks, are busy much of the year.  And busy can mean long wait times on the rides. Since time is far more valuable than money, it would make sense that there would be a way to buy less time in line for those who value their tim […]

Join Our Tweetchat on Thu 5/16, 12pm Pacific for a Chance to Win Prizes

Join our Tweetchat this Thursday at 12:00 pm Pacific for lively conversation and a chance to win prizes! Use #WBChat to participate. This week's topic: Having a frugal Memorial Day Weekend! Learn about taking advantage of sales, saving on travel, and throwing a frugal BBQ! […]

Feeling “Cheap” or “Poor”

Anyone who strives to live frugally eventually comes across an experience that makes their frugality seem “cheap.” They’ll serve a homemade meal that someone turns their nose up at because it’s not a prime cut. They’ll bring a thoughtful gift to a party only to find that everyone else paid out the nose for their shiny gifts. […]

Unemployed? Your Benefits May Be Smaller than You Think

One of the most frustrating things in life is being unemployed. This is especially true if you want to work, but you are unable to find a job. Even though the unemployment rate is falling, many people still find it difficult to land a job. Many states administer unemployment benefits to help support those who can’t find work. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Grilling Edition

We’ve had our first multi-day run of nice weather here in Iowa. That means getting out the grill and enjoying grilled fish, grilled vegetables, and countless other items cooked outdoors. I don’t care what it is – the smell of cooking food is tremendously invigorating, at least for me. […]

All you need to know about saving for retirement

This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. Like many important entities – including Weird Al, the Empire State Building, and CombustionSafety.com — he’s on Twitter. […]

We’re Buying A House (Maybe)

We haven’t covered it much on Bargaineering (you might have guessed given the increased interest in credit scores), but we’re buying a new home. We submitted an offer a little while ago and after a little back and forth, it was accepted. […]

12 DIY Ideas for Creating Inexpensive Art

People get intimidated by art and I’m not sure why. I’ve always thought that art should be engaging, fun, experimental, and personal — the perfect thing to create for ourselves. Whether you’re on a budget or not, creating art can be an inexpensive and exciting way to decorate and personalize your environment. […]

Fixed or Adjustable? Choosing the Right Mortgage Loan

Part of the home buying process is choosing a mortgage. Most of us can't afford to pay cash for a home, so borrowing to complete the purchase is necessary. However, when you use a mortgage to buy your home, you have options. What you choose depends on how much you can afford each month, as well as what interest rate you want to pay, and how long you expect to be in debt with the mortgage. […]

How do you combat prom inflation?

This post is from new staff writer William Cowie. Prom inflation? There’s such a thing now? Seriously? Yep. Visa evidently thinks prom spending is significant enough that they’re spending money doing an annual survey about how much people are going to spend on proms. The 2013 report just came out a few weeks ago. What did it say? […]

Best Money Tips: Freeing Yourself From Debt

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on freeing yourself from debt, reasons to not send professional emails after dark, and renting vs. buying stuff. Top 5 Articles 10 Vital Steps to Freeing Yourself from the Burden of Debt — Cutting out luxuries is a vital step in freeing yourself from the burden of debt. […]