May 2013

Average Tax Refunds

The Wall Street Journal lists the average tax refund as follows: Income: $25k-50k; Average Refund: $2,774 Income: $50k-75k; Average Refund: $3,051 Income: $75k-100k; Average Refund: $3,657 Income: $100k-200k; Average Refund: $4,704 I'm wondering if these are too high or not. On one hand, it seems like a lot of money that's "loaned" to the federal government each year. […]

Building a Healthier “Flexible Casserole Recipe”

Five years ago, I wrote an article about the “flexible casserole recipe” that I found in the wonderful book Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. In my original article, I lauded the flexible recipe as it enabled people to easily fit whatever ingredients were on sale into a simple casserole that would work for dinner. […]

5 Signs Your Dream Job is Actually a Scam

One of the great things about technology is that you have the opportunity to make money in new and different ways. You can even find work at home jobs that pay reasonably well. At the very least, you can start a home business as a freelancer, or doing some other type of work. Since the dream of working from home is so strong, you need to watch out for scams. […]

Banks Borrow Money at Low Rates, Why Can’t Students?

Senator Elizabeth Warren, the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, introduced a bill in Congress to give student borrowers a break. […]

Spending Money on “Someday”

In my closet, I have every issue of MAKE Magazine ever produced. I really enjoy reading issues of MAKE. […]

How to Attend Commencement at a University You’ve Never Been To

I was watching CNN’s list of the big-name college commencement speakers and saw that there were a few names on that list I’d love to see. Bill Cosby is delivering the commencement speech at the University of Baltimore on May 21st. President Obama is speaking at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis on May 24th. And Cal Ripken Jr. […]

Couples and money: Lessons from The Queen of Versailles

This post is from staff writer April Dykman. I recently got sick for the first time in almost a decade, and was bed/couch-ridden for a good four days. Since I had some time on my hands, I was able to watch a few documentaries on my Netflix queue. One of those was The Queen of Versailles, a film that will make your jaw drop like an episode of Hoarders. […]

Ask the Readers: Do You Grow Your Own Food?

Growing your own food can be a very rewarding activity in many ways, from watching the fruits of your labor grow day by day to enjoying the actual fruits (and vegetables!) harvested fresh from your garden. […]

13 Ideas for Entertaining on a Budget

Hosting a party at your home doesn't always have to drain your wallet — you can be a hostess with the mostest on a littlest budget. The main thing you have to keep in mind is to focus on the experience. If the activity is fun enough, then there's no need for expensive decor and fancy appetizers. (RELATED: 22 Cheap Ways to Treat Yourself) 1. […]

Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping "What Do You Do?"

A few years ago I sat down to dinner with a new acquaintance while I was visiting Sweden. But the conversation was unlike any other first encounter I'd ever had, and it has changed the nature of "cocktail chat" for me ever since. (See also: 7 Ways to Be the Life of Every Party) I'm not sure what inspired me. […]

Best Money Tips: Dinner Recipes for $2 or Less

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on dinner recipes for $2 or less, where spending money could save you money, and resume red flags to avoid. Top 5 Articles 10 Tasty Dinner Recipes For $2 or Less — Fish in a packet or broccoli soup are just a couple dinner recipes you can make for $2 or less! […]

Why You Should Never Buy Souvenirs

Tourism is a multibillion-dollar industry and souvenir sales make up a significant portion of that pie. If you’ve traveled at all, you’ve likely noticed gift stores on almost every corner in high-traffic, touristy areas and smaller vendors in less-traveled areas that welcome out of town visitors. […]

Help a Reader: Anniversary Challenge

Here's an email I recently received from a reader: I am writing you with a simple example of a goal but also a challenge for suggestions. As a long time reader of FMF I now believe in setting a goal. (Thank you, FMF) This goal is to do something for our 25th wedding anniversary. In June we will celebrate our 23 wedding anniversary. Friend's of ours will be celebrating their 25th this year. […]

Personal Finance “Experiences” for Older Kids

One of the most powerful things I’ve learned over the last few years is that older children and teenagers often learn the most powerful life lessons from experiences they can directly relate to. The problem is that personal finance isn’t often directly relatable to their life. […]

Should You Continue Your Education with an Online Degree?

There is a battle raging right now about the usefulness of a graduate degree, or even of any college degree at all. Joining the fray right now is the online degree space. A number of colleges and universities offer online degree programs, and there are online schools completely in the Internet education space. […]

The Great Gatsby Backlash

I’m looking forward to seeing Baz Luhrmann’s new film treatment of The Great Gatsby. The book, of course, is a seminal piece of American literature, and the new movie is yet another in a long line of interpretations. I like the director’s previous works, and I expect I’ll enjoy the new film. I read The Great Gatsby only once, and it was a long time ago. […]

Reader Mailbag: Child Grooming

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. Quality of life in retirement 2. Angry relatives over estate 3. Credit score challenges 4. Neighborhood culture shock 5. Odd bank behavior 6. Pyramid scheme addict 7. Loan payments and emergency funds 8. Trusting Wikipedia 9. […]

The Secret to Making a Suit Last Forever

Back when I worked as a consultant in the defense industry, I was expected to wear a suit every single day into work. I was fortunate in that I had just made a trip to China and came back with five suits (at around $80 a piece – they were very nice quality too) so I was well equipped to wear one every single day. […]

Decrease your budget’s bite by saving money on meat

This post is from staff writer Lisa Aberle. J.D. has already covered ways to save money on food. But this time, I wanted to focus on animal protein. According to a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, meat makes up over 22 percent of our at-home food (not out-to-eat or alcohol) budget. Obviously, you can cut your food budget by decreasing your meat consumption. […]

Pump Up the Jam: 7 Sassy Uses for Preserves

Jam can be used to create sophisticated dishes and foodie treats very frugally. Its versatility will surprise you. […]