Five Cent Nickel

Written by a man who has been meticulously recording his finances since 1997 (stored in Quicken), Five Cent Nickel is one of the oldest and most respected blogs around. This blog often provides great commentary on—and summaries of—useful financial tips featured by other publications. If you’re too lazy to read every little money article out there, just stop by Five Cent Nickel and get the cream of the crop.

Latest Posts from Five Cent Nickel

Money worries and woodpeckers

I suppose it is bound to happen if you live in a wooden house in a semi-rural area. Our house has become besieged by woodpeckers. The insistent, get-you-up-out-of-bed nagging of their rapping on the walls reminds me of the inescapable angst of having money worries. The problem is, I know what to do about financial doubts. Woodpeckers are another matter. Whose house is this anyway? […]

Depending on stock returns to fund your retirement? Think again

How worried should I be? That’s a question financial people get a lot when the market is as unstable as it has been over the past several weeks. Actually, it’s a question we ask ourselves in those environments. Having both asked and answered that question several times recently, let me share some of the answers I’ve come up with. Down 500 points? No big deal. […]

The hidden costs of bad credit

The worst thing about bad credit isn’t being turned down for a loan or a new credit card. After all, there are worse things than not being able to borrow. The bigger problem with bad credit is that it can cost you money in a number of ways, and that added cost makes it easy for small money problems to become big money problems. […]

7 bad things about low interest rates

If you have been able to buy a house or refinance a mortgage in recent years, then congratulations. You have been a beneficiary of the Fed’s extraordinary effort to keep interest rates low. For many others though, monetary policy hasn’t been so favorable — in fact, it has cost them dearly. […]

8 questions to ask before lending money to friends

It’s one of the most awkward questions a friend can ask you: “Will you lend me some money?” Awkward for your friend to have to ask, and awkward for you to have to answer. Saying “no” could adversely affect your friendship. However, saying “yes” could also put a strain on your friendship, and your finances. […]

6 reasons to overcome a fear of plastic

As I was coming of age, I became aware of too many examples of people who had gotten into trouble with credit card debt. It made me avoid getting a credit card for several years. Eventually, though, I overcame my fear of plastic, and realized it is the user and not the card that should be in control. A healthy concern about credit card use is not misplaced. […]

“Frugal” is not a dirty word

My wife and I were talking recently about a June 5, 2015, New York Times article that described the lifestyle of “Millionaires Who Are Frugal When They Don’t Have to Be.” It got me thinking about the word “frugal.” It will probably never be a sexy concept, but neither does it have to seem like a dirty word. […]

7 financial lessons recent college grads still need

Around this time of the year, new college graduates are leaving their schools with a wealth of knowledge. At the end of their four (or six, or eight…) years of college, graduates have typically tackled a wide range of academic subjects, often with an impressive degree of complexity. […]

Is the tide turning for savings accounts?

On the surface, savings account rates seem to be stuck in the same rut they have been in for the last couple years; but if you look a little closer, there are some isolated developments that could start to put the interest back in savings account interest rates. […]

How to play retirement catch-up

I told the story elsewhere of how my wife and I woke up in our late 40s to the fact that our investment cupboard was bare. We were not alone, millions of Americans in their 40s or 50s don’t have nearly enough money saved to retire. So what can you do if you find yourself in that position? […]