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 (page 167)

Pay Off Debt or Invest?

The other day, Matt Jabs asked if you should invest while you’re in debt. This is an interesting question, and one I thought worthy of tackling myself. Penny wise, pound foolish For starters, you probably shouldn’t be investing while in debt unless you can reasonably expect to outperform the interest rates that you’re paying. […]

Top Five Time-Wasting Activities

Time = Money… …so if you’re wasting time, you’re wasting money. Keep this old adage in mind as you read through this article. “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. […]

FDIC Insurance Coverage: Is Your Money Safe?

I’ve written in the past about the importance of banking only with FDIC-insured institutions (or NCUA-insured credit unions), and also of respecting the FDIC insurance limits. That’s all well and good, but… Is the FDIC running out of money? If you’ve been following the financial news over the past day or so, you’re likely aware that the FDIC insurance fund is running low. […]

Qualifying for a Mortgage

With the $8,000 first-time homeowner’s tax credit deadline approaching, many people are still trying to get in on the deal. If you’re in this boat, don’t assume that just having a down payment is enough (even though it’s a big help). Applying for a mortgage involves a thorough check into your finances to see if you really qualify for a mortgage loan. […]

Dealing With a Collection Agency

A reader that I’ll call Mary recently wrote in with the following question about dealing with a collection agency: We were in a horrible car accident last year and our car insurance just now paid the car towing company. This company turned our bill over to collection agency which listed this on our credit report. Now… Who does what? […]

Weekly Roundup – Cold Water Edition

About three weeks ago, our hot water heater tripped the circuit breaker. In the time since then, it’s become clear that it’s in need of serious help. While we could’ve had it repaired, we decided to go ahead and replace it. Unfortunately, the unit that we want had to be ordered, so we’ll be without hot water for the better part of this week. […]

Lending Club – August 2009 Performance

As August came to a close, I was enjoying a 12.40% net annualized return with Lending Club. Throughout the month, I focused on expanding my holdings beyond my original “High Risk” and “Low Risk” test portfolios. In addition to those two portfolios, each of which has 20 loans, I’ve created an “Ongoing” portfolio with an additional 79 loans. […]

Avoid Overdraft Fees With a “Balance Buffer”

As a followup to my recent post on the dark side of debit cards, I wanted to highlight a simple strategy for avoiding those nasty $30+ overdraft fees… Instead of letting your account balance run down near zero, create a “virtual zero” by depositing what might be referred to as a “balance buffer” of (say) an extra $100 or $500 in your account. […]

Why Do You Want To Be Debt Free?

Have you noticed the increased buzz about “becoming debt free” lately? Everywhere we turn, more and more people are talking about clipping coupons, cutting expenses, building emergency funds, etc. This has been especially true over the last year or so. Why all the hype? […]

How Automation has Helped Me Reduce Debt and Save

Readers often e-mail me for tips on how to keep their finances manageable. There are so many options out there that it can be overwhelming. I was speaking with my mom about this some time ago, and she felt the same way. My mom has been responsible with her money, but she felt that she could be doing better. […]