Philip Brewer's blog

The Limits of Small Economies

People often recommend cutting out little expenses to help get back on financial track. What's rarely mentioned is that this alone won't solve the problem.

Capital Substitutes for Labor — and Vice Versa

Retirement planning has changed a lot since the economic downturn. But the things you need to understand and do are still very simple.

The "I Knew It!" Benefit of Expense Tracking

It's worth tracking your spending because it's the only way to learn where your money is going. But it's worth doing for another reason as well.

Stockpiling Is Rarely the Answer

Stockpiling for an emergency might seem like a good (and frugal) idea. But in reality, your time and money is probably better spent.

What's a Fair Relationship Between Salary and Rent?

A recent study suggests that many workers can't afford a decent place to live. But is truth that we need to change our concept of a good standard of living?

Downside of the Rolling Jubilee

The Rolling Jubilee is a great PR move — buying, then forgiving debt from real people. But in terms of change, one writer says it might hurt more than help.

What You Pay in Time

You probably think about costs in terms of currency. Experiment with this alternative way of thinking that could change how you work and spend.

Preparing for the Fiscal Cliff

There's a good chance that the "fiscal cliff" America is about to go over will be a non-issue. But that's no reason not to do a bit of preparation.

On Problems and Opportunities

People who say, "It's not a problem; it's an opportunity" might be jerks. But they might also have a good point.

Take One More Thing Seriously

When time and money are tight, it's natural to try to narrow down what you're trying to get done. But the opposite might be what you really need.

6 Ways to Avoid Running Out of Money in Retirement

Stop worrying that you won't have enough money in retirement. Instead, follow these tips to ensure you remain financially comfortable as long as you live.

Retirement: Not Just for People?

As we get older, we try to shift the way we get money from actively working to earning money from investments. Many companies have done the same.

Savings Rates Below Inflation? Save Anyway

When savings rates are below the inflation rate, it's easy to delude yourself into thinking you shouldn't save. That's a bad idea.

Once Again Safe as Houses?

You never need to rush to buy after a housing crash — house prices will stay down for years. But is now the right time to buy?

Simple Living Through Capital

There are a lot of ways to live simply. My personal favorite is living simply through capital — and it's easier to do than you might expect.

Passing for Middle Class

Keeping up with the Joneses isn't necessary, but sometimes it can be helpful to look like you are. Here's why — and how to do it.

How to Understand and Protect Yourself From Inflation

Inflation is inevitable. What you can change, though, is how you deal with it — and these decisions can make or break your financial future.

Create Your Own Raise

If you haven't gotten a raise recently, maybe you need to create your own. Here's how.

When Avoiding Debt Is the Losing Strategy

It's almost always a good idea to stay out of debt. But sometimes, refusing to take on debt could hurt you in the long run.

Why I Hate Credit Card Points

Is racking up frequent flier miles a bad idea? Learn why one writer wants almost nothing to do with credit card rewards, unless they're cash back.