Personal Finance

Inflation is going away for a while

For a decade, starting in the mid-1990s, the Federal Reserve kept interest rates too low and expanded the money supply too quickly. Their theory was that, as long as consumer pric

9 Signs You Need to Fire Your Financial Planner

A good financial planner will guide you, step by step, through all your money goals. A bad one should be kicked to the curb.

How a $700 billion bailout became a $800 billion "rescue plan"

You might have thought that the $700 billion bailout bill seemed a bit excessive. You'll be relieved to hear that the bill that the President will sign tonight is worth a mere $800

Best Money Tips: NPR Explains Financial Mess in Terms the Average Joe Can Understand

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips roundup. This week, learn how to travel for less than you live on at home, the tricky new grocery pricing trap, 6 simple steps to create

Download the 451-page bailout proposal

Well folks, I hope you have plenty of time on your hands. The initial 3-page document that Bush and Paulson put forward has grown somewhat. It's hardly surprising, considering how

What's the big deal about banks refusing to lend?

Anybody--but especially frugal people--can be excused for thinking that the whole credit crisis thing is being overblown. After all, we get along without debt. In fact, we str

Financial Peace in Hard Times

Six months ago, I had plans. Lots of them. Career plans. Vacation plans. Financial plans. Then everything fell apart. My mother became ill. She had already been ill, having been di

Update on money fund guarantee program

The key thing to know about the Temporary Guarantee Program for Money Market Funds that the Treasury announced 10 days ago is that it only guarantees the money that you had in the

The Highest Yielding "Safe" Investment Now - Tax Exempt Money Market Funds

Last year I wrote an article about how I used my Vanguard Tax Exempt Money Market Fund as a high yield checkings account, and this week I suddenly got quite a few hits for that art

In times like these, separate the want from the need.

I remember saying to my dad, a long, long time ago, that I really needed a whole bunch of He-Man action figures for Christmas. Oh, and Battlecat, too. My dad looked at me, a hopefu

Root cause of the financial crisis

Several times recently, Treasury Secretary Paulson (and many others) have claimed that the "root cause" of the current financial crisis is "the housing correction." This is comple

Shadow Government Statistics - Is the government manipulating numbers to make the economy look better than it really is?

About a year ago I wrote an article about the Consumer Price Index that made some friends say that I am a conspiracy theorist, but apparently I am not alone in believing that the g

Rewriting the Definition of Retirement

Your life map is so clearly laid out in front of you; yet the last piece of the puzzle – retirement – is a fuzzy and often incomprehensible anomaly. With people living longer and s

Me too, Secretary Paulson!

Dear Secretary Paulson: I've looked over the fact sheet on the proposal to give the Treasury the authority to purchase "troubled assets," and although I have some doubts about th

Breathing Easy on the Financial Rollercoaster

In case you hadn't noticed, stock markets around the world have done some crazy things this week. At this point, I think we're all a little lightheaded, wondering if we should be w

Deposit insurance for money funds

Early this morning, the Treasury announced deposit insurance for money market mutual funds, provided that the fund pays a fee. The money to provide the insurance will come from th

Peak Debt

Is there a limit to how much Americans can spend? Clearly there is: All they earn, minus savings and service on their existing debt, plus new borrowing. Since the Bureau of Econ

Need a game to learn to manage your credit?

Everybody learns best in their own way. Some by reading, some by listening, some only by personal experience--and there are always a few who never learn. But, if you're one of th

The Upside of Down

As we watch the markets sink and gyrate, it's a scary time. There's talk of a major recession. While the downsides of a downturn are obvious and very real -- lost work, lost invest

Could the last person to leave America please turn out the light.

I don’t know about you, but I’m more than a little worried by recent economic events. First Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, then Lehman Brothers, and now an $85 billion loan to AIG. So

Latest Articles in Personal Finance

8 Myths About Health Savings Accounts — Debunked!

An HSA can be a great way to pay for health care, earn investment income and cut your taxes. Cut through the confusion before you jump in.

What Kind of Auto Insurance Do Uber Drivers Need?

Driving for Uber and not entirely sure you're covered? This guide will help.

What to Do If Your Balance Transfer Limit Is Too Low

A 0% balance transfer offer can be a great way to tackle high-interest credit card debt. But what if the offer doesn't cover all your debt?

8 Sacrifices That Will Supercharge Your Debt Payoff

They won't seem like sacrifices when debt is no longer hanging over your head.

6 Things You Can Negotiate When Buying a Home

Buying a house is a big deal -- and almost all of it is negotiable. Here's what else you can haggle over besides price.

What Exactly Does Trip Cancellation Insurance Cover?

Is trip interruption/cancellation insurance worth the cost? Let's find out.

How to Build Financial Stability After Divorce

Finding your financial footing after a divorce is not easy, but you can do it.

How to Make Sense of the Different Parts of Medicare

Medicare is complicated. Let's break down all its moving parts.

Ask the Readers: If You Could Retire Today — Would You?

Tell us if you would be willing to retire today and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

15 Smart Things You Can Do With Your Finances, Even if You're Broke

If money is tight, these easy, smart personal finance habits can help turn your financial life around.

4 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Past Presidents

This Presidents Day, use your long weekend to mull over some pertinent money lessons from our past presidents.

Why a Deferred Annuity May Be a Smarter Buy Than Long-Term Care Insurance

Staggering long-term care insurance costs have retirees looking to an alternative solution; the deferred annuity.

Guess What? Your Bank Rewards May be Taxable

Credit card and bank rewards may be taxable depending on how they're earned. Find out how these rewards are treated, and if you'll be on the hook for taxes.

7 Warning Signs You're In Debt Denial

Denial can really throw your life off the rails. Denying your debt can be flat-out financially disastrous.

You Got an Eviction Notice. Now What?

An eviction notice taped to the door is every renter's nightmare. Find out your options if the worst should happen.

Here's What a Balance Transfer Does to Your Credit

A balance transfer can help you pay down debt faster, but it comes with some costs, including a few you may not see.

8 Common Causes of Debt — And How to Avoid them

Millions of Americans are saddled with debt. To truly get rid of it, you need to get to the root of the problem.

What You Need to Know About Canceled Debt and Taxes

If you think debt forgiveness can make your financial liability disappear altogether, you're likely wrong.

8 Things You Should Never Hide From Your Landlord

Renting a place to live? After you sign that lease, you'll need to provide full disclosure on certain things.

6 Reasons Why Financial Planning Isn't Just for the Wealthy

Financial planning doesn't care how much money you make. You still need to do it.