Articles on Personal Finance

Choosing Life Insurance: Term or Permanent?

What is better: buying life insurance at a low price that lasts for a certain term (typically, the income-generating part of the insured’s life) or purchasing a whole life policy f

Debt repayment is not an expense

Over and over again, in budgeting articles and even books on personal finance, I see sample budgets that include debt repayment as if it were an expense. This shows a fundamental

6 Steps to Eliminating Your Debt Painlessly

Eliminating Debt Painlessly. Rarely do you see these words fit together in a neat little sentence. The very act of putting your hard earned money towards the stack of debts you've

Federal Reserve cuts the discount rate

In response to the recent credit squeeze, the Federal Reserve did something unusual: they cut the discount rate without cutting the federal funds rate. The federal funds rate is the rate at which banks lend to one another. [more]

The false goal of maximizing investment returns

Along about the middle of the dot-com boom--when the market had already had two years of 20% annual gains--I read an article that suggested that individual investors had no need of a cash reserve, because they could use credit cards in an emergency. [more]

How to Erase Your Medical Debt

As most of you know, the cost of healthcare in the United States is outrageous! (Sicko, anyone?) For those lucky enough to have good medical insurance, an illness or an injury does not become a financial burden. [more]

Your 401(k) is not an investment

Your 401(k) is not an investment. Neither is your IRA. Those are legal compartments for holding investments. Your investments are the mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and so on that you've bought. [more]

What's Faster for Mortgage Payoff: $100/Month Extra or 1 Payment/Year Extra?

Is it better to pay $100 per month extra on your mortgage or make an extra payment at the end of each year? It depends on your loan balance and interest rate.

Laws the Leg-Breakers Don’t Want You to Know About

Gone are the days when debt collectors only hassled the lazy, financially inept, or the completely downtrodden and hopelessly unlucky. [more]

Lovely Links from All Over the Web

Just when you thought we couldn’t get anymore love from other blogs, Wisebread is thrilled to be mentioned by some very kind folks from around the web. [more]

Credit squeeze (formerly know as a panic)

There used to be a particular financial event called a panic. [more]

Jettison the Junk: Why Clutter Clouds Your Mind and Saps Your Energy

A life cluttered with junk not only takes up space — it can take your energy, too.

High tech for mass transit

The local bus company where I live has started providing a bunch of high-tech aids to riders. The coolest one is sophisticated trip planning. In a web browser, enter your starting point, desired destination, and departure time. [more]

Personal Financial Advisors awaiting your call

Financial advice is everywhere (even here at www.wisebread.com) from the bank teller to a wealth manager who wants to dispense planning advice, manage your investment portfolio, an

Opting out of the money economy

It's a quirk of mine that I've always found the idea of opting out of the money economy to be interesting.

My car payments are too much! What should I do?

Last August, I decided to purchase my first new car ever. I had only ever owned used (and entirely paid-for) vehicles prior to this. I researched the type of car that I wanted and

Plan for expensive fuel

Does your budget include a contingency for fuel to get much more expensive? Because it ought to. I learned about the need for contingencies early. [more]

Book review: Your Money or Your Life

This book is one of the classics of modern frugality, and it's been a source of some controversy. At the bottom, though, its message is a simple one: Pay attention. Pay attention t

Start with recurring monthly expenses

I tend to divide spending up into four categories. [more]

Stopping the Student-Loan Debt Stress

Is your student-loan debt causing stress, influencing you to make financial decisions that are not necessarily in your best long-term interests, and delaying your entry into what your parents may perceive as adulthood? If so, you aren’t alone. [more]