Articles on Personal Finance

Chicago Wants to Keep the Change

Instead of using technology to make life easier for drivers, Chicago wants to digitally keep the change.

Better cars are not the answer

Wise Bread is an optimistic place. There are some people who can't see the congruence between optimism and frugality. I'm talking about the people who point to our progre

Don’t Cash That Insurance Check; It May Not Be Yours

Did you get an unexpected payment from your insurance company? Health insurance overpayments and mispaym

Good Debt, Bad Debt

Whether debt is good or bad depends on how you spend the money. From best to worst, here are the four categories of debt that one writer uses.

Link-Love in an Elevator

It’s time once again for another round of link love! We want to let everyone know how excited we are to see such a great response to our articl

A second emergency fund you never spend?

I ran across this idea in a book by some financial guru years ago. The book was packed with an odd mix of obvious and kooky ideas, of which this was one of the latter. For some r

Figuring the Size of Your Emergency Fund

The usual rule of thumb is 3 to 6 months' income. Of course that's silly--the size of your emergency fund needs to be based on your spending, not your income. But even 3

Socially Responsible Investing Goes Green

You drive and drink responsibly, spend your money responsibly, and act responsibly, don’t you? But do you invest responsibly? Can you invest responsibly?

5 Tips for Making Do with the Right Now

It seems easy to hold your breath and wait for situations in life to become clear, determined, and permanent. But what will you be missing in t

Personal Finance Lessons from Online Adventure Game (RuneScape)

A friend shared with me some strategies he's learned for playing RuneScape. Can these strategies be applied to personal finance? Let's see.

Book review: Retire on Less Than You Think

Halfway through Fred Brock's book Retire on Less Than You Think: The New York Times Guide to Planning Your Financial Future, I was already drafting a review that would

Reverse Mortgages: The Best Way to "Eat Your Home"?

A reverse mortgage allows a senior citizen homeowner to access the equity in their home without having to sell their house or otherwise uproot themselves unwillingly.

So You Wanna Be A Banker...

Coolmom14 is a struggling single mom asking for an $18,000 loan to pay off high interest credit cards. Craigny needs a $25,000 loan to buy a profitable coffee shop in NY. Nurse202

What did your parents teach you about money?

Ask the readers: What did your parents teach you about money? Did they give you words of wisdom or did they teach you by example? How did their views affect your perception of fin

Creating an artificial windfall generator

Everybody enjoys getting a windfall. One of the attractions of the lottery (besides the infinitesimal chance that you might win a life-changingly huge amount) is that the smaller

The Frugal Balance: Staying Away from Financial Extremes

One of the most underrated financial x-factors in our lives is our relationship with money and the inner psychology of how we deal with our finances. I suspect that it is bec

Huge Tax-Free Investment Returns

The fact is, you can pretty easily get 30% or more on investments that are not only very safe but come with built-in inflation protection. But don't get too excited.

Five Easy Steps to Keeping Track of Expenses for the Self-Employed

I have had as many as five separate businesses at once to keep track of, including proper accounting of expenses for tax purposes. And it takes me no more than 5 minutes per wee

The Retirement Latte

My introduction to David Bach was when I saw him speak at a financial conference a few years ago. He told an interesting story about a couple who came in for a consultation with hi

It's all your money

Sometimes you get a windfall--a bonus, an award or reward, a gift, a long-forgotten loan unexpectedly repaid. When that happens to you, do you use the money to make a special purc