Philip Brewer's blog

Take an Imaginary Do-Over

When it comes to defining what you really need and want in life, it can help to imagine having nothing at all.

How to Not Be a Wage Slave

Many of us make decisions that tie us to our jobs. But, one author argues, if we make the right choices, that's not the way it has to be.

Lifestyle Upgrades: Beware the Diderot Effect

Upgrading one thing doesn't mean you need to upgrade another and another — although it can feel that way. And there's a name for that — the Diderot Effect.

How to Not Be a Debt Slave

Getting into debt is easy — even recommended. Getting out of it — or avoiding it — is much more difficult. But it can be done.

Voluntary Slavery

Discover one writer's take on why the "voluntary slavery" of our personal financial situations can keep us from acting in our best interest.

Foraging: Not Insane, Useless, or Impossible

Foraging isn't necessarily a practical way to feed yourself — but it's a great way to ensure you're eating well. Learn why.

The Freedom of the Independent Yeoman

The financial crisis has given rise to renewed interest in self-sufficiency, which means we can learn a lot from the yeomen who used to populate the U.S.

Put Off Saving for Retirement

With this plan, your retirement will be just as secure, and your first few years will be a lot more comfortable.

Abandon Losing Strategies

We're always told to keep going until we make it. But the truth is that sometimes, giving up is the right move. Learn why.

The Psychology of Cash Flow

Money flows in and out of your life. To keep a good handle on it, you not only need to get a good handle on your budget, but also on your mind.

Escape Student Loan Debt — Slowly

If you have student loan debt you think you'll never be able to pay off, new rules might help substantially ease your burden.

Why Inflation?

We know how inflation happens—excess growth in the money supply. But why does inflation happen?

Occupy Wall Street, the 99%, and All That

Some say that the Occupy Wall Street movement lacks a clear message. But to one writer, what they're saying is perfectly clear.

Avoiding the Poverty Tax

Simply being poor can add to a family's cost of living. But the solution isn't necessarily increasing wealth...it's improving skills.

4 Ways to Beat Debit Card Fees

Big banks are beginning to institute monthly fees for using their debit cards. Thankfully, there are several ways to avoid paying out. Find out how.

Social Security Is Not a Ponzi Scheme

Once again, people are comparing Social Security to a Ponzi scheme. That's a bogus comparison. Here's why.

Less or Cheaper?

It's always worth investigating cheap alternatives, but if you really want to enjoy something, sometimes it's better to just use less of your first choice.

Stay in School until the Job Market Improves?

For decades it's been a common strategy that's worked out pretty well. This time, it's not looking like such a good idea.

Debt Ceiling Contingency Plans

What will the Treasury do if there's no increase in the debt ceiling, and what should you do with your investments?

Understanding the Gold Standard

The gold standard was used to define currency since Roman times. Discover how it worked, why it doesn't anymore, and how it affects our finances today.