Philip Brewer's blog

The Best Way to Avoid the Worst Financial Problems

Simple living should be about enjoying the good stuff. So, rather than go into a bunch of things you can do to head off possible problems, I'm going to give you just one tool for a

Living Cheaply for the Long Term

Frugality sites are full of advice for cutting your expenses right away. Living cheaply for the long term is different. Call it "strategic frugality."

Find Your Passion

Some people really don't know what they want to do. Here on some ideas on finding out.

Urgent: Check Your Withholdings

Your paycheck has probably been bigger this year because the government stimulus package to cut the amount of tax withheld from people who were expected to get the new "Making Work

Does More Detergent Make for More Clean?

There's an easier way to save money on cleaning supplies than making your own: Use less.

Dream Job or Day Job?

Most people I know have a frustrated passion. There's something they'd rather do a lot more of, but making a living gets in the way. Some people simply accept that their passion wi

Coming Soon: Good Times for Temp Workers

During a recession is the worst time to be a temp -- whatever work companies have will go to employees, as a way to avoid having to lay them off. Another bad time is middle of a re

Resources for Freelancers

Changes in the economy have pushed more and more people into part-time, temporary, and freelance work, as more and more companies cut back on traditional, long-term, full-time empl

Savings Bonds as Interest-Earning Travelers Checks

Remember travelers checks? In the days before ubiquitous automated teller machines, they were a useful product. You could use them almost like cash -- but you could carry more than

Can You Buy Your Way Out of the Rat Race?

If you're tracking your spending, you know how much money it takes to live on. If you're tracking your investments, you know about how much return you're getting from your capital.

A Society of Fear

Society has been organized to make the wage slave/debt slave trap the default path for almost everyone.

Who has the time (or money) for deals?

I pay almost no attention to "deals" sites. I scarcely even read the lists of deals here on Wise Bread. There are several reasons, but they pretty much come down to two things: I d

Don't Go to College to Learn

There are good reasons to go to college. And, if you do go to college, you will no doubt learn a lot. But you can learn anywhere — and probably learn more, better, and fast

5 Ways to Live Better Without Spending More

The most simple-minded measure of your standard of living is how much money you spend: spending more equals living better. Reality is more complex. There are a lot of ways to li

Don't Despair Over Small Retirement Savings

If you quit checking your 401(k) balance last year, because the market crash made it too depressing, now might be a good time to take a fresh look. It'll still be well down from t

Reject Variable Terms and Conditions

Ordinary business transactions used to be governed by long-standing laws and customs that had been developed to make them fair to both sides. Over the last fifty years or so--basic

Learn good financial habits from your parents. Or not.

One of the big advantages that children of the middle-class and wealthy have is that they grow up in a household where a huge amount of financial knowledge is embedded in its day-t

Avoid Bank Fees

How do you avoid bank fees? Read the stuff from your bank and understand what services are free and what services aren't.

Thrive as a Starving Writer--Lessons from the Experts

The web is full of advice for starving writers. And why not? Any writer has heard the advice "Write what you know," and one thing many writers know is about being a starving writer

The Many Reasons to Make Do with Less

Why would someone choose to have less than they could? Lots of reasons. There are as many ways to live large as there are people who refuse to think small. Over the time I've be