Defining Frugality Through Life’s Other Resources

Yesterday, to start off the reader mailbag, I offered up this little riff: When I was younger, the idea of paying for a service to do an ordinary household task for you seemed silly. Why would I ever pay for someone to wash my laundry or do the dishes? […]

Ask the Readers: How Does Your Family Prepare for the Holidays?

If your family celebrates any of the winter holidays, then you probably know all about the and bustle of decorating your home, getting gifts for friends and family, and planning a meal for kith and kin. Some families prefer to keep it low-key, and other families like to go all out. How does your... […]

5 Things to Know Before Adding Someone to the Deed

Sharing is caring — at least that's what has been drilled into our minds. And for the most part, it's true. However, if you're contemplating making the ultimate step in sharing — adding someone to the deed on your home — it's a good idea to consider the consequences. It's... […]

Questions About Energy Drinks, Balance Transfers, I-Bonds, and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Squeezing Generation X 2. Replacing energy drinks 3. Balance transfer catch 4. Help breaking down a goal 5. I-bonds for emergency fund? 6. Sharing financial specifics with kids 7. Warm blanket recommendations 8. […]

Fed Meeting Preview: How to Take Advantage of Rising Interest Rates

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) holds its last meeting of the year on December 18-19, and the general expectation is that it will raise interest rates by 0.25%. If that happens, it will continue a steady rise over the past three years that has seen interest rates increase from near 0% to the expected new benchmark rate of 2.25% to 2.5%. So, how would such an increase affect your personal […]

Three Reasons to Love and Hate a 15-Year Mortgage

The following is a guest post from Stephen from The Fire Lane. Interest rates are rising. At the end of 2018, it is still a good time to refinance for many. […]

Defining Goals for the Coming Year (and Reflecting on the Past Year)

In the past, I wrote a post in December each year evaluating the successes and failures of the previous year and establishing some goals for the coming year. […]

Who Has the Best Deals on Holiday Lights: Target, Home Depot, or Sam’s Club?

Holiday shopping wisdom says you should wait until after Christmas to buy Christmas lights, which is 100 percent true if your sole focus is on price. However, as my wife and I discover every year, that’s a great way to limit your selection to nearly nothing. Christmas lights are about the only reason I’ll venture out to stores on Black Friday or Thanksgiving weekend. […]

Keeping Down with the Joneses

Sarah and I live in an area where most of the homes near ours are similar to our own and most of the families near us have a similar level of income and external signs of spending. This isn’t a particularly bad thing, but it’s not a particularly good thing, either. […]

Questions First-Time Homebuyers Should Ask: Highlights from Our Chat With Ilyce Glink

Ilyce Glink joined us for our #WBChat on December 6th to share insights on questions first-time homebuyers should ask. Our #ThinkGlink #WBChat featured wonderful tips and Ilyce's expertise helped our chatters learn more about questions first-time homebuyers should ask. In total we had 72... […]

The Psychology of Human Misjudgment

Recently, I came across a wonderful 1995 speech by Charlie Munger to an audience at Harvard University, and I wanted to share it with you along with some of my thoughts on it. A lot of thoughts, actually. […]

The perfect gift is cheap and easy

If you're panicked because you still haven't thought of the perfect gift for the people on your Nice List, you'll be relieved to know you don't need to spend as much time as you might think looking for something thoughtful. You also don't need to run up your credit card bill. Why? […]

Money and Life Lessons from a Major Earthquake

While talking on the phone with my daughter last Friday, I heard an unearthly roar and felt the house begin to shake violently. It was the start of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake, which was quickly followed by a second temblor measuring 5.8. The epicenter was about eight miles northwest of my home in Anchorage, Alaska, but it felt as though it were directly under my feet. […]

5 Things Keeping You From a Life of Financial Independence

Financial independence can mean different things to everyone. A 2013 survey from Capital One 360 found that 44 percent of American adults feel that financial independence means not having any debt, 26 percent said it means having an emergency savings fund, and 10 percent link financial independence... […]

Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 12/6 at 12pm PST/3pm EST for a Chance to Win $100 in Prizes!

Join our Tweetchat Thursday, December 6th at 12pm PST/ 3pm EST for lively conversation and a chance to win one of two $50 gift cards, or one of two Kindle copies of 100 Questions Every First-Time Homebuyers Should Ask! Use #WBChat and #ThinkGlink to participate. This week's topic: Questions... […]

Life Stability and Financial Choices

Personal finance is often a “numbers game.” A person can sit down with a calculator and a piece of paper or with a spreadsheet and go through countless models and ideas about their financial future and, for the vast majority of those ideas, come up with some reasonable conclusions. For example, if you’re paying off debts, you’re always going to end up paying the least total amount overall if you […]

When Should You Take a Buyout Offer?

At the end of October, General Motors offered buyouts to all salaried workers in North America with at least 12 years of service, while acknowledging that if too few employees accepted the offer, layoffs might be necessary. […]

5 Ways Gig Economy Workers Can Save for Retirement

We are in the midst of a major economic shift. While workers in the past could expect to keep a stable job with a traditional employer for decades, workers of today have found they must either cobble together a career from a variety of gigs, or supplement a lackluster salary from a traditional job... […]

Frugal Gift Ideas for This Holiday Season

It’s early December, and that means my mailbox is full of requests from readers for frugal gift ideas for the holidays, both in terms of inexpensive gifts that will be appreciated and gifts to give a frugal person. I usually address this question in some form or another each holiday season, but I update the ideas each year because I discover new things and older ideas tend to fall out of date, tho […]