Case study: Starting with less than zero

I am not a trained financial expert. I’m not an accountant, I’m not a financial planner, and I’m not a stock broker. What’s more, I’ve made many many money mistakes on my own financial journey. […]

Questions About Fast Food, Difficult Workplaces, Smoking, Refurbished Items, 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. Difficult workplace 2. Capital One 360 overseas 3. Handling fast food cravings 4. Car total cost of ownership 5. Bicycle for groceries? 6. Overpaid for consulting work 7. Wife’s smoking habit breaking us 8. […]

529 Plans vs. Brokerage Accounts for College Savings

Saving for college is a daunting task. It’s hard enough to find room in your budget for contributions on top of your other financial responsibilities, and when you combine that with the fact that college tuition has been steadily rising over the past 30 years, it might feel like sending your child to college is an impossible goal. And while you shouldn’t stress too much about saving for college, y […]

How to Find Free Campsites in the U.S.

Camping is generally considered one of the cheapest ways to vacation, but many private campsites these days charge pretty hefty fees. The price of setting up tent in an established campsite can add up quickly and turn a budget getaway into a bank breaker. Modern campsites can also feel a little... […]

A short conversation with Jillian from Montana Money Adventures

As I mentioned yesterday, Get Rich Slowly is making the leap to video. It’s a brave new world! I’ve been skeptical about this for a long time, but one of the things that convinced me to give it a try was an interview I did with my pal Jillian (from Montana Money Adventures) a couple of months ago. For those unfamiliar, Jillian Johnsrud (and her husband Adam) are from Kalispell, Montana. […]

Kids or Not, It Can Pay to Do Some Back to School Shopping for Yourself

Back to school shopping doesn’t have to be just for parents or kids. For the last few years, I’ve covered back to school shopping for, and while I was neither in school nor sending a child off to one, I can almost recite by heart the list of items that get discounted around this time each year. […]

12+ ways to save money eating out

Eating at home is one of the surer ways to save money, but you can save money eating out, too. Here are a few ways to do it … 1. Order water instead of soda Order water. Once in a while, we'll get a special drink, but more often than not we just get water because it's free. […]

Get Rich Slowly enters the video age (and a small request for help)

Slowly but surely, GRS is entering the modern era. It’s taken nearly a year, but the site redesign is nearing completion. I don’t want to get your expectations too high for what’s coming — this is just a blog, after all — but I think the new layout is an improvement. It certainly helps organize things better! […]

How Does a Target Retirement Fund Actually Work?

Tim writes in: Question for the Mailbag: how exactly does a target retirement fund actually work? Every time I read about it it makes less sense. This did start off as a question in the mailbag, but the answer became so long that it seemed sensible to give Tim’s question its own article. Let’s start off talking about risk and reward. There are a ton of different investment options out there. […]

7 Financial Steps to Take in Your 20s That Will Safeguard Your Future

You're in your 20s and hustling to make ends meet is second nature to you. And you're young, so why bother putting any of that money aside for a rainy day, right? Wrong. Now is the perfect time to start building your financial future, and you don't need much money to do so. The money moves you make... […]

Building Workplace Relationships in a Difficult Environment

Tanya writes in: I started a new job on June 1. I work in an office setting with 20-25 other people. In the year or so before I started, there was a big “conflict” where a poisonous former employee kind of dismantled the office culture and got everyone to split into factions and many of the people in the office wound up not on speaking terms. […]

Handling Insurance on an Old or Historic Home

Insuring an older or even historic home is a profoundly annoying task up to the point that you need that insurance. I live on a two-acre farm that dates back to 1851 and still includes a chicken coop, goat shed, potting shed, potato shed, smokehouse, outhouse, well house, detached garage, and 5,000-square-foot German-style barn. […]

5 Ways to Get Through Airport Security Faster

Airport security is the bane of travelers everywhere. What should be a matter of keeping us safe has often devolved into waiting in lines that can take hours to get through. It's easy to give up and conclude that there’s nothing you can do about it, but that’s where you’d be... […]

Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 8/16, 12pm PST/3pm EST for a Chance to Win $300 in Prizes!

Join our Tweetchat on Thursday, 8/16 at 12pm PST/ 3pm EST for lively conversation and a chance to win a $200 gift card or one of two $50 gift cards! Use #WBChat and #AmericaValuesCollege to participate. This week's topic: How America Values College! Learn about what steps families can take to make... […]

Are you a shopaholic? How to fight a shopping addiction

Yesterday, I mentioned that because I grew up poor, I inherited a faulty money blueprint from my parents. They didn’t know how to handle money effectively, so they couldn’t teach me how to handle it effectively. I entered adulthood with many of the same bad habits they’d had when I was a kid. I was a compulsive spender, for instance. I had a shopping addiction. […]

The Virtues of a Cheap Wedding

Several readers over the past week have shared a very interesting research article from Andrew Francis-Tan of NUS and Hugo Mialon of Emory University entitled ‘A Diamond is Forever’ and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration, which seems to have received some media coverage recently. […]

Beam Review: Can You Really Earn Up to 4% With This Savings Account?

The average savings account paid out a measly 0.08% in interest as of August 2018, according to the FDIC. That rate isn’t enough to help you build real wealth; it’s not even enough to keep up with inflation. […]

5 Websites to Book Cheaper Travel Packages

If you think all travel booking sites are the same, and they offer indistinguishable packages at identical prices — think again. While many of them appear similar and offer comparable deals, they each have subtle differences that provide benefits. Which one is right for you will largely... […]

What the marshmallow test can teach us about money

By now, you’ve probably heard of the famous Stanford marshmallow experiment. Most folks are familiar with this fifty-year-old study and its conclusions. In case this is the first you’ve learned of it, however, I’ll give a quick review. During the late 1960s, psychologist Walter Mischel tested the willpower of young children (roughly four years old). […]