The “Free” Pen Problem

Recently, my family and I attended the Iowa State Fair, as is something of an annual tradition for us. […]

Product Recommendations, Requested By Readers

One of the most common types of questions I get from readers for the Reader Mailbag is product recommendations. […]

Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 8/22, 12pm Pacific for a Chance to Win Prizes

Join our Tweetchat this Thursday at 12:00 pm Pacific for lively conversation and a chance to win one of two $10 Amazon GCs! Use #WBChat to participate. This week's topic: Saving on School Expenses! Learn about saving on clothes, supplies, extracurriculars, and more! Let us know if you have... […]

Nine Frugal Tips I’ve Passed Along While Teaching My Kids Life Skills

One of the biggest subtle themes of this summer has been teaching our children a number of life skills and encouraging them to practice them. […]

How couples can create a shared plan for the future

J.D.'s Intro Last December, I took a trip to Europe with my cousin Duane. Before I left, I received email from a GRS reader named Matthias. “If you come through Switzerland, let me know,” he said. The stars aligned so that Matt was able to join us for several hours on a train across the Alps. He brought Swiss chocolate and a bottle of whisky. […]

Financial Struggle and Human Instinct

Maria writes in with a great question: I don’t understand why it is so hard to get ahead financially. We live in the most productive and prosperous era in human history. Why are almost all Americans living paycheck to paycheck? […]

Ask the Readers: What Are Your Best Back-to-School Tips?

Back-to-school season is a busy time for many families, especially those with multiple school-aged kids. And if you need to buy supplies, sports gear, or new clothes, it can get really expensive, too! What are your best back-to-school tips? What strategies do you use to save money on school... […]

3 Tips to Get a Bigger Kick out of Your Rewards Programs

Link for teaser title: 66% of Americans don't have a good rewards strategy. Learn how to... […]

Lemonade Insurance 2019: Home & Renters

Find the Best Renter Insurance Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate. Lemonade offers both homeowners and renter’s insurance on a peer-to-peer platform that relies on technology to underwrite insurance policies and make claims decisioning. Lemonade uses artificial intelligence (AI) to make the fastes […]

Questions About 529 ABLE, Reusable Food Storage, Pizza Delivery, 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. Frustrated about financial future 2. Rolling over 401(k) 3. Closing out old checking account 4. Reusable food storage, not glass 5. Family fight over estate planning 6. Simple little pizza tip 7. […]

Which financial advice should you trust?

Commenting on a recent article, Carmine Red asked an excellent question: How do you evaluate the financial advice you get from other sources? Specifically, how do you decide if some piece of advice is for you, or if you should discard some adjacent advice. […]

Using Serendipity to Maximize Frugality

There’s nothing better than an unexpected positive event happening purely by chance. What’s even better? Serendipity when the price tag is very small or nonexistent, or when you’re able to multiply the value of your dollar enormously. The challenge, of course, is to put yourself in situations where serendipity is likely to occur without inherently having to spend a lot of money. […]

The best investing apps for 2019

J.D.'s note: This article marks the GRS debut for my business partner, Tom Drake. […]

Handling Melancholy Without Buying Stuff

Like a lot of people, I sometimes fall into periods of melancholy. I don’t view it as anything like actual depression, which is a serious mental health condition that deserves proper treatment by professionals, but it’s a sense of feeling sad about my life. […]

Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 8/15, 12pm Pacific for a Chance to Win Prizes

Join our Tweetchat this Thursday at 12:00 pm Pacific for lively conversation and a chance to win one of two $10 Amazon GCs! Use #WBChat to participate. This week's topic: Date Night on a Budget! Learn about saving on activities, food, fun activities, childcare, and more! Let us know when the... […]

Our True Taxes

[T]he taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. […]

More money, less happiness: When money makes you miserable

Money, the conventional wisdom says, doesn't buy happiness. Modern psychology seems to back this up, with studies suggesting that beyond an income of $75,000, money doesn't make you any happier. This conclusion is simultaneously obvious and counter-intuitive. As an abstract principle, most us acknowledge that money doesn't buy happiness. […]

A Tale of Five Lamps

A few weeks ago, the desk lamp I use at my standing desk went on the fritz. I thought at first that it was just a bad light bulb, but I quickly figured out that there was something fundamentally wrong with the lamp. At that point, I had some decisions to make. I could spend some time taking the lamp apart, figuring out what was wrong with it internally, and attempting to fix it. […]

Ask the Readers: What's the Most Extreme Thing You've Done to Save Money?

Tried-and-true tips for saving money, like meal planning and carpooling, really work. But when you've scrimped and saved in the obvious places and your budget is still coming up short, it's time to get creative. What's the most extreme thing you've done to save money? How much money did you end up... […]