The Minimal Day: Rethinking the Little Things You Do Every Day

As I see it, there are two different modes of frugality. One mode is the big action, the one where you do one thing and it saves you a lot of money going forward. I’m talking about things like cancelling a bill or moving to a more cost-effective place to live or making a big energy improvement to your home or switching to a far more fuel efficient car or ditching a car entirely. […]

A DACA Recipient’s Guide to Overcoming Financial Barriers

If you’re a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, also known as a DREAMer, you might face some unique financial barriers. Getting approved for a personal loan, buying a home, or paying for college can be trickier when banks and lenders don’t classify you as a permanent resident. But DREAMers still have plenty of options if you know where to look and what to ask. […]

How I’m fighting chronic depression and anxiety

Hello, friends! I have four money articles in progress, plus I'm editing several guest posts for future publication. But today I want to give a brief update on my mental health. My depression and anxiety have been tough this year but it feels like I've turned a corner, and I want to share what's helped. Each week when I go to therapy, I complete a survey regarding my recent mood and attitude. […]

Calculating the Real Annual Savings of Our Warehouse Club Membership

Sarah and I have been longtime members of Sam’s Club, the only warehouse club within reasonable distance of our home. Since our membership renewal last September, I’ve been keeping careful track of how much money the membership has actually saved us with a pocket notebook devoted to this purpose that I keep in our van, and here are the results, broken down by category. […]

Refining an Internal Yardstick for Fulfillment

This article is something of a sequel to an article I wrote four years ago, Developing an Internal Yardstick for Fulfillment. In that article, I discussed the idea of such an internal yardstick, a concept that I originally discovered in the wonderful book Your Money or Your Life. […]

Ask the Readers: What Are Your Hobbies?

Hobbies are an important part of a well-rounded life. They can help us learn new skills, meet new people, and relieve some of the day-to-day stress. What are your hobbies? How has your life improved since picking up these hobbies? Are there any new hobbies you'd like to try? Tell us about your... […]

Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 9/19, 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: Job Interviews! Learn about how to prepare for a job interview, questions you should be ready to answer, questions you... […]

Questions About Medical Bills, Motivation, Life Insurance, Soap, 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. Handling medical bills 2. Motivation for any self-improvement 3. Hanging onto whole life insurance 4. Tablet energy use and savings 5. How retirement funds are distributed 6. Getting Things Done workbook 7. […]

6 Signs You Should Refinance Your Student Loans With a Private Lender

Student loan debt has become an absolute disaster for many Americans who chose higher education with the goal of improving their lives. In fact, over 43 million adults owe on their student loans today, with a cumulative debt that is well over $1.5 trillion. Since it's nearly impossible to... […]

My “Five Books” for Financial and Life Improvement

In last week’s Dozen Pieces of Inspiration, I made a reference to the website Five Books, where people in various fields recommend five books related to that field. Since then, I’ve been tossing around that very idea in my head over and over again. […]

When Do You Need Life Insurance?

When I graduated from college, a thoughtful relative of mine gave me a letter she had typed out on her computer. […]

The Challenge of Seeing Progress

Monica writes in (with a bit of editing and a link added so you can jump straight to the article she’s mentioning): I’m in the “boring middle” that you wrote about the other day. Been trying to articulate what I’m struggling with and I think it’s that I don’t see any progress. It’s just a day in and day out grind toward my goal of retiring early. […]

How to Dispute Mistakes On Your Credit Report

There are several obvious reasons to give a hoot about your credit score, and very few reasons you should ignore it. After all, you'll need a good credit score and a solid credit history if you ever plan to purchase a home or take out an auto loan. A bad credit score can even come back to bite you... […]

Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 9/12, 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: Job Hunting! Learn about the best websites to visit to find a job, using social media to search for a job, tapping into... […]

Does the world of personal finance need more politics?

Earlier this week at The Washington Post, Helaine Olen wrote that the world of personal finance needs more politics. Olen specifically calls out FinCon, the financial media conference I attended last week. I love FinCon. She doesn't. […]

Does the world of personal finance need more politics?

Note: I've added a short addendum to this piece in an attempt to clarify some things. This may or may not have helped. Earlier this week at The Washington Post, Helaine Olen wrote that the world of personal finance needs more politics. Olen specifically calls out FinCon, the financial media conference I attended last week. I love FinCon. She doesn't. […]

On “Living For Today” or “Living Each Day Like It’s Your Last”

For a long time, I found myself frustrated by the sentiment of “living for today” or “living each day like it was your last.” If today was my last day on earth, I’d eat my favorite meals and spend pure leisure time with the core people that I love the most. […]

How I dodged a $180 hotel fee

I missed the deadline to change my booking date by less than a day. Here's what I did — mostly by accident! — to leave a day earlier without the extra hotel fee … Mistakes happen. If the only consequence of making a mistake is that things cost a bit more than they should have, that's a pretty good outcome in the grand scheme. […]

How to Invest in Yourself without Significant Financial Risk

Let’s start off by clarifying exactly what I mean by “investing in yourself,” because it is a term that has somewhat nebulous meaning that can vary a little from place to place. For the purposes of this article, investing in yourself means applying resources you have to improving personal traits and skills and improving your resume. […]

How to Invest in Yourself without Significant Financial Risk

Let’s start off by clarifying exactly what I mean by “investing in yourself,” because it is a term that has somewhat nebulous meaning that can vary a little from place to place. For the purposes of this article, investing in yourself means applying resources you have to improving personal traits and skills and improving your resume. […]