Personal Finance

Good Debt, Bad Debt

Whether debt is good or bad depends on how you spend the money. From best to worst, here are the four categories of debt that one writer uses.

Link-Love in an Elevator

It’s time once again for another round of link love! We want to let everyone know how excited we are to see such a great response to our articl

A second emergency fund you never spend?

I ran across this idea in a book by some financial guru years ago. The book was packed with an odd mix of obvious and kooky ideas, of which this was one of the latter. For some r

Figuring the Size of Your Emergency Fund

The usual rule of thumb is 3 to 6 months' income. Of course that's silly--the size of your emergency fund needs to be based on your spending, not your income. But even 3

Socially Responsible Investing Goes Green

You drive and drink responsibly, spend your money responsibly, and act responsibly, don’t you? But do you invest responsibly? Can you invest responsibly?

5 Tips for Making Do with the Right Now

It seems easy to hold your breath and wait for situations in life to become clear, determined, and permanent. But what will you be missing in t

Personal Finance Lessons from Online Adventure Game (RuneScape)

A friend shared with me some strategies he's learned for playing RuneScape. Can these strategies be applied to personal finance? Let's see.

Book review: Retire on Less Than You Think

Halfway through Fred Brock's book Retire on Less Than You Think: The New York Times Guide to Planning Your Financial Future, I was already drafting a review that would

Reverse Mortgages: The Best Way to "Eat Your Home"?

A reverse mortgage allows a senior citizen homeowner to access the equity in their home without having to sell their house or otherwise uproot themselves unwillingly.

So You Wanna Be A Banker...

Coolmom14 is a struggling single mom asking for an $18,000 loan to pay off high interest credit cards. Craigny needs a $25,000 loan to buy a profitable coffee shop in NY. Nurse202

What did your parents teach you about money?

Ask the readers: What did your parents teach you about money? Did they give you words of wisdom or did they teach you by example? How did their views affect your perception of fin

Creating an artificial windfall generator

Everybody enjoys getting a windfall. One of the attractions of the lottery (besides the infinitesimal chance that you might win a life-changingly huge amount) is that the smaller

The Frugal Balance: Staying Away from Financial Extremes

One of the most underrated financial x-factors in our lives is our relationship with money and the inner psychology of how we deal with our finances. I suspect that it is bec

Huge Tax-Free Investment Returns

The fact is, you can pretty easily get 30% or more on investments that are not only very safe but come with built-in inflation protection. But don't get too excited.

Five Easy Steps to Keeping Track of Expenses for the Self-Employed

I have had as many as five separate businesses at once to keep track of, including proper accounting of expenses for tax purposes. And it takes me no more than 5 minutes per wee

The Retirement Latte

My introduction to David Bach was when I saw him speak at a financial conference a few years ago. He told an interesting story about a couple who came in for a consultation with hi

It's all your money

Sometimes you get a windfall--a bonus, an award or reward, a gift, a long-forgotten loan unexpectedly repaid. When that happens to you, do you use the money to make a special purc

Front-loaded loans: a financial conspiracy?

A tip from Eric Fedewa sparked a discussion between Wise Bread bloggers (Andrea Dickson and me). He brought a new financial term (front-loading) to our attention that indicates how

Save Money on Insurance

Most of us have insurance of one sort or another. But if you're like me, the prospect of a trip to the insurance agent's office isn't something that keeps you awake with excitement

The sinking dollar

It takes more than $1.40 to buy one euro today. It cost less than $1 as recently as late 2002. A Canadian dollar is worth just about exactly a US dollar--a parity not seen since

Latest Articles in Personal Finance

How I've Scored Free Travel for 5 Years Straight

I haven't paid for hotels or flights in over five years, and I've traveled all over the world. Here's my secret.

8 Things You Need to Know About Debt Management Plans

Debt management plans can help you work your way out of debt, but they aren't for everyone.

TRIO® Credit Card from Fifth Third Bank: Cash Back at Restaurants and More

The TRIO® Credit Card from Fifth Third Bank awards your everyday purchases and provides other valuable perks that you won’t find with other cards.

How to Do a Reconnaissance Trip Before Retiring Overseas

Thinking of retiring overseas? Do a thorough test trip before you make that big move.

5 Smart Ways to Reduce Your Credit Card Interest

Instead of looking for a 0% APR credit card, here are a few other ways to reduce those monthly interest charges.

6 Ways to Automate Credit Card Payments and Rewards

Make your credit card rewards work for you by automating them, as well as your monthly payments so you never have to pay a late fee.

This Is When It Pays to Stay Loyal to a Rewards Credit Card

Staying loyal to a particular rewards credit card can be risky, but it can also pay off if you know how to play the game. This is how to win.

5 Unforgettable Train Trips Across the U.S.

If you're looking for a unique getaway that you'll never forget, hop on one of these trains and enjoy the view.

6 Steps to Getting a Credit Card When You Have Bad Credit

Bad credit might get in the way your financial goals, but it doesn't have to keep you from getting approved for a credit card.

Ask the Readers: What Are Your Best Negotiation Tips?

Tell us your best negotiation tips and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

When Airline Miles Aren't Worth the Effort

Frequent flyer programs may be lucrative if you earn enough miles, but they can also be a pain. Learn when they aren't worth your time.

Ask the Readers: Would You Rather Rent or Buy a Home?

Tell us if you would rather rent or buy a home and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

5 Reasons You Can Be Denied for a Credit Card Even With Good Credit

Having good credit makes it easier to get approved for home loans, car loans, and the top travel credit cards. However, a good credit score can only take you so far.

Make These 5 Money Moves Before You Travel Abroad

International travel requires a lot of research and planning beyond how to pack and which excursions to book. This checklist can help you prepare financially for your trip.

What Is a Rewards Credit Card?

You're thinking of applying for a rewards credit card, but what do they offer? Here's everything you need to know.

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

If you're in your 20s and can make any or all of these money moves, your future will indeed be bright.

More Cash Back for Dining Out with the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Looking for the most rewards for dining out? Make sure you're carrying the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card.

2-Minute Read: What You Need to Know About Cash Advances

Before you request a cash advance through your credit card, scan this quick read so you understand what's involved.

Why the Best Credit Card Rewards Strategy Is a Slow One

When it comes to credit card rewards strategies, follow the lead of the tortoise, and take it slow.

How to Tackle Your Summer Vacation Credit Card Debt

Spent a little too much money while on vacation this summer? We've all been there. Here's how to tackle it, manage it, and then defeat it.