Articles on Personal Finance

The Real Value of Forever Stamps

Considering that I pay most bills online, I don’t use a whole lot of postage stamps these days. When I do, however, it almost always involves me digging through piles of paperwork

Recession Journal Part I: 'Fast' Money in the '09

Forget about the fact that it's a recession. What you do now determines where you will be when the graph trends up again. What if you stopped dropping duckets like you dropped weig

The vicious Home Rental Scam – don’t get conned.

It seems like new variations of the Nigerian 419 scam pop up every week. The one that caught my attention recently involved renting a home, and it’s a nasty trick that could take a

The "one big lump" theory of your money

Don't get confused by the way your money's divided up. It might be split up into IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, 529 plans, and annuities. Separately from that, it might be invested in d

Books Get Recalled, Too (The Shocking Truth)

Just when you thought the world of consumer product recalls was largely limited to lead-based toys, laceration hazards, and the phenomenon of exploding laptop batteries, we can now

Plan for your wants

Budgets tend to focus on needs--food, shelter, heat, light, transportation, and (of course) taxes. They also provide for wants, but generally the smaller, shorter-term wants--cabl

Looking To Invest Right Now? 5 Basic Investing Tips For Any Market

A lot of people have been asking me recently, is this the stock market bottom? Is it time to jump into stocks? As an investor for over 20 years who's lived through 2 recessions (a

Debit Cards vs. Credit Cards: Fees and Fraud Protection

Debit cards might be better than credit cards because in theory, you'll spend less if you are only paying with money you have. But how do debit cards stack up in terms of fees and

The Best and Worst Places to Stash Cash in Your Home

We all agree that a buck has value, it is also a bit vulnerable when not hidden properly. Forget the $3000 hi-tech safe, and stick with these affordable tricks I picked up. Yo

Suze Orman's Financial Advice For Wise Bread Readers

Suze invited Wise Bread to a bloggers-only event and gave us a ton of great tips about how to survive in this tough economy. Suze talks about the most dramatic financial change you

Goal Setting: Getting Out of Debt Once and For All

It is easy enough to say that you have a goal of being debt free in “x” months or years. You have crunched the numbers, and your plan is realistic and achievable. But why is it so

What can renters do if their landlords are in foreclosure?

Lately many tenants across the United States who faithfully paid their rents on time were surprised to find eviction notices tacked on their doors because their landlords have not

Want a Company to Hear You? Talk to Their “People.”

Sure, you could call a company's customer service line in times of trouble. I've done it in the past with excellent results. I've also run into the occasional “I don't care.” Th

Five alternatives to 0% yield U.S. treasuries

This week the 4 week T-bill rate was driven down to 0% and the demand for these treasuries was astounding. It seems that investors are so pessimistic that they are willing to acce

What Do You and a Credit Card Thief Have in Common?

I've always considered myself to be an educated credit card user. I keep my balances low, pay on time, and don't do anything that could potentially come back to haunt me.. Little

Book review: Towers of Gold

It will not, I think, surprise my regular readers to hear that I like to read books about money. All kinds of books about money--not just books on personal finance and frugality,

6 Reasons I Still Don't Have a Cell Phone Plan (yet)

If you ask most people what they can't live without, many would say their computer. Just about as many would say their cell phone/PDA/Crackberry. I agree with the first one – I c

Will 4.5% mortgage rates jumpstart the housing market?

It seems like everyday the folks in Washington are rolling out a new plan to fix our economy. The Federal Reserve is running out of room to cut their federal funds rate, so now th

Do you know how to use a parking meter? Serious question.

I thought I knew the answer to that. Admittedly, I’ve only been driving for seven years and rarely park in downtown Denver, where most of our parking meters are located. But I had

Double Coupons – They Could Cost You!

I recently tried (and failed) a recent Super Double Coupon promotion at my local Kmart. The bad news: I was unable to check out due to a glitch in their system, and I left all my