Articles on Personal Finance

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

Being Poor Without Being Pitiful

I have spent a good portion of my young life being poor. Growing up on a small family farm during the agriculture crises in the 80’s gave me perspective on what poverty really mean

How the subprime lending boom hurt everybody

Among the Wise Bread community, I get the sense that there's a kind of "pox on both their houses" attitude to the problems in the subprime mortgage markets. People who worked thro

Should George W. Bush write for Wisebread?

I'm not sure how many of you watch the news or read the news blogs on a daily basis. I know I can't, it's way too depressing to do every day. But when I saw that George W. Bush, ou

Dollar-Cost Averaging: my path to becoming a not-so-nervous investor

Can the concept of dollar-cost averaging (DCA) help prevent nervousness in investors? (I think so). But what is DCA and is it a viable investment strategy? If you are a seasoned in

New $5 bill unveiled

The US Treasury today unveiled a new $5 bill, with security features intended to make it harder to bleach out a $5 and use the paper to counterfeit a $100 bill.

Carry some cash

I recommend carrying some actual cash money. When I do that, a lot of people say, "Why? Everyplace I go takes credit and debit cards." In fact, I know people who brag about spen

We're Link Lovers, Not Fighters.....

Wow! What an amazing couple of weeks it has been. We have seen an amazing amount of link love, and we wanted to share some of the highlights with you!

Insured Annuities for Wise Bloggers

You (or somebody you know) can have your cake and eat it too utilizing the Insured Annuity concept. It's a way to provide a guaranteed tax-preferred lifetime income while guarantee

529 Plans for College Expenses: What’s Cool and What’s Quirky

529 plans for college expenses are very cool but extremely quirky. Cool federal-tax benefits, which were temporary and set to expire in just a few years, have been made permanent b

Mutual Funds for Wise Bloggers

I know that Wise Bloggers are smart readers, so you might already know everything there is to know about mutual funds. However I have come across many very smart people who don't a