Advice

How to Ask for Truly Useful Career Advice

During my long and winding career path, I’ve been stuck at many difficult points, uncertain as to what to do next. In those times, I’ve relied on the advice of others to help guide me down the right path. Most of the time, choosing to accept the advice of others has turned out well. At …

Categories: Advice, Careers

Five Questions You Should Ask Any Financial Advisor – and One You Should Ask Yourself

A few years ago, I shared a story of a disastrous meeting with a financial advisor. This person did virtually everything they could to convince us to go elsewhere. While I mostly want to control my own financial planning, I do have some needs that involve specific situations where a financial advisor would be very …

Categories: Advice

Five Little Pieces of Advice That Changed My Life

I’ve received so many great pieces of advice over the years, from family and friends, from great books, and from wise people. Recently, I sat down to make a list of the key pieces of advice that I wanted to make sure to clearly pass along to my children. Part of my role as a …

Categories: Advice

Decluttering and Your Money

Connie writes in: You write a lot about how there’s a deep connection between less clutter and financial success.  I don’t get it at all.  I think the opposite is true because when you clear out a bunch of stuff you would just have the space for a lot more. This is an issue I’ve …

Categories: Advice

Life Advice to a Graduating College Student

A long time reader that I’ll call “Samantha” wrote to me with the following question: I’m a senior in college and will be graduating in May. I’m extremely blessed in that I will be graduating with no debt – a scholarship provided all of my tuition expenses, and my parents were able to cover room …

Categories: Advice

Desperately Seeking Advice

Quite often, when people write to me asking for specific financial advice, I respond to them encouraging them either to seek a lawyer or a financial advisor, but I also make a point to tell them to lay all of their cards on the table for this advisor. Some readers have expressed surprise at this …

Categories: Advice

Tap My 401(k) or Borrow From Family?

A while back (actually, almost a year and a half ago now… how time flies…), I talked about using a 401(k) to pay off credit card debt. I largely viewed the decision as one that makes terrible sense on paper, but the decision can make sense in the broader terms of the choices life hands …

Categories: Advice

When All Hope Seems Lost…

No matter how careful you are, there may come a time where enough bad events happen that you simply cannot afford your bills any longer. While there are certain things you can do to protect yourself from ever being in that situation (building an emergency fund, practicing frugal living, etc.), they don’t really help when …

Categories: Advice, Getting Started

52 Books, 52 Weeks: 10 Fundamental Personal Finance Ideas

As I read personal finance book after personal finance book over the last year, I came to realize that a lot of concepts in various books were exactly the same. In fact, there were a handful that were mentioned in a majority of the books, which would indicate something close to a universal truth about …

Where Do You Get Your Financial Advice?

Some of my most faithful commenters have personal finance blogs of their own, and one of them, Mrs. Micah, asked a question that really got me thinking: where do you get your financial advice? The more I thought about the question, the more I realized that the answer isn’t as obvious as it seems at …

Categories: Advice

Thinking About College After High School? Four Points of Advice That You Probably Won’t Hear From Your Guidance Counselor

When I think back to my high school years, I realize that I didn’t have the faintest idea of what I wanted to do with my life, nor many of the options really available to me. I had a sense that I needed a significant change of scenery for a while because I did not …

Categories: Advice, Careers, Education

Should Men And Women Receive Different Personal Finance Advice?

A while back, my wife was leafing through a copy of David Bach’s Smart Women Finish Rich when she asked a very astute question: is it really necessary for men and women to receive different personal finance advice? I’ve puzzled over how to answer this for months, knowing what I want to say but realizing …

Categories: Advice

Making A Major Life Change

A reader who I will call Kathy wrote to me with a rather long but quite compelling story that really struck a chord with me. When I read the story, I saw so much of myself and my wife in it in the position we were in about five years ago, and because of that …

Categories: Advice

Seven Pieces Of Financial Advice For A High School Student

My niece is a wonderful young woman – a good head on her shoulders, decision making as strong as you could hope for in a high school sophomore, and an entrepreneurial spirit. My only concern about her is a sense that she hasn’t quite figured out the value of a dollar and that she’s prone …

Categories: Advice, Getting Started

Starting Out And Overcoming A Financially Disastrous Background

Another financial story that really intrigued me recently was this one, from a person who wishes to remain anonymous (so we’ll call him/her Anonymous): My parents are immigrants/refugees from Vietnam. When they arrived here in Australia, they both took jobs and lived an extremely frugal lifestyle, sending all savings to my mother’s side of the …

Categories: Advice, Getting Started

(Just Like) Starting Over

Over the last day or two, I’ve been going through the piles of email that have built up since the birth of my daughter and found a few stories worth sharing, which I’ll be sharing today and (maybe) tomorrow. Here’s the first one, from Amy: I am thirty years old, college educated, and a certified …

Categories: Advice, Debt

Taking The Leap Into Entrepreneurship: Where Is That Financial Safety Net?

I’m a big advocate of entrepreneurship and I truly admire people who take the plunge. Here’s a question from a brave reader who went forward with his dream. I’ll call him Walt, for fun, after a character in one of my favorite books: I’m starting a personal training business, and I’ve been marketing for about …

A Wedding Dilemma: I Can’t Afford To Reciprocate!

What do you do when you can’t afford to reciprocate the generosity of others? Jane writes: I’m 26 now, and it seems that everyone I know is getting married (including myself). The problem is that my friends and family are scattered throughout the country. If we were to attend each of their weddings, my fiancee …

Categories: Advice

The New Person At Work Is Getting Paid More Than I Am! How Can I Handle It?

Bea wrote in with the following story: I work at a small office and we have lost two employees this year….one left for more salary and benefits and another because they were moving out of state. While I was training one of the new replacements she mentioned her salary, which was $2 an hour more …

Categories: Advice, Careers