What Constitutes An “Emergency” Where One Should Use An Emergency Fund?

This is a question that my wife and I have wrestled with recently with our home purchase, our move, a severe illness, relatives visiting, and

Minimizing Interest Rates Or Minimizing Monthly Payments?

A reader named Tom writes in to ask: You’re always talking about minimizing interest rates when it comes to reducing debt. Shouldn’t you really focus

How To Get Out Of Debt In A Few Easy Steps

Almost every day, I get a very sad tale of woe. It comes from someone who is carrying a debt load that seems to be


What College Students Can Do To Prepare For Success

At the start of the last college semester, I provided ten tips for personal finance management for college students: Get some free money. Make it

Credit Cards, Retirement, Or Emergency Fund?

Today, I was reading an MSN Money article by Liz Pulliam Weston where she recommended setting priorities in the order of retirement, then credit cards,


An Interesting Voluntary Simplicity Exercise That Can Really Improve Your Financial Situation

A while back, I read Duane Elgin’s book Voluntary Simplicity; lately, I’ve been reading a lot of things in that direction, like Walden and Zen

Personal Finance Boils Down To Just Two Things…

Once you’ve read up on personal finance, you’ll find that there are a lot of perspectives on almost every issue. What I’ve found is that

Finding The Center

Not only do I work full time, but I’m also a small-scale entrepreneur, as I maintain this blog and also do some limited computer consulting.

Politicians That Promise Lower Taxes

Recently, I’ve heard from a lot of readers who have asked me whether they should give priority to voting for a candidate that promises to

Losing A Friend Over Money

Until recently, I had a very close friend that I’ll call Dave. We spent a ton of time together doing all sorts of things –

How To Balance Your Checkbook In The Era Of The Debit Card

This weekend, my mother, who is still firmly in the era of the handwritten check, marveled several times at my methods for paying for many

Parents And Finances: An Uneasy Mix

A reader wrote to me recently with the following concerns about the financial health of her parents: I’m still repairing my own finances (I’m out

Using Mozilla Sunbird To Schedule Infrequent Home Maintenance Tasks – And Other Irregular Tasks

A while back, I posted an extensive checklist of monthly home maintenance tasks. There were some items on the list that didn’t need to be

Rebooting My Net Worth Calculator: Food For Thought On Starting – Or Restarting – Your Own

As I mentioned before, I kept my own net worth calculator in a spreadsheet; I even wrote up how exactly to make your own. I


Freshly Graduated And About To Get A New Job? Here Are Seven Things To Do To Get Started On The Right Financial Path

In the last few days, a bevy of recent college graduates about to enter the workforce have written to me and asked what they should

A Guide To Setting And Reaching A Net Worth Goal

A few months ago, I discussed the crossover point, the dollar amount you need so that proceeds from your investments exceed your living expenses. Here’s

How Much Cash Is Appropriate To Carry?

Even though I cover almost all of my expenses using plastic, I do tend to keep a small amount of cash in my wallet to

My Weekly Bill-Paying Routine (In The Absence Of Paper Checks)

As I’ve briefly mentioned on here before, I’ve almost entirely abandoned paper checks. I keep a checkbook around for the rare situation where one is