now vs. later

Pretending to Be Rich

Recently, I had a great email exchange with a reader whom we’ll call “Tim” about the incoming financial struggles of his in-laws as they age.

Five Strategies for Handling Slow Progress Toward Your Goals

When you start paying attention to your finances, the progress can feel amazing. Over the first few years of our financial turnaround, we saw our

to do list

The Value of a ‘Brain Dump Friday’

One of my favorite things to do on a lazy Friday afternoon (when I should be working, but I have a few posts already done

convicted fraudster kevin trudeau pitches his book on an infomercial

The Tricks of Financial Scam Artists

One side effect of being a personal finance writer is that you eventually wind up on the mailing list of all kinds of different financial

How to Maintain Self-Motivation After Recovering from Financial Disaster

I remember those first months of our financial turnaround so clearly. It was honestly a pretty exciting time. We had this ongoing sense that our

The First Time You Spend Less Than You Earn… and How to Handle It

In my eyes, the fundamental rule of personal finance is spend less than you earn. Do that each month and each year and you’re going

comcast cable box

Replacing Three Common Service Plans to Save Hundreds a Month

Over the last 20 or 30 years, most Americans have come to accept three new service bills into their life. Each one is expensive, with two of

When the Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good

“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius A few days ago, we discovered that one of our children had drawn


The Diderot Effect and You

In 1769, Denis Diderot published an essay entitled Regrets for my Old Dressing Gown, or A warning to those who have more taste than fortune.

veggies from CSA share

Some Thoughts on Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Shares and How to Maximize Their Value

At the start of this year, Sarah and I decided to sign up for a community supported agriculture (CSA) group in our area. We ended

The Ten Bulls Revisited

Over the course of the last decade, I’ve seen my perspective on financial issues change radically many times. I started off as a person who

stars at night leaving circular trail

The Locus of Control

Let’s start off by talking about exactly what a “locus of control” actually is. From Wikipedia: In personality psychology, locus of control refers to the

dumb and dumber

Simple Ways to Save $$$ on Car Insurance

If you’re in a hurry, the moral of the story is simply this: Know your coverage, and MOST IMPORTANTLY shop around for the best rates

markus persson

Some Thoughts on Markus Persson, Wealth, Goals, and Life

Many people who have their finances under control have some pretty strong personal finance goals. They want to retire quite early, a goal that for

35 candles on birthday cake

What Turning 35 Taught Me About Money

Earlier this year, I turned 35. After what seems like a whirlwind, I am not only the mother of a preschooler and first-grader, but 10 years

Nicolas Berggruen speaking

Some Lessons from the ‘Homeless Billionaire’

Over the past several years, a number of media articles have popped up that discuss Nicolas Berggruen, a person known colloquially as “the homeless billionaire.”

cooking with Le Creuset pot

How to Find Luxury in a Financially Responsible Life

Being financially responsible in the modern world comes with a particular set of challenges. One of them is the fact that we are, as a

women gossiping

The Power of Not Caring What Anyone Thinks

Just last month, I said yes to a speaking gig at a Chamber of Commerce meeting a few towns away. I said yes even though

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