Saving Money

The Paradox of Thrift: Is Saving Money Bad for the Economy?

Two years ago (in those economic halcyon days before the so-called “Great Recession”), I wrote a short article entitled Is Not Spending Money Bad for the Economy? In it, I largely concluded (by my own logic) that not spending money – in other words, saving it – isn’t necessarily bad for the economy at at …

Creating a CD Ladder for Your Emergency Fund or Other Savings to Earn a Better, Safe Return

As I’ve mentioned before, my family has a pretty good sized cash emergency fund, somewhere around nine months’ worth of living expenses. Having that amount of cash available is a very nice security blanket for all of us, and in our savings account, it was earning roughly a 3% annual return. Safety, personal security, and …

Categories: Banking, Saving Money

Buying Things Because They’re on Sale Is an Awful Way to Save Money

For years, I’ve been on a closed email list with a group of like-minded people who enjoy sharing internet links with amusing comments (think of an email version of fark or reddit). Lately, though, the list has been completely overrun by a group of about two or three people who have become completely obsessed with …

Some Notes on SmartyPig

First of all, a disclaimer: while I’m not directly involved with SmartyPig, I did speak with the development team in detail during the development process and offered a number of suggestions and ideas, and I was kept abreast with their development along the way. This group sought my input during their process of growing from …

Categories: Banking, Saving Money

The Simple Dollar Gets A New Cell Phone – And Saves Significant Money In The Process

Over the last week, my cell phone has slowly been dying. The screen goes black randomly and it ceases to accept button input until I remove the battery and re-insert it. This phenomenon has happened with more and more frequency as of late, reaching the point where it’s killed phone calls in the middle of …

Categories: Saving Money, Shopping

Starting A Savings Account For Your Newborn

Last night, I was at a party for several homes in our neighborhood and I had a long conversation with a couple who were completely intrigued by The Simple Dollar. They asked me a lot of questions about it, and also asked a few personal finance questions. The one that really piqued my interest was …

Categories: Family, Saving Money

How To Set Up Multiple Savings Account Funds Within ING

In the aftermath of yesterday’s discussion about how to manage several funds in one account, several people mentioned actually opening multiple savings accounts at ING Direct under one general account, enabling people to sort their money (I happen to be a big fan of ING Direct, but you may also want to read the note …

Building A Home Maintenance And Improvement Fund

Having lived in a house that needed constant upkeep when I was young, I know the value of having money on hand to take care of home maintenance. As a new homeowner, that means I’m going to christen a home maintenance and improvement fund so that when such issues appear, I can handle them. What’s …

Categories: Housing, Saving Money

Kicking My Candy Bar Addiction In The Foot – And Saving Big Money

As I’ve mentioned on here a few times before, I’ve been trying out the Volumetrics weight control plan in an attempt to lose a few pounds. So far, it’s been working quite well, but what I found to be quite interesting is that it really exposed one of my worst daily splurges – and now …

Treat It As A Bill: How I Made A Commitment To Saving Work For Me

Not all that long ago, if I wanted to spend money, I’d look at what was left in my checking account and spend it. I knew in the back of my mind that I should be saving some money, but I never looked at it as a requirement at all. It took me a while …

Some Thoughts On The 60% Solution

A couple years ago, an extremely influential article entitled A Simpler Way To Save: The 60% Solution popped up on MSN Money. It proposed a very simple way to budget: After analyzing our spending patterns over the past couple of years using our Microsoft Money data file, I determined that we needed to keep our …

Categories: Planning, Saving Money

Defining The Middle Class Through Statistics: Upward And Downward Mobility

Today, I stumbled across a very interesting tool at the New York Times website that attempts to place you in one of five socioeconomic groups (upper fifth, upper middle class, middle class, lower middle class, bottom fifth) based on a number of factors (occupation, education, income, and wealth). I’m quite happy to share my results …

Why Savings Accounts – And Why Not

Over the weekend in a post answering anonymous reader questions, I wrote the following: Savings accounts are wonderful places to keep money that is very liquid (meaning you can get it if you need it) and earns a small rate of return with very little risk. Because of these factors (liquid, low risk, some return), …

Categories: Investing, Saving Money

42 Ways That Going Green Saves A Ton Of Money

I admit to being an environmentalist, and a pretty “far out” one, too – I was raised with a Mother Earth News / Organic Gardening type of father who instilled a ton of basic environmentalism in me, and I try very hard to reduce my environmental footprint. Let me put it this way: one of …

Nine Tricks I Use To Keep Saving Money – And Not Spend It

It’s pretty easy to save money over a short period – just make a savings deposit and feel good about yourself, right? The real challenge comes over the long haul – how can you make yourself do it consistently and also not be tempted to spend the money? Here are nine tricks I use to …

Handling Biweekly Pay Periods: What To Do During Those “Three Check” Months

At one point in my life, I was on a biweekly pay period schedule that occasionally caused me to be paid three times in a month. Of course, at that time in my life, I was an utter fool and I would spend the money on a big splurge, like, say, a weekend trip to …

Categories: Advice, Saving Money

Compound Interest Versus Inflation: The Battle For Your Money

Last week, I wrote a pretty harsh criticism of Spend Every Dime!, a Slate article that basically encouraged people not to save money because taxes and inflation eat up most of the gains. But why is that? Let’s take a step back and look at what’s actually going on here, piece by piece. Some of …

Categories: Investing, Saving Money

Looking At The Costs And Benefits Of Installing A Windmill / Wind Turbine

Are you thinking of going seriously green? Are you willing to invest some serious money up front in order to reap the benefits in the long run? If so, a wind turbine might be the thing for you. I’ve installed CFLs and programmable thermostats, but what I’d really love to do is to be almost …

Categories: Frugality, Saving Money

Why Henry Blodget Tries To Make Saving A Sucker’s Game – And Why You Shouldn’t Believe Him

Hopefully that title got your attention. In fact, it’s a variation on the subtitle of an article posted to Slate.com yesterday, Spend Every Dime!, which says that you’ll actually lose money by saving and investing it, so why not spend now? Normally I would ignore such tripe, but this article has been making the rounds …