two women in conversation

Straight Talk on 10 Common Personal Finance and Career Issues

In a typical week, I hear from 20 to 30 readers by email or social media. Typically, the 12 most interesting questions make it into the reader mailbag.

dad and daughter - money moves to make in your 40s

The Little Things

Here’s a list of wonderful things I noticed yesterday that cost nothing (or next to it): Waking up naturally, without an alarm clock going off

bucket of water

The ‘Drops in a Bucket’ Mindset

“Don’t you ever get tired of just saving money?” “Why don’t you just live a little? You have money in the bank and can afford

golf clubs

How to Enjoy an Expensive Hobby Without Overspending

A few days ago, I was cleaning out the garage when I found my old set of golf clubs. Now, for those of you who

woman with hands over face - recover from overspending

The Negative Domino Effect (or How to Handle Murphy’s Law)

Earlier this week, I had a really difficult spell of writer’s block. I spent far too long writing a paragraph or two, being dissatisfied with


How the Other Half Lives

My wife and I have a relatively vibrant social circle, filled with all different kinds of people. Some of them like to come over to

little girl blowing bubbles

Seven Strategies for Efficient Hobby and Entertainment Spending

One of the core principles that guides my financial life is the idea of finding the best “bang for the buck” for every dollar I

writing a resume

What Should You Do When Your Hours Are Cut at Work?

Morgan writes in: For the past four months I have worked at a small store here in town. I had plenty of hours over the

i love new york keychain souvenirs

The Souvenir Game: 17 Ways to Physically Remember a Moment Without Spending Extra Money

A while back, I had an experience in a gift shop that really stuck in my mind. I was sitting on a bench outside of

woman with hands over face - recover from overspending

When You Overspend: Five Steps to Recover from a Spending Spree

Have you ever spent more money than you planned? If you’re a human who has had money at any point in your life, the answer

dad and daughter - money moves to make in your 40s

Seven Vital Money Moves to Make in Your 40s

Many people find their 40s to be the best decade yet. You’re in your peak earning years, and the kids, if not nearly launched or


A Beginner’s Guide to Lifelong Learning at a Minimal Cost

This is part of an informal series of posts where I outline how I’ve applied money-saving strategies to many of my hobbies without sacrificing what

focusing glasses

How I Get Focused for Great Professional and Personal Performance

During the school year, I typically have a roughly seven and a half hour window in which the house is empty and quiet and I

question marks painted on asphalt

The Five Year Question

For the last few months, I’ve been taking a new approach to almost everything that I do. With every dollar that I spend, with every

pile of cash

Windfalls Aren’t Unlimited Money

A few days ago, I had a really interesting conversation with an old friend of mine from my childhood. I had gone back to my

holding a tree sapling

My 25 Favorite Money-Saving ‘Life Hacks’

My 11-year-old son loves “life hacks.” It’s become something of a hobby for him as he’s found lists of preteen-appropriate “life hacks” and has been

woman holding credit card with ipad

Stopping Online ‘Boredom’ Shopping

I’ve done it myself a few times. You’re sitting at your computer, or maybe tapping around on your phone. You don’t have much to do

couple holding hands

How to Find a Partner Who Is Money-Smart

A few days ago, I received a Facebook message from a reader looking for dating advice. She was looking for someone stable for a longer-term