How to Lend Money to Friends and Family

When it comes to loaning money to family and friends, my advice is simple: just say no. The risks and challenges of lending money to friends and family outweigh the benefits of that loan. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t help family and friends in moments of need, but … [Read More...]

3 Ways to Be Frugal Without Being Cheap

Frugality. It’s a word that strikes different people in different ways. For some, it’s a refreshing way to get more value out of your money. For others, it conveys a sense of cheapness or of self-denial. For yet others, it’s just a way of living. If … [Read More...]

12 Career Tips For the COVID-19 Economy

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. How to promote a side gig 2. How to handle a professional review during coronavirus 3. The value of finding “any” job 4. How to network in a … [Read More...]

17 Things to Know Before Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home can be an overwhelming experience. There are so many new things to consider, so many questions to ask and so many things you simply don’t know. There are many home-buying guides out there that are very useful, but there are lots of little tactics you … [Read More...]

7 Crucial Steps to Buying a Home in 2020

For the first several years of our marriage, Sarah and I dreamed of moving out of our little apartment and buying a home of our own. It’s the “American dream,” after all. When our first child arrived in our lives, the desire to move became more pressing, and when … [Read More...]

12 Unconventional Ways to Save Money During the Pandemic

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Free streaming services? 2. Frugal spa alternatives 3. Is moving furniture worth it? 4. Overpriced used stuff? 5. Frugal room painting … [Read More...]

Why You Should Try Microsoft’s New “Money in Excel”

Recently, Microsoft released a powerful personal finance spreadsheet add-on for its Excel spreadsheet program, called Money in Excel. The name is a throwback to Microsoft Money, a separate software package for personal finance tracking that Microsoft discontinued many years ago. Now, it exists as a rather powerful spreadsheet template, … [Read More...]

How to Make Money From Your Hobbies

A few years ago, I went through a period where I longed to spend more time on one of my favorite hobbies: tabletop gaming. I really like sitting down with friends and playing a board game or a card game or a roleplaying game. The social experience, the thinking process, … [Read More...]

How Should You Prepare For the End of the CARES Act?

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. CARES and relocation money 2. Car financing question 3. Hello Fresh or Blue Apron? 4. Letting term life insurance expire 5. … [Read More...]

12 Things to Inspire You in July

Once a month (or so), I share a dozen things that have inspired me to greater personal, professional, and financial success in my life. I hope they bring similar success to your life. Please enjoy the archives of earlier collections of inspirational things. 1. Robert Fritz on the path of least … [Read More...]

How to Convince Your Teens to Care About Finance

As our oldest child traverses his high school years, I wanted to have a plan in place that would help him begin to take his first steps into managing his own finances so that he didn’t find himself overwhelmed with the changes and unsure how to manage financial responsibility … [Read More...]

How to Find Your Financial Comfort Zone

A few days ago, the weather here took a big turn toward heat. Temperatures shot well into the 90s with a wonderful dose of Midwestern humidity to boot. One might think it was a perfect day to stay inside, but I actually spent much of it outside. I didn’t … [Read More...]