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Savings


  • Digit App Review: Welcome to ‘Micro-Saving’ (3 comments)

    Money and Budgeting App Reviews 2016-2017: Digit Many people have a system for building up financial reserves. Some deposit a set amount of each paycheck or at month’s end into a savings account. Others have their checks deposited into savings, leaving only the amount needed for bills and entertainment transferred into checking. Not surprising in this age of technology, there is also a high tech iteration of the classic piggy bank: The Digit app is…

  • Best Low-Risk Investments for the Average Saver (3 comments)

    Remember the thrill of bringing your savings account book to the bank when you were a kid? They would stamp it and — ta-daaaa — you had more money than when you walked in. Fast forward to today. Most of us don’t get that giddy feeling after making a deposit with the so-low-it’s-not-even-worth-it interest earned on traditional bank deposit accounts like savings accounts, money markets and certificates of deposit. Let’s look at CDs as an…

  • Father Knows Finances (5 comments)

    The world celebrated Father’s Day on Sunday (or is it just an American thing?) and it got me thinking: What’s the best financial advice your dad ever gave you? My father was never big on dishing out guidance, although when I was in college he did tell me it was always a good idea to nurse a beer rather than chug it. When it came to money, I only remember two things: When I got…

  • Tandas: Informal Loan Clubs Where Trust Meets Need (5 comments)

    As savers go, I’m somewhere between decent and so-so…or at least that’s what I thought until I saw a 22-year-old neighborhood kid who used to work with me saving $800 a month with his earnings, plus furnishing his own rental apartment (in New York!) and buying a piece of land in Mexico. Our other neighbor has three kids and she earns a pretty humble salary taking care of babies and cleaning houses—yet she too saves…

  • How to build your emergency fund (56 comments)
    This article is by GRS contributor William Cowie.

    Life is full of little bumps … like how our furnace went out at the onset of last season’s most severe cold snap. It’s bad enough that an emergency like that seems to happen at the most inopportune time, but what’s worse is the $6,000 bill that accompanies it. Where do you get $6,000 quickly when you need it? If you’ve set money aside for a…

  • 29 ways to build your emergency fund out of thin air (51 comments)

    Get Rich Slowly contributor Lisa Aberle recently suggested putting 10 percent of income in a savings account. She provided guidelines in “How to save money each month” – tried-and-true techniques like having a yard sale, cutting the cable, dropping the landline, raising insurance deductibles, eating at home and lowering the thermostat. Suppose you’ve done all that stuff already, you’re living pretty close to the bone — and you still need to build your emergency fund. Time for…

  • How to save money each month (16 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

    Is this the year to focus on saving more? If you’ve been disappointed when you’ve checked out your savings account balance, let’s change that this year! How much should I be saving? Actually, advice on the topic of how much you should be saving differs based on who’s giving the advice. At a minimum, most people recommend saving 10 percent of your income. Dave Ramsey recommends saving…

  • 5 ways to pay yourself first (16 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

    Recently, we discussed the benefits of paying yourself first. But exactly how do you go about doing that (especially if you feel like you’re living paycheck to paycheck already)? If you are just starting to manage your money or you simply struggle when it comes to budgeting in the first place, paying yourself first may seem like one of those personal finance concepts that sounds good…

  • Retire at 40: A 24-year-old in pursuit of financial freedom (13 comments)
    This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

    The way Thomas Frank looks at it, everything in his young life has been leading him to get better at controlling his finances. In high school, he saw a cool video game he wanted to buy — no, had to have. It took him three weeks to earn the $350, but he actually spent it buying cool clothes and hanging out with friends instead. His key…

  • The best (and worst) states for saving money and getting ahead 2015 (29 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Megan Wells.

    Looking to save versus spend? Eager to sock money away not just for a rainy day but potentially for stormy months, even years, ahead? Consider heading to the Heartland. The Midwest is home to some of the very best places to save money and get ahead in the U.S., according to a new analysis by Get Rich Slowly. To find out which parts of the U.S….

  • Real-life case study: Should I save money or pay off debt? (36 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

    An issue was raised in the comments of my recent post, Celebrating One Year of Homeownership. In that post, I mentioned that we currently have over $30,000 in liquid savings. At least one reader felt that, with our level of debt (currently over $390,000), that this was an excessive amount and instead we should pay down some of our debt. So I thought that this was…

  • Ask the Readers: Will higher interest rates make you save more money? (17 comments)
    This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

    Interest rates are expected to rise later in 2015. What will you do with this information? You could make the case that you haven’t missed much if you didn’t keep your money in a savings account over the last few years. But still, we all need liquid funds to one degree or another – and the sooner the interest rate goes up on those balances, the better….

  • How much to save for maternity leave (45 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

    The United States policy on maternity leave can be a touchy subject among families, and especially women. Unlike all other wealthy countries, many of which mandate weeks and months of paid leave for natural and adoptive mothers and fathers, the U.S. mandates no such thing. In fact, the last movement toward maternity fairness in the U.S., the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), included…

  • Calculating your emergency fund: providing for opportunities and a higher cost of living (49 comments)

    After a brief stint in the automotive industry in Detroit, Ryan Takach moved to Chicago to work for a major financial institution. The antics of traders on the trading floor stoked his curiosity for the markets, and an ex-pat assignment in London provided additional exposure to the global financial system. These experiences encouraged his investing and provided the financial foundation to manage the money challenges of a 30-something. He currently lives in San Francisco enjoying…

  • Ask the Readers: How do you teach your children about net worth? (20 comments)
    This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

    Back in 2008, Holly P left a comment on J.D. Roth’s article about teaching kids to invest saying: “I’d love to know how your sibling got your nephew to think about actually saving. Despite repeated efforts to get them to save, my kids want to spend every cent as soon as it hits their palms.” It’s a common problem for parents. They see the need to teach…

  • Hidden advantages of savings accounts (47 comments)
    This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

    Savings accounts? Are you crazy? Boo, hiss. These days, savings accounts are only used as joke fodder for late-night comedians. Take the mom who wants to teach her kids the value of prudent financial management, for example: For little Bobby’s eighth birthday, his mother takes him down to the local credit union to open a savings account. Figuring that all the grownups in his life would pour…

  • Wedding savings accounts: How I saved for my wedding (44 comments)
    This article is by contributor Holly Johnson.

    When my husband proposed to me on July 10th, 2005, I was ecstatic. In fact, I’m pretty sure I screeched “Yeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssssssssssss” before he could even pull the ring out of his pocket. Our plan was to move into the little apartment above his work — it was part of his compensation package — then get married the following summer. Unfortunately (fortunately?), a few of the older ladies…

  • Ask the Readers: What are you saving for? (62 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

    In the last 12 months, my husband and I both turned 35 years old. Although I hadn’t put my finger on it until now, I think there is something about that age that made us want to reassess our current financial strategy. But the truth is, gratefully, that I think we are on the right track. We are debt-free aside from a small mortgage, we save…

  • The importance of financial balance — a conversation with my mom about money (46 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Kristin Wong.

    It seems like an odd goal for a kid; but when I was little, I wanted to be financially secure. Of course, I didn’t put it that way. Instead, I declared, “When I grow up, I want to be rich.” Incidentally, so did my parents. I remember rolling quarters with them, while they explained to me the importance of saving. At a young age, I realized I’d…

  • Saving money when you have no time (27 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

    A few weeks ago, I participated in an “Ask the Experts” segment on a huge site in the mommysphere, CafeMom.com. The focus of the project was saving, budgeting, and frugality, and my job was simply to answer questions that readers sent in. Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, I quickly found that I am no longer equipped to answer many of the inquiries I would have sailed through just a…

  • Preparing financially for a job search (17 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

    Looking for a new job is a multi-faceted process. Many of the aspects of career-building that I have been discussing recently are applicable even if you are just trying to keep a job you already have. But laying the groundwork for a successful job search is about more than just your reputation. A job search can take months — in some cases, up to a year…

  • Ask the Readers: How do you balance multiple sinking funds? (58 comments)

    This article is by editor Linda Vergon. About four years ago, Breezy and her husband opened a checking account at their local credit union so they could save for car-related payments – insurance, gas, repairs, and the like. They liked how it allowed them to separate these expenses from the rest of their spending. Soon, they established more funds. Right now, she and her husband have four sinking funds and she is considering adding another….

  • Which online high-yield savings account & money market account is best? (31 comments)

    Saving money is essential to building your net worth. Savings accounts and money market accounts are meant to hold your liquid assets, or funds that you expect to use within a year. You may think, “If you’ve seen one high-yield savings account, you’ve seen them all” – but, actually, higher interest rates and certain features can make one account a better choice than another. Online high-yield savings account and money market account rates As online…

  • The cultural shift toward financial security (27 comments)

    This article is by staff writer Kristin Wong. In the past few months, I’ve had a noteworthy number of conversations about the trend toward frugality. More of my friends seem interested in finding ways to save, I can’t throw a rock at the Internet without hitting a money-saving “hack,” and, during a job interview, I had a lengthy discussion about how “personal finance is now trendy.” Get Rich Slowly reader and money blogger Mrs. PoP noticed…

  • Too much emergency fund? Spend it! (79 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

    Growing up, I learned all kinds of money lessons from my mother. An avid saver, she socked away every cent that she possibly could. She cut coupons, shopped at garage sales, and drove cars without heat or air conditioning. She even paid for our family piano with money she got from refunding (people often earned extra money sending in for small rebates in the ’80s), and…

  • Don’t have savings? Quit making excuses (81 comments)

    This guest post is from former GRS staff writer Donna Freedman. Donna writes for a number of websites, including Money Talks News and Retail Me Not, and blogs about frugality and intentional living at Surviving And Thriving. I’m back, and I sound just like your mom: Save that damned emergency fund, already. This week (Feb. 24-March 1) is America Saves Week. And not a moment too soon: As a nation, we’re losing ground. An ASW…

  • 10 tools and tips to save money on legal fees (22 comments)

    This is a guest post from John Corcoran. John is an attorney and former Clinton White House writer, and he advises entrepreneurs and small-business owners on how to use networking to grow their businesses.  In addition to the tips in this article, you can download his free report for an additional 10+ tools to save you money on legal fees. Like it or not, everyone has to use a lawyer now and then. Whether you run your…

  • Reader Stories: How we saved one year’s salary in Roth IRAs in grad school (56 comments)

    This reader story is from Emily, a graduate student living in North Carolina who blogs about transitions in young adulthood and living well on less at Evolving Personal Finance. Some reader stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks with all levels of financial maturity and income. Want to submit your own reader story? Here’s how. My husband, Kyle, and I recently…

  • What I learned from losing my emergency fund (36 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Kristin Wong. A couple of weeks ago, I sent off my quarterly estimated tax payment. This is never fun, but there’s always a part of me that’s thankful when I drop that envelope in the mail. I’m thankful that I’ve budgeted for this payment. I’m thankful that it’s not coming out of my emergency fund, the way it did a couple of years ago, when I lost all of…

  • Ask the Readers: What will make you feel financially secure? (78 comments)

    If you’re a regular reader of Get Rich Slowly, you are focused on getting out of debt, saving, retirement goals – all of those money issues we all deal with. But at what point would you or do you feel financially secure? I think my own sense of financial security came once I had paid off all of my debts (excluding my mortgage) and had enough money to save a chunk each month. Certainly, having…

  • How my mom inspired me during a savings slump (56 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Kristin Wong. I’ve been saving up for a big purchase, so I’ve seriously tightened my budget. Staying within my own strict boundaries has been frustrating. When I get frustrated, I call my mom. Recently, I vented about my finances to her. She reminded me of her story of rising from poverty. Here we go again. She grew up poor in China; saved ten grand working part time at the grocery store. I’ve…

  • Ask the Readers: What will you give up this month to save $250? (101 comments)

    Welcome to February! In early January, we asked people what are their savings goals this year. But reading El Nerdo’s post on Tuesday made me think about how focusing on a short-term goal could help us achieve a long-term goal. So we’ve come up a series of challenges to help us achieve some goals this year. Here’s the February challenge for our GRS community: What will you give up for just one month to save…

  • Saving for a Big Purchase (86 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Tim Sullivan. I love the jeans I’m wearing. I actually wear them almost four days a week. Chances are that if you see me, I’m wearing these jeans. They’re my only pair. When I bought them, I very gladly put down my $200 cash and left the store with a smile. The jeans I had before them cost the same, and I wore them until they got holes in…

  • How Saving Money Cost Me Money (86 comments)

    For the next week (or two), we’ll be sharing “audition” pieces from folks interested in being new staff writers at Get Rich Slowly. Your job is to let us know what you think of each of these writers. Pay attention, give feedback, and after a couple of weeks we’ll ask which writers you prefer. This article is from Kristin Wong, who also writes at The Heart Beat blog for MSN Living. I used to have…

  • How Safe Is Your Cash? (51 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. One of oldest adages in investing is “no risk, no return.” These days, that old saying seems literally true, since cash is considered the safest asset, yet it earns virtually no interest. However,…

  • Five easiest ways to save money (105 comments)

    [Editor's note: Even though it's not America Saves Week, it's still a good time to think about how to save money... Enjoy this oldie-but-goodie. We hope it helps you reach your goals!]

    This article is by GRS contributor Sarah Gilbert.

    This is America Saves Week, and I’m writing to you sitting next to a jar. This jar is stuffed full (okay, imagine it gently filled — it’s a small jar) of $5 bills. I…

  • Spare Change: Submit Your Story Edition (32 comments)

    Like a hibernating bear, I feel like I’m waking from a long winter’s nap. For the past few months, I’ve been dormant, not just at Get Rich Slowly but at my other sites as well. I’ve had so much happening in my personal life that it’s been tough to find the mental energy to write about money (or anything else). Now I’m ready to get back to work. As part of that, it’s time to…

  • Ask the Readers: How Much Should I Save (and What Should I Save For)? (107 comments)

    Many of the reader questions I get here at Get Rich Slowly follow a familiar formula. The person sends me a breakdown of her income and expenses, also sharing how she’s allocating her savings. From these figures, my correspondent wants to know if I’d make changes to her budget. Unfortunately, I’m not qualified to answer questions as specific as these. (And I don’t have time to answer them all!) That said, there are often certain…

  • Ask the Readers: When Is It Okay to Use Your Emergency Fund? (101 comments)

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a person in want of a good fortune must be in possession of an emergency fund. Hilarious literary allusions aside, the emergency fund — or rainy-day savings, or whatever you want to call it — is one of the bedrocks of basic personal finance. A solid savings account is like self-insurance; it can offer some protection when life seems intent on drowning you with one financial crisis after…

  • Getting Over the Overdraft: How I Started Saving (56 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Tim Sullivan. A few years back, I got a paycheck in the mail and went to deposit it. I left the bank, dropped off a rent check, bought groceries, a sandwich across the street, gas on the way home, and a new album from iTunes to listen to while cooking. I forgot to endorse the check. Normally, this is no big deal for my bank. That day, they decided…

  • Why I Still Pick Up Pennies (168 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer Donna Freedman. Donna writes a personal finance column for MSN Money, and writes about frugality and intentional living at Surviving And Thriving. The most-read piece I ever wrote for MSN Money’s Smart Spending blog was an essay called “See a penny? Pick it up!” It got more than 1,657,000 hits before MSN changed blog platforms. After that, the penny essay and most of the other things I’d written…

  • Best Savings Accounts for 2015 (106 comments)

    J.D. first posted this online savings account article back in March 2007, when interest rates were well over 1 percent. Since then, of course, interest rates at online banks have run under or just at 1 percent, making it hard for savers to make headway on their goals. Our sister site, MoneyRates.com, does a quarterly analysis of savings rates, called America’s Best Rates, which shows the highest interest rates offered during the previous quarter. The…

  • Ask the Readers: I’m Getting Older — Should I Save or Should I Travel? (112 comments)

    Long-time GRS reader Sheila (aka PawPrint) dropped a line earlier this year because she’s facing a financial dilemma. She and her husband want to be responsible — to save for retirement — but they’re afraid that doing so means they won’t be able to pursue other passions, such as travel. Sheila writes: My husband is nearly 60. As we watch friends and relatives succumb to cancer (mostly) in their late sixties, I wonder about our…

  • Reader Story: Saving the American Way…and the Bulgarian Way (96 comments)

    This guest post from Rya is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes. Rya writes a Bulgarian personal-finance blog called kadebg.com. My name is Rya. I’m 25 years old, and I live in Bulgaria. That’s a small…

  • Think You Can’t Afford an Emergency Fund? Think Again! (78 comments)

    This post is from new GRS staff writer Donna Freedman. Donna writes the Living With Less personal finance column for MSN Money, and writes about frugality and intentional living at Surviving And Thriving. Once upon a time it was enough to have a three-month emergency fund; now I hear we should aim for enough to cover a year’s worth of food, shelter, and other basics. A swell idea in theory, but this could actually discourage…

  • How to Save: Putting “Pay Yourself First” into Practice (79 comments)

    For many people, saving is tough. Between housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, credit-card debt, student loans, and other expenses, there never seems to be enough left to set aside for long-term savings. And that’s the problem. Most people try to save something out of what’s left over instead of saving first. One of the oldest rules of personal finance is to pay yourself first. All the money books tell you to do it. All the personal…

  • Checking Accounts: New Rules, Old Rules, Your Rules (20 comments)

    This is a guest post from Richard Barrington, a freelance writer and novelist who spent over 20 years as an investment-industry executive. Barrington is a regular contributor at MoneyRates. Previously at GRS, he shared how to find the right CD or money-market account, tips for sound saving and investing, and info about energy-efficiency tax credits. Did anyone ever give you a user’s manual for your checking account? Okay, I guess J.D. did with Your Money:…

  • Does Saving Stimulate the Economy More than Spending? (73 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer April Dykman. When the 2008-09 financial crisis hit, my husband and I were debt-free and building our savings. We were proud of what we’d accomplished, and I used to stare at our savings balance with a smile after every payday. At the time, all I seemed to hear was that we Americans had to spend our way out of a recession, that spending was the key to growth….

  • Why Are Interest Rates So Low Right Now? (and Where Should You Put Your Money?) (72 comments)

    I’ve been plowing through my e-mail lately in my never-ending quest to reach inbox zero. As a result, I’ve been answering tons of reader questions. And when I can’t answer them (or when I think a colleague can do a better job), I try to refer the question to somebody else. Over the weekend, for example, LP wrote: I’m a college student and have started saving up and setting aside money, and I feel that…

  • The Incredible Shrinking Emergency Fund (141 comments)

    The polls that appear in the Get Rich Slowly sidebar are far from scientific, and a lot of the time they don’t yield anything interesting. But sometimes they turn out a curious piece of information. At the end of April, the poll question asked, “How many months to do you have in your emergency fund?” This was the same question posed in mid-January. This poll also ran concurrently at Money Rates, a site with a…

  • Ask the Readers: How Do You Choose a Savings Account? (45 comments)

    Here’s a little twist to the typical Ask the Readers column. Yesterday, I exchanged e-mail with financial writer Liz Weston. She gave me advice for this Friday’s post, and in return she asked the following question: I’m writing about all the bonuses you can get for opening a savings account or other financial account (like $50 to open an ING checking account, for example). Is this something your readers like to do? How do they…

  • How to get the best rates on your savings — safely (64 comments)

    Over the past year, one of the frequent questions I get is: “Where I can safely invest my money to get a decent return?” For example, Joseph wrote in November: Around February/March, I should have $5,000 to invest. My debts are under control and my wife and I have lowered our monthly expenses. I was wondering if you had any advice on ways to invest $5,000. I don’t want a savings account because the interest…

  • Give Your Wealth Away: An Argument For a Secular Tithe (145 comments)

    This is a guest post from Sierra Black, a long-time GRS reader and the author of ChildWild, a blog where she writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale. Previously at Get Rich Slowly, Black told us about sweating the big stuff and the pitfalls of buying in bulk. My mother’s family is Catholic. They’re working class people from Buffalo: nurses, drugstore clerks, steel mill workers. Even though they never had…

  • Which Comes First: The House or the Nest Egg? (85 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer April Dykman. It’s also a part of National Save for Retirement Week A few weeks ago, J.D. asked me to consider writing a post on retirement for National Save for Retirement Week. As it was intended, National Save for Retirement Week made me reflect on the state of my and my husband’s retirement accounts. Currently, our retirement savings are a tad pitiful. I have a 403(b) through my…

  • How Much Should You Have in Savings? (117 comments)

    A couple of weeks ago, we had a fine discussion about how much we should save for retirement. But how much should we have saved for today? How much should we have in cash reserves? As I write my own book, I’m reading (and re-reading) dozens of other money manuals. While perusing Bert Whitehead’s Why Smart People Do Stupid Things With Money, I came across his table of “minimum base liquidity”. (Whitehead is a highly-educated…

  • 11 Ways to Spice Up Your Emergency Fund (77 comments)

    This article is by Adam Baker, a GRS Staff Writer. In addition to writing for Get Rich Slowly, Baker blogs over at Man Vs. Debt, where he discusses ways to simplify your financial life. A thriving emergency fund is an essential piece of a healthy financial picture. You’ve heard this a million times before. The basics of emergency funds have been covered in depth. We’re used to hearing discussions on why they’re important and how large…

  • An introduction to money market accounts & how to find the best rates (51 comments)

    I’ve been moving large sums of money between my bank accounts recently. I’m shuffling funds from my business account to my personal account to my high-yield savings account in an attempt to get each dollar in its proper place. It’s really not as complicated as I make it seem, though it does take a little work. At one point during this process, I ended up with over $25,000 in my credit-union checking account. Most of…

  • The Fall and Rise of Personal Savings (58 comments)

    Americans are beginning to save again, or so the media is reporting. The personal saving rate has jumped from 0.4% in 2007 to a whopping 6.9% in May. But what does that mean? Is it a good thing? And how long will it last? The personal saving rate “Personal saving rate” is an economic term for income that is not used immediately to buy goods and services. It’s money that consumers save for the future….

  • How much money should you save? (52 comments)

    At CNNMoney, Walter Updegrave hosts an “Ask the Expert” column in which he fields reader questions. (Updegrave is an editor at Money Magazine.) Lionel from San Diego recently wrote in with a question that all of us have: What percentage of income should someone save in order to be considered financially responsible? I’m wary of spending now because of the bad economy, but I don’t know how much I should be saving on a monthly…

  • Oversaving Does Not Lead to Happiness (51 comments)

    I love frugality. Frugality helped me to dig out of debt, begin to build wealth, and find more meaning in the things I already own. But at some point I crossed the line from frugal to cheap. I’ve spent the past few months seeking balance: allowing myself permission to spend on a few indulgences while choosing to cut back in other areas. There’s new research that indicates this sort of conscious spending really does make…

  • The Light at the End of the Tunnel (25 comments)

    This is the third of a five-part series about the “stages” of personal finance. In the first part I described the zeroth stage of money management, in which I was fumbling in the dark, spending compulsively and accumulating debt. Last week I described the first stage, in which I finally saw the light and began to repay my debt. Today I share what happened next. Last night at dinner, my friend Mike told me about…

  • Ask the Readers: How to Prioritize Savings Goals? (73 comments)

    Once you’ve paid off your debt, it’s time to save. But for many of us, it’s difficult to know where to start. Via Twitter (and edited slightly), @funkyknitwit asks: How do you set priorities with savings? I have so many things I want to save for, but I don’t know where to start! What I mean is, how can I decide which thing I should work towards first? My budgeting is already in order. This…

  • How to Save $5000 a Year — As a Homeowner or a Renter (63 comments)

    J.D. is on vacation. This is a guest post from Alison Wiley, who writes about more joy and less consumption at Diamond-Cut Life. Friendly married couple, both professionals in sustainability, seeks one competent, friendly person to serve as Home & Garden Manager in exchange for free rent. That’s the opener to the Craigslist ad that has saved us about $5,000, turned our weedy front lawn into a beautiful garden, and freed up six hours of…

  • Ask the Readers: How Much Cash Do You Stash? (260 comments)

    “How much cash do you carry in your wallet?” my friend Michael asked at lunch last Sunday. “I don’t know,” I said. “Somewhere between $40 and $100, I guess. That’s how much I take out of the ATM when I need it. Why do you ask?” “Well, I read something the other day that said the average person keeps about $175 on hand. That seems like a lot.” “That does seem like a lot,” Kris…

  • 8 Tips for Saving Money on Hobbies and Pastimes (67 comments)

    Lee wrote with an innocent question about photography equipment yesterday. Little did she realize I’d already been thinking about the broader issues of her dilemma. Here’s an abridged version of her message: A friend asked me about cameras. He went shopping last weekend and saw lenses that ranged from $200 to $700. He felt that the lower-end lenses would not work for him, but he wasn’t prepared to spend $700, so he went home. Now…

  • SmartyPig: A Goal-Oriented Savings Account (50 comments)

    Have you ever wanted to pool your money with friends or family to save toward a common goal? While it’s possible to do this with paper and pencil, it’d be easier if there were an online service to automagically track the savings for you. SmartyPig believes it is that service. SmartyPig is a special branded savings account from new type of savings account, with funds held at West Bank of Iowa. It’s specifically created to…

  • The Economics of a POW Camp (15 comments)

    In a 1945 issue of Econimica, R. A. Radford wrote about the economic organization of a P.O.W. camp. Radford spent at least two years (the timeline isn’t clear) as a prisoner in Italy and Germany during World War II. He used his experience as the basis for a paper about “financial” transactions among his fellow inmates. He found that although economic activity as a prisoner is severely curtailed, the ideas and habits of the outside…

  • Ask the Readers: What’s the Best Way to Save for a Down Payment? (50 comments)

    When I asked recently for topics you’d like to see covered at Get Rich Slowly, many of you expressed interest in learning more about how to purchase a home. Jason sent the following question: What’s the best vehicle to save money for a house? I’m probably more than a year from purchasing my first real estate. While maxing out my Roth IRA and building a nice emergency fund, I need to start saving specifically for…

  • Book Review: The Millionaire Next Door (37 comments)

    Some personal finance books promise to show the reader how to become a millionaire. The Millionaire Next Door (by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko) is different. It is built on years of research, on a body of statistics and case studies. It doesn’t make hollow promises. Instead, it profiles people who have already become millionaires. This is a subtle but important difference. Many people who earn high incomes are not rich, the authors…

  • Start Late, Finish Rich (5 comments)

    Just finished David Bach’s Start Late, Finish Rich. At 42, I thought it would be a good intro to Bach’s many treatises on personal finance. I’ll come right out and say I highly recommend this book. It was full of great information, and took an optimistic, yet realistic tone. I’ll try to touch on some key points. Yes, because you started late, you are going to have to work twice as hard to put away…