Simple. Honest. Personal finance.

How to Use a Credit Card Responsibly

This blog was born of stupidity. Between the ages of 18 and 25 I racked up nearly $80,000 of debt -- much of it on credit cards. I wrote this article in 2007 when I was still digging out of debt and struggling with how to quit my bad money habits, … [Read more...]

Your Most Important Money Goal

For the great majority of us, there will always be more ways to spend money than money to spend. As a result, managing money well requires making good decisions. A lot of them. Do you take that vacation or save a bit more this year? Will you … [Read more...]

Your First Home: What Can You Get for $200k?

As if I don’t get enough real estate as a full-time broker, I spend what little time I take off from work watching the HDTV show “House Hunters.” Why watch something I see day in and out? For the same reason anyone does — to compare. I sit there, thin … [Read more...]

More Mint Alternatives: HelloWallet and PowerWallet

Although I’m just starting out in managing my own money, I’ve already figured out one aspect of my financial personality: I like my finances to be as simple as possible. I can’t stand having bank accounts at different banks, and I worry splitting u … [Read more...]

Barclaycard Ring Credit Card Review

Let's face it: Few credit cards are innovative. When picking new plastic, you have similar choices and decide on trade-offs like rewards, annual fees, and interest rates. Occasionally, however, there's a card that's notably different, like a new … [Read more...]

‘I Don’t…Want to Pay for That!’: Tips for Managing Finances With a Significant Other Before Marriage

Ah, the thrills of dating and new relationships. Movie nights, ice cream dates, walks on the beach, a romantic candlelit dinner on Saturday night followed by… …a $150 bill! If you’ve dated -- even for a short time -- you know that dating involv … [Read more...]

Car Dealer Secrets: How to Maximize Profit When Selling Your car on the Private Market

Want to maximize the money you get from your used car? Forget trading it in. Sell it yourself. In my experience, there are a couple of key items that will improve the quality of your car’s listing and hopefully increase what you’re able to sell it … [Read more...]

How to Invest for Short-Term Goals (Less Than 10 Years Out)

Raise your hand if you’re trying to save for something big in the next 10 years. A new car? Your wedding? The down payment on a home? More education? Most financial advice tells you to save for two –- maybe three -- things: A rainy day (the cas … [Read more...]

Motif Investing Review: At new Broker, Trade ‘Buckets’ of Themed Stocks for $9.95

As somebody who avoids stock picking and frequent trading, it’s hard to get excited about the latest research tools and bells and whistles offered by online brokers like E*Trade or TDAmeritrade. Quite frankly, as long as I’m investing in a few low … [Read more...]

5 Mutual Funds to Get You Started

Let’s proceed carefully. Although I’ve done it once or twice before, I try to avoid recommending individual stocks or funds. Such “picks” are a dime a dozen on other blogs, in major financial magazines or on Jim Cramer’s TV shows. At best, inves … [Read more...]