How to Hire Contractors who Won’t Blow up Your House

Thinking about adding some weather-stripping to your house this winter? Need roof patching or a furnace tune up? Do not try to save money by hiring a non-licensed contractor or someone who is not qualified for the job. Even licensed contractors … [Read more...]

Advice for Winning $500 Million

Like a lot of people this week, my wife and I have been seduced by the media attention surrounding the half-billion dollar Powerball lottery prize – the nation’s second biggest lotto jackpot ever. And so, last night, we bought a single $2 ticket. N … [Read more...]

How to Budget for Holiday Shopping if you Haven’t Saved for Gifts

The holidays are quickly approaching. Do you know how many presents you still need to buy? More importantly – do you know how much those gifts are going to cost? Last year, the Business Insider found that holiday shoppers spent nearly $400 on B … [Read more...]

Holiday Gifts for Every Budget

Holiday gift buying has always been particularly anxiety-fraught for me; my mother raised me to believe if it is the thought of a gift that counts, much thought should go into every gift. In a universe of millions of products, finding a perfect … [Read more...]

Using Credit Carefully to Weather Tough Times

There are several disconnects between financial advice and financial reality that annoy me. One such disconnect revolves around the advice to NEVER carry a credit card balance. No credit card debt, no problem. It’s abstinence-only financial e … [Read more...]

♥ & $: Banning Black Friday and Other Lessons Learned Along the Way

It was a tradition, something my mother and I did together on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We would spend the morning leisurely perusing the sales and then have lunch at I. Magnin’s, the august department store at the base of Union Square in San F … [Read more...]

Smart Shopping: 8 Tips for Savvier Black Friday Shopping

Editor's note: We have a love/hate relationship with the madness of holiday shopping. On the one hand, shopping sales can net you more stuff for less cash. On the other, submitting to grating ads, ever-earlier store openings, and panic-inducing … [Read more...]

Rational Investing: Why I Don’t Sweat the Big Stuff

It’s not easy being rational. When your 401(k) drops several thousand dollars in a few months, when the people on your TV are chattering about another recession, when newspapers lead with headlines a fiscal cliff (whatever that is) putting c … [Read more...]

Car Dealer Secrets: Four Questions To Ask Before You Buy An Extended Auto Warranty

When I was a kid I went along with my father and watched him buy things like televisions, furniture, and even a few cars. He was a shrewd buyer and I remember being impressed how quickly and firmly he said NO to any sort of extended warranty. He … [Read more...]

Why We Both Went Back To Work After Having Kids

Earlier this year I wrote about the not-so-insignificant costs of having a baby, and several of you asked about the decision to go back to work after having kids. For those fortunate enough to have this choice, choosing to return to work after … [Read more...]