Simple. Honest. Personal finance.

Should You Save or Pay Off Student Loans?

One of the most common questions I get is "should I save or pay off student loans?" Although it can be daunting to start out with a lot of eduction debt, you may want to resist the urge to repay those student loans as fast as possible. Earlier … [Read more...]

What Percentage of Income Can You Afford for Mortgage Payments?

This question often comes up among first-time home buyers: What percentage of my monthly income can I afford to spend on my mortgage payment? Does that percentage include property taxes? Private mortgage insurance (PMI) or homeowners … [Read more...]

Personal Loans vs. Credit Cards

When life's big expenses crop up, it's always best to pay cash. But what if you can't? If you don't have emergency savings and suddenly face a car repair, tax bill, or some other major expense, you may have to borrow money to pay it. And most of the … [Read more...]

When To Refinance: 3 Steps to Deciding Whether to Refinance or Not

Deciding when to refinance your home loan depends on several factors besides whether you can get a better mortgage rate than you already have. And though there are many reasons people refinance their mortgage, some are smarter financial moves than … [Read more...]

Can I Cash Out My Old 401(k) And Take The Cash?

It's a basic but all-too common question posed on financial blogs like this one: "I just left my job. I have like $1,000 sitting in my old 401(k) and I'm short on cash. Can I just cash out the 401(k)?" About cashing out old 401(k)s Technically, … [Read more...]

The Best Financial iPhone Apps

Updated! Popular since we first published this list of some of the best financial iPhone apps in early 2009, we refresh this list periodically to help you keep tabs on at least a few of the best financial apps in the Appstore. -DW Personal … [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...]

Citi Simplicity Credit Card Review: With No Late Fees, a Card for the Innocently Absent-minded

Ideally, we’d never carry a balance on our credit cards. The reality is, when you're  young, broke, and living paycheck-to-paycheck, sometimes you have little choice but to use credit cards as a stopgap. If that's the case, pay attention to our Citi S … [Read more...]

How Much Should You Contribute To Your 401k?

Ten percent? Twenty percent? More? Recently I wrote about the benefits of both 401ks and IRAs offer. We also looked at the emerging Roth 401k option and when it makes sense for young investors. But everybody’s next question is: “Okay, okay, but … [Read more...]

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...]