Saving Toolbox

Frugal can be fun: 10 Ways to cut Costs Without Cutting Corners

Let's face it, folks: Frugal is in. Very in. And what's more, it's fun ... especially at a time when making ends meet is anything but. The Great Recession took away lots of things from Americans and gave little if anything back. Credit is much … [Read more...]

Cut Back on Spending: 10 Painless Money-saving Tips for the Upcoming Holidays

In just a few weeks, the holiday shopping season will hit us with all the subtlety of a tsunami: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, whatever holiday retailers can make out of a Tuesday, etc. If anyone fashions a sequel to "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," … [Read more...]

How Investing Just $50 a Month can Kick-start Your Retirement

The story of the tortoise and the hare is particularly applicable as an investment metaphor. Instead of trying to time the market and buying stocks that could either make you a fortune or lose you everything, a far more lucrative option is just to … [Read more...]

6 Tips for Building a Work Wardrobe on a Budget

“I’m sorry, do you have some prior commitment? Some hideous skirt convention you have to go to?” Fortunately, this is a line from “The Devil Wears Prada,” makes me laugh and is not from my real life. The newsroom I’ve been working in is (fortunatel … [Read more...]

Pump Up the Savings: 10 Ways to Spend Less on Gas

These days — and especially with the summer driving season in full swing — conspiracy theories abound as to what’s behind high gas prices. It's hard to believe that as recently as late 2008, you could find gas at $2 a gallon. In Chicago, where I live, … [Read more...]

Funny Money: Stuff You Should Never Buy Because You Can Get it For Free

People tend to say and repeat the quote "there's no such thing as a free lunch" as if it's something wise and profound. These are people who have never been to Denny's on their birthday, where there is also a free breakfast and dinner. I'm not … [Read more...]

Funny Money: Spotting Wastes of Money Disguised as Good Deals

Marketing wizards spend their days conjuring up hypnotic spells meant to part you with your money. These spells, which are cast via marketing pitches, trick you into thinking you're getting something extra for your money by taking advantage of a … [Read more...]

How Do You Balance Saving for Retirement With Other Goals?

It’s perhaps the biggest financial quandary facing every young saver: Personal finance advice –- including our own --- implores you to save as much for retirement as possible. But the younger you are, the more likely you have other important goals ahe … [Read more...]

Q&A: Should I Invest Money I Need in Two Years?

Q: I just started my first full-time job (this Monday!) and found your blog doing a search trying to make sense of my 401(k) options. I have been so inspired reading all over your blog since then and learning more about investing and saving for … [Read more...]

How to Serve the Ultimate Holiday Feast on an Intelligent Budget

More than presents, decorating, carols or any other festivity, my favorite part of the holiday season has always been gathering with family and friends over delicious food. Some of my best childhood memories are tied to sweet potato casserole, … [Read more...]