How to Complain About Your Credit Card

Have you ever been wronged by a credit card issuer? Did you wish you could complain to someone other than the customer service line? If so, then you’ll be happy to know that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has launched an online portal for submitting credit card complaints. In case you’ve never heard of […]

Wealth Building Techniques That I Learned From the Garbage Man

When I began my career as a financial advisor, I worked in a bank. On my third day on the job, I met one of the wealthiest men I would ever meet. Phil was worth over $10 million dollars – and this was back in 1986. As if that weren’t enough, Phil never inherited a […]

USPS Plans to Close Over 3600 Post Office Locations

In case you haven’t heard, the USPS is planning on closing over 3, 600 locations. Believe it or not, of their roughly 32k locations, only about 6k (19%) cover their costs, so it’s time for a change. Is your favorite location in danger? Find out by clicking through and checking the official list. Of the […]

Five Tips for Thrift Shopping Success

You drive by the Salvation Army store every day, but you probably never stop in. Maybe you shop at Goodwill for some old clothes for a Halloween costume, but wouldn’t think of going there for anything else. Well, maybe it’s time to change your shopping habits and make thrift stores part of your routine. With […]

State and Local Sales Tax Rates (Map)

As a followup to this morning’s post about state sales tax holidays for back-to-school shopping, I thought I’d share this map of state sales tax rates from the Tax Foundation. (click map to enlarge) Some interesting tidbits… The ten states with the highest sales tax rates (from highest to lowest) are: Tennessee, California, Arizona, Louisiana, […]

2011 Sales Tax Holidays for Back-to-School Shopping

It’s that time of the year again… Time to start thinking about back-to-school shopping. And you know what that means, don’t you? Time for a sales tax holiday! What follows is an alphabetical listing of states with sales tax holidays, along with a brief summary of what is included in each. Note that there are […]

Why You Should Invest Like a Girl

I recently ran across some interesting data on the differences between men and women when it comes to investing for retirement. What follows is based on “How America Saves 2011, ” which is Vanguard’s annual report on retirement plans. And yes, I realize that it’s dangerous to generalize, but there are some interesting nuggets of […]

Will Municipal Bonds Lose Their Tax Advantage?

Municipal bonds, which are issued by states and local communities, are a popular choice for those who are looking for a fixed income investment in a taxable account. The reason for this is that the income generated by muni bonds is tax exempt, which boosts their effective yield as compared to taxable bonds. Beyond being […]

Big Banks vs. Small Banks: Which is Right for Me?

With all the publicity in recent years on the exorbitant fees big banks are charging, along with the dissolution of more and more community and neighborhood banks, I have been re-evaluating where to do my banking. It is not easy switching banks to begin with, especially for those of us with more than one account, […]

Why I Like Savings Bonds

Several people have asked why I like Series I savings bonds, so I thought I’d address that with a dedicated post… For context, the Treasury has recently announced that they’re (mostly) getting rid of paper savings bonds, which effectively cuts the annual purchase limit in half (from $5k paper + $5k electronic to just $5k […]