Lump Sum Investing vs. Dollar Cost Averaging

I ran across an interesting discussion on the Bogleheads Investment Forum. It centered on the issue of lump sum investing vs. dollar cost averaging. With lump sum investing, you take whatever you have on hand to invest and you put it in the market all at once in your desired asset allocation. With DCA, you […]

Does Homeowners Insurance Pay for Removal of Fallen Trees?

While Hurricane Irene wasn’t nearly as bad as many pundits predicted, it still caused a good bit of damage. If you’re one of the many East Coast homeowners that is stuck cleaning up storm damage, you might be wondering if your homeowners insurance will pay for tree removal. Here’s the scoop: If your tree fell […]

Back-to-School Shopping on a Budget

To many, the holidays are a time of big spending and blown budgets. But to millions of households with children, mine included, back to school shopping can also wreak havoc on our finances. Between the trendy clothes, new shoes, and endless amount of school supplies, it is not difficult to put a noticeably big dent […]

Investing a Windfall (and Making Up for a Late Start)

A reader that I’ll call Diane recently wrote in with a question about investing a windfall. She says: I am getting some extra money — about $10k — and I have no idea what to do with it. I am 57 years old and have no debt. I have about $9k in my company’s 401(k), […]

What Do You Do With Your Spare Change?

Earlier this week I ran across a story about a guy named Danny who uses a coin jar to supercharge his savings. Whenever he spends cash, he makes a point of not using his change – and when he receives additional change, he collects it in a jar back at home before taking it to […]

Seven Clever Ways to Pay for Your Kids’ College

If you have little kids, you probably see college expenses as some distant cloud hardly deserving attention. But as your kids age, that cloud gets closer, darker, and larger, until suddenly you realize it’s a raging storm that threatens to wreck your personal finances. The sooner you start dealing with the likelihood of that storm, […]

Payroll Tax Holiday on the Way Out?

Not quite a year ago, when Congress was extending the Bush-era tax cuts, they also enacted a “Payroll Tax Holiday.” In short, this meant that your FICA taxes would be reduced by 2%. For those that are unaware, your FICA taxes total (on the employee side) 7.65% of your gross compensation, with 6.2% going toward […]

Beware the Effects of Price Anchoring

As a followup to yesterday’s post on stupid money, I wanted to share some thoughts about the so-called price anchoring. I first ran across the concept of price anchoring while reading Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational. In short, price anchoring refers to the practice of establishing a high reference point against which you’ll compare prices when […]

Finding a Job When You’re Unemployed

Talk about kicking someone when they’re down… If you’re currently unemployed, you’ll be disappointed to learn that an increasing number of job openings require you to be currently employed or you won’t be considered. As bad as this sounds, this practice isn’t considered to be discriminatory because unemployment is not a “protected status” like age […]

Stupid Money

I’m currently engrossed in Peter Elkind’s entertaining 2010 book Rough Justice: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer. It’s a laugh-filled, fast-paced look at the life of the former New York attorney general and governor, whose swift rise to the top job in Albany was followed by an even swifter slalom out of elected office, […]