6 reasons to overcome a fear of plastic

As I was coming of age, I became aware of too many examples of people who had gotten into trouble with credit card debt. It made me avoid getting a credit card for several years. Eventually, though, I overcame my fear of plastic, and realized it is the user and not the card that should […]


“Frugal” is not a dirty word

My wife and I were talking recently about a June 5, 2015, New York Times article that described the lifestyle of “Millionaires Who Are Frugal When They Don’t Have to Be.” It got me thinking about the word “frugal.” It will probably never be a sexy concept, but neither does it have to seem like […]


7 financial lessons recent college grads still need

Around this time of the year, new college graduates are leaving their schools with a wealth of knowledge. At the end of their four (or six, or eight…) years of college, graduates have typically tackled a wide range of academic subjects, often with an impressive degree of complexity. Unfortunately, one type of lesson many of […]


Is the tide turning for savings accounts?

On the surface, savings account rates seem to be stuck in the same rut they have been in for the last couple years; but if you look a little closer, there are some isolated developments that could start to put the interest back in savings account interest rates. According to the FDIC, the average savings […]


The sunny side of pessimism

From the Declaration of Independence to the space program, optimism was traditionally something of a core American value; however, it is one that has taken quite a beating in recent years. Not too long ago, an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll found that 76 percent of Americans lack confidence that their children will have a better […]


In praise of not planning

It’s a good thing that I am a planner by nature because, dealing with personal finance as I do involves a lot of long-term planning. So it might seem a little odd for me to take this position, but there are times when your finances might be better for not having made a plan — […]


10 Steps on the Career Ladder

With the unemployment rate recently edging below 6 percent, the job market is starting to look healthier than it has been since before the Great Recession. While that market does not yet favor employees the way it did during the 1990s, it has recovered enough to justify a more ambitious focus. People who had to scuffle […]


9 Things I Wonder About IPOs

The initial public offering (IPO) of the international e-commerce company Alibaba recently attracted a lot of attention — not to mention a couple billion dollars of investment money. This might be okay if it were an isolated occurrence, but lately there has been a flurry of IPOs — and they make me feel a little […]


Student Loan Reality Check

With college students back in classes for the fall semester, their parents can only hope that they are making the best use of their time and money. There is a lot at stake — the amount of student loans outstanding is approaching $1.3 trillion, having mushroomed by over 50 percent in less than three years. […]


5 Reasons to be Optimistic About the Economy

I find that defaulting to pessimism about the economy is a great way to hedge your emotional bets. If things turn out well, then I can count it a pleasant surprise. If things turn out badly, at least I have the satisfaction of having been right. Lately though, there have been some cracks in my […]