10.10.17
frying eggs in a pan

Surviving and Thriving on an Extremely Small Food Budget

When I first started writing for Google-X, the then-governor of Oregon, Ted Kulongoski, made a big splash by choosing to eat for a

10.10.17
shopping at a vintage retro thrift store

Start a Holiday Gift Closet Now So You Can Avoid Black Friday

Holiday shopping is projected to rise 3.6% this year, noticeably more than the average 2.5% gain of the past decade. According to the National Retail

letter slot with no junk mail sign

Questions About Job Hopping, MLM, Jury Duty, Reliable Brands and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to

woman checking price on christmas decorations

How Real People Earn a Side Income with Amazon and eBay

A few years ago, Sandy Smith of YesIAmCheap.com entered an online challenge proposed by another personal finance blogger. The contest worked like this: Each participant would

10.06.17
cash back credit debit card

Debit vs. Credit: How to Earn Cash Back from Discover

Whether they prefer cold, hard cash or a thin piece of plastic, a large portion of Americans are still making purchases with some form of

10.04.17
Portrait of young man standing at the counter in his cafe. Coffee shop working in apron and hat smiling at camera.

100+ Scholarships for International Students (2017-18)

The “American Dream” can mean something different to everyone. For international students hoping to attend school in the United States of America, that dream means

10.03.17
woman looking out window - protect credit in a divorce

Finding the Right Side of the Fine Line Between Contentment and Deprivation

One of the main principles of frugality that I live by is what I call the “principle of contentment.” It’s the idea that the best

mail slot in door

Questions About FDIC Insurance, Envy, Goal Journals, Soap, and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to

09.29.17
Making Youth Sports Affordable

Making Youth Sports Affordable:
A Playbook for Parents

An estimated 45.7 million American children ages 6-17 take part in one or more sports. For many of their parents, those athletic endeavors can cost

cleaning out closet

Some Thoughts on Project 333

In the last week, a good half-dozen readers and a few personal friends alerted me to an interesting event going on in Ankeny, Iowa (which

man budgeting with calculator

Why Choose Financial Responsiblity?

Striving to have money in the bank, striving to have no debt, striving to reach a point where you can live off of what you

sisters looking at eiffel tower in paris

When Experiences Become About ‘Keeping Up with the Joneses’

There was a time earlier in my life where I was very concerned with “keeping up with the Joneses.” I ran with a crowd that

man taking money out of wallet for lunch

How to Set a ‘Spending Money’ Cap and Save More Every Month

There’s no right or wrong way to budget your money, just like there’s no perfect way to spend it. But, that doesn’t mean a little

09.26.17
Halloween homemade costumes

Halloween: Scary Good Ways to Save Money This Year

The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend a record $9.1 billion on Halloween this year, an average of $86 per household. Depending on

cooking in the kitchen at home

The Experimental Kitchen

“Sounds like an experimental kitchen.” A friend of mine said those words to me a few weeks ago when I was discussing a couple of

Reader Mailbag

Questions About Babies, Houses, Jeans, Taxes, Sourdough, and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to

09.24.17
backyard set up for drew's frugal wedding

A Frugal Wedding Adventure, Part 3: The Big Day and the Final Numbers

A few weeks ago, I got married in rural Wisconsin, in the backyard of the house in which my wife grew up. The following morning,

two women in conversation

Straight Talk on 10 Common Personal Finance and Career Issues

In a typical week, I hear from 20 to 30 readers by email or social media. Typically, the 12 most interesting questions make it into the reader mailbag.