5 Factors to Consider Before Using a HELOC for Your Emergency Fund

A reader named Brian asks whether it’s a sound move to use a home equity line of credit as an emergency fund: Rob, I enjoy your podcast, and I have great respect for your approach to personal finance. The 31-Day Money Challenge actually had me looking forward to my daily commute. I have a simple […]

Published or Updated: April 15, 2014

Financial Decisions are About More Than Math

Forget the Math

When it come to financial decisions, you can learn a lot from both Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. What they teach us – together – is that when it comes to financial decisions, you need to go beyond the math. So much of finance involves math, and we certainly don’t shy away from that here. […]

Published or Updated: April 14, 2014

The “Latte Factor” is Not About the Latte

Latte Factor

I‘ve been reading a lot of criticisms of the Latte Factor recently. If you’re not familiar, the Latte Factor was popularized by author David Bach. The idea is simple. If instead of getting a $4 latte every day, you instead invested the money, you’d have a pile of cash in 10, 20, 30 or 40 […]

Published or Updated: March 14, 2014

DR 012: The Four Rules of Budgeting [with Jesse Mecham of YNAB]

YNAB 4 Budget Rules

Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedThis is the fifth day in our 31-Day Money Challenge. Over 31 days we’ll publish 31 podcasts, each designed to help you move closer to financial freedom. Yesterday we covered 7 tips for effective and stress-free budgeting. In today’s podcast, we Jesse Mecham, founder of You Need […]

Published or Updated: January 7, 2014

DR 011: 7 Tips for Effective and Stress-free Budgeting

How to Budget

Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedThis is the fourth day in our 31-Day Money Challenge. Over 31 days we’ll publish 31 podcasts, each designed to help you move closer to financial freedom. Yesterday we walked through how to prepare your net worth statement. In today’s podcast, we discuss 7 tips for effective […]

Published or Updated: January 9, 2014

4 Reasons YNAB Beats Mint Hands Down

YNAB Beats Mint

After months of debating whether to pay $60 for budgeting software, I finally took the plunge and bought You Need a Budget (YNAB). For years, I’ve used Mint. I appreciate its slick graphical interface and that it automatically syncs with my accounts. With that said, in the last few weeks, I’ve become more and more of […]

Published or Updated: December 6, 2013

A Review of Quicken 2014 from a Complete Quicken Newbie

Quicken 2012 Review

I have to admit: I’ve always been a little afraid of Quicken. It just seems so monolithic, in the world of budgeting and personal finance. And I always figured it would be incredibly complicated to use. So I was pleasantly surprised to find how easy setting up Quicken 2014 can be! As a detail-oriented budgeting […]

Published or Updated: November 14, 2013

28 Ways a Library Can Save You Money

Textbooks

Interested in saving some money while becoming a better-educated (or better-entertained, or better-employed, or just all-around better) person? Check out your local library. While libraries started as a place to borrow books, they’ve evolved into much more. And all the offerings from your local library, used correctly, can add up to some serious savings back […]

Published or Updated: September 4, 2013

7 Reasons the Envelope Budgeting System is a Terrible Idea

Cash Budget

On its surface, envelope budgeting seems like a good idea. That is, until you try it. Believe me, I’ve tried it. And tried it. And tried it. And every time I’ve tried it, there’s some reason that envelope budgeting doesn’t work for me and my family. If you’re considering envelope budgeting because you think it’ll […]

Published or Updated: June 20, 2013