Are High Gas Prices the President’s Fault?

As someone who works in Washington, DC in an office with a view of the White House, it’s hard to avoid politics. (Every day I watch the Vice President’s motorcade scream down Connecticut Avenue as it travels from the Navel Observatory to the White House and back again.) And during a presidential election year, things […]

Published or Updated: March 16, 2012

7 Ways To Your Pay Bills Online for Free

Check Free

Photo: kizzzbeth When I was in law school, my wife paid the bills. It was a depressing undertaking because we had more bills than money to pay them. After I graduated, my wife decided she had had enough and passed the torch to me. So for the last 20 years or so, I’ve been paying […]

Published or Updated: March 5, 2012

Saturday Night at the Movies: How to Make Impossibly Difficult Decisions (The Matrix)


Saturday Night at the Movies uses great films to explore some aspect of personal finance. Published Saturdays at 7 PM, get your front row seat by subscribing to The Dough Roller. The Matrix is a movie about finding the truth. The Matrix follows a band of freedom fighters as they battle a surreal establishment with […]

Published or Updated: February 19, 2012

5 Tools To Keep Your New Year’s Resolution In Check


A New Year’s resolution is, in the words of Mary Poppins, like a pie crust promise–easily made, easily broken. But that doesn’t stop us from making promises of positive change every year. Whether it’s a big change or just a few tweaks, New Year’s resolutions are a dime a dozen. In fact, almost 50% of […]

Published or Updated: January 3, 2012

3-Step Financial Checkup


So where do you stand financially? Are you on track to meet your goals? Given your age and income, have you saved and invested as much as you should have? How much house can you afford? These were some of the questions I began asking myself several years ago. The problem is, it was difficult […]

Published or Updated: April 6, 2013

2011 Holiday Tipping Guide

Tip Jar

Photo: Muy Yum ‘Tis the season to tip! It’s a wonderful time of the year and it’s also pretty darn confusing. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out when a tip is even appropriate, let alone how much you should give. That times are tough and you might not be able to be as generous as […]

Published or Updated: December 21, 2011

What To Do When Your Check Engine Light Comes On

Your Check Engine Light Comes On

Photo: f2point8 We recently bought a car for our kids to drive. It’s a beauty, too. We’re talking a 2004 Mercury Sable with 170,000 miles. And after just a few short weeks of ownership, the dreaded “check engine light” came on. Now we did what most probably do–we took it to a repair shop. I […]

Published or Updated: December 9, 2011

Straight Talk from WalMart Review

Straight Talk

Cell phone bills can easily get out of hand. With two teenagers in the house, we have four lines. Add in texting and data packages, and the cost easily exceeds $150 a month. One option we’ve covered in the past is prepaid cell phone plans. And one pay-as-you-go option worth considering comes from STRAIGHT TALK™. […]

Published or Updated: November 11, 2011

How to (Quickly) Sell Your iPhone 4 For Cash

How to Sell Your Cell Phone

Rumor has it that Apple will announce the release of the iPhone 5 today. And like many (41% of existing cell phone users, according to one dubious study), I plan to purchase the new gizmo as soon as the crazy lines at the Apple store die down. But this raises one big question–what do I […]

Published or Updated: June 6, 2013