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Article Archive: Thrift

Debt narrows what you can endure
05/09/24   Thrift
"once you view debt as narrowing what you can endure in a volatile world, you start to see it as a constraint on the asset that matters most: having options and flexibility."

Where it goes
04/14/24   Thrift
"A lifetime of frugality has made such spending and giving a whole lot sweeter. It really does feel wonderfully luxurious. And whenever the cash outflow makes me a little uncomfortable, I reassure myself that such expenditures are indeed discretionary and, if necessary, we could eliminate them and our annual spending would plunge."

Can the typical person become a millionaire?
03/09/24   Thrift
"So, can the typical person become a millionaire? Not if they take typical actions."

Thoughts on spending money
02/09/24   Thrift
"Everyone can spend money in a way that will make them happier, but there is no universal formula on how to do it. The nice stuff that makes me happy might seem crazy to you, and vice versa. Like many things in finance, debates over what kind of lifestyle you should live are often just people with different personalities talking over each other."

Overrated things in personal finance
02/09/24   Thrift
"Retiring at age 35 sounds interesting in principle, but it in practice, it would be hell. Imagine being completely idle and have nothing to do except worry about your small pile of money turning to dust."

Our money pit
01/21/24   Thrift
"We just finished a project that proved so expensive that, if I revealed the cost, my reputation for frugality would be in tatters. The cost was comfortably - or perhaps uncomfortably - into six figures. What if we sold our Philadelphia townhome tomorrow? I figure we might recoup half of what we just spent."

Ways you pay more for less
01/14/24   Thrift
"Andrew Chang breaks down four reasons your grocery bill might be rising" [video]

Your money or your life
01/07/24   Thrift
"This partially explains why only 1 in 4 people with over $3 million in investable assets are self-made"

Frugal to be independent
12/03/23   Thrift
"Most people are wired to seek status and success, not necessarily happiness. It's remarkable to watch someone fight back against that trend. From the outside they appear frugal. But in fact they've rejected what the world tells them they should want and looked deeper, finding their happiness elsewhere."

Died with a big secret
11/21/23   Thrift
"'He seemed to have what he wanted, but he didn't want much,' said Edwin 'Smokey' Smith, Holt's best friend and former employer. But Holt died earlier this year with a secret: He was a multimillionaire. And what's more, he gave it all away to this community of 4,200 people."

The dark side of tipping
10/29/23   Thrift
"In a world of card payments, the days of dropping coins into a tip jar are gone. On-screen digital options can sometimes increase gratuities, but at what cost?"

Save more to retire earlier
05/14/23   Thrift
"The good news is that we can quantify how much earlier you could retire if you increased your savings rate by 1%. The bad news is that this answer also depends your current savings rate."

Rich vs wealthy
04/22/23   Thrift
"if you want to feel wealthier you can either: (1) increase your net worth or (2) decrease your desires. This is how you can have far less than someone else while still feeling like you have much more."

Saved by compounding
04/16/23   Thrift
"Consider an investor over a 30-year period earning a 5% average annual return after expenses, versus a pre-cost 7%. Missing out on those two percentage points yields a final result that's half what it could have been."

Be like the Reads
04/16/23   Thrift
"While it might seem like common sense not to spend too much or too little, it can be tricky to achieve this balance. But there are some strategies that can help."

02/25/23   Thrift
"By your 50s, you might realize you're on track to have plenty saved for retirement. But by then, if you're like me, frugality will have become a way of life and you could find it awfully hard to change."

Where millionaires keep their money
02/12/23   Thrift
"Many people are curious about the financial habits of the wealthy, and for good reason. Having a better understanding of how millionaires manage their money can help us learn from their successes and potentially improve our own financial well-being as well."

Avoiding Unhappiness
01/29/23   Thrift
"it seems that we can't buy happiness with a fistful of dollars or a stack of credit cards. The thrill of a new purchase is short-lived. But money spent to reduce our financial worries, such as by paying off credit card debt, may help stave off the unhappiness that can lead to depression."

Rich income
01/22/23   Thrift
"if you're interested in understanding how your income compares to others in the U.S. (and whether that makes you rich), then you've come to the right place. So, how much income do you need to be rich? Let's find out."

Spending money
01/15/23   Thrift
"How people invest their money tends to be hidden from view. But how they spend is far more visible, so what it shows about who you are can be even more insightful."

New rules for success
11/27/22   Thrift
"By contrast, value stocks, with their healthy current earnings and often high dividend yields, have become far more appealing. After all, why speculate on the future when you can collect a handsome dividend check today?"

Save enough
11/20/22   Thrift
"Unfortunately, most of us are stuck dealing with the financial markets, volatility and all, to improve our standard of living over the long haul. But the important thing to remember is it doesn't matter how you invest your money if you don't save enough in the first place."

Liquidating assets
08/27/22   Thrift
"How people spend their money fascinates me, especially when I hear that 42% of Americans are struggling financially, that many can't afford their prescription copays and that they're unable to save for the future. The average American household spends some 18% of its net income on things like pets, hotels, eating out, equipment for their hobbies, and entertainment fees and admissions."

Money makes you happy
06/24/22   Thrift
"They say money can't buy you happiness and there is evidence that once income reaches a certain level people really aren't getting much happier with more income. But what about assets? Studies in the past focused on income rather than wealth but now a study among Germans looked at the interactions between income and wealth."

Retire with more money than you need
02/03/22   Thrift
"If we really want to help our kids or the causes that are important to us, however, leaving it all in our will may not be the best way to do it."

Buy things, not experiences
01/15/22   Thrift
"While I appreciate the Stoic-style appraisal of what really brings happiness, economically, this analysis seems precisely backward. It amounts to saying that in an age of industrialization and globalism, when material goods are cheaper than ever, we should avoid partaking of this abundance. Instead, we should consume services afflicted by Baumol's cost disease, taking long vacations and getting expensive haircuts which are just as hard to produce as ever."

Knowing things
09/24/21   Thrift
"I think most of us vastly over-estimate how much money we need to live a full life. We also, wrongly in my view, equate status with net worth. Doing a job you dislike, or retiring later than you would like to, in order to die with a bigger bank balance seems really dumb to me,"

Pay down debt
07/04/21   Thrift
"A safe withdrawal rate is the lesser of the yield on the 10 year treasury +1%, or 7%. The long-term increase in value of assets is roughly proportional to something a little higher than where the US government can borrow for 10 years. That's the reason for the formula. Capping it at 7% is there because if rates get really high, people feel uncomfortable taking so much from their assets when their present value is diminished."

Go figure
04/18/21   Thrift
"A lot of investment math focuses on how money grows over time. But as an attorney who's worked with many clients hoping to retire in comfort, I find myself thinking more about risk - and how the math can work against us."

What it takes
04/03/21   Thrift
"No way. That's been my reaction whenever I've read about people saving 30% or more. I look back and think about making monthly mortgage payments, raising four children, paying for college and trying to save something to supplement my pension. For my wife and me, a 30% savings rate simply wasn't possible. Nevertheless, people do it."

Low cost is better than free
03/28/21   Thrift
"As someone who's worked on pricing R&D at two different wealth managers, I can assure you that like high-functioning pavlovian dogs, companies are very sensitive to what people want as revealed by their actual behavior. If people started subscribing in droves to a direct paid model, they'd hop on that model quickly. But usually we don't. Based on our behavior, we basically look companies in the eye and say 'Lie to me please'. 'Tell me it's free', 'Tell me there's no fee'."

Liquid net worth
05/23/20   Thrift
"Yes, I have heard that '61% of Americans couldn't cover a $1,000 emergency expense directly from savings,' but it is still difficult to know that so many households are struggling to make ends meet."

A personal finance lie
02/07/20   Thrift
"the biggest lie in personal finance is that you can be rich if you just cut your spending."

The asymptote of joy and woe
10/11/19   Thrift
"Once enslaved to onerous debts, it becomes very difficult to get out of the slimy pit."

Invest your way onto the Rich List
05/27/19   Thrift
"Is it feasible? Can you invest your way onto the Rich List?"

The biggest returns
05/20/19   Thrift
"Personal savings and frugality - finance's conservation and efficiency - are parts of the money equation that are largely in your control and have a 100% chance at being as effective in the future as they are today."

Investing for the disaster to come
05/15/19   Thrift
"The way I see it, by spending less on fancy caffeine now I either reach my goals more quickly, or I am better insulated against my personal apocalypse, if and when it happens."

Personal finance is a bit too personal
05/01/19   Thrift
"So, how do you become a millionaire by age 30? Make a ton of money and don't spend most of it. Shocking, right? The issue is that this advice just isn't an option for basically everyone."

Million dollar coffee
05/01/19   Thrift
"A 12% annual return sounds wonderful in a latte factor example but it's not realistic."

Price matters
04/03/19   Thrift
"Motusbank's fee for chequing accounts is zero, and that includes unlimited debits, including e-transfers, and an interest rate of 0.5 per cent (competitive for a chequing account). On savings, the bank will pay a rate of 2.25 per cent on regular accounts and 2.5 per cent on tax-free savings accounts."

One big thing
02/05/19   Thrift
"74% of retirement success had to do with one thing: savings rate. The other 26% was explained by asset allocation and related decisions."

Cost of living
01/01/19   Thrift
"Living in less costly areas can enable you to spend less and to invest more of your income. You will pay less for your home and correspondingly less for your property taxes. Your neighbors will be less likely to drive expensive motor vehicles. You will find it easier to keep up, even ahead, of the Joneses and still accumulate wealth."

We're stuffed
12/03/18   Thrift
"Don't think you have too much stuff? Try moving out of your home of many years and cleaning out your closets - which we just did. My wife found five boxes of shoes she didn't recall she had and which she had never worn. Even I found two boxes of unworn shoes - but I'm innocent, because my wife bought them for me."

Fanning the flames
11/19/18   Thrift
"What could possibly be wrong with saving like crazy, so you can retire early? That's the notion behind the Financial Independence/Retire Early, or FIRE, movement. Yet lately, I've read a lot of carping about FIRE"

No core
10/22/18   Thrift
"I was asked how to teach children to handle money responsibly. 'Tell stories,' I said."

Spending matters more saving
09/06/18   Thrift
"Yet in reality, most households struggle to save because there is no money left at the end of the month to save in the first place. Because technically their problem isn't a savings rate that's too low; it's a spending rate that's too high, in one or more categories, that is causing all of the available household income to be consumed before the end of the month is even reached"

How much is enough?
12/04/16   Thrift
"Step back a bit, however, and you will see that every money question eventually boils down to a single line of inquiry: How much is enough?"

Frugality isn't what it used to be
10/22/16   Thrift
"It used to be that a fancy car or a country-club membership sufficed. But as these became available to more and more people, the acquisition of physical things has mostly taken a backseat to the acquisition of exotic experiences. Now, Westacott writes, because 'not working is in itself no longer a badge of honor,' what the economist Thorstein Veblen in 1899 called 'conspicuous leisure' is being displaced by conspicuous recreation. To describe the behavior of those who tire of this arms race, perhaps there needs to be yet a new term: conspicuous frugality."

Almost nothing in the bank
09/24/16   Thrift
"Close to half of those who earn from $100,000 to $149,999 a year have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts. Some 18 percent of them have socked away absolutely nothing."

Save more money
07/17/16   Thrift
"Bonds pay borrowers while lenders earn nothing. Stocks soar to all-time highs. How weird is today's financial world? It's weird, all right, but probably not as weird as you think."

7-day mental quarantine
07/10/16   Thrift
"My wife and I are setting up a customs screening station in our driveway. No, we're not starting an international airport. And it's not for solicitors, strangers or gift-bearing guests. It's for us and our stuff."

How much you'll earn
03/27/16   Thrift
"If you have a Bachelors degree, you will earn approximately $1.8 million in your lifetime. That's it. That's all you have"

The Cost Matters Hypothesis
02/21/16   Thrift
"While markets' efficiency will be forever questioned, there is no question that the costs we incur in investing deduct directly from our returns - it's simple subtraction."

Financial common sense
01/23/16   Thrift
"If you spend all your time thinking about money, chances are, you're going to get pretty good at thinking about money. Indeed, new research suggests that the poor -- for whom concerns about cash are inescapable -- are not as prone to certain financial mistakes often made by the affluent."

Buying begets buying
10/25/15   Thrift
"Buy less and instantly you have less to store; you use less space. Eventually you can work less to pay for all of this stuff. Soon you will stress less too and, above all, your life will involve less waste."

Buying organic is a waste of money
09/05/15   Thrift
"The science available thus far says any additional nutritional benefits from organic produce, compared with conventional, are very small."

Why we hate cheap things
09/02/15   Thrift
"There are two ways to get richer: one is to make more money; and the second is to discover that more of the things we could love are already to hand (thanks to the miracles of the Industrial Revolution). We are, astonishingly, already a good deal richer than we are encouraged to think we are."

Frugal millionaires
06/06/15   Thrift
"While the popular perception of millionaires is that they are more ostentatious than frugal, recent research shows that single-digit millionaires, at least, are generally far more mindful about how they save, spend and invest their money."

Watch for traps on high interest savings
11/08/14   Thrift
"Banks lure you with high rates on savings. But the fine-print conditions and transfer fees can offset the benefits of such deals."

Prudence penalised
10/03/14   Thrift
"The reluctance of workers to save for their old age is usually put down to inertia or impatience - being unable to defer gratification to the distant future. In fact, it may be a rational decision in the face of high charges, confusing products and poor returns."

The importance of being solvent
07/19/14   Thrift
"What is wealth? To me, it isn't a particular sum of money. Rather, it's the freedom to spend your days doing what you're passionate about and what you think is important."

Tiny houses for economic freedom
07/12/14   Thrift
"The 57-year-old schoolteacher's tiny house near Providence, Rhode Island, cost $28,000 - a seventh of the median price of single-family residences in his state."

When the messenger is worth shooting
04/12/14   Thrift
"In addition to being ineffective and boring, the lessons of financial literacy curriculums often end up sounding patronizing and obvious. Check your credit report. Rebalance investments. Budget. The fact that most people don't bother to do these things is taken as a sign of their financial illiteracy."

Our number-one tax shelter
01/18/14   Thrift
"Investing in a Tax-Free Savings Account should be a priority for most Canadians"

Frugal life leaves rich legacy
12/01/13   Thrift
"He clipped coupons, wore sweaters with holes in them to make people think he was poor and took a bus - not a cab - to the University of Washington when he attended an alumni luncheon in his later years. Only a tight circle of family and friends knew that MacDonald was nurturing a secret fortune. When he died in September at the age of 98, he left in his will a $187.6 million charitable trust to Seattle Children's Research Institute, the University of Washington School of Law and the Salvation Army."

The dark side of compound interest
10/12/13   Thrift
"If being in thrall to compound interest is a problem for you, just imagine how it feels for Warren Buffett. The world's richest man has compounded his wealth by 20% since the early 1970s. Before that has was doing even better. Every can of soda the notorious Coca-Cola fan swigged in the 1950s therefore cost him thousands of times as much as he paid for it, compared to if he'd put the money into his investments and had a glass of water."

Risk-free returns for everybody
09/22/13   Thrift
"Investment professionals too often forget that a dollar saved in costs or fees is actually worth more than a dollar earned from investment returns (thanks to taxes). In addition, investing in cost and fee reduction can provide far greater returns per unit of risk than anything else an investment organization can do. In fact, there.s an argument to be made that cost and fee savings represent risk-free returns to investors."

Time as money
08/10/13   Thrift
"But their data, primarily drawn from the Consumer Expenditure Survey from 1980 to 2003, provide an alternative explanation for why expenditure falls as people enter old age. To start with, they reveal that spending on non-essential items does not drop. In fact, it increases. But three categories do see declines: food, transportation and .personal care. (which includes clothing)."

The ever increasing value of parsimony
07/14/13   Thrift
"We're in a bull market for parsimony. Maybe even a parsimony bubble. Parsimony, which is a polite way to talk about penny-pinching, has never been a more valuable habit. Even with investment yields up from their recent lows, I think it is safe to predict that parsimony is well on its way to becoming a high art."

Jon Chevreau talks Findependence
07/06/13   Thrift
"I thought it would be great to have Jon back. This time we go into a bit more detail about his book."

Is wine BS?
06/30/13   Thrift
"A Lafite Rothschild Bordeaux sells for a minimum of around $500 a bottle, while humble brands like Charles Shaw and Franzia sell for as little as $2. But as far as 'wine economists' are concerned, the level of correlation between the price of a bottle of wine and its quality is low or nonexistent. In a number of damning studies, they suggest that wine is not just poorly priced, but that the different tastes we describe in wine may all be in our heads."

Extreme saving
06/01/13   Thrift
"Today, the 31-year-old father of three saves more than 70% of his net income with the goal of retiring in a few years."

Teach Americans to be cheap
03/24/13   Thrift
"The most potent way to get more wealth to the poor and middle-class is to get these people to save more of their income, and to invest in assets with higher average rates of return."

The 'scrooge' who begat plenty
02/16/13   Thrift
"Perseverance, property rights, contracts, civility to one's opponents, silence, smaller government, trust, certainty, restraint, respect for faith, federalism, economy, and thrift: these Coolidge ideals intrigue us today as well. After all, many citizens today do feel cursed by debt, their own or their government's. Knowing the details of his life may well help Americans now turn a curse to a blessing or, at the very least, find the heart to continue their own persevering."

The future of shopping
01/12/13   Thrift
"How long can brick-and-mortar retailers afford to operate stores that serve as display cases for someone else? More importantly, will that be long enough to transform themselves into something less vulnerable to Internet competition?"

A lost decade for savers
09/26/12   Thrift
"The 1990s were a lost decade for Japan. The 2000s delivered a lost decade to U.S. investors. Now, five years into the onset of the financial crisis, with stock and bond markets booming, housing resurgent, and even Detroit redeemed, it.s savers who find themselves in a lost decade."

The iPhone's sexy, but 'I save' is far smarter
09/22/12   Thrift
"But iPhones are also symbolic of a change in society's attitude toward money. We now get our gratification through spending money rather than by saving it. The savings rate in Canada has been falling for decades, more or less in line with the decline in interest rates. Today, savings accounts offer less than 1 per cent in many cases and barely 2 per cent at best. As a result, a lot of us have come to believe that saving is useless, even foolish. And so, we've moved on to spending."

Saving too much for retirement?
06/17/12   Thrift
"So you're worried you haven't saved enough for your retirement? What if all the conventional wisdom is wrong and you are actually saving too much?"

Negative real rates of return
02/20/12   Thrift
"If it's just you on a desert island and you have to bury food in the ground for safe keeping chances are you will dig up less food than you bury. In general investing only makes sense when there is seasonality, which is why tropical animals don't do it. And, animals that do invest always take a loss even if they invest in the form of fat stores. However, because the marginal product of labor is vastly different between the spring and the winter it is worth it in utility terms even if the material return is negative. That humans don't always take a loss is why the world we live in is so vastly different. Our world changes over time because we can use our brains to think of ways to get more out than we put in. However, this is a special case and should not be taken as some basic property of the world. Its just not."

For savers in Canada, a sinking feeling
02/05/12   Thrift
"Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, among other central bankers, has kept interest rates near historic lows since the onset of the global economic crisis in an attempt to stimulate the flagging economy, and there's no sign of a rate hike any time soon. But some critics say the playing field is now tipped too far in favour of borrowers rather than savers. Canadians in droves have piled on debt to buy new homes and make other purchases, prompting warnings from Mr. Carney of the dangers of carrying too much debt - even as his policies encourage borrowing and provide little ability for savers to generate substantial low-risk income. "It's one thing for Carney to say this is a problem and warn people," says William Robson, president of the C.D. Howe Institute in Toronto. But "actions speak a lot louder than words." Inflation, while low at an annual rate of 2.3 per cent, compares with one-year guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) paying roughly 1 per cent a year. Simply put: A dollar saved today will be worth less a year from now."

The truth about wealth
12/19/11   Thrift
"A study by Jonathan A. Parker and Annette Vissing-Jorgensen of Northwestern University found that the beta of the top 1% nearly quadrupled between 1982 and 2007 to 2.39. The top 0.01% had a beta of 3.96, making even the riskiest tech stocks look safe by comparison. Economists and wealth managers say the betas of the rich have likely soared even higher in recent months as markets gyrated sharply."

A new page at Canadian MoneySaver
11/02/11   Thrift
"Mr. Hodson said he likes the current roster of MoneySaver writers, a mix of self-taught experts and advisers and other investment industry people who contribute free of charge. Something else he likes is the longstanding MoneySaver policy of not taking advertising from the financial industry. That kind of independence can be costly in terms of forgone revenue, but Mr. Hodson's Sprott years have left him financially secure enough not to worry about it."

What's the use of saving money?
09/29/11   Thrift
"Ritchie Hok, an actuary living in Ottawa, is convinced savers will ultimately wind up paying the price for others' imprudence. At the peak of the U.S. housing bubble, Hok lived in Minneapolis and saw the excesses first-hand. While there he resisted those who urged him to get into the market a wise move given prices are down 40 per cent there. Now that he's in Ottawa, though, he's hearing all the same arguments for why he should take advantage of low rates and buy a house before prices rise even further. He's convinced Canada's housing market is a bubble that will eventually burst, and when it does, policy-makers will rush to people's rescue. "My fear is that most people in Canada are now debtors and not savers, and so governments will enact policies to help them because they make up most of the population," he says. "Savers may get screwed on the way down, too." If Hok is right, the frugal few could be in for even more pain ahead. Why is it again that it pays to save?"

A madcap quest for 'free'
03/04/11   Thrift
"As soon as Kathy Spencer walked into the Rite Aid in Haverhill, early one recent Sunday morning, she knew something was up: All the carts were gone. At that hour, she was accustomed to having the store to herself, quietly piling hundreds of dollars worth of goods in her cart, quietly working the system, quietly walking out the door without having to pay for any of it. Instead, the store was "a madhouse full of crazy women fighting over toilet paper,'' she said. She knew exactly who was to blame: she was."

A continuing disgrace
01/23/11   Thrift
"However, what is disgraceful is that savers cannot hedge this inflation risk. The government stopped the sale of index-linked national savings certificates last year. This was not because the government didn't need the money the budget deficit is still 150 billion. It can only be viewed as a deliberate attempt to punish savers by denying them the chance of a positive real return. And slamming savers is not in the country's long-term interest."

Why a Budget Is Like a Diet
01/02/11   Thrift
"As a species, humans are notoriously poor at following through with their plans. Sticking to a budget - a dirty word even among many financial planners, who prefer the more euphemistic 'spending plan' - feels too much like dieting. And we often fail at both for the same reasons: too much focus on the restrictions, not enough on fun. So it's not surprising when people end up bingeing later, more than making up for dollars not spent or calories not consumed."

Bargain Junkies Beating Retailers
12/22/10   Thrift
"'I wonder why they waste money on advertising,' she muses. 'We'll buy whatever they want us to buy - as long as they pay us to buy it.'"

Wedbush's roof leaks, but his wallet doesn't
11/21/10   Thrift
"His investment firm, Wedbush Inc., manages more than $15 billion in assets, employs 1,000 people and is valued at $300 million. His personal stake is worth more than $150 million. Yet Wedbush has never let go of a compulsive frugality with roots in a Great Depression boyhood and his early days as an entrepreneur, when pinching pennies was the difference between survival and oblivion. For Wedbush, cost control is much more than a slogan. It's a guiding principle, maybe even a way of life."

The joy of spending
09/22/10   Thrift
"If you have 2 million and can't force yourself to buy a coffee, there's a problem."

Land of the free, home of the tightwad
09/19/10   Thrift
"And - this is the probably the most important bit - it allows U.S. families to cut their debt a lot faster than you might believe. One analysis by Deutsche Bank projects that by 2013, American households might be able bring their debt ratios down to where they were about 20 years ago. That's probably too optimistic. But consider the possibility that today's frugality will feed a roaring economic expansion several years from now. In the short term, its economy is still messed up. But longer term? It's never wise to bet against the U.S."

Your banking may be more expensive
02/16/10   Thrift
"When you lose your job, the last thing you need is for your expenses to increase. Yet, at some banks, that's exactly what can happen with your checking account."

Doing the math on coupons
02/10/10   Thrift
"If motivation is an issue, the next time you find yourself facing a stack of coupon booklets and flyers don't ask yourself if you can be bothered. Try asking yourself if you'd like to earn more than $100 an hour for a job you can do, at home, while sitting on the sofa watching TV."

Why so many Americans are broke
01/14/10   Thrift
"Bookstores are full of books about getting out of debt. Why, then, are so many Americans struggling to get by? One reason, according to Connecticut College Psychology Professor Stuart Vyse, is that when it comes to money, people are not as rational as many economists - and authors - think. In his book Going Broke: Why Americans Can't Hold on to Their Money, Vyse cites studies that consistently show that people commonly make mental mistakes when it comes to their money. This realization is the foundation of behavioral economics, which holds that people behave differently than in the supremely logical fashion that classical economics predicts."

Economists are cheapskates
01/02/10   Thrift
"Academic economists gather in Atlanta this weekend for their annual meetings, always held the first weekend after New Year's Day. That's not only because it coincides with holidays at most universities. A post-holiday lull in business travel also puts hotel rates near the lowest point of the year."

Spend now, pay later
08/22/09   Thrift
"With noble intentions, much of what was advocated and popularized by the Woodstock generation involved an increased role for government in the economy. They argued that 'smart people' in the government would 'manage' the economy and 'protect' people from themselves. Government would run 'temporary' deficits and 'create' jobs. It was argued that society's prosperity needed to be shared through government-administered programs, regulations and taxes."

GICs are safe, but don't expect much
06/27/09   Thrift
"So what's the lesson? First, fees matter a great deal. Second, while a stock-filled portfolio may provide higher returns, that comes with risk. A GIC-only portfolio may not be exciting, but investors sleep well at night. "

The end of personal finance
05/03/09   Thrift
"That our personal finances weren't fully ours to seize didn't seem to occur to many of us until recently, when the stock market plunged almost 40 percent in a mere year, housing went into free fall, and the unemployment rate began to climb perilously toward double digits. All these facts suddenly left the personal finance industry facing a conundrum of its own making. The backbone of the self-help complex is the idea that you can do it. You. Singular. But what happens when you lose your job and can't find a new one before your six months of recommended emergency savings runs out? Or a good chunk of your retirement income is in the form of a pension from your former employer - and that employer is named Chrysler? What then?"

Haggle your way to extra
04/24/09   Thrift
"Many people might feel uncomfortable asking a store to take less than the posted price, but not Leonardelli. A professor at the Rotman School of Management, he teaches negotiating skills to business students. In his view, the recession offers a golden opportunity to get better prices and extra perks."

Big Macs and fries
04/24/09   Thrift
"Even with glimmers of hope for the recovery, consumers are still cutting back - especially when it comes to dining out. But turning to some of fast food's biggest bargains in order to stretch your dollar in the recession may be one belt-tightening measure that could end up forcing you to loosen your buckle by a couple of notches."

Austere times? Perfect
04/13/09   Thrift
"Millions of Americans have trimmed expenses because they have had their jobs or hours cut, or fear they will. But a subset of savers are reducing costs not just with purpose, but with relish. These are the gleefully frugal."

Free toothpaste for life!
03/18/09   Thrift
"There's a system behind coupons, rebates and store incentives. Figure it out, and the store aisles are rich with freebies for you and those you want to help."

10 tips for a better deal
03/18/09   Thrift
"Some people were born to haggle, negotiate, cajole, whatever you call it. The rest of us need some guidance. Here are 10 great negotiating tactics to use next time you want to get more for less."

Feeding a family in the depression
02/18/09   Thrift
"It was a time of making do and doing without. The Great Depression forced thousands out of their jobs, but most of the burden was shouldered by the homemaker, who had to keep the family fed."

A lament for savers
02/13/09   Thrift
"Borrowers get bailed out. Run your bank into the ground and the taxpayer will lend it money. Buy a house you cannot afford and the central bank will cut interest rates to ease your burden. Meanwhile those who have lived within their means and put money aside for the proverbial rainy day, have seen interest rates slashed to 2% in the euro zone, 1% in Britain and virtually nothing in America. No one offers to help them out, even though saving is needed to allow business investment which, in turn, generates growth. Asians, told off in the 1990s for their current-account deficits, now get lectured for saving too much. This is quite a different paradox of thrift from the usual one. In theory, everybody regards thrift as a virtue. In practice, they treat it as a vice."

Analyzing market-linked GICs
01/25/09   Thrift
"I'm not actually a big fan of principal protection. I think the cost of this protection is too high. But for investors who want this protection, it's important to evaluate whether your market-linked GIC is a good deal or not."

The IBM fortune and the funeral home director
12/12/08   Thrift
"A couple of months ago, Robert McDevitt died at 90 in Binghamton, N.Y., my hometown. He ran a nice-enough but unremarkable funeral home near the center of town, about two blocks from where my parents now live. Over the past week, his will has become public, revealing that while McDevitt spent his time embalming local bodies and soothing mourners -- he was worth $250 million."

Where have all your savings gone?
12/07/08   Thrift
"For American and European savers it has been a lost decade. After two booms and two busts, stockmarkets have earned them nothing, or less, in the past ten years. Low interest rates have made bonds and bank deposits unrewarding too. Were it not for the tax relief they receive, contributors to personal pension plans would have been better off keeping their money under their mattresses. It will be little consolation to Westerners that savers in Japan have known this empty feeling for far longer."

A return to thrift
10/30/08   Thrift
"Sometimes it takes a near-death experience to change bad behavior. Think of your friend who quit Lucky Strikes after a coronary incident. Or look at how banks are reducing their dependency on debt after watching rivals go belly-up. On Wall Street this process of reducing debt relative to equity is called deleveraging. Main Street should be deleveraging too."

The new age of frugality
10/10/08   Thrift
"On a shady lane in New Hope, Pa., a quiet revolution in American culture may be taking shape. Here, a family of four lives in a white, colonial-style house in a manner that once would have been considered All-American but more recently has been seen as just plain weird: They're frugal."

American savers have drawn the short straw
09/08/08   Thrift
"American savers, take a bow. This is your moment of vindication. Your hour of glory. And you earned it (in a manner of speaking). You resisted the siren call of plastic teaser APRs, dutifully living within your means to store money for a rainy day. You never took out an interest-only mortgage. Never had to pawn the copper pipes from your exurban McMansion to pay the reset on your liar loan. Your credit score would have gotten you into Harvard at age 12. Good for you! Your reward: injurious savings yields, inflationary rot, and election-season neglect, all served up with a dollop of institutional insecurity."

Wise investing: no substitute for saving
08/25/08   Thrift
"The problem is that while the financial-services industry is very good at marketing and selling investment products, it's very bad at marketing and selling thrift, and living within one's means. After all, the only thing which is marketed more aggressively than investments is credit products. But if you want a financially comfortable retirement, the first best and pretty much only thing you need to do is save a lot of money while you're working."

Why Generation Y is broke
08/09/08   Thrift
"Today, people in their 20s and 30s are more educated than ever before. Some 85% of those aged 25 and older hold a high school diploma, and 27% have a college degree. This generation of adults is also, of course, the most technologically sophisticated to date, with about half using cell phones for text messaging and 90% on e-mail. And yet stats indicate our generation's financial literacy is abysmal, with personal finances to match. Only 52% of high school seniors passed a recent national financial literacy test, meaning adults entering the work force do not know enough about basic budgeting, interest rates or taxes to make sound decisions for their own lives."

How to leave your wife
07/28/08   Thrift
"If your marriage is crumbling, you need to pay attention to money matters -- or suffer harsh consequences. Here's what to do, men." [A link to a similar article for women is provided near the top of this article. But thrifty couples will work hard to avoid divorce.]

Can a family eat on $100 a week?
07/27/08   Thrift
"Did we make it? First, let's say that any reduction in my grocery bill was welcome, as most weeks we spend nearly $250 at a grocery store. That's well above the $182 budget the U.S. government considers "moderate" for a family of our size and ages. Spending less than half what we normally do was tough. A $100 budget gave us $1.19 a meal per person, obviously not enough for dinners or coffees out and barely enough to put decent meat on our plates."

How to retire on $12,000 a year
06/04/08   Thrift
"The solution is social. It is called sharing, having enough social skills to multiply your effective income to a level far greater than it could be made with ordinary cash. The prosperity of the past 50 years has raised our expectations. We want to own our house, to have our own bedroom, our own bathroom, our own car, our own phone (preferably mobile) and our own TV, and we want to eat what we want for dinner, not what everyone else is having. That makes life very expensive. The productive social alternative is sharing. Economists call it "economies of shared living." Most of us think about it in regard to marriage."

Is marriage a dumb move?
10/26/07   Thrift
"The decision to wed or not, of course, is between you, your intended and your conscience. But you should realize that from a coldhearted financial perspective, the U.S. tax code and Social Security rules don't necessarily come down in favor of marriage for people with a substantial amount of assets."

Life and debt in suburbia
10/05/07   Thrift
"Assessing how the neighbors are doing financially and what that means about how we are doing is practically a national pastime. The guessing game starts off as harmless pillow talk and community pool chatter, an outgrowth of natural curiosity. Just how much money must Susie and Bob have to be able to afford that new kitchen, three cars and a family safari? Then too, every homeowner has a vested interest in the financial well-being of his or her neighbors. Homeowner associations have long understood that nothing raises the value of a home more than an expanse of trim lawn and well-kept homes on either side. But the finances of those around you affect more than just the perceived value of your property. They also, like it or not, help shape how much you spend and save and color your perceptions of your own financial well-being."

How rich friends make you feel poor
08/25/07   Thrift
"Trying to live as if you have more money than you do may be one of the biggest causes of financial distress in America today, and nobody wants to talk about it."

How to earn $1 million by not watching TV
07/17/07   Thrift
"A recent study found that it would take $1 million for someone to be willing to give up TV for the rest of their lives. Guess what? If you decided to give up TV and invested the money you saved, you would get that $1 million -- and probably a lot more."

What's up with all those tip jars?
07/07/07   Thrift
"Am I alone in taking pointed notice of all the tip jars that have blossomed on business countertops? From delis to pizzerias, Chinese takeout joints to barbershops, the word has spread like wildfire: If you put out a tip jar, people will fill it. Well, maybe they will, but I have yet to be shamed (if this is the right word) into casting my coin into the tip jar fountain. Perhaps it is the scientist in me, but I try to reason the situation out like this: I call in my order to the Chinese restaurant. I drive there to pick it up. I pay the menu price. Why on earth would I pay more than they are asking for their product? Doing so strikes me as positively un-American. Tipping used to be confined to service-oriented occupations: waitresses, taxi drivers, doormen. Now it has spread to businesses where I seem to be doing most of the work."

Lessons from living down and out
04/05/07   Thrift
"We were poor and unhappy, so I thought having money meant being happy . . . (but) my husband also grew up very poor, and his family was close and he had a loving childhood. (Meanwhile,) many rich people are miserable. Don't confuse money and happiness. They're separate issues and you need to work on your family and relationships just as hard as you work on finances. Don't give up family and relationships in pursuit of money and don't assume money will fix your personal life."

The emergency fund you can eat
03/15/07   Thrift
"Having a substantial cash emergency fund is an important financial goal, but it's not an easy one. Building up enough savings to cover three months' worth of expenses can take some families years to accomplish, as they struggle with more pressing goals, such as paying off credit card debt and saving for retirement. Fortunately, there's another kind of emergency fund that's a lot easier to put together: a well-stocked pantry."

Could you stop spending for a month?
03/12/07   Thrift
"For the 28 days of February -- I picked the shortest month to make it easier on volunteers -- those who wanted to participate would buy only necessities. Each person would get to define what was a necessity for himself or herself. At the end of the month, everybody would report back on how their shopping fast went. The point wasn't just to save money. It was also a way of examining our relationship with money."

Take a big bite out of grocery bills
03/09/07   Thrift
"But as I learned from the food mavens on the Grocery Challenge thread, living in the land of cheap grub is not a reason to become complacent. No, no! As these savvy shoppers will tell you: If you think you got a certain item for a great price, rest assured there's a way to get it even cheaper -- or maybe even for free."

Looking for love, and money
02/21/07   Thrift
"Oh, to be dating in the time of Jane Austen. No sooner does a young man move into the neighborhood than everyone knows he's single -- and exactly what his income is and how much property he owns. Not only that, but as this sly opening sentence of Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" suggests, finance and romance were presumed to go hand in hand. It was perfectly acceptable for a gentleman to look for a wife with financial assets or for a woman to seek a beau with the best prospects. Unfortunately, courtship has lost some of its financial candor in the past 200 years. Even with the rise of online dating -- where people answer numerous questions and create elaborate, supposedly revealing profiles of themselves -- it's hard to find your financial match."

What should it cost to say 'I love you'?
02/13/07   Thrift
"Is Valentine's Day about love or money? My heart tells me it should be about love and appreciation for those who matter most to us, but the facts show that Valentine's Day is truly big business."

Living 'poor' and loving it
02/09/07   Thrift
"Here, then, are the rules for How to Be Poor: Rule 1: Have very little money. Rule 2: Live on it. Rule 3: Rule 2 will change your life, if you let it. Being poor means taking a hard look at your needs and getting ruthless about separating them from the wants."

Financial sanity down a country road
02/07/07   Thrift
"Who knew a beer out here was only $1.50? That's just one of many discoveries I've made since trading the big city for a life in rural New York. The bright spots outweigh the drawbacks so far."

Surviving (and thriving) on $12,000 a year
01/10/07   Thrift
"I'll be living on just over $1,000 a month this year. That doesn't sound like much -- and it isn't -- yet I plan not just to live on it, but to build a savings account."

I make $6.50 an hour. Am I poor?
12/28/06   Thrift
"As a single professional woman, for years I sat securely among the lower rungs of the middle class. Now I've fallen off the ladder. In a matter of months, I went from a comfortable life with decent pay and health insurance to a $6.50-an-hour job with no insurance, no furniture and just enough resources to keep the wolf from the door."

Are you on track to retire rich?
11/14/06   Thrift
"Yes, the typical household really can save $1 million to retire on, but most don't. Here's how your friends and neighbors are doing."

Huge debts, paid off fast
11/13/06   Thrift
"A $150,000 mortgage erased in five years. About $49,000 in credit cards, almost gone in just a year. These debt-payoff champions share their secrets."

Why your 'lizard brain' makes you a bad investor
11/05/06   Thrift
"Investors often make foolish financial decisions, and lots of folks are trying to figure out why. Specialists in behavioral finance have sketched out some of our more persistent mental mistakes. Neuroeconomics is looking at how the brain functions. Happiness researchers are trying to understand why our rising standard of living hasn't made us happier. Now, some experts are turning to evolutionary psychology. Why do we make so many financial errors? Maybe, deep down, we're just cavemen and women."

'Dilbert' deserves the economics Nobel
10/11/06   Thrift
"Quietly hidden in Adams' groundbreaking work is a financial formula so simple it rivals Einstein's E=mc2. In its original form Adams' formula was apparently so heretical and so explosive that no major house would touch it when he proposed publishing it as a one-page book. After initial rejections, he announced sadly that "if God materialized on earth and wrote the secret of the universe on one page, he wouldn't be able to find a publisher" either. Fortunately for America's 95 million investors, Adams' secret nine-point formula was finally revealed in "Dilbert and the Way of the Weasels." Notice its simple brilliance in the exact reproduction of his formula"

Extreme saver
09/08/06   Thrift
"When Jessica Nixon began her first job at Whataburger, her father gave her some pretty sage advice: start saving early for retirement. She was not even 16 years old at the time, but she took his recommendation to heart almost immediately, socking away 10 percent of every paycheck. Now 23, the Dallas-based electrical engineer has transformed herself into a financial wunderkind, having put aside $49,000 towards retirement, and an additional $20,000 that she has earmarked for a home and a new boat. "Saving to me is another bill you have to pay," says Nixon. "Saving comes before a lot of other things.""

How we did it
08/05/06   Thrift
"We asked readers to tell us how they met major financial or life goals and the answers that poured in were extraordinary. Whether you want to get rich on a middle-class salary, turn your hobby into a business, escape the rat race, or pay off your house in three years, we found the tips you need to succeed - from people who've actually done it."

Financial infidelity is rampant
07/13/06   Thrift
"Is it cheating if you lie about where the money went? Yep. And it's every bit as damaging to your relationship as the physical kind."

Today's graduates face a world that is seriously tougher
06/17/06   Thrift
"Many older people believe that young people are spoiled and self-indulgent. Worse, they are blissfully unappreciative of how difficult things were in days of yore. In lots of ways, if not most, the reality is just the reverse: Many older people are unaware that today's college graduates face a world that is seriously tougher."

Why so many grads 'fail to launch'
04/08/06   Thrift
"Many 20-somethings find themselves moving home to live with Mom and Dad, just like the movie 'Failure to Launch.' Blame it on the inertia -- and some very real challenges."

Extreme savers: meet the parkers
03/31/06   Thrift
"The Parkers know all about scraping by, even though they make plenty of money. Michelle, 33, and Rob, 34, were high school sweethearts, they got married in college and managed on only $8,000 in income for the first year of their marriage. Fourteen years later the couple makes a combined $128,000 but their love, and thrifty lifestyle, has stayed with them."

5 mistakes investors just can't afford
03/25/06   Thrift
"Research shows that investors are generally irrational and overly impressed with their acumen. Here are 5 rules to help you head off your worst investing impulses."

Kids: Bad investments, big returns
02/25/06   Thrift
"A potential mom does a detailed cost-benefit analysis of what having a child will mean and nearly scares herself to death."

The fantasy - and reality - of your own business
02/12/06   Thrift
"According to the latest figures from the Internal Revenue Service, the average sole proprietor (i.e., non-farm businesses that filed a Schedule C) reported net receipts of about $53,272 in 2003. The average net profit: About $11."

Is marriage cost effective?
02/11/06   Thrift
"Ebenezer Scrooge should have reserved his scorn for St. Valentine's Day. The typical American is going to spend about $100.89, according to the National Retail Federation. That's up from $97.27 last year. A pricey holiday getting pricier thanks to the notion -- inspired by gobs of advertising -- that you will spend your life alone and unloved if you don't pony up lavish gifts and cheap sentiment on Feb. 14."

More nickel-and-dime fees to fly?
02/05/06   Thrift
"We've become accustomed to paying a buck or two for soda or a bag of nuts, but such charges are going to get much more common. And that may not be a bad thing."

Frugality: You get it from your kids
01/22/06   Thrift
"Having children can devastate your ability to save. But look at it another way: parents need less in retirement because parenting cleverly trains them to live on less."

You're worth $135,500
12/16/05   Thrift
"The country's net worth reached $4.4-trillion at the end of the third quarter, valuing Canadians' net worth at $135,500 per capita, Statistics Canada reported Friday."

Your holiday present
12/11/05   Thrift
"Commercialism runs rampant this time of year and while this type of consumerism is good for the economy and makes all those malls seem like the place to be it also usually means that January and February - when the bills start arriving - can be pretty tight financially. This is made worse by the fact that some many people wait until then to do their RRSP contribution as well."

When status has too high a price
12/10/05   Thrift
"Dr. Shaun Saunders, a researcher at the University of Newcastle in England, studied more than 1,000 people and found materialistic folks who try to keep up with the Joneses are more likely to be angry, depressed, frustrated, and anxious."

Walking the line between scrooge and santa
11/23/05   Thrift
"Here's how to prevent dreams of the Sugar Plum Fairy from becoming a nightmare when the credit-card bill arrives: Develop a holiday spending plan."

3 big reasons couples fight about money
11/14/05   Thrift
"Arguments about money are often really struggles for power. Managing these issues can smooth out the bickering."

Don't wind up divorced and destitute
11/06/05   Thrift
"The worst thing you can do is to ignore money matters while you're married. Here are 9 ways to divorce-proof yourself now."

Save big on a tiny income
10/23/05   Thrift
"19 ways -- and counting -- to save when you make next to nothing."

Is your kid a spoiled brat?
10/06/05   Thrift
"Instead of an iPod nano, give your kids the tools they need to be financially independent adults."

Blogging toward financial sanity
10/03/05   Thrift
"I was skeptical about starting a blog, but then a real community emerged -- and together, we're bucking up our fiscal resolve to battle spending and debt."

8 financial train wrecks you can avoid
09/30/05   Thrift
"'Just because they say 'I love you' doesn't mean they'll pay you back' -- and other tales of money misery. Watch. Learn. Take notes."

Steer clear of 'flood cars'
09/25/05   Thrift
"Hurricane Katrina swamped hundreds of thousands of new and used cars. Some of them will be polished up and sold in used car lots near you. Here's how to protect yourself."

Protect your wallet in a divorce
09/25/05   Thrift
"Making plans to preserve your assets in case of a divorce may not be very romantic. But with half the population headed for divorce court after a trip down the aisle, it's not such a bad idea."

Using debit is better than paying ABM fees
07/22/05   Thrift
"With almost every financial institution charging non-customers up to $1.50 to use its automated banking machines, the number of transactions where people used ABMs from other financial institutions fell to a 10-year low last year. Meanwhile, usage of direct payment notched yet another year of solid growth. The numbers are a confirmation of a growing recognition that the cost of using any old bank machine is one of the biggest wastes of money in financial services today, whereas debit represents one of the best values."

Confessions of a compulsive shopper
07/22/05   Thrift
"Maxed-out credit cards, more than $50,000 in shopping-related debt and the slow realization that she chatted more with other Gymboree-obsessed moms than she did with her own family finally convinced Rogers that she needed to kick her habit."

Low-cost, low-tech ways to protect your home
04/01/05   Thrift
"It doesn't have to cost a fortune to make your home safer. Here are some deterrents to thieves that are simple and work."

The lies we tell
03/14/05   Thrift
"Be honest, now: Have you ever told your spouse you paid less for something than you really did -- say, a great pair of shoes, or maybe that very cool 52-inch TV now gracing the family room?"

Suddenly single
02/24/05   Thrift
"When her husband died suddenly at 58, JoAnn Russe found she knew little about her family's finances."

Can frugal living make you happier?
02/22/05   Thrift
"Without conventional pensions, it's hard to shake the nagging anxiety of geezerhood: Will we outlive our money? A New Yorker cartoon hanging on our refrigerator says it all. A man tells his wife: "If we take a late retirement and an early death, we'll just squeak by.""

Free land in the heartland
12/26/04   Thrift
"Small towns in Kansas, North Dakota and other states are rolling out the red carpet for newcomers."

Retirees don't have to be so frugal
11/17/04   Thrift
"Maybe you don't have to order the early-bird special after all. Many retirees have trimmed their spending during recent years, and it isn't just because of plunging bond yields and tumbling stock prices. Instead, they have been reacting to dire warnings from Wall Street, cautioning them that their portfolios can't sustain the sort of withdrawal rates that used to be considered safe. Feeling pinched? Don't resign yourself to a lifetime of scrimping and saving just yet."

Destination disaster
11/14/04   Thrift
"Did I ever feel saddened by the loss of those students who did not return after my depressing lecture? Not at all. If they were sufficiently discouraged in just two hours to abandon their fledgling aspirations, I helped save them time and money and spared them a trip down the road to failure. It's far less costly to abandon a business in the classroom or on paper than in the dog-eat-dog atmosphere of the real world."

Unlucky in riches
11/10/04   Thrift
"For a lot of people, winning the lottery is the American dream. But for many lottery winners, the reality is more like a nightmare."

Most expensive colleges
10/24/04   Thrift
"Quick: What will $36,750 buy you? Only a year's worth of tuition at the country's most expensive college, not including room and board."

From debt to wealth on $10 a day
09/27/04   Thrift
"How would you like to be free of credit card debt? To have a financial cushion to fall back on?"

Rich Man, Poor Man
09/19/04   Thrift
"But here's the ironic part of it. If, from the beginning, the little guy had adopted a strict policy of never spending more than he made, if he had taken his extra savings and compounded it in intelligent, income-producing securities, then in due time he'd have money coming in daily, weekly, monthly, just like the rich man. The little guy would have become a financial winner, instead of a pathetic loser."

Are we saving too much?
08/15/04   Thrift
"I have to admit this isn't a question I get every day. In fact, I've never gotten it before. Given the spendthrift habits of most Americans, it's just not something that's ever come up. Saving too much? It's almost like asking whether someone can be too rich or too smart."

Can't banish budgeting? This software's for you
07/07/04   Thrift
"One of the reasons for the success of David Chilton's The Wealthy Barber was that it rejected budgeting on the belief that it doesn't actually work. Instead, he suggested the more commonsensical pay-yourself-first strategy, where you invest with money that you take off the top of your take-home pay rather than using what's left over after expenses are paid."

The Kings and Queens of mean
06/10/04   Thrift
"Here are 20 more rich and famous people who keep a tight grip on their dosh"

Bummed out? Bad time to shop
03/25/04   Thrift
"Think you paid too much for a little gift you bought yourself after a tough day at the office? A new study suggests your emotions may have pushed you to a bad decision."

How to lead a rich life
02/27/04   Thrift
"These accounts of the rich and spendthrift point to one big question: What does all that income and spending add up to? A lot of nothing, it turns out. One of the more shocking measures of our "prosperity" is the fact that the United States spends more on trash bags than 90 other countries spend on everything. In other words, the receptacles of our waste cost more than all of the goods consumed by nearly half of the world's nations."

Making 'cheap' romance memorable
02/12/04   Thrift
"Quick: what are the three most romantic gifts you've ever gotten? I'll bet at least one or two of them cost very little, if anything at all."

The 'yo-yo' car sale trap
01/15/04   Thrift
"You've got your new car. You showed it off to all your friends. You've driven it to work a few a times. You love it. Then you get a scary phone call."

Be sure to compare service fees if you use your card a lot
01/09/04   Thrift
"Here's how the credit card business works. Dazzled by rewards that suggest lifestyles of the rich and clueless, people sign up for cards and end up paying bloated interest charges and/or a vast array of service fees."

Ten helpful tips for saving and investing this year
01/03/04   Thrift
"Eat less, exercise more. Now that we've taken care of your physical well-being in 2004, let's talk about your financial health. No lectures here. Instead, we'll look at 10 easy-to-follow tips for saving money and investing smarter. You may have heard some of these before, but they bear repeating."

Keep more in 2004
12/31/03   Thrift
"Here are 8 resolutions: pick one or two and stick with them to bolster your finances next year."

Scrooge of the investing world
12/13/03   Thrift
"A a time of year when most people are beingurged to spend, Norman Rothery is going about his business of urging people to be thrifty in how they invest their savings. Examining the menu over a Diet Pepsi at Pangaea, in the heart of the fashionable Bloor Street shopping district in downtown Toronto, the founder of and and publisher of two quarterly newsletters is an unlikely Scrooge -- more of a happy warrior of the value investing world."

Rip-off room revisited
12/07/03   Thrift
"Extended warranties, rust-proofing, Scotchgard: Is this stuff ever worth it?"

A new charge called 'Oops'
12/04/03   Thrift
"Every few years, economists identify another mutant variation of inflation to keep them awake at night. In the 1980's, it was stagflation. Three years ago, it was deflation. And now, meet the economic specter of the new millennium: stealth inflation."

10 ways you mindlessly waste money
09/16/03   Thrift
"Silently, secretly, your money disappears under some hideous voodoo spell, right? No way. Take a look at some ways you're flushing your cash down the loo -- and what you can do about it."

The cost of the good life
09/15/03   Thrift
"Spending on stuff seems a never-ending spiral in America; there's always something new to buy."

What college doesn't teach you
08/15/03   Thrift
"The irony is that there's a whole world of math that would have been useful to learn. I'm talking here about the math of personal finance -- borrowing, budgeting, banking and such."

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