Nickel's Articles

These articles were written by Nickel, who is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

The End of an Era

Written by Nickel - 26 Comments

Nearly eight years ago – on May 1, 2005 – this site went live. In the time since then, we’ve published nearly 3,300 articles. I say “we” because, though I ran this site solo for nearly four years, it eventually became a group effort.
In the spring of 2009, I took on my first two staff [...]

Read the full article »

Published on March 29th, 2013
Modified on March 26th, 2013 - 26 Comments
Filed under: About/Admin
add to tip'd - stumble it - digg it

Lending Club Update – March 2013

Written by Nickel - 4 Comments

Time for another Lending Club update… Our balance is now down below $500 and we should be completely cashed out within the next few months.
Last month our portfolio looked like this:

110 loans were current
295 loans had been paid off
1 loans were currently 16-30 days late
6 loans were currently 30-120 days late
40 loans had defaulted and/or [...]

Read the full article »

Published on March 27th, 2013
Modified on March 25th, 2013 - 4 Comments
Filed under: Saving & Investing
add to tip'd - stumble it - digg it

How to Request an IRS Income Tax Extension

Written by Nickel - One Comment

It’s that time of year again… Taxes are due in less than three weeks. If you haven’t finished your returns (like we have!) it’s time to get cracking.
But what if you’re not going to make it? Well, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that you can request [...]

Read the full article »

Published on March 27th, 2013
Modified on April 15th, 2013 - One Comment
Filed under: Taxes
add to tip'd - stumble it - digg it

Twelve Tips for Minimizing Your Tax Bill

Written by Nickel - 4 Comments

Want to reduce your taxes? Of course you do. We all do. Well, the latest issue of Money Magazine has a list of 12 ways to reduce your taxes. Here’s a quick rundown along with some thoughts on each.

Deduct state sales taxes. You have a choice between deducting state income taxes or state sales taxes. [...]

Read the full article »

Published on March 25th, 2013
Modified on April 15th, 2013 - 4 Comments
Filed under: Taxes
add to tip'd - stumble it - digg it

Taxes Done, I-Bonds Requested

Written by Nickel - 5 Comments

With Tax Day fast approaching – and a soul-crushing week in my rearview mirror – I’m pleased to report that our taxes are done. We once again ended up owing and we did the old overpay to get I-Bonds trick.
So now… We wait.
As a reminder, the Treasury (mostly) eliminated paper savings bonds a couple of years [...]

Read the full article »

Published on March 24th, 2013
Modified on April 15th, 2013 - 5 Comments
Filed under: Saving & Investing, Taxes
add to tip'd - stumble it - digg it

Figuring the Value of Our Benefits

Written by Nickel - 3 Comments

Last week, Suba Iyer wrote about factoring in the value of your benefits when evaluating compensation packages. That got me to thinking about the value of my benefits at the work, and so I did a bit of digging.
As it turns out, my employer breaks everything down in terms of deductions from my pay alongside [...]

Read the full article »

Published on March 18th, 2013
Modified on April 15th, 2013 - 3 Comments
Filed under: Uncategorized
add to tip'd - stumble it - digg it

Ally Financial Failed the Fed’s Stress Test

Written by Nickel - 3 Comments

Not sure how I missed this, but the WSJ reported last week that Ally Financial recently failed one of the Fed’s stress tests. They tested the 18 biggest banks in the country and 17 passed.
Apparently their “Tier 1 Common” ratio came in too low (1.5% vs. a required 5%), though they have responded that the [...]

Read the full article »

Published on March 15th, 2013
Modified on March 17th, 2013 - 3 Comments
Filed under: Banking
add to tip'd - stumble it - digg it

Savings Rates Over Time

Written by Nickel - 12 Comments

In his post yesterday, Richard talked about the remarkable decline in savings rates over the years. Inspired by this, I visited the St. Louis Fed’s website where they have an excellent graphing tool that lets you visualize the savings rate over time.
Below you can see a graph of savings rates in the US from 1959 [...]

Read the full article »

Published on March 13th, 2013 - 12 Comments
Filed under: Uncategorized
add to tip'd - stumble it - digg it

The Safest States for Banking

Written by Nickel - 5 Comments

As a followup to Friday’s post about bank failure rates, I thought I’d highlight a recent MoneyRates.com analysis of the best and worst states for banking.
They rates banks based on customer satisfaction, stability (state-by-state failure rates), availability of high interest rates, and size of the banking community (more choices is better).
The top ten were:

Ohio
Kentucky
Lousiana
Montana
West Virginia
New [...]

Read the full article »

Published on March 10th, 2013 - 5 Comments
Filed under: Banking
add to tip'd - stumble it - digg it

Bank Failure Rates

Written by Nickel - 4 Comments

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about failed banks. Back in the height of the financial crisis, bank failures were all the rage and the media couldn’t stop talking about it. But we don’t hear about it nearly as much anymore.
Is that because bank failures have slowed down? Or because we’ve become immune to the [...]

Read the full article »

Published on March 9th, 2013
Modified on March 18th, 2013 - 4 Comments
Filed under: Banking
add to tip'd - stumble it - digg it

Disclaimer...
Because rates and offers from advertisers shown on this website change frequently, please visit referenced sites for current information. This website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise.

FiveCentNickel User Survey