New Debit Card Fees on the Horizon

The big news in the consumer banking industry yesterday was that Bank of America intends to roll out a $5/month service fee for customers who make purchases with their debit cards. Yikes! Five dollars? Per month? That’s a lot. And it won’t matter if you use your card just once or dozens of times. The […]


Do You Have a Plan?

While on Twitter the other day, I ran across someone who was lamenting that she had bought a few stocks “awhile ago, ” and that some were doing well, some very poorly… “Wondering when to get out.” My first thought was: Hmmm. What was your plan for this money? And why do want/need to get […]


Citi Bonus Cash Back Categories for Fall 2011

EDITORS NOTE: THIS OFFER IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE As a followup to my recent post about the Chase Freedom bonus reward categories for Fall 2011, here’s some info about the newest bonus categories for the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa… As you’re no doubt aware, many reward credit cards have switched to a model where […]


Assessing Your IRS Audit Risk

It’s an ever-present threat to Americans and one that has been compared to the ultimate stressors in life, such as a death in the family, divorce or job loss. As a taxpayer, it’s always a lingering question in the back of my mind. Am I at risk of an IRS income tax audit? Even though […]


2012 Federal Income Tax Brackets (IRS Tax Rates)

Every year around this time, tax experts get together and use inflation data to project what the next year’s income tax brackets will look like. Last year, we had the added complexity of the fight over the fate of the Bush-era tax cuts, which could have changed the tax landscape entirely. Ultimately, the tax cuts […]


Six Ways to Save Money With Your New Dog

The kids have been begging for a puppy for six months, and you finally decide a dog might just complete your family. Plus, the canine may teach your kids a few things about responsibility and caring for others, right? Those are good reasons to get a dog, but before you bring Spot home, take a […]


Vanguard Adds Same-Day Trading for Bank Transfers

It’s no secret that I love Vanguard. In fact, with the exception of two employer-related retirement accounts that are held at Fidelity, we do all of our investing at Vanguard. I was thus pleased to see that they’ve added the ability to make same-day mutual fund trades when transferring money in from a linked bank […]


Chase Freedom Reward Categories for Fall 2012

EDITORS NOTE: THIS LIMITED TIME OFFER IS EXPIRED As we head into fall, it’s time for Chase Freedom cardholders to sign up for the next round of bonus reward categories. This time around, they’re offering 5% cash back from Oct 1 through Dec 31 on hotels, airlines, Best buy® and Kohl’s. As always, the bonus […]


Operation Twist: Even Lower Rates Ahead?

The economy stinks. You and I know it, and the Federal Reserve knows it, too. That’s why they announced Operation Twist earlier this week. Operation Twist? What’s that, you say? It’s yet another attempt to drive interest rates down in hopes of spurring economic activity. This time around, they’re targeting 10-year bond Treasury rates because […]


Gauging the Gouging

I was trying to dream up a topic for my latest personal finance column a couple days ago, when I suddenly found myself out of legal pads. I use legal pads a lot, and I didn’t want to wait for a trip to the office supply superstore to pick up a fresh supply. I marched […]