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fivecentnickel.com



personal finance tips, tricks, and commentary



Published: Wed, 24 Feb 2016 08:32:44 GMT

Last Build Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2016 08:32:44 GMT

 



Money worries and woodpeckers

Tue, 29 Dec 2015 08:00:32 GMT

I suppose it is bound to happen if you live in a wooden house in a semi-rural area. Our house has become besieged by woodpeckers. The insistent, get-you-up-out-of-bed nagging of their rapping on the walls reminds me of the inescapable angst of having money worries. The problem is, I know what to do about financial doubts. [...]


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Depending on stock returns to fund your retirement? Think again

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 08:00:01 GMT

How worried should I be? That’s a question financial people get a lot when the market is as unstable as it has been over the past several weeks. Actually, it’s a question we ask ourselves in those environments. Having both asked and answered that question several times recently, let me share some of the [...]


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The hidden costs of bad credit

Tue, 22 Sep 2015 08:00:44 GMT

The worst thing about bad credit isn’t being turned down for a loan or a new credit card. After all, there are worse things than not being able to borrow. The bigger problem with bad credit is that it can cost you money in a number of ways, and that added cost [...]


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7 bad things about low interest rates

Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:10:41 GMT

If you have been able to buy a house or refinance a mortgage in recent years, then congratulations. You have been a beneficiary of the Fed’s extraordinary effort to keep interest rates low. For many others though, monetary policy hasn’t been so favorable — in fact, it has cost them dearly. Ostensibly, [...]


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8 questions to ask before lending money to friends

Tue, 25 Aug 2015 08:00:09 GMT

It’s one of the most awkward questions a friend can ask you: “Will you lend me some money?” Awkward for your friend to have to ask, and awkward for you to have to answer. Saying “no” could adversely affect your friendship. However, saying “yes” could also put a strain on your [...]


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6 reasons to overcome a fear of plastic

Wed, 29 Jul 2015 08:00:44 GMT

As I was coming of age, I became aware of too many examples of people who had gotten into trouble with credit card debt. It made me avoid getting a credit card for several years. Eventually, though, I overcame my fear of plastic, and realized it is the user and not the [...]


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“Frugal” is not a dirty word

Tue, 30 Jun 2015 08:00:36 GMT

My wife and I were talking recently about a June 5, 2015, New York Times article that described the lifestyle of “Millionaires Who Are Frugal When They Don’t Have to Be.” It got me thinking about the word “frugal.” It will probably never be a sexy concept, but neither does it [...]


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7 financial lessons recent college grads still need

Mon, 15 Jun 2015 08:00:09 GMT

Around this time of the year, new college graduates are leaving their schools with a wealth of knowledge. At the end of their four (or six, or eight…) years of college, graduates have typically tackled a wide range of academic subjects, often with an impressive degree of complexity. Unfortunately, one type [...]


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Is the tide turning for savings accounts?

Tue, 19 May 2015 13:30:27 GMT

On the surface, savings account rates seem to be stuck in the same rut they have been in for the last couple years; but if you look a little closer, there are some isolated developments that could start to put the interest back in savings account interest rates. According to the FDIC, the [...]


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How to play retirement catch-up

Mon, 30 Mar 2015 08:00:49 GMT

I told the story elsewhere of how my wife and I woke up in our late 40s to the fact that our investment cupboard was bare. We were not alone, millions of Americans in their 40s or 50s don’t have nearly enough money saved to retire. So what can you do if you find yourself in [...]


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How long will oil prices stay low — and what should you do?

Sat, 31 Jan 2015 22:14:03 GMT

image: wikimedia commons If you are old enough, you will remember 1973, when OPEC caused the price of oil to quadruple. (If you’re too young, simply Google “1973 oil crisis images” to see an endless parade of people stranded at gas stations with hand-written signs like the one in the picture.) That crisis changed life in [...]


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Twice the opportunity for holiday spending guilt

Mon, 15 Dec 2014 08:00:10 GMT

I ran into my old buddy Jake at the local outpost of a well-known, high-priced donut chain. I had just spent the better part of a sawbuck on a powdered donut hole and thimble of java when I noticed Jake seemed to be lacking his usual Christmas spirit. His brow was furrowed, and he looked worried [...]


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How do you find happiness with money?

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 08:00:04 GMT

An acquaintance of ours returned from a missionary trip to Tanzania recently. As these cross-cultural encounters go, each side had plenty to share with the other about their lives. Toward the end the trip, she asked one of the locals what stood out from everything the Americans related. It was that there are people on [...]


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The sunny side of pessimism

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 08:00:44 GMT

From the Declaration of Independence to the space program, optimism was traditionally something of a core American value; however, it is one that has taken quite a beating in recent years. Not too long ago, an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll found that 76 percent of Americans lack confidence that their children will have a better life [...]


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“Thinking Money” a rich change of pace from TV’s wasteland

Wed, 19 Nov 2014 08:00:59 GMT

Have you ever wondered why your next-door neighbor must have a new car in his driveway every model year? And not just a new car, but a new car with all the bells and whistles, like that 18-valve, turbo-charged, dyno-flex, hydroponic 4000 engine, 57-speaker audio system with Sistine Chapel acoustics and the buttery soft leathers imported [...]


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Retirement planning for women: Strategies for a secure retirement

Mon, 17 Nov 2014 08:00:03 GMT

More than two-thirds (68.1 percent) of the elderly poor are women. An October 2012 study by the American Association of University Women found that over the course of a 35-year career, an American woman with a college degree will make about $1.2 million less than a man with the same education. More than 70 percent of nursing home residents [...]


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Why lower gas prices are fleeting

Wed, 12 Nov 2014 08:00:31 GMT

If you didn’t hear it on the news, you probably noticed it the last time you filled up your car: gasoline prices have been dropping lately after holding fairly steady for a year or so, following world oil prices. After clicking your heels at the gas station when nobody was looking, you probably got in your [...]


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In praise of not planning

Mon, 10 Nov 2014 08:00:51 GMT

It’s a good thing that I am a planner by nature because, dealing with personal finance as I do involves a lot of long-term planning. So it might seem a little odd for me to take this position, but there are times when your finances might be better for not having made a plan — [...]


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Zeroing in on target-date funds

Wed, 05 Nov 2014 08:00:31 GMT

For those investing for retirement, target-date funds sound like a great idea. Say you want to retire in 2030. Simply purchase a 2030 target-date fund, the wisdom holds, and the fund will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you when it comes to your investments. But like that time you tried to pass your [...]


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How to make money from home by starting a daycare

Mon, 03 Nov 2014 08:00:29 GMT

Quite a few parents choose to stay home because their entire salary would go to daycare if they went back to work full time after the birth of their child. If you are one of the stay-at-home parents who loves kids and wants to make money from home while taking care of your own kid, have [...]


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