Recent Entries

  • Why You Should File Your Taxes Early

    Are you a procrastinator? I know that I can be. Waiting until the last minute before something has to be done. When it comes to taxes many people are. Each year people are lining up at the last minute to get their return post marked on time.   If that's you, please listen up. Here's a reason ...
  • TDS Financial New Round-Up

    Once I wrote an article on the cheapest way to own a car. The absolute cheapest was to buy a 2 or 3 year old car (after it's initial depreciation) and then keep it until the wheels fell off. Next best was to buy it new and drive it until it wouldn't go any more! So when Money Talks News wrote an art...
  • Saving for My Valentine

    Valentine's week. The time when all the ads say that we need to impress that special someone with how much we're willing to spend on them! I'm hoping that none of you fell for that stuff. That no one was buying expensive jewelry or $100 stuffed bears to demonstrate their love. If you did, you really...
  • Web Round-Up

    Here at TDS we try to share the best time and money-saving ideas. Even if they aren't our's! These are a of the articles that I thought you might find helpful. Hope you enjoy them!   As you know, I'm not a big fan of payday lenders. In fact, I consider it to be legalized loan sharking. But, i...
  • Better Financial Decision-Making

    (mount soapbox...)   Perhaps it's just me, but I'm concerned how a general lack of accountability is hurting people. Specifically in their finances.   It's a fact of life that decisions affect what happens to us. Some decisions lead to good outcomes. Others lead to trouble. We can caus...
  • Is Your Job Safe?

    Have you ever wondered whether technology will make your job obsolete? If you haven't already, you probably should at least ask the question. A recent article said that eventually 50% of all job tasks could be done without a person.   Now that's not to say that 50% of all jobs will disappear....
  • How Much Inflation Is There?

    Something that concerns all of us is inflation. How much will we have to pay for a pound of ground beef or a gallon of gas. So I thought that these two articles would be of interest.    The first article quotes the inflation stats released by the Labor Department.   "The Labor Dep...
  • Are They Qualified to Advise?

    Here's a topic that's near and dear to my heart. How do you know that the people who are giving you financial advice are qualified?   That's a very important question to answer. Things are so complicated now that you can't just take advice from anyone and expect things to turn out well. Some ...
  • Do We Have Too Many Choices?!?

    Here's one that you probably didn't see coming, but if you give it a little thought it'll feel true. It seems that we baby boomers have too many choices!       I remember growing up with a black and white TV that got 4 stations. We were lucky. Most people got 2 or 3. Then came UHF...
  • I'm Busy!

    I don't know if it's universal, but I think that many of us have an image of ourselves that we want the world to see and believe. Something that we want others to think of when they think of us. For some it's their style. For others it's their possessions. Most of us probably have a couple of images...
  • Retirement Plan Changes

    With the election results behind us, I am starting to hear rumors of social security, Medicare, and military entitlement cuts. As a retiree this concerns me because this would threaten my income and future. Is this all speculation or could this really happen? If that's the reality that I am facing h...
  • Financial New Year's Resolutions

    Ever wonder how New Year's resolutions got started? I did. And as we all know you can find everything on the net (grin). So that's where I looked.   According to an article on History.com: "The ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, s...
  • Predictions for 2017

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! Year end is the time when pundits come out with their predictions. I wouldn't consider myself a pundit, but I've seen enough to feel comfortable with some predictions.   You may not agree with everything. That's fine. But keep in mind that this is the 35th yea...
  • Best Wishes

    Here we are only a few days from Hannukah and Christmas. On behalf of The Dollar Stretcher staff let me wish you the happiest of holidays. And ask a favor. If you've had a good year reach out to someone who's facing health or financial troubles this year. Put a bag of groceries on their doorstep or ...
  • I'll Never Retire

    Here's something that caught my attention. It's from an article in our Bankrate feed. "Why Millennials Don't Think They'll Retire"   I can understand why people early in their working career don't think that they're likely to retire. Especially when they read about the troubles with the Socia...
  • Could 30% of Your Retirement Disappear?

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Could Americans be walking away from 30% of their retirement accounts? One consulting firm thinks so. According to a Wall Street Journal article "As Americans jump from job to job, they are leaving more 401(k)-style accounts and pension benefits with ex-emplo...
  • Automated Buying

    As we head into the busiest shopping month of the year I thought that you might be interested in a couple of articles that discuss how technology is changing the way we shop. Everyone knows that 'Black Friday' changed dramatically when 'Cyber Monday' came along.   But the changes in shopping ...
  • Thanksgiving

      Hello to all my Frugal Friends! When I think about Thanksgiving it's with mixed feelings. For many who have a lot it's a time to over eat and watch football. Not much thought goes into being thankful for all the things that they have. Just a day to consume too much.   For those who a...
  • Surprises

    Last week we had a surprising election. I'm sure that some of you were happy and others were displeased. But there is one thing that I think that we all can agree on. Being prepared for surprises makes it easier to survive them financially. And that's true not just for things that affect everyone, b...
  • American Grandparents Association

    One of the real joys of being a Dollar Stretcher is finding a good value and then passing that along to a family member or friend. This week I get a chance to have that fun.   Before I do, let me ask a favor. Don't think just of yourself. Think who else could benefit from this.   Ok, w...
  • Musings on Student Aid

    I know that many of you have children or grandchilden who will be college students next school year. Just read an article aptly titled "Musings on Financial Aid" by Elizabeth Boehmcke from the Hook Law Center Blog. Included in the aritlcle:    - Keep in mind that parents' resources are a...
  • The Gig Economy: Everything Old Is New Again

    For awhile I've thought that the gig economy is a new take on something old. Yes, using cell phones to call Uber is a new idea. But people working multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet is nothing new.   Many people who couldn't find good full-time employment worked multiple part-time jobs...
  • Government Borrowing and You

    Each year in early October we get the results of the Federal government's budget for the prior 12 months (in this case fiscal year 2016). As regular readers know here at TDS we do not like debt. So each year I cringe when I see the figures. Here's the latest: "The federal deficit for fiscal 2016 ju...
  • Expert Cites 3 Retirement Crises

    Back when I was a stock broker I became familiar with the Vanguard family of mutual funds. They were founded by a man named Jack Bogle. He was one of the early innovators in mutual fund investing. And later a pioneer in index funds (funds that mimic an index and don't rely on fund managers). Both of...
  • Why You Should Work

    I've been fascinated by the connection between emotional and physical health. Read anything that I see on the subject. (at least anything that's not written at a doctoral thesis level!) Just came across an article in the Harvard Business Review. link here   "Our Gallup-Healthways Global Well-...
  • Economic Growth and You

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Most of us are so concerned with our own finances that we don't have the time to pay much attention to what's going on in world finances. Do I thought I'd pass along an interesting article I saw. The article was from Bloomber.com. Among other things it includ...
  • Retirement Options

    Read a couple of retirement related articles this week that I'd like to share. The first one is from CNBC.   They talk about the fact that retirement isn't an all or nothing decision anymore. The article states: "About 30 percent of large employers — those with over 1,000 employees &mda...
  • Foreign Governments Sell US Debt

    I recently read a CNN article titled: "Global central banks dump U.S. debt at record pace". It details how they have been reducing the amount of US Treasure bonds they own. At an accelerating pace. That's something that should concern us. In fairness, they do point out the individuals have increased...
  • Payday Loans

    You probably know how much I hate payday lenders. Routinely we're ask by lenders to run ads on the site and in our newsletters. And routinely we turn them down. If you ever should see one on the site please let us know. We use ad networks and will have them block any payday lenders we know about. (u...
  • We Want Your Debt Success Story

    Always something interesting in my inbox. Found a site created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau dedicated to educating consumer about auto loans. "Whether you’re a first time borrower or a pro, getting an auto loan can be complicated. Learn how to prepare so you can save money, redu...
  • Why You Should Pay Off Your Credit Cards

    An interesting article was part of our Bankrate feed this week. It was titled "Pay Off Your Credit Cards Now. Here's Why". It included an interesting quote from a friend of our's (who happens to be very smart) Gerri Detweiler. The article summarizes her advice as "If you can't retire your credit car...
  • Why You Should Pay Off Your Credit Cards

    An interesting article was part of our Bankrate feed this week. It was titled "Pay Off Your Credit Cards Now. Here's Why". It included an interesting quote from a friend of our's (who happens to be very smart) Gerri Detweiler. The article summarizes her advice as "If you can't retire your credit car...
  • Stress

    Here's something of interest.   An article from the Harvard Business Review discusses stress. How we acquire it. What it does to us. And how to combat it.   I found the part on what it does to our bodies very interesting. "In the body, all kinds of stress lead to one destination: infla...
  • Social Security Benefit Increases

    Unless you're exempt, if you're over 50 Social Security plays a part in your personal finances. And the news hasn't been good lately.   First, "next year’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be just two-tenths of 1 percent, according to predictions in the annual report of the trustee...
  • Brexit and Your Mortgage

    I remember Black Monday October 19, 1987 - the day the Dow crashed and lost over 20% of it's value in one day! Guess that's not surprising since I was a broker / financial planner at the time. Looking back at it now I wish that I had taken some of the money that was invested in bonds and CDs and shi...
  • How to Tell If You Have a Debt Problem

    I know that it's human nature to want to believe that everything will turn out fine. And, in most cases, it does. I've heard that 70% of the things that we worry about never happen. But sometimes things turn out fine because you see trouble ahead and take corrective action before it can do damage. ...
  • Millinneals and Credit Cards

    Even though I've been doing this for decades, every so often I see something that's surprising. This week we're featuring an article from our Bankrate feed that talks about how few millennials have credit cards. It seems that only a third of them use credit cards. I would have expected that number t...
  • Knowing What Student Loans Cost

    I've found something that could interest you. It's an article written for the Pew Charitable Trust and is titled: "What Happens When You Warn Students About Their Loan Debt?"   According to the study:"Indiana University officials say borrowing by undergraduates at the school has dropped 18 pe...
  • Retirement Expenses

    Here's an article that you'll find interesting. It's title "Seniors' Incomes In 47 States Don't Go Far Enough" tells most of the story. The study is based on the widely used rule that retirees will need 70% of their preretirement income after they retire. Using that formula they compared median inco...
  • An End to Crushing Student Loan Debt

    Most of you probably don't have college aged children. But even if your kids are still in diapers, this article should interest you. The article was written by the Pew Charitable Trust and is titled: "What Happens When You Warn Students About Their Loan Debt?"   According to the study:"Indian...
  • retirees in the workforce

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics nearly 19% of people 65 or older are still in the work force. The percentage has been rising since the 1980s and has been very much on the increase since 2000. And the last time the ratio was that high was ba...
  • Should I Leave My Mortgage Open?

    Dear Dollar Stretcher, I'm Canadian - Live in Canada - Vancouver Island, BC. Today I got a call from the credit union telling me my house mortgage is now paid out. They then asked me if I wanted to de-register the mortgage - at a $75.00 fee, or leave it as it is, in case I needed money for a reno...
  • My Credit Score Dropped 200 Points!

    I have never been late or carry more than 2 credit cards in more than a decade (I have never been late on anything). My credit scores had always been in the early 800's to high 700's. Due to all the credit card issues with retailers; I have had fraud alerts on my accounts for years. I was just able ...
  • Another Housing Bubble

    Guess it would be fair to say that I'm always on the lookout for debt statistics. This week I saw one from the "Credit Union Trends Report". The report said that "Credit union mortgage loan balances increased more than 8% in 2015, the fastest increase since 2008."   What does that mean? It pr...
  • Getting Paid to Save

    Our feed from Bankrate included an article about negative interest rates. If you're not familiar with that term/strategy it's the government's attempt to boost a sagging economy. Savers are actually charged for storing their savings at the bank. In other words, they earn negative interest on their s...
  • Take the Next Step

    Here at The Dollar Stretcher we love to hear about people changing their financial futures. It's especially neat when some of our articles played a part in helping them achieve their goals.   That's why a number of years ago we added 'Next Step' to the end of most articles. We wanted visitors...
  • Time to Reduce Your Debts

    I know that I tend to harp on debt. That's because I've seen debt hurt so many people. People who didn't get to live the lives they had planned because they were always playing catch-up financially.   So it won't surprise you that an article from Bloomberg caught my eye. The theme of the arti...
  • Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

    Want to be healthy and wealthy? Then you'll want to consider these two articles I found this week.   The first one is from Yahoo finance. It was titled: “A man who studied rich people for 5 years found that they avoid one type of person.” Naturally, I bit and clicked on the articl...
  • Financing Your Business

    In nearly 30 years in working in personal finance, one of the most knowledgeable people I've met is Gerri Detweiler. So when she told me she was doing a book on financing a small business I was excited. Especially since I know that so many people are looking to create side gigs. So if you're thinkin...
  • Your Success Stories

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Last week we mentioned that TDS is 20 years old. Since the beginning it's been a joint effort. So many of the great ideas we've been able to share have come from readers. So we want to continue the celebration by sharing some of your success stories.   ...
  • 20 Years and Counting

    “It was twenty years ago today Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play They've been going in and out of style But they're guaranteed to raise a smile So may I introduce to you The act you've known for all these years Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band” - The Beatles, 1967   ...
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  • Prevent Auto Theft

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   My car (a 2008 Toyota Solara) is probably too old to be a theft target. But being a car guy I couldn't pass up this article from Wired. It talked about how thieves using a device they can build for $225 can gain entry and start many keyless entry vehicles. &...
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  • confident about retirement

    Did you know that only 22% of workers 25 and over feel confident that they'll have enough money to retire on? That's what a recent survey found.   Another stat that's interesting for After 50 Finance readers was that only 9% of those with serious debt issues are confident about their retireme...
  • Why You Should Care About Government Pensions

    Bankrate recently did a fascinating article titled: Shining a Light on Government Pensions. It pointed out that many of the promises that various city, state and the federal government have made haven't been properly funded. Estimates are that they'd need somewhere between $1 and $3 trillion to be f...
  • Are You Becoming Obsolete?

    If you're a regular reader you probably know that I follow the online version of the Harvard Business Review. Here's another article that you could find interesting.    Technology is changing many jobs and making some obsolete. In fact Oxford University says that nearly half of the jobs ...
  • Time to Pay Down Debt

    From the 'in case you missed it file' there are two articles that should be of interest to you. One on a big picture level, the other very practical advice.   The first is the big picture item. It's from CNN and is titled "Foreign governments are dumping U.S. debt like never before".   ...
  • When You Find a Co-Worker Makes More Than You

    Wanted to pass along a couple of interesting articles.   The first one comes from the Harvard Business Review and is called "When You Find Out a Coworker Makes More Money than You Do" I suspect that if you've been in the workforce for more than a few years it's happened to you. You hear that ...
  • A New Housing Bubble?

    Just read something interesting on Reuters.com. The article was titled: "Home 'flipping' exceeds peaks in some hot U.S. housing markets".   Three things in the article stood out. First, that home flipping hit a 10 year high. It's way up in the number of homes being flipped and the average pro...
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  • Negative Interest Rates?!?

    I'd like to include two topics for your attention.   The first one regards something called 'negative interest rates' and a soft global economy.   Let's start with the economy. Many economists are concerned about a global recession. China's economy is growing much more slowly than in t...
  • 0% balance transfer

    I could of written that question! I am in the very same situation almost to the same $$ amount!   I have the opportunity to pay off my credit card by using a 0 percent interest check from another credit card until April 2017. Then I would put $200 per month off on my $3800 balance continuing ...
  • February Money Savers

    Ah, February! A month that's dominated by the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day. I suspect that many of you are thinking of Super Bowl parties and how to tell that special someone how much you love them.   If you're planning a Super Bowl party we have a couple of articles that can make your part...
  • Use It Or Lose It

    Hello to all my Frugal Boomer Friends!   Saw a really interesting report courtesy of the Harvard Business Review. It was titled "Is Age Kinder to the Experts?"   "The best experts may not be immune to aging, but their previously acquired expertise and current activity help them maintai...
  • Emergency funds and goal setting

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Did you know that only one in four people have a sufficient emergency fund?   Then I saw this in the Harvard Business Review: "Analyzing data from the Swedish Level of Living Survey, they found that Swedes who said they could not come up with a moderat...
  • Your Financial Plans for 2016

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! Turning a corner. Starting a new chapter. Turning over a new leaf. Common phrases that all convey the idea of beginning something new.   So what are you planning for the new year? Are you going to take on something educational or work related? A home improveme...
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  • Why I Don't Like New Year's Resolutions

    If you're like many people, you're thinking about setting some New Year's resolutions. I admit to having mixed feelings about them.   There's a part of me that doesn't like to be told what to do. So if the whole world is making resolutions I'm likely to do the opposite and ignore them. The ar...
  • How to Stretch Your Retirement Dollar

    With an average of 10,000 baby boomers joining the retirement ranks every day there should be a lot of interest in how to get the most for your money in retirement. I was recently interviewed by NewRetirement.com. I like to think that I presented a few good ideas. You'll find the interview here. Ho...
  • Merry Christmas

    Merry Christmas!   Christmas is a time of celebration. For Christians it's one of the holiest times of the year. For others it's a time of parties, sharing and general good will. A time to be happy together.   But with all the parties and get togethers, please don't forget to reach out...
  • New TDS Front Page

    Here at TDS we've always wanted to save both money and time. So often we see that there's a trade-off. To save money you must spend time. Or to save time you must spend money. So in an effort to save you some time, we've rearranged our front page. We've organized the articles by category. That shou...
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  • Thanksgiving Resolutions

    Here we go! Time for that dash to the holidays and end of another year. Probably the 4 busiest weeks that any of us will have this year. I had an idea that I wanted to share with you. Instead of New Year's resolutions, what would happen if we made Thanksgiving resolutions? For instance, what if I ...
  • Flexible Spending Acccounts

    I'd like to bring two things to you this week.   First, if you have a Flexible Spending Account you'll want to use it. Our friends over at MoneyTalksNews.com has a good article explaining what you need to do. Don't forget, if you don't use that money you could lose it!   Secondly, I'd ...
  • Holiday Spending

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! Here we are entering the last two months of the year. A time that can be financially challenging for many of us. This week I saw some statistics on what people are expected to spend on the holidays.   The National Retail Federation's average per person spendin...
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  • New Email Scam

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Chances are that you've heard of (or received) the new credit cards with chip technology. They're supposed to make using your card without your permission harder and reduce the amount of theft.   But, as you might expect, the bad guys saw this as an op...
  • Your Brain and Your Finances

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! Had breakfast with a friend of mine this morning. He's widely read and always has something interesting to share. Today the topic came around to what people believe about themselves. He was looking at it from a weight loss perspective. Naturally I thought of how peop...
  • How Millennials Can Avoid Big Financial Mistakes

    Source: GoodCall
  • What Could You Learn From an Unplugged Lamp

    Here's something to think about. I recently attended a conference and stayed at the hotel that hosted the conference. Nice enough room. The usual amenities. In the corner was an easy chair with an end table to the side and a lamp behind it.     It looked like a perfect spot to read. S...
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  • Are Your Advisors Biased?

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Saw an interesting item in the Harvard Business Review. Let me quote them: “In an experiment, advisers who had a financial incentive to give biased advice were 56% more likely to do so if they knew their advisees would get a second opinion, say Sunita ...
  • Stretching to Success

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Saw something interesting that I wanted to pass along.   “Research participants who had very nearly won a game put greater effort into a card-sorting task, sorting the cards 23 to 45 times faster, on average, than people who had either won the ga...
  • 2008 Again?

    Hello to All My Frugal Friends!   "New orders for manufactured durable goods in June increased $7.7 billion or 3.4% to $235.3 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This increase, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, followed a 2.1% May decrease."   Like so much of...
  • How Much Will Lower Oil Prices Save You?

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   If you're like me, you can't help but notice when gas prices change. Lately they've been going down. In large part that's because crude oil prices have dropped about 20% this month!   Experts say that there are a number of factors for this. Among the b...
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  • What You Should Learn from the Greek Financial Crisis

    The Greek financial crisis may seem far away. And, depending on who you ask, it's either very simple or very complicated. Taken together that's a good reason not to pay much attention to it. That could be a mistake. There's a lot we can learn from the Greek debt crisis.   It can happen here. ...
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  • Feeling Financially Overwhelmed?

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! Do you ever feel like you're being overwhelmed by events. I think that most of get that feeling periodically. And it can happen to anyone. The single mom who's juggling work and parenting. Or the retiree who's having trouble keeping up with things like credit scores....
  • How Middle Class Families Lost $50k in Income

    Middle class families are having a tough time. But could they really have lost $50k in income? That's what a report by the President's Council of Economic Advisers said.   Surprising, at least to me, was the main reason cited: lack of productivity growth. According to the CEA that accounted f...
  • Planning for Retirement

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! What do you think? Does it make sense to plan for your future? What about Gen Xers (ages 35-48)? What do they think? And interesting study by the Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America commissioned the Allianz Generations Apart Study was quoted in an articl...
  • Choose Your Degree Carefully

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Last week I was at a conference with financial writers, editors and analysts. One topic of conversation was the value of a college education. One group of economists put it at around $300,000.   The general consensus among my colleagues was that a degr...
  • Who Is Responsible?

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! I read an interesting article the other day in Employee Benefit News. It said that “Thirty-seven percent of plan sponsors are unaware they are fiduciaries to their workplace-sponsored retirement plans.”   What that means in layman's terms is that o...
  • TDS Featured in Trusted Helplines Mobile App

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! I love making big announcements! About 10 years ago a friend began collecting various non-profit helplines and placing them on his website called Care Connect USA. Everything from utilities assistance to tax debt relief. It's been so popular that thousands of company...
  • 10 Things You Need to Know About Saving Money in April

      An April adage: “A fool and his money are soon parted. The rest of us part with it on tax day.” With that in mind, here are 10 ways you can save money in April.   Find out if you’re one of these 4 types of savings addicts >>>   1. Declare April &ld...
  • TDS Recommends...Better After 50

    Mrs. Dollar Stretcher and I became empty nesters a few years ago. And, while we love our kids and are really happy when they visit, it's also nice to be empty nesters. But, if you're a responsible loving parent (and we like to think we are!), that means that you'll feel a little guilty about enjoyin...
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