Category: Personal Finance

Emergency Funds are Overrated: Part Two of Three

In part one on Monday, I wrote about how credit cards can provide short-term liquidity where emergency funds would typically be recommended. In this article, I will write about how most "emergencies" people list as reasons for an emergency fund are not true emergencies and can be easily planned for (and anything that is above […]

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Emergency Funds are Overrated: Part One of Three

Emergency funds are a controversial topic that have always irked the writers here at DQYDJ. Okay: overall, we think they are a decent idea... but the singular focus on obtaining one despite the (usually ignored) costs is  the incorrect focus for most financial prioritization decisions. In this series, I will lay out three reasons why […]

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Should You Buy Many Lottery Tickets for One Drawing, or A Few Tickets For Many Drawings?

Let me stop you right there. If you're considering buying many lottery tickets for one drawing, or less lottery tickets for multiple drawings do neither. Whatever you were thinking about doing with the answer to this question, you go right on thinking... and not doing. But you're really here for some math on the optimal […]

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How to Make an Emergency Fund With Your Health Savings Account

If you're looking for a place to put your emergency fund, your search has come to an end: the oft-overlooked Health Savings Account.  Today we discuss the idea of the health savings account retirement fund, and explain the IRS rule which makes it all possible. Keeping Something in Reserve A common refrain heard from the […]

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No, You're Not Saving Too Much for Retirement

Saving too much... really, is that a possibility that people are even remotely concerned about?  Or is it just a meme used to justify an expensive third decade? I love Morningstar, I really do. My respect for the company is one of the reasons I had a particularly exaggerated eye-rolling session upon reading Morningstar's report […]

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When You're Young, Work For The Money...

Probably the second most misunderstood quote in literature is F. Scott Fitzgerald's "There are no second acts in American lives" from the notes of Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon. (Number one?  Nietzsche's "God is dead.", which appears in a few places, most notably Thus Spoke Zarathustra).  Expand that sad misunderstanding to all of North America, and you […]

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The 7 Best Finance Related Songs

What's this? A simple prompt for your listening delight: the very best Personal Finance Songs. In conjunction with our friend Athena from Money Smart Latina, we decided to leave the hard work to musicians and link to some epic music.  So, here you have it - here are the 7 songs which best sum up Personal Finance. […]

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Debt Payoff Fanaticism vs. Investing

It's time for a thought experiment, roughly along the lines of the legal tradition of reductio ad absurdum, or "reduction to absurdity".  If you are bullheadedly focused on the absolute eradication of all debt and focused on having zero debt above all else, it becomes near impossible to ever pick something to invest in. Let […]

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How Much Do People Save, by Income?

A few weeks back we presented one of our signature pieces of original research on what Americans saved based upon their ages.  That data used fresh data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey to paint a picture - however imprecise - of savings by income. Today we complete the short lived series with data from the […]

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How Much Do Americans Save, by Age?

It wasn't too long ago when we posted our epic article (and corresponding calculator) on the ideal savings rate.  Since the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released their 2012 statistical tables from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, I figured it might be interesting to look at how much American savings by age. Let's do that. Savings […]

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