How Big an Emergency Fund Do You Need?

I waded through a wide variety of personal finance literature before writing All The Money In The World. One universal bit of advice was that a prudent household needed an emergency fund. With good reason. Your monthly income may cover your monthly expenses, but what if something goes wrong? Really wrong, like you lose your job or you have to take unpaid disab… read more »

Making the Most of Your Weekends

In 168 Hours, I write that people who build full lives — at work and at home — think through how they want to spend their leisure time. It is very tempting not to plan one’s free time, both those after work hours and weekend hours that appear on a regular basis, and some people viscerally resist the idea of scheduling what is supposed to be down t… read more »

Round-up: The not-so-career-killing third kid

Over at BNET this week, I’m getting a lot of comments on a post called “More kids won’t kill your career…unless you want them to.” This summer, I kept seeing headlines claiming that having a third child was the “kiss of death” to one’s career. This rather alarming announcement turned out to be based on an A… read more »

Payroll Tax Cuts and Social Security

With the unemployment rate stuck above 9%, Pres. Obama and everyone else in Washington are coming up with anything they can to boost job creation. One idea proposed in Obama’s jobs speech a week ago? Hack payroll taxes (e.g. the ones that fund Social Security) in half. This time the cuts would cover both the employee and employer portion of the take. On o… read more »


The sun is shining today, but to call the past 30 days here in Pennsylvania “rainy” would be the understatement of the year. We were on track for record rain already, then Hurricane Irene hit, deluging us some more. Before anything could dry out, the remnants of Hurricane Lee swept through along with more normal late summer thunderstorms. We wer… read more »