You heard it here way back in the 20th century

When Tom Friedman – famous tout-er of globalization – uses his columns to challenge the growth paradigm, you know the world is changing. He quotes here two long time prophets (back a few years ago they called them Cassandras) of coming climate change, Joe Romm and Paul Gilding) and asserts that 2008 will be seen at the beginning of the “Great Disruption” when “Mother Nature and Father Greed have hit the wall at once”.  When

“Don’t buy stuff if you don’t have the money” by SNL?

Once again, Saturday Night Live nailed it. Watch this clip about “Don’t buy stuff if you don’t have the money”.  Of course, that’s obvious to you. And me. But don’t be surprised if you try to teach others about this approach to money and run into this kind of confusion… If you have been an FI educator, how have people responded to you? Anything like Steve Martin?

Q&A with Vicki in the news

Two great website authors have interviewed me via email recently – the Simple Dollar and US News and World Report – and the articles are now on the web. They are quick to read, and interesting imho.  Kimberly Palmer is a senior editor for U.S. News & World Report, writing about how to save money, avoid scams, manage debt, and be a savvy shopper. Her review is here.  Trent Hamm is the host and author

Advice from Joe’s old boss

Joe Dominguez worked for Loeb Rhodes and Co, an investment banking firm, for five years as a technical analyst and author of a weekly market letter. His  boss was John Loeb, an  imperious banker formed in the 1930’s through 1960’s. Interestingly, Loeb’s sage advice popped up this week in FORTUNE on – first in a series of articles on the financial crisis.  Reading it I hear Joe, too – astute, distanced from daily ups

Everything (almost) you ever wanted to know about Comparison Shopping

Take my last two cars, for example. I saved up enough cash for the purchase. I did my research and picked the precise car for me. I called all the dealers within 100 miles and said, “I have cash to make a purchase today. What’s your best price for this car?” In both cases (my Toyota Tercel 4WD in 1984 and my Honda Insight in 2002) there was a 30% difference between the top and

7 good money (habits) after bad

Who is responsible for your money life? Of course, the FI program says, “You are” and offers tools and perspectives for steering your money life back into alignment with your goals, dreams and values. The social sciences of neuroeconomics and behavioral economics can help explain why your brain goes to sleep or gets distracted by baubles – and a recent article from describes seven money traps and how to get out of them. Here’s

Tips for hard times #1: Patience, Priorities, People

Speaking is 10% preparation and 90% listening to the audience – which is what I’ve been doing on tour. You’ve told me so much through your questions, and I’ll be blogging a lot this week to catch you all up. The meta question of course is “What do we do now… investing, saving, earning, spending, whatever?” What seemed stable – the growth economy – is still roiling, shedding jobs, toppling the Dow from over 14,000

Tools to track by

I’ll never forget a talk Joe and I gave to an audience of several hundred people. In the Q&A a young woman timidly asked, “But how do you track your expenses?” Joe looked at her in disbelief. “You take out your little book (he always had one – in his plastic pocket protecter lined breast pocket – along with a pen). And you write it down. Is that so hard?” She withered. I rescued her

Financial Illiteracy

The Seattle Times started the New Year calling you a financial dunderhead. Maybe not you. Maybe a few people you know. “Financial illiteracy has cost the nation trillions of dollars in hard-earned savings, investment and mortgage payments,” they said in an editorial titled Nation of financial dunderheads needs formal instruction. Here’s where we come in

Lift off

My community here on Whidbey Island blew a big gust of wind in my sails on Thursday. 75 people filled Thomas Berry Hall at the Whidbey Institute to hear my stories about Joe and the seminar and the book and my decade of work trying to pry Americans fingers off the “joy stick” of consumerism. I stepped onto the stage and started to cry – oh well.