Compare Your Adjusted Gross Income to Others by Age and Filing Status

Everyone compares themselves to others—it’s basic human nature. But sizing up paychecks isn’t polite conversation. In fact, it’s taboo. Faced with this, some people try to rank themselves indirectly, such as by outspending their neighbors. This leads to great unhappiness (but at least it produces happy retailers). If you could compare your income to others without […]

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What Makes Personal Finance So Personal

Imagine this. Located deep within your brain is a personal finance control room. This doesn’t make you unique. Everyone possesses a control room that’s more or less similar to yours. It’s the central hub from which all adults—including you—calibrate their annual household spending. The typical control panel consists of 60 to 75 or so separate […]

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I don’t wear eyeglasses very often because I’m usually in contact lenses. In fact, the last time I bought glasses was in 2007 at Lenscrafters. With a $50 coupon, I paid $240. Although that’s not a great price, the glasses served me well. With the passage of seven years, however, the lenses had become scratched and […]

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Checklist: How to Save on Oil Changes

Whenever the oil light flashes, mainstream consumers drive to a local shop for service. In a way, it’s a bit Pavlovian—flash, spend; flash, spend. The frugal few, on the other hand, see the oil light as a shimmering opportunity to save. This is quite Pavlovian as well, but in a very different way—flash, save; flash, […]

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Introducing the Amazing Worthometer!

Last month, I posted “How to Compare Your Net Worth to Others (Without Being Rude).” The article discusses national surveys that tabulate household net worth into neat columns of percentiles. Thanks to these various surveys, you can see how you stack up against others as you pursue your financial goals. The “How to Compare” article […]

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