Top 10 Posts 2016!

Jan 18, 2017 by

top 10 postsI’m back from an anniversary holiday on Maui. Sweet…

I just know you’re worried that you may have missed out on the best of Money Counselor’s 600+ posts! 🙂 To help ease your anxiety and get you up to speed, I’ve compiled here 2016’s ten most-read Money Counselor posts. These weren’t necessarily published in 2016; rather they’re the most-visited in 2016, regardless of publication date.

Money Counselor’s Most Popular Posts as Chosen by 2016’s Site Visitors

Number 10: I’m happy to see a lot of people are sufficiently savvy to be pro-actively thinking about how and when they can get rid of the private mortgage insurance increment of their mortgage payment. Counting on your lender to let you know is a big mistake! Read “Getting Rid of PMI” to learn more.

Number 9: Many of us are envious of friends and family with high credit scores. How the heck did they do that?!? The article  “Profile of High Credit Scorers” is centered on an infographic put together by FICO that helps answer the question. (Shameless plug: if you’ve resolved in 2017 to improve your credit score, you won’t find a better resource to help you make progress than my Simple Guide “Raise Your Credit Score the Right Way“.

Number 8: I had a look a few years ago at the effective historical U.S. federal income tax rate over a 51-year period (1961-2011) for a hypothetical person earning $200,000 per year. This post continues to get traction, I think because it demonstrates once again that our perception of reality—as shrewdly shaped by certain special interests—often differs from the facts. Read the short “U.S. Income Tax Rate History“, and let me know in the comments if you were surprised by what you learned.

Number 7: In past years I have offered during the few months preceding the year-end holidays my own layaway program to compete with Walmart’s®. The millions of people searching the Interwebs for details on Walmart’s program have found themselves exposed to my, much better, layaway program instead, and to my trashing of Walmart’s program. Hence the popularity of “Walmart Layaway Still Sucks“.

Number 6: Many people get paychecks every other week. That means they receive three paychecks instead of two during two months each year. For those who don’t just think “alright—party time!!” when they bank that third paycheck, the extra paycheck is a bit of a budget challenge. I’m happy to see that my “Extra Paychecks” post continues to be a valuable resource for these folks. Or maybe I flatter myself, and visitors to this article got there by searching something like “how can I earn an extra paycheck”. 🙂

Number 5: Many classic conventional truths that are actually false haunt the personal finance chunk of people’s brains. In “Does Repossession Cure Debt?” I explode the common belief that, for example, simply turning in to the lender keys to a car with payments the buyer can no longer afford—or letting the repo man take the car—will end the matter. Nope, not even close!

Number 4: Apparently many people find themselves the lucky beneficiaries of some sort of financial windfall. My article “$200,000 Windfall! Now What?” explains how to keep your head and go about not squandering the opportunity by, say, heading straight to the airport for a flight to Vegas.

Number 3: Every year my post on IRS Form 3949a—which citizens can use to squeal anonomously on cheating taxpayers—is very popular. Knowing that so many people are eager to turn in tax cheats sure helps keep us on the straight & narrow! Read “Beware IRS Form 3949A” to learn how to get your tax-cheating boss in trouble with the IRS.

Number 2: Net Worth—How Are You Doing?” helps visitors scratch that irresistible itch to compete with the Joneses on finances. In it you can learn the median and average net worths of Americans within certain age brackets. How you doin’?

Number 1: As if we needed confirmation, looks like everybody needs extra cash. In “Need Cash? Pawn Something” I make the case that pawning some the useless crap lying around your home is a better option for raising money than several other popular alternatives, like getting a payday loan.

2016 was a stellar year for Money Counselor! Thank you so much, and please comment or write with any requests of suggestions you have for improving what we do here in 2017.

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