Author Archive | Matt Bell

Pennies for College Add Up

Are there any future Ivy Leaguers in your family? Or some future State U’ers? You can help foot the bill by signing up for a rebate program that deposits a portion of eligible purchases into a 529 college savings plan. It used to be that was the only game in town. But an article in […]

Continue Reading

Just Three More Months Until Christmas

It may be a bit early to start hanging Christmas lights on the house, but an article on _Bankrate.com_ noted that now is a good time to prepare financially for what is often the biggest budget-busting season of all. Among the ideas for a more joyful/less financially painful Christmas: Plan your gift list and holiday […]

Continue Reading

“Signaling” Who We Are

In their quest to be cool, people choose products and brands that “signal” their membership in desired “in-groups” while carefully monitoring whether less desirable “out-groups” are starting to buy such products as well–a clear sign to stop using such products. That’s the conclusion of a marketing study described on _Knowledge@Wharton_, the Wharton School’s online business […]

Continue Reading

Retirement Plan Participation Stuck in Neutral

Less than two-thirds of people eligible to participate in 401(k) savings plans actually do, according to an article in the _Wall Street Journal_. What’s most surprising is the fact that the participation rate hasn’t grown for the past six years, despite frequent warnings that many people are not saving enough for their future. h3(matt). Matt’s […]

Continue Reading

Cars That Keep Going and Going

Keeping vehicles for 15 years could save $20,000 over that time versus buying a new car every five years, according to Consumers Union (the organization behind _Consumer Reports_). Using a Honda Civic as an example, the organization factored in the purchase price, depreciation, taxes, fees, and insurance. It also most likely to make it to […]

Continue Reading

The Best Offense is a Good Defense

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.” – Ephesians 6:14a In Brave New World, Aldus Huxley’s 1932 novel that envisions the extent to which consumerism could go, people are conditioned from birth to accept predetermined roles. Using “sleep teaching,” speakers underneath babies’ pillows repeatedly broadcast quiet suggestions designed to shape […]

Continue Reading

The Cost of Familiarity

Businesses put a lot of time, effort, and money into building brand recognition, and it seems that their efforts are paying off. _Time_ magazine reported on a study in which people were asked to taste peanut butter from three different jars. The jars contained the same peanut butter but had different labels. By far, people […]

Continue Reading

Teaching Tots About Money

Is the sippy cup stage too early to start teaching kids about money? Absolutely not. That’s the message of a recent _MSN.com_ article, which offered several helpful ideas for teaching pre-schoolers about money. The article suggested teaching little ones that there are three things you can do with money: spend, save, and give. To make […]

Continue Reading

Share My Ride

The high cost of owning a vehicle (the average household spends over $8,000 per year on transportation) is one reason why car-sharing companies are growing in popularity. The idea, which started in Europe in the late 1980’s, allows people to rent vehicles by the hour, and it’s gaining momentum in the U.S. Car-sharing companies now […]

Continue Reading

Saving on Healthcare

Benefits enrollment season is fast approaching, and if you work for a large company chances are you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for a Flexible Savings Account (FSA). As reported in the _Chicago Tribune_, FSAs enable you to use pre-tax dollars for everything from doctor co-pays to aspirin, which can add up to hundreds […]

Continue Reading
http://edge.quantserve.com/quant.js