The Piggy Bank Balance Transfer

Banks and other financial institutions are going after kids’ lemonade stand money. According to an article in the 7/29-30 issue of the Wall Street Journal, many financial service providers are offering everything from stick-on tattoos to iPods to entice kids to bank with them. And they’re offering more than just passbook savings accounts. Today, kids […]

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Lessons Learned on a Spending Sabbatical

Many people complain about the “consumer treadmill,” but few are willing to actually step off. An article on MSN recently profiled someone who did. Judith Levine spent a year buying only essentials—no movies, no restaurant meals, no ice cream. While her spending sabbatical enabled her to pay off nearly $8,000 in credit card debt, she […]

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When Filling Up Taps You Out

With fuel prices at record highs, filling the gas tank is starting to feel more like an investment than an expense. For some ideas on how to save on gas, a 7/26 posting on Businessweek Online said the most important steps are all pretty simple: keep our tires properly inflated, accelerate and brake gently, slow […]

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Defending the Castle

Whoever came up with the phrase, “Our home is our castle,” probably didn’t have the typical split-level in mind. However, even if our dwelling lacks a protective moat, there’s a lot we can do to make our homes more fortress-like, at least on paper. According to a story posted on _CNNMoney.com_ on 7/14, it’s a […]

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Cash Is So Yesterday

Amid growing interest in removing the lowly penny from circulation, there’s a much bigger trend taking shape in the world of money—the move toward a completely cashless society. While plastic (credit cards and debit cards) is now a more frequent form of retail payment than cash, the latest type of credit cards are aiming to […]

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Light Up Some Savings

Speaking of saving on utility bills, one simple way to do that while helping the environment at the same time is to switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). According to the July issue of _Real Simple_, while CFLs cost more than regular bulbs, they use 70% less energy and last more than 10 times […]

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Money Wise or Miserly?

Are you a smart shopper or stingy? Do people think of you as frugal or tight? And where is the line drawn? According to a story posted on MSN.com, it’s frugal to use a 2 for 1 coupon at a restaurant, but it’s stingy to base the server’s tip on the discounted price of the […]

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The Home Stretch

The Home Stretch

The conventional wisdom tells us to stretch to buy as much house as possible. A lot of people who followed that advice in recent years through the help of adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are now feeling some pain from all that stretching. With interest rates now rising, it’s not uncommon for people to see their […]

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Where’s the Money?

Why is our savings rate so low? Lack of motivation? Denial about the need? A penchant for big screen TVs? In its 6/21 issue, the Wall Street Journal fixed the blame on our housing and transportation spending. It cited government figures showing that while the portion of our spending devoted to many categories has fallen […]

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Shock Treatment for Prospective Savers

Much has been made of the average American’s less than stellar track record of building savings. In the 6/17-18 issue of the Wall Street Journal, reporter Ron Lieber shared what “shocked” him into saving early in life. He saw a chart comparing how much a person would accumulate by age 65 if they invested $250 […]

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