Life Without a Car

Just reading the above headline may have made some readers break out in a nervous sweat. We love our cars. We need our cars. Or do we? The _Washington Post_ recently reviewed a new book, _How to Live Well Without Owning a Car,_ written to challenge our assumptions that we need our cars. Author Chris […]

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Feeding the Hungry When You’re Starved for Time

For those with a desire to volunteer or donate to a good cause, but who are pressed for time, “Charity Guide”:http://www.charityguide.org may be of interest. According to a recent article in the _Chicago Tribune_, the organization’s web site lists 170 “flexible service projects”–everything from helping the homeless to protecting the environment–that can be done in […]

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Financial Lessons From 9/11

This month, as we remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks of five years ago, many people are reflecting on how life has changed since then and considering some of the lessons learned. While financial lessons are far from the most important takeaways, _Smart Money_ magazine recently summarized a few such lessons. First, don’t wait for a […]

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Labor Pains

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.” – Proverbs 23:4 The many Biblical warnings related to wealth do not mean that the Bible discourages hard work.  To the contrary, we’re told that we are to work with all our heart (Colossians 3:23) and that those who do not […]

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Kids and Credit Cards – An Update

In the last issue of _Matt About Money_ I said that co-signing for a credit card for your teenagers is a good way to give them real-world experience managing credit before heading off to college. A reader rightly pointed out that there are other, possibly better options as well. They include a debit card tied […]

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The More You Buy the More You Save

It doesn’t take too many readings of the above headline, a standard phrase used to promote sales, to see its fallacy. However, buying things on sale makes all the sense in the world if an item we were going to buy anyway is on sale. Recent articles from “Smart Money”:http://www.smartmoney.com/consumer/index.cfm?story=20060824&src=fb&nav=RSS20 and the “Motley Fool”:http://www.fool.com/news/commentary/2006/commentary06082604.htm listed […]

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Money and Happiness – The Search for a Link Continues

The timeless search for a connection between money and happiness has spawned several new stories on the topic. A recent article on _Bankrate.com_, for example, said research has found some interesting variations in happiness by income. Most notably, while happiness increases a lot for one who moves from poverty to the middle class, beyond that, […]

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Savings Made Simple

Is confusion over asset allocation or investment choices in your 401(k) or 403(b) plan stopping you from participating? Get over it and get started. That’s the conclusion of new research by Putnam Investments (okay, they didn’t quite put it that way), which examined the impact of three factors on retirement savings. As reported in a […]

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Millionaire Madness

While a million bucks certainly doesn’t buy what it used to, an 8/15 _USA Today_ story said it remains the monetary benchmark of having “truly made it.” As a result, millionaire madness continues to permeate our culture. Game shows with million dollar prizes are among the biggest hits, books offering to teach us the “Secrets […]

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Scammers Show the Way to Savings

When Sid Kirchheimer decided to write about smarter spending, he turned to an unusual source: “reformed scammers.” The resulting book, “Scam Proof Your Life”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=as2&path=ASIN/1402730411&tag=wwwfinancia00-20&camp=1789&creative=9325, includes money-saving insights from an assortment of former con artists and other schemers. It also includes honest insiders’ tips on how to get better deals on everything from homes to healthcare. […]

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