The Store Less Traveled

Have you ever set foot in a dollar store? Apparently more and more of us have. Citing ACNielsen data, the 10/22 issue of the _Chicago Tribune_ noted that two-thirds of all Americans shopped at a dollar store last year. The article said dollar stores not only offer good prices on a lot of items, they’ve […]

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Investing in Happiness

In our search for happiness we often assume money must play a role. And it does. Research shows that when people move from poverty to the middle class their happiness grows a lot. However, research also shows that as a person moves further up the economic ladder, happiness hardly grows at all. The _Wall Street […]

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A Little Goes a Long Way

One of the roadblocks we sometimes face when thinking about giving money to charitable causes is the sense that our money can’t make much of a difference. Warren Buffet’s billions could certainly make a dent in solving some of the world’s problems, we figure, but what can my measly $50 do? Quite a bit, it […]

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What the Boss Drives

What type of car do you think the average CEO drives? What types and brands come to mind? As reported on _BusinessWeek Online_ on 10/6, a recent survey from CareerBuilder.com and Cars.com found that most people think the typical company leader drives a luxury sports car costing over $70,000. However, when CEOs were asked, they […]

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The Smell of Shopping

In a quest to more effectively separate us from our money, retailers have tried music to tickle our ears, lighting to please our eyes, and special flooring to comfort our feet. Now they’re taking their appeal straight to our nose. According to an article in the 10/16 issue of _Time_ magazine, businesses ranging from bedding […]

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Give Yourself a Raise

Are you looking for a little extra Christmas cash this year? How about giving yourself a raise? You may be able to if you were one of the nearly 99 million taxpayers who received a refund from their 2005 taxes. With the average refund totaling $2,200, that amounts to about $185 per month that people […]

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Does Tony Soprano Need Life Insurance?

Which of the following TV dads do you think has the greater need for life insurance: mob boss Tony Soprano, Cliff Huxtable of the Cosby Show, or Mike Brady of the Brady Bunch? According to a national survey conducted for the non-profit Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE), most people assume Tony Soprano […]

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Living With Urgency

“Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” – Job 14:5 Next month will mark the two-year anniversary of my father’s death.  The following month will mark the three-year anniversary of my mother’s death.  Maybe it’s the experience of losing my parents so recently […]

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Popular Board Game Adds Product Placements

MONOPOLY purists may be dismayed by the just-released “Here & Now” edition of the popular board game. Virtually everything has changed. As reported by the _New York Times_, Boardwalk has been replaced by Times Square; the railroads have been replaced by airports; and the reward for passing “Go” has zoomed from $200 to $2 million. […]

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Checking Out Charities Before You Give

During the last quarter of the year many charities dial up their fund-raising efforts. An article in the _Chicago Sun-Times_ on 9/18 gave some good counsel for deciding which causes to support. It recommended seeing what “Charity Navigator”:http://www.charitynavigator.org and “GuideStar”:http://www.guidestar.org have to say about organizations you’re considering. Both rate charities on a variety of measures, […]

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