Money Down the Drain

Do you drink bottled water? If so, you’re not alone. According to an in _Fast Company_ magazine, the average American has gone from drinking less than two gallons of bottled water per year in 1976 to over 28 gallons last year. But the article said bottled water is an unnecessary expense and bad for the […]

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Boring Stuff We Need to Know

The next time you have trouble sleeping, and counting fluffy white animals doesn’t do the trick, try contemplating the wonders of insurance. You’ll be out in an instant. But within the legalese of our boring insurance contracts are some things we need to know. And according to a _Wall Street Journal_ article, too many of […]

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Going Green for Less

Environmentally safe products often come with premium prices, but an article on _Kiplinger.com_ offered several ideas for doing right by the environment without doing wrong by your wallet. Assuming you’re now using compact fluorescent light bulbs (you _are_ using CFLs, aren’t you?), here are a few other ideas. Buy produce from . If more people […]

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Debit Card Drawbacks

Debit cards have become extremely popular, mostly because they’re more convenient than writing checks. However, users beware: They do not provide the same liability protection as credit cards. According to a _Chicago Sun-Times_ article, federal regulations limit credit-card holder liability to $50 of fraudulent charges. With PIN-based debit-card transactions, the same $50 limit applies only […]

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Purchase Acceleration

What’s “purchase acceleration,” you wonder? It’s the common practice among credit-card holders of spending more as they get closer to a reward milestone. As described in a _U.S. News & World Report_ article, some credit-card companies encourage purchase acceleration by alerting customers when they’re getting close to a “free” airline ticket or other reward. The […]

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Independence Day

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31b-32 My wife and I once lived in a home with cracks in its foundation.  Every time it rained I got a knot in my stomach because I knew […]

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Getting Your Financial House In Order

It’s almost as uncomfortable to talk about death as it is to talk about money. Put the two together and now you’ve really got trouble. But a column in the _Chicago Tribune_ dipped a toe in that water by stressing the importance of making sure the people we love will know how to deal with […]

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Happy Spending

The relationship between money and happiness continues as a source of fascination. As reported in the _New York Times_, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University compared the attitudes and behaviors of two groups. One embraced “voluntary simplicity,” which focuses less on materialistic goals and more on three main intrinsic goals: “Being connected to friends and family, […]

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Dashboarding Alone

Despite the high price of gas, most workers get to their job by car, and the vast majority do so alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 88 percent of employed people travel to work by car, and of those, just 13 percent share the ride with others. As for other modes of transportation, Boston […]

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Plastic Proves Less Filling at the Pump

If you’ve been dismayed by the price of gasoline this summer, you may have been equally dismayed to discover that when you drive away from the station your tank isn’t as full as you thought it would be. According to an article on _SmartMoney’s_ web site, the high price of gas is revealing a little […]

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