June 2008

Five Frugal Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day

Monday is Memorial Day, which the stores consider the official kick-off of the summer shopping season. You’ll see sales galore, but you can still be frugal if you try! Check for Deals If there are items you need for summer projects, check the store circulars for coupons and discounts. If the item you want is discounted, go snap it up. But first, check a price comparison site to…
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10 Affordable Ways to Update Your Home

With home prices falling, people who were considering selling are now staying put and learning to live with what they have. But you don’t have to put up with stale design elements. If your home’s size and layout still works for you, here are some simple, mostly affordable fixes that can update your home and make it feel newer. Paint Painting the outside of your house can cost…
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2011 H&R Block Online Tax Software Review

I spoke too soon! Shortly after I prepared my taxes, H&R Block offered me a copy of their online software to review. They also offered me five Premium edition  codes to give away. This will allow you to file a free Federal online return using the Premium version of the software, a $55 value including sales tax. State returns are an additional fee. I haven’t been paid for this review…
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Free Personal Finance Software: Mint Review

We’ve been using Quicken 2005 for several years, but recently it alerted us that it will no longer download our banking transactions after May 1. That means we either have to upgrade to Quicken 2008 or switch to one of the free personal finance software packages. I decided to check out Mint, Yodlee, and Wesabe to see how they compare against Quicken. Today I’ll cover Mint. How Mint Works…
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Cheap and Reliable Birth Control Methods

This post is for the ladies. Men really only have one birth control method available to them: condoms. Women have many more options available, but as most women can tell you, birth control isn’t typically cheap. If you want to save a little money without risking parenthood (or another child), here are some cheap birth control options that are also reliable. Generic Birth Control Pills If you can…
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That Makes Me Stabby: Fees for Bank Statements

I read a story on NPR’s Marketplace today that really made me stabby. Apparently some banks are now charging fees for customers to receive monthly paper statements. Sure, most of us can access our accounts online and have opted out of paper statements, but that’s not everyone. Banks shouldn’t charge you a fee for providing a core service, like statements. Who Needs Paper Statements? I’m sure that’s the question that wealthy…
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2 doctors checking a male patient for his blood pressure

Update on Dual Health Coverage

Six months ago I wrote a post about calculating the benefits of dual coverage health insurance. At the time, my employer was switching health insurance plans so that my husband and I would both have Anthem through our employers, and he would have dual Anthem coverage with different benefit levels. Once we learned he was scheduled for surgery, I called to find out how the benefits would be coordinated…
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My Financial Resolutions

At the beginning of 2007, I set ten personal goals, about half of which were financial. I’ve achieved five of those goals, three are in progress, and two were intentionally delayed because the other goals are in progress. I like to call these goals rather than financial resolutions because people don’t keep resolutions. Goals are something I can work toward. I also use hard numbers in my goals…
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How the 2009 New Homebuyer Tax Credit Works

In addition to the new car tax credit I attempted to explain yesterday, the economic stimulus package also includes a new homebuyer tax credit. The credit has several restrictions, but it could save you a lot of money on your taxes if you haven’t owned a home in the last three years. Here’s how the first-time homebuyer tax credit works. New Homebuyer Tax Credit Eligibility Dates The credit applies to…
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I Can’t Watch Commercials Anymore

It’s official. I can’t watch TV commercials anymore. Actually, I nitpick the shows, too, but these days a lot of commercials are ticking me off.  Some commercials are pretty funny, but the rest I could do without. Especially the commercials that make things sound better than they are, or claim that they’ve started doing something when really it’s always been that way. “Farm-Raised Ingredients” Last night I saw…
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