September 2008

That Makes Me Stabby: TARP Redistribution

Just when I thought we were finally making progress on that whole TARP debacle. Another bank paid back the money, and taxpayers were informed that we really hadn’t lost all the much money on the bailouts. I thought “Yay, we finally catch a break.” Enter Congress, stage left. The audience heaves a great sigh. I get stabby again. TARP Redistribution Is Not a Good Plan Call me cynical,…
Continue Reading

Get a Second Opinion on Your First Home

We finally got an offer on our first house accepted, but before we accepted the acceptance (weird, but that’s how it works in California), we decided to get a second opinion. My parents came down for the weekend and we went to the house for an hour and a half to check it out. It was the best thing we could have done to make sure it was…
Continue Reading

Weird Toys at the Carnivals

Just one carnival to share today, so let’s get right to it: Suburban Dollar hosted the Carnival of Personal Finance #234, which included by post about increasing your home value. I also recommend The Personal Financier’s analysis of the dangers of crossing the line from frugal to obsessive. I completely agree. I was obsessive while we were paying down debt and getting ready to buy the house, but now my frugality…
Continue Reading

My Top Five Financial Frights for 2009

Last year I posted a top ten financial frights list, but that was more of a general frights list. Things that could happen to anyone. This year, I’m getting more personal, and limiting my list to 5 frights, because if I had 10 I’d be sleeping off about 30 Xanax, not writing this blog. Stock Market Roller-Coaster I’ve mostly recovered, but I spent the early part of the year avoiding…
Continue Reading

Use the Budget Hero Game to Choose a Candidate

A couple months ago I discovered the Budget Hero game from American Public Media and thought it would be great if we made McCain and Obama play it. Then we could see how they really stack up. Now we’ve got something close! Each candidate provided the game’s creators with the costs or benefits of some of their proposals, which are now included in the game. You can play it to…
Continue Reading

That Makes Me Stabby: Averaging Figures Across the U.S.

I’m sort of working my way around all the various rescue packages. Why do they all have to have fancy names and acronyms? TALF, TARP, Making Home Affordable, Making Work Pay. Argh! But that’s not today’s rant. Today’s stabby post about the way some of these programs and statistics are presented. The government likes to say things like, “This will save the average homeowner $1300 a year.” Or “Home…
Continue Reading