November 2008

Spend Down Your Flexible Spending Account Before Year-End

If you have a flexible spending account that operates on a calendar-year, then you need to make sure you’ve spent down the entire balance by December 31. Any funds left in the account will vanish on January 1. Here are some tips for spending down the balance in the last few weeks of the year. Visit the Doctor, Dentist, Etc. Co-pays and doctor fees qualify as flexible spending account expenses.…
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Calculating the Benefits of Double Health Insurance

I have generous health insurance through my employer, which covers me and my spouse (and dependents, were I to have any) without cost to us. My husband also has free coverage for himself through his employer. That’s served us well in the past when our employers bought insurance through different insurers. My insurance counted payments from his primary coverage toward his deductible under my plan. They also covered…
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Are Thrift Stores the New Trend?

Apparently the American wallet is aching to be taken out for a spin and a slew of people have decided that thrift stores are the best place to do that. I haven’t been to a thrift store in a while, but this weekend I decided to walk down to one while waiting for my oil change. I expected it to be quiet and empty. Boy was I surprised!…
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Saving Money: Christmas Shopping Lists and Budgets

I’ve always relied on a Christmas shopping list and spending budget, but in past years I’ve been a little looser with my “spending limits.” Not this year. I’m determined to pay off lots of debt in 2008, which means getting a head start in 2007 by spending less while still enjoying the holiday spirit. Here’s how I create my list and set my budget: In early November, make…
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Should You Move Your Money to a Small Bank?

There is a movement afoot that encourages people to move their money from the big six banks into smaller community banks. I fully understand the emotion behind this desire to punish the banks for business as usual, but I’m not 100% convinced that it’s the best idea, or that it will make a big difference. The Idea Behind Move Your Money The idea behind move your money is that the…
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Ally Bank: A Sheep or A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing?

Rebranding is not a new trick. You may recall that Philip Morris tried to rebrand itself as Altria because of all the bad press associated with cigarettes. Now GMAC bank is trying to rebrand itself as Ally Bank, an honest bank with no ties to the shiftiness of the economic collapse. Why Ally Bank? It’s simple: the word “ally” gives the impression that the bank is your partner,…
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Lots of Things Make Me Stabby

So, you may have noticed that I’ve been absent a few weeks. I’ve been very busy, both at work and in my personal life. However, that’s given me plenty of time to get stabby about a whole bunch of things! Magazines.com Auto-Renew Last year we bought a magazine subscription as a Christmas gift. I received noticed earlier this week that it had been automatically renewed, even though I specifically opted…
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How to Break Your TV Habit

I watch about 11 hours of TV a week at this point. In the fall, I’ll probably be down to 5 or 6, the way the networks are scheduling. My goal is to limit my viewing only to those shows I really love. But how do you break the habit of plopping down and just watching whatever is on from 8-11? Summer is right around the corner, and…
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