August 2009

a picture of white folders containing the important documents checklist

The Documents You Need: Birth Certificates and other Vital Records

Although you don’t need to use them regularly, you should have copies of all your vital records in a safe place in case you do need them, you can create an Important Documents Checklist just so that you'll have everything in order. Vital records include your birth certificate, marriage certificate, and divorce decree. If your spouse or child died, you may also need their death certificates. If you’re…
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Planning for Thanksgiving Leftovers

A lot of people don’t like leftovers, but nearly everyone looks forward to Thanksgiving leftovers. I’m almost more excited about the leftovers I have planned than I am about the main meal. In fact, I’m planning to buy a turkey that’s way too big for six people so I can have enough to feed my houseguests for three days and still be able to freeze chili and soup…
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Do Year-End Tax Prep in Mid-November

Today we take a break from holiday stress for something new. Tax stress! The last two years, my husband and I completed the draft tax forms to make sure our withholding was correct. Both years, it wasn’t, so we made arrangements to fix that. Now is the best time to do a bit of tax prep to ensure that you don’t receive a penalty, or at the very…
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Consumers Get a Break on Credit Cards – Finally

First the bad news: these rules don’t take effect until July, 2010. Under the new rules for the good news: today the Federal Reserve Board issued strict new rules barring the deceptive and punitive practices of many credit card issuers. The policy statement is quite extensive, but these are the rules I think are most important: The Interest Rate on Existing Balances Can’t Increase For the most part, the interest…
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picture of a beautiful bouquet of flowers on a budget

How and Where to Buy Cheap Flowers

The majority of flowers are at their peak during the summer, but some are available year-round. If you like to decorate your home with flowers, have a flower-giving occasion coming up, or are planning a wedding, there are a lot of ways you can get flowers on a budget. Here are a few tips for buying cheap flowers. Few tips for buying flowers on a budget Buy Flowers…
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The Personal Impact of the Consumer Price Index

Yesterday morning NPR reported that the consumer price index had risen 4.1% since December 2006. They also reported that although wages have risen, they’re actually lower than they were in 2000 when adjusted for inflation. I exhaled a stunned breath when I heard the first part. That’s a hefty jump for one year. According to NPR, it’s the biggest increase since 1990. When I heard the second part, I instantly…
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how to tell if makeup is expired or not? A picture of random Makeup and brushes

Makeup Shelf Life: How Long Does It Keep?

When and How to tell if makeup is expired or not? A few years ago I was watching Clean Sweep when I made a horrifying discovery: makeup lasts a maximum of three years. Most products don’t last nearly as long as that. Shortly after that, I started to clean out my makeup case. Some of my products had been there for more than ten years. Here’s a quick review…
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What to do with buttermilk, a picture of a cookies with buttermilk

25 Uses for Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a wondrous food. It used to be the remnants of the butter churning process, but now it’s the result of an unrelated process. Contrary to what you’d expect from the name, it’s actually quite low in fat and good for you. So, if you’ve got some leftover from a recipe, here are some ways to use it up. Not all of these are low fat, but…
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A Financial Adviser’s Top 5 Tips for 2010

Every few months my employer’s financial advisor, Michelle Bless of the Retirement Strategies Group,  comes by the office to update us on changes to our benefits package or give advice. Last time she was here, I asked for her top five financial tips for 2010. She provided a great list of things to consider for 2010: 1. Roth Conversion Income Limits Lifted! For most people, their retirement savings and/or…
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Festival of Frugality #123: The Supercapitalism Edition

Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life is a new book by Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary under Clinton. If you listen to NPR’s Morning Edition or American Public Media’s Marketplace, you’ve probably heard one of his commentaries. The book delves into the development of US economy during the last century, mostly since the 1950s. His central argument is that the power and influence of capitalism has…
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