June 2010

True Adventures in Homeownership – The First Six Weeks

Recently I read that I should be saving 4.5% of the purchase price of my house for home maintenance and repairs. Since I live in California, that’s a fairly high number. But as my recent adventures in home ownership have revealed, it might not be that far from the truth. Hurray for the Warranty First off, let me say hurray for the home warranty we received as new homeowners. We’ve…
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Spend Gift Cards Now to Avoid Losing Them

Last Christmas I received several gift cards. It took me a few months to use up the coffee cards, 11 months to use the iTunes cards, and I’m still holding onto my Best Buy cards. So far I haven’t received any additional cards, but I’ve got a different tactic in mind in case I do: spend them promptly, and here’s why. Stores May Go Out of Business It’s…
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That Makes Me Stabby: Over-Reliance on Retail Sales Growth

Each day, we hear the dire reports that people have closed their wallets, retail sales are down, and stores are closing. Could it be that the problem isn’t negative retail sales growth, but excessive store growth? I tackle that topic in today’s That Makes Me Stabby. Happy Times at Some Malls? This Sunday I went to a local outdoor mall to meet a friend for coffee. I was…
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8 Frugal Labor Day Activities

Judging by the light traffic this week, a lot of people have gone on vacation already, but if you’re one of the people staying home this Labor Day, here are a seven frugal activities to keep your family entertained and your wallet full. Attend a Friend’s Barbecue The barbecue is one of the most popular and traditional Labor Day activities. You probably know at least one person hosting…
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How the GM Bankruptcy Affects You

If you own a Chrysler or GM car, you may be wondering how the GM bankruptcy and Chrysler collapse affect you. Rest easy – your car is still covered by the warranty. If you’re in the market for a car, you’re probably seeing great deals on the American brands. The question is how comfortable you feel buying one. Here’s what you need to know. Warranties during Chrysler and…
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Don’t Bust Your Budget: Remember Key Budget Items

If you’ve recently determined that you need to create a budget so you can better control your money flow, or you’ve been forced to create a budget due to credit reductions, then this may be one of the most important bits of advice you read. Budget Standards Most people look at one or two months of spending when creating a budget. That’s fine for regular expenses like fuel, child care,…
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