September 2010

Top Tips for the Thanksgiving Drive

Most years, my husband and I leap into the car at about 1:30PM on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving with our snacks and saddle up for the epic sojourn 400 miles to my family’s house. Unlike the usual trip which logs in at 5.5 to 6 hours, depending on the wait time at McDonald’s and the frequency of my pee breaks, our day-before-Thanksgiving trip is a minimum of 7…
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That Makes Me Stabby: Single-Serve Coffee

First, let me say I don’t drink coffee. Can’t stand the stuff. Not even coffee ice cream. I will buy an iced latte once every few months, but it took me nine months to use the last coffee gift card I received. (That leads me to another question: why do my friends, who know my husband and I don’t drink coffee, give us coffee gift cards?) Anyway, I’ve…
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Save Money on Your Wedding: Cheap Wedding Favors

Let’s be honest: no one really cares about the wedding favors. Most people eat whatever is edible, then toss the rest or shove the favor into a drawer. But couples stress about wedding favors. Yes, you want it to represent you, but you also don’t want it to eat a substantial portion of your budget. Buy or DIY Favors? If you have the time and really want to…
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Keeping Your Head During the Real Estate Offer Process

Looking for a home is exhausting, especially in a market like this one. We’ve been hunting since January and only recently made it to the offer stage. I found the process insanely stressful, to the point where I lost sleep, obsessively clicked reload on my email, and hemmed and hawed for days. The Stress of Deciding Whether to Make an Offer There have been a couple of homes where we…
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Give the Gift of Time this Holiday Season

My family used to go buy or make Christmas ornaments the day after Thanksgiving. Then one year we changed the plan. Our family activity included stopping by a local church for a few hours to help sort clothes from their clothing drive. It was a rewarding experience for us and a great help to the church. With so many people in need this year, the best gift you…
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Where to Find Cheap Summer Entertainment

Summer is lazy, and hazy, but it can also start to get a little dull as it wears on. To keep you from hitting the summer doldrums too quickly, here are a few suggestions for cheap summer entertainment. Summer Concerts You don’t have to be in a big city to get the benefit of free or cheap summer concerts. Most medium-sized cities, and even some smaller ones, host…
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How Frequently Should You Replace Your Stuff?

The other day, someone commented on my blog that she didn’t worry about customer service when making a computer purchase, because she replaced it every two years. I have to say, my jaw hit the floor on that one. A new computer every two years? Unless she’s running uber-powerful programs, that seems excessive. So just how often should you replace your stuff? Cars Right now my car is nearly 12…
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What Is Title Insurance?

At some point during the mortgage process, you’ll be faced with this mysterious item known as “title insurance.” There are actual two types of title insurance. If you’re getting a mortgage, you’ll be required to get the first type. You may also opt to get the second type. Title Insurance Defined Title insurance offers protection in case there is a defect in the title. That is, in case…
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What Is a Home Warranty?

You’re probably familiar with the warranties your electronics came with – those convoluted promises it’s impossible to make a claim under. A home warranty is not exactly the same, and it can be issued on a house of any age. If you’re a new owner, you should get one. Current owners should consider it. What a Home Warranty Is A home warranty is a service contract on the…
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Consumer Review Sites Round-Up

While hunting for our washer and dryer, I must have looked at half a million review sites. I found that I kept returning to the same few sites over and over again. Some were better than others, but I compared them all to narrow down my options and get buying advice. Consumer Reports This is the oldy but goody of the bunch. It’s also the only one that costs…
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