November 2010

Fun and Cheap Travel Games for Kids

When I was a kid, we didn’t have DVDs, let alone DVD players in cars. I’m sure that DVDs are a good way for kids to pass time in the car, but I think a more interactive approach would be better. (Note, I don’t have kids. I reserve the right to change my mind when I’ve got two wee ones kicking the back of my seat for six…
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10 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund in 2009

Last year I presented a list of five good ways and five bad ways to spend a tax refund. This year, I doubt most people will be taking their refund checks to Giant Appliance Mart and toting home a big-screen, but here are ten more tips for putting this year’s refund to good use. Catch Up on Your Mortgage If you fell a month late because of financial crunch,…
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Saving Money on Holiday Cards

With the cost of postage steadily rising, the cost of sending holiday cards has gone up, too. I love to send Christmas cards, but this year I decided to skip it. For one thing, I didn’t really have time. For another, I didn’t want to spend the money. However, I hope to resume the practice next year because I’ve found that the more cards you send, the more…
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What to Do with a Holiday Bonus

If you received a holiday or year-end bonus, it can be tempting to blow the money on the big screen TV you didn’t get for Christmas or take a spur-of-the-moment trip. Instead of wasting the money, use it wisely to get a leg up on your finances in the new year. Here are five ways to spend your holiday bonus. Pay Holiday Expenses: Use the money to pay for all…
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Leave Slack or Have a Budget?

Last week I read a post in Wise Bread that left me confused. The author argued that you don’t need to make a budget, you just need to “leave a little slack,” by which he meant underspend. His argument was that you can’t be prepared for life’s little emergencies if you budget every penny, because you don’t have flexibility. I think this argument is a willful misunderstanding of…
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Freezing Bread, Herbs, and Sauces, and Freezer Storage Times

Yesterday I regaled you with tales of my love for freezing food. I covered the necessary tools and methods for freezing meat. Today I focus on bread, sauces, and herbs. I’ll also give you a list of freezer storage times and tell you what not to freeze. Then you, too, might join me in my ode to the freezer. Freezing Bread and Cookies Freezing bread is easy – and…
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Save Whole Pennies (and the Planet) by Observing Earth Hour

The third annual Earth Hour takes place this Saturday, March 28th at 8:30 PM wherever you are. Earth Hour was started by the World Wildlife Federation in Sydney, Australia. About six months later, other large cities jumped on the bandwagon. Now they’ve joined together to observe Earth Hour on a single day around the world. What Happens During Earth Hour For that single hour on a Saturday night, participating cities…
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Win a Copy of H&R Block’s TaxCut Software

This year, I have three copies of the boxed version of the H&R Block TaxCut Software: Premium Federal + e-File to giveaway. It’s a $34.95 value. The TaxCut software is similar to the online version, but it lives on your computer. If you want to be able to work on your return without internet access, this is the option for you. Here are some of the features: Report investments, dividends,…
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Could You Afford to Drop Out of Life?

Earlier this month, a co-worker quit so he could spend a year traveling the world. Then this weekend the LA Times covered a family who spent six months traveling the world with a toddler. It got me thinking: could I ever do something like that? What would I need to do it? Both my co-worker and the family from the newspaper had two advantages: contacts in foreign locations that allowed…
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It’s Time to Start Planning Your Thanksgiving Travel or Party

Don’t hate me for mentioning Thanksgiving before we’ve even passed Halloween, but you do need to start making your holiday plans, especially if they include that most miserable of experiences: Thanksgiving travel. Even if you’re staying home, you need to do a little prep work now. You don’t have to drag out the pie pans, but here are a few things you should do now to prepare for…
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