February 2011

Rebate Check Offers: Good or Bad?

I don’t recall retailers going after our tax rebate checks so aggressively the first time Bush did this, but this time the pleas to spend our money are almost deafening. Are these deals really a good use of your money? Rebate Check Offers: Good Points These rebate check offers can be a good thing if you can spend them at a store where you were already planning to…
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How to Avoid Vacation Debt

First, let me say, that if you must take out a loan or go into debt to take the vacation you want, then you can’t afford it. You’d be better off taking a summer vacation within your budget now and waiting to take the dream trip when you can afford it. You don’t want to be stuck working overtime for the next five years to pay off your vacation debt.…
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Lessons from Celebrities: Why You Need a Will

As I said last year when Heath Ledger died, my first thoughts always go to the children of the deceased. I worry that stars with young children haven’t prepared for the possibility. In Heath’s case, he hadn’t updated his will to include his daughter. Now we have the even more challenging situation of Michael Jackson’s death. According to court filings, Michael Jackson died without a will. No matter how famous…
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St. Patrick loves Music and March Madness at the Carnivals

Yep, it’s that time again.  Here’s this weeks wrap-up of my favorite blog carnivals. (Favorite being defined as a carnival I’m in.) First, the Money Hacks Carnival #56 hosted by Good Financial Cents. In addition to my post about playing Top Chef at home, I also recommend Passive Family Income’s advice from the Great Depression. (Note: at least the food will be better this time.) Second, the Festival of Frugality #169 hosted by Remodeling This…
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Financial Resolutions for 2009

Every January, I make a list of about ten goals and write them in the little notebook I carry everywhere. Looking at 2008, I achieved three of the financial goals and almost none of the others. Oops. Hopefully I’ll do better in 2009. To be fair, some of them are outside my control, but I make them goals anyway. I should rethink that – I’m just setting myself up…
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Money Hacks Carnival #19: The Independence Edition

In honor of Independence Day in the United States, this week’s Money Hacks Carnival focuses on declaring financial independence (or at least on letting your money work for you rather than you working for it.) Here are financial tidbits from our founding fathers, who knew a thing or two about managing money, and modern bloggers who are well on their way to independence. Knowing you want it is the first…
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Why We Switch to Summer Gas

For years, I’ve listened to reporters say that gas prices go up in the summer due to the switch to summer gas. That made me wonder why we switch to this more expensive gas and whether not switching would reduce gas prices. It turns out that summer gas is actually a very useful thing. Please excuse any errors – I’m not a scientist. What Is Summer Gas? All gas…
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Reviewing My Financial Resolutions for 2010

Last January, I set seven resolutions. Three were financial, and four were personal. Let’s see how I did. Financial Goals: Boost Our Emergency Fund: I wanted to boost our emergency fund to at least $15,000. We actually got there, even though my husband didn’t work for four months. We managed not to dip into savings for our home repairs, insurance and tax bills, or regular bills while he was…
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