Feel Renewed in Chicago Watching Mamma Mia – at the Carnivals

This week I have three carnivals to share. One is a new entry in my carnival line-up. First, the Carnival of Personal Finance #161 hosted by Internet Banking For the Real World. In addition to my post about why you need a will, you might also like The Family Wallet’s post about insurance needs after you have a baby. Next, the Money Hacks Carnival #20 hosted by This Writer’s Wallet. If you liked my post…
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Are Credit Cards Tools?

Yesterday, I started this discussion about the dichotomy between credit lovers and credit card haters. Some people believe credit cards are evil, while others consider them simply to be tools.  Yesterday I covered the evil side of things, today the tools side of things. The “Credit Cards Are Tools” Camp I fall firmly into this camp. Before anyone attacks me, I have had credit card debt, twice. I entered…
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How to Plan for Holiday Travel Delays

‘Tis the season of holiday travel delays. From closed roads to cancelled flights, it can be challenging to travel anywhere during the winter holidays, but millions of us will do it anyway. I’ve posted several times about planning for holiday travel, but this post is more specific: how to plan for nearly inevitable holiday travel delays. Preparing for Road Delays A freak winter storm, heavy fog, a rockslide, an…
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Supporting Christmas Charity Drives

Editor’s note: Many people are suffering this year, but I do not supply charity groups with lists of people who need help. I also don’t adopt families directly through this blog. If you need help, please contact a local church or your county social services department. I have disabled comments because too many people were posting personal information about their need for help. This is not a safe…
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How Does My Garden Grow?

My tomatoes did pretty good last year, but I’m already making plans for a better location and more plant varieties this year. I just received my first of three seed orders, and am busily preparing my garden. Location, Location Last summer, I planted my tomatoes at the top of my yard on the north fence where they had plenty of space. I ran them up a grid, and…
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How to Save Money By Reading Your Credit Card’s Fine Print

Today’s post is a guest post from Green Panda Treehouse. How many times have you heard ‘read the fine print’? Sometimes we hear things so many times it becomes white noise. With credit cards, though, not reading the fine print can cost you a good amount of money. “With more than a billion cards in our wallets, we floated some $937 billion in outstanding credit-card debt as of last…
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That Makes Me Stabby: Forgive Student Loans

Here I go with another controversial topic guaranteed to result in flaming comments. My flame retardant suit is donned, so here I go. One of the goals of Occupy Wall Street is to forgive all outstanding student loan debt under the premise that it would inject money into the economy by helping the real people, rather than banks and corporations that received bailout funds. TARP Funds Were Repaid…
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Is Breastfeeding Really Free?

There are many benefits to breastfeeding. The main one is the health of the baby. A secondary benefit is faster weight loss for the mom, in most cases. Often, you’ll also hear the cost savings touted. Formula costs around $30 a can, and a newborn goes through a can week. The costs rise from there as the infant starts to take in more formula, so formula costs $120…
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Freezer Cooking Made Simpler

Freezer cooking is all the rage right now. If you’re unfamiliar, you shop the circulars and coupons to find the best deals, stock up on sale items, and then make a month-long menu plan (with some repeat items.) Then, you spend one or two days doing all the cooking for one whole month and put it in the freezer. In theory, you then only need to buy produce and beverages…
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Decoding Your Health Benefits

I recently started receiving acupuncture. I knew that my insurance covered 12 visits a year. I checked the coverage and learned that my portion is a $15 co-pay for the office visit, and then 10% of the treatment. But that’s not how it worked out, and it’s taken several calls to get it sorted out. Reading the Benefits Website I started at the website. That’s where it said…
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