Monthly Archives: December 2010

New Years Resolutions!

Here are my seven happy-lucky resolution suggestions for a new year: Resolve to budget!  I’ll admit, I’m biased.  But come on, we’re talking about making a grand total of 12 documents for the whole year.  That’s not nearly as hard as, say, … Continue reading

Posted in Financial Planning

Free Credit Report

Alright, everybody knows they can get a free yearly credit report online, right?  But where to get it?  Here’s the link:  AnnualCreditReport.com.  This is the official source of the free annual credit report as authorized by law. Note: If you … Continue reading

Posted in Credit

The Safe Deposit Box Trick

First, let’s get something out of the way:  it’s “safe” deposit box.  If you call it “safety” deposit box, you’ll make me cringe a little on the inside.* So, do you like that feeling you have when you know you’re … Continue reading

Posted in Documents, Estate

Fun With Self-Directed IRAs

Our story begins in the dark mists of time, the early 1980’s. In the era of lycra and shoulder pads, self-directed IRAs were starting to get popular – big hair popular.  Here’s how the deal worked:  People with ample quantities of money in their IRAs and a … Continue reading

Posted in Financial Planning

Wants Versus Things You Really, Really Want

Needs: you hear a lot about them.  Usually it’s in relief to wants, which are treated as frivolous whimsies by many of my fellow personal finance bloggers.  I reject the notion that anyone in the developed world has to discern … Continue reading

Posted in Spending

“You Should Write About This…”

Melissa walked in brandishing a large piece of paper.  “You should let people know what a bad deal these are.” I took a look, it was a set of checks from a client’s credit card issuer.  It invited us to … Continue reading

Posted in Credit

A Great New Read from the “Millionaire Next Door” Series

It’s called “Stop Acting Rich” by Thomas J. Stanley. Stanley, as it so happens, is a market researcher who targets the affluent.  He’s written several other books of the Millionaire Next Door series.  This is his newest piece.  The main … Continue reading

Posted in Reading

5 Quick Tips to Never Miss a Bill

Too much of your finances depend on your credit score and report, and both of these depend on you paying your bills in a timely manner.  So how can you make sure your bills are paid on time? Undercommit Yourself … Continue reading

Posted in Spending

On Amber Waves of Pain

Quick show of hands, who likes alternative investments? Wow, that’s a lot of hands. Then let me call your attention to Bloomberg’s Businessweek‘s recent article “Amber Waves of Pain.”  Discussing commodity ETFs, it clearly outlines why these alternative investments lag behind their … Continue reading

Posted in Investments, Reading

If Budgeting Were a Man, I’d Marry Him

I cannot emphasize strongly enough how much I love budgeting. To hear people talk, it’s the hardest thing in the world, takes tons of time, and never works. Au contraire, mon ami’s. Budgeting is better than cake. Here’s an example. … Continue reading

Posted in Spending

Shopping versus Provisioning

Have you ever taken the time to examine your shopping habits?  Since shopping habits have such a powerful effect on our expenses, I’ve made a study of marketing and sales techniques.  No, this isn’t going to be a post chiding … Continue reading

Posted in Spending

Exploding Straightirons and Property Insurance

First lets start with the fun part: property insurance!  You may know it better as renter’s or homeowner’s insurance.  The idea is to insure yourself against an infrequent and catastrophic loss.  Most people paint a picture in their head of … Continue reading

Posted in Insurance