Michael on December 29th, 2008
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I hope you are enjoying the holidays. Now that we’re in late December, a 2008 recap seems appropriate.  Financially speaking, these were my top four financial moves of the last 12 months:

Not buying a house. Although home prices have fallen in our area, prices have only retreated to 2004 levels according to most local reports.  [...]

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Michael on December 24th, 2008
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We received over a foot of snow last Sunday.  This was on top of another foot that had finished falling less than 24 hours previously.  Needless to say, it was a day that the entire family (save for my shoveling excursions) stayed inside.  It could have been boring.
It wasn’t.
In fact, at the end of the [...]

Continue reading about When you spend less, you get more value out of life

Michael on December 22nd, 2008
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Just about to step into an interview with the Boston NBC affiliate (will air in early 2009) so quickly sharing this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance, featuring my article Year-End Financial Planning Tips including 401(k) Matching Contributions.
In the spirit of “we’re all crazy-busy,” the best article of the week is a passionate explanation of one [...]

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Michael on December 19th, 2008
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Did you notice that you’re on the last page of your calendar?
You: Yup.
Have you noticed the calendar shops popping up inside malls and bookstores?
You: I have.
Me too.  I don’t understand calendars though.
You: Oh, I can totally explain that to you.  You see, there’s 12 months in a year –
No, I get what a calendar is.  [...]

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Michael on December 18th, 2008
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As Andy Rooney might say “Do you ever wonder why it cashiers ask you to sign for most credit card transactions? They never actually do anything with those slips of paper except file them somewhere, do they?  It’s not like there’s an army of Martians comparing the signatures to anything on file somewhere.  So why [...]

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Michael on December 15th, 2008
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Today’s the final year-end post.  Earlier posts on this topic include using your FSA funds before losing them, maximizing your match in December, taking tax advantage of any capital losses, and year-end IRA considerations.
So where are you?
You: Me?
You: I’m right here.
No, I know that. I mean where are you financially?
You: I was hoping you could [...]

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Michael on December 10th, 2008
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I particularly enjoyed Why Investing in Stocks This Year Was Not a Financial Mistake, a posting in this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance.  Money Ning’s post gets right to the heart of the issue for anyone who lost money in the stock market in 2008  (Yes, this roughly translates to the entire population of worldwide [...]

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Continuing on my year-end theme, I blogged yesterday about using your FSA funds before losing them.  Previously, I discussed the importance of maximizing your match in December.  Today’s tip, and one of the most commonly discussed, is those capital losses.
You: What are capital losses?
When the DC hockey team plays the Bruins.
You: What?
Forget it. Inside joke.
You: [...]

Continue reading about Year-End Financial Planning Tip #3: Oh, those losses on capital (and some obtuse sports jokes)

On Friday, I blogged about the importance of maximizing your match in December.  Year-end tip number two concerns flexible spending accounts (FSAs).  Like a 401(k) match, paying attention to your FSA makes sense 12 months of the year, yet still presents some critical opportunities as the year winds down.
Here’s a refresher on the benefits (and [...]

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