Shortly after my wife and I bid on a house a few days ago, we learned that although the sellers had gone with a higher offer, they wished for us to consider becoming the official “back-up” offer. By doing so, if the first deal fell through, we would be next in line – the home [...]

Continue reading about We (still) didn’t get the house, but check out the carnival!

I’m often asked if the emotional separation inherent in credit card usage also applies to debit cards.  To the dismay of avid debit card users everywhere, I believe it does.
You: Why?
Debit cards are made of plastic.
You: The material matters?
No, it’s not the material that’s at issue. Debit cards are superior to credit cards since, for [...]

Continue reading about Do Debit Cards Separate You From Your Money Emotionally?

Michael on July 27th, 2009
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My wife and I bid on a house last weekend.
You: Did you get it?
You have to hear the story first.
You: But I’m excited! Did you get the house? Where is it?
# # # #
You might recall that my wife and I have had several discussions [...]

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Last night, I read Jason Zweig’s WSJ column Using the Lottery Effect to Make People Save. He highlights how people save more money when they have a chance (not a certainty) of receiving a cash prize.  Despite the fact that their odds of winning were low, savers squirreled money away more aggressively due to the [...]

Continue reading about Is our savings rate as high as our government tells us?

Michael on July 22nd, 2009
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Maybe it’s the part of me that remembers how excited I felt to still be awake at 12:30 AM as a teenager, but I still think Top 10 lists are fun.  From those I’ve created here, two of my favorites are:

Top 10 Most Annoying Ways to Lose A Little Money – an article that garnered [...]

Continue reading about Top Ten Ways to Save Money While Ruining Your Life

Michael on July 20th, 2009
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This week’s Carnival of Personal Finance features Free Money Finance’s post The Cost of a New Home.  As you know, my wife and I began looking for a home earlier this summer, hired a buyer’s agent, and have debated the merits of location vs. home quality.
Free Money Finance is also looking for a home.  He [...]

Continue reading about Mortgage Free But Looking for a Home – A Little

One of the most common myths of retirement is “Plus, I’m going to get an inheritance.”
You: For you, maybe. My parents still love me.
It has nothing to do with love.
You: Sure it does.  If it didn’t, I wouldn’t let half my relatives in my house.
That’s not a good ratio.
You: Tell me about it; I was [...]

Continue reading about Five Reasons Not to Count on An Inheritance in Your Retirement Plan

Michael on July 15th, 2009
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This is the third article in a series about my and my wife’s decision to purchase a home.  The first two articles are:

Buying a house
Looking for a Home: Location vs. House

When my wife and I decided to look for a home, we took two initial steps:

Finding a buyer’s agent (the topic for today’s post)
Getting [...]

Continue reading about How and Why to Choose a Buyer’s Agent

Michael on July 13th, 2009
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This week’s Carnival of Personal Finance features my Top 10 Most Annoying Ways to Lose A Little Money.  Among the 70+ solid financial articles in the carnival is Fiscal Fizzle’s Getting the Best Car Insurance Rates.
Among Fiscal Fizzle’s top tips are:
Home Situation, noting that often homeowners are given better auto quotes because their homeownership indicates [...]

Continue reading about Another dumb way to lose a little bit of money

Michael on July 10th, 2009
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When this post goes live on the morning of July 10, 2009, I won’t be at work.
You: What will you be doing?
Getting away.
You: Why? Too much Michael Jackson coverage?

Partially because of MJ, but mostly because July 10 is my anniversary.
You: Congrats – how many years?
Ten.  Kind of a big deal.
You: Didn’t think you’d make it [...]

Continue reading about Stop and Smell The Roses