Michael on August 31st, 2009
Bookmark and Share

Rather then focus on cutting costs to the bare bone, I try to ensure that I maximize the value I receive out of every dollar I spend.
You: Every dollar?
Not really.
You: Good. After all, you’re the one who wrote Your Problem Isn’t Starbucks.  I would hope you still stand by it.
I do. But I’ll give you [...]

Continue reading about Where do you get value?

Michael on August 28th, 2009
Bookmark and Share

Although I graduated from college well before David from Money Under 30 began his work as a college textbook salesman, I know first-hand of the pain he details in Confessions of a Textbook Salesman, a highlight of this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance, hosted by Adam of Your Money Relationship.  (Adam was kind enough to [...]

Continue reading about Are textbook sellers greedy?

Michael on August 26th, 2009
Bookmark and Share

According to 2007 IRS data and some highlights from The Tax Foundation, here are some facts about who pays what when it comes to income taxes:
The top 1% earn 22.8% of all the adjusted gross income. These people pay 40.4% of all the federal income taxes.  To make the top 1%, you must have earned [...]

Continue reading about Income Taxes – Who Pays How Much

Eight years ago, Congress passed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act. Numerous tax laws were changed as a consequence, many significantly.  Most of the changes were phased in over time and now, eight years later, most have.  But one of the biggest changes is right around the corner. I found that humorous.
You: [...]

Continue reading about Timing the death market and other humorous parts of the tax code

Michael on August 21st, 2009
Bookmark and Share

Choosing whether to convert an existing IRA into a Roth IRA is an important decision. Currently, such conversions are limited to people with MAGI’s (that’s modified adjusted gross income in IRS-speak) of less than $100,000. But in 2010, that income restriction goes away.  Therefore, virtually everyone will have the opportunity to convert their IRA into [...]

Continue reading about Roth Conversions

Michael on August 19th, 2009
Bookmark and Share

I wrote last week about how to negotiate your cable bill, a process that, while painful, was rather lucrative.  Today I share with you a couple of other additional phone calls I made to save some dough and the lessons we can learn as a result.
Rubin v. The Bank Soon to be Formerly Known as [...]

Continue reading about Bank fees and billing errors

Michael on August 17th, 2009
Bookmark and Share

It’s remarkable how much psychology plays a role in money-related decisions.
You: In everything, really.
True, there’s a psychological element to nearly every choice you make.
By the way I just got an email that Total Candor won an award from the US Commerce Association.
You: Congratulations!
You: No?
No.  It didn’t pass the smell test.
You: How did you know?
First off, [...]

Continue reading about Monetary Psychology

Michael on August 14th, 2009
Bookmark and Share

I am taking my youngest daughter to see her grandparents and great-grandparents today.
You: Sounds like fun.
Let’s hope so.
You: Why aren’t you optimistic? You love family.

Sure do, but my girl is only 19 months and she’s going to be on my lap for a few hours. If she’s good, I’m good. If she’s not good, I’m [...]

Continue reading about Even on a long plane trip, debt still sucks

Michael on August 12th, 2009
Bookmark and Share

I don’t want you to wait any longer to negotiate your cable bill.
Personally, I waited too long to try to lower my cable bill.  I try my best to follow my own advice.  But, as a long-time reader named Jeff recently pointed out, I, like nearly everyone, can lose the forest for the trees when [...]

Continue reading about Negotiate your cable bill – How I lowered my cable bill

Michael on August 10th, 2009
Bookmark and Share

You: Cheesy title.
Monday morning.
You: You too?
Yup.  Anyway, I thought I’d take this fine Monday morning to highlight some of my best recent articles from around the web:

Twelve Crazy Myths of Personal Finance was a ton of fun to write. Pretty sure you’ll enjoy it too, evidenced by its selection as an editor’s pick at [...]

Continue reading about Where in the world is Michael Rubdiego?