Michael on December 30th, 2009
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Michael on December 28th, 2009
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Sorry I’ve been a bit out of touch lately.  Lots of exciting things going on, plus the holidays and end of year tax fun.  Fortunately, I’ve got a vacation coming up shortly.  So, between work and pleasure, the time on the blog is rather limited at the moment.
Want to help?
You: Me?
You: I don’t want to [...]

Continue reading about Polls, polls, polls!

Michael on December 18th, 2009
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The sign says “Pay nothing until 2012!”
You: Seems to be good to be true.
And, therefore, it probably is.
You: I knew that.  But why, again?  I mean for, ah, my friend . . .  could you explain it again?  She didn’t think it was a bad idea.
I’d be happy to help your friend.  Tell her to [...]

Continue reading about Why retailers offer “Same as Cash” deals

Michael on December 16th, 2009
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I love The Office.
You: I thought you didn’t watch much TV?
I don’t.  But I do watch The Office. I think the writing is hysterical.  One of my favorite scenes from the show was when Jim temporarily works out of the Stamford branch. To mess with Dwight’s precious little head, he begins sending faxes to Dwight, [...]

Continue reading about Savings Motivation from “The Office”

Michael on December 14th, 2009
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In recognizing

that the basic principles of personal finance do not change,
that most people reading this blog are relatively new readers, and
that I have many other commitments that force me to pare back the time I spend on this blog,

I am going to begin highlighting some of my most important previous blog entries.
Today, I’ll refresh your [...]

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Michael on December 11th, 2009
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At the end of 2008, I put together a list of my favorite moments of the year.  These were personal memories, mind you, not political or otherwise newsworthy events, though they sometimes overlapped.
You: How?  You didn’t do anything newsworthy.

Here’s an example: the Red Sox coming back to beat the Tampa Rays 8-7 in Game 5 [...]

Continue reading about What are your dreams?

Michael on December 9th, 2009
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Last week I discussed Why the drop in late credit card payments doesn’t excite me. Then, I covered The real unemployment rate just this past Monday.
To continue my little rant on misleading statistics today I discuss the phenomenon of lower credit card balances.  Analyzing TransUnion data, the AP reported the credit card delinquency decline here [...]

Continue reading about The real reason credit card balances are falling

Michael on December 7th, 2009
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Last week I read an interesting article in The Wall Street Journal called Working Two Jobs and Still Underemployed. The piece highlights a growing disconnect between government-provided labor statistics and the reality on the street.
You: How so?

It starts with the fact that if you’re working you’re not considered unemployed.
You: That makes sense.
You: But?
But what if [...]

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According to the recent Wall Street Journal article Resolved: Spend Less Next Year, people are getting ready to commit to making changes to their financial affairs.
But more seriously this time.
So serious that they are resolving, not simply talking about, the changes.
So — this time — it will really count.
But not until next year. (We’ve got [...]

Continue reading about Resolve to change your finances but not until January? Please.

As reported by the AP on MSNBC, Late credit card payments drop in 3rd quarter.  With a headline like that, I decided to read the article.  According to the referenced TransUnion study, late payments on credit cards during the third quarter (ending at the conclusion of September) were lower than they were in the previous [...]

Continue reading about Why the drop in late credit card payments doesn’t excite me