Michael on September 13th, 2010
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1. No, everyone is NOT doing it.
2. Because it will, eventually, catch up with you.
3. You find greater happiness from little things – especially when you’re not trying to one-up what you did yesterday.
4. Financially stretched = emotionally stressed.
5. The Jones’ are about to run out of money. Why keep up with them?
6. Hey – [...]

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Michael on August 30th, 2010
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More than two years ago I posted Your Problem Isn’t Starbucks, emphasizing the importance of Saving Strategy # 5: Major on the major, minor on the minor.  Working with Ode Magazine, I created a video further illustrating the importance of the strategy. I think you’ll find it simultaneously liberating and motivational.  Am I right?

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Michael on June 14th, 2010
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I just finished reading 15 most hated fees at CNNMoney.com.  Included on their list are many you’ve heard before such as:

baggage fees
termination fees charged by cell phone companies if you cancel before your contract ends.

Neither of those fees bug me, however.
You: Why not?
Because they’re not hidden.
You: Meaning?
I know about them well in advance and choose [...]

Continue reading about Fees? Fair vs. Unfair – you decide

Michael on March 4th, 2010
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One of my relatives recently was charged a substantial fee for rolling his 401(k) plan out to an IRA.  In my opinion, that’s total nonsense, even if it’s disclosed.  It’s the equivalent of an “account closing fee.” Can you imagine?
You: I’d like to close my account.
Bank: I see you have $100 in your account so [...]

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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

The post you are now reading is my 400th post at the Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck blog.
You: Is that a lot?
It is to me.
You: Do you like blogging?
Do you like vegetables?
You: Usually, but not always.
Blogging is like eating vegetables.  Blogging today is more enjoyable than unusual, however, since, it’s my first post with the new [...]

Continue reading about Blogging is like vegetables and the benefits of waiting to get stuff

Michael on October 5th, 2009
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You have to love the lesson Matt from Taking Charge shares in his Blogger wakes corporate giant, helps secure long-sought refund.  It’s my favorite article from this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance, hosted by Studenomics.  My article, Welcome to the fourth quarter: Five suggested tasks before New Year’s, was also featured.
In Matt’s brief article, he [...]

Continue reading about Doing the same old thing won’t get you new results

You: You’re watching pre-season basketball?
No.  Honestly, I might even watch golf first.
You: What’s wrong with watching golf?
I find it more boring than the prospect of playing it.
You: Wow.  So what’s with the “fourth quarter” reference then?
I’m talking about the fourth quarter of the year, which begins today.  For better or worse, many companies – especially [...]

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Michael on September 25th, 2009
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You: Wait a second. This is a personal finance blog. Why are you weighing in on health care reform?
First, I’m not actually weigh in on what plan should be followed.  Rather, I am reporting some observations about our behavior. Second, health care reform is very much a financial planning topic.
You: How so?
In several ways. Here [...]

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Michael on September 11th, 2009
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I had one heck of a long weekend over the Labor Day holiday.
You: What did you do?
Being that the weekend represents the unofficial end of summer –
You: Why is that?
First, because school starts right afterward. Second, because it’s already getting cool here in New Hampshire.
You: Seriously?
Seriously. On a bike ride early yesterday morning I actually [...]

Continue reading about How I Scored Big Labor Day Deals Without Shopping