My youngest daughter sure is earning her wings this summer.
You: What do you mean?
In the last month, she’s flown to Florida and Arizona.
You: And how old is she?
One and a half.
You: Isn’t it crazy expensive to be flying your daughter around the country?
Crazy?  Somewhat, although she was pretty well-behaved for me.  Expensive? Actually. it’s free.
You: [...]

Continue reading about Taking Advantage of the Rules to Save a Few Bucks: Airline Edition

Michael on September 2nd, 2009
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I’m not a fan of traditional budgeting.
You: What do you mean when you say “traditional budgeting?”
I’m talking about where you make a list of all of your expenses and try to ensure that you don’t spend more than, say $35 on entertainment or $50 on groceries for a week.
You: Sounds like classic budgeting to me. [...]

Continue reading about Budgeting Can Be Dangerous

Michael on August 31st, 2009
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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 19th, 2009
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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 12th, 2009
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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 3rd, 2009
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I received an email the other day from Jenny F. of New York City:
Hey,
Was thinking of you yesterday as I was bragging to my husband that I saved us $350/year just by switching my drug store prescription into a mail away one. Not only am I saving money but it’s so much more convenient, arrives [...]

Continue reading about Saving twice from one decision

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?

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 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