Much has been written about the deceiving practices of credit card issuers and our government’s newfound desire to closely regulate them. make it harder for them to continue.  In my opinion, some banks and bankers (like some politicians) are bad, greedy, and in need of some adult supervision. Most, however, play reasonably fairly, especially when [...]

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Michael on May 26th, 2009
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My wife and I took a “staycation” this weekend.  I’ll admit we didn’t plan it that way.  We had a busy Saturday planned but aside from a brief visit by family Sunday, little else scheduled for the weekend.
But sometimes you really can enjoy the place you live.
The weather in New Hampshire was stunning all weekend [...]

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One of the best parts of the weekly personal finance carnivals, including this week’s carnival hosted by WiseBread, it the wide variety of personal finance topics covered.  In addition, I always take the time to enjoy an article or two that I’ve been meaning to write myself but just haven’t gotten to.  This week was [...]

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This is a guest post from Grant Baldwin, the author of Reality Check, a book about helping students transition into the real world.  His new website,, answers questions from teenagers about personal finance, savings, and all things money.
This series “12 Things Every Teenager Needs To Know About Money (And How To Teach Them)” is [...]

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Michael on April 8th, 2009
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This week’s Carnival of Personal Finance featured two articles whose titles alone, I confess, got me to click on their stories.  The first title, The Hell With You Dave Ramsey! I’m Paying My Highest Interest Debt First! was no less shocking then Number One Frugality Tip: Don’t Be a Woman.
You: Are you for real?
A shocking [...]

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Michael on March 4th, 2009
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I recently recorded a second series of podcasts with the Quicken team.  Topics included:

Emergency Funds and Large Purchases
How to pay off and manage debt
Investment Advice

You can also listen to them on itunes by searching for Quicken. Or download them and listen to them later, like when you’re not supposed to be working.
Always welcome your feedback [...]

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Have you heard?  American Express is offering a $300 pre-paid American Express card to some cardholders.
You: What’s the catch?
You must pay off your entire balance and then close the account.
You: What?
You must pay off your balance and then close the account.
You: I heard you the first time. I’m just a bit amazed that a credit [...]

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Michael on February 5th, 2009
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Bankruptcy is a serious decision with long-lasting implications. It is not something you simply declare, notwithstanding the following attempt:

Bankruptcy is an important and emotional decision.
You: Should I declare bankruptcy?
Probably not.
You: Why not? I have an unbelievable mountain of debt.
I’m sorry that you’re struggling.  While it’s possible bankruptcy may be the only way out for you, [...]

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Michael on January 16th, 2009
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That a US Airways plane landed safely in the Hudson River saving all 155 people on board is beyond simple explanation.  A headline describing a plane losing both engines is supposed to be followed by an article featuring words like “tragedy” and “death,” and phrases like “much too soon” and “unfortunate victims.”  I doubt anyone [...]

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Michael on December 18th, 2008
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As Andy Rooney might say “Do you ever wonder why it cashiers ask you to sign for most credit card transactions? They never actually do anything with those slips of paper except file them somewhere, do they?  It’s not like there’s an army of Martians comparing the signatures to anything on file somewhere.  So why [...]

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