Michael on April 9th, 2010
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Apparently, somewhere in the middle of the thousands of pages of health care reform is a new tax on using tanning salons.
You: Do you use tanning salons?
You: Yes.
You: We clearly haven’t met in person.  Imagine something rather white, like a blank sheet of printer paper or an albino.
You: Got it.
I’m slightly whiter.
You: Wow. Really?
Almost, it’s [...]

Continue reading about That tan just got more expensive

The folks over at Career Overview recently put together quite a list of 100 personal finance posts.  Includes as the top “Smart Habits” post was my article Do Debit Cards Separate You From Your Money Emotionally?
Other good reads include:

Jeremy at Gen X Finance wrote: Your Car is Making You Poor and What You [...]

Continue reading about 100 Personal Finance Posts Every College Student Needs to Read

Michael on February 19th, 2010
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Saving for a home or, more precisely, how to save for a home is today’s Q & A.
You: Q & A?
Although Friday comes every week, Friday Q &A comes around only when someone submits a good question AND I have time to answer it.   Both happened this week, so here we go. Want to ask [...]

Continue reading about Friday Q & A: Saving for a home – How to Save for a home

Of my top ten saving strategies is Number 4: Enjoy Free Stuff.
You: How can somebody do that?
Easy.  Just play on the swings or dance in the leaves.
You: Seriously?  I’m an adult.
Not going to lie to you – you might get some looks on the swing set.   Still, well worth it.  Or try something similar [...]

Continue reading about Another ultimate free activity with apologies to those in the south

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.

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

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 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:
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?