How to Prepare for a Power Outage – Without a Generator

Since most power outages occur during the spring and summers months, this article will focus on power outages in warmer weather. If you experience an outage in cold weather, make sure you have an alternative heat source such as a propane-powered heater and lots of fuel! Either that, or you’ll need a generator. This past […]


Quicken 2009 Discounts Extended

This is just a quick note to say that Intuit has extended their discounts on Quicken 2009. They’re offering $20-$50 off (varies by product), and the discounts were set to expire this week. But guess what? They’ve extended them through May 31st, 2009. Here are the details: Quicken Deluxe 2009 ($59.99 $39.99) Quicken Premier 2009 […]


Netflix vs. Blockbuster: Which is Best?

We’ve been renting DVDs online for several years now, and we love it. When we first started, Netflix was the only game in town. Not long thereafter, Blockbuster started offering DVDs by mail, and we eventually switched. Most recently, we’ve switched back to Netflix. So which one is the best, and why? Movies by mail […]


How to Negotiate and Lower Your Bills

We’ve recently been looking at our expenses to see if we can lower any of our bills. So far, the results have been promising. Earlier this year, we cut our car insurance bill in half. We also noticed that our cable and internet bill went up, so we called our provider. After speaking with customer […]


The Worst 529 Plans – 2009 Edition

As a complement to this morning’s post on the best 529 plans, here’s a list of the worst 529 plans, once again courtesy of Consumer Reports. Without exception, these funds have to be purchased through a broker or financial advisor, which translates into significantly higher fees and correspondingly worse performance. The five worst 529 plans […]


The Best 529 Plans – 2009 Edition

As a followup to my recent article on 529 plans, I thought I’d highlight the most recent batch of 529 plan ratings from Consumer Reports. For those that aren’t familiar with them, 529 plans are tax-advantaged savings plans that are designed to encourage people save for future college costs. The following list of the best […]


What is a 529 Plan?

I’ve written in the past about the best 529 plans, but I’ve never really written an article explaining exactly what these plans are all about. In short, 529 plans are tax-advantaged savings plans that are designed to encourage people to save for future college costs. But there’s more to it than that… In general terms, […]


Best Business Credit Cards: What’s Hot, What’s Not

A couple of years ago, I was in the market for a business credit card, so I applied for an American Express card that was offering a $250 signup bonus (sadly, that offer has long since expired). While this card was perfectly serviceable, I occasionally run into places that wouldn’t accept AmEx, and I also […]


Making Work Pay Credit: Tax Credit Results in Reduced Federal Income Tax Withholding

Are you feeling stimulated? Well, you should be. I was updating Quicken over the weekend when I noticed that the reduced federal income tax withholding schedules have kicked in. In case you haven’t heard, that’s how the “Making Work Pay” tax credit is being handed out. According to an IRS press release: “Available for tax […]


Weekly Roundup: Geocaching Edition

This past weekend, my kids and I went geocaching for the first time in a long time. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, geocaching is sort of like a high-tech, GPS-based treasure hunt. I like it because it gets us out of the house, and we also often stumble onto cool local places […]