Requesting a Check from Upromise (Revisited)

If you’re like me you have a Upromise account that you’ve long since forgotten about, but which is (slowly but surely) earning money. Last night I logged in and discovered that I have a balance of a little over $110. Nice! Since our account isn’t actually linked to a 529 plan, I need to request […]


Investing Locally

I was sitting in front of my friend Katie’s house, leaving her a note about the new business we’re starting together with some other mothers we know; a literary magazine for parents. She lives in the prettiest part of the neighborhood where I grew up. I turned and saw a woman whose face looked tired, […]


2012 Sales Tax Holidays

It’s once again time for back-to-school shopping and… Sales tax holidays! What follows is an alphabetical list of states with sales tax holidays along with a brief summary of what’s included in each location. Sales tax holidays, state-by-state Alabama: August 3-5. Clothing up to $100/item, computers up to $750/item, school supplies up to $50/item, books […]


Credit Card Fees on the Horizon?

Well, that didn’t take long… Just a week or so after the Visa and MasterCard agreed to a settlement over their refusal to let merchants charge extra for using a credit card, Kroger (the nation’s largest grocery chain) is considering offering discounts to shoppers who opt to pay cash instead of using a credit card. […]


Stringing Along With the Yo-Yo Economy

Whether they’re invested in the stock market or in a passbook savings account, many Americans are feeling frustrated these days. The reason? The economy bounces up and down but never seems to gain any traction or go any higher. The stock market soars in the year’s first quarter, then gets jittery over Europe and dives […]


Bond Ladders and Funds

Yesterday morning I awoke to an interesting article from Mike Piper over at Oblivious Investor. In it, he tackled the issue of whether you should get your bond exposure via mutual funds or through a bond ladder. For background, a bond ladder is similar to a CD ladder, in that you buy a series of […]


Getting a Raise in a Difficult Economy

With the economy continuing to sputter, complete with a seemingly jittery stock market, lower than expected consumer spending, and continued high unemployment, many employers are reticent to offer raises. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t respond positively to a deserving employee who’s in need of a salary bump. So how can you go about […]


The Danger of Prepaid Tuition Plans

In case you missed it, prepaid tuition plans have been in the news recently as Alabama has been forced to re-consider whether or not they’ll be able to deliver on what their plan promised. As you’re likely aware, 529 plans come in two main flavors: college savings plans and prepaid tuition plans. With the former, […]


Hold Your Nose and Invest

Earlier this week, I re-invested a chunk of recently paid dividends. For those that missed it, I’ve previously discussed why we don’t automatically reinvest dividends in our taxable investment account. Instead, we let dividends accrue and then manually reinvest in one holding on a quarterly basis. As for why, the short version is that manual […]


Capital One Gets a CFPB Smackdown

I’ve talked about the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) in the past. In short, this is a new(ish) federal agency that is supposed to act as a watchdog for consumer financial products. Well… Earlier this week they delivered a financial smack down to Capital One for deceptive marketing practices related to the sale of various […]