Deeply Downsized Domiciles

I wasn’t exactly born yesterday. But among the misty watercolor memories clouding my brain pan, I retain a clear memory of the kind of homes that many middle-class people lived in way back in my 1960s-era childhood. They often were very small. Three tiny bedrooms, a phonebooth sized bathroom, a kitchen just larger than a […]


Amex Blue Cash Everyday and Preferred Card Signup Bonuses

This is just a quick note to let you know that the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and Blue Cash Preferred Card® from American Express are currently offering signup bonuses. For the Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express (more details here), you can earn $100 bonus after you use your new Card to […]


School Policies and the High Cost of Healthcare

This is a bit of a rant, so please bear with me… 🙂 As you’re likely aware, we have four school-aged kids. As such, it’s not uncommon to have one virus or another making its way through our house. And sometimes this results in having sick kids who need to stay home from school. In […]


A (Former) Insider’s Guide to Choosing an Investment Manager

Managing your own investments is hard, time-consuming work, so many people choose to delegate the task to a professional investment manager. Some do this via mutual funds, while others have a separately-managed portfolio. In either case, the challenge is that choosing a good investment manager can be as confusing – and as risky – as […]


Figuring Your Taxes Without All of Your Tax Forms

Every year around this time, I receive messages from readers who are anxious to file file their tax returns. This is especially true if they’re due a refund. And who can blame them? If you’re owed money by the government, you should try to get it back as quickly as possible. A common question is […]


Be on the Lookout for Credit Card Fees

Consider yourself warned… Starting tomorrow (Sunday, January 27th) merchants are free to start applying a surcharge for credit card purchases. We’ve talked in the past about credit card surcharges, and how the major card networks didn’t allow them. Well, that all changed this past summer when Visa and MasterCard agreed to allow merchants to pass […]


Education, Occupation, Gender, Race, and Earnings

Ever wonder where your earnings stack up vs. those of a typical American? Well, wonder no more… CNN/Money has compiled an interesting set of earnings statistics from BLS data. For starters, the median weekly income for in the United States for “wage and salary workers” in 2012 was $775. That works out to $40, 300/year. […]


Saving Savings with Home Emergency Gap Coverage

The typical washer-dryer combo unit lasts about eight years. The one in my home was in its 14th year, and living on borrowed time when it finally expired last year. Its demise meant a large unexpected expense I hadn’t counted on. I bit the bullet and called the same appliance retailer I’d bought my last […]


Poor Service and Cutting Your Losses

Last night my wife stopped at a well known fast food joint to pick up dinner. I’m not naming names, but there was a red-haired, yellow-suited clown and some arches involved… I’m sure you can figure it out. Anyway, she went through the drive through, ordered, and got our food. They almost forgot one entire […]


Board Games: Stretching Your Entertainment Dollar

Timidly, I pulled out my debit card and grimaced as the cashier rung up the purchase. I handed it to her, watching as she swiped it for $42, worried that I’d made a mistake thinking that buying Settlers of Catan at full retail price was a great idea. I had been introduced to the game […]