My computer mouse uses two AA batteries. Our television remote control does, too, as does our DVD player remote. Our son’s fish tank filter uses two AA batteries as a backup. Our small flashlight uses AA batteries, and our large flashlight uses an adapter that allows it to use AA batteries. I don’t even want
What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. IRA worry 2. Replacing a toilet 3. Foreclosure or not? 4. Pension or 401(k) 5. Retirement plan for older folks 6. Sell first or move first?
Megan wrote in recently with a long story that I’ll use in a future Reader Mailbag, but in a paragraph that didn’t have to do with her story, she asked a seemingly simple question. What made you shift from not paying attention to what you spent to worrying about spending a nickel extra on toilet
According to this article, the average American cable/satellite bill is $128 per month. Let that sink in for a minute. $128 per month. Naturally, this average does include bundles of premium channels that many households subscribe to, HD service (which the providers charge more for), DVRs, and other such perks. Still, $128 a month just
Sometimes, I get questions that are perfect for the Reader Mailbag, except that when I actually start writing out the answer, it turns into a full post. This is one of those times. Leslie writes in: My daughter is turning sixteen this August. We’re going to buy her a used car as a gift, but
Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. 1. Sir David Attenborough on conservation “The question is: are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?”
For breakfast this morning, our children had a bowl of plain generic Cheerios with milk and some strawberries from their garden. It was a pretty healthy breakfast, all around, and it was certainly cheap. All three of them finished their bowls, so they must have liked it. They don’t think of breakfast as a time
As a clean-shaven adult male in his thirties, I’ve shaved my face literally thousands of times – it’s probably approaching the ten thousand shave mark at this point. I’ve used all kinds of equipment to shave with, too – old-fashioned safety razors with individual blades, fully disposable razors, disposable razors with cartridge-based systems, and fully
I have an old friend that collects vintage comic books. He owns several World War II-era Superman comics, many first issues of comics from the Silver Era, and lots of other issues with significant value. He mostly collects comics that were printed prior to 1980 and is meticulous about storing them. This is his primary
What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. In favor of a smartphone 2. Summer break activities 3. More money causes stress 4. Robert Kiyosaki 5. Financial stress or paranoia? 6. Parent helping child
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” – Rita Mae Brown If there is some aspect of your life that’s bothering you, know this: you cannot expect it to improve if you keep doing the same things you’ve always been doing. Even if your fairy godmother showed up
Every day, I look at my young children and realise that they will never be this young again. That single fact is often more than enough motivation for me to put down whatever I’m doing and go spend time with them. Before I know it, they won’t want to spend an hour playing with their
I had a very interesting conversation with a reader recently who informed me that she discovered it was much more cost-effective for her family for her to quit her $22,000 a year job and instead maximize their family’s frugality. Sandra agreed to let me share elements of her story with you. First of all, this
It happens to everyone at some point in their financial journey. Everything is going along perfectly. Savings are building up. Debts are going down. Financial goals are being reached (or at least approached). It’s all chugging right along. Then something happens. Someone gets sick or, even worse, passes away. A car’s engine block fails. Someone
I’m a big believer in using one’s net worth as a quick assessment of personal finance health. A person is making a good move if they calculate their net worth every month or every quarter, then compare that net worth to where it was at a year ago or, if they have the data, five
What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Pre-conception college fund 2. Using tax refund effectively 3. Ashamed of using aid 4. The four percent rule 5. Dan Ariely 6. Look for job now?
Let’s take a walk through my family’s normal meal routine. For three days in a row, we’ll make some sort of meal at home. We’ll have spaghetti or a stir fry or some grilled fish or something else. As I’ve mentioned many times, the actual meals we have tend to depend a lot on what’s
About once a month, either one of our own children or one of the children that live near us pops up with a fundraising form. They’re trying to raise money for their school band or their soccer club or for extra classroom supplies – all of which are noble goals. Usually, this comes hand in
A few days ago, I had a great conversation with a couple that live about a block away from us. They have regular yard sales throughout the summer and we’ve stopped at the sale a few times. Their process is simple. They have an area of their garage that they devote to “yard sale” stuff.