Month: May 2014

Drop Collision and Comprehensive Coverage on Very Old Vehicles (252/365)

When I was in high school, I had a 1985 Buick Skyhawk. It was more than a decade old, and it showed every rough mile that had been put on it. It was approaching 200,000 miles, the body was rusty, and the transmission sounded like metal grinding on metal. There was a persistent hole along …

Categories: Frugality

Consider Long-Term Disability and Long-Term Care Insurance (251/365)

Long-term disability insurance and long-term care insurance are difficult issues to talk about. For starters, there are many situations where these types of insurance are never needed at all. If someone passes away very suddenly, the money spent on these insurances goes for naught. In some situations, the premiums might simply be beyond what they …

Categories: Frugality

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #90

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. Chief Red Eagle on anger and love I think this quote summarizes wonderfully the difference between love and anger. “Angry people want you to see how powerful they are. …

Buy a Longer-Term Policy (250/365)

When I sat down to buy a term life insurance policy, I did my homework. I looked at the offerings of a lot of different insurance companies. I checked into how reliable all of those companies were. I looked at policies of various lengths. I studied and studied. One of the constant things I found …

Categories: Frugality

The Primacy and Recency Effect and Your Next Purchase

Let’s just start off by answering the obvious question: what are the primacy effect and the recency effect? The primacy effect means that people tend to remember the first information presented about something better than information presented later. For example, let’s say that your first awareness of a product was during a segment on a …

Categories: Getting Started

Buy Term Life Insurance (249/365)

When Sarah and I had our first child, we began to think seriously about what would happen if one of us were to die early for some reason. There are a lot of reasons it can happen: a car accident, a sudden severe ailment, a freak incident. As much as we would like to pretend …

Categories: Frugality

Reader Mailbag: The Bedtime Routine

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. Small versus big changes 2. Cutting back on energy drinks 3. Best games with playing cards 4. Fans or air conditioners? 5. Scientists as heroes 6. …

Categories: Books and Reading

Know Your Reasons for Insuring (248/365)

Insurance is a reality of modern life. Many state laws require homeowners and automobile insurance. On top of that, most people have health insurance and many people have life insurance for themselves and their loved ones. There’s long term care insurance, long term disability insurance, umbrella insurance… the list goes on and on. The challenge …

Categories: Frugality

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Reading Edition

My oldest son is progressing like crazy with his reading skills. He’s reached the point where he can piece through a lot of picture books, only stopping every once in a while to ask abou a word. He seems to be devouring almost every printed thing he can find. Sarah and I are encouraging this, …

Categories: Books and Reading

Downgrade Your Home (247/365)

We live in a home with two stories and a finished basement. It’s a nice home, one that we’re all comfortable living in. However, if there was a financial need to do so, we could easily close off the finished basement. Everything we use it for could potentially be moved to the main floor, though …

Categories: Frugality

Money Down the Drain: Water Conservation and Your Wallet

Does conserving water save real money? Never mind the environmental questions. What does it cost your wallet if you waste a gallon of water? The EPA reports that the national average cost of water is $2.00 per 1,000 gallons. This varies greatly from area to area: in some dry areas, you’ll pay much more, for …

Rent Out Unused Rooms (246/365)

Right now, we live in a four bedroom house. Soon, it may become a five bedroom house. That makes sense, because we have five people living here. Now, let’s roll the clock forward fifteen years. At that time, there will be two people living here, with five bedrooms. Naturally, we’ll want to hang onto one …

Categories: Frugality

Reader Mailbag: Grilled Fish

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. Settling with creditors 2. Hunting for sustenance 3. Turning finance passion into job 4. Primerica opportunity 5. Electric toothbrush worth it? 6. Disappointed with emergency fund …

Categories: Books and Reading

Consider an Alternative Living Situation (245/365)

In most American family homes, you’ll find one or two adults, sometimes paired with some number of children. Anything outside of that is often considered a bit unusual. However, it’s outside of that typical situation where the best bargains in housing can be found. The more incomes there are to tap when it comes to …

Categories: Frugality

Good Credit Card Basics

I am frequently asked what my views are on credit cards and their usage. Do I need to have a credit card? Is it okay not to have one? How does one use a credit card in a financially responsible lifestyle? How does a credit card help my overall credit rating? What are some good …

Categories: Credit Cards

Consider Building Yourself (244/365)

Often, when someone decides that they’re ready for a home of their own, they start hitting the real estate listings and looking at houses. In many situations, that’s the best move, particularly if you desire living in a home in a pre-existing neighborhood or in a population-dense area. However, it’s not always the most cost-effective …

Categories: Frugality

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #89

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. Neil Armstrong Rest in peace. “I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer, born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in steam tables, in love …