With Christmas approaching, my wife and I once again were faced with the difficulty of buying a cadre of Christmas gifts for my nieces and nephews. We often have particular trouble with one of my nephews, who is a middle child. He generally says that he doesn’t want anything for Christmas and, when forced, he asks his older sister what she wants for Christmas and repeats that. After some abysmal gifts in the past few years (things he didn’t like, …

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As a parent of a young boy, I’m very concerned about the best educational path for him. As we sock money away for his college fund, I’ve been considering the concept of private school for him in the back of my mind. I recently stumbled across an article entitled Private School vs. College Savings: Which is the Better Investment For Your Kids?: Okay, I admit it somewhat sheepishly, I send my kids to private school. It’s easy to justify since …

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#17: Credit Cards

December 5 2006

This is part of a series in which we re-evaluate Money Magazine’s “25 Rules To Grow Rich By”. One “rule” will be re-evaluated each weekday until the series concludes; you can keep tabs on the action at the 25 Rules index. What Kind of Credit Card Should I Own? Rule #17: The best credit card is a no-fee rewards credit card that you pay in full every month. But if you carry a balance, high interest rates will wipe out …

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This week, The Simple Dollar is conducting a detailed review of radio host Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover. This book is basically a printed distillation of Dave’s “financial preacher man” style on his radio show. Is there serious meat to be found here, or is it a bunch a fluff around a few small ideas? Let’s find out. The first five chapters of The Total Money Makeover focus primarily on psychological hurdles that one must overcome in order to …

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We all get burnt out sometimes and want to take a break from our projects, no matter how much fun they are. As much as I enjoy The Simple Dollar, I do like to take long weekends in the country where my responsibilities are far behind me and it’s fine to just spend an entire day laying on the floor reading a book. Other times, I just get tired of the grind of writing so much content every night and …

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When I was spending money like it was water, I was buying about ten CDs and DVDs a week. I was a media addict, buying all kinds of music and movies without knowing much about them at all – following off-the-cuff recommendations and “trendy” sites like Pitchfork Media. While I did discover a lot of things that are very dear to my heart now (for example, the greatest album ever recorded), most of the stuff I bought turned out to …

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I recently came across an interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor: Surprise: Not-so-glamorous conservation works best. The article told the story of a high school teacher who wanted to reduce his electrical usage as much as possible, both to save money and help the environment: When high school science teacher Ray Janke bought a home in Chicopee, Mass., he decided to see how much he could save on his electric bill. He exchanged incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents, put …

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I was enjoying a rather brazen post at Personal Finance Advice on the topic of the utter simplicity of the basics of personal finance (it’s just spend less than you earn and invest the difference) when this comment, left by “StevenL,” really got me thinking: I think this makes sense to a degree, but in theory what is the point of being rich if your plan is to live well below your means? To save a lot of money, to …

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#16: Deductibles

December 4 2006
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This is part of a series in which we re-evaluate Money Magazine’s “25 Rules To Grow Rich By”. One “rule” will be re-evaluated each weekday until the series concludes; you can keep tabs on the action at the 25 Rules index. Rule #16: When you buy insurance, choose the highest deductible you can afford. It’s the easiest way to lower your premium. I flatly agree with this rule. … Of course, when I look at it again, I realize that …

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This week, The Simple Dollar is conducting a detailed review of radio host Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover. This book is basically a printed distillation of Dave’s “financial preacher man” style on his radio show. Is there serious meat to be found here, or is it a bunch a fluff around a few small ideas? Let’s find out. This book is basically a distillation of the “Dave Ramsey philosophy” into the form of a self-help book that, in terms …

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