The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Longest Weekend Edition

This weekend contained a four and a half hour car trip immediately followed by a five hour car trip. Both involved a toddler and a newborn in the car. We stopped about every thirty to forty-five minutes. At one particularly memorable stop (near Mount Pleasant, Iowa), both my wife and I were simultaneously changing rancid diapers on the front seat of the car at about nine in the evening under the bright lights of a grocery store. Here’s a hot tip: don’t try to pack a lot of travel in if you have very young children. Either make the schedule very loose or you’ll be frustrated.

Wow A while back, several readers scoffed at the need for FDIC insurance on their bank accounts. I wonder if they’re scoffing now after a bank with several hundred thousand accounts went belly-up. (@ birds and bills)

Huge Tax-Free Investment Returns Don’t you know that buying in bulk and other frugal tactics are a waste of time? I mean, why would you ever want a 33% return on bulk buying when you could chase 15% on the stock market? (@ wise bread)

Getting Defensive About Spending Habits I agree wholeheartedly – most people, including myself, get defensive about their spending habits. I think making an effort to knock down that wall will do nothing but help you save money. (@ my money blog)

The Simple Dollar Retro: Magazine Subscriptions: Are They Worth It? I find my “$1 rule” when it comes to magazines to be a very good indicator.

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  1. vh says:

    Heh heh! My ex- used to say, with dead-on accuracy, “It’s hard to be suave when you’re traveling with kids!”

  2. Beth says:

    My boyfriend and I were both Netbank customers for about 2 years. They were a decent bank but we had some issues with Customer Support.
    We got out of there when the Everbank acquirement announcement came out. We had been looking elsewhere for a “one stop shop” for all of our accounts. We’re now with E*Trade and it’s working fine so far.

    It sucks that Netbank closed. They had a great idea. Too bad it didn’t work.

  3. Matt says:

    The readers who “scoffed” at FDIC insurance were simply making the point that money market funds don’t have FDIC insurance but that your money is very safe in them due to the types of securities they hold. Federal law restricts the investments money market funds can make so they are diverse (spread across many institutions) and of high quality (no high risk or junk). In the US, only one money market fund has ever lost money for its investors, and it only lost 4 cents per share. They have an enviable track record compared to bank deposits.

  4. Steve says:

    Matt, what happens if the institution where you hold your money market account tanks. How do you recover your money?

  5. Matt says:

    The difference between a bank savings account and a money market fund (a real one, not the sort banks offer) is that your money is used to buy securities. The securities will be there no matter what happens to the institution which offers the fund. It’s just like if you owned shares of Microsoft through ETrade – if ETrade went under you would still have your shares of Microsoft. The health of your investment is not tied to the institution holding it. The only risk is if the fund invests in bad securities but, as I said, federal law limits the amount of risk they can take. History is on the side of money market funds – they are far safer than bank deposit accounts.

  6. Ben says:

    Wait to you cop rancid diapers and puke in the same trip. The peace and quiet when the kids are both asleep offsets any aromas you may have the pleasure of experiencing.

  7. Z says:

    It’s funny that the banner ad that popped up when I read this entry is for “Prosper” Bank, which is totally not FDIC-insured. I realize the ads are out of your control, but still. ;)

    Your blog is one of my favorites. As a formerly clueless twenty-something re: pf, I’m learning a ton. Thanks.

  8. Steve says:

    Thanks for the answer, Matt. Sorry, I’m still wondering: If I hold my savings in securities at ETrade, and ETrade goes under, how do I recover my investments? What sort of proof documents do I need? I take it their records should still be valid and I should get stock certificates as part of their closing procedure? thanks for the education, both Trent and Matt.

  9. Bobby says:

    Been there…done that…got the t-shirt with poop on it.

    Enjoy these moments…

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