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walking dogs

A couple of years ago, our family made the collective decision to get a family dog. I wasn’t particularly sold on the idea, but my wife and all of our children clamored to have a dog at home, so I agreed. During the process of finding a dog and the subsequent process of owning and caring for one, I learned quite a few things about both responsible dog ownership and frugal dog ownership and how to make the two overlap. …

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As all of my American readers know and many international readers know as well, today is the day that many American families celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. For those abroad, Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States centered around giving thanks for the blessings of the year and of the harvest and is typically celebrated with family and friends gathering for a large meal with what is considered traditional harvest foods, including a variety of vegetables and usually with …

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One of the biggest financial challenges for everyone during their professional years is saving for retirement. The idea of needing to save hundreds of thousands of dollars – or even millions of dollars – for a goal that seems incredibly far off in the future feels simultaneously distant and incredibly intimidating, highly important but not at all urgent, like a mountain on the horizon. It’s not even a question – most Americans must save for retirement. Social Security provides only …

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Bear with me a little bit as I go down a (hopefully interesting) side path. A few days ago, I read an interesting article by Cory Doctorow entitled How to Do Everything: Lifehacking Considered Harmful, on the issue of how most productivity strategies such as having an organized to-do list helps you find the most productive way of doing the urgent things in your life but doesn’t really help you step back and take a bigger look at things. Doctorow …

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There’s no doubt that any progress toward eliminating your debts is a smart move, both for your credit reports and your wallet. However, it’s even smarter to pay off your debts in the right order. Knowing which debts to target first, and which debts to leave for later, could potentially save you a lot of money, get you out of debt faster, and boost your credit score, too. Should you pay off your student loan first, or tackle your credit card balances? …

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Tiny homes aren’t just a fad anymore — what started as a way to lower mortgage payments and utility costs following the Great Recession has developed into a worldwide movement. And Google searches for “Tiny House for Sale” have grown a whopping 900%. If you’re looking to purchase or build a tiny house of your own, there are a few decisions you’ll need to make: Where do you want to put your tiny house, and do you want to rent …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Cheap turkey cooking? 2. Storing homemade soup 3. Flour differences for homemade bread 4. “Double your donation” to charities 5. Online services and sunk costs 6. Public schools versus private 7. Long term care insurance alone 8. Finding fee-only financial planners 9. Secondhand clothes for outdoor wear 10. …

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Cyber Monday deals are a great way to do your holiday shopping, and these six tricks will save you even more money!

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In the wake of the recent Equifax scandal, you might understandably be jittery about the safety of your money and your personal financial information. A lot has been written about what you can do to prevent hackers from opening new accounts and new lines of credit in your name. But a lot less has been written about protecting the money you’ve already saved and invested. Specifically, how safe is the money inside your retirement accounts? How is that money protected …

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With the holiday shopping season ready to wreak havoc on your budget, it’s only natural to look for new or different ways to save. Chances are, you’re gearing up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday while simultaneously watching out for special promotions and last-minute deals. By the time all is said and done, we can only hope that most of us will check off our holiday wish lists without going too far over budget. Still, there’s a limit to how much you …

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