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When my son was born, I wanted him to have the best of everything, so at first we spent a good deal of money on all sorts of stuff. Rattles, balls, play pens, and so forth – we dumped a lot of money on these things. Do you want to guess what his three favorite toys are, now that he’s eleven months old? My old cell phone (with the battery removed), a simple homemade rattle, and a large red plastic …

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Yesterday, we watched as I stumbled through college making a series of classic financial errors. Yet I finished (albeit in six years) with a pair of degrees, and I was able to find work utilizing both of them. I was suddenly making more money per year than my parents had made combined in any year, ever. Surely the lessons of my childhood poverty would instruct me on how to be thrifty with my windfall? Think again. Rather than living thrifty, …

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My current computer is nearing the end of its natural life cycle. I have had it for several years and done a few minor upgrades to it, but the monitor (one of the first reasonably priced 15″ flat panels) has had several vertical lines appear in it in the last few months and the motherboard is starting to fail in the main unit (occasional failure of peripheral devices and a couple completely random reboots). Although I could easily live without …

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If you’re like me, you’ve probably spilled something on your laptop at some point during your computing experience. For me, it happened just last week with a tall latte all over the keyboard and display, dripping down in the cracks and crevasses of my laptop. As soon as it happened, I figured it would be a big financial loss for me as the laptop was toast, but I called a few friends and used a series of simple procedures and …

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From my perspective, short term and long term financial goals are fairly easy to plan. I want to spend less in the next month (and save more while paying down loans), and I want to save for retirement; these are fairly straightforward goals. The challenge for me was to define a set of intermediate-term goals – ones that I want to meet in the next five to seven years. These each give me a general goal to work toward that …

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The One Month Challenge

November 3 2006

I used to waste tons of money on silly little things. I did it so often and so regularly that I didn’t even realize that it was adding up to a huge dent in my finances. A pack of Tic-Tacs here, a CD there, a DVD here, a new book there… it wasn’t long before I was dropping hundreds of dollars a month on silly things and not putting together the bigger picture. When I reached my financial rock bottom …

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Last time, we reviewed the mistakes I made during my earliest days of dealing with my own finances, and it was clear that I was already showing some grave errors in financial planning. After high school, however, I found my way into college, an environment where I would have an opportunity to learn many things, including the meaning of financial planning. Unfortunately, I made just as many mistakes there as I did in high school. I would have never gone …

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I just finished reading Freakonomics and I’ve never been as disgusted with a “nonfiction” book as I am right now. It seems to violate every fundamental principle of any organized school of rational thought – and yet somehow it’s a best seller. At every single turn throughout the book, Levitt and Dubner attempt to apply seemingly unrelated explanations to natural phenomena under the premise of “a different approach to economics.” Yet even trivial internet investigation can indicate that in fact …

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If you’re reading this, you likely have ready access to a computer with an internet connection. Most people are aware of a few ways that a personal computer can save them money, but there really are a plethora of simple, ethical ways that anyone can use a computer to make a few dollars. Here is a list of 14 ways your computer can put money in your pocket that anyone can do without ripping anyone off. Many of these ideas …

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Here are some unorthodox tips for selling stuff on eBay while minimizing your own cost. Not only do the tips minimize the money one has to spend on an auction, but they generate sales on par with other items in the same category (and often higher) and create very happy customers. I have been selling items on eBay for years with a 100% feedback rating using this strategy and I feel it is rock-solid. Here are the prongs to the …

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