So, How Are You Doing So Far This Year?

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Believe it or not, we’re nearly 25% done with 2010 — a quarter of the year has come and just about gone. It’s crazy how time flies. It’s also about that time when you realize that, if you’re going to succeed in your financial goals this year, you need to keep yourself on the right […]

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We Can’t Buy Our Way Out of a Recession

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Black Friday is over. This year, there were many news stories of hope and optimism that consumers would rush out and buy, buy, buy. The broadcast news stations sent their local correspondents to talk with mall owners and department store managers to get their forecast. The ones I saw used their interviews to plug discounts, […]

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Is It Possible to Completely Avoid Black Friday?

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Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, and by the time you read this, you’ll know whether or not you bought anything. There’s a certain thrill most of us get when we buy things. But, if you’re anything like me, there’s also a high chance of buyer’s remorse (and I don’t buy […]

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Change Your Attitudes to Change Your Finances

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As someone who works hard at self-improvement on many levels, I’m always mindful of useful aphorisms to help foster growth. One good one is that “actions dictate outcomes, but thoughts dictate actions.” In personal finance as in the rest of life, how you think determines how you act, and consequently, the results you get. Quite […]

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Is Watching TV Economical Entertainment?

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I’ve never hidden the fact that I watch a lot of TV. I can keep up a conversation on most of the popular shows these days, and definitely have some favorites (Entourage, 24, The Office, to name a few). Am I proud to admit that I watch a lot of TV? Well, not really — […]

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How Credit Card Users Are Getting Screwed

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View full size. (via the excellent folks at Visual Economics)

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Why I Track My Spending, Not Budget It

I’ve asked you before about how you manage your spending: do you budget it or track it? It’s a question that everyone can answer differently, but I’ve generally found that it falls along one path: if you’re starting out your financial journey, learning how to better manage your money and haven’t built the good habits […]

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Leasing a Car? Know the Downsides

For many people, car ownership is the second biggest ticket purchase that they’re likely to make (after real estate). No matter how you slice it, a car is a substantial purchase. My late grandfather was fond of pointing out that every vehicle he purchased in his lifetime cost as much as all the previous ones […]

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How to Be Lazy (And Succeed in Money Management)

Let’s be honest: most of us would love to spend less time worrying about our money. Maybe you’re not a procrastinator at heart, but when it comes to managing your money, you can succeed by being lazy and doing less. I’ve talked at length about why investing is a lazy man’s game: buy index funds, […]

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Where’s Your Paycheck Going?

You may know where your money is going, but how does it compare to the average consumer? There’s a fascinating look the average U.S. Consumer unit expenditures, using figures from the Dept. of Labor. Check out the chart below (via Visual Economics). Click it for a full-size version.

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How to Save 70% Off Your Next Car’s MSRP

Automobiles have a unique place in American consumption and personal finance. Nothing else costs so much and depreciates so fast and we continue to buy them. As everyone knows, cars are more than transportation. For businesspeople, it is often important to have a newer car to project an image of prestige and prosperity. Others are […]

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Savings Rate Hits 6.9%, Highest Since 1993

More good news coming from the recession: the personal savings rate continues to increase, hitting 6.9% in May. That’s up from 5.6% in April, and the highest since December of 1993, when it was 7.6% (according to the Wall Street Journal). At the same time, spending was up 0.3% in May and disposable personal income […]

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Ask the Readers: Do You Still Write Checks?

Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I wrote a check for anything. All of my spending is using debit cards with the occasional cash purchase and once-in-a-while credit card charge. All of those checks that I ordered way back when are just sitting around, yet to be used. Probably the only time I’d be […]

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