Catherine Shaffer's picture

Catherine Shaffer

A freelance writer with a background in science and biotechnology.

Latest articles by Catherine Shaffer

Ten Great Charities that Deserve Your Dollars This Year

These are difficult economic times, but I'm getting tired of being told to spend my money on stuff, as if my personal saving habits are somehow ruining the economy. Instead of thro

Avoid Big Dental Bills with Safe and Inexpensive Products

Dental care is one of those big expenses that hits us in the pocketbook when we least expect it. Most people pay at least some of their dental bills out-of-pocket. Some people go i

Looking at Your Expenses with New Eyes

A lot of people think that banks have high security, but the most fortified brick-and-mortar institution in my town is the local Comcast office. This is where you have to go to dro

Please Pass the October Surprise

I've always believed that mastery of vocabulary is at least halfway to mastery of the subject. Words are power--the kind of power commonly wielded by eggheads with pocket protector

Financial Peace in Hard Times

Six months ago, I had plans. Lots of them. Career plans. Vacation plans. Financial plans. Then everything fell apart. My mother became ill. She had already been ill, having been di

DVDs Freer than Free--No, Really, Really Free

I noticed Paul's interesting article (NEVER Pay for a Redbox DVD Rental Again ) about using Redbox codes to rent movies f

So You Want to be a Landlord? Part II: How Do You Actually Make Money?

The truth is that rents sometimes do not cover the monthly costs of owning the rental home, so how is it that these real estate gurus make their money? A lot of people think that i

So You Want to be a Landlord? Part I

With dropping home prices, a long term investment in real estate is looking pretty attractive. Whether you want to buy rental property outright, or renting is your plan B when your

Longtime Mac Users Punished for Loyalty

I've watched other Mac lovers fall away from the True Faith, one-by-one, but I never thought it would happen to me. However, yesterday when we brought home the newest addition

Is Six Figures Really That Much?

Nowadays, six figures is still above average, but its buying power in terms of lifestyle may have eroded even more than the value of a dollar, as those of us within striking distan

How I Grocery Shop

First, I will commit heresy by saying that I no longer write a full weekly menu.

Marketing Messes With Your Head

A new study out today in PNAS confirms what we always suspected was true. The higher the price you pay for a product, the greater your subjective experience of pleasure in the prod

Scammers Stole All of My Grandma's Money

The trouble started innocently enough. For as long as I can remember, Grandma bought a lottery ticket each and every week. She promised us, her children and grandchildren, that whe

You're a Chump if you Pay Full Price for That

Couponing and bargain shopping are not for everyone. It takes some time to clip the coupons, organize them, and keep track of sales at all of your favorite stores. But since I'

Reusing Your Christmas Cards

What if there was a way to honor the beauty and intentions behind your received Christmas cards, while at the same time allowing you to get rid of the darned things without guilt?