October 7, 2009

Zecco Refer & Referral a Friend Program

If you have a Zecco Trading account, you can easily earn $75 by sending a referral to a friend.  The gist of the Zecco refer a friend program is pretty straightforward, you send an invite by email to a pal that may be interested in opening an online discount broker account, your friend signs-up with the same invited email address, funds their account for $500, and you’ll get $75 cash deposited int […]

University of Idaho Offers Free Personal Finance Courses

The world has known about free online courses like MIT OpenCourseWare and Open University (for a longer list, check the end of my foundation post about online education). Until today, I wasn’t aware of any university that has offered personal finance courses and certainly not one that has put it all on the web for anyone to use! That’s exactly what the University of Idaho Extension has done. […]

Before you hire a computer geek, check out this free website

Computer problems can range from being almost unnoticeable, to mildly annoying, to frustrating, to downright costly if it’s a necessary component of your business.  Regardless of whether your computer is top of the line or a few years old, it’s always more pleasant when things are working as they should. For a while, my computer had been really noisy.  The fan would rev up when I did something tha […]

Never Eat Alone: Anchor Tenants

This is the eleventh of sixteen parts of a “book club” reading and discussion of Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz’s Never Eat Alone, where this book on building a lifelong community of colleagues, contacts, friends, and mentors is teased apart and looked at in detail. […]

Four Last-Minute Ways to Boost Your Retirement Savings

Here are some thoughts from the great personal finance book Grow Your Money!: 101 Easy Tips to Plan, Save, and Invest. They list four last-minute ways to boost your retirement savings as follows: Downsize your home Move to a lower-cost locale Delay retirement Phased retirement (work some) My thoughts on these: 1. […]

New ING Direct Added Value CD

Yesterday, ING Direct announced a clever new take on CDs – it’s the Added Value CD. The idea is very simple, you can get a 12 month CD with a rate of 2.25% if you open it and fund it with “new money” from a non ING Direct account. According to their terms and conditions, the new money must increase your total deposit balance as of yesterday, October 7th, 2009. […]

HAPPY Act: $3,500 Pet Care Expenses Deduction (Proposed)

Wouldn’t you throw your support behind something called the HAPPY Act? I know I would, it sounds so… cheery! It exists and it’s a bill that has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI). The Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act, H.R. 3501, would offer a $3,500 tax deduction for qualified pet care expenses. […]

Lending Club – September 2009 Performance

As September came to a close, I was enjoying an 11.98% net annualized return with Lending Club. Once again, I spent the month expanding my holdings beyond my original “High Risk” and “Low Risk” test portfolios. […]

How to Close an FNBO Direct Account

A couple weeks ago I closed my HSBC Direct account and today I closed my FNBO Direct account. As was the case with HSBC Direct, I’m not closing the account because I don’t like FNBO Direct or the online savings account itself. I’m trying to simplify our financial lives, post-marriage, and we have far too many financial accounts. […]

Budgeting Tips for Getting a Pet

It's been awhile since I've talked about the cost of pets and frankly I thought I had said everything that was to be said on the topic. Then I found this piece that lists budgeting tips for a new pet as follows: Estimate the one-time “start-up” costs and the ongoing “maintenance” costs of the pet. Slot those annual numbers into your budget. Prepare for unexpected surprises. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Three Little Things Edition

Three little items of interest. 1. I will be attending the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, TX on March 12-16 (or some subset of those days). I hope to have copies of my upcoming book there to give to a few people. If you’re going to be there as well and want to meet up, let me know! 2. […]

When Should You Fire Your Real Estate Agent?

By Xin Lu Lately several couples I know have been trying to purchase real estate, and it seems that none of them are too happy with their real estate agents. Some of them have been working with their agents for months without any positive outcome. The fact is that some of these poorly performing agents should have been fired long ago. […]

Best Deals for Wednesday 10/07/09

By Lynn Truong Walmart: Halloween Costumes Walmart is offering kids costumes starting at $7 and adult costumes at $20. Shipping is 97 cents. Get the Ninja Boy Child Costume (pictured) for just $7.   Callahan Auto Parts T-Shirt $5.99 + $2 s/h Tanga offers the Callahan Auto Parts T-Shirt from the movie Tommy Boy for $5.99. Shipping is $1.99. […]

7 Tips to Save on Apartment Living

By Coupon Sherpa Having lived in many different apartment communities in a large metropolitan area, I can confidently attest that apartment living can be the pinnacle of service or a miserable, draining experience. Maybe you're downsizing from a house and want maintenance-free living or need to stash some cash for a down payment. […]

How is Your 401(k) Retirement Account Performing?

I’ve been investing in a 401(k) retirement account since I joined the ranks of the corporate employed seven years ago. I started with a small percentage of my income, just enough to take advantage of the full company match. As my income increased, I diverted a larger percentage to the 401(k) with the hopes of retiring with a sizable nest egg decades later. […]

How Much Should You Have in Savings?

A couple of weeks ago, we had a fine discussion about how much we should save for retirement. But how much should we have saved for today? How much should we have in cash reserves? As I write my own book, I’m reading (and re-reading) dozens of other money manuals. While perusing Bert Whitehead’s Why Smart People Do Stupid Things With Money, I came across his table of “minimum base liquidity”. […]

Some Thoughts About Thinking

Isn’t it amazing how our thoughts work?  I’m sitting here, typing this article, and it’s October 7, 2009.  There’s a part of my brain that is occupied with next word I’m going to type.  There’s another part that’s focusing on an appointment that I have tomorrow – and yet another part that’s thinking about next year’s summer vacation.  Even if I tried, it would be impossible to control just how far […]

Foreign Exchange (FOREX) Currency CDs

There’s been a lot of talk in the last year about the US dollar being replaced as a reserve currency, in part because of all the bailouts and “quantitative easing” done to jump-start our economy. With all the recent economic forums, such as the G20 in Pittsburgh, it’s no surprise that this has been a topic of conversation. So, we started looking at ways to diversify ourselves off the US dollar. […]

The Whip Cracks Both Ways

The following is a guest post from Marotta Wealth Management. Inherently volatile, the average daily fluctuation of the stock market is about 0.76%. If this movement were always up, the market would appreciate to more than six times its value in a year. If all the movement were down, you would have less than 15 cents for every dollar you invested at the beginning of the year. […]