Awareness

Are you investing or just speculating?

The economics of the household aren’t great. Not only do you need to keep a reasonably good-paying job for at least four decades, butĀ also you need to plan for a period of your life, say the last third of it, where you may not be able to earn a good living and have to live … Continue reading »

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Get your credit reports all at once or spread them out?

If you’ve been thinking that I’ve been silent about the Equifax breach because I haven’t cared, you’d be wrong. Instead, I’ve been feeling a mix of fear and despair, not unlike what I felt on November 9th this past year, a realization (or maybe a refresher) that supremely incompetent people are running the show, and … Continue reading »

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How store credit cards foreshadow the retail apocalypse

In my last post, I mentioned how I had once had an Exxon credit card given to me by my mom to use for emergencies. It made me think about those specialty credit cards. How quaint I thought. A credit card that people would use at a given store. And then I had a bit … Continue reading »

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Emergencies are the worst time for using debt

Not long after I got my drivers license, my mom gave me an Exxon card to carry around with me. “For emergencies, in case you run out of gas and are stranded.” I never used it. It’s not that I had any special objection to using it at the time (aside from not wanting to … Continue reading »

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Can someone please explain to me why there is so much wage disparity?

I worked in retail for many years. I sometimes have nightmares that I’ll have to go back to it. And yet, I think my retail experiences were relatively tame. A department story, a toy store, a gas station, Kinko’s. I never had to work as a busboy or waiter. I never ever had to work … Continue reading »

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If you’re not wealthy, is it your fault?

I’m troubled. I was listening to a program on the radio (which I’ll leave unnamed for reasons you’ll see soon). It was one of the 27 various programs on financial wellness that seem to pepper the AM dial at any given time. On the program, the host was talking about people who had become millionaires. … Continue reading »

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Uber now allows tips: What’s 20% of $0?

The news was electrifying: Uber, the sharecropping system of the transportation industry, was finally allowing passengers to tip their drivers. Amazingly, this wasn’t a thing before now. There was no option to tip a driver, except if you were to pay in cash, which most Uber riders, sexy forward-thinking futurists all, didn’t carry. (To its … Continue reading »

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Why is the budget monthly?

Our system of budgeting is pretty arbitrary. I recommend that everyone make a spending plan based on the calendar month. Twelve months a year: twelve plans a year. Could we do things another way? And are any of them better?

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The arbitrary nature of a month, or does it really matter when you spend?

Last month was a little challenging for me, money-wise. While every month I separate my allotted spending money into categories ($300 for Groceries, $60 for Transportation, etc.), it’s really just a best guess. The month had a number of expenses (in my Fun/Misc category especially) such that, by mid-month, I was effectively done with that … Continue reading »

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Your past performance doesn’t guarantee your future results

The phrase “past performance doesn’t guarantee future results” is ubiquitous in financial sales literature. It has to be; it’s the law. Having encountered that phrase hundreds or thousands of times so far in my reading over the years, it’s become almost a mantra too. But as I occupy myself not just with how to help … Continue reading »

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