18 Facts You Didn’t Know About Automated Teller Machines

How many of these fun facts did you know about automated bank teller machines (or ATMs, for short)?

1.   Believe it or not, the first cash dispensing machine was invented by Luther George Simjian way back in 1939.   The mechanical dispenser was installed in New York City at the City Bank of New York but was removed after only six months due to lack of customer acceptance.

2.  

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What’s an Emphyteutic Lease? (And Why You May Want to Avoid One)

The other day the Honeybee and I were watching the two-millionth episode of House Hunters (or was it Buy Me ?) when the host mentioned something that sent a shiver down my spine.   Apparently, the unwitting owners of a condo found that their home was built on land subject to something called an emphyteutic lease.

Of course, I had no idea what the heck an emphyteutic lease was, but I

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18 Astounding Facts You Didn’t Know About Money

How many of these 18 fun facts did you know about  money and its history?

1. Before the use of paper currency, man used various items as a medium of exchange including cowrie shells, leather, cattle, amber, rice, salt, thimbles and decorative axes known as zappozats.

2. The first and oldest form of money used by man is cattle.   There were several significant problems with using cattle as a medium

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18 Facts You Didn’t Know About The Federal Reserve System

1. The Federal Reserve System is the United States’ version of a central bank. Central banks, also known as reserve banks, are the entities responsible for the monetary policy of a country. The United States has not always had a central banking system. In fact, three separate central banks have operated in the United States at one time or another since 1791.

2. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton was a

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Money Slang: Tired of “Money”? Here’s 101 Alternatives.

In 1737, Benjamin Franklin published The Drinker’s Dictionary, a long list of over 200 alternative terms and phrases for being drunk.

As far as I know, old Ben never published a similar list of synonyms for money – which I find to be curious considering that Ben is one of America’s first and most-quoted personal finance experts.

With that in mind, I thought I would challenge myself to put together a

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Paying Off the Mortgage Early? Not So Fast…

In January 2009 I wrote one of my most popular posts to-date entitled Paying Off Your Mortgage Early Is A No-Brainer. In that post I did a detailed analysis that justified why paying down my mortgage was the right thing to do.

That Was Then, This Is Now

Of course, that was before all of the corporate and homeowner bailouts approved by Congress.

That was also before President Obama decided to

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Inflation: Your Four Best Defenses For Preserving Your Wealth

I kicked off this series on inflation with a warning about why all of us should fear inflation and why the US government needs it to take root in our economy. But I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Forbes posted an excellent article on the coming cash tsunami that is destined to strike as the United States Treasury printing presses work overtime to cover the multi-trillion dollar budget deficit

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Inflation: Why You Should Fear It, And Why The US Wants It

Ronald Reagan accurately warned us in 1984 to be vigilant against inflation because it can come, “like a thief in the night to rob our savings, rob our earnings, and take the bread off our tables.”

For this reason, the government is usually on guard against the threat of inflation.   In the simplest terms, this is normally done by controlling the amount of money in circulation.   It’s really a

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Is It Finally Time to Get Rid of the Penny?

A while back I moved into a new office at work. When I looked in the desk, I found 162 pennies in one of the drawers. I can only assume that the previous owner used the desk as his chosen repository for all the pennies he received in change whenever he went out for lunch.

I can’t really blame the guy who did that. In fact, I think pennies are an

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A Layman’s Guide to Mortgage Application Junk Fees

As many of you know, I recently refinanced my mortgage for the fourth time in ten years.   Since then I have become familiar with that eternal mortgage loan enigma better known as the junk fee.   I always challenge the more questionable junk fees and never take them for granted. You should too.

Junk fees refer to lender or loan broker fees charged to cover company overhead.   Lenders use

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