3 Common Contractor Scams and How to Avoid Them

Americans shell out $168 billion on home improvements and general maintenance every year — however, not all of that money ends up being well spent. Many people end up getting scammed by “drive-by” and otherwise unscrupulous contractors looking for an easy mark. Here are three of the most common home repair ripoffs you should be aware of:

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Which Birth Dates Are Most (and Least) Common?

According to Wikipedia, more people are born during the months of September and October than any other time of the year.

Anecdotal evidence seems to back up Wikipedia’s claim — at least when it comes to my experience. For example, October is an especially busy month; I have close family members with birthdays on October 3rd, 10th, 11th, 13th, 18th and 28th. I have another close relative born on September 4th.

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Why Pastry Chefs Are Financially Savvier Than The Common Man

If you ask me there are few things in life better than a warm chocolate chip cookie, fresh from the oven and accompanied with a little cold milk for dunking purposes.

As far as I’m concerned, the bar-none gold standard of chocolate chip cookies is the Nestle Toll House cookie.

In fact, a few weeks ago Nina and I whipped up a batch, as we like to occasionally do.

Normally, I

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6 Ways to Protect Yourself In Case of Serious Injury

If you have been seriously injured, you’re no doubt feeling overwhelmed with the number of decisions that need to be made. It can be helpful to keep a list of items that need to be addressed and cross them off one at a time. Regardless of your injury, your finances will continue to need your attention.

Here are six steps you should consider taking to protect your financial life in case

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14 Reasons Why Monitored Home Security Systems Are For Suckers

It seems like I’m always being bombarded with countless ads from companies offering home burglar alarm installation and monitoring services. Maybe that’s because 83% of homes in the US don’t have a security system in place to ward off potential thieves.

Are those homeowners crazy? Or crazy like a fox?

I took the plunge and got one not long after moving into my current home and it certainly provided peace of

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My 5th Annual Cost Survey of 10 Popular Brown Bag Sandwiches

The price of lunch at my kids’ school is going up. Again. This year, a school lunch will cost $2.75 per meal — that’s 20% more than last year. I know.

Unfortunately, many busy parents struggling to make ends meet may think that’s still a bargain for lunch. It’s not.

At those prices, a parent with two kids will shell out $990 over the course of a 180-day school year.

In

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Why I Run My Household Like a Business (And Why You Should Too)

Before I started up my blog, I spent my free time as a dedicated volunteer for Little League baseball. And although I rose through the ranks over the years to eventually become a league president, looking back, my fondest Little League memories still come from the time I spent managing my son’s tee-ball team.

My first “practice” was a pitiful failure. I was woefully disorganized and, as a result, the 5-year-olds

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Cheap Cooking: Fantastic Frugal Meal Ideas from Past and Present

I was on an extremely tight budget when I was in college, so I had cheap cooking down to a science.

Back then, dinner was number four on my list of priorities; right after tuition, beer, and rent — in that order.

Many people on limited incomes pride themselves on their ability to create some truly delicious and cheap dinner ideas.

My grandmother, who was born in Italy, was always

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I'm Stumped: 7 Perplexing Money Questions Without a Good Answer

Earlier this month, British Prime Minister David Cameron offered $1.54 million to the person who could solve mankind’s greatest challenge, whatever that might be. However, before the challenge can officially begin, Mr. Cameron must wait for an official list of the world’s biggest problems from a committee of extremely wise fellows who are now collecting the best suggestions from abroad.

The first candidate problem that immediately crossed my mind was how

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Economic Collapse 101: How to Prepare for Water Supply Disruptions

I’ve already explained how and why the US has placed itself on the irreversible path toward economic collapse. Suffice it to say that our entire economic system, led by the Federal Reserve, is a massive Ponzi scheme that has been running for over 100 years now.

It’s a ticking time bomb — and the fuse is getting visibly shorter with each passing day.

How long can the Fed continue printing money

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