Currently, ten states have some form of bottle bill on their books that require deposits on certain aluminum and glass beverage containers that can be returned later for a refund. In addition to my home state of California, the other states that have bottle redemption laws on the books are: Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Vermont.
I’ve already explained why I hate bottle redemption fees. Here
Continue reading 10 Reasons Why I Hate Bottle Redemption Fees (and You Should Too)
It seems like every time I go to Hawaii, I always learn a valuable financial lesson.
I already shared how, during my recent summer vacation there, I was reminded of why folks should always be on their toes when shopping, as illustrated by two sizes of the same detergent being sold at a local supermarket — and the jaw-dropping price-difference between them.
And although you’d think I’d know better, that wasn’t
Continue reading Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Guess My Rental Car Bill.
One of the most popular financial tips that people routinely dispense to others is, “You get what you pay for.” Perhaps that’s why many folks erroneously believe they can’t go wrong by paying more for something — whether it’s a fancy meal, designer jeans, bottled water, or a host of other products and services. That’s not always true. There are plenty of examples — education and gasoline are two of the
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why You Don’t Always Get What You Pay For
Cosigning for a loan is one of the dumbest financial moves you could ever make. By cosigning, you not only assume liability for the borrowed money, but you also make it tougher on yourself to qualify for large loans — regardless of your payment history — because lenders still include cosigned loans as part of your overall debt load.
The bottom line: If a lender refuses to loan money to
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why You Should Never Cosign A Loan for Anyone
Last week my boss and I were sitting in a conference room when he spied a pack of gum that someone had left on the table.
“Hey, Len! You want some gum?”
“Well, that depends,” I said. “What flavor is it?”
“Five? What the heck does that mean?”
“Beats me, but that’s what it says!”
The whole thing was so odd, I took this picture of the package for posterity:
Continue reading What Does ‘Flare’ Taste Like? When Swanky Marketing Goes Too Far.
No matter what that slick salesman tells you, vacation timeshares aren’t a good deal. Surprised? Don’t be. Many timeshares owners lose the freedom to vacation wherever and whenever they choose — or even skip one, considering annual maintenance fees currently average $731. Timeshares are also notoriously overpriced to cover sales commissions approaching 35 percent and marketing expenses for prizes used to lure potential buyers suckers. Maybe that’s why timeshares depreciate faster
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why You Should Never Buy a Timeshare
Summer is just around the corner and people are eagerly gearing up for another vacation season full of fabulous food and frolicking fun in the sun with friends and family.
With that in mind, I thought it would be a kick to relive the worst vacation of my entire life. It’s certainly a vacation I’ll never forget.
In fact, even though it was 20 long years ago, I still remember it
Continue reading What I Learned from the Worst Vacation of My Life
This weekend I was pouring a little half-and-half into my cup of coffee (no, not Folgers) when I noticed something extremely disturbing: the creamer was 34 days beyond the expiration date printed on the carton top.
Yes, 34 days. I know.
Of course, the first thought that immediately crossed my mind was: You idiot!
Considering that I was on my third cup of the day, the next thought that popped into
Continue reading Is It Okay to Eat Foods Past Their Expiration Dates?
Annual tuition at K-8 private schools currently averages about $8,000.
That means over a nine-year period parents will end up spending $72,000 per child — as long as tuition rates never increase. (Insert laugh track here.)
Of course, most parents end up considering private education because they only want what is best for their child.
Well, today I’m going to show you why private school is absolutely not worth it –
Continue reading Why Private Schools Are Financial Rip Offs
Last month, Canada announced it would no longer mint pennies. That makes a lot of sense; perhaps America should follow suit. In 1913 the once-proud penny had 23 times the purchasing power it does now. Today, the penny is essentially worthless, its inglorious decline attributable to the pernicious effects of inflation. Ironically, each penny costs almost two cents to produce, adding to the National Debt, which is just another reason many
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why It’s Time to Eliminate the Penny