My Kids' Loan Interview with the Bank of Dad

(Readers: While I’m still working on getting my blog back up to speed, I thought I’d dig into the archives and run this classic post from way back on February 3, 2009 — long before my kids became teenagers.)

When it comes to money matters, my two kids manage their personal finances in completely opposite ways. In fact, it is utterly amazing to me that my children are even related.

My nine

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10 Out-of-the-Box Ideas for Saving Money

For many people, sticking to a tight budget often requires moving out of their traditional comfort zone.

Studies have shown that thinking “outside the box” can provide many creative ideas for keeping a household budget on track — usually in ways that you might not otherwise consider.

Here are ten out-of-the-box ideas that I’m implementing — or at least strongly considering — in order to ensure my household finances remain on track. If you’re

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11 Retirement Saving Tips for Twentysomethings (& Older Folks Too)

Spring has finally arrived! Not coincidentally, I can’t help but notice that the birds are once again building their nests in my trees.

Of course, watching those provident early birds got me thinking about the financial importance of feathering our own nests for retirement.

Here’s the rub: For most twentysomethings, saving for retirement is typically far far down their priority list. Let’s face it, it’s tough to get motivated preparing for an event that won’t arrive

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10 Money Saving Tips to Get the Most From Coupons

Coupons can save you hundreds of dollars each year, if not more. So why is it that so many people choose not to use them? Maybe it’s that they don’t consider them worth the trouble, or have had bad experiences with using coupons in the past. It could be that people just don’t know where to look to find good coupons, or they don’t understand how to get the most

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100 Words On: The One-Armed Bandit's Armless Cousin

Who hasn’t been fleeced by a casino slot machine? Although only Keno offers worse odds of winning, slots are by far the most popular casino game, responsible for 70 percent of gambling industry winnings — so it’s really no surprise they’re derisively called one-armed bandits. Like casinos, banks have their own army of two-faced dollar desperadoes: automated teller machines. ATMs have no qualms heisting 15 percent per $20 withdrawal. For

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How Fees Quickly Erode Your Savings Account Returns

Remember when this was considered a paltry return?

Your savings are a long-term investment, and whether you have accounts for short term purchases to furnish your home or fill your wardrobe, or whether you have your emergency fund and bill payment funds saved in the same place, you have worked hard to earn your money.

You have also worked hard to be disciplined enough to save it in the first place — so

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100 Words On: The Importance of Always Paying Yourself First

When it comes to saving money, the biggest hurdle for most folks is the lack of available cash after paying all of the bills every month. Fortunately, this seemingly impossible problem is easily fixed by paying yourself first — not your creditors. One of the most effective ways to do this is by taking advantage of your employer’s automatic 401(k) paycheck deduction.

The bottom line: Whether you’re saving for retirement or

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Quick Tip: The Easiest Money You’ll Ever Make

Yesterday the Honeybee and I got another dividend rewards check from our credit card company — this time for $300.00. I love it when those checks come in, as we use the money to treat ourselves to a nice dinner, night on the town, or other fun activity.

Over the past seven years we have earned more than $2000 in cash dividends for nothing more than using our credit card.

We get

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100 Words On: Why Frugality Has Its Limits

The main benefit of frugality and saving is they’re good habits that lay a strong personal finance foundation. That being said, the frugal lifestyle definitely has its limits. Although scrimping and cutting corners can result in significant savings, at some point, it simply becomes impractical to cut anymore. Meanwhile, those trying to save their way to prosperity will sadly discover that it’s a painfully slow process.

The bottom line: Frugality has its

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3 Reasons Why Imposing a 'Parent Tax’ on Your Kids Is a Good Idea

Paying taxes is something your kids will have to deal with as adults. So why should you wait until your child’s first job to teach them about the basics of earning money and taxation?

You shouldn’t. You don’t have to either. Teach your kids by charging them the “Parent Tax.”

The Parent Tax is a simple concept: Children pay a flat-percentage tax to their parents on any money that comes into their

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