Roughly 3 in 10 people now borrow money from their 401(k) retirement plans. Generally, you can borrow half your account balance — up to $50,000 — for as long as five years. True, it’s among the cheapest loans available because the interest rate is typically the prime rate plus one percent, and interest is paid to yourself. Even so, the risks are steep; not the least of which is the
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why You Should Resist Borrowing from Your 401(k)
Yesterday I did something I rarely ever do: I threw all caution to the wind and, as a result, I made the biggest spur-of-the-moment purchase of my entire life.
Believe it or not, I spent $2462.35 on a pair of tickets to see a hockey game.
Yep; I splurged. So sue me.
Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.
Okay, to be fair they aren’t tickets for just any hockey game, they’re tickets for
Continue reading I Just Made the Biggest Impulse Purchase of My Life (but It’s OK)
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
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why It’s Time to Eliminate the Penny
Last summer my 12-year-old daughter, Nina, was extolling the fashion virtues of her hot pink Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star high-top sneakers, better known to many as simply, “Chucks.”
What I found amusing was while Nina really thought she was on the cutting edge of sartorial style, she was really just riding the latest fashion wave that has seen the popularity of those venerable basketball shoes rise and fall multiple times since
Continue reading What Goes Around Comes Around: Rising Interest Rates Are Inevitable
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
Continue reading 100 Words On: The One-Armed Bandit’s Armless Cousin
There are people out there who swear that if you’re lucky enough to see the first flower of springtime on a Friday, it’s a sign of impending wealth.
I know. I don’t buy it either.
Still, let’s assume these folks know what they’re talking about; what happens if that first flower is found on Friday the 13th? Is the wealth omen officially null and void?
Can somebody take an action item and get
Continue reading 10 More Old Wives’ Tales Masquerading As Financial Rules of Thumb
As the old saying goes, knowledge is power.
When it comes to tracking personal finances, one of the most important pieces of information in you can have in your knowledge database is a detailed summary that highlights where your household income was spent during the previous year. Such a summary not only provides extraordinary insight into your spending patterns, but it also helps you optimize your personal finances.
I’ve been using an
Continue reading The Apocalypse Can Wait: My State of the Household Report for 2012
How many times have you heard someone suggest that all their financial problems would magically disappear if they only made more money? But high incomes can’t guarantee financial freedom; there are countless examples of people who earned millions yet still ended up bankrupt. The common thread among folks who get into financial trouble — no matter how much money they make — is their inability to consistently spend less
Continue reading 100 Words On: How to Determine If You’re a True Financial Success
What’s the toughest question in the world to answer?
If you google the term “world’s toughest question” you’ll come across a panoply of potential candidates:
What is the meaning of life?
What is the secret of happiness?
How can I get rich quickly?
Where is the video contrast setting on an iPad?
Why does the line you’re in always move the slowest?
Why are there Interstate highways in Hawaii?
Yep. Those are pretty tough questions.
Still, I think none
Continue reading Save Thousands & Look Like a Genius with Bimonthly Menu Planning
Ever since the Great Depression, central bankers have, curiously, striven to avoid deflation at all costs. But benign price deflation caused by increases in productivity — as opposed to “bad” deflation caused by a reduction in money supply — leads to a proportional increase in the purchasing power of a dollar. As a result, deflation — unlike inflation — leads to higher living standards and directly benefits savers, retirees,
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why Savers Should Be Rooting for Mild Deflation