The relentless rise of health care costs can really put a strain on your household budget. Even with an insurance plan, health care expenses can add up when you consider most people still have to pay deductibles, copayments and other items not covered by insurance.
A great way to offset these rising costs is through the use of flexible spending accounts (or FSAs). FSAs are employer-sponsored accounts that allow employees to
Continue reading Flexible Spending Accounts Provide Free Money. Why Pass It Up?
Yesterday the Honeybee and I got another dividend rewards check from our credit card company – this time for $247.10. 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 several years we have earned over $1500 for nothing more than using our credit card!
We get these checks because we
Continue reading Quick Tip: The Easiest Money You’ll Ever Make
Our homes today are loaded with more electronic media and electric appliances than ever before. According to data published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. household electricity consumption increased at an average rate of 1.4 percent per year from 1970 through 2007. But while the added electrical loads result in easier and more pleasant lives for us, it also brings higher and higher electricity bills.
The Anatomy of an Electricity
Continue reading Approximate Energy Costs of Your Home Appliances
Earlier this month one of my favorite personal finance bloggers, Bret Frohlich, wrote a terrific piece where he declared war on frugality and explained why frugality doesn’t always pay.
In fact, Bret’s post got me thinking about those who choose to take on a life of extreme frugality. Keep in mind that I’m not referring to people who dutifully cut coupons and grow their own vegetables.
Instead, I am talking about people
Continue reading Evaluating the Cost of Extreme Frugality
The other day the light bulb on my porch finally gave up the ghost and so I ran down to my favorite hardware store to pick up a new one. When I got there I was presented with a choice that many people struggle with: is it better to buy the regular old incandescent bulb or spend significantly more money for the energy efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL) instead?
Continue reading Is the Payback Period on Energy Efficient CFL Bulbs Too Long?
I’ve written in this space before about just how difficult it is to teach kids financial literacy. For every kid, that seems to have a natural ability to grasp the value of a dollar and a real determination to save as much as they can, there is another who has their money spent almost as soon as it touches their little hands.
In my family, my 9-year-old daughter, Lenina,
Continue reading Kids and Money: Our Decision to Let Our Impulsive Spender Fail
It’s Inflation Week at Len Penzo dot Com. Follow me over the next several days as I explore the multiple facets and facts about this insidious scourge, the probability of its resurgence, its potential impacts on us, and strategies for protecting yourself and your personal finances. Hey, it’s not as fun as Shark Week at the Discovery Channel, but it’s almost as scary!
I kicked off this series on
Continue reading Inflation: Your Four Best Defenses For Preserving Your Wealth
I love Discover Magazine; I find most of the articles to be interesting and sometimes very inspiring too. As an engineer, I occasionally end up leveraging some of the scientific discoveries featured in the magazine in my research and development work. The March 2009 edition of Discovery had a very intriguing discussion piece on how the human brain works.
Within that article a professor of neuroscience at Princeton University
Continue reading A Simple Way to Break Your Habit to Overspend
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.
Let me share with you ten out-of-the-box ideas that I am currently implementing and/or pondering in order to keep my household finances on
Continue reading Ten (Extremely) Out-of-the-Box Ideas for Saving Money
Yesterday my family and I got in the car and drove to Arizona for the day to see my beloved Los Angeles Dodgers play a Cactus League game against the Chicago White Sox at their new spring training complex known as Camelback Ranch.
The Dodgers lost 6-1 and, I gotta tell you, if the Dodgers don’t find some pitching help real soon it’s going to be a very long season. We
Continue reading What It Really Feels Like To Be A Millionaire