When It Doesn't Pay to Buy Big-Ticket Items on Sale

Not too long ago a twentysomething friend of mine was telling me all about the brand new big-screen television he bought. According to him, it was a great deal.

“How much was it?” I asked.

“I paid $2000 after I got the guy to knock $400 off the price tag. I couldn’t pass it up!”

“Awesome! You paid cash, right?”

“No way!” he said. “I put it on my credit card.”

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9 Great Gift Ideas for People Who Have Everything

When it comes to great gift ideas, I always struggle — especially for people who have everything.

My family draws names every year as part of our annual Christmas gift exchange. It’s typically done a year in advance, on Christmas Day, long after all the presents have been opened, and everybody has stuffed themselves on our traditional cavatelli dinner.

I remember one year when I had the misfortune of pulling Uncle

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The Ten Commandments of Personal Finance

Maybe you heard about that infamous Kelton study from 2007 that found Americans could identify more ingredients in a Big Mac than the individual Ten Commandments.

It’s true, folks. Eighty percent of Americans knew there were two all-beef patties in a Big Mac — but just six in ten could identify “Thou shalt not kill” as one of the Ten Commandments. I know.

I’m sorry to say my anecdotal research verifies

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Why I Shouldn't Have Got Behind a Nice Lady in the Supermarket Line

I think grocery store self-check stands are both a blessing and a curse.

When multiple shoppers, loaded up with enough groceries to, say, sustain a family of four through a nuclear winter are queued up in front of a human cashier, self-check kiosks are a godsend.

On the other hand, self-check stands aren’t so hot when the guy in front of you has 57 varieties of fresh fruits & vegetables in

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4 Ways Duct Tape Can Fix Your Personal Finances

A while back I ran into this cool site that is devoted to the wondrous and wacky world of duct tape.

Duct tape was first created and manufactured in 1942 to keep moisture out of World War II soldier’s ammunition cases. The tape was originally known as “duck tape” because the tape was made using cotton duck cloth.

After the war was over, the tape was used in the housing industry

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A Simple Trick for Breaking Your Overspending Habit

No, that's not my closet.

The other day I was reluctantly helping the Honeybee clean out her our closets — and having a thoroughly miserable time doing it, I might add — when I came across a couple of old Discover magazines.

I canceled my subscription to Discover years ago, but I really used to love reading those magazines because the articles were always very interesting. Sometimes they were very

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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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9 Important Money Tips Every Dad Should Teach His Kids

Readers: In honor of Father’s Day, I thought I would repost this message to my kids that originally debuted here exactly two years ago today. It has since become one of my most popular articles (currently ranked 39th out of more than 900 posts.) — Len

Kids, with Father’s Day right around the corner, I hope you don’t mind if your dear old dad takes a few minutes to give

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100 Words On: Why It's Not Poor Etiquette to Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog

There are plenty of food snobs out there who insist that it is sacrilegious to put ketchup on a hot dog. That assessment is echoed by The National Hot Dog Council which proclaims that ketchup should never be put on a hot dog by any one over the age of 18. I find it deliciously ironic when people insist that something as gastronomically unsophisticated as the common hot dog can somehow

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How to Raise Your Kids to Be Personal Finance Losers (in 6 Easy Steps)

There are a handful of questions out there that simply defy explanation. For example, who built Stonehenge and what was it for? Why isn’t phonetic spelled the way that it sounds? And why can’t women put mascara on with their mouths closed?

Here’s another perplexing question: Why do otherwise intelligent people with triple-digit IQs still manage to dig themselves so deeply into debt that they’re often forced into bankruptcy?

Actually, I

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