Extended Warranties: 4 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Commit

As many guys will tell you, after countless cookouts and parties we tend to get attached to our barbecue grills the same way we get attached to our dogs.

Let’s face it, a good barbecue grill, like a good dog, is something to be revered, and as such it’s always tough for their owners to recognize exactly when it’s time to finally say goodbye. It’s a reality that I had to

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The Embarrassing Anatomy of a Phishing Scam

You’ve got to hand it to scam artists. They often succeed in spite of themselves.

If I had a nickel for every time I retrieved a message from my inbox warning me that my PayPal account has been limited, or that my credit card has been suspended, well, I’d have at least $100 bucks in my pocket right now.

Don’t scoff. That’s 2000 nickels!

This afternoon it happened again. I got an “urgent”

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The Unconventional Wisdom of Household Strategic Planning

My son, Matthew, is quickly approaching his 16th birthday and so I’ve been giving him a few driving tutorials.

I haven’t let him get behind the wheel just yet — that’s on next month’s agenda — but it’s gotten to the point now where every time Matthew and I are in the car together, I take a few moments to pass along a tip or two regarding the rules of the

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The Only New Year’s Resolution That Really Matters

We’re now two full weeks into January and during that time I’ve read a handful of personal finance articles from people espousing their resolutions for the new year with all the usual suspects dutifully mentioned:

Track your spending. Check.

Start a budget. Got it.

Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. Yep.

Pay off the charge cards. Good.

Pay yourself first. Uh huh.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah.

Don’t get me wrong; those are all

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True Story: How to Cope When Your Spouse Skips Out with All the Cash

(Readers: In February 2012, I received a heart-breaking message in my inbox from Spedie, a long-time reader and frequent commenter here at Len Penzo dot Com. Her husband abandoned her and their marriage — but not before he callously drained the household checking and savings accounts of every last penny. This is her story.)

I’d always considered myself pretty street smart. You know, the kind of girl that didn’t have an

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How to Avoid Paying a Mandatory Gratuity for Bad Service

Like most people, I have very strong opinions when it comes to tipping rates for various services that expect them. For example, I staunchly believe that 15% is completely acceptable for good restaurant service.

It used to be that tipping was meant to reward and encourage your server for exemplary service. Unfortunately, with the advent of tipping pools, mandatory gratuities and general tip inflation, that seems to be the exception rather

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Dear Diary: How I Fixed My Water Heater Without a Plumber and Saved $400

Recently the Honeybee alerted me to the fact that our hot water heater was making popping and cracking sounds that she had never heard before.

This got me a bit worried because the heater was 12-years-old and I knew it was on its last legs. When a water heater dies it’s not a pretty sight.

Trust me when I say it is always better to put an old heater out to pasture

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Essential Tips for Lowering Your Grocery Bill (Part 3)

This is final post in my three-part series outlining essential tips that the Penzo household follows for keeping our grocery bills under control.

Of course, there are many methods for cutting the grocery bill that go way beyond shopping at discount grocery stores, taking advantage of in-store specials, and using coupons. However, there are several areas that I tend to focus on in order to ensure my grocery costs stay as

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Essential Tips for Lowering Your Grocery Bill (Part 2)

Food isn’t cheap.

Want proof? Then chew on this: I spent almost $12,000 in groceries last year for my four-person family, including two teenagers.

And what’s really scary is that I work very hard to keep my food bill as low as possible every year. I shudder to think how much more I’d expend on groceries every year if I didn’t try to control costs.

There are many methods for cutting your grocery

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Essential Tips For Lowering Your Grocery Bill

One of the big reasons the Honeybee has tolerated me for so long is because I love to cook. Some of you fellas out there would be wise to keep that in mind.

Why is that, you ask? Well, it’s somewhat ironic, but the fact remains, the more time men spend working in the kitchen, the less time they spend in hot water with their wife or girlfriend.

Trust me.

Anyway, as the

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