13 Yucky Halloween Treats Kids Would Rather Toss Than Eat

Been there. Done that.

When I was a kid I remember coming home from my annual after-dark Halloween trip around the neighborhood and emptying the booty in my pillowcase, on top of the kitchen table, to see what I scored from my ghoulish trick-or-treating adventure.

Of course, most of my take was usually the typical Halloween fare like the miniature candy bars.

Every year, though, I also got a few

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Black Coffee: Nasty Rumors, Gift Card Arbitrage & Early-Retirement Tips

It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe

Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of what’s been going on in the world of money and personal finance. Here’s what caught my attention over the past week…

Hi, I’m Len Penzo, the smell-good blogger. And despite any rumors you may have heard recently, let me make one thing perfectly clear: I am not

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100 Words On: A Hidden Home Storage Space Most People Overlook

If you’re like most folks, it seems as if there can never be enough storage space in the home — especially when there’s a household full of kids. The good news is, that unused triangular nook under the stairs can often provide a natural solution for reducing everyday clutter by converting it into the perfect hiding spot for your stuff. And with a little imagination, sometimes it can even be turned

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Question: What's the Fastest Way to Pay Down My Mortgage Early?

Vanilla or chocolate?

Credit or debit?

House Hunters or Jersey Shore?

Some questions can be answered with relative ease by almost everyone.

When it comes to paying down mortgages early, however, a much more perplexing question for most folks is whether it’s better to make a single large extra principal payment annually or twelve smaller ones each month.

Is one method better than another?

Does one prepayment method save more interest

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4 Smart Reasons Why College Isn't for Everyone

Don't laugh; after running the numbers he most likely decided it made little sense to attend a traditional American college.

Some things in life are painfully overrated.

Take camping, for instance. Or iPhones.

I’ve never understood the allure of luxury cars or the Baby Boomer generation’s collective fascination with Bob Dylan either.

And although it pains me to say this — because it will probably ruin any chance I’ll ever

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Black Coffee: The Death and Taxes Edition

It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe

Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of what’s been going on in the world of money and personal finance. Here’s what caught my attention over the past week…

This week, I’m continuing to feature bloggers I enjoyed meeting at Fincon12 earlier this month. Okay … I’ll admit it: I met most of them there.

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100 Words On: Why Compound Interest Isn't Everybody's Best Friend

Invest $100 that earns a 6% annual return and you’ll have $106 a year later. The uninitiated might expect to see $112 in their account after two, but they’d actually have $112.36 because interest not only accrued on the original principal of $100, but also on the $6 gained in year-one. Left untouched, that account would balloon to $1842 after 50 years — 18 times the original stake! No wonder Albert

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Save More for Retirement: 5 Easy Steps to Greater Financial Security

Few people enjoy penny-pinching, but it’s easy to cut back on wasteful spending that costs most us hundreds, if not thousands, a year. And it’s unlikely to negatively impact your happiness, or your quality of life. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: with more money stashed away in a retirement account, you’ll get the peace of mind that comes with financial security.

Here are five low-hassle ways to do it:

Use

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All Shook Up: The Pros and Cons of Earthquake Insurance

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake showed why it's a bad idea to build brick and masonry buildings in an earthquake zone.

Early last month my then-12-year-old daughter Nina had her nerves frayed by three magnitude 4.5 earthquakes that struck Southern California over a two-day period.

Although the three temblors were extremely modest by Southern California standards, the epicenters were roughly five miles from our home — which meant we were

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Black Coffee: What's That Smell, You Ask? It's Probably Just My Blog.

It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe

Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of what’s been going on in the world of money and personal finance. Here’s what caught my attention over the past week…

I’m back from last weekend’s Financial Blogger Conference in beautiful Denver, and I had an absolutely terrific time! I enjoyed meeting hundreds of fellow bloggers.

Now

Continue reading Black Coffee: What’s That Smell, You Ask? It’s Probably Just My Blog.

Question of the Week:

Chocolate, vanilla or strawberry?

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