Personal Finance For Dummies: It’s as Easy as A-B-C

Most procrastinating high school and college literature students know that when they’ve put off their reading assignments to the point where they no longer have the time to actually read the book, they can always rely on Cliffs Notes.

Some kids are hooked on Cliffs Notes like a bad drug while others use them in a purely “recreational” fashion. In fact, I’ll bet well over half of you reading this have

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4 Financial Tips to Consider Before Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom

Sometimes you just can’t put a price on things — and the intangible benefits of a stay-at-home parent is certainly one of them. At least it is to me.

According to the most recent US Census Bureau report, there are approximately 5.1 million stay-at-home moms in America; sadly, that equates to little more than one of every five married-couple family groups. I’m not too surprised.

The trouble is, being a stay-at-home mom isn’t

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Café Negro: Cinco de Mayo Créditos y Débitos Edición Especial

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…

Happy Cinco de Mayo! The holiday, by the way, is practically ignored in Mexico. (If they only knew what they were missing.)

Anyway, after I’m done here I

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100 Words On: The Dumbest Place Where People Use Credit Cards

Responsible folks love the plastic in their wallets because credit card benefits simply can’t be matched by cash. However, there are several places where credit cards shouldn’t ever be used. Financially speaking, one of the most expensive mistakes any consumer could make is to use a credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM. Such transactions typically come with an onerous cash advance fee of four percent or higher. Even

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A Few Thoughts from Aunt Doris: The Neighborhood Bully

This is another post in an occasional series from my dear nonagenarian Aunt Doris.

Aunt Doris' wedding photo. (c. 1946)

When I was in my early teens, Mum and I moved from Kensington to Notting Hill in London. (Yes, the same Notting Hill as the Julia Roberts movie.) Mum had bought a small sweet shop in a residential area; aside from a nearby corner pub, there were few other businesses in

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Why Birth Order Doesn't Influence Financial Behavior

Many people believe birth order is responsible for their status in life.

I happen to be a first-born child, which is why I love to remind my younger sister that scientific studies suggest first-born kids are smarter than their siblings.

Proponents of this train of thought usually note that the overwhelming majority of Nobel Laureates happen to be first-born children, as were 21 of the first 23 American astronauts sent into space.

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Black Coffee: Is That A Large Credit Limit In Your Wallet or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

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…

Let’s get right to it today, shall we?

Blogs I’ve Been Following This Week

Your Finances Simplified – I Am the Credit Card King! Dom has 16 credit cards

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100 Words On: Why It’s Time to Eliminate the Penny

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

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When Is Not Stopping Payment on a Lost Check Worth the Risk?

I wish I was as smart as my kids. They’re never wrong.

Never.

If you don’t believe me, just ask them.

As a matter of fact, I was reminded of that little “fact” last month after the Honeybee noticed that a couple of checks hadn’t been cashed by my daughter’s junior high school for fees related to her color guard activities.

Normally, we’d write a check out at the beginning of each month for

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Contrarian Shopping: 20 Things I'm Willing to Pay More For

There’s a lot to be said for contrarian investing. Guys like Warren Buffett and Jim Rogers are routinely lauded for going against the herd and purchasing unwanted stocks at bargain bin prices.

Interestingly enough, nobody ever gets credit for contrarian shopping; that is, purposely choosing to pay more for certain products and services.

Don’t believe me?

A recent Google search on the term “investing contrarians” turned up over 5 million results.

As for “shopping

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