My Blog Is Back! ... But I've Still Got Some Work to Do

Yes, I’m still alive, folks.

In case you missed it … my blog ended up crashing on Saturday morning after a major malfunction at my old web host (Yahoo).

I won’t bore you with the technical details, but let’s just say Yahoo’s customer service was atrocious. In fact, after spending most of Saturday and part of Sunday on the phone with them, they essentially told me their engineers had no idea how

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The Pros & Cons of Freezing Your Credit Report: Is It Worth It?

If I had a nickel for every person who has ever questioned my decision to openly share multiple details of my personal finances on this blog — especially considering its eponymous title — I’d be about $3.65 richer right now.

Usually, most people warn me that my openness makes me vulnerable to identity theft. They’re right to express concern. After all, once an identity thief gets hold of your name, social

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How Fees Quickly Erode Your Savings Account Returns

Remember when this was considered a paltry return?

Your savings are a long-term investment, and whether you have accounts for short term purchases to furnish your home or fill your wardrobe, or whether you have your emergency fund and bill payment funds saved in the same place, you have worked hard to earn your money.

You have also worked hard to be disciplined enough to save it in the first place

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7 Questions That Businesses Rarely Ask Their Customers Anymore

Self-serve wasn't around when this picture was taken in 1939.

It’s hard for me to believe, but today is my 50th birthday.

I know, I don’t look a day over 65.

When I was a young boy, I thought 50 was ancient. Perhaps it is; but I don’t feel ancient. In fact, with only a few minor exceptions, I feel pretty much the same way today as I did when I was

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Black Coffee: Out of Cash, Out of Touch, and Out of Time

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.

I hope everyone had a memorable Valentine’s Day on Friday!

Let’s get right to it …

Credits and Debits

Debit: In case you haven’t noticed, Argentina defaulted on its debt in 1982, 1989, and 2001. Today, the nation’s collapsing

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100 Words On: Why Extended Warranties Sometimes Do Make Sense

The conventional wisdom out there is that it’s rarely advantageous to consider an extended warranty unless it’s for an automobile.

Don’t believe it.  The truth is, when it comes to extended warranties, things aren’t always quite so black and white.  For example, it often makes sense to buy extended warranties for irreplaceable or low-reliability products.  Likewise, they’re often a good idea for items that you know may be mishandled by kids

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5 Ways to Make Your Car Insurance Cheaper

At the moment, the things we know that are infinite includes — the universe, human stupidity and, of course, the rise in auto or car insurance premiums. According to insurance agent Evelia Mascareno, every year auto insurance rates increase somewhere between two and seven percent.

For many, owning an insured car is essential. Of course, you can always try to squeeze more out of your budget to compensate for your ever

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Money Mirages: 6 Money-Saving Ideas That Are Anything But

Yesterday I was at the gas station and I observed a soccer mom topping off the tank of her bright yellow Hummer.

And when I say “topping off,” I mean really topping it off. She must have squeezed that hose handle a dozen times — and each time she did, the gas pump reacted with one of those obnoxious attention-getting retorts warning her that the tank was full. You know …

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Black Coffee: Predictions, Prognoses, Forecasts, and Prophecies

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.

My extremely heavy workload at the office and the obligatory honey-do list is compressing my schedule again, so I’ve got another “espresso edition” of Black Coffee for you this week. Don’t worry; it still has plenty

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100 Words On: The Importance of Always Paying Yourself First

When it comes to saving money, the biggest hurdle for most folks is the lack of available cash after paying all of the bills every month. Fortunately, this seemingly impossible problem is easily fixed by paying yourself first — not your creditors. One of the most effective ways to do this is by taking advantage of your employer’s automatic 401(k) paycheck deduction.

The bottom line: Whether you’re saving for retirement or

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