Month: November 2014

Five Reasons My House is Cold

With the holidays approaching, you’re probably daydreaming about warm and cozy nights of family dinners, gifts and memories. We look forward to the same events in our home with one exception: the warmth. That’s right, our house is heated to a balmy 67 degrees most of the time, and while we make exceptions for guest comfort, we try to keep the dial turned down. Why, you ask? Read on to learn our reasoning.

So, why is our home a cold one?

1. Overheating is wasteful. Yes, mornings are a little chilly, but so is a $200 monthly electric bill. Overheating our home is bad for the environment and our budget. Why pay $200 when $75 is an option? An extra $125 a month could pay for a multitude of necessities, including:

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Holiday Shopping: How to Save on Black Friday

Thanksgiving is around the corner, which means another American past-time is close behind: Black Friday. Sales revenue topped $12.3 billion in 2013, a 2.3 percent increase since 2012. While you’re sure to find a deal, it’s important to have a game-plan. Follow the steps below to maximize your buying potential and protect your holiday budget.


1. Price your gifts now. You can’t score a bargain without comparing prices first. Create a Black Friday wish list and price the items now. Seeing the original price tag will help you spot a deal—or a scam—on November 28.

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Greedy Gusto: Five Films To Watch This Winter

Winter is coming faster than anticipated this year. Meteorologists predict a polar vortex descent as early as next week, forcing us all inside for hibernation. While you’re preparing for colder temperatures, why not settle in for a cozy movie about what else: greed! Snow and ice can lead us down the path of excessive comfort food, clothes and online shopping, leaving your budget to fend for itself by springtime. Instead, catch a flick with a meaningful financial message. You’ll be counting your blessings in no time.


1. Arbitrage. Suppose you’re a multimillionaire with a wonderful family and a thriving business. What else could you need? More money, of course. On the eve of his birthday, Robert Miller’s (Richard Gere) personal failings collide with the decline of his offshore (and illegal) business ventures. The result is a murder investigation and a $400 million deficit that threatens his livelihood and his freedom.

The lesson: Stop chasing the shadow of “more.” Appreciate what you have, and, you know, don’t cheat on your spouse.

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College Graduation: Your Six-Month Plan


Graduation is approaching for college seniors. If you’re among the soon-to-be qualified, you’re probably wondering how to transition into the workforce. What better way than with a six-month plan? Follow the tips below as you begin the countdown to May. Monthly goals will help you secure a stable future.

December: Create a strategy. Winter break is the perfect time to create a post-graduation strategy. Map your future by asking the following questions:

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ROI: Big Purchases that Paid Off

You’ve heard the old saying, “You have to spend money to make money,” and it’s true. When it comes to personal finance, sometimes it’s wise to invest a little more in order to gain a greater Return on Investment (ROI). So, how can you maximize your money’s potential while minimizing risk? Below are some personal strategies that have worked well for my family. Review the tips and consider applying them in your own life.

For us, major purchases have included:


1. A treadmill. I bought a Freemotion treadmill in 2011 for $1,500. The price included free belt replacements and a lifetime warranty. Before buying fitness equipment, I belonged to a gym that cost $65 a month in membership fees. To make matters worse, its location was inconvenient and I rarely went more than twice a week. In all, I was spending $780 a year for less than 100 gym visits. Oppositely, the treadmill paid for itself after two years. It allowed me to run more often and save money on membership and commuting costs. Although it was considered a splurge, the cost savings are undeniable after nearly four years. Consider changing your perspective to cost-savings rather than simple cost when shopping for big-ticket items. Allow your money to work smart, not hard.

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