We can learn important lessons from 'Fight Club'
I think I'm going to enjoy writing this much more than you enjoy reading it.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Tyler Durden, he is an essential character in "Fight Club," which is both a novel and movie. While the novel came a few years before, the movie escalated into a cult classic in the years following its DVD release. If you aren't familiar with the character, well ... we should probably part ways here.
For those who are still with me, let's get some things out of the way. We aren't going to be talking about masculinity, violence, mental disorders, religion, or even politics. Those themes run rampant through the movie and have been discussed in great length and detail by individuals much smarter and more witty than me.
Instead, we are going to have fun. We are going to dive into some of Tyler's most famous quotes (from the movie) and attempt to pull any applicable personal-finance wisdom from them. The movie's strong anti-consumerism message will make some of these very easy, while others may seem like more of a stretch. I'll let you decide.
How to make the most of what you have
It's unfortunate but true that homely folks often have more limited income prospects than their better-looking peers. People are shallow like that.
Bing: Famous ugly people
Marty also has some relevant remarks for employers: "All other things being equal, I'd give the nod to an ugly candidate." You can probably hire them for less and they'll work harder than those who know how to get by on their looks.
9 ways this appliance can save you money
Looking for more money-saving ideas during these tough economic times? Dig that food dehydrator out of storage. This is a frugal living tip that almost everyone can act on. Just by reducing or eliminating food waste, you can save quite a bit of money.
Don't have a dehydrator? These days, you can buy a brand new one for less than the cost of a PlayStation game. Or, visit the flea market or yard sales around the neighborhood. Still can't find one? Try Craigslist. Don't have any money for another kitchen appliance? Alton Brown will show you how to make one.
Here are nine ways a dehydrator can help you stretch your budget:
She takes her case to YouTube, won't pay bill
Ann Minch is mad as hell and she's not going to take it anymore.
Like many, she has seen the interest rate on her credit card jacked up (in her case, to 30%), even though she made all the payments on time, wasn't over her limit and didn't in any way violate Bank of America's rules. She had been making the minimum payment on her account for years, about $130 a month.
After trying, and failing, to get the interest rate reduced, she has, in her words "fired the first shot in the debtors' revolution" by refusing to pay another cent of her $5,943.34 debt unless Bank of America returns the interest rate to its previous level, 12.99%. She has staked out her position in this YouTube video, which has circulated widely on the Internet and has been viewed more than 150,000 times.
Frugality forces us to look at our priorities
The French president has suggested that economic indicators such as gross domestic product take into account some of a nation's more intangible assets: happiness, leisure time, availability of health care.
France looks pretty good by some of those indicators -- great food, beautiful buildings and countryside, a 35-hour work week and five weeks' paid vacation. Alas, using intangible features such as happiness to calculate economic statistics is probably not practical.
But we think Nicolas Sarkozy has a great point when it comes down to measuring our own personal gross domestic product. Are the things that make us happy really how much we own and how much we produce, or do other intangibles matter more? Does having a granite countertop really make people happier?
Overpaying your taxes is one of them
One of the biggest challenges in almost anything you do is knowing where your blind spots are. In simpler terms, you don't know what you don't know.
So, today I'll point out four money mistakes you might be making that you don't even realize you're making. Hopefully, you're making none of them. If you are making one of these, don't beat yourself up over it. Now you know you're making it and you can take steps to fix it.
Carriers love them, others not so much
That $29 or $39 one-way airfare sounds great, but before you buy, hold the phone until you've added in all the airline fees. Suddenly that ticket isn't such a great deal. (And don't buy it over the phone. That too will cost you extra.)
Sorting out the airlines' fees can be a time-consuming task. It took a week for a USA Today reporter -- who, unlike most consumers, was assisted by airline public relations staff -- to compile 28 different types of fees charged by 14 major airlines.
Here's what to do
Your cell phone, pager or iPod has fallen into the toilet bowl, swimming pool or kitchen sink full of water. You fish it out. After you've washed your hands -- depending on the circumstance -- what can you do?
FiscalGeek offers five techniques for restoring the gadget to life in a post called "Frugal fix: Revive your cell phone or electronic devices from water damage." He starts with his "go-to" method, which involves rubbing alcohol.
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