Wealthy people are probably no more likely to strategically default, or default for any reason, than anyone else.
It is rare that I read something I wish I had written, and even rarer that it comes from a source belonging to the old media. When that happens I get one of my infrequent opportunities to write something positive.
So today I write nice things about a post at The Atlantic by Megan McArdle. (OK, so a blog post is not exactly old media, but it's from The Atlantic, a magazine older than most rocks.) Of course, in saying nice things about that post I will be saying un-nice things about its subject, The New York Times. There is only so charming I can be.
With 2 adults and 3 children, including one in cloth diapers, the washer seems to be running constantly.
We have five people living at our home. Let's say, hypothetically, we all change clothes twice a day. (It's often more than that due to the nonstop accidents, spills, and other things that go on in a household with small children.)
That's 10 outfits to wash each and every day. We also cloth diaper our youngest child.
Needless to say, our washer seems to run all the time. Every time the washer runs, a little money goes straight down the drain. Because it runs so often, it's useful to find little ways to reduce the cost per load. Here are 11 tactics we've found that work for us.
The Volt isn't eligible for a state tax rebate or for guaranteed access to the HOV lanes.
Ah, here's some California dreamin' for you: Cruising alone down the HOV lane in your hugely discounted -- thanks to federal and Cali tax breaks -- 2011 Chevy Volt, without the gas engine coming on.
Yep, it's a dream. Unlike its fellow electric car -- the 2011 Nissan Leaf -- the Volt won't be eligible for California's $5,000 tax rebate for zero-emissions cars or the privilege of using the lanes reserved for hybrids and carpoolers (unless you're carpooling in your Volt).
- Bing: Volt vs. Leaf
In California -- one of a handful of states where the Chevy will become available later this year -- that gives the cheaper Leaf (sticker price: $32,780) a distinct advantage over the $41,000 Volt. (In contrast, the price to lease each vehicle is comparable.) They're both highly awaited and locked in a PR battle for coolest plug-in car. How could this happen?
The stakes are big. "Together, these developments represent a serious advantage for the Leaf over the Volt in what is almost certain to be the world's largest market for electric cars in the short-to-medium term," Edward Niedermeyer wrote at The Truth About Cars.
The 'old normal' may be a thing of history. How will this affect your retirement plans?
Stocks have gone nowhere in 10 years. Not even dividends have made it better. Sure, you might have had a bit of a gain if you stuck your money in emerging markets at the right time or gold or any of the other asset classes that turned slightly positive. But on the whole, buy-and-hold investors had it pretty crummy.
And yet, we still get this from Dave Ramsey (hat tip to All Financial Matters for noting the clip). On Slide 12 of an otherwise smart little video on not rushing out to buy a new car, Ramsey throws out this line (paraphrased): "But instead of spending that money, you've invested it in a mutual fund earning the average stock market return of 12%." Bwahahaha.
A 12% stock market return is so 1998. We know now that 12% is wildly optimistic. Eight percent might even be optimistic. What's more reasonable?
Suspect chemical is used to coat thermal paper for register receipts.
Bisphenol-A, or BPA, is a chemical used in plastic containers that some studies suggest is a health hazard. Now, it turns out that BPA can even be found in the receipt you get at the store, a fast-food outlet or even the post office.
Laboratory tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group, a consumer organization, have reportedly found high levels of BPA on 40% of receipts sampled from major U.S. businesses and services, including outlets of McDonald's, CVS, KFC, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, Safeway and the U.S. Postal Service.
Receipts from some businesses, including Target, Starbucks and Bank of America ATMs, were BPA-free or contained only trace amounts.
With the deadline for downloading data from Wesabe fast approaching, you'll need to find another personal-finance tool.
A dark cloud has fallen over those who are part of the Wesabe community. The Wesabe free online personal-finance tool will shut down effective July 31.
If you are a Wesabe user, you have until then to download all your data. However, the question remains: Where will you upload or export that material?
If you're searching for a Wesabe replacement, remember:
The year is more than half over. If you're not meeting the savings resolutions you made in January, here are some tips that can help.
If you're like many people, at the beginning of every year you resolve to get your finances in better shape by paying off debt and adding to your savings. But, as with many resolutions, the reality often doesn't meet the goal.
All is not lost. There are still five full months left in the year -- time for a quick review of simple ways to save. The goal? To set aside at least an extra $1,000 by Christmas, without sacrificing your quality of life.
Analysis finds that 80% of Americans can't read well enough to understand the average credit card agreement.
If you found the "Twilight" series of novels hard going, don't even try to read your credit card agreement. But if you can sail through the King James version of the Bible, you might be able to understand a credit card contract.
CreditCards.com analyzed 1,200 credit card agreements and ranked them on difficulty using what's known as the FOG, or "Frequency of Gobbledygook," index, which is actually a real scientific formula. The analysis found -- we are shocked, shocked! -- that gobbledygook was frequent.
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