Raised during the Great Depression, he adhered to principles that are popular again.
My dad was 12 years old when the first waves of the Great Depression spread across the country. A modest but thriving farm insulated his family from the worst of the effects, but this period still defined his approach to money management and influenced nearly every aspect of his lifestyle.
When I was a kid, I skipped most of the usual rebellious attitudes against thrift and simple living. I wasn't elated that we had a smaller house, that my dad and like-minded mom controlled all the finances with surgical precision, but I vaguely realized they had a goal and a focus that I might benefit from someday. At the risk of dating myself, I remember wanting a pair of parachute pants so badly and for so long that by the time I could finally buy a pair, wearing them would have seemed ironic.
Now, decades later, I look back at my childhood and see the simple, direct, conscious attitude that drove my parents' financial decisions large and small.
Chains aren't offering free drinks for National Coffee Day. Check local stores on Facebook and Twitter. Or just make your own.
The major chains have been duking it out, trying to become your top choice for coffee drinks, but where are they on National Coffee Day?
Starbucks and McDonald's are silent, offering not one single coffee deal that we could find for National Coffee Day today, Sept 29. Perhaps it's the rising costs. A few Dunkin' Donuts locations are offering free coffee (and even speed dating), but that's a local promotion. And that's after Dunkin' did a survey showing how much we depend on coffee to get us through the day.
So what is a coffee lover to do?
Celebrate National Coffee Day by visiting a local coffeehouse or making a great cup of java at home.
And yet, you should still get one.
He was talking about eugenics, but the quote got me to thinking about the college education and its recent role as a punching bag in the blogosphere and press. If everyone in America got a bachelor's degree, college grads would have to take out the garbage, scrub floors, and wash dishes. You can't outsource your janitorial staff to India.
How close are we to that? "Is a college degree worth the cost?" is a question that returns every time the fall semester starts. But this time around, the skepticism has gotten especially strong.
Do the math and figure out how long it will take for the panels to pay for themselves.
This summer on our trip to Lake Tahoe, we spent a night at the home of my father-in-law's childhood friend. They have a pool that is heated using a series of black tubes on top of their lattice patio cover. The tubes shade the patio from the sun, the sun heats the tubes, and the water inside the tubes goes into the pool to give it a nice bathwater temperature.
Thus the all-powerful sun is used to heat the pool in a most novel of ways -- to me, anyway. I'm sure plenty of pools are heated this way, especially in California.
It made me wonder about solar panels.
IPhone app sends your avatar on a quest to vanquish your to-do list. Can a video game motivate people to do real-life work?
Ever wish you were a superhero and could leap over all those items on your to-do list in a single bound?
Would you believe there's an app for that?
Starting this week, debt settlement and other for-profit debt relief companies will have to start toeing the line.
Debt settlement companies negotiate with credit card companies and other creditors to lower the principal amount you owe, then -- after you've built up enough money -- pay off your debts in a single lump sum. This is not the same as credit counseling, which typically involves putting clients on a debt settlement plan, negotiating lower interest rates and payments, then paying the debt off in full with monthly payments over three to five years.
Despite economic goblins, the average consumer plans to spend $66.28. We suggest cheap costumes, including a DIY baby Gaga.
Consumers are willing to spend more this Halloween to hide from reality. We can't figure out if that translates as good economic news or not.
The National Retail Federation's annual survey finds that Americans plan to spend an average of $66.28 per person this year for Halloween, up from $56.31 last year. That brings spending back to 2008 levels.
We're not sure who's planning to spend $66.28, since most people we know are probably closer to a budget of $6.28, but the survey does say people 18 to 24 years old are the most enthusiastic about celebrating.
Southwest says it plans to continue its low-fare, no- or low-fee model once the acquisition of AirTran is complete.
The first thing I thought upon hearing of Southwest's plan to buy AirTran was: Does this mean Southwest Airlines is coming to an airport near me? Am I going to be free to move about the country? Please, let it be so. (No such luck.)
"They don't charge for luggage. I'm excited. If Southwest is coming here, that will be fantastic," Sharon Elliott told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the Atlanta airport, which would be one of 37 destinations added to Southwest's itinerary.
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