He's ashamed to admit that over the past few months, his personal finances have come to resemble his unkempt, neglected yard.
I had a great weekend. In fact, it was probably one of the best weekends I've had in years. I spent all day Saturday and Sunday doing chores. (Well, I watched the World Cup a little, too.) I spent nearly 16 hours doing yardwork, and I loved every minute of it.
This passion for pruning may seem strange to you, but it seems even stranger to me. I generally don't like yardwork. But here's the thing: When we bought this house in 2004, I was fairly diligent about performing routine maintenance. I pruned the hedges, mowed the lawn, cleaned the gutters, and did dozens of other little things to make sure the house and yard remained at peak form.
For several years, I stayed on top of things around Rosings Park (which is what we call our two-thirds of an acre). But about two years ago -- just as Get Rich Slowly began to take over my life -- I let things slide.
Your friends can not only make you fat, they can make the social barriers to breaking a mortgage contract come crumbling down.
Your friends can make you fat. And I don't mean by baking you stuff.
A few years ago, scientists released the results of a 32-year obesity study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Pardon the description if you're already familiar with it.
Scientists followed about 12,000 people over a 32-year time period, many of whom ran in the same social circles, and tried to assess what common factors led to many of them becoming obese. It turned out that who those studied became friends with was incredibly important. In fact, if someone's friend became obese, he or she became 57% more likely to become obese. If someone's brother or sister became obese, his or her chances increased by 40%. And if it was a spouse, the chances rose 37%.
The study caused a pretty big stir.
A new program will enlist the help of medical professionals to identify seniors who are most vulnerable. But we can all help.
People in our line of work often see stories like these: "Medicare recipients target of new scam." "Elderly Kansas couple lose heavily to scam." "Elderly couple targeted by timeshare fraud." And that's just a few we noticed today.
And then there's this one: "Medical professionals will try to spot elderly fraud victims." The McClatchy Newspapers story says:
The "Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation" project will train medical professionals across the country to identify patients with mild cognitive impairments who are most susceptible to financial scams. The goal is to have caregivers inform state regulators about patients who pose the greatest risk for abuse.
Plenty of evidence suggests that elderly people need more protection.
RadioShack sweetens T-Mobile's free phone deal, food freebies and deals for Father's Day.
Not only is today Friday, but it's National Flip-Flop Day. Wear your flip-flops into a Tropical Smoothie Café, and you'll get a free 24-ounce Jetty Punch smoothie. The deal is limited to the first 500 customers per location.
RadioShack has joined Saturday's Mother of All Father's Day Sales, in which all T-Mobile phones will be free (with contracts, of course). For some customers, RadioShack is offering an even better deal, Nicole Lee points out at CNET's Dialed In blog, with T-Mobile phones free on all plans, not just family plans, plus instant rebates and an activation credit.
- Bing: History of Father's Day
That's not as dangerous as it sounds. Free how-to clinics teach small fry the joys of DIY.
And twice a month her two boys grab hammers and don goggles for free how-to clinics at Home Depot and Lowe's. Lucky mom: She gets two jewelry organizers, two miniature Adirondack chair flowerpot stands, two pet-treat keepers, etc.
Since the family's ancient cat has passed beyond the treat stage, what exactly is a pet-treat keeper good for?
Today's graduates may not find a job, but they should find it easier to be insured.
Just graduating from high school or college and don't have health insurance? You're not alone. Almost one-third of Americans under 26 lack health insurance, the largest group in the U.S., Uncle Sam estimates.
A job seeker's confession in a post ignites a lively debate.
The issue was presented from a female perspective: Women need to be more aggressive about asking for higher pay, in their current jobs and when applying for new positions. In the post, a job seeker said she upped her current salary by a mythical $5,000 when a job recruiter asked how much she made, and then "summoned up my inner guy" and successfully negotiated another $5,000 when the prospective employer offered to meet her current salary.
Bonus! "Between my white lie and my assertiveness, I'd managed to snag $10,000 more than I was making," she gloated.
How do you feel about that? Readers had plenty to say:
Debtors' prisons may have been outlawed in the 1800s, but residents of some states are being arrested over unpaid bills.
Deborah Poplawski was feeding a parking meter in downtown Minneapolis when city police pulled up, arrested her and took her off to jail. She was forced to change into jail-issue underwear and an orange uniform and sleep in a room with a dozen women, one of whom offered her drugs. She spent 25 hours in jail.
Her crime? She failed to pay $250 in credit card debt.
Debtors' prisons were outlawed in the U.S. in the 1800s, but more debtors are being sent to jail through the efforts of aggressive third-party debt collectors, who are using the courts and the police to collect old debt they bought for pennies on the dollar.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'