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Friday, May 16, 2020
From Five Cent Nickel - view blog entries - visit this blog
May 16, 2020 at 1:47 pm ET
I just ran across an interesting article that talks about a lawsuit against Wal-Mart over their 401(k) investment selections. The suit claims that Wal-Mart harmed their employees by offering high-cost retail funds instead of the cheaper institutional funds for which they surely qualify, and by only offering actively-managed (and thus costly) fund options rather than [...] ... (more)

From Five Cent Nickel - view blog entries - visit this blog
May 16, 2020 at 8:49 am ET
After a couple years of stability, we recently decided to tweak our allowance system (again). For background, our original allowance system involved paying the kids $0.50/week for each year of age, broken down as follows: 30% spending money 30% short term savings (e.g., a video game, pricey toy, etc.) 30% long term savings (e.g., a car, college, retirement, or [...] ... (more)

Thursday, May 15, 2020
From Five Cent Nickel - view blog entries - visit this blog
May 15, 2020 at 11:17 am ET
Just over a week ago, USA Today ran an interesting piece on where consumers plan on spending their economic stimulus tax rebate. They also compared it to how people actually spent their rebates back in 2001. For starters, this is how people say they’ll be spending their current rebate: 23.3% - Keep in savings account 21.4% - Apply [...] ... (more)

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May 15, 2020 at 8:33 am ET
After having written about the upcoming stamp price increase way in back in February, I almost forgot about it myself. In case you missed it, stamp prices went up from $0.41 to $0.42 this past Monday. Hopefully you have “Forever” stamps. If not, you’ll need those pesky little penny stamps to round things out. Whatever you [...] ... (more)

Wednesday, May 14, 2020
From Five Cent Nickel - view blog entries - visit this blog
May 14, 2020 at 7:48 am ET
This is just a quick note to let you know that Discover Business is now offering a $100 signup bonus. Simply apply for the card and spend a total of $1000 within the first three months to qualify for the bonus. Other attractive features of this card include: » 0% APY on purchases/balance transfers for 12 [...] ... (more)

Tuesday, May 13, 2020
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May 13, 2020 at 11:30 am ET
I’ve devoted a lot of time recently to thinking about asset allocation. Thus, I was quite interested when the latest issue of “In the Vanguard” arrived and I saw that they had an article called “International Stocks: What’s a Reasonable Amount?” In it, they argue that investors always seem to chase the flavor of the month [...] ... (more)

Monday, May 12, 2020
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May 12, 2020 at 7:09 am ET
It’s interesting that every time I talk about the advantages of compact fluorescent bulbs, I see the same criticisms over and over. Thus, I though I’d spend a bit of time responding to each of them. CFLs produce low quality light. A common criticism is that CFLs produce “low quality” or “off color” light. While [...] ... (more)

Sunday, May 11, 2020
From Five Cent Nickel - view blog entries - visit this blog
May 11, 2020 at 11:55 pm ET
FiveCentNickel participated in four carnivals this week. Here they are along with links to my articles that were included in each. The Carnival of Personal Finance included “Readers’ Choice: The Best Online Brokers.” Also included was “Are ‘Contactless’ (RFID) Credit Cards Safe?” from creditaddict.com. The Carnival of Financial Planning included “Financial Infidelity.” The Festival of Frugality included “Frugal [...] ... (more)

Friday, May 9, 2020
From Five Cent Nickel - view blog entries - visit this blog
May 9, 2020 at 11:48 pm ET
I just ran across this site that features personal accounts of how people are spending their tax stimulus rebates. Interesting uses include: - donating it to the Obama campaign (take that, W!) - buying plane tickets to catch the New Kids on the Block reunion tour (seriously?) - treating “a sudden and particularly messy case of giardia contracted [...] ... (more)

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May 9, 2020 at 10:55 pm ET
Here’s a bit of weekend fun… Jim over at pfBlueprint, Jim asked a bunch of personal finance bloggers what they’d do with a million dollars. This was my answer: If a million dollars suddenly fell into my lap, I’d invest the vast majority of it. The concept of “financial freedom” is very attractive to me, so I’d [...] ... (more)

Thursday, May 8, 2020
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May 8, 2020 at 11:31 am ET
This is just a quick note to let everyone know that Blockbuster Total Access is running a new promotion where you get 50% off your first month plus a free $25 Visa gift card just for signing up. So… You can get their 3-at-a-time movie plan for one month plus the $25 gift card in return [...] ... (more)

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May 8, 2020 at 8:48 am ET
Not long ago, JD over at GetRichSlowly mentioned that he had been asked how you’re supposed to spend less than you earn when you’re in college and not earning anything. This is a great question, and one that I thought I’d take a shot at myself. While it’s not mathematically possible to spend less than you [...] ... (more)

Wednesday, May 7, 2020
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May 7, 2020 at 2:10 pm ET
Well, that was easy… Not long ago I noted that we were appealing our property tax re-assessment. For those that don’t recall, we renovated last fall and were slapped with an increase that placed our home’s assessed value well beyond fair market value. I promptly drafted a letter to the Board of Tax Assessors using our [...] ... (more)

Tuesday, May 6, 2020
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May 6, 2020 at 11:15 pm ET
Over the past week or so I’ve received a substantial number of comments from people who should’ve received their tax stimulus rebate payment but haven’t gotten it yet. If you’re one of these people, here’s some info that I dug up on the IRS website… For starters, here’s a link to the updated payment schedule. Keep [...] ... (more)

From Five Cent Nickel - view blog entries - visit this blog
May 6, 2020 at 6:07 am ET
An albatross around your neck. A monkey on your back. Whatever you call it, consumer debt can be a huge burden. While there are a number of different debt reduction strategies out there, I wanted to take a moment to highlight an especially good idea that my pal NCN used to dig his way out [...] ... (more)

Monday, May 5, 2020
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May 5, 2020 at 8:27 am ET
While I’ve written a bit about our investment allocation in the past, we’ve tweaked things a bit recently so I thought I’d lay thing our here for all to see. Before we go any further, I should note that we have a number of different accounts, including two Roth IRAs, three different employer-related retirement accounts, [...] ... (more)

Sunday, May 4, 2020
From Five Cent Nickel - view blog entries - visit this blog
May 4, 2020 at 11:52 pm ET
Here are some of my favorite FiveCentNickel posts from a year ago the past three weeks: » How to Request a Tax Filing Extension » Getting a Refund? No Need to File on Time » Estimated Taxes and Avoiding Underpayment Penalties » Renovations That Can Hurt the Value of Your Home » Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for a Discount, [...] ... (more)

From Five Cent Nickel - view blog entries - visit this blog
May 4, 2020 at 10:54 pm ET
As some of you may recall, we renovated our house last year. Part of the renovations involved tearing out our deck and replacing it with a new, larger deck. Since that time, we haven’t gotten much use out of our deck because we haven’t had any patio furniture. But… That all changed this weekend when [...] ... (more)

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May 4, 2020 at 9:44 pm ET
FiveCentNickel participated in five carnivals this week. Here they are along with links to my articles that were included in each. The Carnival of Personal Finance included “Best Jobs in a Bad Economy: Recession Proof Careers.” Also included was “Why Do Rate Cuts = Rate Increases?” from creditaddict.com. The Carnival of Debt Reduction included “Are Bi-Weekly Mortgage [...] ... (more)

Friday, May 2, 2020
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May 2, 2020 at 1:04 pm ET
According to a recent AP article, the federal government will soon be cracking down on credit card issuers who engage in “unfair and deceptive” practices. More specifically, the proposed rules would prohibit: 1. Placing unfair time constraints on payments. 2. Unfairly allocating payments among balances with different interest rates. 3. Unfairly raising annual percentage rates on outstanding balances. 4. [...] ... (more)

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May 2, 2020 at 11:26 am ET
This is just a quick reminder to change your furnace filters this weekend if you haven’t done so in awhile. Your heat and air system will run much more efficiently with clean filters, meaning less energy consumption and lower energy bills. While my goal is to do this monthly, I typically forget to do it until [...] ... (more)

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May 2, 2020 at 11:18 am ET
Given that I’ve now been at this for three years, I though that it might be time to go about an write a series of basic articles for beginners. I’m thinking of something along the lines of a “Back to Basics” series. While this might not be as useful for the personal finance veterans out [...] ... (more)

Thursday, May 1, 2020
From Five Cent Nickel - view blog entries - visit this blog
May 1, 2020 at 6:34 am ET
I heard on the news last night that some well meaning (but misguided) souls have been trying to arrange for yet another gas boycott to protest increasing prices. Unfortunately, gas boycotts don’t work — and for good reason. People don’t actually drive less. Rather, they fill up the day before or the day after, but [...] ... (more)

From Five Cent Nickel - view blog entries - visit this blog
May 1, 2020 at 6:01 am ET
This is a bit hard for me to believe, but I launched FiveCentNickel three years ago today. Most of your probably don’t know this, but I actually started this site on a whim after reading a MacAddict article about weblogs in general, and WordPress in particular, back during the spring of 2005. The rest, as [...] ... (more)

Wednesday, April 30, 2020
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April 30, 2020 at 10:33 am ET
The other day, I asked about the difference between “frugal” and “cheap”. There were a number of great answers, but one in particular stood out to me… According to Kyle of Amateur Asset Allocator: “My definition is simple: if I do it, it’s frugal. If somebody else does it, it’s cheap.” Hmmm… I’m not so sure that [...] ... (more)

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