Frugal Living 
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comments

5 Green Gifts of Experience and Time

Festival Holidays!As the holiday season of sparkle and glitter quickly approaches, it’s easy to get swept up in the costly winds of buying, giving and receiving. Personally, I’ve spent way too many hours browsing the aisles (at the last minute) trying to find the perfect thing that my friend will like love not have to re-gift!! This year, instead of mindlessly scanning the shelves, take a moment and plan a gift that will create memories, warm hearts and build friendships without adding any financial stress.

Here are some of my ideas to get your creative giving juices flowing.

(Click to continue reading…)


 General 
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comments

Happy Turkey Day!

Turkey turkey turkey!To those who are celebrating Thanksgiving today, I hope you and yours have a festive Thanksgiving day and weekend. I hope you celebrate the merriment and cheer that is Thanksgiving, enjoy the time with loved ones, and stuff yourself full of food prepared with loving care. To those who aren’t celebrating Thanksgiving, eat something decadent. :)

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to thank you all for visiting today and every day. So often people think that I’m an expert because I write a personal finance blog. The reality is that while I may be more knowledgeable than the average Joe on money matters, it’s because I’m constantly being educated by the you guys. I see this as a community, not as a podium, and I’ve learned as much from you as, hopefully, you have from me. I hope we can do this for a long time together.

I don’t want to take too much of your time because today should be spent off the computer and with real live human beings. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

We’ll return with regularly scheduled programming on Sunday… when I unveil another themed week!

(Photo: voght)


 Personal Finance 
1
comments

Happy Labor Day!

US Flag Hard HatI want to wish everyone a happy Labor Day! I hope you’ve had the opportunity to spend some time with friends and family, away from the rush of work or the concerns of money, and really enjoy the important things in life.

I did a little research on the origins of Labor Day and according to Wikipedia the holiday originated in Canada. The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated in 1882 in New York City. It wasn’t a federal holiday until after the 1894 Pullman Strike, but ever since then it’s been celebrated on the first Monday in September.

Either way, it’s shaping up to be a gorgeous day in many parts of the country so get out and enjoy the day off!

(Photo: valeriebb)


 Travel 
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7 Reasons to Skip Hotels & Rent Vacation Homes

Vacation homes rock!Bankrate had an article recently in which they recommended renting a home or condo to trim vacation costs. While I very much value the opinion of the fine folks at Bankrate, that’s good advice that’s about decades overdue.

At the very least, it’s five years overdue, because my friends and I have been doing this for at least that long. In fact, it was the topic of discussion one day at Meals on Wheels and when one of the other volunteers remarked that they had been renting vacation homes for decades.

(Click to continue reading…)


 Your Take 
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comments

Your Take: What Are Your July 4th Plans?

Fireworks Rule!
Tomorrow is July 4th. Independence Day. A day most often spent outdoors, with friends, playing games and having an old fashioned cookout.

My wife and I will be spending the day at our friend’s house, playing games and having an old fashioned cookout; then going up to their rooftop deck to watch the fireworks in the Baltimore harbor. Hopefully the weather holds up! My wife is a huge fan of fireworks so we’re hoping that they make them especially good this year. :)

I’m curious, what are your plans for this weekend?

(Photo by Mr. Magoo ICU)


 Personal Finance 
21
comments

Memorial Day: Remember the Fallen

Child saluting United States flag
Thank you to all the brave men and women of the Armed Services who made the greatest sacrifice so that we may enjoy the freedoms and liberties that come with being a citizen of the greatest country in the world. We owe you a debt of extreme gratitude as you are the ones who protect our our most unalienable Rights: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Thank You.

(Photo: respres)


 Your Take 
6
comments

Your Take: What Did You Do For The Holidays?

Sleeping CougarEven though it’s January 9th, a full week removed from New Years and the holiday season, I didn’t really feel “back to normal” until sometime this week. So rather than launch into money related Your Take, I thought it might be more appropriate (and entertaining) to talk about something that would compel us to lock ourselves into an office or workshop or garage or whatever for 8+ hours a day and slave away: spending time with our family and friends. I’m curious what you did for the holidays, where you went, who you saw, and let us all bask in the enjoyment of your hearty tales.

As for my wife and I, we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with her parents in Virginia opening presents and having a great time. From there, we had to drive home to Maryland (only about a forty five minute drive) because my wife had work go to work in the days between Christmas and New Years. The real travel didn’t begin until New Year’s Eve. For New Year’s Eve, we went up to Pittsburgh to see friends of our from college and celebrated the ringing in of the New Year at a club called Dolce, where we also saw the kicker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jeff Reed, and his entourage. Dude had bleached hair and looked like a Dragon Ball Z character. Anyway, that night of revelry became a morning and afternoon of misery as we drove the four hours down to Virginia for New Year’s Day dinner with my wife’s parents. That night, we drove the forty five minutes home to Maryland.

For those as good as I am with a calendar, it’s now January 2nd. An old friend of mine flew in from Los Angeles to visit her friend, who was studying at a Georgetown, and we met up with her for dinner at a Moroccan restaurant in Washington D.C. for a couple hours. On the way back, we visited with other friends who lived on the way home to see how their kid was doing (and met up with their cousins too).

Just when you thought the odyssey was complete, it wasn’t. The next day, we hopped on a plane to New York where we would meet up with my parents, a pair of aunts and uncles, and our cousins. We ate some great food, saw my parent’s new house for the first time with their stuff in it, and ate some great food. Then, this past Monday, we hopped on a 6:30 am flight (by the way, Southwest you need more than two people checking folks in during the holiday rush!), flew back home to Maryland, put in a full day of work, and then passed out.

Very tiring but well worth it!

How were your holidays?

(Photo: tambako)


 General 
8
comments

Happy New Year!

Fireworks Rule!

Depending on when you read this, it’ll either be New Year’s Eve or New Year’s day (or some random day during the year!), but I wanted to wish you and yours a happy and prosperous new year. We’ve had a pretty rough 2008 but hopefully things can turn around in 2009!

If nothing else, be thankful you weren’t involved in the Madoff ponzi scheme!

We will be returning to your regularly scheduled programming on Monday, January 5th.

(Photo by Mr. Magoo ICU)


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