There’s been a lot of talk about the looming fiscal cliff lately and it looks like Congress and the president won’t be able to reach a deal by the end of the year. There’s still a chance something may happen but you should start preparing your budget for the worst. Plan on taxes going up […]
What Credit Cards Will Work Abroad in Europe, UAE, Asia?
Traveling abroad and paying for everything has gotten a lot easier over the past 10 years. I’ve never had the pleasure of using a travelers check but I hear they were quite the adventure. Nowadays though, when I travel abroad I take two debit cards, two credit cards and a couple hundred dollars in cash. […]
The Apple Price Premium: Are Mac Computers, Ipods and Iphones Worth the Extra Money?
From my seat on the couch I can look around and see my fiancee’s iPhone 5, my old iPhone 4, my Apple TV and oh yeah I’m typing on a MacBook Pro. Obivously, we’ve been using Apple products for quite some time now but I still remember our family’s first Macintosh computer in the early […]
How Much Money Would it Take to Leave a Great Life?
When I graduated college four years ago, I faced a tough job market with very few prospects. I had a couple interviews but I was only offered one position as a navigation/systems engineer in Palmdale, CA. Even though it was my only offer at the time, it was still a tough decision. I debated about […]
December Deals & Steals and a Blog Link Round-Up
I love December for a litany of reasons but my favorite part is all the deals that pop up throughout the month. During the year, I’m pretty good about not buying stuff I don’t need, but come December, it seems like I’m buying something every other day. Sometimes I don’t even know who I’m going […]
A Review of My Experience With Car2go San Diego: A Car Sharing Service
Although Car2go hasn’t reached every major city yet, there is probably some type of car sharing service available in your local metropolitan. Whether it’s Zipcar or some other service, the idea of car sharing has really taken off over the past couple years. I’m pretty intrigued by the whole idea because less cars on the […]
Reader Question: Is a 5% Return from a Secondary Market Annuity Too Good to Be True?
Reader PR writes in: “Harry, what are your thoughts on secondary market annuities? I’m looking for some higher returns for my savings. Some of the SMA’s I’m looking at right now are returning 4 or 5%. It seems like they are a pretty safe investment, but maybe I’m missing something.” I’ll be honest, when I first […]
Employee Benefits: Do You Have the Option to Purchase Additional Vacation Days
A lot of people are talking about employee benefits right now. They are deciding which medical plan to choose(the answer should be HSA!), reviewing their investment choices and maybe even increasing their 401k contribution. But I’m here to talk about a different type of benefit today: vacation days. You might not think of purchasing vacation […]
Why I Prefer to Make My Own Black Friday Deals
Thanksgiving has got to be one of my favorite holidays. Not only is it centered around giving thanks and spending time with family, but it’s a whole holiday that’s dedicated to food. I plan on spending it with my mom’s side of the family, my dad’s side and my girlfriend’s family, and for those people […]
Annual Enrollment Time: How Much Can an HSA Save You?
Here’s my original HSA article from last year: Health Savings Accounts Explained. Ok it’s annual enrollment time again for those of us in traditional workplaces and I’m here to tell you exactly how much a HSA can benefit you. Most large companies are starting to offer HSA’s to their employees for one main reason: it […]
Why The Average Investor Should Choose Index Funds Over Picking Individual Stocks
When it comes to picking stocks for a portfolio, the average investor is at a big disadvantage. Now I’m not talking about investing in mutual funds, which can have big ol’ expense ratios baked into them. I’m talking about good ‘old fashioned stock picking’, where you research companies, pick out which ones you like and […]
Do You Invest in Expensive Kitchen Knives? A Review of my Shun Chef’s Knife
If you’ve ever been around someone who loves to cook, you’re probably already familiar with the names Shun or Wusthof. They are two of the top knife-manufacturers in the world and most professional chefs carry one or the other. These knives may be top of the line, but so is their price tag. Most knives […]
Is a Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payment a Good Idea?
“What if we told you that you could be mortgage free years sooner? That’s what The BiWeekly Advantage Plan® offers homeowners like you!” That was the opening line of an e-mail I received last week from Citi Mortgage. I’d heard of a bi-weekly payment plan before but never been offered one by my mortgage provider. […]
Case Study: Build Credit for Someone by Adding Them as an Authorized User
When I first purchased my condo three years ago, I was not offered the lowest rate due to my insufficient credit history. Even though I always checked my credit score and it was in the high 700’s, the bank considered me a slight risk because my credit history was so limited(I was only 22). I […]
End of Summer Blog Update and Favorite Posts of the Month
Ok I know most people may find it odd that I’m doing an end of summer update in October, but the weather has cooled down out here and it’s finally starting to feel like fall. In my 9 years in San Diego, this summer has been the best weather-wise. And even though I can’t go […]
My Own Price Protection on Southwest Airlines
I’ve always enjoyed flying Southwest, but since I’ve signed up for their rapid rewards credit cards, I fly with them almost exclusively. Although Southwest is far from luxurious, they get the job done efficiently and at a fraction of the cost of other carriers. I work in the aerospace industry so I understand how difficult […]
September CPI up 0.6%: I Bonds Rate Announced
Tuesday was a big day at the bureau of labor statistics; they released the news that we’ve all been waiting for. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers(CPI-U) increased 0.6 %! Ok I have no idea what that actually means(ok maybe I do, no one should care though), but I do know how it […]
Save Money on Your Flu Shot This Winter
Ever since I started working in a cubicle environment, I feel like I get sick much more frequently than I used to. Although we have unlimited sick days at work, I don’t like to use them unless I’m truly sick and can’t get out of bed. For all the minor coughs and colds, I’ll still […]
Reader Question: Investing in Real Estate Without a Down Payment, What is an REIT?
Here’s a question from a reader named Bilbo Baggins, not sure if this his real name or not 🙂 “I’m fully convinced its a great time to buy property. However, I am not ready to make that kind of commitment and am looking for investments that will reap the same kind of passive income. Something […]
Upgrading Your Smartphone: My Switch From the iPhone 4 to the Samsung Galaxy S3
I’ve had an iPhone for the past four years, but the other day I finally decided to switch to the Android OS and get a Galaxy S3. I was pretty disappointed with the iPhone 5 release, essentially the same phone as the iPhone 4, but slightly taller and skinnier. So far, I really love my […]
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