Browsing All Posts filed under »Finance«

Tax Time: Why So Complicated?

April 11, 2016

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Tax preparation shouldn’t be a choice between paying a “professional” or losing a couple of days of your life every April. Most people grouse about the high cost of taxes (and how the government spends the taxpayer’s hard-earned dollars).  Another big gripe, though, is how complicated they are. “Just use some software,” was the helpful […]

Another Misleading Internet Meme

April 4, 2016

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I’m getting tired of seeing certain Internet memes like this one making the rounds.  Golly, life is so hard and unfair these days.  A 40-hour-a-week job just doesn’t support us anymore.  You know what?  Life IS unfair, but this is not why.  This is something you can actually fix, if you want to.  Yes, there was […]

‘Tis the Season to Rip the Phone Off the Wall

December 28, 2015

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Beware of the Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone, or Why There Should Be No Exemptions to the Do Not Call List. Now here we are in the Season of Giving. People’s hearts and wallets are open, so of course charities come a-calling. And this is where Lila gets really annoyed with the fact that the Do […]

Why Child Care May Never Be Well Compensated

November 9, 2015

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It’s because of the limited availability of parental dollars to pay for the service. Marketwatch published an interesting chart this week, showing how those who care for our nation’s children are compensated at a lower rate than bellhops, car cleaners, and even parking lot attendants. Why is this? Child-care workers are entrusted with our nation’s […]

Financial Planning Has No Gender

September 14, 2015

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It’s basic math, and the most important lesson is: start as young as possible. Lila’s credit union has just considerately sent her an invitation to a financial seminar for women. “Join [a lawyer, a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, and Financial Advisor] for this complimentary, no-obligation educational seminar, tailored to women ages 35-60. We’ll discuss the […]

Tax Day Cometh, and I’m Not Using TurboTax Again

April 13, 2015

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It’s kind of great, but too scary for me Lila is a big fan of the stubby-pencil method for doing taxes. I download all the necessary forms and instructions from the IRS website, I read the instructions and do my own math (even though math and I don’t get along well). In a good year, […]

The Benefits of Cutting Back on Dining Out

October 31, 2014

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Lila and Hubby recently took advantage of a long-languishing gift card for dinner and a movie. We figured we’d better use it up before it expired or we lost it or something. We intentionally chose a weekday on the theory that the theater and the restaurant might be less crowded. We were right about the […]

Statistics Show US Population is Too Sick, Uneducated and Impoverished

January 24, 2014

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Warning:  this is not a politically correct post. Any  population will always have some individuals who are diseased, incompetent, weak, and generally unfit for reproduction or survival, to put it in Darwinian terms.  A healthy, competent, self-sufficient population will always have some minimal number of these individuals, but the majority of a successful population will […]

Tax Day

April 15, 2013

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I know everyone’s pretty busy and stressed today, what with it being both a Monday and Tax Day, so I will keep this short. I am reminded that in the early 1980s, there was much talk of simplifying the US Tax code, or at least the torturous process that ordinary citizens were subjected to as […]

Tax Time: Why So Complicated?

April 1, 2013

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Tax preparation shouldn’t be a choice between paying a “professional” or losing a couple of days of your life every April. Most people grouse about the high cost of taxes (and how the government spends the taxpayer’s hard-earned dollars).  Another big gripe, though, is how complicated they are. “Just use some software,” was the helpful […]

Kudos to the Wagasky Family: Debt-Free on $14000 Per Year

March 5, 2013

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It often happens, in discussing general financial well-being, that someone will say:  “But these days, families neeeed two incomes just to get by.”  I have always disagreed with that statement, if only because childcare expenses demolish most of the second income.  For my example, I habitually point to one of my former Army colleagues, who […]

In Defense of Thalidomide

September 6, 2012

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German drug manufacturer Gruenenthal recently dedicated a memorial to the victims of thalidomide side effects, along with a much-belated apology for their suffering.  Thalidomide became notorious around 1960 for causing severe birth defects, including missing or greatly shortened limbs.  And that was just among those who survived.  Thalidomide UK estimates that for every affected infant […]

The Price of the Intangible: Lawsuits Should Only Compensate, Never Enrich

August 28, 2012

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How does one put a price on a human life?  Or eyesight, or the use of one’s limbs, or the love of a pet?  How does one put a price on pain, or inconvenience, or distress? I don’t think you can. Some weeks ago, The Washington Post ran an article about the 2010 Massey coal […]

Banks And Housing Woes: Houses are Perishable- They Need to Move.

August 13, 2012

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As if it weren’t bad enough that poor lending practices drove a disastrous housing “bubble” that predictably popped, precipitating a credit crisis and doing a lot to tank our economy – the banks are still at it. In Fredericksburg, Virginia, there is a beautiful historic district downtown.  You would think that a foreclosed home in […]

Social Security: Better Off Putting Your Money in a Cookie Jar

August 7, 2012

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Well, Dad was right.  Way back when I was about nine, he had me sign my Social Security card, and explained what it was all about.  He also explained demographics:  there was some question, even some four decades ago, about whether the fund would survive the crush of the Boomers.   As a kid at the […]

“Subprime College Educations” – Partly Our Own Fault

June 14, 2012

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George Will has an article in the Washington Post this week about the rising cost and declining quality of American college educations.  It really resonated with me, and the schools have a lot to answer for; it seems that these days, a college education is of less preparatory value than high school used to be […]

Octomom: What Employment Options Does She Have?

June 7, 2012

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Here’s something you don’t see every day: a serious-minded article in Forbes about the Octomom’s financial decisions and future earning potential.  Octomom recently turned to filming a porn movie with Wicked Pictures to bring in some cash, and her latest moneymaking effort was a foray into the world of stripping.  She has also made money […]

Easy, Predatory Credit is Still Out There

May 29, 2012

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A financial basket case gets a six-figure loan A longtime acquaintance was never very good with money.  She has established a long and quite predictable pattern of always earning barely enough money to squeak by each month, or not quite enough to squeak by.  I have known this woman to quit perfectly good jobs with […]