small change toward a rich life

June 2009

  1. To buy or to rent: failing to predict the future of housing

    26 June 2009

    In the last month I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that purchasing this house when we did was a huge financial error. It’s been hard, and I’ve engaged in a lot of self-flagellation over the subject. We closed on this house December 1, 2006. Two and a half years later, we’ve paid […]

  2. Movie helps kids relate to economic woes

    24 June 2009

    If tough economic times are causing you stress, you can bet your kids are picking up on the tension as well. Knowing how much to tell them about financial matters can be tricky; you don’t want to overburden and worry them, but neither do you want to leave them surprised and unprepared. I thought the […]

  3. Downsizing appliances to save money

    20 June 2009

    When we bought our house in December 2006, there was a surprise in the garage: the former owners had left us a huge old chest freezer. Now, Jak and I had a chest freezer already, a smaller model we’d bought at Costco about five years earlier. So this one was a bit superfluous, more than […]

  4. Risk-free high-yield savings option

    17 June 2009

    When is a CD not a CD? When it’s a savings account in disguise. Traditionally, certificates of deposit have offered a trade-off: in return for the bank’s guarantee of a fixed interest rate, you promise to leave your money with the bank for a specific term. If you renege and withdraw your funds early, you […]

  5. Shopping debacle; Craigslist rescue

    10 June 2009

    Last September, I proudly blogged about my bargain-hunting skills in purchasing two sets of dinnerware online. The Corelle worked brilliantly for everyday dishes, so much so that I went back and bought 4 more each of the plates and bowls, even though the price by that time was slightly higher. They’re lightweight, virtually indestructible, and […]

  6. Put that money where it belongs, dammit

    8 June 2009

    Here’s yet another reason why checking online account information regularly is a good idea: My regular monthly electronic payment on our second mortgage went out to Bank of America on June 3. On June 4 I manually sent an extra $2000 against the principal. On June 7 I checked our mortgage accounts online. Turns out […]

  7. Quick and easy estimated income tax for freelancers

    7 June 2009

    Next Monday, June 15, is the deadline for filing second quarter estimated taxes with the IRS. If you are self-employed and so do not have taxes withheld from a paycheck, you need to discover if the IRS expects you to pay tax in quarterly installments. I confess that I’ve never paid estimated tax before. In […]

  8. Less income, more savings

    6 June 2009

    Yesterday I promised to give an update on our personal financial situation and how it’s changed over the last half-year. In November I wrote that we were down to a quarter of our prior income, as Jak’s employer had cut his hours by half just as I’d been summarily dismissed from my full-time job. I […]

  9. Back in the saddle

    5 June 2009

    Well, here we are, seven months after I lost my job, more than six months since my last update. My profession and field — and perhaps also, temperament — is such that employment cycles are inevitable. Full-time job to unemployment to freelance to full-time job and around again. Dot-com boom, dot-com bust, economy surge or […]

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