small change toward a rich life

July 2009

  1. Credit cards (part two): use ’em or lose ’em

    17 July 2009

    As I mentioned in part one, for the last two years Jak and I have been using a single credit-card account, a Costco Amex card with cash-back rewards, for all our credit-card needs. (When a merchant doesn’t take American Express, we use the debit MasterCard for our joint checking account.) This makes record-keeping easy. At […]

  2. Credit cards (part one): the game is changing

    12 July 2009

    I’ve just about had it with credit cards. Like most people of my generation, I got my first card in college. Then, and for the next twenty years, getting credit was deceptively easy. I used it in all the typical foolish ways: to pay bills during periods of unemployment, to finance an unsustainable small business, […]

  3. Travel ‘protection’: a predatory scam

    3 July 2009

    Considering travel insurance? Make certain that you get terms in writing before you pay — terms that prominently include the word ‘refund’. That’s the takeaway message from the latest ‘Haggler’ column in the New York Times, where journalist David Segal goes to bat on behalf of beleaguered consumers. I was particularly appalled by the story […]

  4. One more for the ‘no-knead’ bread revolution

    1 July 2009

    I love fresh homemade bread. Once, in my early twenties, I made a loaf by hand. I had picked up the classic Tassajara Bread Book from a remainder table, and one afternoon I went at it for several hours, kneading and punching away. It made a glorious loaf which we happily devoured straight out of […]

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