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    Cash for Clutter

    Friday, January 1st, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    So you have now identified a few items to sell for your replacement fund. But how do you turn those items into cash and grow your replacement fund? Here are some ideas.

    Pick The Best First
    Set yourself up for success and sell your best items first. This means items with the highest profit and that are the easiest to ship or transport. These are usually books, electronics and other consumer goods.

    Price to Sell Fast
    You have already decided you wouldn’t mind shedding these items, so don’t let price get in the way. It’s easy to get hung up on what a “deal” the buyer is getting. After all, you paid -insert your price here- and it has the -insert some feature here-. The past is the past, so don’t get hung up on the other guy. (Yes, he is probably getting a good deal). Good deals are what drive sales. The fact is, if it wasn’t such a good deal the buyer wouldn’t be knocking at your door. Make your item a great deal and don’t look back.

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    Chuck the Checkbook

    Friday, December 25th, 2009 at 3:28 PM
    Balancing your personal checkbook is not as necessary as it once was. In fact it’s not necessary at all. Ten years ago you’d have to wait for a statement showing what checks cleared. Times have changed. Here are a few ways for you to get rid of the checkbook and the balancing chore that goes with it.

    Stop Writing Checks
    First thing is first. In order to eliminate the checkbook you have to stop writing checks. While you may not be able to do it cold turkey, in most cases you can use other means of payment. For example you can use your credit/check-card or a BillPay type service.  Electronic transactions like plastic and BillPay clear within a day or so.

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    Saturday, December 19th, 2009 at 7:35 PM

    When it comes to retirement it’s not a question of “if”, but rather “when”. At some point we will have to retire and there’s no better time to start planning for it, than now.

    Discretionary Dollar Retirement (All Posts)

    Tracking Expenses The Easy Way

    Friday, December 18th, 2009 at 9:46 PM

    Do you wonder where your hard earned dollars get spent? Here are some ways to track your expenses in just a few minutes per week.

    1. Use Online banking

    Some smaller banks are still catching up but the larger banks have done a great job of giving you all the tools you need online. If you aren’t using online banking then tracking your expenses will be much more difficult and may require far too much time and effort.

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    Use Your Credit Card Without Transaction Fees or Minimums

    Monday, December 14th, 2009 at 8:24 PM

    The biggest drawback to going cashless is the problem of uninformed merchants charging minimums or transaction fees. So are you tired of getting nickel and dimed as you go to use your credit or check cards?

    If you are still unclear on the different types of debit/check cards, be sure to read Credit or Debit? Plastic Explained first.

    The Problem
    Merchants see credit transactions as an additional cost. In general store owners pay between 1-3% per transaction to process your card. They also have a fixed transaction cost ranging from .15 cents to .45 cents. Different accounts have their own prices, but that’s generally the structure.

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    Do You Trash Your Cash?

    Saturday, December 12th, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    money trashWe all need garbage service. But the real question is, How Much Do We Need?

    The Irony of Trash Service
    Every family has different waste needs and your local prices may vary, but the bottom line is the less trash you produce the less you will spend on garbage service. The irony is that we are paying someone to get rid of things that are of no value to us. Most household expenses are for things that bring us something of value such as water, power, insurance, telephone etc. They all provide us with a service that we have determined is important to us.

    The irony with trash service, is that we aren’t getting anything, except the ability to get rid of things!

    A while back we downsized our trash bin. Initially, we were concerned with the amount of trash we had, and that it would be too much for this small can.  After all, our new can is only a 35 gallon trashcan! Also free with many trash services are recycle bins. In our area, these are free and are huge! They are the largest residential roller size.

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    Mutual Fund Basics

    Monday, December 7th, 2009 at 8:46 PM

    mutualfundsA mutual fund is a perfect example of yet another simple concept, that has been expanded into a very complex part of personal finance.

    Basic Gist
    A mutual fund pools money together from thousands of small investors and then it’s manager buys stocks, bonds or other securities with it. When you contribute money to a fund, you get an ownership stake in all its investments.

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    Sunday, December 6th, 2009 at 3:26 PM

    200446220-001Let’s make banking simple and easy. That’s only possible once you understand how it all works. Here we will explore the nuts and bolts of banking. It makes it a lot harder to save and make good financial choices, if you are foggy on when you can access your funds, how many times you can make withdrawals, or how to maximize your interest. Chances are you need a bank to meet your financial goals, so you might as well learn how to use it to your advantage.

    Discretionary Dollar Banking (All Posts)

    Credit or Debit? Plastic Explained

    Sunday, December 6th, 2009 at 1:35 PM


    because there is some confusion on what types of plastic are out there. You bank
    sends you a card but what does it really do? Here is my definition of a few commmon types of plastic.

    You might have a good idea about how your cards work, but it seems there is still a whole lot of confusion on what types of plastics are out there. Your bank sends you a card, but what does it really do?

    Credit Card – Most Widely Understood.
    This is not your money. You simply sign and present this card when you purchase something. You can use it interest free for about 30 days, then you must pay it off, or make minimum payments plus interest.

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    Funding your Fund

    Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 at 3:44 AM

    So you are ready to start funding your replacement fund. Now what?

    Finding Items to Shed
    Here are a few ways to surface and identify items that you can sell.

    1. Inventory Your Emotional Baggage
    What item would you never dream of selling? Are you held back by emotional reasons? What are these emotions costing you? Now of course there are things worth keeping simply for emotional sake, but what if it is something you know you will never actually use again? Can you justify having this item take up space in your life? Maybe you can, maybe you can’t.

    One way to let go, is to take a photo of the item with sentimental value. Take 10 photos if that helps. Save the photos somewhere safe, and shed that item. Next time you feel like bringing back those memories, view the photos. You will find you get nearly the same emotional reaction to a set of photos, as the actual item. Not to mention, photos are a lot easier to organize, backup and save!

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