Archive for September, 2008

Financial quote of the day

Passed along as a quote of the day is this, via Christopher Jones of Keystone Financial Planning in Macungie, Pa.

“I have not looked at any of my holdings and don’t intend to. I don’t want to be tempted to jump because I think I’d be more likely to jump in the wrong direction than the […]

How to fix your marriage

Parade Magazine on Sunday printed results of a survey it conducted on marriage. Not surprisingly, the three most common things couples fight about are:


Household chores


If that sounds familiar, here’s an idea. What if you:

Put more effort into managing your money and talking with your spouse about finances and goals, which would fix No. 1.

Used the […]

Congress cracks down on credit cards

This just in, from the Consumer Federation of America. I especially like the last line of this news release (emphasis mine). Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this will pass the Senate this year:

>>For the first time ever, a body of Congress has passed legislation to protect consumers from abusive lending practices by credit card companies. This […]

About Spending Smart

A profile of me and my newspaper column, Spending Smart, appeared today on the Web site of The National Center for Business Journalism. It’s here.

That’s not so interesting, except it reminded me to repeat what I mean by Spending Smart.

In a way, it’s easier to explain what Spending Smart is NOT. It is not about […]

A quiet week on Wall Street?

If you had been living under a rock this week, you might look at the Friday’s close in the stock market and figure we had a quiet week.

The broad S&P 500 index on Friday closed at 1,255, almost exactly what it was last Friday, 1,252. That’s a mere 0.2 percent difference.

But for those living above […]

Control what you can control

It seems a bit frivolous to blog about anything but the roiling financial industry. Despite the surge in the stock market today, there’s still a lot of uncertainty. Maybe we should acknowledge it out loud: There’s nothing we consumers can do about commercial banks, investment banks and insurance companies going out of business or selling […]

Study: Small-bank card fees less punitive

If you make a mistake with your credit card account – by paying late or charging more than the limit – a small bank or credit union will be more forgiving, according to an analysis by Justin McHenry of

Perhaps this is no surprise. Big banks are rarely the right choice for consumers for banking, […]

Falling star? Energy Star appliance label criticized

I’m a fan of the Department of Energy’s “Energy Star” program, but I’ve long been suspicious of the Energy Star labeling program. It allows appliance-makers to slap a label on their packaging to suggest it’s environmentally friendly.

The suspicion came when I found out the Department of Energy doesn’t actually test products for energy efficiency. Get […]

New Google browser

It’s a bit off topic for me, but so much of spending your money smarter means spending time online. And the tool for doing that is your Web browser.

Today, Google unveiled its new browser, called Chrome. I’ve played around with it a little since it became available for download this afternoon. I find it quite […]

Forget gas prices. Hit used-car sweet spot

If you’re in the market for a new car, stop fixating on gas prices and buy a lightly used car. You’ll save literally thousands of dollars.

That’s the advice of a new study by Consumer Reports.

“Late-model used cars are in the sweet spot of auto deals,” CR says. On average, consumers save 32 percent in the […]