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thI’ve noticed a lot of summer blooms lately. And by “blooms,” I mean “yard-sale signs.”

The hand-lettered, brightly colored notices are tacked to utility poles, taped to trees (really?) or stapled to big boxes that have rocks inside to keep them from blowing away.

Narrowly missed attending a couple of these this morning. My niece e-mailed to see if I’d be interested, but we were entertaining an unexpected guest and then working in the garden, so I didn’t get online until mid-afternoon.

In addition to her e-invite I saw “Tag sales: Don’t buy the fantasy,” a Time magazine column written by my former MSN Money colleague M.P. Dunleavey. It’s a darned amusing (and darned true) story of the ways we sometimes lose our minds in the face of a bargain.

Even a bargain we don’t need. Especially a bargain we don’t need.

 


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thWhen I gave away e-copies of “Frugality For Depressives: Money-Saving Tips For Those Who Find Life A Little Harder,” some of my readers (and my daughter’s, too) said they were waiting for the physical edition. Either they don’t have e-readers or they, like me, prefer to hold a book in their hands.

I can help with that. The trade paperback edition of the book is now available, and I’m giving away three copies.

Naturally a mom would think her kid’s book is splendid. But I’m not the only one who thinks the book can help depressives and the chronically ill.

 


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thThe first was a misrepresentation and the other a lie of omission. Since May 12 I’ve been on the East Coast, but I couldn’t tell my dad or my readers. To do so would have ruined the surprise 80th birthday party we’d planned.

When he recently asked if I’d be coming back East any time soon, I prevaricated. Since he reads my blog and follows me on Facebook, I couldn’t suggest meet-ups with Surviving & Thriving readers in Manhattan or South Jersey. What, and ruin the surprise?

And it was a surprise, especially since his 80th natal day took place back in March.

 


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th-2Dear Members of the Class of 2016,

You’ve gotten that diploma and landed a job – maybe even your dream job. Now that your career has officially begun, it’s time to think about how it will end.

Even though the ink is barely dry on your new business cards, you need to focus on retirement – specifically, on the need to save for it either through the workplace or on your own. Retirement is decades away but your new best friend, compound interest, is here right now.

Some financial experts say you need $1 million or more for your old age. The median starting salary for the class of 2014 was $45,478, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Your mileage may vary, of course. If you majored in something like early childhood education, music or communications your paycheck is more likely to be in the $31,500 to $39,800 range. Or maybe you haven’t landed the right job just yet and are making do with retail or other gigs.

Scary, huh? But you have a secret weapon: Time.

 


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A pullet surprise.

thMonths and months ago I wrote a post called “Ask me (almost) anything.” Among other things, it invited readers to send questions that I might (or might not) answer.

The questions came in, and remained unanswered. Sorry ’bout that.

Also sorry about maintaining radio silence since May 6. My book project plus an issue to be explained later have kept me from doing any writing for fun.

Today I’ll kill two birds with one stone (plus one really unappetizing picture).

 


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