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th-1In late April I wrote about Digit, the personal finance app that automates withdrawals. In it I reported that Digit had squirreled away a little over $100 between early February and April 25.

Today I checked the balance and it’s up to just under $223. What I like best about this? I didn’t miss the money.


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th-1Recently a reader named Laura H. e-mailed to ask if I could re-run “Surviving (and thriving) on $12,000 a year,” an article I wrote for MSN Money back in January 2007.

When I wrote that I was 49 years old, back in college and coming off a two-year-long divorce. At the time the assignment seemed like a one-off freelance gig. I had no way of knowing that it would ultimately lead to a career as a personal finance blogger; at that point I didn’t even know what blogs were.

People still mention that $12k piece. Some ask me where they can find the piece. Unfortunately, MSN Money changed platforms and the work I did there between 2007 and 2013 can no longer be accessed.

Fortunately, I keep copies of everything I write.


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th-1Because it was torn. Duh.

But seriously, folks: I had four pairs* of underpants with tears along seams. Side seams are especially susceptible. As the holes got bigger I’d stop using the garments.

But since I have enough for only about nine days, it bugged me that nearly half of my unmentionables were out of service. Naturally I kept vowing, “I’m going to fix those,” and just as naturally I kept putting it off.

Sometimes I’d wind up wearing the decommissioned drawers anyway due to laundry-day timing, and the stressed seams didn’t always appreciate it.

That bugged me even more. But as my friend SonyaAnn would say, it clearly it didn’t bother me enough. When it did, I’d do something about it.

Saturday was that day. I got out my sewing basket and spent just under half an hour repairing those seams. That included time to rethread the needle once.

Was it worth my time?


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The 876 scam is back.

thWhen the phone rang yesterday and caller ID noted an “876” area code, a warning bell dimly clanged in my head. Some kind of scam, I think. As I started to say so, DF answered the phone.

“Hello…Pretty busy, actually, what’s up? Oh, really? Well, send it to me.” He ended the call – and along with it, our chance to win $8.1 million dollars in a foreign lottery.

Yep, the 876 scam is back. Previous scammers have claimed to be associated with Publishers Clearinghouse, UPS, loan originators or credit repair agencies.

The crooks explain that once they’ve received a wire transfer or prepaid card to cover “taxes and fees,” their prizes will be sent along.

Of course that sounds ludicrous. But people fall for it all the time – especially the elderly.


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thFor the first time in seven years I’m shining on my contributions to a Roth IRA. The $6,500 that would have gone into that account will go into savings instead.

That doesn’t mean I’m ignoring retirement. I’m just changing the way I do it. The reason may not make 100 percent financial sense, but it will make me feel better.

Here’s why.


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