th9 150x150 Austin meet up on Sunday, Aug. 3?Thanks to all those who’ve e-mailed tips about Austin or left suggestions in the comments section. Based on that and my own schedule in the capital city, I’m thinking about 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 3 at a restaurant called The Shady Grove.

Anyone up for meeting there? And is 11 a.m. too early?

If so, then how about 11:30 a.m.? I’d like to get there before it fills up for Sunday brunch. The menu looks tasty indeed.


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th7 Heading to Austin, Texas. Got any insider tips?I’ll be in the Lone Star State’s capital city for a few days in early August. Anyone who lives there/near there or has visited a lot have any insider tips to share?

DF has suggested the Harry Ransom Center, at the University of Texas. I’m also interested in the Texas State History Museum. And, of course, in good barbecue.


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DONNA F For the best FinCon14 price, book by Monday night.Once again I’ve been chosen to present a program at the Financial Blogger Conference, which takes place Sept. 18-20 in New Orleans.

According to the organizer, Phil Taylor, I’m apparently the only person who’s been involved all four years. So I guess it’s really not just me who likes to hear myself  talk.

The “early bird” pricing ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, June 30. So if you’re a blogger or want to be one, sign up now for the best deal (more on that in a minute).

Or just attend because you’re intrigued by personal finance and/or would like to hear writers talk about what they do.


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th 11 Hitting the road? Heres what you need.An article in the July issue of Consumer Reports, “How to deal with road emergencies,” includes a sidebar on stuff every driver should keep in the car. While not everyone is going to have everything on the list, the piece will help you think through what you’d do if something went wrong.

Not that I’m wishing bad karma (carma?) on your road trip. But suppose you did have a fender-bender or a flat? Or one of your kids takes a tumble at the rest stop? Or your battery just up and dies when you’re miles from nowhere?

That’s where the Consumer Reports list comes in handy. Best-case scenario: You’ll never need any of it. Worst-case scenario? You’ll need it and not have it.

Since only amateurs pay retail, I’ll suggest some frugal hacks after the list. They won’t all work if your trip is happening tomorrow, but they’ll help you replenish what’s missing for later excursions.


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th A travel Tweetchat and more.Hope you’ll join me Wednesday morning for a Tweetchat sponsored by GoBankingRates and CheapOair.

I’m attending as a guest blogger and will help provide tips on topics like low-cost student travel abroad, sticking to a travel budget, booking bargain travel, and low-cost Memorial Day activities.

You can ask questions or answer the ones posed, if you have tips to share. The chat takes place from 11 a.m. to noon PDT. Use the hashtag #COAChat.

Sorry to have maintained radio silence since last week. The weather has been glorious, which is distracting enough, but the unseasonable warmth sent the pollen count through the roof. (Think: a “high” reading times 270.) The sneezing and asthmatic wheezing, plus a couple of deadlines and ongoing anxiety caused by my daughter’s latest pregnancy, have kept me from achieving much.


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