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You Need a Plan

Even you're scraping by on a minimum-wage job, you need a budget. The basic plan is pretty straightforward: Total your income from all sources Estimate you total expenses Calculate the difference If the difference is negative, you need to figure out how to fix that! You can either increase your income, or decrease the outgo, or both. The easiest way is usually to decrease your outgo. If you have been caught up in the credit card trap, the first step is to cut all of them up. Read more [...]
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Do You Have a Privileged Relationship? Not With Your CPA!

So, have you heard any juicy stories lately? Have you told any? You know, like that income you forgot to report on your tax return, or fake deductions you took on your business?  Do you think you have a privileged relationship with your CPA? Whatever you do, don’t tell me! I don’t want to hear it! Yes, even though I am a CPA and am fully qualified to help you with your tax problems, please do not tell me your guilty tax secrets, especially if they involve criminal intent (aka you knew what Read more [...]
YourFirstCruise

Want to Cruise? Avoid These Money Traps!

Cruising can be one of the most economical modes of vacationing, considering what you get for your cruise fee, namely, a floating luxury hotel that travels to several ports. All of the meals are included (well, sort of... see below), and you only have to unpack and re-pack once. Many of the amenities are no extra charge. Cruising has been one of the favorite activities that my wife and I have done for the last several years. My wife likes it even more than I do -- she wrote the book that you Read more [...]
ShutterStock image licensed by Ruby Andrew

How to Save Money & Frustration While Traveling

Traveling to a holiday destination or on a business trip can be a delightful and exciting experience. However, every trip starts with planning chores and precautions many are loath to do. Without proper planning, holidays easily degenerate into expensive nightmares. This doesn't have to be so, if you: Do your homework This is the most important part of a trip. Most people prefer exotic locations for their holidays, which inadvertently mean they have no clue about the place. It is therefore Read more [...]

How to Get the Best Deal on College Education

Do you know of any jobs that require you to have a college degree for them to even consider you? Ummm, yup, pretty much all of them. College is incredibly important these days. If you want to get ahead (or at the very least keep up with everyone else), it is almost a certainty that you should not only attend college, but that you should receive a Bachelor’s degree as well. Many people understand that college is important, but the next question is, “How can I possibly afford it?” Tuition Read more [...]
ShaveSecret

Shaving on the Cheap

I keep running across various ways to save "lots" of money on the ritual of shaving. That sort of post seems to have a very broad appeal, since almost everybody shaves. Most women shave their legs, and most men shave their faces. I wear a beard, but I still shave in order to keep the appearance neat. A few months ago, I saw a blog post on Thousandaire about reducing the cost of shaving your face to a couple of bucks/month. It was mostly about an outfit called The Dollar Shave club. I wasn't terribly Read more [...]
Atahualpa

New Theme

When Mrs. BFTROU set up this blog, she chose the Atahualpa theme, mainly to experiment with it. One of our friends uses Atahualpa, so we figured it would be a good theme to use. Today, I got rid of it. Read more [...]
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A Credit Report That is Really Free!

Usually, when you get a "free" credit report, you have to enter a credit card. Then, if you forget to cancel your "service" you get billed after the "free" month. However, there is a credit reporting service that doesn't do that. It is really free. They are hoping that you like the service enough to continue to use it - and they appear to have lots of happy "customers." One minor glitch, however -- it isn't really your "offical" FICO score. They arrive at their figure a different way, and it's Read more [...]
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Valentine’s Day!

It's interesting how caught up we get in holiday spending. Valentine's Day is a prime example. It's a purely arbitrary date, but a huge percentage of the population has been caught up in the idea that if you don't get your significant other something nice for Valentine's Day, you are just a jerk. Worse yet, it absolutely must be presented on February 14th, and it can't be anything practical, or you can end up in the doghouse, as depicted in this old (but still hilarious) JCPenny commerial. If Read more [...]
AZNewYear

January is the Time to Buy…

...almost anything at Amazon. Yeah, there are always lots of Amazon ads. And there are sales and rumors of sales. So how is January different for Amazon? Here's how: On February 15th, FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) sellers will be billed for something called "long-term storage." The FBA sellers will get the warning email in mid-January -- and a lot of them will panic. Some FBA sellers with very large inventories will see long-term storage fees, which are based on volume, in the thousands of dollars. Read more [...]