Keep more in 2004: 8 resolutions – Dec. 24, 2003
CNN presents five tips as we head into the new year. And here they are, summarized for your quick acceptance or rejection:
Pay yourself first by saving for your retirement directly from your paycheck. If you’ve procrastinated this year, get over it. Quit smoking. Get rid of poorly performing and expensive mutual funds and stocks. Make sure you have an emergency fund that’s easily accessible (very liquid). Improve your credit score. Take deductions on your taxes if you can. Don’t forfeit your vacation time.
Cost of home ownership – Dec. 23, 2003
What many people don’t think about when espousing the value of owning vs. renting living space is the cost of regular maintenance. The article presents a nice chart stating you should be saving $21/mo to replace a roof in 10 years, $83/mo to replace windows in 15 yearsm $14/mo to replace an over in 6 years, etc. The information comes from Askthebuilder.com. Have you been budgeting for these ongoing maintenance expenses?
Ah, I hear your argument. You don’t plan to live in your house for more than 5 years before moving out and finding another? Well, you should be budgeting for ongoing maintenance anyway, because if the next house you move into has previous owners who think like you, they’ll be leaving you with materials in the house that are due to be replaced sooner than you expect… and good luck.
America gets overstored. – Dec. 19, 2003
I usually don’t like this author’s articles, but this one is interesting. His point is that retail stores grow, but only at the expense of the demise of others.
The thing about retail , however, is that within the confines of overall consumer spending growth, it’s really a zero-sum game. When Staples sells one more digital camera, some other store sells one less.
MSN Money – How ‘stealth inflation’ sneaks up on your wallet
Guess we’re in a period of no inflation? Guess again. Consumer prices are rising, but it doesn’t come through in statistics. Items cost more because of increased fees, necessary or not. So while base prices are only rising a little, while wages stay the same, an ever-increasing barrage of fees on all things from hotels to telephone calls means that you pay more.