Among the financial tasks I never seem to get to dealing with is a fun one: spending gift cards that I’ve thoughtfully been given. I heard on the news the other day that half of Americans have unspent gift cards at home – averaging $116. I’m part of that group, although I would guess I have more $$$ tied up than the average. Many of … Continue reading Gift Card Procrastination
If you are like me, you have seen first-hand the struggle many businesses – especially restaurants – are having hiring enough employees right now. An acquaintance who owns a prestigious restaurant company in our metro area said they are so short-handed, they are running at only 50% capacity. As a result, I’ve been tipping extra since the pandemic began last year. I like restaurants and … Continue reading Eating Out & Tipping Trends
For someone that writes a personal finance blog and loves driving, you would think I would be more attuned to gasoline prices than I am. My wife can always tell you what the current gas prices are, but I seldom even notice how much I’ve paid to fill the tank. If you also haven’t been paying attention, gas prices are up almost a full dollar … Continue reading Concerned About Gas Prices Yet?
I spent a fair amount of time trying to decide what color Jeep that I should get last month. I looked online, posted a question in a couple Jeep forums, and talked to friends & family about what they liked best. I couldn’t initially decide between ‘Granite Grey’, ‘Sarge Green’, or ‘Snazzberry Red’ – the latter of which I finally went for. In the end, … Continue reading Which Vehicle Colors Are More Desirable?
I am so old, I can remember the day that Dow Jones Industrial Average permanently broke the milestone value of 1,000. It was in December 1982 – when I was still in high school. I was enough of a business & investing geek even then to recall reading about it in the newspaper. Now, with the DJIA pushing almost 35x that landmark, I’m astounded to … Continue reading Stock Market Volatility
Anyone that has tried to make a major purchase recently – a home, remodel, new vehicle, or electronic purchase – knows how tight supply is for everything after the pandemic. At the same time, investors are wringing their hands over rising inflation. With that in mind, I was surprised to see this JP Morgan chart on the US personal savings rate. People are doing a … Continue reading Sudden Savings Surprise
My son and I spent Independence Day weekend in the All-American city of Las Vegas. We are on our 30+ hour road trip from MN to California where he is going to work remotely for a few months. I love almost everything about Vegas except the gambling. I’ve never had the gambling bug, but we couldn’t miss the fun since we were in Sin City. … Continue reading What Are The Odds?
Thinking about retirement? Friends of mine are. I enjoyed a frosty refreshment with an old friend recently and he said, “I never thought about retirement until you retired. Since then, I think about it almost every single day”. Another friend recently called and commented, “we haven’t talked in a while, but I have to tell you – your early retirement is never far from my … Continue reading Very Visible Early Retiree
I’m pretty cheap when it come to haircuts. I just go to the family place – Cost Cutters or Great Clips – when I need a trim. I’ve done that for my whole adult life. This past week, I got a haircut on the same day our dog, Riley, also got his hair cut. Mine was $16. His was $68! Yes, his haircut included a … Continue reading Saving So Our Dog Can Have A Better Life 😉
I’m am more than a little perplexed at how the media reports on early retirees. Most articles do their best to talk people OUT of saving up to be financially independent and enjoy the rest of their life in retirement. This article from AARP is no exception. You would think that an organization seeking to represent people in retirement (politically and otherwise) would be a … Continue reading WTF AARP?