Monthly Archives: July 2008

Midnight Meanderings: New Scale And Clean Car

From my other sites -

Over at No. Calories Needed I’m getting a new scale.

Over at 99 Changes I’m cleaning out the trunk of my car.

Over at the NCN Network I’ve published several updated charts.

From My Blogroll -

Blunt Money has 9 reasons for NOT buying a stock.

Lazy Man shares his current asset allocation.  I think that I shall do this in an upcoming post!

The Digerati life has a post about personal finance bloggers and their investment returns.  I’m actually too depressed to even look at mine!

My Open Wallet writes a thoughtful post about having an “open wallet”.

My Two Dollars has a list of state sales tax holidays.

Paid Twice announces the shopping bag challenge.

About the Midnight Meanderings -

The Midnight Meanderings are published two or three times a week and highlight articles from across the web as well as the most recent articles from my other sites.

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The Most Awesome Readers In The World Share Their Best Personal Finance Tips

A few weeks ago, I asked readers to share their practical tips for personal finance newbies.  Here’s a summary of responses -

Spend less than you earn.  The granddaddy of them all.  All progress begins with this first step.  If you want to get out of debt and increase your savings, you must decrease your spending and live below your means.  Period.

Don’t be intimidated by personal finance terminology.

Create a plan (live on a budget).  I’ve written several articles about living on a budget, including how to create a budget if you have irregular income and how to create a simple budget.

Establish goals. I’m believe in having goals.  Here are my financial goals for 2008-2009.  I’ve also written about breaking goals down into micro-goals and the process I go through when creating goals.

Automate your savings plan.  Have your savings automatically deducted from your checking account to your savings account.

Pay automobile insurance premiums in full, instead of month-to-month.  I do this and it has reduced my annual insurance costs.

Learn how compound interest works.

Buy used.  We did this when we bought our new-to-us minivan.

Decrease driving costs by checking tire pressure, car pooling, and driving the speed limit.

Plan for annual expenses.

Start saving for retirement when you are young.  Check out this chart that details the benefits of saving for retirement when you are young.

Pay off entire credit card balances when due.  I don’t use credit cards, but for those who do, this is great advice.

Contribute to your 401K.

Read Dave Ramsey’s Book, The Total Money Makeover.  I agree!  It’s one of my favorite debt reduction books.

Use compact florescent bulbs, fans, and space heaters to save money on your electric bills.

Read personal finance blogs.  Yes!  For a huge list, checkout a great resource, PFBlogs.

Get rid of stuff you don’t need.

Avoid day trading.

Cut out smoking.  Seriously, if you stop smoking, you’ll save money and your insurance costs will go down – way down!

Find inexpensive hobbies

These are just some of the great tips that readers left.  To read all of the tips or to share one of your own, head over to the original post – Practical Tips For Personal Finance Newbies.  Remember, once I get 200 comments over at the original post, I’ll donate $200 to charity.

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The Baby Is Home From The Hospital Safe And Sound

I am happy to report, our little girl is home from the hospital.  While we still don’t know exactly what she had, she seems to be on her way to a full recovery.  We had to change her formula and we’ll need to monitor her very closely, but the doctors expect her to be fine in just a few days.

I want thank all of you who took the time to leave comments, expressing your well wishes, and those who said prayers for her.  It’s humbling to know that so many people who read this site also care about its author and his family.

You guys rock!

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Isaiah 26:3

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Medical Data And Social Security Numbers Exposed By Insurance Company

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia’s largest health insurer (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia) sent an estimated 202,000 benefits letters containing personal and health information to the wrong addresses last week, in a privacy breach that also raised concerns about potential identity theft.

Please click the link above to read the entire article, but it appears that the letters contained not only medical information but some also contained social security numbers.

Georgia’s Office of Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner John W. Oxendine posted this web alert with more information – including contact numbers – for those who have questions about this situation.

For those worried about identity theft, you might want to consider submitting a fraud alert (security freeze) to each of the credit bureaus:

Click here to submit one to Equifax or here to submit one to Experian.  TransUnion does not have an online form for submitting a fraud alert, but you can click here to find their contact information.

(Back in October, I lost my wallet and submitted a fraud alert to Experian.  According to their site, they notified the other bureaus for me.  I’m not sure if they still do this.  So, if you file an alert at their site, and they tell you that they’ll notify the other bureus, leave a comment and let me know!)

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