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A Spring Ahead Roundup

It’s that time again, Daylight Saving Time started while we slept.

By the way, if you didn’t know, this Dali work is Persistence of Memory. If you refer to it correctly the first time and are asked again, it’s okay to say “you know, the melting clocks.”  Glad to get that out of the way. Now, on to my best of the week.

At Eliminate The Muda, FinEngr of Engineer Your Finances asks What’s your magic number? The (literally) million-dollar question. Everyone’s number is unique to them, but it seems we all start with trying to understand if we will spend more or less after retiring. Is a million enough? For some, yes, others, maybe not.

Next on Len Penzo’s site is a guest post, The (Dead)Beat Generation, a discussion of whether to walk away from your mortgage. I’m still on the fence about this, gathering up a survey of others’ views and trying to come to my own conclusion.

Meg Marco authored Consumerist’s 10 Commandments of Credit, which caught my eye both because I’m a list guy as well as the common sense it offers. Dave Ramsey be darned, I’ll take the advice here, “Thou Shalt Get A Credit Card With Extended Warranty Protection, Cash Back or Reward Points, And Thou Shalt Take Advantage Of Them.” This, and 9 more great credit tips.

Another recurring question, Is There Such a Thing as “Good Debt,” was asked at Fiscal Geek. In theory, debt is good if you can get a higher return than the interest you are paying. In the old days, a zero fee, zero interest credit card that let you borrow for a year was a great deal, to me, good debt. Short of that, I’d say being debt free is a worthy goal.

Last this week, I liked 7 Income Tax Breaks – Thanks to Your Children, by Miranda. As tax time approaches, this post is a great reminder of the tax breaks you can take advantage of if you have children. Take a look and see if you’re taking advantage of the tax breaks available to you.

Have a great week. Enjoy the extra daylight.


  • BibleDebt March 14, 2010, 8:21 am

    Thanks for the list of good reading this Sunday morning. Looking forward to the magic number article.

  • LeanLifeCoach March 14, 2010, 11:44 am

    Thanks for highlighting a post on my site. But the real credit belongs to @FinEngr of the site EngineerYourFinances.com

  • JOE March 14, 2010, 11:51 am

    Thanks, I updated the post to give him credit and link, sorry about that. I often miss credits when I’m reading others’ blogs, need to pay attention to the guest posts.

  • Augustine March 14, 2010, 5:33 pm

    Why, oh why is it that almost all articles or posts about “exit strategies” on upside-down mortgages forget to mention that in most states the bank will still go after the borrower until it’s whole again? Skipping payments, jingle mail, short sale, it doesn’t matter, the bank can still go after the difference, even years down the road.

    “Man up” was, however, the best advise that I’ve seen in the last 2 years.

    Besides, I never quite got this idea of walking out of an upside-down mortgage when virtually all new cars are upside-down the moment they’re driven out of the dealer’s lot. Or, for that matter, virtually everything that’s bought, financed or not. The fact is that we need some things to live or to give us a certain standard of living and we, gladly or not, pay for them as a fact of life. Why would a roof over one’s head be different?

    Enough ranting…

  • LeanLifeCoach March 14, 2010, 8:16 pm

    You are a good man Joe!

  • Kevin@OutOfYourRut March 15, 2010, 12:40 pm

    Joe, thanks for including Is “There Such a Thing as “Good Debt” on Fiscal Geek. It was my inaugural post on that site and I’m grateful for all the support I can get!

    Thanks for you comment on the thread as well. We had a great exchange of ideas.

  • Len Penzo March 15, 2010, 5:59 pm

    @Augustine: Bravo! Well said.

    … and thanks for the mention, Joe! I’m a bit surprised you are on the fence with respect to strategic defaults. You seem like the type who would be firmly in the anti-strat-default camp. 🙂


    Len Penzo dot Com

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