If only for the blunt title, Bend Over… I’ll Show You Where You Can Stick Your ‘Rewards’ was my first pick for the week. Baker takes a strong stand against the credit card industry, so strong that he’d like to avoid doing business with them altogether. My own view is different, but I respect Baker and even when we disagree, he makes me stop and think about my values.
On Wise Bread I read 9 Things That Are Worth Buying at Costco. On a good visit to Costco I can find a couple dozen items we buy there on a regular basis, this post was just the tip of the iceberg offered from a Costco member. Some favor BJs or Sam’s Club, for me Costco is the big winner for savings.
On Realm of Prosperity I saw an interesting take on the ‘time is money’ concept, Changing The Price From Dollars to Work Hours When Shopping. Simon touches on this idea by comparing his hourly wage to the money he’ll spend on his lunch hour meal. I commented on this post that I think the concept is brilliant. As time goes on, looking at how much a meal costs, or a new car, or man’s suit, not in dollars, but in hours, helps put and interesting spin on your spending habits.
At Financial Highway was a neat collection of Investing and Money Rules of Thumb. Some traditional rules such as the Rule of 72 and the 4%/yr withdrawal rule for retirement, but also new ones Ray’s fellow tweeps sent in.
Next, The Debt Gazette shares that Statistics Reflect a Consumer Shift Away from Credit Cards.I don’t doubt that, but I do fear that we have a very short memory. When the economy turns up again, I can’t be sure the same excesses won’t return and lay the path to a repeat of the same mistakes we just made.
The Finance Buff offers a clever way to Uncover The Hidden Fees In Your 401(k) Plan. The issue for these accounts is that while the funds themselves may have a low fee, there may be a management fee that difficult to uncover. The disclosure isn’t always so easy to understand. Using this method is a great start to getting a grip on your retirement account expenses.
David at My Two Dollars passes on this declaration from Time Magazine, Own A Home? You’re On Welfare. This view sees the government giving me money to subsidize my mortgage and property tax. Me, I see it from the opposite view, that I work hard for my money, and our tax structure has rules that certain items ‘come off the top.’ So I’m spending my money before the government gets their hands on it. Time seems to feel that all money within the system belongs to the government and whatever I’m permitted to take home is my welfare. An interesting read even if I disagree 100%.
Last, I tip my hat to Kay Bell of Don’t Mess With Taxes who had Obama’s Nobel Prize tax implications the day he won the award. She suggested that if he’d donate the entire award to charity, directly, there’s be no tax consequence. I think he’s a fan, too, and took her advice.
As you can see, another great week of reading.