Cancel Your Cable TV and Keep Watching All Your Favorite Shows – Smooth Move

Six months ago, my fiancée and I watched a lot of TV. Any time House, LOST, Seinfeld, any Real Housewives, MTV’s Made and True Life, or just about anything entertaining was on, we’d be glued to the couch.

Today we’re still watching all our favorites . . . but we don’t pay a dime for cable. One day in June, we called Comcast and asked them to cancel our cable (but leave the internet on!).

Here’s what happened.

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Continue Reading December 21, 2009 at 9:00 AM Leave a comment

Thanksgiving Family Fun for Free or Cheap

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re at home with loved ones, eating too much and loving every minute of it.

Thanksgiving comes with a lot of downtime, though—quality time spent with family, but not spent doing much.

Here’s a Thanksgiving bonus: A few ideas to keep your fam entertained for free or for cheap!

Continue Reading November 26, 2009 at 9:00 AM Leave a comment

How to Make the Most of Your 401K Plan

So your company offers a 401(K) plan—you might be in it already, you might not be. Even if you’re in, chances are good that the enrollment processed made your mind feel like mush, every fund description was in a foreign banking language, and you ended up just putting your money somewhere—maybe even in your company’s default fund (probably not a good idea!). You’re not alone: 401(K)s confuse almost everybody.

But if you want to retire some day, your company’s 401(K) is probably your best best! If you’re not in, you should get in. If you’re in but aren’t too sure where your money’s going, now’s the time to re-arrange your contributions. Call it Fall Cleaning.

Continue Reading November 24, 2009 at 12:46 PM Leave a comment

Mint.com Review

Keeping a personal budget is a pain. Making a note of every money exchange—both incoming and outgoing—in your day-to-day life gets tiring fast, and even though budgeting is vital to a money-happy life, keeping one yourself can stop some frugal hopefuls in their tracks.

Why not simplify your budget-keeping by keeping it all online? You have plenty of free sites to choose from . . . but the golden media darling is Mint.com. Mint is mentioned any time anyone brings up budgeting—especially in finance journalism. It’s been in Time Magazine’s 50 Best Websites 2 years in a row, it’s been named a top pick by Money Magazine, it’s one of Kiplinger’s best budgeting sites, it’s won a Webby Award, and . . . well, the list goes on. Obviously, Mint is a winner.

So how does Mint.com fare as a real budgeting tool? Here’s my blow-by-blow . . .

Continue Reading November 2, 2009 at 9:00 AM Leave a comment

Sell All Your Cars – Follow-up

My fiancée and I took a vacation to San Fran two weeks ago—but not before having one good financial fiasco at home.

She ordered a new pair of “shoes” off of kayakshed.com back in September. They were back-ordered for a month and took even longer to actually ship. By the time UPS got them to our area, we were scheduled to catch a plane the next morning. And here’s where the fun begins.

Continue Reading October 30, 2009 at 12:19 PM Leave a comment

Sell All Your Cars – Smooth Move

Can you think back to the last time in your life when you lived—probably comfortably and happily—without a car? For plenty of you city dwellers, that time’s right now. Some of you might be remembering college, or maybe a little window of time after college. And plenty of you haven’t gone without wheels since you turned sixteen. You’re sure you need your ride right now . . . and you’re probably right.

But do yourself a favor: take a minute to imagine—in the context of your real current life—not having a car of any kind.

Continue Reading October 12, 2009 at 3:31 PM 1 comment

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Sam Warren

I write about money matters that apply to my life—and hopefully yours!

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