Financial Wellness @ Work

Teetotal Up Your Savings By Dropping Your Drinking

With football season in full swing, my husband stocks up on his favorite Yuengling beer, the unofficial state drink in PA. A case costs around $18 and goes pretty quick with his two sons over to watch the game on Sundays. With 17 weeks in the season, that’s over $300 – which is a bit under what the average U.S. household spent on wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as reported in a recent Reuters article.  That amounts to about 1% of the typical household expenditures but keep in mind that the average includes non-drinkers too so that means some households are spending WAY more than that already hefty amount on alcohol. Read more

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Could a Sonic Boom Crack a Windshield?

I had to make a call to my insurance agent today to report a claim on my broken front windshield.  My explanation for the needed repair sounded almost as absurd as “the dog ate my homework,” but the only direct link I could make to my windshield cracking was that a sonic boom broke the glass. I had gone to watch the Blue Angels Navy flight squadron fly over the Baltimore Inner Harbor as part of this month’s Star Spangled Spectacular, which is celebrating the 200th birthday of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner lyrics by Francis Scott Key. The Navy jets are VERY loud and I had parked my car at Martin Airport to see the take-off and landing of the squadron.   Read more

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Power Tools Aren’t Just for Professionals

Are you an HGTV fan like me? If so, you’ll probably be watching the premier tonight of The Jennie Garth Project, where the recently divorced 90210 star takes on a rehab of a 1970s ranch home in Hollywood Hills.  Based on the previews, she’s not afraid to pick up a power tool to get the job done. Read more

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The New Cell Phone Plan That’s Allset to Save You Money

A couple of years ago, I wrote about prepaid cell phone plans and how they can save you money. I ended up switching from the LG Optimus V on Virgin Mobile to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Ting. However, I’ve recently had some problems with my phone losing data connection and battery power so I decided to upgrade again. That’s when I discovered Verizon’s new “Allset” prepaid plan. Here’s why I think it offers the best deal in cell phone plans right now: Read more

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Four Steps to Car Buying

This year my daughter is turning 16,and you know what that means. Buying and selling a vehicle can be one of the most intimidating financial transactions you will ever experience, but there is a plethora of information and advice out there to help even the most nervous consumer get through the process. Here are some simple steps you can take to acquire the car of your dreams: Read more

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Get a C.L.U.E.

Want a clue on how your auto and homeowners insurance is determined? Any prior claims you have filed in the past 7 years for collision or comprehensive damage on your car or theft, fire, or storm damage to your home are reported to C.L.U.E. – which is the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. Too many claims on your C.L.U.E. report could even lead to being dropped by your insurance company. Read more

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We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore! (Part 3)

Several weeks ago, I introduced the idea of challenging corporate financial policies that put the company ahead of the customer. I talked about how cancellation policies are not set in stone and how consumers have nothing to lose by requesting a refund of unused services despite what the cancellation policy says. Last week, I continued the discussion by challenging the notion that new-customer deals should only be available to new customers while existing customers should be satisfied with the status quo. For this week’s blog post, I’m taking on the notion that some deals are only good “for a limited time.” Read more

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Your House Needs a Vacation Too

With summer coming to a close, have you planned your last vacation of the season?  As you pack your bags and finalize your itinerary, make sure to plan a holiday for your home as well. Specifically, give your home a rest regarding the electric use when you are away.  Here are four tips on how: Read more

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We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore! (Part 2)

Last week, I shared with you how cancellation policies can intimidate you into not asking for a refund when you do not intend on using a prepaid service. Another policy that drives me nuts and may be intimidating consumers into settling for less is the policy that it’s okay to offer better options to new customers only. Since when is it okay to treat new friends better than old onesRead more

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Student Loan Debt a Major Threat

I read this article about student loan debt resulting in a portion of a man’s Social Security income being garnished. In the article, not only is the garnishment discussed but also discussed is the growing trend of older Americans still having outstanding student loan debt. If that debt is not repaid prior to retirement, Social Security payments may be impacted and the retirement lifestyle that you’re expecting may come up short. It reminded me of a couple of situations I’ve encountered in coaching sessions recently where student loan debt became a central part of the conversation. Read more

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