Archive for December, 2007

My Asset Allocation: Total Market Approach

Posted by Madison on December 31, 2007

I revamped our portfolio this fall with the intent of simplifying it. I settled on the total market approach. Update: Here is my most recent asset allocation update. My final percentages were a cross between the strategy of the Vanguard Target Retirement funds (specifically the 2045 fund) and Taylor Larimore’s four fund portfolio at the […]

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Debt Payoff Strategies Holding You Back

Posted by Madison on December 30, 2007

There’s a lot of discussion around optimizing your debt. Figuring out which order to pay off debt, keeping your emotions in check, minimizing interest, moving money around… the reality is that these aren’t solutions to the debt problem; in fact they are hindering your ability to get out of debt!

Roundup: Vacation, Carnival, and a Challenge

Posted by Madison on December 29, 2007

Gather Little By Little had the best Christmas ever. We’re also having a great time. We had four family Christmas gatherings and are now spending two weeks down South relaxing. We don’t have anything specific planned which is a great feeling after all the holiday stress.  My Two Dollars didn’t get a Wii for Christmas. We didn’t […]

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American Express Finance Charge Fixed

Posted by Madison on December 28, 2007

I had my husband call American Express yesterday to get the $689.72 finance charge straightened out on his IN: CHICAGO American Express card. He actually tried to call on Wednesday, but the hold time was over 10 minutes. He waited for a few, then handed me the phone to hold when the doorbell rang. Somehow in […]

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How Do I Organize 181 Accounts?

Posted by Madison on December 27, 2007

How exactly do I stay organized with 89 credit accounts, 31 bank accounts, 29 investment accounts and 32 other accounts (not including 14 accounts for the kids and numerous accounts for family members)? That’s what readers wanted to know when I started to describe some of the details of our accounts. I’ll highlight my various […]

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Public Employees can Double-dip on Retirement

Posted by Madison on December 26, 2007

I’ve been finalizing our budget for the upcoming year. Included is determining how much to contribute to our various retirement accounts. My husband works for a university, so he has two plans available to him: the 457 and the 403b.

Merry Christmas from American Express

Posted by Madison on December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas! We made it through our airport adventure yesterday with 2 delays for 4 hours, one rebooking and a trip to the emergency room for a dislocated elbow… but we eventually made it! I hope your Christmas is enjoyable and you are having a relaxing day.

More Personal Finance Sites

Posted by Madison on December 24, 2007

We’re packed and heading off today for a trip down south to visit family for two weeks. It’s the first time we are flying with both boys. However, we can’t sit together because of the limited airmasks. Because they are both under 2 and traveling as infants in our laps, we only had to pay for 2 tickets […]

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Free Online Efiling

Posted by Madison on December 23, 2007

In a recent carnival roundup, Steward mentioned that the IRS is offering free efiling for those who made less than $54,000 in 2007. Here’s some details about the program from the IRS: 

Why I Won’t Spend the Same Amount on the Kids

Posted by Madison on December 21, 2007

Save the guilt and the cash. Give the kids presents based on wants, needs, and the ability to give. Do not give based on meeting a price that was spent on their sibling. I realize this is probably an unpopular stance, as I’ve witnessed many families make sure that all the kids get equal amounts […]

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