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Holiday Travel, Shopping, and Your Retirement

I’m so proud of myself! We almost always fly down to visit our in-laws. However, this year we’ve decided to drive to save some money. (Especially since now we would have to buy an additional seat for our two-year-old.) Because we usually have a lengthy layover at O’Hare, driving will probably only take about 1-2 hours longer than flying.

We considered having a DVD player installed to help with the drive (which will be about 9 hours total), but figured we could just buy a portable one for a fraction of the price. We’re going to go to the library and rent some videos for the trip. Hopefully that should occupy our 1 and 2 year-old for oh… about 15 minutes!

Just by making a few financially minded decisions we saved: $625 for airfare (less gas), $500 for a cheaper DVD player, and $20 for borrowed videos. Total savings: $1145. Consider your Thanksgiving travel plans… are there some quick changes you can make to save some money?

Holiday Shopping

Christmas Shopping Calendar – Dates to Save You Money [1]
Do you know what date you must order items by to guarantee Christmas delivery?

Holiday Photo Deals [2]
Thinking of sending holiday pictures? Here’s a fantastic list to save you some money!

A Do-It-Yourself Christmas: 34 Great Gifts You Can Make Yourself [3]
Want to make some of your gifts? Here are lots of ideas to get you started.

The Benefits of a Cash Christmas [4]
Have you always wanted to save money all year and buy Christmas gifts with cash? Here is your inspiration from Lynnae who did it for the first time this year!


If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Simply Contests [5]. Winnie has a category devoted entirely to freebies [6]. I must confess that I’m having a blast signing up for these since it’s so easy!

Retirement and Investing

Is Your 401k Account Safe? [7]
ERISA protects your plan from the trustee of the retirement plan; but you should also keep your money safe from yourself!

Even in this Economic Crisis and with Failing Companies Your Pension Should be Safe [8]
The PBGC insures your pension benefits up to certain limits. Although, they can make future changes to freeze your plan.

Targeted Retirement Funds Offer a (Nearly) Hands-Free Approach to Retirement Investing [9]
I’m a big fan of the target retirement funds from Vanguard. I use them for many of my family members.

Asset Allocation: What It Is and Why It Is Important [10]
“What Efficient Frontier theory argues is that an investment portfolio can be optimized, as long as all asset classes are included and properly weighted.”

The End of the 401(k) Match? [11]
Has your company stopped matching funds? If you work at General Motors or Frontier Airlines, that’s what happened.

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