Collectibles as an investment

What’s the big deal with collectibles? Well, they sometimes make a great investment.

Around here, “collectibles” can mean almost anything. Things just seem to collect, as I wrote about in Huffington Post.  Some is on purpose. For instance, all the snow globes my older daughter collects.  And the theatre programs.  And the books.  And the DVDs (possibly the world’s largest collection!). [Read more…]

8 foolproof customer service strategies (that only a fool would try!)

Not everybody’s idea of customer service actually falls under the category of “service”. Here are a few handy tricks to avoid.

Have you ever noticed how widely customer service varies from one store to another? You walk into some stores, and before you can even get the words “Buzz off!” out of your mouth, you’ve been trumped by a salesperson asking “May I help you?”

“No thanks.”

“May I help you?” asks another. [Read more…]

Four unscheduled ways to earn extra income

There are ways to make extra money without spending a lot more time. here are a few of them.

Chances are you hold a “nine to five” job even if the hours aren’t exactly nine to five. Five days a week or more, there’s a workplace you go to spend eight or more hours of your life. It’s the time-tested way to make a living and just about everyone has to participate, one way or another. Even the bosses.

Folks in need of extra money, but already devoted to a traditional full-time job, often feel like they’re in a tight spot. Two schedules add up to practically zero time available for personal errands, family obligations, and relaxation. [Read more…]

Are stocks really too risky for seniors?

The older you are, the less risk you should have in your financial portfolio. Does that mean that stocks are too risky for seniors?

My brothers and I were recently at a meeting to help my mother manage some of her finances. She sold her house and needed to put her money into something low risk.  As with most people of her age and even a couple decades younger, she has a high aversion for risk. [Read more…]

The Wicked Witch of Lido

This is a true story of how I overcame the evil magic of a real witch.

This goes back a while, but I recall how we almost ruined our honeymoon in Venice. My new bride, Chantal, was looking forward to this stop more than any other. Switzerland had been divine. Austria had been wonderful. But Venice was what she was most looking forward to.

We found a lovely pensione in Lido, a picturesque island just across the lagoon from Venice. [Read more…]

How to save money on car insurance – 18 frugal tips

Can you save money on car insurance? Of course you can. Here are 18 frugal, money-saving tips.

Hot on the heels of our frugal home insurance tips, we look at the other major property insurance that most people have, car insurance.  You will recognize some of these tips, because some of them are similar to the home insurance tips.

But some are very different!  There are some that you can do right now, and others that are part of a longer-term planning strategy. [Read more…]

How to save money on home insurance – 15 frugal tips

Can you save money on car insurance? Of course you can. Here are 18 frugal, money-saving tips.

One of the biggest expenses any home owner faces is home insurance.  And it comes around every year or every month, depending on how you have it set up. 

But there are ways you can save on home insurance.  Here are 15 tips for frugal home insurance. [Read more…]

Country living explained to city folk

I used to live in the city. I get it. But city folk just don’t get the country. So here’s a primer for them.

For the last time, I live in the country, not in the sticks. And I am relaxed, not a hick.

Ever since we moved to the country, I get the feeling you city-folk are confused. So here is a primer on what country living means. [Read more…]

What really matters?

It’s easy to get lost on the treadmill of life, but it’s worth getting off to start living.

He was on his cell phone. Driving and talking. Talking and driving. Driving and talking. Talking and … CRASH!!!

She was in her hospital bed. Breathing and gasping. Gasping and breathing. Breathing and … you get the idea. Too bad his business had to come before her life.

Is it just me, or does it seem we have lost more than a little perspective? [Read more…]