Category Archives for "Save"

How Not To Get Involved in a Ponzi Scheme

The Bernard Madoff scandal is making the news again today. I haven’t written much about financial scandals, rip-offs, and white collar crime, so now’s as good a time as any, I suppose, to fill you in on a few things.

First off, let’s just say that Bernie Madoff is a jerk. He took people’s money in an elaborate Ponzi scheme and made off with BILLIONS. Gone are the days when MILLIONS of dollars ripped off will make the news circuit!

Madoff simply needs to be tried, sentenced, and forgetten about. “Investors” – you will NEVER get your money back.


I put “investors” in quotes because a lot of those folks weren’t investors. They were rich dreamers who wanted even more money than they already had.

They had an “In” to a supposedly too-good-to-be-true financial “system.”


If it’s “too good to be true,” it’s too good to be true! Run – don’t walk – away from stuff like this.

For as long as man has lived, there have been schemes concocted by shrewd, yet immoral and dispicable, people that seek to separate YOU from your MONEY.

The most famous, of course, was made famous by Italian immigrant, Charles Ponzi. He promised “investors” a 50 percent return on their money in a matter of days and he made good on his promise.

For a while.

He took new investor money and returned it, plus the 50 percent, to the gullible folks who gave Ponzi their money first. The last suckers got the shaft.

Of course, Ponzi went to jail and died poor. Just like Madoff ought to.

There are some lessons to be learned here.

  1. The aforementioned, “If it’s too good to be true” lesson. 
  2. Invest like Warren Buffett – if you don’t understand a “business,” don’t invest in it. Ponzi had no business other than taking people’s money for himself.
  3. If you hear about a scheme on a golf course, get in your golf cart and go home. Secure your money. Make sure your pockets weren’t picked.
  4. If it sounds like an “insider’s secret,” treat it as such. Insider trading is illegal for many reasons.
  5. Invest in YOUR own business. Nobody else gives a damn about you or your financial plight. 

One last thing: There are legal Ponzi schemes, the most notable of which is Social Security. Yes, you read that right. It’s a government-enacted program that is exactly a Ponzi scheme.

The reason that Social Security will go broke is that there are fewer and fewer “new investors” and the old investors want their guaranteed returns.

I’m not making any moral judgements here. In fact, I support Social Security. In its original fomulation, it was to be used as a social safety net that had more new investors than old. As long as that was the case, the system was sound and good.

But now that the demographics have turned upside down (many more collecting nowadays, not as many contributing, relatively speaking), the system is in peril.

Stay tuned for my solution to the Social Securty nightmare in a coming post. And don’t get me started on Medicare! It’s in a much more precarious state than Social Security ever will be, but you don’t hear much about it.

Money isn’t everything. It’s the only thing. Wait. That’s only for football.
Enjoy life. Spend time with your family.

Financial Calamity To End December 31, 2009

That’s my “bold” prediction. The basis for this? The increased FDIC insurance on bank deposits of $250,000 laspes on that date, as if everything will be fine by then.

Don’t count on it! There’s a lot more downside to this economy, I’m afraid. But now might be a great time to get your ducks in a row and be ready for the upturn. It will happen just as things look their worst.

Money isn’t everything. It’s the only thing. Wait. That’s only for football.
Enjoy life. Spend time with your family.

Kids and Money – March 2, 2009

Welcome to the March 2, 2009 edition of Kids and Money. It’s been a while since our last carnival, so this is a BIG ONE. I’ve tried to put the submissions into logical blocks for easier reading.


Tisha Tolar presents Work at Home Discipline: Find Some posted at Empowering Mom.

jim presents Ten Recession-Busting Money Tips for Young Professionals posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

Pinyo presents Where To Sell Used Books And Textbooks posted at Moolanomy.


Matthew Paulson presents 8 Money Saving Ideas for Family Fun Night posted at American Consumer News.

Gary R. presents Traditional vs. Rustic Camp Sites posted at Camping Tips, saying, “An increasing number of campgrounds are offering visitors the choice of both traditional and rustic campsites.”

Madison presents Money Saving Tips for Kids on Valentine’s Day posted at Kids and Money.

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Lower Your Car Insurance Rates! How To Cut Insurance Premiums In Half posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “If you’ve got kids, driving safely and carefully is a must. And doing so will most likely lower your car insurance rates as well.” 

Barry presents Tug Of War Between Retailers And Frugal Consumers posted at Associate Money. 

Annette Berlin presents Printable Toys For Pre-Teens posted at Craft Stew, saying, “Older children get tired of toys fast. Rather than spending a small fortune to keep them constantly satisfied, let them create their own playthings from cardstock and a printer.” 

jim presents How to Strong Arm Your Way to a Better Deal posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity. 

Savings Toolbox presents Tips to Save On your Summer Getaway posted at Savings Toolbox.


Deposit Accounts presents Savings Accounts for Children posted at Deposit Accounts. 

Mr. Banker presents High Interest Money Market Accounts (MMA) posted at Best Interest Rate Banks. 

Brian McKay presents CD Rates posted at, saying, “Finding a decent rate on a certificate of deposit account these days isn’t an easy thing to do. CD rates have been coming down so fast recently the average 12 month CD rate is nearing just 2.00%.” 


retirehappy presents Warren Buffett’s Metric Says BUY! posted at My Retirement Blog. 

The Shark Investor presents Strategies For Raising Funds: Borrow Your Way To Wealth posted at The Shark Investor, saying, “How and when to use loans for investing” 

Carrie presents Learning About Investing as a Child posted at Less is More. 

RJ presents The Case for Investing in Index Funds posted at Our Financial Planner, saying, “No matter the age and experience, index funds can be your greatest friend. Thank you for hosting.” 

Kelly Sonora presents 25 Forex-Related Twitter Accounts Worth Following posted at Best Forex Brokers. 

PicktheBrain presents The First Investment a Beginner Should Make posted at Beginner Investing. 

Money Management 

Len Penzo presents Using a Ledger to Teach Kids Money Management posted at Len Penzo . Com, saying, “Even kids as young as 6-years old can learn personal finance management skills via this simple bookkeeping plan.” 

Lisa Mitchell presents Teaching Your Children About Money posted at Let’s Talk Babies. 

Jacquelyn presents The Wise Parent & Child Money Guide posted at – Wise Parenting Guide, saying, “Give your child an introduction to the subject of money by reading this article together. This will give your child a general idea about money.” 


Silicon Valley Blogger presents Best Cash Back Credit Cards: Your Rewards For Spending posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “Thank you!” 

jim presents Best Student Credit Cards posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity. 

Finance Tips 101 presents Drowning In Debt? Bad Credit Loans May Need To Be Considered! posted at Finance Tips 101. 

Finance Tips 101 presents The Pros And Cons Of Personal Loans posted at Finance Tips 101. 

Finance Tips 101 presents Answers About Home Equity Loans posted at Finance Tips 101.

DebtLite presents What Are the Root Causes of Debt? posted at Debt Advice. 

Astrid Lee presents Suze Orman posted at World Healing, saying, “Article on advice by Suze Orman, the popular TV adviser on personal finance and about how get out of debt. Article also contains video show where she talks about how to determine how much to give to charities…” 

Finance Tips 101 presents Cash Back, Award Points, and Gas Cards posted at Finance Tips 101. 


Madison presents Midwestern Disaster Area Tax Impacts posted at Tax Gab, saying, “Expanded college tax credits for those affected by the storms last year.” 

Finance Tips 101 presents Scholarship And Grant Information For Interested High School Graduates posted at Finance Tips 101. 

The Smarter Wallet presents Student Loan Programs To Pay For My College Tuition Costs posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “Thanks!” 

Madison presents Ohio 529 College Advantage $25 Sign Up Bonus posted at My Dollar Plan. 

OnlineCollege presents Choosing a College: A Simple Guide for Undergraduates posted at Universities and Colleges. 

Preparing for Baby

jim presents Preparing Financially for a Baby posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity. 

Concerning Kids presents Choosing The Right Pediatrician For Your Baby posted at Concerning Kids. 

Madison presents Our Family is Expanding… Financial Resources for Babies posted at My Dollar Plan. 

Pregnant Woman presents Identical Triplets – Three Bundles Of Joy posted at Pregnancy, saying, “Triplets occur in one of every eight thousand live births” 

The Stimulus 

The Smarter Wallet presents Will The Obama Economic Stimulus Check and 2009 Stimulus Plan Save The Economy? posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “How will your family be affected by the stimulus bill?” 

Brian McKay presents What’s in the Stimulus Bill for You? posted at, saying, “We have listed all the benefits for individuals in President Obama’s stimulus bill that was just passed.” 

Ella Moss presents New Economy, or Buy American, Stupid! « Zodiac Times posted at Zodiac Times, saying, “So, the new stimulus package is passed, hopes are up, markets are down, and recession deepens. Everyone is blaming the housing market, unscrupulous bankers and inept previous administration. But very few seem to understand the true roots of our woes, and how deep our economic problems go.” 


KCLau presents Money Tips Group Writing Project posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “Calling out for contributors to an e-book about personal finance.” 

nickel presents Should You Pay Your Kids for Good Grades? posted at 

Money Tipper presents Bring Proof of Age When Flying With Young Children posted at Money Tipper. 

Concerning Kids presents Tips And Idea To Help Child Proof Your Home posted at Concerning Kids. 

Finance Tips 101 presents Alarming Identity Theft Statistics Are Cause For Concern posted at Finance Tips 101. 

Relax presents The happy way to spend money posted at The Wise Curve, saying, “we are happier when we spend money to gain experience than buying material goods” 

jim presents Total Cost of Owning A Dog posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity. 

Concerning Kids presents Helping Your Healthy Child Stay Fit For Life posted at Concerning Kids.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Kids and Money using our carnival submission form.

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Save $4,000 On Utility Bill

Here are some key things you can do to save quite a bit of money with a small investment (and we all know investing in the stock market right now requires an iron stomach and lots of Tums).

You can more than double your $1,500 investment by taking these steps. And this is in the first year. The savings pile up over the life of your house.

Plus, saving energy also saves our planet.

  1. Insulate your attic
  2. Seal ducts
  3. Use a programmable thermostat
  4. Seal cracks
  5. Wrap your water heater (this one used to be in vogue, then it went out of fashion. Now, it’s back “in”)
  6. Get your furnace serviced
Get green by saving green. — Knock $4,000 Off Your Utility Bill

Minimum Payment Calculator

Bankrate has a nifty credit card calculator. With all the news about the financial markets, I hope this is a nice break from all that. 

This reinforces the idea that credit card debt should be either paid off in full each cycle (preferable since you’ll never have to pay interest) or paid off in as little time as possible. Paying the minimums will take you virtually forever (since the balance declines a little each month, causing the minimum to decline just a touch each month, causing you to decelerate your principal pay down each month). credit card calculator — How much will the minimum credit card payment cost me?

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