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My CostCo Investment: 6 months later

January 16, 2013 10 comments

We hear so many iterations of “Savings, Savings, Savings!” from various retailers trying to convince consumers to spend more and more.  But aren’t there some deals that actually make sense?

For a long time I’ve wondered about a membershipa at CostCo, so I decided to prove it.  As you probably know, I love spreadsheets so I documented my purchases vs the equivalent price at a few local grocery stores.  Here’s how it all worked out!

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Why I’ll never buy gold

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Past Gold Prices via Wikipedia

When it comes to investing, I like to keep it simple.  I invest almost exclusively in Vanguard broad index funds with low expense ratios.  It’s statistically proven, and it’s the same advice you’ll get from the other bloggers in the personal finance world.

So why does anyone buy gold as an investment?  With prices over $1600/oz, things are starting to get crazy!  How is this any different from stuffing money in your mattress?  Apparently most of the world disagrees with me, but hear me out.

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Invest in thermostats instead of stocks!

January 2, 2013 5 comments

Nest

You’ve been told that programmable thermostats can save you up to 20% on you utility bills, and that it’s the right thing to do for the environment, but you still haven’t switched out the old one for a new-fangled version.

Well I’m about to rock your world.  Here’s what I’ve got for you today.

  1. Why you need a programmable thermostat
  2. How gosh darn easy they are to install
  3. Why you should invest in thermostats instead of stocks Read more…

My Investing Strategy: Taking the first step

December 19, 2012 1 comment

Meteor_Crater1

As you know, I’ve been able to save quite a bit of money this year.  As my savings account began to grow past my annual spending, I decided it was time to figure out what investing was all about.  I certainly made a few mistakes along the way, but after reading more and more about investing, I am starting to feel comfortable with my strategy.

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What to do with an extra $4,000?

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Image

So last week the lottery gave out a bunch of money ($500 million maybe?) and everyone was talking about what they’d do if they won.  Given that I’m much more likely to get hit by lighting, twice, I started thinking about events that are a little more certain… like my 2012 tax refund!

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The Total Cost of Lightbulb ownership

November 28, 2012 5 comments

Want to accomplish a quick home project that will bring you a 3,000% return on your investment?  Of course you do!  It’s time to look at your lighting and decide what makes sense.  It gets really simple once you’ve had someone like me run the numbers for you…

When it comes to residential energy costs, lighting accounts for about 10%-15% of your home energy costs, so it’s worth reviewing.  The majority of home lighting consists of A19 type screw-in bulbs or replacement CFLs like the one shown above.

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Would the market have jumped 23.5% if Romney won?

November 9, 2012 Leave a comment

The Theory

I don’t pretend to know what the stock market will do from day to day, but what I do believe is that no one else does either.  If they did, they’d be rich… so it fell 2.5% yesterday, and some were making that claim that this was because Obama had been elected instead of Romney.  The basic premise is that since Obama is “anti-business”, businesses lost value as soon as he became president.

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