Archive for December, 2009

Chase Blueprint: Manage Your Money Wisely and Pay Down Your Debts Faster

chase blueprint

chase blueprint

In recent times, I have been receiving email from Chase and their “fabulous” new concept: Chase Blueprint. I was a bit reluctant to look into this “new concept” as I wondered how it could really help a person to manage his debt better”¦ especially since the idea came from a bank ;-)

However, I have received more information about the Chase Blueprint features and they appear promising.

chase blueprint #3

chase blueprint

What is Chase Blueprint?

As the name suggests, Chase is offering you a way to create a Blueprint to pay off your debt. Blueprint is a free debt management system that allows setting repayment goals for specific expenses.

The Holiday Finances


Christmas is not my favorite holiday. I enjoy the spirit and the meaning of the season. I am all in favor of celebrating the birth of Christ and I am not all that opposed to a fat man sliding down my chimney to steal my milk and cookies. However, the stress of gifts, gift giving and parties is too much for me to handle. No matter how much my wife and I try to keep a lid on things, we over-extend ourselves financially every year around Christmas. That is why I like Thanksgiving so much.

Friday Gathering: Global Warming Edition

warm flower

How is that Global Warming treating you, Midwest and Northeast? Here are some articles that I found interesting this week:

Jill, one of the new writers at Moolanomy posted a list of items for your end-of-the-year financial checkup. Some good ideas here. Don’t procrastinate!

David at My Two Dollars listed some of the tax law changes. There are some tax increases that might affect you (see AMT and sales tax deductions). Charities will be quite disappointed that gifts from IRA accounts will no longer be tax deductible . . . that one makes me angry.

Investment Strategies With $10,000 or less #2: Index Mutual Funds

Last Tuesday, we looked at how to create a bond ladder with less than $10,000. While certificates of deposit are good to balance out your portfolio and provide peace of mind with security like a comfy blanket while sitting in front of a warm glowing fireplace, they will definitely not provide the growth to make your retirement savings account jump.

Some people won’t be able to endure the cruel market fluctuations and that is fine. This is why they should (even at an early age) setup their bond ladder and minimize their risk. However, if you understand that although your investments drop at times, over the long haul they have always gone back up (if you have a sane asset allocation”¦which will be explained in another post).

Women are best at savings!

I thought I would share this article coming from our Europeans cousins ;-) I don’t think that women are that different in North America; they are definitely best saver than men ;-)

Research in Ireland has found that women tend to be better than men at saving money. Of course, such “˜data’ will likely fuel the old “˜it’s official, women are better than men at something else – add that to the list above driving, multi-tasking and smelling nice,’ argument that has been muttered, countered, and accepted since the dawn of time. Yet, it also shows something more positive, i.e. that a nation also looks to be battling its way out of recession quite successfully – and that more people may now be aware of the importance of savings.

Visualize debt freedom


I often struggle with my weight, eating properly, getting exercise and all that goes with it. I have learned the one way to motivate myself is to visualize the goal. To think about how it feels to bend over and tie my shoes without losing breath, to imagine being able to button one’s pants without holding my breath and to imagine not having the extra weight on my knees.

Investment Strategies With $10,000 or less #1: CD Ladder

cd ladder

Being a Financial Planner, I am always discussing different investment strategies with clients and colleagues. I would say that we are all tempted to think that the most profitable and easiest strategies are for rich people. We may think that we could be making much more money with $100,000 to invest rather than $5,000. However, there are methods for small investors that can almost replicate the best investment strategies of the rich.

Christmas bonus or Christmas party?

table setting

I changed jobs a couple of years ago. For the most part, I am happy with the change. The new job is better for my family and I like our new location better. However, it has become clear to me that “Corporation B” is not as good at strategic planning and cost benefit analysis among other things as “Corporation A”. I am a little nervous about how this will affect my job in the long term, and I thought I would share one small example of this kind of thinking.

Friday Gathering: My Daughter’s Birthday Edition


Here are some articles from around the personal finance blogosphere that I think you might like.

Do not miss the big third anniversary give-away at The Financial Blogger! Entering the contest requires little effort and the prizes are outstanding. First prize is an iPod Touch, second prize is a $50 Amazon gift certificate and third prize is a $25 gift certificate. Click on over right away!

Being Frugal suggests an inexpensive way to celebrate the holidays: read to your kids! There are so many good Christmas books around and children know you love them when you read to them. I cannot recommend reading to your children highly enough.

2010 Stimulus Check – Will There Be Another Stimulus Check Coming Next Year?

stimulus check

As I previously mentioned, most of the growth present in the US economy is coming from the money injected into our capitalist system by the Government. The housing market hasn’t seemed to pick up that much and the real unemployment rate is closer to 17% than 10% (unemployment rate doesn’t count people that are on welfare or those who gave up and quit looking for a job).

This is why so many people are asking if we will get another stimulus check in 2010?

So here’s what we know so far: