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American Express & Foursquare Promotion

Update: Foursquare and American Express are running this promotion again nationwide - even if you did it already previously - this time for $5 off $10 at participating small businesses. I just looked for restaurants nearby that accepted AmEx and … [Read the rest]

Lessons From Micro Units, Small Spaces, and Tiny Houses

Last week, New York City mayor Bloomberg announced a design competition for new “micro-unit” apartments ranging from 275 to 300 square feet (press release). The goal is to address the increasing demand by smaller households, as the average rent for … [Read the rest]

My Credit Card Rewards Maximization Strategy

Speaking of credit card rewards optimization, I was thinking about how the algorithm might work for me. I'm curious if others have a similar system. Man, I have a lot of cards... Tier 1 - Special Rotating or Temporary Promotions (5%+ back) First … [Read the rest]

Wallaby Card – One Card To Rule Them All?

If you're like me, you use multiple credit cards to maximize their rewards in different situations. Gas on one card, groceries on another, and maybe yet another one for restaurants. What if you could just charge everything on one dummy card, and … [Read the rest]

Start Your Own Micro-Business With Shared Coworking and Fabrication Spaces

Do you dream of working for yourself instead of "The Man"? Indeed, early retirement and/or financial independence is often achieved by successful small business owners. In addition, any retirement plan will be more robust if you can earn some … [Read the rest]

Who Really Owns My Mortgage?

Have you ever wondered who really owns your mortgage note? You pay your mortgage each month, but where do those payments end up? Perhaps you're thinking of obtaining a loan modification or refinance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program … [Read the rest]

SaveUp.com Review: Using Lottery Prizes To Encourage Saving?

Another startup designed to encourage people to save more is SaveUp.com. The inspiration came from a new economics idea called "Prize-Linked Savings". People tend to like lotteries, even though they are mostly a losing proposition. So what if … [Read the rest]

ImpulseSave.com Review: Making Saving As Easy As Spending

Even though the economic news is shaky, I still see a lot of new startups in the personal finance arena. I'm constantly running behind in keeping up with all of them, but here's one that reader MF sent over. ImpulseSave.com tries to making saving … [Read the rest]

Comfortable Retirement = Saving 11 Times Working Income?

Via the NY Times, benefits consultant Aon Hewitt released their 2012 Real Deal study about workers at large companies and their readiness for retirement. The study assumes that an employee will work at least 30 years with some large company, not … [Read the rest]

Financial Independence Day Thoughts

Since I spent July 4th trying to build my own cornhole board (until the batteries in my drill ran out), hanging out with family members sharing their opinions on every girl baby name in the world, happily eating hot dogs with beer, and watching … [Read the rest]

qara.info Portfolio Update – July 2012

Here's a mid-year update of our investment portfolio, including employer 401(k) plans, self-employed retirement plans, Traditional and Roth IRAs, and taxable brokerage holdings. Cash reserves (emergency fund), college savings accounts, and … [Read the rest]

Paying Estimated Taxes With Chase Ink Bold Card + PayUSATax.com

After getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred card $500 in airfare bonus, I developed a taste for Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. You can cash out UR points at a flat 10,000 points = $100. You can also use them towards travel at an Expedia-like portal for … [Read the rest]

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