Quicken 2014. Horrible.

Dear Intuit, I’ve been a long time Quicken user, my dad taught me to use Quicken for DOS to track money in my “Bank of Dad” account. My current Quicken file which I started in college after opening my bank account has data back since 2001. For the last 12-years I’ve loyally purchased a new … Read more

Meet Ting. New cell phone service challenging Virgin Mobile

We switched to Ting from Virgin Mobile… here’s my quick review: What is Ting? Ting was started by Tucows in 2012, like Virgin Mobile it’s an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) backed by Sprint wireless.  Ting’s marketing point is that most people don’t actually use all the data, texting, and voice that they pay for. … Read more

Honda Total Costs 2013

For Year 2013 (June 2, 2012 to June 1, 2013).     Notes: I think $0.56/mile is pretty good for city driving. Insurance went down (for reduced mileage maybe?), we ended up getting a credit so some of 2012 should be allocated to 2013. Service has been our biggest expense.  This year was new tires, … Read more

DIY Hedging Gas Prices

  Gas Price History from GasBuddy.com Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE) History from Google Finance Fuel prices at the pump are highly correlated with energy sector index funds (which invest primarily in oil since that’s the way the energy market is weighted) so if you want to smooth out your fuel budget you can do your … Read more

BitCoin Bubble

Source: Bitcoin Charts, April 5, 2013 I learned to recognize bubbles from William Bernstein’s short history of bubbles in the The Four Pillars of Investing…  here are a few, along with some more I found on Wikipedia…  Tulip Craze  South Sea Company  Mississippi Company  Railway Mania  Florida Land Boom  Stock Market Bubble  Poseidon Mining Bubble  Japanese … Read more

Bank Comparison

With all the big banks charging fees I’m amazed that people don’t switch over to cheaper online banks.  Two great places to find banking services with low fees are credit unions and discount brokerages.  Here’s a Comparison of Bank Features (Google Docs) I wrote up comparing Alliant CU, Ally, Fidelity, Schwab, and ING Direct. The … Read more

2003 Honda-CRV cost of ownership (June 21 2011 to June 1, 2012)

(bought used) Starting miles: 77810 Ending miles: 94106 Because we drive less and don’t get typical discounts of having two cars (e.g. multi-car discount on insurance) our cost per mile went up, but total costs are lower.  This is largely because driving fewer miles causes fixed expenses (insurance) to weigh in more heavily against operating … Read more

Odo on Material Wealth

I’ll never understand this obsession with accumulating material wealth.  You spend your entire life plotting and scheming to acquire more and more possessions until your living areas are bursting with useless junk.  Then you die.  Your relatives sell everything and start the cycle all over again. — Odo, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 1, … Read more

New Credit Card Strategy

Sadly, my favorite credit card, the Schwab 2% Cash Back (and no foreign transaction fees) is being discontinued.  I loved being able to get a straight 2% back on everything without being concerned about which card I was using… so time to re-consider our credit card strategy. We already have the Costco Amex and Amazon … Read more