Quick Work

Howard Rohleder  |  May 3, 2022

I’VE USED QUICKEN since the DOS version, with my first entry made in August 1992. I’m trying to decide if I qualify as a power user. The fact is, there are so many Quicken features that I simply don’t use.
The product was first released in 1984 as a basic digital checkbook. It later moved to Windows and it’s now a subscription service. I love the ability to manage my checkbook, but over the years Quicken has added features aimed at managing my entire financial life.

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Moving Home

Richard Quinn  |  Apr 26, 2022

FROM TIME TO TIME, I’ve been called judgmental. Me? Just to be sure, I looked up the definition. I’ll admit I do meet some—but not all—of the criteria.

I read or listen to something, and then I start thinking. Can that be true? What are they thinking? Why would they do that? Have they considered their financial priorities and the possible consequences?

My latest target is the TV show about people buying a recreational vehicle (RV).

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Learned from the Best

Ron Wayne  |  Apr 21, 2022

MY KIDS THINK I’M cheap. I tell them, “If I’m so cheap, why don’t I have more money in the bank?”
I learned to be thrifty at the knees of my father and grandfather. During this time of high inflation, they provide me with examples to be emulated. Grandpa never owned a car and kept a vegetable garden into his 80s. He built a loom to weave small rugs made from rags, and then sold them to friends,

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Won’t Fly Itself

Tom Kubik  |  Mar 31, 2022

SUPPLY AND DEMAND are pretty simple concepts. We all understand them, and they play a large role in our everyday lives. The cost of the items we purchase rests, in large part, on how these two key economic factors interact.
As life gets back to normal, we’re watching this play out in real time. Demand is rising and supply can’t keep up, driving prices higher. We’ll be seeing this in airline tickets, and not just because of skyrocketing oil prices.

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Cashing In

Michael Flack  |  Mar 18, 2022

A FEW YEARS AGO, I fulfilled a lifelong dream and traveled around the world. It was fascinating to see how people lived, worked and—more important—ate.
I sampled the cuisine of every country I visited. There was goulash in Hungary, hummus in Israel and escargot in France. In each location, I tried to learn how to ask for “the bill, please” in the local language. It’s “kérem a számlát” in Budapest, “חשבון בבקשה” in Tel Aviv (pronounced “khesh-bon be-va-ka-sha”),

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Only an Eight

James Kerr  |  Mar 11, 2022

WHEN I STOPPED at CVS the other day to pick up a new charging cable for my iPhone, I was reminded just how woefully out of fashion I am.
The young lady behind the counter handed me a box from the rack and watched as I took the cable out to make sure it was the right one. I guessed her to be in her early 20s. She was wearing a pair of those huge loopy earrings that you could jump hoops through out in the parking lot.

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No Harm in Asking

Andrew Forsythe  |  Mar 3, 2022

IN MY COLLEGE DAYS, a roommate taught me something about bargaining. He was a clothes horse, a rarity among college students then and, for all I know, still today. When he was feeling down, his best medicine was to take a stroll down the Drag, as Guadalupe Street in front of the University of Texas is known, and buy a new shirt.
In those days, there were several small mom-and-pop haberdashers on the Drag,

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All Safe

Tom Kubik  |  Mar 2, 2022

I NOTICED AN AD from a discount airline the other week for a ticket from Cincinnati to Fort Lauderdale for $76 roundtrip. Folks, you can’t drive between those two cities for $76. The same carrier was advertising a bunch of other roundtrip tickets with similar prices.
Crazy cheap.
I get questioned all the time: Are these airlines safe? Do they have good pilots? Are their jets kept in good mechanical condition? Are they as safe to fly as American Airlines—my old employer—or Delta or United?

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Cheap Talk

Richard Quinn  |  Feb 24, 2022

I’M FASCINATED by frugality. Being frugal is not the same as being cheap, though—based on what I read about some people who claim frugality—it sounds to me like they are indeed being cheap.

We’re told frugality adds to the quality of life, that it creates a less stressful, less materialistic existence. Being frugal is fine, but living frugally because it’s a necessity—especially in retirement—not so much. Is a minimalist lifestyle all that satisfying?

I think being frugal is a misnomer.

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Why Am I Late?

Tom Kubik  |  Jan 19, 2022

WHEN I STARTED flying for American Airlines in 1978, the industry was regulated. Routes, fares, airline size, pretty much everything the airlines did was controlled by the Civil Aeronautics Board. Then, later that year, the Airline Deregulation Act became law. Overnight, rules governing the industry changed.
This had far-reaching effects. But the biggest change was the cost of airline tickets. They became a lot cheaper.
Over the next 40 years, established carriers went bankrupt and disappeared.

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Try the Elvis

Jim Wasserman  |  Dec 29, 2021

ECONOMICS IS ABOUT supply and demand. Call me biased, but I think why people demand particular goods and services is a whole more interesting than how suppliers do their thing.
It seems, however, that the topic of supply is unavoidable these days. We’re all hearing about supply chain woes. We’re all tired of seeing the empty shelf where our favorite crackers used to sit.
Even though economists will scream from the tallest Federal Reserve Bank building that supply and demand are separate and independent variables,

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Brain Food

Jiab Wasserman  |  Dec 3, 2021

MY MOST MEMORABLE experiences are family vacations—and that includes the mishaps. Those become the stories we laugh about years later.
For instance, when our boys were young, we took an overnight train from Bangkok to northern Thailand. We found ourselves trapped for three days in Chiangmai by an unexpected torrential flood. Multiple times, we had to modify our plans for getting back to Bangkok. Finally, we got a flight on a small airplane. As we walked up to the plane,

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Cheaper Abroad

Jiab Wasserman  |  Nov 26, 2021

JIM AND I JUST CAME back from two weeks’ vacation in Greece and Turkey. We planned the trip at the last minute, and booked our tickets less than a week before flying.

 Many imagine high prices when they think of travelling abroad. But in fact, there are many international destinations that are more affordable than vacationing in the U.S. We spent much less on lodging and food—the costliest items after airfare—than we would in America.

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Good Enough Tech

Michael Flack  |  Nov 11, 2021

MY BROTHER-IN-LAW just told me about a technology issue that he’s been struggling with. He was trying to get an old scanner to connect with his Mac. The solution required him to upload some outdated software.
When he finished explaining how he resolved the issue, I was happy he could scan again. I was even happier that I had a $250 personal computer. Nothing irks me more than paying a premium—the Mac premium, in his case—and winding up with connectivity issues.

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What It Really Costs

Matt Trogdon  |  Oct 12, 2021

A LOT OF INK HAS been spilled over young people’s spending decisions and the impact on retirement savings. Whether it’s a latte or a lunch out, the thinking goes, we all spend money on daily trifles that rob us of a much greater sum in the future. Back in 2019, Suze Orman made headlines when she likened a daily takeout coffee habit to “peeing $1 million down the drain.”
I’m sympathetic to this line of thinking,

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