Money and Emotion Continue to be Poor Companions

November 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Investing, Money and Behavior

Do you make financial decisions in moments of panic or other extreme emotion? 

Gotta make an offer on that house before interest rates change?  Must buy that shiny red car on the lot today before someone else does?  Buy that dress, bauble, or gadget to boost your mood?  Quickly sell that stock before the market drops even more?  Read more


Spenders Jumping on the “Shopping is Patriotic” Bandwagon

November 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Economics

Black Friday always makes for an interesting study in consumer behavior.  In addition to the shocking news about the Walmart tragedy, commentary from the shoppers themselves is instructive.

Mr. ToughMoneyLove was listening to NPR today when a field reporter caught up with a Black Friday shopper waiting for a Best Buy to open at 4:00 AM. This particular shopper had been in line since 5:00 PM they before.  Explaining herself, she said that “she didn’t have much happening on Thanksgiving.”  I’m guessing that whatever she had going on, it involved closely studying the Black Friday sales fliers. Read more


Beware the Cash-Out Re-Fi

November 28, 2008 by  
Filed under Loans and Borrowing

This has been a good news week for homeowners looking to re-finance their mortgage loan into a lower rate.  Mortgage interest rates fell sharply this week following more rescue actions by the government.  The average interest rate for a fixed 30-year mortgage loan dropped to under 6%, a seven week low.   Mortgage loan re-financing activity has already picked up.   Unfortunately, re-financing a mortgage loan also creates a substantial risk that the borrower will end up with a larger loan balance.  Read more


Thanksgiving Reminders

November 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog

Mr. ToughMoneyLove is taking a break today and giving thanks for all of the reasons I explained yesterday (including thanks to those who read this and I hope are also giving themselves a break.

If you are considering doing some Christmas shopping this weekend, please take it easy on the Christmas Consumerism, don’t spend all of your year-end bonus before you receive it, and consider giving a gift of personal finance education to those who might need it.

After enjoying the holiday, come back tomorrow for more hard truth from Mr. ToughMoneyLove.  Also, if you head on over to the Consumerism Commentary blog, Flexo is publishing tomorrow a guest post I wrote on “The Mythical Demise of Social Security.” 

Now on to watch some football…..


Giving Thanks that our Government Has Not Yet Ruined My Financial Life

November 26, 2008 by  
Filed under Money and Behavior

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I lack confidence in the ability of the federal government to competently manage our economy.  Both Congress and the Executive Branch are now painfully reminding us why economics is known as the “dismal science.”  

Nevertheless, on this Thanksgiving Eve, Mrs. ToughMoneyLove and I are thankful for many things in our lives, including the realization that our government has not yet succeeded in beating us into submission.   We have three wonderful sons, two gainfully employed in secure jobs and the third doing well in college.  They continue to live debt-free lives.  Read more


Paulson Has a Christmas Gift for Credit Addicts

November 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit, Loans and Borrowing

Please Mr. Paulson – wake me out of this Bad Consumer Credit dream. 

I almost fell out my chair this morning when I saw this headline from the Wall Street Journal:  “New Facility Targets Consumer Lending.”  It seems that the U.S. Treasury is starting its own clinic for consumer credit addicts.  But instead of handing out Dave Ramsey books or some kind of credit methadone, this clinic will be distributing actual credit.  Yep.  $25-$100 billion of our tax dollars will be used to fund car loans, student loans, and credit card lending.  Read more


What Will Your Gifts Reveal About Your Relationship?

Mr. ToughMoneyLove has a certain fascination about money and human behavior.  I enjoy reading the psychology of money blog.  This month the blog published some hard truth research about gift-giving that is particularly relevant to the holiday season.

The research targeted how men and women in a relationship reacted to the gifts they received from each other.   What I gather from the results is that as guys giving gifts to our ladies, we are in a very precarious if not impossible position.  Read more


More Pigs Approach the Bailout Trough

November 24, 2008 by  
Filed under Economics, Loans and Borrowing

The number of failing businesses and industries lining up for a Congressional bailout continues to grow.  The newest money pigs are the home builders.  Mr. ToughMoneyLove is not surprised but I am disgusted by this latest appeal for taxpayer intervention.   Before I explain why, let’s review the specifics of the builders’ proposal which they call “Fix Housing First.”  (Such a clever and patriotic way of saying “me first.”  I wonder how much some genius PR firm was paid to think that phrase up.    Weren’t we all supposed to learn in kindergarten that a “me first” attitude is impolite and selfish?   The other pigs at the bailout trough have made it clear that principle and reason are not in play because we are talking about money – big money.) Read more


This Year Give the Gift of Personal Finance Education

November 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Financial Planning, Spending

As “Black Friday” approaches, the personal finance blogosphere is exploding with ideas about where and how to find the best deals in holiday shopping.  So, Mr. ToughMoneyLove thought he would chime in with his own, slightly contrarian suggestions on how to shop for Christmas gifts this year. Read more


Will You Feel Sorry for this GM Retiree?

November 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Money and Behavior

Yes, folks, yet another CNNMoney personal finance sob story, this one about a fearful GM retiree.  Is this retiree disabled?  No.  Then he must be old and feeble.  No.  Actually, he’s a healthy 54 year-old.  That’s all I need to read to drop my sympathy level to barely above the “I don’t care” level.  It’s second career time, my friend, and quit the whining.   I’m older than you and still working in my second full-time career and as a part-time blogger.   The rest of us have to wait until at least 62 to get paid for not working. Read more


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