Monday, February 23, 2009

Industry and Frugality in 1919

I was skimming the results that come up when you google "Industry and Frugality."  The second one was from an article written in 1919.  I'm not exactly sure what the circumstances were but they were referring to high costs of living.  The quote I like from the article was by Governor Milliken, "Nothing but the return of the old-fashioned virtues of industry and frugality will solve the problem."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Unfathomable Spending

If you have ever had any significant credit card debt, you know how difficult it can be to dig yourself out of a hole.  Now imagine a 787 billion + 75 billion + 200 billion = 1.062 trillion dollar hole.  This number is most likely difficult if not impossible for you to imagine.  In fact, I'm willing to bet that a very large majority of people could not write this number down if you asked them to.  I'd like to see this challenge on one of those clips you see on late night talk shows.  This number is close to the total known digits of pi as of 2002.  It is also more than 6.5 times the total market capitalization of Microsoft (161.1 Billion).  And, according to this article, our federal governments obligations now exceed the world's gross domestic product.  Add to that the interest accrued when we borrow from China and other countries.  It is going to be impossible to pay this off in the foreseeable future.  I cannot believe that our politicians are running the country this way.  Individual responsibility and now national responsibility is going down the drain.

P.S. - 1.062 trillion is 1 062 000 000 000

Monday, February 16, 2009

How to Add the TSP to

I didn't think it was possible but after receiving a tip from a fellow Boglehead I've figured out how to add the Thrift Savings Plan to  Go to your mint account and under "Overview" (the first page that shows up after you log in) click "Edit" on the top left next to "Your Accounts."  From here you will see all of the accounts you have added so far.  Choose to add a new account and then search for "Thrift Savings Plan."  This is what it should look like.

After you click "Search" you should only have one option.  Choose that and then you should get the next screen shown below.  Make sure it says on there somewhere.

Now just fill in your information, you'll need your TSP account number, your ID that you created on the website, and your web password.  Notice you'll need to enter the TSP account number 3 times.  I recommend copying and pasting because there's no worry of putting in the wrong account number.  It won't go through if the password doesn't match.  If you haven't created an ID yet, you'll have to go to the website and then wait for your custom ID to become active before adding the account to mint.

After you're all done, you will see your TSP account listed under investments.  Hurray!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More Tax Software

Apparently you can get TaxCut Standard 2008 for $1 at the Dollar Tree.  Also, if you meet certain requirements, you may be able to use TurboTax Free edition.  The free edition is really for people who don't have a business and haven't sold any investments in the past year.

Senate Bumps Up Homebuyers Tax Credit

Currently, a tax-credit of $7,500 is offered to new homebuyers.  The senate has voted to increase that amount to $15,000 as part of the economic stimulus package. 

The Senate voted Wednesday night to give a tax break of up to $15,000
to homebuyers in hopes of revitalizing the housing industry, a victory
for Republicans eager to leave their mark on a mammoth economic
stimulus bill at the heart of President Barack Obama's recovery plan.
The tax break was adopted without dissent, and came on a day in which
Obama pushed back pointedly against Republican critics of the
legislation even as he reached across party lines to consider scaling
back spending.

Look for more information in the coming week.  The original article can be found here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Evil Landlords, Archaeologists, Scuba Divers, and Scruffs?

SlickDeals has a post today about 4 free games from  The only one I've played before is Build-a-lot, which is a somewhat entertaining, although mindless, real-estate game.  I've heard of Jewel Quest before but haven't played it.  Not sure about the other ones, but you can't beat the price.