Personal Finance Round-Up: Making The Best Of A Bad Situation

frustrated manSometimes in life, we find ourselves in positions that may feel awkward and undesirable but is often necessary. For example, I’m sure that with the foreclosure rate in the US steadily climbing, many people are finding themselves in these very situations. They’ll need to do something about it even if it means swallowing their pride and moving back into their parents’ house.

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Dangers of Plastic Food Containers, Water Bottles, and Bisphenol A (BPA)

Do you ever think about all the plastic in your kitchen?

You probably have an entire drawer full of stuff, including reusable plastic containers that you use to store and reheat leftovers. After all, these things are handy. They’re lightweight, they store easily, and they’re cheap.

What’s not to love?

The Dangers of Plastic

What many people don’t think about is that many of their plastic dishes and storage containers are leaching chemicals into their food, especially if they’re using #3 or #7 plastics, or any hard plastic that’s “shatterproof.” These plastics contain Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that, once ingested, mimics estrogen in our bodies.

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Cost of Home Birth vs. Hospital Birth – Is Natural Home Birthing with a Midwife Right For You?

newborn babyI’m really fascinated by birth stories. It’s absolutely exciting to hear how a baby enters the world and all the circumstances surrounding the event. While I’ve heard some great stories, the most interesting ones involve home births. I’m intrigued by the concept, but I’m also a little hesitant to pursue such an endeavor myself.

All of that aside, another thing I often wonder about home births is whether or not they are cost effective. Even without taking birth location into account, having children takes financial consideration. After all, you’ll want to plan for the best time to have a baby.

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New Job Hunt Dilemma – Stable Jobs with Salary or High Paying Jobs on Commission?

climb corporate ladderWould you rather have a stable job with lower income, or a position with fluctuating, but potentially higher income? This is something my family and I have wrestled with a few times over the past 3 years. Now, we’re in that position again. It takes a lot of consideration to sort through all of the variables in order to make the right choice for our family and our future.

Fixed vs. Variable Income

Most people who are self-employed or work in sales earn some form of commission that allows them to make more as they sell more. You can earn a lot more than most standard salaries by working hard and providing good service.

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Penny For Your Thoughts: My Family Thinks I’m Cheap at Christmas

This post is part of our “Penny For Your Thoughts” column where readers can write into Penny with their dilemmas on money and relationships. If your question is chosen for the next Penny For Your Thoughts column, you will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card. In addition, one commenter who offers the best advice will receive a $15 Amazon Gift Card.

baby christmas giftsDear Penny,

My family goes all out for Christmas – spending into the realm of ridiculousness. Sometimes it seems to be quantity, not quality, and it’s almost too overwhelming for the kids!

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Mac App Store Review – Will You Spend More or Less Money on Software?

mac app store computerApple has revolutionized the way we think about technology and how we interact with personal computers. If you’re a Mac user, gone are the days when you had to physically buy software at the store, pull out the CD, and install the software from your disc drive. Last week, Apple unveiled their new Mac App Store, which takes Apple one step closer to phasing out disc drives altogether and solidifying their claim that the MacBook Air is the future of laptops (at less than an inch thick , the Air doesn’t have a CD-ROM drive at all). Of course you’ll still want to consider other laptop specs and features.

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Maximum 401k & Roth IRA Contribution Limits 2011

retirement jar moneyAs you probably already know, saving for retirement is extremely important, and there are many different types of retirement accounts that you can use including the individual 401k, Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, and Roth 401k. Which one you go with depends on your own unique needs and preferences, so be sure to do some research on Roth IRA vs 401k and Roth 401k.

Most of these are very easy to fund and maintain. But are you actually doing it? If not, what’s keeping you from getting the most out of these accounts?

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Best Home Security Systems Comparison – Do It Yourself (DIY) or Professionally Installed?

home security systemThis year, I’d like to purchase a home security system. I’m interested in a system with an alarm to prevent residential home burglary for a few reasons: I have a young son who is at home with me quite often, I started my own home small business and therefore store a lot of inventory in my house, and I have been aware of increasing crime rates for quite some time now. I don’t live in a bad area, but these days, you just never know.

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Offermatic Review – Get Automatic Deals & Discounts – Win 2 Free Fandango Movie Vouchers

offermatic logoI recently stumbled upon a website called Offermatic, and I’m excited to tell you about it because it has the potential to save you money at places where you’re already shopping.

It’s actually difficult to categorize the site because it’s pretty unique and there isn’t anything else like it out there just yet. It’s not really your typical coupon site, it’s not an online budgeting or money management tool, and it’s not one of those group buying daily deals sites either. In fact, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch calls it the “freak love child” of, Groupon, and Blippy.

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