Saturday, January 12, 2008

Around the Internet

Organize Cable with Paper Towel Tubes - Ah, brilliant moments in frugality. Cables, cords, and Christmas lights all wrangled with something most of us having lying around.

A Brief Overview of the Alternative Minimum Tax - I've been hearing about AMT for years, but only because we've been subject to it lately. While it was originally meant to assure that the wealthy paid their fair share, AMT, which wasn't tied to inflation, has really turned into a burden on the middle class. In fact, our accountant pointed out that AMT could affect tax payers earning $50,000 per year. Even worse, those earning in excess of $3 million would be able to bypass it all together. Tell me it doesn't hurt to hear that.

New cars that are fully loaded — with debt - A friend sent me this interesting article. Consumers who can't afford an auto upgrade have found a friend in their auto dealer. Or have they? Some dealerships eager to make a sale will offer zero money down to drive off in a brand new car. Just trade in your old (though likely still new) car and sign on the dotted line. But most buyers probably don't realize they're severely under water in their loan until it's too late. This goes hand in hand with the risky home mortgages Americans have been signing up for, leaving them and the mortgage company in a lose-lose situation. It's likely to hurt the auto industry even more if people realize they can't afford a new car for many, many years.

The Exchange Rate - The Euro vs The Dollar - The Declining Dollar - A dollar earning American's description of how the declining dollar has affected her bottom line while living in France. I can tell you every Euro spent must hurt because it pained us in Ireland, and we were only there for 2 weeks! We're crossing our fingers for a stronger dollar for our next visit...whenever that might be.