The Gospel of Consumption

Ping Pong Table Tennis

“We’d get together. We had a ping-pong table and all my relatives would come for dinner and things and we’d all play ping-pong by the hour.” My family loves ping-pong. We’ve had a table for a long time but the kids didn’t really start playing until a…

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Grandpa Fox, Warren Buffett, and a Million Bucks Lost to Fees

Omaha Warren Buffett

Omaha, Nebraska is the Midwestern city that is home to mega-investors Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. It’s also the city my father’s family moved to when he was a teenager. Family lore has it that my grandfather was offered an investment opportunity fairly early in Buffett’s career….

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Is the “Home Phone” Obsolete?

Ooma Phone Service

Do you remember when we used to hang phones on the wall in our kitchens? Growing up, ours was right next to the kitchen table. It had a ridiculously long cord that would stretch all the way over to the stove and sink, which made multi-tasking while…

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Teens, Texts, Ting, and $10,000

Ting Review

“Hey, something’s wrong.  I can’t send text messages on my phone anymore.” Those were the words uttered by my frustrated 15-year old daughter, Fiona, as she held out the old iPhone that was handed down from her grandmother. Not wanting to shirk on my tech support duties…

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School Supplies in 87 Seconds?

school supplies markers

It was just the sort of thing that irritated me. Convenience at the expense of saving money. Felicity had ordered Flora’s school supplies for the 5th grade from a company that sells packaged supplies based on a list provided by our elementary school. Here’s how this works…

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Paradigm Shift: Santa Claus, Stephen Covey, and FIRE

Christmas Tree Ornament Santa Paradigm Shift

If you are under 10 years old or have a strong fixation about Santa Claus, please stop reading now. That means you, Flora. Oh, wait, you’re 10 now. Hmm. Well, stop reading so that I don’t get in trouble with your mother. Now before we get going…

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Kids and a Door-to-Door Decision

Boys Scout Camp Card Poster

OK, I admit it. I’m that guy. The one who will turn away kids when they morph into door-to-door salesmen. Well, if the product is good and I need it, then I’ll entertain the idea. And of course I do try to support the kids that I…

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An Extra $100k from a Family HSA

HSA Medicine Health Savings Account Micro-apartments. Ladies’ night. There are a lot of products and services targeted at singles. As a family man, I often miss out on the love from all those marketing teams out there. OK, it doesn’t really bother me, but there’s one product often marketed to singles…

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Are We Dumb and Dumber To?

Dumb and Dumber

“Just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this . . . and totally redeem yourself.” Back in 1994, my closest friends and I frequently hit the dollar movie theatre near our college campus. And what more could any…

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Can You Afford to Live Here?

Dang, $4.95. I wasn’t sure I had ever purchased a magazine from the grocery store checkout line, and I was reluctant to drop 5 bucks on the Washingtonian. But here, on the magazine’s cover, was a tantalizing question staring me down. “Can you afford to live here?”…

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