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Expenses and Savings – Natural Gas – Part 1 March 24, 2007

Posted by pf in Expenses and Savings.
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Next up on my quest to optimize my inflows / outflows is the cost of my natural gas.  On the surface, while you certainly remember those winter months where the bill was $200 or more, I’m not sure whether or not a lot of people really think about the overall cost and whether or not you can do anything about it.  Mostly, I think people see a big bill and then lower the thermostat. 

 For myself, heat and air conditioning are one of those things where I am a bit unwilling to sacrifice my comfort. For example, in the summer, my wife wants to open up the doors to let the fresh air in, etc…but it’s HOT.  “Air-conditioning is expensive” she says.  I realize this…but I honestly just don’t care.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’ll have it a ice-box temperatures, but nor am I willing to sit there sweating, either.  Same with the heat in the winter.  This is where the “living a life” part comes in for me.  Yes, I can save money if I use less, etc…but the misery factor is a greater cost in MY mind. 

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Portfolio Allocation – Update March 23, 2007

Posted by pf in Portfolio Allocation.
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I have started shifting my portfolio to get to my target allocation.  I’ve added about 7% to my small-cap position (PRSVX) and approximately 3% to mid-cap (TRMCX).  I accomplished this by reducing my allocation in large caps by the same amounts (7% -PRGFX and 3% PRFDX).

I will continue to make consistent investments in my capital allocation fund (PRWCX) to increase my position there.  I was very tempted to reduce my equity position in international funds due to the volatility and good run over the last couple of years.  However, I do really believe them for the long term, so will just stay put. 

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Getting Out of Credit Card Arbitrage…Sort Of March 22, 2007

Posted by pf in Credit Card.
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Like many out there, we have been playing the credit card arbitrage game of 0% financing for many years now.  Currently, we have about $15,000 in outstanding credit card debt that we’ve been floating for the last year or so at 0%.  As those introductory rates come to a close we need to either pay them off or look for the next 0% offer.

 As I have mentioned in my previous posts, we are saving cash for the purchase of a new home.  As I will certainly need to finance this purchase I have begun to wonder what carrying these balances are doing to my credit.  I don’t imagine it’s having a huge impact, but I prefer to be “squeaky clean” come financing time. 

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