MONEY MARKET FUNDS

Stephen Gilbert: ‘A reader asked, ‘What do you do for a money market account?’ And you answered, ‘I don’t pay much attention to this. I just use the ones that come linked with my brokerage accounts.’ This from the guy who once wrote that you could make more by buying ketchup in cases on sale and keeping it under the bed? I keep my money market funds in a Vanguard Treasury money market account. It yields 40 or 50 basis points more than Schwab’s equivalent account, and is not taxed by the state. (California asks for 9.3% of my income.) Maybe I keep too much in my money market fund, and maybe I only earn $250 extra a year, but I’d rather have it than let Charles Schwab keep it. I don’t think Charles needs the extra money anyway.’

☞ Sounds good to me. It’s not that I’m no longer frugal. I am now sporadically frugal, where once I was maniacally so. The trick is to be maniacal when you’re young, so you can afford to be sporadic when you’re older.

PRICELINE

Mike da Mailman: ‘You are so correct about priceline. We have used them 3 times. I just got round trip tickets from Sacramento CA to Norfolk VA for $225 instead of $575. Works for me. Spread the word so they don’t go the way of other dot.coms.’

AIRPORT PARKING

Jim Maloney: ‘Your suggestions for ways to save money are often on-target. However, the airport parking one didn’t pan out. I am flying out of LAX for an 11-day cruise and needed long-term parking near the airport. When I entered my data in their system I received two quotes for $99 for both companies — 105 Airport Parking and Park Air Express (which are actually owned by the same company). However, when I went directly the Park Air Express website they were offering parking at $7.99/day with an internet coupon of 1 free day. So the total price becomes $79.90 versus the AirportParkingLots.com price of $99. It pays to shop around.’

☞ Indeed it does.

ICE COLD DE-LITES

Chuck Smith: ‘Never fear. I won’t take the last box of GOOD HUMOR ORIGINAL POPSICAL BRAND SUGAR-FREE TROPICAL ORANGE CARRIBBEAN ICE BARS. Instead, I will purchase LIFESAVERS SUGAR FREE POPS THAT HAVE ONLY 10 CALORIES PER POP. See attachment.’

☞ I am very psyched. I couldn’t find a URL to show you the attachment, but we are talking here about one brilliantly colorful set of 12 Lifesaver-flavored single-stick ice pops. What time does the Food Emporium open? I’m there.

FREEZY MATH

Mark Roulo: ‘You write: “Fifteen calories . . . Have one every ten minutes for an hour and you’ve burned twice as many calories (just by breathing) as you’ve consumed.’ But 15×6 = 90 calories/hour. Twice that = 180 calories/hour by breathing . . . 24 hours x 180 = 4320 calories/day. This seems high.’

☞ You’re right. I meant heavy breathing.

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