Does anyone else remember those gold prospector commercials that were all over late-night TV about five years ago?  They gave you a green pan for sifting and a booklet that gave you great places to look all across the country.  Supposedly, with those two items in hand, you were set for getting rich! 

Once again, gold fever has taken hold.  The only difference is that it’s not just the outdoorsy-type getting in on the action.  With prices tripling over the last five years, everyone seems to be seeing gold.

Why Gold?

If you have a child or know any little rugrats, you probably have had some quality, first-hand demos on what it's like to be stubborn.  You know what I'm talking about.  Mom gives a command ("You have to eat one spoonful of peas or it's no dessert for you, little miss!"), and the child who was so angelic all of three minutes ago gets that don't-want-to-can't-make-me glint in her eye and hunkers down for a full-on display that is the very epitome of being hard-headed. 

As I mentioned in previous posts (See “Sweat Equity” and “The Modern Oregon Trail”), my husband and I moved back to Iowa from Seattle in 2005 and set ourselves up in a farmhouse. The house needed a lot of work: The Pepto Bismol pink and neon green walls matched by ugly linoleum were really icing on a crumbling cake. The electrical was knob and tube, and the plumbing was antique. The kitchen was non-existent. Seriously.

From men vs women to USA vs Australia, the blogosphere has been alive with a wide variety of subjects.  All of the articles were great this last week, and although it’s tempting to tie a lot of the posts together in another story-like round-up, I’ve decided to put you all in alphabetical order instead. 

So, Children, everyone get in line, keep your hands to yourself, eyes forward, and let’s walk through this week’s round-up:

So, just to clarify at the start, this is not going to be a hard sell on giving up on a full time job to stay home with your children, nor is it a dissertation on how becoming a stay at home mom (SAHM) is easy (because it's not!) and better for children.  This is just simply some opinions on the subject matter of a former two income household making it in today's world with one income. 

Realizing the Need for Change

I know a couple who are extremely close to their retirement. David and Marsha are 52 and 56, respectively. Out of curiosity, I asked them if they wouldn’t mind sharing with me how they planned for their retirement. I nearly spit out my tea when I heard their responses.

We've talked before about the different types of bonds. One of the most popular are federal government bonds, commonly called treasury bonds or treasuries. These can be a useful investment tool, but they are not without risks.

What's Good About Treasuries?

If you're like just about any mom out there, you have some form of medical expenses.  Sally is going to need new glasses this year.  Johnny will definitely need some braces on those teeth.  You have to take this medication that is simply not covered in your medical insurance, and guess where the money for that comes from: you got it, your purse!  Also, just like anybody else out there, you'd love to cut expenses, and maybe even save a little money to boot. 

During the crash of 2008, some of the bad guys we heard about in the press were "hedge fund managers." Most of us have no idea what a "hedge fund" does, but we know it's something that people with way more money than us do. In fact, hedging is an important part of investing and something even small investors should think about.

What is Hedging?

When you're on the Titanic, you don't stop to scream at the iceberg, you lug the lifeboats. (~Debra from "Everybody Loves Raymond")

Growing up, one of the main lessons my father taught me was to keep going.  The "woe is me" attitude is a slipperly slope you just don't want to start going down.  Generally speaking, I heed that advice like it's my own personal lifeline.  This last weekend, however, that lifeline nearly shredded and broke.