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!Obesity: Taxes In and Taxes Out

Today I am blog swapping with Anne at Unique Gifter. After you read this excellent post, click over to her site to get my take on some unique gifts you might not have considered. If you would like to guest post or blog swap, contact me! Recently, Kim wrote a post about obesity in the US and how it results in very high costs for everyone, due to preventable diseases and unnecessary health care costs.  One of the policy proposals floating around is the idea of taxing more unhealthy things, such as transfats or high fructose corn syrup.  My background is in economics, so I would like to talk a bit more about this idea. Taxes are both a means of raising funds for government and a policy tool.  Taxes are often structured to encourage or discourage behavior.  For example, retirement savings have various tax breaks, while cigarettes are heavily taxed.  The purpose of a soda tax would be to discourage people from consuming things which are not good for them, as well as increase government revenues as a way to offset all the costs due to ill-health.  However, how effective would such a tax really be? A hindrance to tax ...

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Does It Make Sense to Pay Off The Mortgage Early?

About two years ago, I went to an optometry conference hosted by the Public Health Service. I started my career with an PHS residency, and was very close to taking a career position with the government. I ultimately chose to go into the private sector, and bought my own practice in 2002. It has been rewarding in many ways, but I was growing disillusioned with being a business owner, and this conference made me consider going back to working at a government clinic. The wheels started turning, and now I am a month away from selling my practice. Since the buyer has worked for me for the past two years, I am comfortable carrying his business loan as a seller finance.  I will continue to see patients part time in my old office and at a public health clinic (best of both worlds!) on a part time basis. I own our office building, and the buyer will stay in the same space and rent from me. With my husband’s income, my part-time income,  rental income from our residential and commercial properties, and the loan payment from my buyer, we should be doing well barring some unforeseen circumstance. Now that I’ve gone around the world with that introduction, the big question of ...

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Can’t Take My Eyes Off These Blogs #15-RIP JR Ewing Edition

We just got back last night from our Thanksgiving holiday visit, so I haven’t been up to my normal amount of reading, commenting, and sharing. That whole 12+ hours in the car over 3 days kind of puts a kink in the computer work. I was, however, quite shocked to read the Larry Hagman, a.k.a  J.R. Ewing on the TV show Dallas passed away yesterday. For anyone who grew up in the 80’s with a Southern Mama, you probably watched Dallas on Friday night. I always thought J.R. was too mean to die, but I guess when your time is up…. This week I was lucky enough to blog swap with Frugal Rules. If you surround youself with smart people or blogs in this case, maybe some of it rubs off by osmosis? Anyway, you can read my post about Being an Advocate for Your Own Health Care and John’s post about Budgeting with an Irregular Income. Pauline linked my guest post on her Friday recap. Mr. CBB liked them so much he included both, plus my leftover turkey recipe on his weekly blog post picks. Thanks so much! There was so much link love this week, I feel like the Grinch when his heart ...

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Leftover Turkey Recipe

If you were celebrating Thanksgiving yesterday or fighting the crowd for black Friday today, I don’t know if you can handle a dose of personal finance, so I’ll share a recipe for what to do with leftover turkey.  I know you have all wanted to make extra use out of a turkey carcass. This recipe swears you will be begging others for their carcasses as well. If that doesn’t get you committed, you might be able to rack up on this recipe. Leftover Turkey Soup Ingredients: 1 Leftover cooked turkey carcass (I bet you could also use chicken to vary your poultry) 3 Medium onions, chopped 2 Large carrots, diced 2 Celery ribs, diced 1 Cup butter 1 Cup all purpose flour 2 Cups half and half cream 1 Cup uncooked long grain rice 2 Teaspoons salt 1 Teaspoon chicken bouillon granules 3/4 Teaspoon pepper Directions: 1)Place turkey carcass in a soup kettle or Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for one hour. Remove carcass. Cool. 2)Set aside three quarts of broth. Remove turkey from bones in bite sized pieces. Set aside. 3)Saute onions, carrots, and celery in butter until tender. Reduce heat. Stir in flour until blended. ...

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Charitable Giving: Your Time Is As Valuable As Money

Donating your time to charity

I think I first paid attention to the power of charitable giving when I was in junior high school. My mom’s best friend was battling cancer, and they got involved with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Event. When you put a bunch of Southern women on a project, you can bet you will see results. Our tiny little town with a population of 3,000 raised over $100,000 for cancer research. Although, there is still no universal cure for cancer, seeing those numbers and the pride those ladies took in raising that money really took hold. Since then, I have been involved with some charities that deserve as much attention as a Best Buy ad the day after Thanksgiving.  The best thing about my favorite charity experiences is that my time was as valuable as my money. If you are trying to get out of debt, save money, or just keep you head above water, you certainly can give of yourself without spending a penny. Big Brothers/Big Sisters My first real charity work without family involvement began with Big Brothers/Big Sisters when I was in college. I certainly had no excess money to donate. My time was about all I had other than my ...

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