Aunt Jill Schlesinger joins the show today to talk about the value of bagels. That's right, for the last two days, Wilson has started the show by munching down on his new brunch fave: an onion bagel with lox and vegetable cream cheese. She makes her recommendations for the best bagels in town, and you might be surprised to find out that she's in love with a bagel made by a Vietnamese guy. In the meanwhile, she tells Justin that given his meager investments of 16 cents in his IRA, he should just file the 1040EZ.
When we finally get into some questions, Jill spreads her financial love. First up was a question about whether you should pay down student loan debt first or shove cash under your pillow. Aunt Jill says the equation is simple. First, have about 6 to 12 months of living expenses saved up. Second, pay down your debt if the interest rate is higher on the debt than your savings, which more than likely is the case now.
Next, we had a question about whether to throw your money into a 401(k) account. One listener doesn't trust the market, but given his age, Jill says he should man up and put his money into the market. He has 40 years of work left and during that time the market is going to go up. There will be some downs, she says; however, she believes there will be more ups than downs. Jeff thinks at the rate Social Security is going, though, that he might have another 70 years left of working.
We got a lot more questions answered on this surprisingly educational episode of The 404. Just to keep it in the tech world, we asked Jill if there were any technology-related investments we should make. Jill points out that this is the ultimate "put all your eggs in one basket" for people who work in tech! Spread the risk! Wilson thinks that he should take all his money out of APPL right now.
As usual, we love having Jill on the show. If you have any more questions for her, be sure to add her on the Twitter at @jillonmoney. In the meantime, add The 404 at @the404, or the rest of the guys at @rhapsodyartist, @jeffbakalar, and @malusbrutus. Plus, you can check out her daily ramblings at CBS MoneyWatch. Call in and leave your Jill love at 1-866-404-CNET (2638). Tomorrow, we have the lovely Alison Rosen on the show to talk all manners inappropriate.EPISODE 530 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video
Jill Schlesinger joins the show today after a few months with her presence. A lot has changed since then, we got stickers, the U.S. Senate has 59 Democrats, and now ABC is doing promos for CNET.com. (The 404 Podcast and CNET are owned by CBS.)
Yep, you read that right. On the ABC show "Modern Family", Phil and Clair Dunphy argue about a new universal remote control, and in the course of talking about being a male cheerleader, Phil mentions that CNET gave the remote a smokin' hot "three and a half mice." Unfortunately, we switched from numbers to stars rather than mice. Jeff and Jill think it's the new "Arrested Development" on Fox plus "The Office" on NBC.
Speaking of NBC, Jill weighs in on the whole Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien debacle. She wishes she could get paid 40 million dollars not to work, but we're glad to see Conan sticking up for his staff.
Finally, Jill offers some good financial advice this year. It's tax season, and she recommends that you readjust your tax withholding because you're essentially giving the government an interest-free loan for a whole year. Otherwise, whip out a 1040EZ, a glass of scotch and just do your taxes. It ain't that hard.EPISODE 502 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video
The holiday season is upon us and we know most of you are struggling to "find the money" to buy gifts for your friends and family, so we make the long trip across the hallway and invite Jill Schlesinger on the show to help us keep our heads above water. Jill is editor at large for CBS MoneyWatch.com and has plenty of experience with financial planning, so listen up!
As you might already know from past episodes featuring The Financial Decoder, Jill isn't the biggest fan of credit card companies, or "legalized drug dealers," as she calls them, but this time she has her scope pointed at the dangers of using a debit card.
Despite proposed laws that would outlaw overdraft fees, Jill suspects we haven't seen the end of hidden fees and actually recommends budgeting this season with presents that won't leave you with an empty bank account. Your dear old mom doesn't really need that Tiffany's necklace or box of Godiva chocolates! Leave that stuff for Mother's Day, and just go out and have fun together--it's free, and it won't drain your bank account.
Jill also drops knowledge on us (in a Bulgarian accent, no less) about how to develop optimistic (and realistic) financial goals for the year instead of frantically scrambling to plan around the holidays. With Valentine's Day coming up, it's too bad Jeff isn't here! Jill tells us the best way to stop the cycle of "hedonic spending" is to play a game she calls "Find the Money."
Have fun and play games while balancing your spending and saving money at the same time?! Be sure to listen to this episode of The 404 Podcast to get the whole story!EPISODE 474 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
The Financial Decoder Jill Schlesinger back on the show today. Yeah, yeah, it's not technology, but we do mention online banking, so we guess that counts. Anyway, we talk about how credit card companies are like drug dealers, and how to break the habit.
Congress recently passed legislation that would prevent some of the bad practices that credit card companies engage in, but Jill reveals to us that for the most part it won't prevent much. Credit card companies will just have to tell you how they are screwing you. Be prepared for your credit cards to have annual fees and higher rates in the interim.
After the break, Jill warns us to stay away from the credit consolidation, negotiation or settlement companies. According to her, you don't have to pay some lawyer to do what you can do already, by calling the credit card companies yourself or writing them a letter. If you are in the endless debt circle, ask them for a break on the interest rate for a year or two. Keep in mind that the companies want something instead of nothing.
Finally, we talk about how the experiences of growing up in Jewish and Chinese households share so much in common. Namely, our love of mahjong. So much so that we all flip out when we see an automated mahjong shuffling table! Send in your feedback as usual to the404 [at] cnet [dot] com. Jill and Wilson might make a weekly date of their financial and economic talk. Let us know if that might interest you. Look out for Jill's recommendations for credit cards and checking accounts later.
UPDATE: Check out Jill's blog post on MoneyWatch about credit card companies. Plus she gives us a little love.EPISODE 441 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video
Users looking for a tool to extract multiple archive types may be disappointed by the bare and clumsy interface of this latest iteration of StuffIt Expander.
The utility fulfills its promise to handle more file types than past incarnations, which had been limited to .SIT and .ZIP files. According to its comprehensive Help file, StuffIt Expander 126.96.36.199 can now handle more than 30 file types, including .GZIP, .HQX, .TZ, .7z, and .UU. Unfortunately, the program is hampered by a '90s-era user interface, limited functionality, and poor integration with Windows. On opening--and every time you return to the … Read more
Asian pears are delicious, which is why Jill Schlesinger--The 404's very own financial expert from CBS MoneyWatch--likes them so much! After getting through some munching and slurping noises in the first minute by Wilson, Jill explains to us what is going on with the economy and why we need to fear the End of Days. Just kidding...mostly.
Not being financial experts by any means, Jill explains some basic terms to us so we know what the heck is going on. Like what is the difference between the unemployment rate and weekly jobless claims? Plus, she goes on to say that she thinks that everybody should have at least six months of living expenses saved up, given that the average person is jobless for 22 weeks now. And maybe we should start spending money again if we know that we're not about to lose our job. It would help the economy out. We know it sounds very different than most of our inane topics to most of our audience, but money is something we all need to know and understand. Plus, we love how Jill lays it on us with financial straight talk.
On the second half of the show, Jill tells us about her CBS Evening News appearance and her lady crush on our very own Katie Couric. Jill comments about the growing political discourse about a possible second stimulus package. Check out the segment. We've embedded it into this blog post.
Come back tomorrow, where we've got Steve Guttenberg. Of course, we're got the doors barricaded, just in case HR comes running in. And! We've got Wilson's Audio Draft. (Editor's note: I promise I listen to music. Whale sounds anybody?)
Full Disclosure: CNET, The 404, MoneyWatch and the CBS Evening News all are properties of CBS.EPISODE 378 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
It's no surprise that Jeff, Wilson, and Justin don't know jack about the economic financial crisis, so we invite CBS MoneyWatch.com's Editor-at-Large Jill Schlesinger on the show to break it all down. She preps us with tips on what young people can do to secure a stable future and she gives us three very important ways to keep the money we earn.
First of all, be sure to have six months of living expenses in the bank. If you don't have a steady, stable job like a tenured teaching position, a three-month rainy day fund in the bank will do you some good, if, God-forbid, something happened. Second, pay off your debt. Sounds obvious, but most Americans haven't saved a dime since the '90s.
Last thing she says is to take advantage of your company's 401k. Yes, your parents retirement and pension funds might be gone, but if you're like us, in our 20s and barely employed, you should throw money into your 401k. If you want, Wilson will manage your 404k--if you want a negative return on your investment.
Unfortunately, we didn't have time to show off all of your submissions for our logo contest, but let's face it: some things are more important than logos. But rest assured that we're going to go over ALL of them on tomorrow's show, not to mention a huge "Calls from the Public" to make up for today. Keep sending in your submissions to the404 [at] cnet [dot] com--they've all been amazing. We've gotten so many that we're EXTENDING the contest to next week! Don't forget: all submissions should include a JPG/PNG as well as a high-res file. Thanks all!EPISODE 351 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Money Decoder promises to help users sort out their complex mixture of income, bills, and debt for a clear financial status. With all the variables involved, this program makes organizing the user's future relatively easy, with one catch.
From the very start this program makes organizing assets, incomes, and liabilities very simple. The Help menu instantly advises users not to waste time searching for bills, but to take educated guesses and correct the work once monthly bills arrive. In addition, when the user scrolls over any of the boxes that need data, a screen at the top tells what … Read more