Monday, June 21, 2010

Does Anybody Use Wesabe?

An article in SmartMoney inspired me to construct the poll "Which financial account management website do you use?" in the sidebar of my blog. Here is a link to the original article at Which Financial Planning Web Site Is Best For You?

The article mentions a website called, and lists it first among the three sites listed. and were the other two sites that they listed. As a history lesson, Quicken bought Mint, and if you try to access Quicken Online, you will end up on the Mint web site. So, the article really only mentions two financial websites.

Anyway, I have had the financial account management website poll up on my blog sidebar for a while now, and so far nobody has responded that they use Wesabe to manage their finances. So, my question to my readers is "Does anybody use Wesabe?" Anybody at all? If so, I would like like to hear what the benefits are.

Personally, I use Yodlee to track my finances, and so do the majority of readers. I usually find very good insights presented in SmartMoney but in this case I find their advice dubious as they didn't even mention Yodlee in their article.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Bing Cashback Program Will Be Discontinued

Do you use Bing Cashback? I have been using this feature to earn cash back on some of my online purchases. This was a Microsoft service that paid shoppers to search for and purchase items through their Bing search engineg. Microsoft has just announced that they are discontinuing the program. Does anybody have an opinion on this?

Here is the text of the message that they just sent me:

Dear valued cashback customer:

We are writing to notify you that the Bing cashback program will be discontinued, and the last day to earn cash back on your Bing Shopping purchases will be July 30, 2010.

Until July 30, 2010 9:00 pm PST, it's business as usual so continue to take advantage of great offers from your favorite merchants. You can redeem all of your earned cashback savings consistent with the cashback terms and conditions and access the Bing cashback customer support system through July 30, 2011. We encourage you to redeem your cashback savings and to further support redemption, we are waiving the $5 minimum payout effective July 31, 2010. To assist with prompt delivery of your cashback earnings, please visit to ensure your account information is current. For more details and answers to your questions, please visit our frequently asked questions page.

Thank you very much for being a loyal cashback user. We remain committed to delivering great value to our customers, and we are currently working on an exciting new program which you will hear more about from us later this summer.


Bing cashback team

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Is Toddler Toothpaste Useless Junk?

Some readers know that I have a 2-year old daughter, and I will admit that this post is little bit off topic for a personal finance blog. But one thing that I wanted to talk about is toddler toothpaste. These products are sold under such names as Orajel Toddler Training Toothpaste, and Gerber Infant Tooth and Gum Cleanser.

The product claims to be fluoride free and safe to swallow. But, I did my best to switch my daughter over to regular fluoride toothpaste as soon as she turned two years old. I've had issues with toddler toothpaste for a couple of reasons. First of all, toddler toothpaste has no fluoride in it, and this makes me question its usefulness. Toddler toothpastes are not accepted by the American Dental Association (ADA) as being effective in the prevention of cavities. In my view, this makes their intended purpose dubious at best.

About the only real claims that the manufacturers have made is that their product tastes good, and it can be swallowed by your child. Therein lies my problem! My daughter likes the taste, and treats the toothpaste like a food. I've probably gone through a dozen mangled toothbrushes due to my daughter chewing on the toothbrush until the bristles are unrecognizable. Brushing was a constant struggle with my daughter trying to eat the toothbrush, and me trying the extract the brush from her jaws.

After finally switching to a fluoride toothpaste (Kid's Crest), I had to later teach my daughter the exact opposite behavior: not to swallow the toothpaste. Swallowing too much fluoride can cause fluorosis or spots on your child's permanent teeth. Also, it was important to teach her to rinse her teeth thoroughly. This is how the lengthy process of unlearning a behavior went.

In my experience toddler toothpaste has little to no benefits, and in our case only led to struggle, frustration and conflict when brushing my child's teeth. I don't know about other parents, but I would consider such a product to be defective. At this point, if I had it to do over, I would not buy any toddler toothpaste, and just use a toothbrush moistened with water until my child was two years old. Does anybody else share my opinion that toddler toothpastes are useless junk?