Sep 25

Today, I’d like to offer some more frugal tips, random ideas to help you save some bucks.

The Entertainment Book retails for $35, but is often available for half price. It’s a book full of coupons, regionally focused, targeting restaurants, entertainment and travel. You can easily save ten time the purchase cost by using this book on your next vacation.

Get a grip on your (grocery) shopping habits. There are a few aspects to this. The usual “make a list and stick to it” is a great start, as is “don’t shop when you’re hungry.” To these I’ll add, if you have a number of supermarkets nearby, plan your trips on the way to or from someplace else, this will help you save time and gas. My closest ones are close to each other, but nearly 5 miles away, so a round trip visit from my house is 10 miles and about 20 minutes. Stopping as I pass on the way home saves me both time and money. Tie this strategy to stocking up on the non-perishable sale items are there’s a lot of savings to be had.

Avoid the soda machine. I’d like to suggest you avoid soda altogether, but short of that, are you putting $1.25-$1.50 into the machine for every soda? Buy it in 12 packs (brand names, not even store brand) and you’ll pay about 30 cents a can. Do the math, just one soda per day and you just found $250/yr to save or use to pay off some debt.

More than just a tiny change to find a few dollars a roommate can make a huge difference in your budget. You may have a spare bedroom in your house or apartment, and whether it’s to help you pay the rent or mortgage, a roommate can be the difference between just getting by and really getting ahead. Of course this isn’t for everyone, and you’ll want to screen the roommate even more than you would a tenant as this will be a guest in your home. They will not only pay half your rent or a nice chunk of the mortgage, but also half the utilities, if that’s the deal you offer.

Many financial contracts have a three day “right of recision.” Sort of a three day cooling off period, in case you change your mind. How about you pick a level, maybe $100 or less, depending on your income, and decide that when you want to buy something, you’ll write it down, and wait three full days to see if you still really want it. You’d be surprised at how even after a couple days, the urge to buy often fades enough that you start to temper your impulses.

Five ideas today to help you save.

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Jul 26

Quite a few great reads to share with you this week.

Let’s start with Jeff’s post at My Supercharged Life 25 Things Every Father Must Teach His Daughter About Life. I am a sucker for well created lists, and despite not being a financial one, this list will be added to my ongoing List of Lists, as it’s just that good. Jeff starts with “Family is forever. I want her to know that I will always love her mother. Her family will always be here as a complete unit for her to depend upon. I will model the loving marriage I want her to have.” With many people getting divorced I need to make sure my own daughter understands that her parents are in this for the long haul. Of course we may argue, as anyone might, but I’ve told her, “your mom and I have been arguing for 25 year this coming November, and we’re looking forward to 25 more.” Friends argue, as do we, but I never show her disrespect. Jeff’s list continues and it’s good reading for any Father, but especially one with daughters.

Financial Highway offers Frugal Summer BBQ: 7 Money Saving Tips for BBQ which I enjoyed. One tip that attracted some criticism was to have your guests bring the meat. I’m OK with that. If I am doing the cooking, I’ll be busy enough with sidedishes, drinks etc, and not having to foot the whole bill would be great. If I am the guest, I’m happy to bring the main dish but do none of the work. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Zac Bissonnette interviewed Dave Ramsey on WalletPop, and while I have my differences with Dave, overall, I think that people who follow him are better off that those who remain reckless. In this interview, Dave talks about how the recession might be this generation’s depression and how people under 40 haven’t seen a really bad down market. Maybe he forgot the tech bubble of 1999-2001? Either way, I like Zac’s questions and style.

Flexo at Consumerism Commentary asks “Is it Ever Okay to Steal Entertainment?” It’s an interesting spin, and a unique view.

I can’t ignore Nathan Barry’s 100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About. It came just a week after my book discussion of I Love It WhenYou Talk Retro, and given the blog’s title is Geek Dad, this list is a comprehensive list of the things our kids may never see. Betamax tapes, Floppy Discs, and even hard copy (paper) maps are just a few of the tech items that comprise this list. A fun read. How old you are will impact how many things you already don’t know about.

I hope you’re having a great weekend and enjoy these finds.


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May 18

I’m a day late, intending to post this on Sunday, but as my regular readers know, a trip to California interrupted my posting. So a few links to share:

RateNerd posted “8 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score.” I’ve posted on FICO scoring in the past, and this list is an excellent recap of the ways to not screw up your score.

Moolanomy offered “How To Save Money – The 1,001 List Of Money Saving Tips And Ideas” a great compilation of money saving ideas, itself a set of links, a “list of lists.” If you skim though this article, and don’t come away with anything that you can use to save money in your own day to day spending, there may be no hope for you. Take a look, and let me know how his article helped you.

Peter at Bible Money Matters asked, “If You Were Strapped For Cash, How Far Would You Go To Make Money?” The question reminded me of Jean Valjean, the protagonist of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Not that I’m so well, read, I saw the Broadway play some years ago. Either way, a thought provoking question.

And last, on Friday, I posted regarding my friend’s graduation. Arnold Schwarzenegger gave the commencement speach, and the L.A. Times printed a full transcript for those interested in seeing a different side of the Governor.


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