Maybe it’s something about the decade (sort of) ending, but top 10 lists of posts seem to be all the rage this week, so I’ll throw my hat into the ring. Here are my personal 10 favorite posts from this year, one for each month:

January
8 Frugal Valentine’s Day Ideas

I couldn’t believe it when I went into Target on December 28 to buy some holiday storage bins and walked past a display of Valentine’s Day stuff. Seriously? It wasn’t even January yet! This is quite ridiculous. Since I’ve always been a bah humbug about V-Day (and I do have a Valentine, so I’m not just a lonely sad sack), here are my 8 tips for a frugal V-Day, most of which involve skipping it.

February
50 Ways to Cut Your Spending by 10%

If you want to find a way to increase your retirement savings by 10%, you probably need to cut your spending. If you just want to save money, then you probably also need to cut spending. 10% sounds like a lot, but it can be done if you adopt several of these 50 options.

March
How the 2009 New Car Tax Credit Works

If you bought a new car in 2009, this is the lowdown on how the deduction works (it’s not a true credit). Quick tip: You claim it on this year’s tax return, not at the dealer. If you didn’t buy a new car, sorry, you’re out of luck.

April
How We Save 25% of Our Income

In April of last year, I discovered we were saving 25% of our income without feeling it. Even though we now own a house, we’re still spending less than we earn. Right now, we’re barely spending anything, but that will increase. We do still plan to save a substantial portion of our income, though.

May
That Makes Me Stabby: The Handbag as Investment

You’ve probably read my “stabby” posts, which are basically rants about various topics related to finance. This is one of my favorites: the claim in fashion magazines that handbags, shoes, and other items of clothing are “investment pieces.” Hogwash!

June
Nine Signs It’s the Right House for You, and One It Isn’t

Quick statistic: my husband and I saw 50 homes before we finally went into escrow. We only made offers on three of those. So, after viewing 50 houses, I learned to recognize the signs that it was the right house for you, and how to know when you’re iffy on it.

July
My Long and Winding Road to Home Ownership, Part 1

We did it! We bought a house in July. If you want to know how we did it and what we went through in the crazy real estate market, read our story.

August
Save Money on Wedding Photography and Wedding Albums

I did a whole series on saving money on your wedding and this is one of my favorites from the bunch. It’s so easy to spend thousands on photography and then drop another couple grand on the completed album, but you don’t have to!

September
Will the New Frugality Last?

Not to be a contrarian, but I don’t think the “new frugality” will be as permanent as some pundits like to think. Sure, some things will stick and it will be a while before we’re all mortgaging our houses to buy furs again, but I don’t think everyone will stay as frugal as they are now.

October
How to Prepare for the Unexpected

The unexpected is the basis of most movies, but it’s also something that happens with startling frequency in real life. Even if you don’t know what’s coming, you need to be prepared for the “what ifs.”

November
Six Questions You Must Ask Before Getting Engaged

You’ve heard the statistic: money is the reason for 50% of divorces. If you don’t want to be among those, you and your beloved need to ask each other these six questions before you get engaged. If you don’t feel comfortable talking about this, you shouldn’t be getting married. Period.

December
Simple Home Improvement Project: No-Sew Window Swag

I’m all about home improvement now. Even though I’m also the proud owner of a sewing machine, I made these window swags without a sewing machine, and so can you. Freshen up your home for cheap with these new window treatments.

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