May 2008

Free Money, Jokes, and the Railroads at the Carnivals

Here we are again with the weekly blog carnival round-up. The way the market’s going, this is just about the only thing you can count on to be predictable! As usual, we’ve got three carnivals. First, the Carnival of Personal Finance #175 at Budgets are Sexy. In addition to my post about daily money talks for couples, I recommend Million Dollar Journey’s post about divorce being a wealth killer. So have those…
Continue Reading

The Frugality of Shoe Repair

Right now you’ve probably got one kind of cobbler on your mind: apple. Today I’m going to talk about the other kind. Not peach. The kind who do shoe repair services. I heard a report on NPR this morning about the booming business cobblers are doing, and it reminded me that I picked up a pair of shoes from my local cobbler just this weekend. Instead of buying…
Continue Reading

7 Homemade Christmas Gifts that Don’t Suck

There are good ideas for homemade Christmas gifts, and then there are bad ideas. Good ideas can be inexpensive, but they shouldn’t look cheap (unless they’re being given by kids.) Bad ideas can be expensive, and yet somehow look cheap or miss the mark by a wide margin. If you’re planning to make gifts, you have to start now to avoid running out of time to make them right.…
Continue Reading

Making More with Less Money This Holiday Season

My husband and I didn’t have time to buy a dining room table before hosting Thanksgiving this year. Fortunately, we found a creative solution for this conundrum: the patio table. Had we had the 11 people we originally expected, rather than the 6 we had, we would have used the patio table plus our kitchen table. The Art of Doing with Less Obviously, I didn’t want to eat…
Continue Reading

How Much of an Emergency Fund Do You Need?

In case you haven’t heard, you need an emergency fund, and you need it yesterday. In the good times, we could rely on home equity loans and credit cards to tide us through the bad times. Now, HELOCs are gone or shrinking and credit card issuers are reducing credit limits. Unless you want to borrow against your 401K (which has probably also shrunk), you need an emergency fund. But…
Continue Reading

My Frugal Failure While Furniture Shopping

Try saying that fast three times! This weekend we went to buy a sofa bed for our guest room. I’d researched possible stores and narrowed it down to two options. We decided to go with one from Jennifer Convertibles. The price was $599, which was within our budget. We liked the color it came in, so we didn’t go for a custom fabric. I’m not sure if that…
Continue Reading

Financial Leaps for Leap Year

Leap day comes but once every four years. In honor of this rare occasion, I propose 29 financial leaps to take. Here they are, in no particular order: Prepare your taxes now. Spend an hour preparing your taxes online. If you don’t owe, file them now and receive your rebate now. If you owe, now you’ll have several weeks to save the money to pay the bill instead of…
Continue Reading

5 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes and Decorations

Halloween is just a few days away. Have you finished your costume yet? Have you decorated your house yet? If not, here are five last minute Halloween costumes and five last-minute decorations to get you by. Last-Minute Halloween Costumes Just in case you haven’t looked at a calendar, or you got invited to a party at the last-minute, here are five ideas for cheap, DIY costumes you can…
Continue Reading

Save Big Money by Learning Simple Home Repairs

Now that we’ve lived in our house for several months, problems are starting to crop up. Some will require a handyman or even a major replacement, but others are things I’m learning to fix myself. My husband’s first response to most issues is to suggest calling the handyman, which is weird because his dad was a plumber. My first response is to see if we can fix it…
Continue Reading