July 2009

The Joy of Breathing Room

This post will probably sound like I’m bragging, but I’m not. Instead, I’m realizing how wonderful it is to have breathing room in the budget. To be able to pay for things and not worry about it. Two examples from last week: My husband was driving home from the hardware store the other day and pulled his car charger out of the lighter socket. The socket came with…
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That Makes Me Stabby: Customers “Want” Fees for Checking Accounts

Last week, Chase sent me a notice about their “new and improved” checking accounts. The enhancement? My free checking account is no longer free. That may be improved for them, but not for me. I will be closing that account shortly because it was primarily a pass-through account for freelancing income, which I have little of. Now, there’s word that Bank of America is testing four new checking…
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Forget the Analog Conversion: How the Digital Cable Conversion Affects You

If you’ve watched TV, listened to the radio, or driven past a billboard in the last six months, you hopefully know that analog broadcast signals were turned off today, and you now need a digital converter or digital TV to receive television signals over the air. You were probably assured that you didn’t need to do anything if you were a cable or satellite subscriber. Oops. I learned…
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An Update on Daily Deal Sites

I first posted about Groupon in July, 2010. At that point I had purchased one offer. Fast forward a year and a half, and I’m up to a whopping seven deals split between two sites. I’m not exactly a Groupon addict, that’s for sure! So, first my deals, then my tips on avoiding wasting money on them. These are the deals I’ve bought: Wine Insiders I saved over…
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Is it Time to Get into the Real Estate Market?

Some people are still avoiding the real estate market because they predict yet more steep declines in home prices. Other people have decided that now is a great time to buy. My husband and I have decided to take the leap, but only after making some careful consideration. Here are our reasons for buying our first home. We’re Taking a Huge Tax Hit Right now, we’re being hit…
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The French Are Frugal about Books – at the Carnivals

Eek, it’s moving week! My computer will be dismantled at some point tomorrow and who knows when it will be set up again (or more specifically, what time on Sunday it will be set up again.) I’m already freaking out a little about the lack of a computer. Nevertheless, I have some blog carnival highlights to share. First, the Carnival of Personal Finance #217 hosted by Almost Frugal chose my…
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Get Fit without Ruining Your Budget

Apparently the third Monday in January is the saddest day of the year. Researchers determined this because this is the day you’ll receive holiday credit card bills and this is the day most people realize those resolutions have failed. Here are some tips for renewing that resolution to get in shape without busting your budget. Find a Gym Near Your Office If you ran out and joined a…
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Setting Up Good Financial Systems

In addition to lists, I like financial software. I started using Quicken back in 1997 and have used it ever since. When I was in charge of paying the bills, I also had a system to remind me to pay the bills so I never missed a payment and always had the money ready to pay it. Here are the integral parts of my good financial system. If…
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Save Money on College Books

Yesterday I reviewed strategies for saving money on personal books. As a recent grad student, I also have several strategies for saving money on college books. These are my top methods, but you can also use sources like on-campus exchanges, off-campus exchanges, and Craigslist to find books. Request Books from the Library Years ago, I was contracted to write a how-to book. It was an area I had…
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Book Review: The Total Money Makeover

Both Dave Ramsey’s book and workbook, The Total Money Makeover, detail his system for getting out of debt. When I saw that it’s published by Thomas Nelson, I was concerned it would be heavy on the scripture and light on the advice, but I was very pleasantly surprised. I’m ever the contrarian, though, so there were still some elements that turned me off. The Total Money Makeover Workbook First, let…
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