February 2010

Extreme Budgeting: The Cash Envelope Budget System

At this point, you probably know you need some kind of budget. You may even have tried and failed to set one up. If you’re still earning less than you spend and can’t find places to cut, or can’t stop spending no matter how hard you try, it’s time to go extreme: the envelope budget system. It’s more work, but it will stop you from overspending, and prevent you…
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Hosting, Tax Rebates, and Being Green at the Carnivals

This week I hosted the Festival of Frugality, and did a fantastic job, if I do say so myself. I recommend all of the included posts! In addition to the Festival, we also have the Carnival of Personal Finance #150, hosted by Lazy Man and Money. He featured my post about saving money and the environment. If you liked that, you’ll also enjoy Money Crashers’ 10 inexpensive ways to be green.…
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Beijing at the Carnivals

Due to a glitch at the blog carnival site, I was only able to submit to one blog carnival this week, so Broke Grad Student gets all the glory. He hosted the Carnival of Personal Finance #167. In addition to my post about preparing for a depression, you might also enjoy $aving to Invest’s A-Z of personal finance.
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Top Ten Frugal Winter Foods

When the weather gets chilly, I tend to be drawn towards heavier, warmer food. Dishes we’d usually consider comfort food. Here are my top ten choices for filling winter foods you might want to try. As a bonus, most them are pretty darn frugal, too. Roasted Chicken Roasted chicken appeared on my fall foods list, but it’s also one of the simplest, most satisfying winter foods around. There are…
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Check Your Paycheck for Withholding Errors

At the start of each year, my husband and I calculate our taxes for the year and adjust our withholding to get the lowest refund possible. That way we get to use more of our money during the year, rather than give the government an interest-free loan. Withholding Errors Do Happen My employer’s payroll company usually gets it right, but as we’ve seen before, my husband’s employer’s payroll company…
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Frugal Office Snack: Homemade Microwave Popcorn

I recently read Mark Bittman’s new book and discovered his recipe for homemade microwave popcorn. I don’t usually buy microwave popcorn because it’s expensive and I’m not a fan of the taste, but I’ve recently been craving popcorn like nobody’s business. My office supplies free snacks, so I could use their bags, but I still don’t like the taste or all the chemicals. Today I gave the homemade…
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Voting Guide: John McCain on the Economy and Financial Issues

Last spring, I presented a non-partisan look at both the Democratic and Republican candidates. Now with the field narrowed to two, I’m providing an updated look at their views about issues related to the economy, such as the current financial crisis, health care, taxes, and retirement. John McCain is first in the alphabet, so he’s up today. Check back tomorrow for Barack Obama’s positions. Most of these are copied from the John McCain website.…
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how to organize a potluck dinner? Here is a picture of people enjoying different food in the table

How to Organize a Potluck: 9 Easy Tips

Tis the season of the potluck. So, how to organize a potluck? Well, Potlucks are great if you want to save money and still have a feast, but they can also spell trouble if you don’t organize them properly, there ought to be some rules as well. To save you from a meal starring ten liters of soda and no dessert. 9 quick tips on How to organize…
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Five Good Ways to Spend a Tax Refund, and Five Bad Ways

Many people treat a tax refund as “found money” or “free money.” What they don’t realize is that it’s their money, and always was. The money was an overpayment of taxes owed, which the government was happy to receive as an interest-free short-term loan. Once you start thinking of your tax refund as a portion of your income, and not as free money, you’ll rethink the way you…
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Ideas for Hosting a Frugal Baby shower

Babies are expensive, so the baby shower was invented with one goal in mind: supply the parents-to-be with most of the stuff they’ll need to welcome their new arrival into the world. Yes, it’s also a day to celebrate the mom entering the new phase of her life, but really, it’s about the gifts. Use these baby shower ideas to keep the costs down and make it fun…
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