June 2012

Otters Pay It Forward – at the Carnivals

Otters are strange creatures, and I never knew they could pay it forward. Maybe it depends on how many oysters you give them. This week, I have just two oysters to share. First, the Carnival of Personal Finance #205 hosted by Wise Bread.  In addition to my stabby post about handbags, I also recommend Fabulously Broke in the City’s warning to factor in the cost of accessories, for example, will you need a…
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What’s Your Financial IQ?

I recently discovered this cool new tool – the Financial IQ test at Bills.com. I love quizzes, so this was perfect for me. It also reminded me that I need to move certain financial moves up my to do list. About the Financial IQ Test The test asks questions in five categories: Credit, Debt, Budget, Wealth, and Life Plan. Each section has five to seven questions. As you…
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Will the New Frugality Last?

On the first anniversary of the “official” start of the financial crisis (even though it was creeping up on us well before then), several articles have argued that the crisis resulted in a “new frugality” that has permanently altered the spending behavior and attitudes of an entire generation, similar to what happened after the Great Depression. I call BS. This Recession and a Great Depression Are Not the…
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Is A Frugal Lifestyle Always Environmentally Friendly?

After I wondered if frugality is in the air, I started to think about the differences between living a frugal lifestyle and being environmentally conscious. Depending on how you choose to live, your frugality could automatically be better for the environment, or it might not benefit the environment at all. When a Frugal Lifestyle Equals Positive Environmental Impact Some of the most basic concepts of frugal living are in…
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Save Money on Student Loans without Consolidating

If you haven’t already consolidated your federal student loans, then you’re currently out of luck. Due to Congressional budget cuts, most student loan issuers have decided it’s not economical to consolidate federal loans. You can consolidate private loans, but it’s more difficult. Nevertheless, you can find ways to save money on student debt. Here are my tips for saving money on your student loans, and my thoughts on…
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Five Ideas for Last-Minute Gift Exchanges

So your holiday season is chugging along merrily, and then you get thrown for a curveball. You might get invited to a last-minute gift exchange, or realize that you’re supposed to bring a gift to a party you were invited to long ago. But you don’t have any extra gifts lying around. You can come up with something in a flash with some things you have around the…
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Book Review: Basic Black

Cathie Black is a powerful woman in the publishing industry. During her career, she has been in sales at Ms. Magazine when it first launched, the publisher of USA Today (also soon after its launch), and is now the president of Hearst Magazines. She has launched businesses, closed businesses, hired and fired, and commanded entire companies. She did all of this by starting at the very bottom. Her…
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When to Jump on a Good Deal and When to Pass

This weekend I snagged on a good deal on a roasting pan. It was on sale at Bed Bath & Beyond for $20 with a $10 mail-in rebate. In addition, I was able to use one of their $5 of $15 coupons on the purchase. That will bring my total cost down to $6.46 (including tax) for an 18” roasting pan with rack. If you want one, the rebate goes…
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