July 2012

Debt Reduction in the Summer at the Carnivals

It was a busy week at the blog carnivals. This week I have four round-ups to share, so here they are. First up, the Carnival of Debt Reduction #143, hosted by Moolanomy (Pinyo’s been busy). He chose my May debt reduction progress as an editor’s pick. If you liked that post, you might also enjoy Nate David Scott’s debt progress. Next up, the Carnival of Personal Finance #156 at PTMoney. In addition to my…
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How to Fight Zombie Debt

Just like the living debt, sometimes old debts can come back to haunt you. This is called zombie debt. The good news is that you can fight this illegal debt collection without having to pay them a penny. I tell you how in the last of my five-part series on credit. What is Zombie Debt? Zombie debt is charged-off or expired debt that collection agencies have purchased for as little…
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It’s Time to Update Your Fire Insurance Policy

If you own a home with a mortgage, then your lender requires you to have fire insurance to protect your/their investment. However, many people find that they are underinsured after a fire. If you’ve had your home for more than a few years, you should call your insurance company and a few others to compare current rates at the current home value/reconstruction cost. The last thing you want…
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Cheap Flowers and Community Resources at the Carnivals

This week I hosted Money Hacks Carnival #19. Check out all the great posts. In addition, we have to other carnivals to feature this week. First, the Carnival of Personal Finance #159 hosted by Greener Pastures. If you liked my post about sharing community resources, you might also enjoy Penny Jobs explanation of Indian style of livingcommunally. Next, the Festival of Frugality #132 hosted by Budgets are Sexy. If you liked my post about buying cheap…
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How We Save 25% of Our Income

As I mentioned the other day, we’re saving about 25% of our monthly take-home. We didn’t start out there, but we’ve come a long way since I started this blog. Back then, we spent every dollar we earned either on debt payments or living expenses. Now we save a substantial portion. As part of financial literacy month,  here’s a look at how we made the switch over the course…
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Which is Easier to Fix: California’s Budget or Yours?

In case you haven’t heard, California is headed for disaster. No, not the Big One, an economic disaster. Because voters rejected some taxes and cuts that would have resolved our budget issues for this year, the governor is making draconian cuts to try to shore up our collapsing budget. Basically, we’re broke and the voters didn’t want to fix it. That’s just how we roll. Play the Budget…
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Six Questions You Must Ask Before Getting Engaged

Getting engaged is exciting and frightening, and it’s easy to get carried away in the moment. Hopefully you and your intended have already laid everything on the table before you even considered taking the next step, but if you haven’t, take some time to ask yourself and your intended these five questions before a ring is in the mix. Do You Want Kids? How Many and When? So…
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No Garden? Try a Community Garden

Yesterday I talked about setting up a garden share day, for you home gardeners. But what if you don’t have a home? Condo and apartment dwellers can still enjoy the gardening experience. You just need to join a community garden. True, you won’t be able to plant some of the larger items like fruit trees, but you can grow flowers, berries, and vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes in your very…
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Five Affordable Valentine’s Day Tips

As I’ve posted numerous times, I am anti-Valentine’s Day. Yes, I’ll cook a nice dinner and spring for a card, but I’m opposed to the price inflation that accompanies the gifts and dinners out on this occasion that really doesn’t mean anything. Still, I know a lot of people feel compelled to do something for the day. That’s probably why I still make a nice dinner. If you’re…
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My Tale of First-Time Homebuyer Panic

In my head, I’m ready to buy a home. I’ve done some research, I’ve even blogged about it. I’ve made my list of dealbreakers. I’ve attended open houses. But now I’ve reached the stage where it’s time to get real and I find myself filled with fear. The whole process is just so intimidating. It’s not about home prices falling, oddly enough. I’ve made my peace with that.…
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