October 2012

Top New Trend: Everyone Has a Farmer’s Market

Last week, a farmer’s market opened next to the White House. It’s even called the White House Farmer’s Market. I believe this is what we’d call the peak of the farmer’s market trend. So what does this mean for you? If you haven’t already discovered the wonders of the farmer’s market, it’s time to go. Chances are there’s a market very near you. Finding Local Markets New markets…
Continue Reading

The Military Guards the Riches of National Dog Week – at the Carnivals

It’s blog carnival time again. This week, we have three more carnivals to share. First, the Carnival of Personal Finance #224 hosted by My Life ROI. In addition to my post about flood insurance, I also recommend Pragmatic Environmentalism’s lesson on caulking to save energy. It won’t keep out flood waters, but it will keep you warm. Next, the Festival of Frugality #197 hosted by Funny about Money. In addition to my post about handmade Christmas…
Continue Reading

Quick Travel Tip: Book Directly with the Airline to Save Money

Although some of the travel sites have dropped their booking fees, I still always use them for research and then book my flight directly with the airline. Today, I discovered the ultimate reward for that practice. Booking Directly Can Save Fees Most of the major travel sites make their money off fees they charge you for making the purchase. Travel agents are no longer paid by the airlines,…
Continue Reading

Year-Round Budget Party Planning Tips

Summer and the winter holidays are the two biggest times of year when people host parties. If you’re planning a party, and are worried about busting your budget, use these tips to keep the party costs in check. Plan Early or Plan Late If you plan for the party early, you have plenty of time to plan an affordable menu, schedule the party prep, and scout out affordable supplies. If…
Continue Reading

How Buying a House on the Wrong Side of the Street Cost Me $5500

Already I have an update on our adventure in homeownership, and it’s only getting worse. The problem: the City of Los Angeles is broke and always has been. They can’t afford to maintain the things they’re responsible for, and now it’s costing me $5500. Sadly, if I’d bought a house across the street, I wouldn’t have this problem. City Trees = Homeowner Headaches When we bought our house, we…
Continue Reading

Online Tax Software Review: TaxAct Online

As I mentioned yesterday, I prepared my taxes using two online tax software programs this weekend. Yesterday I presented the first of my tax software reviews: H&R Block’s Tax Cut. Today I’ll cover TaxAct Online. If you want to use it, here’s a link to their offer: Do Your Federal Taxes Free Tax Act Online has been my preferred service for several years. The main reason is because it’s the…
Continue Reading

GI Joe Plays College Football – At the Carnivals

This week I have just two carnivals to share. First, the Carnival of Personal Finance hosted by Stretchy Dollar.  In addition to my post about cheap foreign currency, I also recommend My Dollar Plan’s budget travel tips. Second, the Festival of Frugality #193 hosted by the Canadia Finance Blog. In addition to my post about new homeowner tools, I also recommend Kitchen Stewardshi’s tips for cleaning your stove and oven without expensive cleaners.
Continue Reading

Are Credit Cards Evil Traps?

Today USA Today ran a familiar story about various people who are choosing not to use credit cards.  I’ve seen similar stories in The Los Angeles Times, Money Magazine, and various blogs. The quotes are similar – we didn’t want to be slaves to debt, we spend more with credit cards, bank are evil. Personally, I don’t understand this fear of credit cards, but what I found even more interesting…
Continue Reading

5 Safe Places to Park Your Money During a Downturn

With the constant fluctuation of economic indicators, often conflicting advice of leading investment gurus, and the legal battles of Wall Street, even the savviest investors are looking hard at their portfolios and re-assessing risk. Consumer indicators are shaky, unemployment (though stabilizing) is at historic highs. But smart investors still have options, and it usually makes a lot more sense to invest your cash wisely rather than hiding it…
Continue Reading

The Tomato Project: Part 2

Staking Tomato Plants I chose indeterminate tomato plants. Indeterminate plants can be made to grow on a vine, whereas determinate plants will form flowers at the top of the stalk then stop growing. The plant will grow into a bush, which must be contained. The first step after planting was to wait. And wait. And wait. Once I saw the first flowers, it was time to go to…
Continue Reading