February 2013

Five Frugal Valentine’s Day Tips

If you’ve visited any store at any point since December 26, you’re no doubt aware that Valentine’s Day is coming. Even worse, this year it falls on a Sunday and a holiday weekend. The pressure will be high to go romantic and go big. But I say ignore the pressure and go small, if you go at all. Here are five more frugal ways to celebrate V-Day. Vow…
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Finding Unclaimed Property

Every few months there’s a new story about unclaimed property. News crews travel to public places armed with computers and help people find thousands of dollars of unclaimed property. Fortunately, you can find your property yourself without paying fees to anyone else or waiting for a news crew to happen by. What Is Unclaimed Property? For the most part, unclaimed property is money you are owed, but payer…
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October Debt Reduction Progress Update

As I said last month, was an awesome month for debt reduction. We met our goal two months early, and now we’re pushing on to drive down more debts. Debt Reduction Progress in October We reached our primary goal of paying off $38,567 in debt on September 22, then we couldn’t decide what else to do. At this point, our cash cushion has ballooned, although we have to use…
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Can I Expect My Average Stock Market Return to Be 8%?

No. Sorry to burst your bubble, but anyone who guarantees that your average stock market return will be 8% is lying to you. Even most of the experts touting that figure are merely repeating the claim made by other experts. Except that it’s not the whole story. The Average Stock Market Return Depends on the Period A few years ago, a magazine (probably Money) demonstrated that you can…
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Small Expenses Do Add Up

One of my financial resolutions for the year was to track my spending for one month. I chose January in order to start the year off with a bang. Recording my purchases wasn’t really that challenging. It helps that I’m something of a miser, and therefore don’t really spend much money to begin with. For my records, I only tracked money I personally spent. I didn’t track the bills my…
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That Makes Me Stabby: Threats from Credit Card Issuers

Once again, the banking lobbyists are coming out against the new credit card rules passed by the Senate yesterday and likely to become law next week. These are only slight modifications of the new rules set to go into effect next year, but the banks and credit card issuers are once again trotting out their threats to try to scare Congress into not passing the bill. Silly banks – your…
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9 Frugal Fall Entertainment Options

When times get tough, people seek more entertainment. We need to get away from the news of dwindling retirement funds and collapsing banks. However, most of us are trying to pinch our pennies these days. Here are 9 frugal fall entertainment options to keep your mind off the troubles without squeezing your wallet. See a Matinee  Movies are fun, but who wants to pay $12 a ticket? If…
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Saving Money: Using Coupon Codes at Christmas

This year I’ll be doing nearly half of my Christmas shopping online. Last year that number was probably closer to 75%, but this year I found some of the gifts I needed at Costco. So far I’ve only needed to visit two online stores to get many of my gifts: Amazon and Red Envelope. Red Envelope specializes in high quality, unusual gifts in a wide range of prices (some of…
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Alternatives to Debit Card Fees

Yesterday, the CEO of Bank of America argued that the bank has a “right to make a profit.” They do, in fact, have that right. But that doesn’t mean you have a responsibility to help them with that. If you regularly use your debit card and don’t want to pay the new $5 fee each month you use the card, you have a few options for avoiding the…
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