How to Create Your Holiday Wish List

My mom recently asked what we wanted for Christmas this year. I usually have a list of things to buy in my notebook, so I sent her that list. It was mostly small, fairly affordable items. I’m simply not in the mood to acquire a lot of stuff for the sake of stuff this year. Anything expensive, I’m already considering buying for myself or my husband and I…
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Finally, a Debt Breakthrough!

My husband isn’t a profligate spender, but he hasn’t been fully on-board with my plan to pay off $40,000 in debt this year. Don’t get me wrong, he was thrilled with our February debt reduction progress. He’s equally determined to get rid of the credit cards and at least one student loan, but he wasn’t convinced we could pay off two of them and the medical debt so quickly.…
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That Makes Me Stabby: Stupid Banks

Not all short sales are good deals. Sometimes a listing agent will price the home way below market value to attract multiple offers, and it’s completely reasonable for a bank to reject an offer that is half the market value. However, some banks will reject ALL short sales, regardless of how good the deal is. Why? Because they’re greedy and stupid. And that’s why the government has had to step…
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Scale Down Your Holiday Wish List

Every year, my Christmas list seems to get shorter and shorter. When I was young, my list was very detailed and long. Now I struggle to come up with a few items. I seem to have reached a point of max stuff and now am just looking to fill new needs that have arisen. Maybe it’s time to trim down your list, too. Think About Your Needs No,…
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credit card purchase protection, a picture of credit cards and a lock with code on top

How Credit Card Purchase Protection Saved My Friend $800

I’ve seen many personal finance blogs and books rail against the evils of credit cards. Dave Ramsey, for example, has a very negative view of credit cards. I’ve always been in the “credit cards are good” camp, if you use them wisely. However, there’s a very good reason NOT to pay cash for big-ticket electronics: Credit Card purchase protection. My friend used his credit card to buy a new…
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Christmas Shopping Season Starts Now

If you’ve ventured into a store recently, you’ve no doubt been assaulted by Halloween decorations. Which is fine, it is almost October. But if you continued around to the other side of the display, you may have also been confronted by Christmas decorations. That’s right, the holiday shopping season has begun. In fact, my Joann’s mailer already has Christmas decorations at a discount! So, apparently, the holiday discounting…
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My Husband’s Savings Breakthrough

It takes my husband a little longer than me to get around to enjoying the process of working toward our financial goals. He understands why we’re doing it, he just wishes we could “live a little more.” I don’t fault him for wanting to have more of a life, but I would get frustrated that he didn’t understand why I was pushing so hard to save money. It started…
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Happy Holidays from Sound Money Matters!

Happy holidays! After today, the blog will be dark until Tuesday. I’m taking a few days off to relax. I’m done my shopping, baking, and wrapping, but here are a few quick tips if you’ve still got work to do: When shopping for last-minute gifts, remember your budget! Need a last-minute gift and don’t want to shop? Try these quick gift ideas. Suddenly in the mood to bake? Try these cookie…
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To Freelance or Not Freelance?

From time to time, I’m offered an opportunity to do a bit of moonlighting. In my case, it’s freelance writing. Sometimes I accept the offer, and sometimes I don’t. Before accepting any offer, I carefully consider a few factors and discuss with my spouse. If you’re looking for side work, or being offered side work, here are some questions to ask. Am I Qualified to Do the Job?…
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Taking Back Your Time

About a month ago, my husband and I realized that we seem to watch more TV during the summer when there’s supposedly “nothing on.” In fact, it got so bad that I was eager for the fall season to start so I’d have less to watch (which actually isn’t true, it’s just spaced better.) When I realized that I was resenting the shows I watched, or not paying attention, I…
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