Month: May 2014

The Road to Financial Armageddon #4: The First Taste of Real Money

Yesterday, we watched as I stumbled through college making a series of classic financial errors. Yet I finished (albeit in six years) with a pair of degrees, and I was able to find work utilizing both of them. I was suddenly making more money per year than my parents had made combined in any year, …

The Art of Buying in Bulk

Many people simply go into a store, look for the items they want, and leave. Others (those who are a bit savvier) go into a store, find the item they want, compare all of the sizes, and buy the one that is the cheapest per unit. These people get a lot of bang for their …

Categories: Frugality, Groceries

Saving For Large Purchases Without Killing Your Budget

My current computer is nearing the end of its natural life cycle. I have had it for several years and done a few minor upgrades to it, but the monitor (one of the first reasonably priced 15″ flat panels) has had several vertical lines appear in it in the last few months and the motherboard …

Liquid Laptop Accident? 9 Steps To Save Your Laptop

If you’re like me, you’ve probably spilled something on your laptop at some point during your computing experience. For me, it happened just last week with a tall latte all over the keyboard and display, dripping down in the cracks and crevasses of my laptop. As soon as it happened, I figured it would be …

Setting Intermediate-Term Financial Goals

From my perspective, short term and long term financial goals are fairly easy to plan. I want to spend less in the next month (and save more while paying down loans), and I want to save for retirement; these are fairly straightforward goals. The challenge for me was to define a set of intermediate-term goals …

The One Month Challenge

I used to waste tons of money on silly little things. I did it so often and so regularly that I didn’t even realize that it was adding up to a huge dent in my finances. A pack of Tic-Tacs here, a CD there, a DVD here, a new book there… it wasn’t long before …

The Road to Financial Armageddon #3: Cash & College

Last time, we reviewed the mistakes I made during my earliest days of dealing with my own finances, and it was clear that I was already showing some grave errors in financial planning. After high school, however, I found my way into college, an environment where I would have an opportunity to learn many things, …

Why Freakonomics Is The Worst Book I’ve Ever Read

I just finished reading Freakonomics and I’ve never been as disgusted with a “nonfiction” book as I am right now. It seems to violate every fundamental principle of any organized school of rational thought – and yet somehow it’s a best seller. At every single turn throughout the book, Levitt and Dubner attempt to apply …

Categories: What We're Reading

14 Ways Your Computer Can Put Money In Your Pocket

If you’re reading this, you likely have ready access to a computer with an internet connection. Most people are aware of a few ways that a personal computer can save them money, but there really are a plethora of simple, ethical ways that anyone can use a computer to make a few dollars. Here is …

The Secret Art of EBay Sales

Here are some unorthodox tips for selling stuff on eBay while minimizing your own cost. Not only do the tips minimize the money one has to spend on an auction, but they generate sales on par with other items in the same category (and often higher) and create very happy customers. I have been selling …

Categories: eBay

Six Surprising Ways To Save Money With A Baby

It’s amazing how a baby can turn your life upside down. There is nothing that surpasses the feeling of holding your own child for the first time, looking down at the baby’s face, and realizing that they depend on you for everything. What you soon find out, though, is that everything is quite expensive. Here …

Categories: Frugality, Parenting

Zen and the Art of the Grocery List

Supermarkets are designed to mess with your mind. I believe firmly that they are designed by a room full of middle management folks, sitting in an office somewhere with their coffee and suits, chuckling over the tricks they’re pulling on the populace. Stores are often organized so that the most commonly purchased items are on …

The Road To Financial Armageddon #2: Early Profits … Lost

During the first installment, I learned some pretty terrible money concepts in my childhood. I believed that money was the method to buying instant happiness and that accepting free things was wrong. I also missed out on any opportunity to learn about personal budgeting or finance simply because there was no opportunity for it. When …

A One Day Commitment

The hardest part about changing your spending habits is simply getting started. For me, I was in a routine of eating out for breakfast and lunch every single weekday, plus I would stop all the time for frivolous purchases that I didn’t really need. I knew they were adding up to a lot of money, …

Turning Off The Financially Irresponsible Mindset

Since turning my financial life around, I’ve discovered that frivolous spending really is a psychologically addictive habit. That little rush of buying something enjoyable for yourself or someone else becomes a part of your life, and when you begin to turn things around, it is a very hard habit to break. Over time, though, I’ve …

CFLs Can Save $100 A Year?

It seems like a surprising claim, but simply switching your regular lightbulbs for CFLs, even though they have a higher initial cost per bulb, can easily save you $100 a year. Let’s look at them in detail. I took the information off of GE Soft White A19 bulbs in both their regular and CFL form …

Eating Breakfast To Save Money?

For many of us busy people, breakfast can often become a thing in the past, something we leave out during a hectic morning. Then, in the middle of a busy morning at work, we begin to hit a little speed bump – we feel a bit tired, or our stomach starts really growling, and our …

Categories: Eating Out, Frugality

The Power of the Pocket Change Jar

I have a little jar that sits on my dresser. Inside it is my pocket change from the last several days. It seems like such a simple idea, but it can be quite powerful if you keep up with it. Instead of dumping excess pocket change into a vending machine, I keep it in my …