Frugality

Saving Money in Your Startup — Part 2

So you’re thinking about starting a business. Congrats! Now what? Odds are good that if you’re starting a business, you’re a “solopreneur” — meaning it’s just you, and you’ve got some questions about what to do next. Whether it’s your first startup or you’ve been down this path before, identifying and accessing key resources — both …

Some Thoughts on Extreme Cheapskates

Extreme Cheapskates is a “reality” television series that airs on TLC that just entered its third season. Over the last two years, the show has launched a new season in October and, as with the previous two Octobers, I’ve been asked a few questions about my take on the show. First of all, I’m not …

Hacking Six Normal Life Routines to Save Time and Money

In my experience, many of the truly useful frugal tactics come about from little tweaks to one’s daily routine. If you can look at something that you do almost every day and find some little way to shave a minute off of it, you’ve saved more than six hours over the course of a year. …

Saving Money in Your Startup

We get it. You’re starting a new businesses and you’re strapped for cash. There are a million questions going through your head. We empathize with bootstrapping entrepreneurs and small-business owners everywhere, and today we explore meaningful ways (that add up) where your business can save money in the early phases. That said, every small-business owner …

Hobbies on the Path to Financial Independence

Let me start off by describing several hobbies I’ve enjoyed over the years. It’s not a secret that I’m an avid reader. Once upon a time, I had a large collection of books that I’d purchased in various places. Some of them were cheap as they were bought at secondhand stores or acquired via Paperbackswap. …

Fifteen Things I Skimp On

A couple of days ago, I posted a list of fifteen items I don’t skimp on. That list mostly consisted of extremely heavy use items and maintenance of my health and my most expensive purchases (homes and automobiles). So, what do I skimp on? In truth, I skimp on a lot of things… but they’re …

Categories: Frugality

Fifteen Items I Don’t Skimp On

Frugality is a major part of our financial independence strategy. Since we live on only one income and save the other one, we have to be quite careful with our spending. As I’ve mentioned many times, my perspective on frugality is to spend as little as possible on things that aren’t as important to us …

Categories: Frugality

Nine Strategies for Stretching Out a Tiny Food Budget

We’ve all faced it at some point in our life. Your next paycheck isn’t due to arrive for a week or so. You don’t have much in your checking account and there’s not too much in the cupboards, either. You need to put food on the table for the next week but you have only …

Triggering the Spark of Financial Independence and Frugality

Kayla writes in: I’ve never really understood how you could suddenly make the switch from way overspending to actually living on just one of your two incomes and saving half of your income. How does that even happen? As I thought about Kayla’s question, I started writing a list of things that I felt played …

Eight Strategies for Buying Clothes Without Destroying Your Budget

At our house, I’m the lucky one. I work from home so it doesn’t really matter too much what I wear most days, so I dress for comfort. Almost every day, you’ll find me in blue jeans and a t-shirt. I have some nicer clothes for social occasions and presentations, but those mostly just stay …

Using Paprika for Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

Most of the time, I prefer to talk about free computer programs and smartphone apps that are useful for me financially, but today I’m going to make an exception and talk about a paid program – Paprika. (It costs $4.99 for smartphones and tablets and has a $19.99 desktop version for Mac (with a Windows …

Categories: Frugality, Meals, Technology

Seven Clever Food Strategies for Stretching a Small Budget

There are a lot of strategies out there for stretching a food budget, from couponing to meal planning. I’ve laid out our six-step plan for organizing cheap meals many times on The Simple Dollar, and it’s a routine we stick to almost every week. Still, that’s not the end of the road when it comes …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

20 Great Games to Play with Stuff You Already Have

Playing games at the kitchen table is a regular part of life at our house. I play games after school three or four days a week with my children, as well as a family game night most weeks. Sarah and I play games together one or two nights a week, and I have a regular …

Frugality and Hoarding

Jerome sent me a great question for the reader mailbag, but I found that my answer was getting too long so I chose to spin my response off into its own post. Jerome asked this: One of the big ideas of frugality is to not waste anything. That just seems to lead to hoarding, though. …

Categories: Frugality

30 Great Gifts for $5 (or Less!)

Gift-giving can be an expensive proposition. Most of the ideas that tend to pop into people’s minds when it comes to exchanging gifts are expensive ones – or, at least ones that add up to a lot if you have to buy many of them. That doesn’t have to be the case. There are a …

Categories: Frugality, Shopping

Spend Less? Earn More? Which Is the Best Path?

Pretty much everyone who writes anything about personal finance will agree that the best way to get ahead financially is to increase the difference between what you earn and what you spend. There are, of course, two major ways to make that happen. You can either earn more or you can spend less. No matter …

Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Frugal Living

The simple maxim of spending less than you earn stands at the heart of personal finance success. If you can consistently do that one thing, you’re going to succeed when it comes to personal finance. I repeat that idea all the time because it’s so true – it’s the core of everything. People get into …

Categories: Frugality

The Value of Handwritten Notes

Whenever I happen to stop in a Hallmark store, I’m just astounded as to the wide variety of greeting cards on display in there. There are cards for birthdays, wedding anniversaries, bridal showers, engagements, weddings, new babies, job promotions, new jobs, good-byes, graduations, passing a big test, recovering from illness or surgery, sympathy, apology, christenings, …

Categories: Frugality

50 Free Activities For Kids

One of the most popular articles I’ve ever written for The Simple Dollar is 100 Things to Do During a Money-Free Weekend. In it, I touch upon the idea of a “money-free weekend” – one in which you consciously avoid the active spending of money – and then drop a long list of activities you …

Categories: Family, Frugality