Frugality

10 Things You Should Never Buy Used

Whether you’re trying to save money or be less wasteful in general, shopping at secondhand stores, garage sales, and flea markets is a good strategy. Not only do you get to save an item from the landfill, but you can usually pay a fraction of the retail cost. Of course, some items work better than …

Eight Frugal Ways to Unwind

In the crazy, fast-paced world we live in, it’s important to find ways to relax and unwind. Unfortunately, some of the most enjoyable ways to reach peak relaxation aren’t all that cheap. For example, when I think of pure relaxation, I envision myself enjoying a hot stone massage somewhere on the beach. Meanwhile, others relax …

Categories: Frugality, Health

A Guide to Extreme Food Budgeting

Jeremy writes in: In my current job, I bring in about $780 per biweekly paycheck. I get paid 26 times a year. I make a monthly budget based on two paychecks and use the remaining two per year for an emergency fund and for seasonal expenses like buying Christmas gifts. This means I have $1,560 …

Beyond eBay: Six Better Ways to Buy, Sell, and Trade Stuff Online

Are you tired of the mountains of clutter around your home? Are you overwhelmed by your own “stuff?” Do you have so many belongings that you have to rent a storage unit to house them all? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey by the National Association …

Five Ways to Bounce Back from a Busted Budget

It happens to the best of us. Everything is going great, then all of a sudden, something knocks your budget completely off track. It can be anything, really – a sudden job loss that drastically reduces your income, a surprise home repair, or a medical issue. And depending on the severity of your budget crisis, …

Categories: Frugality

The Best Used Cars for Simply Getting Around

It’s expensive to buy and own a car — the American Automobile Association (AAA) pegs the cost of owning a vehicle at a whopping $8,698 a year. But most of us need one to get around; in much of America, it’s just a fact of life. Still, that doesn’t mean we need an expensive car. While AAA takes into account …

The Social Cost of Frugality

Scott writes: I’m curious to see what the Simple Dollar’s opinion is on the social cost of purchasing cheap items. I tend to be rather frugal in my purchase of everyday goods, including clothing, electronics, food, etc. This usually means I buy the cheapest of whatever item is available. That’s normally a good thing, right? Except …

Categories: Frugality

Some Thoughts on “Cutting Back” on Frugality

It’s a pretty typical story. Person reaches a financial breaking point. Person begins to use frugality to cut back strongly on their expenses. Person pays down their debts and begins saving for the future. Person begins to feel a whole lot better about their financial state. At that point, many people reach a crossroads. They …

Categories: Frugality

Five Things I Was Willing to Give Up to Save Money

Several years ago, my husband and I realized that we weren’t realizing our financial potential. We weren’t hugely in debt or spending frivolously… but we were getting ready to have a family. And although it wasn’t any sort of emergency, something about the prospect of having kids made us realize how important it was for us …

Categories: Frugality, Saving Money

12 Items That Pay for Themselves Tenfold or More

When you’re trying to live a frugal lifestyle and save money, it can seem counterintuitive to buy anything new. Yet, that’s exactly what many money-conscious people do. The difference is, those who have mastered the art of frugality don’t just buy things; they invest in them. And they don’t just invest in “stuff;” they invest …

The ‘What Should I Major In?’ Question

Every once in a while, I’ll get an email from a high-school-aged reader – or the parent of a high-school-aged student – who is looking for advice on what to study in college and, to some extent, how to pay for it. When I went to college, I followed the simple and straightforward advice of my …

26 Favorite Cheap-and-Easy Meals

If you ask a roomful of people what their biggest budget busters are, many of them will say their food spending is an issue. In fact, many Americans literally eat through their income, knowingly spending more than they should on dining out. Fortunately, there are a ton of tasty, cheap meals you can make at …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

20 Ways to Make a Great Birthday for Your Child When Money Is Tight

One of the most difficult experiences when you’re a parent is not having enough money to make your children’s special days feel very special at all. For most parents, their child is a key part of their life and it’s not the child’s fault when you don’t have the resources to make their birthday special. …

15 Simple Money-Saving Strategies for Storing and Preparing Food at Home

Food. It’s a human need. We all need food to survive. However, at the same time, it’s an expense. It drains our wallet every day, every month, every year. Yet, more than almost anything else in our life, smart strategies regarding how we buy food, use food, and store food can make a huge impact …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Walking, Bicycling, Driving, and Cost-Effectiveness

Recently, it was announced that a grocery store is opening within two miles of my home. This is actually pretty good news for me as, prior to that announcement, the only grocery store anywhere nearby was more than 10 miles away. I would simply have to drive to a different town for groceries. This means …

How to Save Money: 100 Great Tips to Get You Started

No matter where you are on your financial journey, you need to know that it’s possible for anyone to turn their financial life around. Sometimes all it takes is that first step in the right direction to get things moving in your favor. But, as with most things, sometimes that very first step is the …

Is Time Economy a Good Justification for Wasting Money?

The other day, I had a great conversation with a reader who wrote in to discuss why I advocate the value of maintaining your stuff, cooking at home, and other such things that require some effort but save significant money in the long run. His argument primarily revolved around the idea of time economy or …

40 Ways to Save Money on Monthly Expenses

One of the biggest challenges in personal finance is figuring out ways to spend less money — and one of the best ways to accomplish that is to cut down on your monthly expenses. Even though some of our regular bills might seem small and insignificant on their own, their cumulative effect can be enormous …

Financial Advice That Needs to Die

Recently, one of my friends was curtain shopping when she received some pretty crazy advice from a friendly store employee. “You should expect to spend around 5% of your home’s value on curtains and draperies,” the saleswoman explained as she sauntered around the sales floor. Of course, my friend balked at the idea. Not only …

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