Frugality

18 Ways to Slash Your Utility Consumption in Half

When you tear open your utility bill each month, are you annoyed with the outstanding balance listed on the statement? If so, you aren’t alone. I was having a chat with my hairstylist the other day and she expressed how disgruntled she was about having to fork over $300 or more per month on her utility …

Cost-Cutting Tips for Thanksgiving Dinner

You may have recently mastered the art of budget-conscious grocery shopping, but preparing for Thanksgiving dinner is a whole other ballgame. Carving off some savings will take a lot more time and effort, since each dish typically requires its own set of ingredients, some which are a bit pricey. Before you check your bank account …

The Parable of the Whopper: The Big Impact of a Little Treat

When I was a college student, I lived for about a year with a few other people in a shared apartment. None of us had much money at all, so we basically packed as many people in there as we could get away with to make the rent cheap. For me, that meant that the …

20 Money-Saving Tactics for Winter

A few days ago, we received our first measurable snowfall of the year, bringing us a two-inch blanket of snow that covered the world in white. It was a stark reminder that, although the calendar doesn’t quite say so (yet), winter has arrived. As anyone who has ever had to pay an energy bill north …

10 Cheap Household Staples That Double as Cleaning Supplies

The last time I went shopping for cleaning supplies, there were so many items to choose from I quickly got overwhelmed, grabbed a few things off my list, and made a dash for the exit. Of course, I was missing a few items when it was time to start cleaning, but I made it work. Why …

Sixteen Strategies for a Frugal and Wonderful Christmas

Like it or not, Christmas is less than six weeks away. If your family is anything like our family, the weeks around Christmas are jam-packed with events with friends and extended family members, wrapping and exchanging and opening gifts, preparing and eating meals, and generally fighting off the winter blues with a huge dose of …

Categories: Frugality

Saving Money in Your Startup — Part 5

Have you ever written a check and paused for a moment to mentally check your bank account to make sure there were sufficient funds in the account for the check to clear? I have, and I’m guessing you have too. Keeping accurate accounting records is important — especially for your business. Accounting provides you and your …

Betterment Review

As I explained last week, I’m on a quest to find the best retirement plan to roll over my old 401(k). I’m going to conduct the most thorough research I can — publicly — and then put my money where my mouth is, literally rolling over my old 401(k), worth approximately $85,000, into the best …

Wine, Blind Taste Tests, and Your Money

You’re standing at the grocery store looking at a large selection of wines. You know you want a red wine to go well with your pasta meal this evening. One is $5.99 per bottle. Another is $19.99 per bottle and has a little tag bragging about the score it received in some wine magazine. Which …

How and Why to Use a Zero-Sum Budget

Sometime around 2010, my husband and I realized that we weren’t making the most of our income. We knew we were wasting boatloads of money, yet we weren’t sure why it was happening or how to make it stop. In an effort to figure things out once and for all, we began tracking our spending to see where all of …

14 Simple Life Hacks That Have Each Saved Me $100 (Or More) Since My Financial Turnaround

As many of you know, I’m constantly trying out little lifestyle changes and tweaks just to see if they’re something that actually saves money and if they’re something that integrates well into my life. I’ll usually try out these tactics for a while and then do my best to assess whether or not it’s actually …

Categories: Frugality

Give Your Entire Home a Makeover for Under $500

You pull into your driveway, glance at the yard, and a wave of disgust sweeps over you. The yard is a mess and you can’t stand to look at it another day. And that’s just the beginning. A tap of the garage clicker reveals a cluttered chasm of chaos, and quickly reminds you why you’re forced to …

A Frugal Guide to Amateur Astronomy

Several months ago, I had a wonderful evening with my six year old daughter where we spent more than an hour (up until bedtime) in the backyard under the night sky, looking up at the stars. We talked about how big the universe is. We talked about how most of the dots in the sky …

Categories: Family, Frugality

Saving Money in Your Startup — Part 3

If you’ve been following along with this series, you’ve already thought about where to locate your business, the cost of living in your city, where to set up your home office or workplace, how expensive coffee shops are, how to legally set up your business entity, the business model canvas and lean startup methodologies, DIY …

Our Family’s Eight Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes

Two to three nights a week, our family has a dinner that’s served directly out of a slow cooker. It’s something that either Sarah or I assembled in the morning before the daily rush began and it’s ready to eat when our family is gathered for dinner. This has a bunch of advantages. One, it …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Free Kid’s Clothes

In 2009, I had my first child, a girl I named Lydia Rose. She was beautiful and dainty just like a baby doll, and I loved dressing her up in cute little outfits and taking all kinds of pictures. Unfortunately, those first few years turned out to be expensive. Since I wasn’t all that frugal …

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. …

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