Saving Money

Saving Money For A Rainy Day

I have a “rainy day” fund that I don’t include in any of my normal financial calculations. It just sits there, quietly accumulating small deposits and interest. In fact, I don’t even look at the account unless I am considering a major purchase or am coming across dire straits. How is this different from an …

Categories: Planning, Saving Money

#12: Proportional Savings

This is part of a series in which we re-evaluate Money Magazine’s “25 Rules To Grow Rich By”. One “rule” will be re-evaluated each weekday until the series concludes; you can keep tabs on the action at the 25 Rules index. How Much Should I Save? Rule #12: If you’re not saving 10% of your …

What I’m Buying This Black Friday

It’s still dark out, there’s eggs frying in the kitchen, and we’re about ready to head out for some Black Friday shopping. Here’s what I’m getting for a few people on my list. At Target, I’m picking up a KitchenAid Classic Plus White Stand Mixer, normally $199.99, but only $159.99 today. This one is going …

Categories: Saving Money, Shopping

Money For Nothing: Five Ways To Put Money In Your Pocket With Zero Effort

Many people think about saving money, but decide that it’s too much work or it interferes too much with their lives. I’m usually this way, too; I’d rather not think about it when I’m hanging out with friends or spending time with family. I’m also not a big investor, so I don’t exactly plan on …

Applying the Peak-End Rule to Personal Finance

The peak-end rule is a psychological phenomenon that indicates which parts of a past experience we recall and use to define that experience. From Wikipedia: According to the peak-end rule, we judge our past experiences almost entirely on how they were at their peak (pleasant or unpleasant) and how they ended. Virtually all other information …

The Road to Financial Armageddon #10: What I Learned

Yesterday, I indicated some of the specific mechanics that I adopted to turn my financial situation around, and I’m happy to say that my finances have never been better. The solution to the problem, though, is much greater than mere financial tools. Even though I was able to discover and apply tools to solve my …

The Road to Financial Armageddon #9: The Road to Recovery

Yesterday, I described my financial meltdown, when I reached a point where there was more money going out each month than coming in with no real hope for redemption without a change from within. Then, thanks to some inspiration, I made that change. The first thing I did was I laid out every single expense …

Two Banks Enter, One Bank Leaves: ING vs. HSBC in … Direct Thunderdome

Over the past few months, I signed up with both ING Direct and HSBC Direct in order to try out their online savings offerings. I had heard many positive reviews of the service at ING, but I was also stunned at the 5.05% APY interest rate being offered at HSBC. To make up my mind, …

10 Firefox Plugins That Save You Money

For those of you out there who are still using Internet Explorer, there is another option that won’t open your computer to all sorts of security holes. Better yet, it will automatically kill most pop-up windows and, when you switch to it, it will incorporate all of your bookmarks from Internet Explorer. I switched years …

Saving Big Money on a Computer Upgrade

Recently, I provided some extensive consultation to a couple looking to upgrade their home computer. They had purchased the machine in 1999 and were looking to buy a replacement machine for it with a budget of $1000, and they wanted my advice on how to maximize their purchase. If you are a techie, please note …

Get Rid Of Your Old Stuff!

A few weeks ago, I was rummaging around in my closet looking for some old photo albums when I came across a large cardboard box with the letters PS2 written on it in huge letters. With a nostalgic smile, I popped open the box and sure enough, there was my old Playstation 2. A lot …

Categories: eBay, Saving Money

How I Saved $300 On Software This Year

I used to be an active follower of Microsoft Office and McAfee, but the constant upgrade cycle and payments to continue getting antivirus updates got old. So I did some research and discovered free, top-notch alternatives to these money hogs for use at home. Instead of using Microsoft Office, I’ve switched to using Open Office. …

Categories: Saving Money, Software

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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, …

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 …