holding tray of muffins fresh baked - frugal gifts

Maybe you’re in the midst of a financial turnaround. Maybe you’re having a hard time finding a job. Maybe you’ve just been waylaid by a torrent of unexpected expenses. Whatever the reason, you’re in a situation where money is super tight. You’re dealing with it, though. You’ve got this. There’s only one catch. Someone close to you is about to celebrate a special event of some kind and it would be very reasonably expected that you contribute to that celebration …

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In late 2016, I achieved a writing milestone I was particularly proud of: I secured my own column in my state’s biggest newspaper, the Indianapolis Star. Every few weeks, they’d let me crank out a column about ways to save money or some other aspect of frugality, all in the name of helping community members achieve their financial dreams. Since I’ve always wanted to write for a print publication, I was stroked. A few months had passed and everything was …

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You may already know that you have the right to claim a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. You might also know that you can dispute any errors appearing on your credit reports with the three credit reporting agencies (CRAs): Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Both of these rights are conferred to you under a federal law known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Here are the various rights and protections that law grants to American consumers: The …

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At any given time, there are millions of Americans out there seeking employment with some level of seriousness. Many of them are in your field, and some of them are likely applying for the same job. Most of those people follow the same exact pattern over and over again for their job search. They make a half-decent resume and cover letter, send the exact same document to many different organizations, and then wonder why they rarely get calls back. Then …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Arguing over frugality 2. Selling possessions before big move 3. Maximizing lifespan of blue jeans 4. Cheap deep fat fryer setup 5. Cracked tablet screen 6. Resolving debts to family members 7. Clothes during weight loss 8. Baby advice in tiny apartment 9. Car downsizing as a parent …

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Dollar cost averaging is a popular investment strategy that usually gets even more popular in environments like this, where all-time market highs and political uncertainty have people worried that the next big stock market crash could be just around the corner. And while dollar cost averaging can absolutely be a good way to ease yourself into the market, it’s a strategy whose benefits are often oversold and misunderstood. In this post we’ll explore exactly what dollar cost averaging is, what …

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Camping, in its rawest form, is one of the most frugal vacation options in the world. All you really need is a tent (or some other shelter), something to sleep in or on, basic supplies for cooking and eating, and the means to start and maintain a fire. Beyond those essential furnishings and skills, everything else is free. After all, camping opens the door to a wide range of entertainment provided by the great outdoors – hiking, swimming, fishing, and …

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I recently ran across a letter written by the writer, investment advisor, and politician Harry Browne. It was a letter intended for his nine-year-old daughter and was published as part of his syndicated newspaper column. I want to share it in its entirety: * * * It’s Christmas and I have the usual problem of deciding what to give you. I know you might enjoy many things — books, games, clothes. But I’m very selfish. I want to give you …

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If you’re a homebody who’s into family stay-cations, a credit card that focuses on travel rewards just doesn’t fit. Likewise, a cash back card with no travel rewards isn’t an ideal match for frequent flyers. Choosing a credit card with a rewards structure that aligns with your spending habits will ensure your rewards stack up quickly. You’ll also want to carefully consider redemption options. Do you want to earn rewards you can redeem for free travel? Is cash back more …

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Personal success often translates into a time for celebration. You just got a promotion at work. You just got a great new job. You just got engaged. You found out you’re expecting a child. You paid off your car. You paid off your house. You sold your house. There are lots of reasons that life offers us for a celebration of some kind or another. However, celebration often translates into expense in the modern world. When we think of celebrating …

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