Dominga Paz

***Hey guys, Raha from Paradigm here, I started this Bent Reeds to write about love and life, well, my friend has lovingly offered to be in charge of this blog. She is recently engaged and she knows way more about this topic than I ever will. She's also just as funny or even more funny than I am, and her and her other half are two of the most amazing couples I know. So, this is her first post of many, don't worry I will be on her and I'll make sure her fiancé "The Captain" is on her to write daily.XO Raha ***...more

OUT OF THE CLOSET

A couple months ago I literally stumbled into my closet to find that I had (surprise, surprise) “nothing to wear”. As I rummaged through the ridiculous amount of shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, scarves, shoes, underwear etc, I realized that 50% of those items had not been used in over a year. I had shirts hanging in my closet that were never appropriate to wear in public at the age of 27 and somehow I managed to keep since high school. Was it the memories?...more

Exploring the World of Extreme Couponing

I'm a pretty thrifty woman and I don't particularly mind that my family makes fun of me for it. We do not throw away money on things we don't need. If we need it, and can afford it, we will buy it -- we'll look for a sale but if we don't find one, we still buy. Which pretty much explains why I've never been anything more than a sporadic coupon user. And that, my friends, is about to change. I have entered the world of the extreme couponer. ...more

that doesn't mean I can't save.

Some day I'll live near a doubling store (I hope) -- in the ...more

Is It Ever Ok to Say No to Bridesmaid Requests

by Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore Visions of sugar plums still dancing in your head? The holidays are definitely the season of giving, but what you might not have realized that one of the things most given at this time of the year is proposals....more

Mayan Calendar 2012 explained.

Hi guys. I know this is where you come to get your armor so that you can go out and fight your way through the dirty wench that is Monday by laughing at what a huge moron I am after reading my Moronic Monday story and then comparing your own day to it....more

A Call for the End of Birthday Party Presents

Having my kids attend birthday parties is a budget item in my life – one that is expensive, and annoying, and time consuming. And so, I make a call for the end of having to buy other kids birthday presents. Below, I have drafted an email that I plan to send to any parent who invites my child to a birthday party, effective immediately. Feel free to use this email in your own social circles. I like providing useful tools like this to my friends....more
What is the birthday version of Scrooge? This. A gift doesn't have to be expensive to be meaningful.more

Flexible Spending Account Spending Spree

Last year, when you opted into your Flexible Spending Account at work, did you overestimate your spending needs? I haven't done the childcare FSA, but I have opted into the health care FSA for years. It makes a lot of sense for me. It pulled money before taxes for me to spend on health care expenses not covered by insurance -- like co-pays, over-the-counter medications, dental work. In most cases, this is at the end of the calendar year. In some, your employer will allow a few extra months to spend the rest of your FSA withholding. ...more

Be advised though that the rules changed for FSAs, HRAs and HSAs starting January 1, 2011. The ...more

Holiday Spending Up: Are We Blowing Our Budgets?

The news looks good: Holiday spending is up. Way up. 12% from last year, which equals about 22 billion dollars more than we spent in 2009. As Jolie O'Dell of Mashable says, "Recession? What recession?" Of course, all of that means nothing if we're charging all of our gifts and creating another black hole of debt. The better news? We're not. ...more

Holiday season is being taken advantage of by sheer commercialism...Being with your family ...more

Tax Cut Extension: We Need Civil Problem Solving Beyond Bad Compromises

There are times when I get angry about how we as a country choose to solve serious problems. We call it a compromise. I think it is more like whack-a-mole. We expend a lot of energy in doing something close to nothing more than is necessary to play the next level of the game. The compromise on the unemployment extension and maintenance of the Bush tax cuts does not solve problems. ...more

I will agree with you that speeding money we do not have is foolish.

We can dicker when that ...more

Tip #3: Dashing Through the Malls

Again, perfect for this time of year. Advice that comes a little late though (sorry guys! Next year, maybe). I worked in Retail for years, at various stores - everywhere from clothes to jewelry to shoes. And my Christmas money saving tip for you?Shop early. Earlier than November 15th, if at all possible.Every store that I worked at - big company or small company - did the same thing around Christmas. They either a) marked the popular Christmas gifts up or b) stopped any sales....more