A Year Without Spending: How Much Can You Save?

The tough economy has forced many Americans to cut back, but signs of improved consumer spending have started to creep back in. Even for those of us on a budget, we probably have areas that we can eliminate our spending, if we truly wanted to: restaurant meals, clothing, cable, cell phone data plans, even cars. This might sound draconian, but imagine the potential savings. How much can you save if you went a year without spending on anything other than the barest of necessities? ...more

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Luxury Getaways for Less with Social Buying Sites

Who doesn't love getting away for a night or a weekend? I sure do. Living in California, there are many picturesque towns just a few hours' drive away where I can enjoy a day or two of rest and relaxation. But I don't love paying the ticket price for these getaways when nice hotels can charge up to $200 a night. Fortunately, social-buying websites such as LivingSocial or JetSetter have started offering discounted hotel/vacation packages. If you do your research and make sure to read the fine print, you can score wonderful deals for as much as 60% to 70% off. ...more

I'm a huge fan of the social buying sites...you can really save! I just learned of another ...more

(INTERVIEW) MrCoupon From TLC's Extreme Couponing

Recently, TLC aired a controversial show titled “Extreme Couponing." It caused quite the stir among couponers and non couponers alike. When I first heard about it, I was excited and wrote about it here. After the show, I felt the need to talk about it a bit more because I felt that there were some parts of the program that were overly sensationalized. The last participant on the show was the owner/creator of the popular couponing site We Use Coupons ... MrCoupon/Nathan Engels. Nathan reached out to me and asked if I would like to interview him after the show. Definitely! ...more

I highly agree with you! Well said! I've also been following online couponing sites to save in ...more

Settling In, but Not Settling for Poverty

These last couple days I've been following the story of The Man with the Golden Voice as it's been unfolding on YouTube and NBC news. I keep wishing I had some sort of talent I could capitalize on, but I'm not sure I have. Like so many people, I have ideas but neither the skill nor capital to implement them. ...more

I do think many things in life are based on luck. But we also must consider that this man's ...more

2011 Payroll Tax Deduction is a Small Windfall

Thanks to the tax bill Obama signed into law a few weeks ago, most people will see a small bump in their take-home pay for 2011. That is because the payroll tax, ordinarily set at 12.4% (split evenly between the employer and the employee), will decrease to 10.4% for the next 12 months. This small but steady windfall would affect most workers and self-employed workers. ...more

This is a clear policy of tax reduction. when people in the press against the tax it will have a ...more

Holiday Shopping Without Breaking the Budget

The time between Thanksgiving and New Year's has turned into America's busiest shopping season. Every time I set out the door, turn on the TV, or surf the Web, I see signs that yell "Best Deal of the Year!" or "70% off!" or "Buy 1 Get 1 Free!" These deals, combined with the gift-giving nature of the season (the thinking might go: as long as you are buying gifts for everyone else, why not add yourself to the list?), is enough to make even the most disciplined budget-follower lose her grip on the wallet. ...more

The hardest thing for me is to avoid the sale because it's on sale. As an example, the LEGO ...more

Secret Santa Can Rescue Your Holiday Budget

Now that Thanksgiving is over, the Christmas shopping season is firing on all cylinders. According to a November Gallup poll, Americans expect to spend $714 on holiday gifts this year. Like everyone, I want to give great gifts to all of my friends. But I also don't want to break the budget. So, here is a not-so-secret method for getting through the holidays without going over budget: the Secret Santa exchange. ...more

My friends and I decided to do an un-Secret Santa exchange this year. We know who has whom, but ...more

The Latte Factor: What Are Micropayments Doing to You?

The Latte Factor is one of the most commonly used phrases in personal finance writing. Championed by personal finance author David Bach, the Latte Factor is the idea that we all have small indulgences (such as $5 lattes) that chip away at our ability to save and invest for a financially secure tomorrow. If we were to save the money that we were spending on lattes, the thinking goes, it would grow to be a tidy sum by the time we retire. ...more

I probably nickel and dime myself to death buying credits for stupid games on Facebook. But I'm ...more

Tips for Frugal Eating: Rising Food Prices Won't Break Your Budget

The October USDA report says that the prices of grains have risen sharply recently, and that's bad news for all of us consumer who eat food (presumably that includes you!). Because much of the meat industry uses grain as feed, this price increase will likely cause meat prices to increase along with the price of cereal and other grain-based foods. ...more

Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan. It normally works great -- saves time and money. Except for the ...more

Make Your Own Holiday Gift Baskets - For Less

Who doesn't like getting a gift basket filled to the brim with goodies and presents? As soon as the holiday season rolls around (every year it seems to arrive earlier and earlier), retailers bring out gift baskets aimed at friends, families, and colleagues. I love giving spa and chocolate gift baskets to my girlfriends, but I don't so much like paying such a premium for store-bought baskets. Fortunately, with a little bit of time and creativity, I can put together great gift basket for a fraction of the cost. ...more

Thanks for gift basket ideas!

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