Uber Confused: Trying to Choose a Health Insurance Plan

[Editor's Note: Whether you are unemployed or taking the leap to self-employment, choosing a health insurance plan can be baffling and expensive. Here's one story (complete with detailed numbers) of analyzing COBRA versus high deductible plans and trying to choose. -Paula G ...more
One new trend in the employee benefits arena is portable benefits, allowing you to take your ...more

Stop Wasting Food with These Strategies

When we started getting all up with the frugality at the Arens household, we quickly realized we couldn't make a new meal every night. Three people just don't eat that much food. Even with eating leftovers literally every day for lunch, there were still days we threw some away. And that felt beyond icky. I absolutely hate to waste food....more
I would hold myself up as a big food waster and tout my husband as the most major food saver and ...more

How Foodstamps Helped Me Feed My Kids and Rebuild My Life

I was at the supermarket checkout line when the cashier asked me if I wanted to make a donation for the needy.I would have liked to, but instead, I flashed my food stamps card and shook my head, saying: “I can’t. This time, I’m the needy.”The poor guy blushed and mumbled an apology. I suppose he must have felt bad for me.“It’s okay,” I said. “I’m glad to have the help.” ...more
@pfb1977 Maybe I didn't explain it properly. My ex was not in a position to pay for child ...more

Countdown to Affordable Health Insurance

By Sec. Kathleen SebeliusSecretary of Health and Human Services We're starting an important countdown, first to October 1, 2013, when many of you will be able to begin to shop for health insurance that meets your needs at the new Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov. The countdown continues on to January 1, 2014, the start of new health insurance coverage for millions of Americans. ...more
While I'll admit I don't know all the ins & outs of this, I am very skeptical. Our insurance has ...more

Cheapwashing: Cashing in on the Frugal "Fad"

For many of us, the frugal life is simply our normal. Whether we were raised by Depression-era parents or survived some lean times, or whether we are dealing with a rough economy, those long-term frugal-ers among us barely need guides and tips....more
Bloghers and hims!  You'll notice 2 references, one to "The Fly Lady" and another to Carl ...more

A Dose of Debt Ceiling Reality for President Obama

Sometimes it feels like we swing from one fiscal crisis to the next. Earlier this month it was the fiscal cliff, now it is the debt ceiling, and after that will be the sequester. All of these are self-inflicted consequences of rampant overspending in the federal government and a propensity to take the easy way out rather than budget responsibly. Overheated rhetoric plays a big role here, often distracting from the real problem by tugging at the heartstrings....more

Tips: Can You Afford to Quit Your Job?

[Editor's Note: I made my first "how much do I need to live" spreadsheet with my dad shortly before I graduated from college. It was, shall we say, eye-opening. And I sort of wondered how my parents had raised two kids on one income. Actually, I still wonder that, but bygones. Ashley and her husband came up with three different scenarios to figure out how much they would need to live at different levels, which I think is really smart. Read how she did it! -Rita]...more

Suddenly the Grocery Bill Was Half

[Editor's Note: Ever since Denise Tanton started her Extreme Couponing series, I've been paying way more attention to coupons. I'm not ashamed to haul my dorky binder into the store because it means I'm usually saving $20-$30 on a big trip, and I'm making those big trips once a month instead of once a week for the same reasons Suzanne describes in her post. I'll never be on that show, either, but hey, I like money! -Rita]...more

I Am Pregnant and Uninsured in America

My health insurance ran out on December 31st. The nice lady with Cigna quoted me in the ballpark of $750 a month to maintain my insurance through COBRA for 3 months, which wouldn't have gotten me to my due date. No insurance company will take me because pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition. Like cancer. Not that it matters, since I can't afford self-pay coverage, anyway. Any plan I can afford has a deductible so high that if I did find myself in a situation in which I needed to use the health insurance, I'd go bankrupt, so, in the end, I don't see the point....more
I just found out i'm pregnant, and I need to know that there's a part 2 to this...I'd love to ...more