The Judgment Behind Spend or Don't Spend

Even though Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday and all their frugal flip-side days are past us, the holiday shopping season is in full swing. Every year I myself juggle my need to find the best deals with the desire to spend locally. Danielle discusses judging people for where they shop and how she plans to spend her money this holiday season in her post. ...more

Deficit Reduction: Women Will Suffer More

Christmas trees are popping up around the Capitol, in front of the White House, and in the foyer of every K Street lobby shop.  While snowmen and Santa are everywhere, the talk is anything but festive and joyful - for the moment, the term on everyone's lips is "shared sacrifice".  As in, budget cuts will touch one and all.  Taxes may go up from one end of the income scale to another.  It's time to pull together and put the common good before personal interest.  The problem is, the measures being discussed to close the budget gap won't affect men and women ...more
and children?more

Finding More Joy in Spending Less

In October 2008, Lee and I were looking forward to our first holiday season together, mostly with excitement but also with an edge of trepidation. The first major holiday season in a new relationship is often tricky to navigate, but we had an extra lump of coal in the proverbial stocking to deal with -- we had both been unemployed since March. We'd managed to stay afloat thanks to unemployment benefits, some small contract work and savings -- and our prospects of having jobs soon were really good -- but we decided we really needed to set some ground rules. Assuming that we both found jobs soon, neither of us was allowed to spend more than $100 on gifts for the other person, and we'd set strict limits on purchases for our friends and family. We would not go into to debt because of the holidays. We got jobs. We stuck to our rules, and we loved the rules so much we have continued them every year since. ...more
We usually just do stockings--everything inside must TOTAL less than $50. So for me, $100 feels ...more

How To Never Fail At Gift Giving Again

It takes far more than ten fingers to count the number of gifts my husband has given me that I have returned....more
This is a great, great post! I've picked up that book so many times, wanting to read it, but ...more

Have You Ever Given Money to Panhandlers?

[Editor's Note: My family is often horrified because I give all kinds of weird things to panhandlers. I once gave a guy on the side of the road in 110 degree heat my half-eaten ice cream cone. My husband almost died. But the guy wolfed it down. Find me Frugal(er) asks if you've ever given to panhandlers. Have you? -Rita]...more
@MissBrainz I love your last line.more

The Luxury of Giving: Freecycling and Frugality

I'm sitting at my laptop right now, looking at a box I have packed for someone to pick up later. The box contains a dozen-plus drinking glasses that have spent years moving from one basement to another as our family moved. They're nice, but I have no visceral connection to them. Therefore, they are going to be freecycled....more
@LeslieHendry , that's so true...it's the warm fuzzies that last.  Not that cash doens't help, ...more

What Is Your Status With Holiday Shopping So Far This Season?

We've just wrapped up the long Thanksgiving weekend and now the shopping race begins. Will you be running this year? Maybe you joined the crowds looking for the perfect sale on Black Friday. Maybe you've thrown in the towel with brick-and-mortar shopping -- why spend hours searching for a parking place at a real store when millions of gift ideas are at your fingertips on your laptop or tablet?...more
I went completely berzerk this past weekend and just about finished it all.  A first for me, I'm ...more

Holiday Alternatives to Material Gifts

Like many Americans, I am not swimming in extra cash this holiday season. Though I look forward to merry making with loved ones, I dread the money-sucking traditions of the holidays. How can I avoid the buying? And if I must make a purchase, how I can put some deeper meaning behind the gift? My goal this season is to aim high, buy low....more
@Kim_H Very wise words, Kim. Just because you are crazy about something, doesn't mean the giftee ...more

5 Tips for Cyber Monday Shopping

Are you going to let your fingers do the shopping on Cyber Monday? Every year there are more resources to help you organize your strategy to get the best deals online before they're all gone. Here are some tips. ...more

(VIDEO) Highlights From Black Fridays Past

It's Black Thursday, which we used to know as "Thanksgiving," but it seems this year the C-level execs have decided to maximize prices and minimize their employees' turkey time by starting those sales EARLY. But the prices are so tempting, aren't they? Here's a look at the ghost of Black Fridays past to examine while you're digesting your mashed potatoes, eyeing the circulars and trying to decide if you're really going to leave the house in a few hours. ...more