Friday, September 28, 2012

This is Why You Overspend!

From Enemy of Debt

Overspending is something that most all of us have been guilty of at one time or another. But when you overspend on a regular basis, it can put a real dent in the amount of money you have to spend on the things you need, not just the things you want.

If you’re someone that tends to overspend often and then discover you’ve made a bit of a mess financially, it’s probably wise to start doing a little digging and try to discover just why the overspending is happening in the first place. Know Why Overspending Happens ... read the entire article.

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Why Self-Storage Is a Really Bad Idea

From WiseBread.com

According to The Self Storage Association, there are roughly 49,000 storage facilities in the U.S. alone. Self storage has consistently been the fastest growing area of the commercial real estate industry, representing $22 billion in annual U.S. revenues in 2011. But why?

Why are Americans so willing to saddle themselves with material albatrosses that sap their monthly income? Have we become such a nomadic and unsettled people that our consumerism can only keep up with our lifestyles through acres of augmented storage? I’ll leave that up to the social and cultural critics to decide.

If you’re considering entering the fray and renting a storage unit, or if you’re rethinking the value you get out of your current storage arrangement, let me offer a few arguments against these businesses that dot our landscape. Here are seven reasons why renting a self-storage unit is a bad idea ... Read the entire article.

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Negotiating Your Health Bills

From OneMoneyDesign.com

The cost of health care in the United States continues to rise. The consulting firm Milliman Inc. reports that many families expect to pay $20,000 in health care costs this year. That’s a pretty large chunk of household income.

One of the largest portions of these costs is due to health insurance premiums. And, of course, many families have decided to take on higher deductibles in an effort to reduce what they pay each month in premiums. This means that many families are facing more out of pocket expenses, on top of premiums that seem to go higher each year… even if the increase is due to “administrative” costs.

Consumers, though, are discovering that they can negotiate some of their health care bills, and save some money in the the process. Read the entire article.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

The World's Most And Least Expensive Cars

From Bankrate.com

You are what you drive. Then again, you are also what you eat, what you wear -- oh, and you look like your pet. No matter what you "are," the main point here is that cars are more than just a way to get around.

Cars can represent our successes, our priorities, and in perhaps too many cases, an opportunity to tell the world our opinion through stickers. They can be the definition of practicality or excess, but either way, it costs a lot of money to express yourself on wheels.

The average price for a car in the U.S. now tops $30,000, which is up $2,000 from 2011, according to a report from NPR. That doesn't take into account the cost for owning a car after the purchase, which can total up to $40,000 during the first five years to cover expenses such as repairs, maintenance, insurance and fuel, according to Edmunds.com. 

Those costs, in addition to the initial price, vary greatly depending on your tastes and budget. While we can't do an exact apples-to-apples comparison on these cars (the cost to own usually doesn't come into play when you are buying a $2 million whip), we've given you the general cost to buy one along with the extras on what makes them so cheap, or so special. So, which cars are among the most and least expensive in the world? Read the entire article.

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How to Throw a Fabulous & Frugal Dinner Party

From WiseBread.com

I love dinner parties because they provide a fabulous excuse to dress up, decorate, and catch up. I love that they’re different from the standard weekend schedule. I also love that they give me a reason to not hibernate during the cold winter months.

With all these reasons to love dinner parties, what’s to stop you from throwing one every weekend? Oh, right — feeding all those people can get expensive. Don’t let that ruin your fun, though! Instead, try these tricks for throwing your very own fabulous-yet-frugal dinner party ... Read the entire article.

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Money Fights and How to Resolve Them

From WomensMoneyWeek.com

The biggest problems in relationships and the causes of divorce in the U.S. revolve around money issues. Financial problems can get in the way of your relationship if you let them, but it’s all about communication and compromise.

Here are a few common reasons couples fight about money — and how to resolve these issues before they interfere with your relationship ... Read the entire article.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Free Admission to Museums Nationwide

In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket...for free.

View list of participating museums or do a search for something near you.

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30 Signs You Were Raised by Frugal Parents

From WiseBread.com

Frugal folks come from all sorts of backgrounds. Some were raised in typical American families with traditional buying and spending habits and came to embrace frugality much later in life.

Others were raised by parents or grandparents who made simplicity part of everyday life — from the way they cooked and cleaned to the way they fixed their cars and celebrated holidays. For those of us in the latter group, we can spot another member a mile off. 

There’s a sort of unspoken but common shorthand that comes from years of shared experiences. What follows is my tongue-in-cheek way to tell if you were raised by frugal parents (or if you might be on the way to becoming one yourself). Read the entire article.

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Reducing the Cost of Pet Care

From DollarStretcher.com

With dogs and cats being a part of the family, the cost of pet care, pet food, and pet supplies must be incorporated into the monthly budget. Just as with all other monthly expenses, finding ways to keep this expense as low a possible is essential to a frugal living lifestyle.

However, you do not want to sacrifice the care of your pets. You may be surprised at the healthful and easy ways that you can reduce pet care costs. Read the entire article.

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Use Credit Cards Wisely - Make Them Work For You

From PTMoney.com

When I was first asked to start writing about credit cards five years ago, I wasn’t even sure what the point was. At the time, I believed that credit cards were simple products and that using them is just as easy as paying any bill on time.

After years of researching and writing about nearly every piece of information on the subject that is publicly available, (and some nuggets that weren’t), I learned that these little plastic cards are complex, yet powerful financial products.

In fact, I realized that most credit card holders don’t use their cards to their full advantage. If you are not following these simple rules, you are not either ... Read the entire article.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Spender vs Saver Couples: Get On the Same Page

From PTMoney.com

Could it be that the leading cause of divorce are financial matters? So some say, but I’m not entirely sure. Whether or not it’s the leading cause or number two (wouldn’t think it would be further down the list) isn’t really the point. The point is that when you’re not consistently on the same page with your spouse about money, you need to be on high alert. Your marriage could be in danger. Read the entire article.

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Did You Miss The Bottom In Home Values?

From Bankrate.com

If you were waiting for home values to hit bottom, you've waited too long. Depending on where you live, you'll likely find fewer homes for sale and slightly higher prices when shopping for a home.

Home values increased in most parts of the country over the 12 months that ended in June, according to the National Association of Realtors. Half of the houses sold in the second quarter of this year cost $181,500 or more. That's 7.3 percent more than the median price of $169,100 in the second quarter of 2011.

Home values rose in 110 of the 147 metro areas included in the Realtors' survey. Prices were unchanged in three areas, and prices declined in 34. The biggest drop was in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area in Connecticut, where the median home price declined 12.9 percent compared to the second of quarter of 2011. Read the stats and charts.

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Trader Joes vs. Costco: Which Is Better?

From WiseBread.com

How does Trader Joe’s stack up against Costco? Both stores are often held up as ultimate destinations for the frugal shopper (frugal shoppers who also care about how employees are treated, as both Trader Joe’s and Costco seem to pay their employees well, unlike SOME big-box stores that will go unnamed in this article).

Friends of mine swoon when discussing Trader Joe's frozen desserts, and my mother waxes rhapsodic about Costco's USDA Prime filet mignon, which costs roughly half of what it would in a regular grocery store. So, which one is better?

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"Simplicity of living, if deliberately chosen, implies a compassionate approach to life. It means that we are choosing to live our daily lives with some degree of conscious appreciation of the condition of the rest of the world." Duane Elgin

"Do what is good with your own hands, so that you might earn something to give to the needy." Ephesians 4:28