Have you ever gotten through the month and breathed a sigh of relief because there was still a little bit of money left in your bank account? It’s a great feeling but sometimes it almost feels like a mystery. How did I do that? Why was this month such a good one compared to most others? Most of us are used to feeling stressed out because most of the time our money is tight.
As ridiculous as this might sound, when I look at my monthly scorecard of what I spend and what my income was compared to my budget, I think about it like it is my NFL season record. You know, when I come in under my expense budget I feel like that’s a win and when I don’t it’s like a loss. I’d really love to have a 12-0 season, but frankly that hasn’t happened…yet. Continue reading
Sometimes I sit and think that finding new ways to save some money is really easy. Easy in that if you actually take some time and think about it, then it can really pay off. In my own situation, I have to think about such things since I’m in the retirement phase of my life and no longer in my prime earning years. That’s a good reason all by itself but in fact it is something you should be thinking regardless of what phase of your life you are currently in.
Money you save when you are age 20 or 50 or whatever age is money you can use for way more important things in your life like your education or your retirement savings or necessities like medical costs or paying off credit card debt. So I spent today thinking about something that most people in America do every day and how they can save money doing it, even beyond what they already do to save money. And that is how to save money on gas and driving. Continue reading
I recently spent the day with my good friend who went to court on a traffic ticket here in my hometown…hey, I’m retired so I have a lot of free time on my hands. I was there as moral support armed with a little bit of knowledge that I have from some of the memorable and yet unpleasant experiences I have had over the years trying to fight a ticket in court.
Well, there’s some good news and some bad news here to report. The good news is, of course, you get your day in court before the judge. The bad news is that nothing I have ever experienced has really changed. You probably can appear in court until you are blue in the face, you’re more than likely to be ruled guilty as charged and you’ll have to pay a fine or worse. It may be even much worse than you think. So today I’d like to write about whether you need an attorney for traffic tickets.
The System is Really “Big League”
If you have ever gotten a traffic ticket, like a speeding ticket, a drunken driving ticket, or a ticket related to an accident, then you probably have received from one to a dozen solicitations from lawyers who make a living representing people like you and me in traffic court. These guys practice this kind of law exclusively and sometimes handle dozens of these cases a week. Continue reading
When you go to buy tires, it helps to know a few things. Some of us know all about cars and their proper care that not only can save money but makes the whole experience of owning a car or truck safer, more pleasant, and actually fun! Not so much for me. Now I’m not a cultural anthropologist, but for some strange reason I believe that proper car knowledge is something that comes along when you’re growing up. Mom or Dad is usually the one that teaches those lessons and if you don’t learn about that stuff when you’re a kid, you may wind up a lot like me. I was basically clueless. When it came to cars, I pretty much just ”went along for the ride” and never really showed any interest in them until I was 16 and eligible for my driver’s license.
How Do You Learn About Cars?
I remember my first driving lesson with my Dad and me in a big parking lot in NE Philadelphia where I grew up. Dad let me sit in the driver’s seat and promptly handed me the key and said, “Okay Gary, start the engine”. I turned to Dad and I said somewhat confused, “How do I do that?” He answered with, “Just put the key in and turn it like you have seen me do a million times”. Right there was the beginning of the problem. I had never paid one bit of attention to Dad and his starting the car routine and believe it or not I didn’t even know how to put the key in and turn it. I was pretty much sitting in the back seat listening to the music on the radio whenever we were in the car. Needless to say, the driving lesson that day went downhill from there. Continue reading
We have all been there, haven’t we? We have a new appliance or device at home and then suddenly out of nowhere, it just stops functioning. You recently spent $700 on that thing and now it doesn’t work. What should you do? It’s under a warranty, right? It should be fixed! Should you return it and get another one? Can you return it? What happens if it gets repaired? Deciding whether to repair or replace it is an expensive guessing game.
One thing that’s important to know is that you don’t have to throw good money after bad. Repairing items isn’t always the best way to get an appliance or item to work properly again. Let’s take a look at some facts from a Consumer Reports study published in January 2014. They surveyed nearly 30,000 subscribers who own dozens of specific items of varying age to see what they did when an item needed a repair or replacement and they discovered several interesting things. Continue reading
When that time comes along when you need to replace your car, you want to save as much money as you possibly can. After all, buying a car may be the biggest purchase you ever make (other than your house that is) and that means you’re spending thousands of your hard earned dollars. Yet sadly, like no other purchase does so dramatically, the minute you drive away it decreases in value.
When shopping for a car you can always haggle over prices and you may be able to save a few hundred dollars. You can shop around and compare the prices too in order to save. But how else can you save big money on your next car purchase?
Writing about saving money is a feel-good way for me to share my knowledge with all of you. Since I’ve started, I’ve covered a number of ways that you can cut your grocery bill, home energy costs, shopping expenses and many more areas where we regularly spend our money. Some are smaller ways, and others help you to save big money, like shopping around for car insurance. But I wanted to share some other ideas with you. Each of them is different and if you make them into regular habits, you can save a substantial amount.
Bold Ways to Save Big Money
1. Give Up Your Car
The cost of a car is way expensive. You may have monthly payments in the hundreds, car insurance costs through the roof (here in NJ, it’s the highest in the country), maintenance and gasoline, plus license and registration fees. Continue reading
It’s officially Fall 2015 and we can already tell just by the temperature (49 degrees here this morning!). When the temperature falls, that means savings are in the air as well. So here’s an opportunity to hunt for real bargains that may be on your shopping list. There’s actually double opportunities in October to get great prices…last of the summer merchandise sales as well as the start of fall and winter goods.
Let’s begin with the big deals for fall savings: Continue reading
One of the things I do nearly ever time I travel is to rent a car. It sounds like a good idea to get around town more easily wherever I’m visiting and sometimes it’s even an absolute necessity! But then I start to calculate the costs involved. That’s the catch for a frugal person like me, and that is when I begin to look for as many ways as possible to save on car rentals.
How to Save Money on Car Rentals
Here are some important points for any traveler to consider: Continue reading
As the years go by, it seems we have all been buying more and more into the cliché “bigger is better”. I have to admit, I wouldn’t refuse a bigger paycheck each week, or a bigger piece of mom’s apple pie after dinner, but there are lots of other instances where bigger can create other issues that may lead you to real trouble.
Being just a little practical and more conservative financially can give you mounds of money that can be used for real life priorities, like retirement, long-term healthcare, and life insurance as well as investing in your future. I’m not a scientist, but I’ve come up with a scientific formula that I wish I had developed years ago: Continue reading