There’s a tricky subject out there that many people fear to talk about with their friends and family. No, I’m not talking about the usual controversial stuff like sex, politics, or religion here. I’m talking about the subject of tips and tipping! Believe me when I tell you it’s a subject that you deal with pretty often and it involves so many different angles for you, your family, and of course to the people with whom you are interacting, the “tippees”. So today I’m going to cover my tipping guidelines.
I can honestly say that this is a subject that can cause friction and even arguments for some and lots of second guessing and confusion for others. I have to be honest; it has been on more than one occasion for me. If you think about it, tipping adds a chunk of expense to your experience and you want to get the most for your money when you tip. That’s why today, I’m asking out loud this question: “Are there really any rules for tipping?” Continue reading
I definitely love being in love! I am so fortunate that I have found true love on my second time around when I met and fell for Suzanne, my beautiful wife, back in 2005! Not only is she all that and a bag of chips (am I dating myself with that phrase?), but we share a mindset about personal finances and that crosses off the list any arguments we might have about money. That is a problem that many couples endure and it can really damage a relationship.
Having said that, we both enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day each year but we do it on our own terms. So it’s kind of a challenge to come up with some new ways to have fun, share our love, and still remain fiscally solvent. Here’s a not so short list of money saving ideas that can make your Valentine’s a “St. Frugaltine’s Day” of fun and frolic! Continue reading
He’s baaaaaaack! Saint Frugaltine—the patron saint of all that’s frugal and yet still a romantic at heart—is about to take center stage again. With just about 3 weeks to go, the planning is probably already in your mind for Valentine’s day ideas. Even if I was ever to forget about it, I have a built-in reminder right here where I live. Her name is Suzanne, my wonderful wife, and she is an avid Saint Frugaltine fan in every way.
Now I don’t want to appear like someone who doesn’t believe in the celebration. I do, really. I have to admit that I like being romantic and letting my dear wife know that I adore her, but I also realize that it’s not in our best interest financially to spend all kinds of money on all the many varieties of gifts, jewelry, clothes and the like that the brilliant merchandising minds of our time come up with every year to entice us. Even just a nice dinner out can be a budget buster on a special day like this one. It’s not too far behind the biggies like Mother’s Day and New Year’s Eve as far as pricing and reservations go. So what can one do? I want to mark the day as special, and I want it to be romantic and memorable, but I don’t like the idea that if I spend a fortune on Saint Valentine’s Day, I won’t be able to fulfill all of my financial obligations in February! Continue reading
In most cases being older isn’t a whole lot of fun. I can’t run as fast as I used to and I certainly can’t get down on those ground balls like an all-star does, but what I can do is get super saving senior discounts at a bunch of places that I frequent often and some that I will go to because of the savings.
But here’s the kicker, no 20-year-old behind the counter or at the register is ever going to say to me, “hey…you look old, did you know we have discounts for old guys like you?” It’s a secret, sort of like speaking in a code and you have to know the magic words and ask for those special prices. Those words are “Do you offer a senior discount?” Continue reading
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
As a savvy consumer, you probably do some research before you spend your hard-earned money, whether it’s for a night out at a fine restaurant, a hotel stay as part of a leisurely vacation, or purchasing goods such as electronics or clothing. How often have you spent those dollars only to find out that the restaurant or hotel wasn’t quite what you were expecting? How much time have you spent exploring your plans and checking out online user reviews? Did you trust what you read? That’s the question I’m asking today and what I have learned about online user reviews can help you wade through some of the clutter and get to the real story.
There have been many articles written and surveys taken about the reliability of the reviews we see online for various services like hotels, restaurants, contractors, and of course, products. Some are positive and others are negative. According to a survey done by BrightLocal, the results for 2015 show that 80% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations, but 72% will do so only if certain criteria are met, with 31% needing to believe the review is authentic. Continue reading
If you’re on a tight budget, or you’re trying to pay down debt or take care of some other financial goals, it can be a challenge to enjoy an active social life, particularly if you are single and looking to find a romantic partner. When most people think of a first date, dinner at a restaurant is probably the most common image that springs to mind. I remember after my divorce when I first got back into the dating game, I would take each new lady out for a nice evening meal and the costs added up quickly while the connections didn’t always last. Ouch!
There are ways to dine out affordably, but you might not want to pull your coupons out on a first date. Dating is filled with enough etiquette-related and emotional landmines without also having to worry that your date thinks you’re cheap. So how can you show a potential new love interest a good time without spending a fortune? Here are a dozen cheap date ideas that are still enjoyable, fun or romantic. Continue reading
Is there really a science to looking for great deals on a specific day of the week? Well, according to some experts, there actually are better days to shop and save than others! Jot these down and next time you’re in the market for a bargain, try shopping on the best day for that category.
Buying a new car? Mondays are the best deals around. Why? Pretty simple, they have the least amount of shoppers on Mondays and after what may have been a poor weekend result (weather may have affected sales, or perhaps the staff just didn’t close many deals), the salesman are “highly motivated” to start the week successfully. Continue reading
You remember Saint Frugaltine, don’t you? Patron saint of those who wish to save money while remaining romantic? Well, Saint Frugaltine’s day is coming up soon and those of us who wish to celebrate have some planning to do.
Now if you’re one of those people who don’t celebrate, who think it’s all part of a grand conspiracy to get you to spend more money, let me ask you this: if how much you spend (if anything at all) is up to you, what’s so wrong with celebrating love on just one day a year? It doesn’t even have to be romantic love (singles, I’m looking at you!), it can be family love, friend love, pet love, hobby love or whatever kind of love you value in your life. If you do nothing else for Saint Frugaltine’s day, at least spend a moment of gratitude for the love that you have. You’ll instantly feel richer.
If you want to celebrate, let’s look at some of the ways you can remain true to your budget while displaying your passion for your love.
Being a senior citizen myself, I’m always looking out for special deals that I can use for myself, my friends or my relatives. That’s why I put together this list of senior discounts at restaurants. Even if you’re not 50 or over, you probably know someone who is and can share these savings with them. They will certainly appreciate it!
I first discovered my personal connection to this list when I was in a Burger King with my daughter a couple of years back. I was in line waiting to order when I heard an older man say he was over 65 and would like the 10% discount applied to his order. Continue reading