So I’m out having dinner with my daughter and the bill comes to the table. It’s my treat (of course, since she rarely has the money to pick up any tab) and I pull out my rewards card for the loyalty points and of course the coupon: “Save $10.00 off any 2 dinners with the purchase of 2 drinks”. And then it happens.
“Dad, do you always have to use a coupon? It’s so embarrassing, like can’t you just enjoy this without having that? Are you that cheap?”
It never fails to amaze me when that conversation begins, and it often does. I have tried most of my life to teach both my children about being thrifty, or frugal if you prefer! For some unexplainable reason they just don’t seem to get it. Is it being cheap to want to conserve my money? Is it being cheap to take my daughter out to dinner? A free dinner for her? Exactly what is it that embarrasses her? Continue reading
Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences you will ever have, which is only compounded by having to handle their final affairs and their estate. There’s no doubt that dealing with a subject like the loss of a friend or family member is emotional, stressful, and a cause of great despair. When you get to be around my age, you have probably dealt with this kind of event far too often, and frankly no matter how many times you have, it is never a comfortable feeling.
There are many details that must be taken care of to make this kind of event orderly and to take care of all of the important details that the decedent wanted. This only adds an element of anxiety and pressure to an already stressful situation. Knowing what needs to be done can help to ease your mind. Continue reading
Please note this post contains affiliate links which help to fund this blog at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!
Managing money together as a couple can be one of the most stressful parts of a relationship. Everyone has their own ideas of how much to save and how much to spend, not to mention different priorities and different habits. So imagine how much more difficult it becomes when one partner is a classic “saver” and the other is a classic “spender”. How do you cope and manage your money together as a couple?
I consider myself fortunate to have found a partner who generally feels the same way I do about money, saving, and spending. And yet, my wife likes to spend a bit more money than I do, sometimes putting her in the spender role and me in the saver role. We always manage to work out any monetary disagreements with a quick conversation and a bit of time to think. One of the key things we’ve realized though is that it isn’t so much that she’s the spender and I’m the saver, but that we spend on different things. Continue reading
It’s just around the corner: another Father’s Day arrives on Sunday, June 19th. If you’re like most people, you’ve already begun thinking about what you’re looking to give Dad this year—checking the Sunday papers, looking online, and talking to Mom and your siblings about what Dad really wants this year.
I’m a Dad of two (they’re grown now and out on their own) and I’m sure they are thinking those same thoughts and hoping to surprise me with something I’m just dying for but would never go out and buy for myself. That’s probably how they think. Continue reading
Every once in a while, if I’m lucky, I stumble onto something that intrigues me and I feel like I must share it with you. That is exactly what I’m doing today, when I share the surprise I had in discovering the new reality TV show “Life Or Debt” last month on Spike which airs Sunday nights at 10 pm Eastern.
The show is a reality show in the truest sense possible. It deals with real life, real people and real problems. It’s the kinds of problems that most of us have dealt with at some point, but in this show it’s magnified with a huge lens that puts the problems under the microscope for all of us to view. Continue reading
Every April since 2003, the United States has recognized and celebrated National Financial Literacy Month. It was called for by a joint resolution in congress and is one path to educating the citizens of our country about the importance and real necessity of developing a working knowledge in mastering the language, principles, and actions of finance.
But nowhere is it more important to begin that education than with our youth. High school financial literacy is more important than ever before. There are many levels of education and responsibilities that kids come in contact with that can be the inspiration and key to their developing a full understanding of the principles of financial education. I recently read a book that I think can really help both student and parent in that quest. Continue reading
You’ll have to pardon me here if I sound like I’m complaining (I am), but have you noticed the absurd numbers of annoying complaints that people seem to have about, oh I don’t know, everything! There are just some people who love to complain and it’s getting worse by the minute! The time that is spent on the complaining is not the proverbial “time well spent”, and I seriously think it may lead to the decline and fall of the free world. Or maybe not, but here’s my point.
Today, you have the ability to vent, whine, rant, and get tons of attention every minute of the day through social media. Tweeting, Facebook posting and a slew of other “wonderful” platforms amplify the complaining so that I and people like me are bombarded with it to the point of nausea! Do I have to know who hit on you at work? What you had for lunch? Who got engaged while you are still dating the guy you met at your psych class 7 years ago? I’ve compiled a list of some of the worst offending complaints and if you’re among the “whaaa!!-trepreneurs” who are making a priority out of being heard this way, try some self-restraint and spend some time with a few of my poignant recommendations…please! Continue reading
Wow, has been a whole year since we last spoke about celebrating St. Frugaltine’s Day? I guess so and once again it comes as the challenge of showing our valentine how much we care without going way overboard or appearing to be a cheapskate…our worst fear! Being frugal doesn’t mean being cheap. Let’s make that perfectly clear. Rather, it means a way to show how much you care about the emotional side of an event like St. Valentine’s Day, and not the commercial side.
According to the National Retail Association, the average person will spend $150 this year celebrating and buying gifts for this “holiday”. That adds up to over 19 billion dollars nationally, enough money to make Kevin O’Leary happy and get him “his money” back and more for any valentine Shark Tank investments he’s made! But seriously, 19 million? It makes Frugal Gary shudder…how about you? Continue reading
Maybe you (or someone close to you) got engaged over the holidays. Maybe you’ve enjoyed your engagement for awhile and are ready to set the date and start planning. Either way, a wedding is a most special day for you, your friend or a family member’s new life together. Almost always however, anyone who has ever attended a beautiful wedding party knows that after the celebrating is done they all wonder, “What the heck did they spend on this shindig?” Weddings can be very, very expensive, and it’s not uncommon to spend $20,000, $30,000, or even $40,000 today on one today, with the average exceeding $30,000! But there are ways to save money on a wedding while still making your day extra special.
So many weddings come later now since people are waiting longer than before to tie the knot. As a result, the wedding costs are falling on the bride and groom more often than ever. The last thing you want to do is make that most exciting, beautiful and happy day the beginning of a huge new ugly debt! Continue reading
There are some subjects that we just don’t like to talk about and can make us feel really uncomfortable. One of these subjects is our own death and how our assets and property will be distributed when that event ultimately occurs. Having said that, it is imperative that everyone think about their estate plan and what they need or want to do with their assets when they’re gone. You have the final say as long as you do something about it while you are alive and well. While many people choose a Last Will and Testament, another option is a Revocable Living Trust (RLT). So you may be wondering, what is a Revocable Living Trust?
An RLT is becoming increasingly more popular as an estate planning tool since changes have been made to make them friendlier to establish and use. An RLT lets you determine who receives your property and assets, and divides them while you are still alive and helps you avoid probate court. Continue reading