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
Summer vacation is on my mind and I’ll bet it’s on yours, too. I actually have been thinking about it a lot for months now, since it’s been awhile since my wife and I have traveled on a “real” vacation. I have always touted myself as a pretty good travel planner, a skill that I have mastered from personal travel planning experience. So I have put together a short list of 8 travel tips I know for a fact will definitely save you money if you are up for a vacation this year. These tips are not only good for the summer travel period, but are year-round bonafide winners that really only require a bit of awareness and a little planning effort. I think that’s worth saving some big bucks and I think you will as well!
While there’s staycations and weekend getaways and road trips, today I’m focusing on your typical week-long family vacation. Trips like these often involve airfare, hotel, car rental, and food plus entertainment costs as well. Continue reading
Every year I get calls, e-mails, and texts asking me, “Hey Gary, when is the best time to get deals on stuff this summer?” Well the answer to that question is starting right now! Summer sales season has already begun, believe it or not, despite the fact that summer only officially began just a week ago.
You see, if you don’t already know, retailers are way ahead of you in terms of seasonality and by this time of the year they are already thinking of “Back to School” and the “Fall” merchandise mix that’s on order. It may even be on the way to the stores as we speak. Even with the rise of online browsing and the world of computer shopping sites, retail floor space is still the most valuable square footage around. Because it is, it must turn over faster and faster to keep up with the big retail stores agenda to bring you the newest, latest and hottest merchandise as early as possible. That means early selling and bigger profits margins, otherwise it means bigger clearance sales for you! Continue reading
What I am going to tell you about today is real. It will open your eyes and while some of it reveals reasonable travel hacks, some of it boldly borders on the illegal. That is something you will have to decide for yourself when you’ve finished reading.
Gaming the airlines has become a lifestyle for many who need and want to travel and they do so at the highest levels. The players involved are people just like you and I, with one major difference. They’ve taken the art of saving money and upgrading their travel experiences to an entirely new level. You may love them or hate them, but they are real and may be costing you money because they’re so good at it. Continue reading
There’s a subject that annoys me to the core, and I’m willing to bet it’s a major source of frustration for you as well. I’m talking about those annoying fees you find these days on just about everything. Businesses are busy thinking up new and even more annoying ways to grab our money even now as I write this post.
Ordinarily, I don’t condemn anyone or any business from making money when they are providing a valuable product or service. But when it’s a blatant predatory move and often obscure charge or fee, I do draw the line. And so should you. By becoming aware of these annoying charges before they’re part of you bill, you’re taking the first step in defending your money. 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
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