Preparing to Celebrate Saint Frugaltine’s Day

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.

Preparing to Celebrate Saint Frugaltine's Day

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.

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Home Equity Line of Credit: Is it for you?

There may come a time when you face a situation when you need money that is above and beyond your emergency funds. We may all face them at some point, whether it’s a medical emergency, car or house situation, or perhaps something with the kids like a huge tuition bill or family issue you need to help solve. What can you do? There are several solutions, but today I’d like to address a common but often misunderstood one, the home equity line of credit, or HELOC.

Home Equity Line of Credit: Is it for you?

First, let’s talk about home equity. The equity is the difference between what you owe on your home to pay off any mortgage and the current market value of your home. For example: Continue reading

Where Does the Money Go?

Being a bit bored last week, I tried to approximate how much money I have earned and spent over the last 50 years or so. I sat down and began to put numbers down on paper to try to figure it all out. I thought hard about how much money I have earned and wondered how and where I have spent it…where does the money go? Certainly I can trace that I have hung on to some of it, saved it and socked it away for emergencies, and my retirement. I know I’ve spent thousands and thousands on housing, cars, and vacations as well. I can even go back almost 10 years in my tracked expenses and see exactly where it went for that period of time. But seriously, can anyone say they have truly and wisely spent all of their money?

Where Does the Money Go?

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How to Save on Car Insurance

Unless you live in an urban area with ample public transportation, having a car or truck is practically a necessity. And if you own a car or truck, having some car insurance is a necessity by law here in the United States. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, in 2012 the average cost of auto insurance was $815. My home state of New Jersey was the most expensive with a whopping average of $1,220. While you can’t avoid paying for it, there are ways to save on car insurance premiums and shrink your bill.

How to Save on Car Insurance
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More Senior Discounts for the 50+ Crowd

As I promised last week in my post Restaurant Discounts for the Senior/50+ Crowd, here are even more senior discounts that you, your family, friends or loved ones can use to help save and still get out to enjoy shopping, entertainment, and travel while staying within your budget. Remember the discounts must be requested before the purchase and they are subject to change, so it is important to ask about them beforehand.

More Senior Discounts

As with the restaurant discounts, most companies do not allow you to combine offers, so check out other possible discounts as well and see which one gets you the best deal.
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How to Start Paying Off Debt Now #DebtIsNotForever

So many of us live our lives in debt. We see most people around us living in debt. We have mortgages, car payments, student loans, credit card debt, and we keep on charging more. As we make minimum payments (maybe a bit more, or even a bit less), we expect to have debt…forever. But it doesn’t have to be that way. For many of us, what it takes is a change in mindset and a willingness to start paying off debt now.

How to Start Paying Off Debt Now

That change in mindset isn’t always a small thing, but it can be a revelation. Most of us can live off less than we can earn, and some of that difference can pay down our debt. #DebtIsNotForever. When you begin to think about getting out of debt, can you imagine what your life would be like without seeing interest on your credit cards each month? Without getting a mortgage or car payment bill? What could you be doing with all that money…Living out your dreams? Retiring early? Funding your children’s education? Remodeling your home? Travelling? Starting your own business? Donating to charity?

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Restaurant Discounts for the Senior/50+ Crowd

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!

Senior Discounts at RestaurantsI 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

Happy New Year 2015

As 2014 quickly comes to an end, we should all take a moment to count our blessings, learn our lessons, and take stock of what we experienced. I look back on a year that started with lows and ended with things in a much better place. My health has greatly improved, my finances have made steady progress and I am happy to continue writing this blog. I am grateful for all these things and more, but I particularly want to thank you for reading along as my blog has taken shape over these past 8 months. Hopefully 2014 turned out to be a good year for you as well.

Happy New Year 2015

My wife and I have finished evaluating the details of our 2014 finances and adjusting our budget for 2015. We’ve also spent time setting our goals for next year and creating detailed plans to achieve them. If you haven’t done these yet, it’s not too late! Really!!

Be safe as you celebrate the ringing in of the new year, and have a joyous and prosperous 2015!

Best regards,
Gary

Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions, Do This Instead

It’s that time again, when the year is drawing to a close and we begin to think about the better versions of our lives that we want for the future. And so we make new year’s resolutions as people have done since ancient times. These days we resolve to lose weight, to eat better and exercise more, to save money, to get out of debt, to drink less or to quit smoking, and just maybe to actually be a more loving person. But how resolved are we if these resolutions are infamous for being broken?

Don't Make New Year's Resolutions, Do This Instead

In a recent article, Money suggests that people making financial resolutions fared better than with other types of resolutions and that’s a start. But instead of just making resolutions, what if we made goals backed up by a plan? Continue reading

8 Simple Ways to Save Money

All of us think from time to time that we’ll just never get out from under our money issues. We look at our 30 year mortgages and see that we still owe thousands and thousands, our car payments never seem to end, and every month we may struggle to stay “in the black” because of habits we developed years ago of buying with credit or impulse buying. But there are a huge number of simple ways to save money in the short and long term.

Simple Ways to Save Money

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