What is Bargain Hunting to You?

I write about savings on this blog because saving money is very important to my wife and me. I enjoy the challenges of bargain hunting and knowing and feeling that I got a very good deal, if not the best deal available. But I also know that not everyone views a bargain in terms of dollars and cents.

Remember this rule of thumb above all else:

“A bargain isn’t a bargain if you don’t need it and won’t use it!”

I’m sure if you check in your closets you will find some things you have purchased because it was such a deal, but has never, ever been used. These purchases will probably wind up as a bargain to someone else at your next yard sale.

What is Bargain Hunting to you?
Your satisfaction with a bargain may depend on what kind of shopper you are. Over my years in retail, I have found that people can be divided into a couple different types of shoppers. Continue reading“What is Bargain Hunting to You?”

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.

Continue reading“Preparing to Celebrate Saint Frugaltine’s Day”

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“Home Equity Line of Credit: Is it for you?”

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?

Continue reading“How to Start Paying Off Debt Now #DebtIsNotForever”

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

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

Continue reading“8 Simple Ways to Save Money”

10 and a Half Things to Do for Year End Tax Planning

Since saving money is my “mantra” as well as the purpose of this blog, let’s examine some ways you can increase your net income and save on your tax bill for 2014 and beyond. It’s really important to start now to review all the opportunities for saving money, since in most cases (for non-business), December 31st is the deadline for adjustments that you will report by tax day next April. If you itemize your deductions, many of these listed should be familiar.

Year End Tax Planning

 

Continue reading“10 and a Half Things to Do for Year End Tax Planning”