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Answer: Probably the same kind of person who saves money by making oatmeal packets and laundry soap.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 3, 2011 12:21PM

This post comes from Trent Hamm at partner blog The Simple Dollar.


That quote in the headline came from a reader who apparently stumbled upon The Simple Dollar for the first time and felt the desire to write to me expressing his feelings: No one in their right mind would do some of the things I've suggested here, from making your own oatmeal packets to making your own laundry detergent.


On the other hand, I find a ton of value in attempting to make my own versions of basic supplies like laundry detergent and oatmeal packets and, well, toothpaste. Here are some reasons why:


There is such a thing as being too frugal. How to figure out if you've crossed the line.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 3, 2011 9:45AM

This guest post comes from Kathryn Vercillo at Financial Highway.


Frugal living is a smart choice. However, like all things, frugality can be taken to the extreme. The following 17 signs may be a sign that you will want to reassess your reasons for being frugal.

  1. You spend many, many hours a week on frugality. Whether it's clipping coupons or reworking your household budget, frugality takes time. If you're spending more time on being frugal than enjoying your family, you may want to re-evaluate the situation. Remember that your time is worth money. If you feel too busy and don't have time to do the things that you want to do in life, you may be spending too much time on living frugally.
  2. You go without things that you need. Frugal living isn't meant to make your life uncomfortable. If you don't have what you need, you've gone beyond just being frugal.
  3. You feel isolated. When frugal choices prevent you from living a social, active life, something has gone wrong. Learn more about frugality and isolation.
  4. You hoard items just because you get a good deal on them. This isn't being frugal. It's not a good deal if you buy something that you don't need and won't use. Nobody needs 500 toothbrushes, even if they do cost only a penny each.

With change in a jar and leftover cash at the end of the week, a low-income worker is saving money and paying off debt.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 2, 2011 6:08PM

This guest post comes from I am the working poor.


My goal is to pay off my debts as rapidly as possible and place as much as I can in savings at the same time. I'm careful to keep just enough cash to cover normal weekly expenses so I never have to tap into savings.


Savings grows with my excitement. I put all my change in a jar. Every few months I roll the change and deposit it in savings. Sure, it may take a little time, but I love seeing it all add up, plus I hate to take the time to pay for stuff with change. I never want to be the one holding up the line while I search the bottom of my purse for a nickel.


The newest generation tablet from Apple has some fancy features. But is it the best device for the money?

By MSN Money Partner Mar 2, 2011 5:22PM

This Deal of the Daycomes fromKelli B. Grantat partner site SmartMoney.


The newest iPad is thinner, faster and adds not one but two cameras. But as Apple CEO Steve Jobs extolled the device's newest features today, many consumers had only one real question: Should I buy one?


Some people complain about products just so they can get them for free. Know anyone like that?

By MSN Money Partner Mar 2, 2011 4:50PM

This guest post comes from Squirrelers.


Do you ever complain about bad service at a restaurant? Do you contact a company if you purchase a product that doesn't live up to your expectations?


If so, maybe you just want to let the business know your thoughts, or perhaps in some cases you want a refund. This edition of Squirreling Gone Wild will focus on a unique type of individual who goes beyond complaining and likes to suck free goods or services out of a business as a vampire likes to suck blood.


It's frugality run amok.


It's good news for the auto industry, but can mean bad things for credit-poor buyers.

By doubleace Mar 2, 2011 11:54AM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.


It turns out that the boom in new automobile sales -- up 11% in 2010 and even stronger so far this year -- is not being driven primarily by a reviving economy, a more optimistic population or even low prices. The cause, according to The New York Times is ... subprime lending.

But haven't all the lenders learned from their mistakes, and tucked their money into vaults before setting the time-release lock to "eternity"? As far as real estate, that perception is true, but America's auto industry has been successfully wooing the subprime borrower -- rotten credit scores, shaky employment history and low-paying jobs aside -- for months.


How a $3,000 purchase can turn into one that costs you $6,641.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 2, 2011 9:24AM

This post comes from Debbie Dragon at partner blog Wise Bread.


Credit cards sometimes make a purchase hard to pass up. For example, they make it possible to buy something for $3,000 and pay just $60 per month until it's paid off.


Most people can afford a $60 monthly payment, but what is often overlooked is how much you end up paying in interest. A common mistake people who are new to credit cards often make is paying just the minimum payment on their credit card bills. The small monthly minimum payments seem insignificant and comfortable in most budgets until you look closer at what your credit card debt is really costing you over time.


While gas prices continue to rise, half the people looking for a vehicle online are seeking out SUVs and trucks.

By Stacy Johnson Mar 1, 2011 7:49PM

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.


Last week the cost of oil hit the highest point since the recession started, and closed today over the $100-per-barrel mark. Fuel prices are still headed north too -- but that isn't stopping people from buying gas-guzzling SUVs, according to a new report from



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