Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Here's a simple three-step process to make savings a priority instead of an afterthought.

By Karen Datko Nov 8, 2010 9:48AM

This post comes from J.D. Roth at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.

 

For many people, saving is tough. Between housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, credit card debt, student loans, and other expenses, there never seems to be enough left to set aside for long-term savings. And that's a problem. Most people try to save something out of what's left over instead of saving first.

One of the oldest rules of personal finance is to pay yourself first. All the money books tell you to do it. All the personal-finance blogs say it, too. Even your parents have probably given you the same advice. In fact, it's one of the fundamental tenets of the Get Rich Slowly philosophy.

 

But what's the best way to do it? What’s the most effective way to pay yourself first?

 

Kohl's and Sears ads are leaked to the Web.

By Karen Datko Nov 5, 2010 3:04PM

This post comes from Melinda Fulmer of MSN Money.

 

Some of the first major Black Friday ads are starting to hit the Web, including department stores Kohl's and Sears. As usual, the huge ads contain hundreds of specials -- 599 doorbusters at Sears alone -- between the hours of 4 a.m. and noon.

 

But which ones are great deals?

 

Military members get free meals and wedding dresses, and everyone can visit national parks free.

By Teresa Mears Nov 5, 2010 12:10PM

Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, and a number of businesses are showing their gratitude to the men and women who have served our country with free meals and other perks.

The National Park Service is sharing its gratitude by offering everyone free entry Nov. 11 to all national parks that charge an entrance fee. This is the last fee-free day of 2010, but don't forget that some national parks are always free.

 

Forgo retirement savings. Skip filing your taxes. Cheat a nonprofit. Are these 'advisers' for real?

By Donna_Freedman Nov 5, 2010 11:13AM

"Don't pay off your mortgage early -- you'll lose your tax deduction."

"Get married to save money."

"Don't add to your 401k because the stock market is down."

"Buy a top-of-the-line car -- it's an investment!"

"Don't worry about saving for retirement. The government will take care of you."

All these are actual examples of advice given to readers of the Smart Spending message board. A thread called "Silliest advice to save money you've heard" has collected some real doozies: At least two on the thread are illegal, others unethical and some are just dumb.

 

You're gaining an hour this weekend. Here's how to use that time to protect your home and your finances.

By Stacy Johnson Nov 5, 2010 10:40AM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.

 

For most of us, it's time to "fall back" this weekend. So move the clocks in your house back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night.

But, before you do, here are five suggestions on how to allocate your extra hour to get the most peace of mind -- and bang for your buck.

 

Would the Kardashian brand cause you to get one of these debit cards? Marketers are counting on it.

By Karen Datko Nov 5, 2010 9:10AM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.

 

Would you want a prepaid card with a picture of the Kardashian sisters on it? While it may seem like an odd combination, that's exactly what Mobile Resource Card plans to offer.

And I'm guessing the marketing move will work, meaning you'll pay more for the Kardashian card than you would for other prepaid cards.

 

A blogger compares prices of 13 items at the dollar store, Wal-Mart, Rite Aid and Albertsons.

By Karen Datko Nov 5, 2010 8:13AM

This guest post comes from Len Penzo at Len Penzo dot Com.

 

Believe it or not, the dollar store has been around since at least 1955, when Dollar General opened its first store in Springfield, Ky.

 

Granted, in terms of purchasing power, a dollar went a lot further back then -- equivalent to about $8 today. Even so, when you walk into a dollar store, it quickly becomes apparent that inflation has done very little to reduce the size of its qualifying inventory.

In fact, my local dollar store carries such a wide variety of products that I am confident I could get by fairly well in a pinch if it were the only store in town. It even carries fresh produce.

 

Still, for every person who says dollar stores provide terrific bargains for a buck or less, you'll find another who will say that you only get what you pay for. Others insist that if you aren't careful, you can actually get ripped off at a dollar store.

 

It's the modern version of the Hatfields and McCoys.

 

So who's right and who's wrong? I know I was confused.

 

Time to play secret shopper

 

7-Eleven also has free coffee, plus we have deals on pizza, coupons and free songs from the Grateful Dead.

By Teresa Mears Nov 5, 2010 1:36AM

What does everyone need in the morning to get going?

 

Coffee. Today, and every Friday in November, you can get it free.

Burger King is giving its customers a free 12-ounce cup of Seattle's Best Coffee during breakfast hours (until about 10:30 a.m.) on Fridays this month. The chain is hoping to win customers over to its breakfast menu.

 

You don't need a coupon and you don't need to buy anything. There is a limit of one free coffee per customer per visit.

 

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