Free entertainment abounds online.
One luxury you can cut when costs for essentials are rising is your cable or satellite TV service. But how can you still watch your favorite shows?
David at My Two Dollars presents "35 ways to watch television without cable or satellite," and he's not just talking rabbit ears. After Option No. 1, an antenna, the rest are Web sites. Readers provided more suggestions, so the list is now up to 42 possibilities.
With a little care, your duds won't die early.
With everyone trying to stretch their dollars further these days, it makes sense to take care of the things we have, rather than buy replacements. This goes for clothing as much as anything else we own and use on a daily basis.
As a reformed clotheshorse, I struggle to prevent myself from shopping for new duds on a daily basis.
If you delay using them, you can achieve bigger savings.
This post comes from Trent Hamm at partner blog The Simple Dollar.
Many people don't bother to clip coupons, mostly because they believe that a 50-cent coupon isn't worth the effort. On the surface, I agree. Without a clever coupon strategy, it's probably not worth the effort.
About two months ago, I was talking about this with a friend who works for Hy-Vee, a grocery store chain here in Iowa. He gave me a tip: Take the coupon section out of the Sunday paper and put it aside for four weeks. Then open it up and clip everything that's even remotely of interest, whether you'd normally buy it or not.
Blogger's wallet -- and sanity -- thank her.
Jennifer Derrick had the guts to bring this up with her extended family: Let's not exchange gifts this year. If her window had been open, we suspect she would have heard the collective sigh of relief.
Jennifer is not a scrooge. But she did think about how meaningless -- and how stressful --the commercial aspect of the holiday had become to her. In an excellent post at Saving Advice called "The totally free (or nearly) Christmas," she explains how her thinking evolved:
Attempts to be frugal often fall flat.
Blogger's advice: 'Be honest.'
Kris at Cheap Healthy Good is equally interested in personal finance and nutrition. Recently she combined her insights about people with severe problems in each area into one post: "Touchy subjects: Confronting loved ones about weight and money problems."
"What do you say to your 65-year-old father who puts on 100 pounds in five years? How do you tell your mom you can't support her if she has no savings when she retires?" Kris asks. "The short answer: Be honest."
Here are some highlights from her long answer:
His view on borrowing doesn't sit well with this blogger.
This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.
As much good as he does, Dave Ramsey drives me nuts with his extreme views on debt.
Ramsey, as he readily admits, did some really stupid things with debt. Leveraged to the hilt on bad real estate deals, he went bust in a way most of us could never imagine. As a real estate investor, my leverage and borrowing comes nowhere near the toxic level Ramsey went to.
- Bing: More on Dave Ramsey
Why? Because Ramsey's personality is one of extremes. Much like an alcoholic, he could not control his use of debt. He got one taste of that leverage, and he was borrowing before noon ever day.
Learn how to get a your report from this agency.
This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.
Have you ever been turned down for a checking account? While denials are more common when applying for credit, you can also be declined when applying for a bank account.
If you have been declined, it's likely due to a reporting agency that many have never heard of, but has a lot of information about and influence over banking customers. It's called ChexSystems.
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ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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