These steps are quick and easy ways to improve your finances in 2010.
Big things can come in little packages. That’s true in a lot of areas of life, and it’s certainly true when it comes to money. In fact, some of the most important and effective money moves you can make are quick, easy, and really powerful.
As we start the New Year, I thought it would be a good time to review 11 steps you can take to easily improve your finances in the coming year.
Now's the time for cheap tacos, burgers, pizza, drinks and more.
It’s a new year, and we’ve got some new dining deals and coupons, with some help from our friends at Cities on the Cheap.
For a limited time, T.G.I. Friday’s is bringing back its popular “3 for $12.99″ dinner menu, which gives you appetizer, entrée and dessert for $12.99.
For something a bit cheaper, Fuddruckers is offering the Family Fudds Deal, which feeds two adults and two children for $20. The deal includes two 1/3-pound burgers with fries and soft drinks or domestic beers and two kid’s meals (hamburger or hot dog) with fries and drink.
One reader's easy, effective tip for avoiding excess expenditures.
Having trouble staying true to your spending plan?
Maybe your downfall is those online shopping specials. Maybe you keep going out with friends even though you've burned through your entertainment budget for the week, or the month. Maybe you regularly stop for takeout meals while leftovers shrivel in the fridge.
A regular reader of the Smart Spending message board who posts as "SC CDF" came up with a budgeting strategy that's both simple and brilliant:
They aren't magic bullets, and can't create a signal where there is none.
Smart phones are capable of many tricks these days -- thanks to an abundance of apps, Internet connectivity and embedded MP3 players and cameras -- but all the bells and whistles don’t mean a thing if you can’t get a signal.
The average consumer spends roughly $70 a month for cell phone service, according to market researcher Nielsen. For that kind of money, the ability to make clear, consistent connections at home, in the office and on the road seems perfectly reasonable.
- Video: Nexus One review
While the carriers (most notably, Verizon and AT&T) duke it out in commercials over who has the best coverage, fastest network and hottest phones, companies at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas are looking at the problem from a different perspective:
So, your family doesn't cook. How are you ever going to learn to prepare your own food and save money?
A few months ago, CHG posted a piece called "Overcoming your cooking obstacles," discussing why folks avoid their own kitchens. I argued that cooking is imperative to saving cash (because you spend less) and eating healthier (because you have control), and then presented some strategies for conquering common culinary fears.
Sadly, there’s an obstacle I missed. A big one. Maybe the biggest one of all. What if your family doesn’t cook? What if they never did? What if they don’t want to, either?
At first, this may seem like a problem easily solved. “Suck it up and get going,” you might hear. “This is your journey, not theirs.” Boo, I say. Boo.
Those words are often used to bludgeon people who are struggling.
If I had a list of my least favorite phrases or words, “personal responsibility” would be right near the top, along with “you go, girlfriend,” “irregardless” and “supposably.”
Sounds odd, right? How in the world could personal responsibility be a bad thing?
Well, it’s not, of course. Personal responsibility is an honorable trait, one that parents try to instill in their children and companies look for in their employees, something that constituents try in vain to see in their elected officials and fans sometimes pretend to care about in their superstars.
What I don’t like is when the phrase “personal responsibility” is used as a bludgeon, a self-righteous way of saying that those who are somehow facing challenges are stupid, lazy, weak, and immoral.
Some are angry about the delay in getting new releases, but others see a bigger picture.
Just when we were ready to ditch the satellite TV in favor of Netflix, news of this deal emerged: New releases from Warner Bros. studios won’t be available for rent through Netflix until 28 days after they go on sale.
We had to wonder: Does that reduce the value of Netflix for us? What do some of Netflix’s 11 million subscribers think?
Some movie fans are not happy.
Buying an extended warranty rarely makes sense -- except when it does.
Whether you’re buying a $50 MP3 player or a $500 TV, paying more to extend the warranty or service plan is usually -- but not always -- a pretty bad deal.
Buying into such options means you’re betting on a rare event:
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
CardRatings.com's annual survey of people's credit-worthiness show that residents of states that were least affected by the recession are faring the best still.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'