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It's easy to dine cheaply (but don't skimp on the tip).

By Karen Datko Sep 29, 2009 6:08PM

This post comes from Paul Michael at partner blog Wise Bread.


When I was a young lad, eating out was something of a luxury for my family. Most of our meals, at least 95%, were prepared and eaten at home. This was the model for most people my age or older. But these days, society has migrated to eating outside the home way more often. The result is that we're spending a lot more on food than we used to. So, are there ways to chop the bill and eat out for less? You bet.

 

New bills are easy to check.

By Karen Datko Sep 29, 2009 6:01PM

This post comes from Philip Brewer at partner blog Wise Bread.


It used to be that spotting a "good" counterfeit bill was impossible for ordinary people. If it was good enough to pass the "look and feel" test, an ultraviolet light or a magnetic ink detector would be needed to detect fraud. But for the past 10 years, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing has been making bills that are easy to check for authenticity.


 The amount of counterfeit money in the United States is low enough that most people feel safe taking money with barely a minimal check for counterfeits. Does it look and feel like money? Then it probably is. But have you ever gotten a bill and thought something -- either the bank note or the person giving it to you -- seemed a little off? Ever wished you could quickly check to see if it's good?


Well, here's how:

 

Develop a plan before you start.

By Karen Datko Sep 29, 2009 5:45PM

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


Let's face it: Most items at garage sales and yard sales are junk. It's stuff the family conducting the sale wants to get rid of, hoping to make $100 on a good weekend. 

With that in mind, I often visit yard sales to look for specific items. Here are six things I usually look for:

 

It takes commitment to overcome these errors.

By Karen Datko Sep 29, 2009 5:31PM

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


I get tons of e-mail from people describing the personal-finance problems in their lives. Not only that, but as The Simple Dollar has become more popular, I've had more opportunities to talk about personal finance with people face to face.


What amazes me is that the same problems pop up time and time again. Sure, the specifics of the stories change, as does the severity of the situations, but the same items come up.


I'm not immune to them, either. At the time of my own financial meltdown, I was guilty of a majority of these things. It was only due to a commitment to fixing my financial situation that I was able to overcome these mistakes and set them right.


Here they are, the 12 biggest mistakes I hear about time and time again.

 

Bloggers urge their readers to take action.

By Karen Datko Sep 29, 2009 4:12PM

News reports of people abandoning their pets in their repossessed homes or dropping  them off at overburdened animal shelters have prompted outrage across the blogosphere.


"What is wrong with these people that they just leave them in the home after they have moved out? What is the reasoning behind their thinking?" wrote Texas real estate professional Stephanie Hansson at the Active Rain blog. "I am heartsick and just can't understand."

Some bloggers are urging readers to take action as the foreclosure rate climbs. Deanna Raeke at For the Love of the Dog asked her readers to check the yards and look in the windows of vacant houses to see if pets were left behind. You also can adopt a "foreclosure cat" or dog from your local shelter.

 

Famed Yankee catcher's advice is worth heeding.

By Karen Datko Sep 29, 2009 4:01PM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.


The simple truths in life are the most profound. Take Warren Buffett, for example. He can summarize all the investing advice anybody would ever need in a single sentence: "We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful." And in case you haven't noticed, Wall Street is fearful right now.


Buffett isn't the only smart guy around. It turns out that famed Yankee catcher Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra is pretty smart, too. Let's see what seven secrets he can teach us about money and investing.

 

One key to success: Maintain your sense of humor.

By Karen Datko Sep 29, 2009 3:48PM

The ugly economy came home to roost on Kyle's head in the form of a pink slip, so we read with great interest his post at Amateur Asset Allocator called "11 things to do immediately when you get laid off."


Our favorites on that list? Take a vacation, and find a girlfriend/boyfriend. Until now you probably haven't had time for either one.

This post is tongue-in-cheek and fun (bonus tip for the unemployed: Maintain a sense of humor) and it contains lots of wisdom. We'll also review the steps Kyle really took once he was let go from his software company job.

 

Our favorite: Hunting feral hogs.

By Karen Datko Sep 29, 2009 3:23PM

Here's an idea for additional income that never occurred to us: You can make $20 or more an hour by stringing tennis rackets. In fact, Scott at The Passive Dad tells you how to take a crash course.


We all know about selling stuff on eBay and having yard sales. But what about some alternative sources of income that everyone else hasn't thought of, like renting out your driveway as a parking space. Here are a few more.

 

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