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Some bloggers argue that if we just focus on the big expenses, our finances will be fine. That's not true.

By Karen Datko Jan 28, 2010 4:15PM

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

 

“Little things make the difference. Everyone is well prepared in the big things, but only the winners perfect the little things.” -- Bear Bryant

 

One idea often put out there by personal-finance writers is the concept that we have to take care of the big things first. If we just take care of the five biggest financial holes in our lives, we’ll be fine, because those five big ones are doozies.

 

Paying off a credit card, for example, can save us $200 a month. Renting a smaller apartment can save us $300 a month. Doing five things of that size will make a huge difference in our monthly expenses.

 

On paper, I completely agree with this idea. Without a doubt, if you’re able to shave $500 a month from your monthly spending due to two or three big acts, it likely will make a big difference in your financial bottom line.

 

At least it will at first.

 

Store's move reminds us of difficulty of balancing quality and budget. How do you save?

By Teresa Mears Jan 28, 2010 2:56PM

Target’s decision this week to quit selling farmed salmon brings up a perennial issue of frugal grocery shopping: How do you balance the desire for quality with the need to save money?

 

Farmed salmon is usually cheaper than wild salmon. But, many question the effect of salmon farming on the environment, and questions also have been raised about higher levels of cancer-causing chemicals in at least some farmed salmon.

 

While fish is considered part of a healthy diet, finding quality seafood at an affordable price can be a challenge.

 

The newest technology doesn't come out until spring.

By Karen Datko Jan 28, 2010 12:32PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.

 

Shoppers hunting for a good deal on a new flat-screen before the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts meet to battle for Super Bowl XLIV in South Florida on Feb. 7 won’t need to resort to a Hail Mary pass. (That’s lingo for a desperate and usually unsuccessful maneuver, for you non-football fans.)

 

Bundle shows how Apple and 'must-have' tech gadgets affect your bottom line.

By Janet Paskin Jan 28, 2010 10:02AM

Any TV show you want, any time you want it. Phones for talking, texting, e-mailing and Web surfing. Video chatting with friends and family across the ocean. Games that keep you fit, libraries' worth of reading in a portable e-reader, and untold entrepreneurial opportunities just waiting for you to claim a domain name and download some software. Living a wired life is pretty fun these days. But it's not cheap.

 

Here are quick tips for scoring a better party while sacking expenses.

By Stacy Johnson Jan 27, 2010 9:10PM

There’s nothing like a killer Super Bowl party. Even if you're playing defense with your budget, you can still host a crowd-pleaser. 

As with most expenses in life, the best way to save is to substitute imagination and creativity for money.

 

They're advertising fake documents to Haitian-Americans who are anxious to bring family members here.

By Karen Datko Jan 27, 2010 6:52PM

This post comes from Lisa Wade McCormick at partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

A new scam is targeting Haitian-Americans who are trying to bring their relatives from the earthquake-ravaged country to the United States, authorities say.

 

Haitian-Americans contacted in the scheme are offered documents they supposedly need to bypass the official government process to bring family members from the devastated island to America, according to the Texas Attorney General's Office.

 

90% of the calls placed to the hotline to ask about benefits or check on claims don't get through.

By Karen Datko Jan 27, 2010 4:19PM

Providing education benefits to veterans who’ve served in places like Afghanistan and Iraq is a wonderful thing. Much back-patting ensued when President Bush signed the Post-9/11 GI Bill into law.

 

But guess what: When veterans place a call to the VA’s GI Bill hotline to learn more about the benefits or check on claims, most of their calls don’t get through. The Army Times reports:

 

Yes, says Consumer Reports, which has created a shopping calendar.

By Teresa Mears Jan 27, 2010 2:58PM

We’ve all seen the stories that try to tell us the best time of the year to buy things. But in these days of instant Twitter deals, freebies for Facebook fans and constant deal alerts, does the calendar still matter?

 

Consumer Reports set out to answer that question and concluded that the answer was yes. The magazine has produced a shopping calendar.

 

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