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Blogger has some strategies to avoid splurges.

By Karen Datko Oct 6, 2009 11:31PM

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

I'm often tempted to spend money that I shouldn't.

I'm good at restraining my impulsive nature. I don't simply go into stores and then emerge later with a hefty bag, a credit card bill, and a dazed look on my face. Still, in certain places, I am strongly tempted to spend. I look around and see tons of items that I'd like to have.

Here are seven places that really fuel my spending desires.


Blogger retired in his early 30s.

By Karen Datko Oct 6, 2009 11:21PM

Jacob at Early Retirement Extreme is about to cut his already spartan monthly living expenses in half. How? He and his wife are moving into an RV.

This blog is called Early Retirement Extreme for a reason. Jacob, a guy in his early 30s, spent five years saving and investing 70% of his income on his way to a goal of quitting the rat race, and now he's going to save even more.


First steps: Get your FICO score and a free credit report.

By Karen Datko Oct 6, 2009 11:12PM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller:

Improving your FICO credit score has never been more important than it is now. Your credit score affects whether you are approved for a loan, the interest rate your pay, and even the cost of insurance.

Credit card companies now use credit scores and credit history to determine not only the interest rate that will apply to the account, but other terms such as the length of no-interest balance transfers. And your credit score can even impact whether you get a job.

In short, your credit score has a big impact on your finances. The good news is that you can begin to improve your credit score today with a few simple steps.


Many factors can affect the value.

By Karen Datko Oct 6, 2009 11:04PM

This post comes from Xin Lu at partner blog Wise Bread.

I first read about selling hair in "Les Misérables," when Fantine sold her head of gold to clothe her daughter, Cosette. The hair trade just seems like such an archaic idea, but, actually, high-quality hairpieces are still made from real human hair and there is a huge market for sourcing natural hair.

Here are some tips and information on how to sell your tresses for cash.


You might be able to get one for free.

By Karen Datko Oct 6, 2009 10:22PM

This post comes from partner blog Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

It's always possible to get an influenza vaccination unless the vaccine is in short supply, but it's another matter to find a free flu shot. If you're elderly or in another at-risk group, you stand the best chance of getting a free shot. If you're healthy and can afford spending $20, I recommend you leave the freebies for those less fortunate and pay for your shot.

Where can you find a free flu shot?


Retirement plan not a good choice for most people.

By Karen Datko Oct 6, 2009 10:14PM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.

Let's get right to the point: Saving for retirement in a Roth 401(k) likely will leave you with less money in retirement than if you had invested in a traditional 401(k).

There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, a Roth 401(k) may be the right choice if you make more than $1 million a year or if you make so little that you pay no income tax or very little income tax. But for the majority of us, the Roth 401(k) is better left alone. Here's why.


Recycling really doesn't take much effort.

By Donna_Freedman Oct 6, 2009 7:10PM

Recently a tenant moved out of the apartment building I manage. During the final walk-through I saw that she'd left behind a wall-mounted spice rack, a shelf-and-cabinet unit in the bathroom and a wheeled kitchen cart. She told me her fiancé had all the household items they needed. If no one wanted those things, they could just be thrown away.

I love my new kitchen cart. 


It may be repetitious, but at least frugal living is relaxing.

By Donna_Freedman Oct 6, 2009 6:55PM

Over at partner blog Wise Bread, writer W.C. Porter has proposed the "Boring Challenge." Porter suggests changing a habit for one week to see how much money you can save. Making the replacement habit "boring" makes it simple, he says.

In his case it was taking a lunch instead of eating at a restaurant -- "boring" because it was the same lunch every day. And it was simple, so simple that Porter kept going. After three years, he'd saved $2,000.

The Boring Challenge kind of describes my life, although I don't think of it as particularly boring. I'd call it the "Who Cares? It Works!" Challenge. 



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