Blogger 'didn't want to be working for a thing.'
Blunt Money's first job after graduate school paid $42,000, so what was one of the first things she did? She went shopping for a new car. "Why was I doing this?" she writes. "When it came right down to it, I didn't know. It just seemed like what people did. Get a better job? Get a better car!"
It was 1999, and the car she test drove was a BMW Z3, which, she recalls, cost about $40,000 at the time. Sounds crazy, but not totally out of line with current car-buying practices. According to Edmunds.com, car buyers on average put a measly $2,400 down, finance $24,864 and pay $479 a month. To make matters worse, the most popular loan is for more than five years, dragging those interest payments out longer than people reasonably should.
So what did Blunt Money do?
It's not just rent that you need to consider.
This post comes from partner blog Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.
One of the main reasons I bought a home was because I was tired of moving. I hated packing up my things, renting a truck, moving my things, then unpacking my things. It felt like such wasted effort.
However, in my numerous moves, I did establish a great way to come up with a total cost-of-housing metric that helped me compare various housing options.
Many of these are relatively unknown.
These 10 Web sites help you save or make money in innovative ways, yet they are relatively unknown. We learned of these guys while doing research for the Wise Bread book. (You've got your copy, right?) Enjoy the list, and share with your friends. Don't forget to chime in with more money-saving sites in the comments.
Big eaters share their tips.
You've probably heard about the two big guys in Houma, La., who were charged extra at an all-you-can-eat buffet -- the waitress supposedly said, "Ya'll fat, and ya'll eat too much" -- and claimed they were banned from the place as well. Well, those guys couldn't hold a candle to Nick at Punny Money.
We thank Clever Dude for directing us to Nick's side-splitting, belt-busting post, "Eat your money's worth at any all-you-can-eat buffet." Clever Dude also provides a link to getting the most from a side salad when Pizza Hut limits you to one bowl.
Online historians chronicle shopping wastelands.
Has the mall of your teens died a slow death by neglect or succumbed to sudden trauma inflicted when vehicle traffic patterns were changed? If so, chances are you can find its eulogy at Deadmalls.com.
Or maybe the current economy is driving it into the ground. With so many mall-based chains flocking into Bankruptcy Court and their hosts in serious need of life support, the mall historians at Deadmalls.com are chronicling a very bleak period in retail.
Deadmalls.com is an entertaining but sobering site. We decided to see how malls we visited as a teen are faring.
Why not pay for what you actually use?
Would you order a six-course meal if you planned to eat only the salad and dessert? No. You'd order a la carte.
Apply the same concept to the subscriptions you pay for, suggests Ramit Sethi at I Will Teach You To Be Rich. That includes services like cable, TiVo, cell phones and that underused gym membership. Ramit writes: "In fact, in one remarkable study of three health clubs, two researchers from Stanford and Berkeley showed that gym members overestimate how much they'll use their gym membership by over 70%."
You can pay as you go for workout sessions, TV programs and songs (from iTunes), and other services you now buy in bulk. And may we suggest a prepaid cell phone?
Even small amounts can go a long way.
This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.
Generating multiple streams of income can have a major impact on your finances. Even an extra income of $500 each month could go a long way to paying down debt or increasing your investments.
We often hear about the importance of diversifying our investments, but diversifying our income streams is just as important, particularly in difficult economic times. Let me show you just how valuable even an extra $500 per month can be. Then I'll list the factors to consider in deciding how to generate extra income, followed by 10 multiple-income-stream ideas.
Do small steps save enough or should you look for big cuts?
If I had $4 for every day I hadn’t had a latte, I’d have a nice nest egg. Because, let’s see, that would be 365 days times 30 years of adult life… Wow, $43,800 plus the power of compounding …
Except I don’t drink lattes. And giving up a latte every day for a year wouldn’t pay even half my property taxes. I’d better look elsewhere for savings.
The “latte factor,” popularized by David Bach, author of “The Automatic Millionaire” and other personal finance books, has become a synonym for the small money leaks that could be draining away our cash without us noticing. And it’s certainly important to find and plug those small leaks.
But, in some cases, plugging the small leaks and giving up lattes (or soda or bottled water or candy bars) doesn’t really make much difference.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
A new report shows the program's fiscal health is getting better but issues persist.
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'