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Free entertainment abounds online.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 8:13PM

One luxury you can cut when costs for essentials are rising is your cable or satellite TV service. But how can you still watch your favorite shows?

David at My Two Dollars presents "35 ways to watch television without cable or satellite," and he's not just talking rabbit ears. After Option No. 1, an antenna, the rest are Web sites. Readers provided more suggestions, so the list is now up to 42 possibilities.


With a little care, your duds won't die early.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 7:31PM

This post comes from Andrea Dickson at partner blog Wise Bread.

With everyone trying to stretch their dollars further these days, it makes sense to take care of the things we have, rather than buy replacements. This goes for clothing as much as anything else we own and use on a daily basis.

As a reformed clotheshorse, I struggle to prevent myself from shopping for new duds on a daily basis.


If you delay using them, you can achieve bigger savings.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 7:14PM

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

Many people don't bother to clip coupons, mostly because they believe that a 50-cent coupon isn't worth the effort. On the surface, I agree. Without a clever coupon strategy, it's probably not worth the effort.

About two months ago, I was talking about this with a friend who works for Hy-Vee, a grocery store chain here in Iowa. He gave me a tip: Take the coupon section out of the Sunday paper and put it aside for four weeks. Then open it up and clip everything that's even remotely of interest, whether you'd normally buy it or not.


Blogger's wallet -- and sanity -- thank her.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 6:55PM

Jennifer Derrick had the guts to bring this up with her extended family: Let's not exchange gifts this year. If her window had been open, we suspect she would have heard the collective sigh of relief.

Jennifer is not a scrooge. But she did think about how meaningless -- and how stressful --the commercial aspect of the holiday had become to her. In an excellent post at Saving Advice called "The totally free (or nearly) Christmas," she explains how her thinking evolved:


Attempts to be frugal often fall flat.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 6:42PM

Spurred on by the faltering economy, more people are trying to spend wisely and save money. But are we getting results?

Blogger Kay Bell at Don't Mess With Taxes points to a New York Times story called "Failing home economics" that questions many people's methods.


Blogger's advice: 'Be honest.'

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 6:36PM

Kris at Cheap Healthy Good is equally interested in personal finance and nutrition. Recently she combined her insights about people with severe problems in each area into one post: "Touchy subjects: Confronting loved ones about weight and money problems."

"What do you say to your 65-year-old father who puts on 100 pounds in five years? How do you tell your mom you can't support her if she has no savings when she retires?" Kris asks. "The short answer: Be honest."

Here are some highlights from her long answer:


His view on borrowing doesn't sit well with this blogger.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 2:58AM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.

As much good as he does, Dave Ramsey drives me nuts with his extreme views on debt.

Ramsey, as he readily admits, did some really stupid things with debt. Leveraged to the hilt on bad real estate deals, he went bust in a way most of us could never imagine. As a real estate investor, my leverage and borrowing comes nowhere near the toxic level Ramsey went to.

Why? Because Ramsey's personality is one of extremes. Much like an alcoholic, he could not control his use of debt. He got one taste of that leverage, and he was borrowing before noon ever day.


Learn how to get a your report from this agency.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 2:24AM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.

Have you ever been turned down for a checking account? While denials are more common when applying for credit, you can also be declined when applying for a bank account.

If you have been declined, it's likely due to a reporting agency that many have never heard of, but has a lot of information about and influence over banking customers. It's called ChexSystems.



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