Tactfully pointing out sales to the bride; plus, valuable weekend coupons.
Serving as a member of the bridal party on a friend’s special day may be a priceless experience, but it’s one that doesn’t come cheap.
In 2009, the average bridesmaid spent $1,009, including her dress, airfare and bridal shower, bachelorette party and wedding gifts, according to The Wedding Report, a market researcher. (Last year was the first year the group collected data on bridesmaid costs.) By 2014, that average is expected to creep up 2%, to $1,029.
It's now easier to track your minutes, evaluate your bill for potential savings and swap contracts.
One of the all-time best ways to save money is to cut your cell phone bill. My cell phone bill goes through what I call scope creep. Scope creep is a term in the consulting business to describe a project that slowly grows out of control, and it can describe a cell phone bill as lines and features slowly get added over the years.
- Bing: Best cell phone plans
So we put together this list of tips and tricks to lower your cell phone bill. If you know of other ways to cut your cellular bill, leave a comment and let us know.
- Stay under your minutes. Nothing drives me crazy like seeing a big, fat charge on my cell phone bill because we went over our minutes. If this is a habitual problem, you’ll want to either change cell phone plans or cut your talk time. One great tool to help monitor your usage is OverMyMinutes (hat tip: Lazy Man and Money), a free tool that sends you a text message or e-mail when you are about to run over your limit.
There's also less room between seats, so more passengers can fit on the planes.
Ah, airline travel these days. You pay for the privileges of checking a bag, picking a seat, quenching your thirst and -- on Spirit Airlines -- bringing a carry-on bag on board starting in August.
One thing you won’t be able to buy on some of Spirit’s flights is a reclining seat. SunSentinel.com reports that Spirit has two new airplanes that come with nonreclining -- inappropriately called "prereclined" -- seats, and two more are on the way.
Sure, you should buy gently used cars, but at what point should you get rid of them?
My basic advice on cars is that you should buy them mildly used, two to four years old, and drive them until they are inert heaps of rust. This is based on the commonplace observation that used cars are generally a better deal for buyers, that is that, relative to new ones, they are cheaper than really makes sense.
Whether this disconnect between new and used car prices is because consumers irrationally prefer new ones or irrationally fear used ones is a metaphysical question I am not going to answer. But the gap is there, and many personal-finance types will advise you to buy used rather than new because of it. I don’t disagree, but there is an equally important second principle to be drawn from the new/used price anomaly. Besides “never buy new” there is “never sell used.”
New guide provides tips for saving money while saving the environment.
Just in time for Earth Day, Coupon Sherpa has published a new guide on living a frugal eco-friendly life. And it’s free. (You can read it online or download a .pdf file, but “don’t you dare print it!” the site admonishes).
Coupon Sherpa’s “Eco Frugal Life Guide,” by Ashley Grimaldo and Luke Knowles, provides suggestions for living a frugal, green life in a variety of categories, from food to home to travel. They write:
It's a popular misconception that "going green" -- certainly a nice idea in theory -- is a lifestyle far too expensive for most regular folks to afford. Sure, if you want to install solar panels or geothermal heating in your house, you're going to have to spend some cash. But the core values of environmentally conscious living -- reusing, renewing, conserving, sustaining -- are as frugal as can be! Eco-frugal living isn't just a fad, it's a growing necessity for millions of people worldwide. Saving the green in your wallet, and the green outside your window really can, and should, go hand in hand.
Retailers offer discounts for eco-friendly practices, but savings can be slim.
Companies are increasingly willing to offer consumers discounts for green behaviors such as recycling electronics and receiving statements electronically. But while the behaviors can have an environmental impact, the savings for consumers are usually nominal.
Among the recent movements: Last year, Target began offering a 5-cent discount to shoppers who pack purchases in a reusable tote, while CVS launched a green tag program that offers shoppers a $1 store credit for every four visits they bring a bag. (The program costs 99 cents to join.) And last week, Starbucks offered free coffee to customers who brought in a refillable mug as a way to publicize its campaign to reduce paper cup waste.
They can often be had for free, and you can use them to build all kinds of things you can use or sell.
My last 9-to-5 job was an IT position. I had my own office in the front office area, and in the same building was the company’s in-house print shop and the supply department warehouse. Paper for the printing presses and supplies for the warehouse all came on wood pallets. What was not taken home by employees was stacked outside the building with the hope that others would come along and take them away.
Enter the scruffy guys in old beat-up pickup trucks, driving their daily routes looking for pallets to resell to pallet companies.
Yes, but is it really worth your time? Here's what an experiment shows.
Mal writes in:
I loved your post about how little you save by not flushing. You should do the same thing about your favorite bugaboo, rewashing Ziploc bags!
Rewashing Ziploc sandwich bags is something that I’ve joked about being a frugality “step too far” since the first days of The Simple Dollar. In March 2009, I prepared a post on this very topic, intending to present it in a very tongue-in-cheek fashion on April 1, 2009, but I never got around to posting it. Why? It read too close to being serious, as though I were strongly advocating rewashing Ziploc sandwich bags as a method to become a millionaire. (I do, in fact, rewash those large, ultra-durable gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bags.)
However, I did do some real research into the topic to find out how much a person could actually save by rewashing Ziploc sandwich bags. Here’s what I learned.
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