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They may seem daunting, but they aren't. Take a 'money day' to get started.

By Karen Datko Jan 11, 2010 12:11PM

This post comes from J.D. Roth at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.


Ah, the new year. The perfect time to get your life back on track. If one of your goals for 2010 is to take control of your finances, this crash course in financial basics can help guide the way.


Here are 10 simple but effective steps you can take to build a better financial future.


A modification would help some, but it's not going to get us out of this mess.

By Karen Datko Jan 8, 2010 6:47PM

This guest post comes from “vh” at Funny about Money.


I just sent off a wad of paper to the loan officers at the credit union. My favorite spy there tells me that because I've been laid off my job, we have a shot at getting our mortgage payments reduced, at least for a while.


I've asked to have the principal cut, since the so-called "investment" house is now worth about $50,000 or $60,000 less than my son and I owe on it. What a fiasco!


What we’re hoping for

Of course, they're not going to do that.


Online printable grocery coupons are part of savers' strategies.

By Teresa Mears Jan 8, 2010 5:14PM has released its list of the 20 most frugal cities, or at least the ones that are the biggest users of its online coupons.


Whether coupon use equates to frugality is one of the most debated topics on frugal blogs and bulletin boards, along with strategies to get the most from your coupons.


These steps are quick and easy ways to improve your finances in 2010.

By Karen Datko Jan 8, 2010 4:19PM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.


Big things can come in little packages. That’s true in a lot of areas of life, and it’s certainly true when it comes to money. In fact, some of the most important and effective money moves you can make are quick, easy, and really powerful.


As we start the New Year, I thought it would be a good time to review 11 steps you can take to easily improve your finances in the coming year.


Now's the time for cheap tacos, burgers, pizza, drinks and more.

By Teresa Mears Jan 8, 2010 1:08PM

It’s a new year, and we’ve got some new dining deals and coupons, with some help from our friends at Cities on the Cheap.


For a limited time, T.G.I. Friday’s is bringing back its popular “3 for $12.99″ dinner menu, which gives you appetizer, entrée and dessert for $12.99.


For something a bit cheaper, Fuddruckers is offering the Family Fudds Deal, which feeds two adults and two children for $20. The deal includes two 1/3-pound burgers with fries and soft drinks or domestic beers and two kid’s meals (hamburger or hot dog) with fries and drink.


One reader's easy, effective tip for avoiding excess expenditures.

By Donna_Freedman Jan 8, 2010 12:50PM

Having trouble staying true to your spending plan?

Maybe your downfall is those online shopping specials. Maybe you keep going out with friends even though you've burned through your entertainment budget for the week, or the month. Maybe you regularly stop for takeout meals while leftovers shrivel in the fridge.

A regular reader of the Smart Spending message board who posts as "SC CDF" came up with a budgeting strategy that's both simple and brilliant:


They aren't magic bullets, and can't create a signal where there is none.

By Karen Datko Jan 8, 2010 10:54AM

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


Smart phones are capable of many tricks these days -- thanks to an abundance of apps, Internet connectivity and embedded MP3 players  and cameras -- but all the bells and whistles don’t mean a thing if you can’t get a signal.


The average consumer spends roughly $70 a month for cell phone service, according to market researcher Nielsen. For that kind of money, the ability to make clear, consistent connections at home, in the office and on the road seems perfectly reasonable.

While the carriers (most notably, Verizon and AT&T) duke it out in commercials over who has the best coverage, fastest network and hottest phones, companies at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas are looking at the problem from a different perspective:


So, your family doesn't cook. How are you ever going to learn to prepare your own food and save money?

By Karen Datko Jan 8, 2010 9:54AM

This guest post comes from Kris at Cheap Healthy Good.


A few months ago, CHG posted a piece called "Overcoming your cooking obstacles," discussing why folks avoid their own kitchens. I argued that cooking is imperative to saving cash (because you spend less) and eating healthier (because you have control), and then presented some strategies for conquering common culinary fears.

Sadly, there’s an obstacle I missed. A big one. Maybe the biggest one of all. What if your family doesn’t cook? What if they never did? What if they don’t want to, either?

At first, this may seem like a problem easily solved. “Suck it up and get going,” you might hear. “This is your journey, not theirs.” Boo, I say. Boo.



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