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Is it like taking your own food to a restaurant?

By Karen Datko Sep 11, 2009 5:56PM

It's once again time to take a break from the heavier issues of the day, and "Frugal Dad" gave us the respite we were looking for. Ponder this one: Is sneaking your own candy into the movie theater frugal or cheap?


This is an academic exercise for us because we don't really care for movie theater candy. (We've got our eye on the popcorn with extra butter.) But it's a real-life decision for Frugal Dad, and you might be surprised at the decision he reached.


And remember, some things are better left unsaid

By Karen Datko Sep 11, 2009 5:44PM

What did Paul Williams of Crackerjack Greenback do to keep from crying after he was laid off? He prayed and then told family and close friends. "Those two actions will give you the energy you need to keep going forward," he wrote.


Being upfront with those close to you about your unemployed state is essential for your mental well-being, many bloggers advise. On the other hand, screaming at your boss may give you some momentary satisfaction, but don't do it. "Now is not the time to burn bridges," says an excellent post at Destroy Debt called "What to do if you get laid off."


(Maintaining composure may be all the more difficult if you're laid off by mass e-mail or IM, or read about it at your boss's blog -- all true stories, according to Linton Weeks' post at NPR. So much for the human touch.)


Stories about layoffs are spreading across the Web, and we noticed some dominant themes. First, tell friends and family immediately.


A closed account can ding your credit score

By Karen Datko Sep 11, 2009 5:35PM

Have a credit card you haven't used in the last year or so? It might be canceled.


Numerous credit card companies are cutting costs by closing accounts due to inactivity, and they're doing it without warning.


Can this ding your credit score? The simple answer is: Yep.


"This is their legal right, but it can also negatively affect your credit score," Jonathan at My Money Blog reports.


Great. That's all you need right now, with more lenders demanding higher credit scores from prospective borrowers.


There's not much difference between Freecycle and Dumpster diving. Or so I keep telling myself.

By Donna_Freedman Sep 11, 2009 5:33PM

A few weeks ago I went out to gather blackberries. Something told me to leave by the back door rather than the front. I've learned to listen to these impulses, so into the alley I went.

Half a block away, I found the reason why.  

At some point you realize you need to take control

By Karen Datko Sep 11, 2009 5:28PM

We have a 20-something friend who has struggled with debt most of his adult life. We've talked about better money management from time to time. He has said he would get it under control, and did -- from time to time.


Then he'd overspend and the credit card bills started growing again, prompting, we suspect, a lot of worry and some self-loathing.


Now, he's reached his breaking point: He had to borrow money from a friend to pay the rent. (Thank goodness he realized that a payday loan would only aggravate the situation.)


Tennis shoes, cell phones, appliances ... the list goes on

By Karen Datko Sep 11, 2009 4:32PM

Did you know that you can recycle old appliances, computers and other "technotrash," and even used tennis shoes? Co-op America Quarterly offers a list of 21 things that can be recycled or reused, instead of ending up in the nation's landfills.


For instance, Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program grinds up old sneakers and incorporates the "Nike Grind" into playing surfaces like basketball courts. One World Running makes donated shoes available to athletes in Third World countries.

Recycline makes toothbrushes and razors from plastic yogurt containers and then recycles those products once again to manufacture plastic lumber.


Homer never met bacon he didn't like

By Karen Datko Sep 11, 2009 4:22PM

How do we know there's such a thing as too much frugality in the kitchen? Because Marge Simpson once said to her daughter: "Lisa, I made you some homemade Pepsi for the dance; it's a little thick but the price is right."


That's from the excellent post "Cutting calories and saving d'oh: 25 lessons 'The Simpsons' taught me about cheap, healthy eating" at Cheap Healthy Good. The author, Kris, is the most entertaining food-and-frugality blogger out there, but we think she's outdone herself with this one.


He saved, invested and lived frugally

By Karen Datko Sep 11, 2009 3:35PM

Paul Navone is one of those quiet millionaires next door. His friends had no idea he had money until he started giving it away -- $1 million to a college and another $1 million to a prep school.


The 78-year-old retiree never made more than $11 an hour while working in the New Jersey mills, according to a story by Joe Logan in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and to this day Navone buys his clothing at thrift stores, and doesn't have a TV or a phone.



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