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Where Money Really Does Grow on Trees
Derek Allen
Derek Allen
Jan 28, 2010

money_plate

Less Consumption

Perhaps the most common way these two processes are related is by consuming less. The basic fundamental associated with both involves using less. The first step to saving more money is to identify places where you can cut back spending. One needs to eliminate any unnecessary spending from their budget in order to create a good source of funding for a savings account. It is simple mathematics. Spending less than your earnings will result in surplus you can save. And spending more than you earn will create a deficit that will put you into debt. It seems simple enough, but unfortunately it is often not that easy to accomplish. It involves breaking a natural habit of spending that has been shoved down our throats through marketing and advertising our entire lives.

The first step to losing weight is cutting out foods that are negatively impacting your diet. Cut out fats, sweets, greasy food, and sugary drinks. It is the same principle as before. Taking in less calories than you burn will help you lose those pounds. But, eating more calories than you use will increase your weight. Just as with spending money, it is a habit you have to break. Consumption has become a part of our daily lives and is a hard habit to break. It is a lot easier to pick up a cheese burger during our lunch break than it is to pack a homemade salad in the morning; not to mention probably tastier as well. Breaking the consumption habit that we are overexposed to is not easy to do and takes a considerable amount of determination and willpower.

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Scott Reynolds
Scott Reynolds
Jan 27, 2010

For most people, a mortgage is the largest investment and expense they have. My mortgage company sent me an offer to pay off my mortgage 5.5 years earlier if I pay every 2 weeks instead of monthly. It would also save me over $60K in interest! There is an enrollment fee and a small fee each month, but considering the long term savings I may do it. You can call your lender and see if they offer a program like this.

paid-off-house


Joe Gaudino
Jan 26, 2010

horse_carriage

Looking at the earlier post about getting rid of your five year old gas guzzler you might conclude that you are stuck, and chained to the $183 per month in gas costs cited in the example. Maybe you are just now gettng fed up with the mid-east oil barrons, or had a bad dream that Al Gore was giving the benediction at your funeral, either way, lets say you want to get rid of the gas guzzler without going into debt? Can it be done? Yes, you can ditch the guzzler! Looking on cars.com at several guzzler prices I see, for example, that a 2004 Ford Explorer is worth between $7,000 and $9,000 on the open market. Lets say you can get $8,000 for yours. Looking further I see that a 2005 Prius is worth between $8,000 and $10,000. Hmmm, if your good at negotiating you could probably sell your guzzler and then turnaround and buy the used car you want for about even. After taxes you and fees you could be out $1000. Assuming the 2005 Prius hybrid gets 45 mpg, you will reduce your monthly gas bill from $183 to $61. Worst case you will be ahead of the game financially in eight months. Consider that the Explorer will depreciate much faster than the Prius and I would say you’ve  made a smart move.

Photo Credit: Lars Plougmann


Maria Hinson
Maria Hinson
Jan 26, 2010

birthday_balloons

Looking for free food on your birthday?  Look no further!  Below is a compilation of restaurants that will send you a birthday gift just for signing up for their e-club at their website.

Baskin Robbins – Free scoop of ice cream

Beef O’ Brady’s – Free appetizer

Benihana’s Japanese Restaurant – $30 Birthday dinner certificate

Ben & Jerry’s – Free single scoop

Cold Stone Creamery – Free Love It creation

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Joe Gaudino
Jan 26, 2010

prius

As a hybrid owner I have listened to many a person explain to me why buyng a hybrid is a bad deal. They explain that a similar car in the same class would cost less. And that the amount of time and miles I would have to drive the car to recoup the cost difference is too great . Yes, I could have saved $5,000 and bought  a car I did not want. Instead I got what I wanted. It turns out the Prius is the best car I have ever owned. I like the way the engine shuts down when the car is stopped. Suprising the extra torque from the small electric motor and shift free transmition provides a solid feeling of accelleration and driveablity. The car is comfortable, roomy and fun to drive. Hybrid owners don’t have to justify thier choice in car technology anymore than anyone someone choosing four wheel drive, ugpgraded heated seats, super state of the art stereo systems, fuel injected hemi’s or other features that they want. It isn’t about getting the lowest cost car in that class of cars, it’s about getting what you want. In the case of hybrid cars the buyers want to use less fuel per mile driven for reasons that transend the current price per gallon. It’s ok if you don’t get it, but please understand that the ”hybrids don’t make economic sense” argument is flawed.


cfreesmeier
Jan 26, 2010

electric_sign

You have been driving your gas guzzling vehicle for 5 years or more, and each time you go to the gas pump it is another $65.00 to fill up.  All your friends and neighbors are on the bandwagon of energy efficiency with new hybrids and you are wondering how you can get on the bandwagon too.  Fuel efficiency for personal transportation does not come without a price that can significantly impact your monthly discretionary income.  If you have a cash surplus to purchase a hybrid vehicle then by all means go for it.  But here are a few thoughts about how to have a new perspective  and fall in love with your gas guzzler again from a personal economic viewpoint.  Is your car paid for or close to being paid off?   If yes then read further.

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Lauren Chapman
Lauren Chapman
Jan 25, 2010

plasmaTV

I have a 47″ plasma TV and no cable…that’s right, you heard me NO CABLE! However, even though I find myself feeling moderately disconnected from the world at times; I realize that not having a cable bill saves me money. The average cable bill monthly is anywhere from $30-60 dollars for a basic package. That is an estimated $360-720 dollars a year. A premium package could cost upwards of  $70+ a month, or $840+ a year.

Any purchase or investment should look at the return. If I was paying $60 a month for cable, but only watching a few hours of programming a week, was it worth it? One might want to put an actual cost to the hour. If one watched 10 hours of television a week and paid $60 in cable bills, they would be paying $1.50 for every hour of cable. Obviously heavy viewers would find more return on their payments and might consider it worth every penny. But casual users need to examine the return and decide if they can manage with a reduced or terminated cable package. Cable television isn’t the only answer for in home entertainment and here are some media alternatives that I utilize.

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Jed Azinger
Jed Azinger
Jan 22, 2010

nachos

This is a tasty and economical appetizer for any occasion.  There are several variations and you can add toppings of your choice. Each sheet pan serves about 6 people and each plate will serve 3.

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Scott Reynolds
Scott Reynolds
Jan 20, 2010

All of us have experienced what seems to be one of the most brutal winters in recent history. You can make your home feel warmer without turning up the heat. One way to achieve that is most homes in Florida, where I live, have ceiling fans. By turning the ceiling fan in reverse in the winter time, air pooled near the ceiling is  circulated back into the living space. This easy step can save up to 10% of your heating bill. You can also turn down your thermostat when you leave the house for the day. Another very easy step that will reduce your bill. Why heat the home when you’re not there? A great tip year-round is to change the filter in your furnace. A clogged filter makes your furnace work harder, therefore increasing your energy costs. And lastly, you can caulk and use weatherstripping around doors and windows. Why let that heat that you paid for escape? These are just a few ideas of how to keep the heat in and the cold out without breaking the bank.

winterize-home-sweden


Maria Hinson
Maria Hinson
Jan 20, 2010

cash_coupon

I will never forget the day that I saved $203 using grocery coupons and taking advantage of store specials.  Although it was four years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was on a mission -I walked into the store prepared with the week’s grocery ad and matching coupons for the items on sale already clipped and separated.  I went up and down the aisles, buying the items I had matched with my clipped coupons.   (This particular store also had several Buy One Get One Free specials and doubled coupon face values, which added to the savings).  The total for a cart full of food was…

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