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Where Money Really Does Grow on Trees
Scott Reynolds
Scott Reynolds
Feb 10, 2010

American_pigs_in_blankets

You don’t have to whip out the old chips and salsa next time you have a get together. I found some easy recipes that cost less than $5 or $10. Both your guests and your bank account will love these finger foods.

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Derek Allen
Derek Allen
Feb 10, 2010

free_software

As an IT professional I have used quite a bit of software over the years. I also have not purchased any software for personal use. Everything that I use has been completely free to legally obtain. With so many freeware versions of software out there, you shouldn’t have to pay for software either. While this software might not be the very best out there, I find it more than sufficient to use in my everyday life. Below I have listed all the software that I use, and the places where you may download them for free.

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tax_return

Well, it is that time of year when we gather our W-2s, tax receipts, and scraps of paper we kept in a shoe box all year long to file our taxes. If you are one of the lucky ones you may even get some money back from the government (not that is good either, since you overpaid the government in the first place, but that is another story).  So what should you do? It is no wonder that tax season happens to fall near the Super Bowl and all the great commercials eliciting visions of flat screens and new cars are dancing in your heads.  But is that the wisest thing to do?

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Scott Reynolds
Scott Reynolds
Feb 03, 2010

When I go out on my boat into saltwater I pass many marinas that have sailboats and have noticed that many of them today have a wind turbine. These turbines generate power for the boat from the wind for free outside the inital investment of about $1000. These turbines are virtually silent depending on the model and can generate enough power to charge the batteries even when sitting still. With the turbine you could be offshore as long as you want given your food and water holds out and have enough power to crank your outboard, run the radio, coffee maker and other appliances on board without worrying about your battery life. What a great invention.

air_breeze_boat_3_web


computer_money

Have you ever been standing in line at a non-grocery store waiting to pay and someone in front of you has had a printed coupon they are using?  Chances are they received the coupon signing up for that store’s eClub.

If I know I am making a trip to a specific store, I will visit their website to see if they have an eClub to sign up for.  When you sign up for a retailer’s eClub, you will periodically receive emails with sale notifications, coupons, and special offers.

Below is a list I have composed of retailers that send you a welcome discount coupon email almost immediately after signing up.  Most of the links send you directly to the sign up page.  If you are directed to the home page, scroll down to the bottom of the page and you should see the box to enter your email address.

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Lauren Chapman
Lauren Chapman
Feb 02, 2010

dogngirl

Animals are a loveable addition to your family. The cost of a pet however, can be overwhelming and sometimes you can find yourself in a pickle trying to pay for all of the expenses for basic procedures. I just got a puppy a couple of months ago and I don’t know how I would have paid for all of her vet bills without the Wellness Plan that Banfield Pet Hospital offers. Banfield offers affordable monthly payment plans that are broken down into four different categories: Primary, Basic, Basic Plus, and Optimum.  You select this plan based on pet’s needs, age, and health. The plans do vary in cost but, not by much!

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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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