The GRS Garden Project: September 2009 Update

Every month, my wife and I track how much time and money we spend growing food. This is the report for September 2009. (Here are the results for 2008.) After a long productive summer, our September in the garden was kind of anticlimactic. Sure, we continued to harvest our home-grown food, but neither of us was particularly “in” to the garden this month. It was a chore instead of an obsession. […]

Why You May Not Want to Give Over the Phone

In my post titled Off My Giving List, I noted that I don't give to any charity over the phone. But after reading a comment from a reader, I'm wondering if anyone should ever give via phone solicitation. Consider this: I used to work as a telemarketer for non-profits. We were sub-contractors and the MOST we gave any of our charities was 20%. That's correct. […]

Measuring Job Satisfaction: How To Be Happy With Your Job

Life is short, so why not find your dream job? You can get rid of work FOREVER, without being a filthy rich millionaire. Maybe you are making $30,000 a year, ‘working’ 60 hours a week, with a mortgage and 2 kids. You can still get rid of work FOREVER. […]

Painting a Specific Future – And Figuring Out How to Get There

A few weeks ago, my wife and children and I spent the weekend visiting several members of her extended family. On the final morning of the visit, I sat around the kitchen table with my wife’s grandfather and uncle and the conversation turned to the future. […]

How Parents are Saving for College

Here's a study from SallieMae on where American parents stand on saving for college. They surveyed 1,200 parents of children under 18 to find out their thoughts, attitudes, and actions regarding college for their kids. […]

Facial Recognition and Billboards

I have a fascinated/disgusted relationship with targeted advertisements. On one hand, I’ve seen enough Playtex commercials in my lifetime that I could probably draw you their logo from memory, and I’ve never been in the position to decide, “should I buy the Playtex version, or a different brand?” All those ads in my face have been a complete waste of my time, and the advertiser’s dollars. […]

How to Cheaply Display Your Art

By Andrea Dickson Custom framing your art is often more expensive than the art itself. How weird is that? There are so many places nowadays to find good, cheap art, but framing said art can be one of the most expensive aspects of decorating your home. Unless you have your own equipment or some killer coupons, professional framing can easily set you back $60-$200 per 8x10 piece of art. […]

Welcome MSN Smart Spending Readers!

I would love to welcome all Smart Spending readers to Squawkfox, a blog that makes frugal living fun. A huge thank you to Karen Datko for mentioning me in today’s column and for choosing 50 Reasons to Go Green with Reusable Shopping Bags as an Editor’s Pick! I am humbled to be quoted and thrilled you decided to visit! Thank you! My name is Kerry Taylor and I’m the blogger here. […]

Best Deals For Friday 10/02/09

By Lynn Truong FREE Sample of Nutri-Dog Chews Dog Treats Select from Hip & Joint Chew, Skin & Coat Chew, and All Natural Dental Chew, available for small through large dogs. Offer good until 10/14, or while supplies last. One sample per household.   Buy One Quizno Sub and Drink, Get One Sub Free Get a free sub when you buy a sub of equal or greater value and a regular fountain drink. […]

4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance

By Sarah Winfrey Auto insurance is one of those pesky, nagging things, almost like a tiny leech. It sucks money away and we're not even always aware of it, at least until we have to write another check. The bad news is, car insurance isn't avoidable. Most states have minimal amounts that you're required to carry in order to drive legally. […]

Real-Life Money Saving Story

I love real-life stories/testimonials from readers. Here's one found in a couple comments left by the same reader on my post titled Change Companies, Save Money about the need to shop around for insurance. The first one: I saved $1275 by switching my 2 cars and house from Allstate to Amica. A couple of my neighbors also switched from State Farm and saved $1100 and $1800. […]

Modular Meals

Now that my wife has returned to full time work, we’ve been focusing a lot on careful meal planning for the coming week. We’ll sit down on Sunday mornings, plot out what we’ll eat over the coming week, and prepare a grocery list. One very helpful technique for a busy family like ours is making “modular” meals – ones with elements that can be easily reused in meals later in the week. […]

Book Review: Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel

By Lynn Truong We're giving away a copy of this book on our latest Dealista podcast. Listen to find out how to enter the drawing! Every review I've read of this book agrees on one thing about Phil Villarreal's new book, Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel — he's hilarious. […]

Beyond the Slow Cooker: 10 Eco- and Budget-Friendly Household Helpers That Progress Left Behind

By Annalise Silivanch Cleaning? Cooking? Ugh, you say. Make friends with it, compadre; they've got to be part of the frugal warrior's toolkit. Me, I avoid cleaning as much as possible until a young offspring can't find clean underthings and I want to howl in the chasm of Boring Adult Responsibilities and go hide in the kitchen, which I enjoy much more. […]

Warren Buffett Has No Regrets About the Past Year — Do You?

This article is GRS staff writer Adam Baker. In addition to his work at Get Rich Slowly, Baker blogs over at Man Vs. Debt, where he maintains a list of every single item his family owns. It’s no secret that J.D. loves him some Warren Buffett. Honestly, though, who doesn’t? Financial wisdom seems to ooze from his pores. Previously on Get Rich Slowly, J.D. […]

Is It Possible to Save Too Much Money?

For most humans, life is much shorter than we would like, and for many of us saving even ten percent of our income will never result in a state of wealth within our lifetime. There are too many forces working against this endeavor: a lack of sufficient opportunity, inflation, and unplanned events to name a few. […]

Your Take: What Stresses You The Most?

Reader’s Digest conducted a poll of 150 people from 16 countries to find out what stresses them out the most. Voters could choose family, health, money, and the state of the world. First, I’d like you to vote on what stresses you out the most, then I’ll write about the results of that study. I’m curious to see how the results of Bargaineering Nation compare with the 16 other real nations. […]

Historical FDIC Insurance Limits

With all the recent talk of the FDIC wanting to raise more funds to meet its obligations, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at FDIC insurance limits over the years. A brief history of the FDIC For those that aren’t aware, the FDIC was formed following the signing of the Banking Act of 1933 (also known as the Glass-Steagall Act). […]

Star Money Articles and Carnivals for the Week of Sept 28

For weekday updates of what I find to be some of the most interesting personal finance articles on the web, follow me on Twitter. For now, here are some pieces I found especially worthwhile and some of the carnivals Free Money Finance was in this week and my posts that were included: EDITOR'S CHOICE! […]

Which Type of Life Insurance is Best for You?

Here are some thoughts from the great personal finance book Grow Your Money!: 101 Easy Tips to Plan, Save, and Invest. They list four considerations to determining which type of life insurance (term or cash value) is best for you as follows: How long you'll need the coverage. If your life insurance needs will decline at some point, term is probably better. […]