December 21, 2010

Join A Video Contest: Toss Your Credit Card, Win Cash Prizes

Two of our favorite personal finance sites, Lending Club and PerkStreet Financial, are joining forces to give us a “Shred Your Credit Card Day”, a new contest that could win you some coin for the new year. The contest involves producing and submitting a video that shares your commitment to start repairing your finances. […]

Five arguments against frugality that are complete nonsense

This post over at Aloysa’s Kitchen Sink got some attention as an Editor’s Pick in the Carnival of Personal Finance a few weeks ago.  The post explained five reasons to stop being frugal and get a life.  Strong words, for sure, but does the reasoning stand up to scrutiny?  Let’s check them out.  (Her words are in italics.) You spend endless hours researching, exploring, shopping around for good p […]

5 Moves That Make You Look Cheap

Yahoo lists five moves that make you look cheap as follows: Thrifty: Buying Items That Are on SaleCheap: Only Buying Items That Are on Sale Thrifty: Tipping According to ServiceCheap: Never Tipping at All Thrifty: Putting Money Aside for SavingsCheap: Saving Everything and Living on Nothing Thrifty: Taking Advantage of a Good DealCheap: Taking Advantage Thrifty: Cutting Out Internet and Cab […]

Out With The Old, In With The New: Find Out What’s Going On in your Community

Throughout the month of December, The Simple Dollar is posting a daily series focusing on specific activities you can do right now to set the stage for a great 2011. Out with the old, in with the new. 21. Find out what’s going on in your community. I am constantly astounded as to the wide variety of activities going on in my own community and in surrounding communities. […]

11 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Under $15

It’s that time again. You think you’ve got presents for everyone on your list, but somehow you forgot Great Aunt Noonie. Or your neighbor pops over with a gift and now you want to return the sentiment. […]

Financially Preparing for the Holidays

With it being a few short days until Christmas and nearly two weeks since the end of Hannukah, it’s a little late to be “preparing” for the holidays. That, however, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be financially prudent in the waning few days before the crescendo. […]

Your Relationship With Money

Have you ever had a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife you want to see again the moment he or she is out of your sight? Has love ever felt like a drug, something you need every minute, and you need more each time? Have you ever failed to understand why you constantly desire a lover who treats you poorly? Perhaps you long for the guy or girl you knew twenty years ago, a fleeting infatuation. […]

An Example of Why to Give Appreciated Securities Rather than Cash

In their piece on end of year tax tips for the generous, Kiplinger gives an example why it's better to give appreciated securities (assuming you do not want to hold on to them any longer) rather than cash. Their thoughts: When you give $1,000 in cash, you get to deduct $1,000, and that saves you $250 in the 25% bracket. […]

Finding a Charity to Support in 2011

One of our goals in 2011 is to increase our charitable contributions throughout the year. We’ve been getting a better handle of our finances and our monthly budget has enough room to accomodate increased charitable giving. Have you thought about which charities you’d like to support during the coming year? […]

Homemade Gift Series: Wrap-Up (Both Literally and Otherwise)

Throughout the fall, I ran a series of posts on homemade gifts with enough lead time so that interested parties could make some of the gifts on their own if they so chose. […]

8 Job-Getting Tips from a Guy Who's Hired 500 People in the Past 5 Years

August Nielsen has hired about 300 people in the last 20 months. Seriously. He's the Human Resources manager for one of the nation's fast-growing private companies. In the spirit of full disclosure, let me say upfront that I work for the same company (VA Mortgage Center, which happens to be the country's largest dedicated VA lender). […]

5 Ways to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

The American philosopher and psychologist William James said “Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.” Since thinking or deciding is the first step in launching a new behavior, I began wondering what the primary methods of success are as we all run headlong in our New Year’s resolutions and new habits. […]

Why You Shouldn’t Cheat On Your Taxes

Have you ever been tempted to cheat on your taxes? asks a recent article in the NYT’s You’re the Boss column. […]

Readers Gave $8,000 to Charity Since Thanksgiving

For the second year in a row, I offered to match Consumerism Commentary readers’ charitable contributions donated during the two weeks following Thanksgiving, up to $5,000. After extending the matching period a third week, and with MoneyCrush‘s offer to match the contributions made between $5,000 and $6,000, we surpassed all goals. […]

Getting Paid to Tell Lies: Mystery Shopping as a Frugal Hack

This post is from new GRS staff writer Donna Freedman. Donna writes the Living With Less personal finance column for MSN Money, and writes about frugality and intentional living at Surviving And Thriving. Two persistent rumors about mystery shopping: It’s a scam. It’s not a scam — and you can get rich doing it! Allow me to set these rumors to rest: Mystery shopping is not a scam. […]

12 Rules for Money-Saving Negotiation Success

The book The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means lists 12 rules for negotiation success as follows: #1 Nice guys finish first.#2 Speak to the right person.#3 Be honest, but don't be shy.#4 "I can't afford it."#5 Cheaper by the dozen.#6 Watch for sales before and after you buy.#7 Show them the money.#8 Don't sell yourself short by naming a p […]

My favorite kind of holiday party

I attended a wonderful holiday party this weekend.  It was in a beautifully-decorated house.  The food was abundant and delicious.  The desserts were scrumptious.  The family hosting the party was kind and gracious. I had never met them before that night.  Nor any of the guests. The only person I knew there was another musician.  We played for two hours: him on trumpet, and me on keyboard.  We wer […]

Stretch Your Food Budget! How To Make Your Meals Go Further

Can you eat well for less money? When you go to the grocery store to do some major food shopping, how long is it before you find yourself having to go back to do it all again? It’s tough when you can’t seem to make stuff last as long as you would like. But I’ve found some great ways of stretching our groceries so that I can make the next shopping trip go a little bit further into the future. […]