January 2013

Deeply Downsized Domiciles

I wasn’t exactly born yesterday. But among the misty watercolor memories clouding my brain pan, I retain a clear memory of the kind of homes that many middle-class people lived in way back in my 1960s-era childhood. They often were very small. […]

Working On Our Taxes

I spent an hour last night working on our taxes. I have entered information about our income, child care costs, and various deductions. I am still waiting on a couple of tax-related documents, so for a trial-run, I estimated.  It looks like we will be receiving a small refund from the federal government and owe a small amount to our state government. I can remember the first time I filed taxes.  I […]

The Story Others Tell About You

Recently, I read a fascinating interview of the film director Steven Soderberg on why he’s giving up on directing as a career path (thanks to kottke for the link). One particular piece stood out at me, though (my emphasis in bold):On the few occasions where I’ve talked to film students, one of the things I stress, in addition to learning your craft, is how you behave as a person. […]

Reader Mailbag: Reader Emails

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. When bills exceed income 2. Super Bowl party planning 3. Lessons from piano 4. Thoughts on 2012 5. Handling a pay raise 6. Shipping a package 7. Deferred compensation 8. Celebrity fandom 9. Buying a home impatiently? 10. […]

The Wrong Reason To Become An Entrepreneur

I don’t have the statistics pertaining to this, but I have a strong impression that many people dream about starting their own business, and many who do have this particular daydream are inspired to consider what this life would be like because they don’t like their boss. Or maybe they don’t like working for someone else in general. […]

Side Gig Thursdays: Krystal Barber, Amazon Mechanical Turk

I remember a few years ago with Amazon Mechanical Turk first appeared. The basic idea was that you created individual tasks, called Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs), put them in the system, and people would go and do these tasks for you. A lot of HITs would be information gathering and you can see them by searching the site. […]

25 Painless Ways to Save $50 This Year

Is this the year to review and revamp your savings strategy? If so, consider making some small but tactical changes that can add up to big savings. Here are 25 painless ways to save $50 (or more) this year. (See also: 25 Ways to Save $5 This Week) 1. Frequent Your Local Library Skip the downloads and bookstores; the library is still free. […]

Market Clones: How to Pay Drastically Less for Pricey Products

A recent question posted to “AskMeFi” — the popular crowd sourced question and answer subsite of Metafilter.com — asked users to suggest products that were priced differently, depending on market and intended use. […]

Workplace gratitude: A simple way to boost your ‘income-producing ability’

I watch a lot of  “House Hunters.” It’s mostly mindless TV, but I have learned a few things. One of those things is that, in Japan, renters pay their landlords something called “key money.” Key money is, in essence, money you pay your landlord for providing you with a place to stay. […]

Best Money Tips: Save a Bundle on Flowers

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on saving on flowers, getting cheap life insurance, and paying off student loans. Top 5 Articles 9 Tips To Save You A Bundle On Flowers — To save money on flowers, consider giving a potted plant instead! […]

6 Ways to Save Money on Preschool Enrollment

If you have a preschool-aged child, you know that paying for preschool can be expensive. While there are a wide variety of prices and preschool philosophies out there, looking at the bill almost always feels like a shock to the system. There are, however, a few ways to save some money and still get your child the jump start on their education that you’ve been hoping for. […]

Reader Profile: PI

The following is the latest post in my "Reader Profiles" series. Each post in this series details the financial situation and challenges of an FMF reader. […]

Join Our Tweetchat on Thu 1/31, 12pm Pacific for a Chance to Win Prizes

Join our Tweetchat this Thursday at 12:00 pm Pacific for lively conversation and a chance to win prizes! Use #WBChat to participate. This week's topic: Super Bowl Savings! Learn about saving when watching at the bar and throwing a frugal Super Bowl Party! […]

Putting a Value on Reliability: When Is It Time to Trade In Your Car?

A friend of mine has been driving the same car for more than a decade. For most of that time, it’s been reliable as a rock. It’s started like a charm on some frightfully cold mornings and it’s only rarely needed any repairs.Over the last year, though, lots of little problems have started cropping up. […]

Throw a Frugal Super Bowl Party

We love having people over to watch “the big game.” Granted, it was more fun last year when my husband’s beloved Giants won (again), and we cared about the outcome. But, even though we don’t have strong feelings for either team in the Super Bowl this year, we still like having a little party to watch the game. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great Super Bowl party. […]

Amex Blue Cash Everyday and Preferred Card Signup Bonuses

This is just a quick note to let you know that the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express and Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express are currently offering signup bonuses. For the Blue Cash Everyday card, you can earn 100 Reward Dollars after making $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of cardmembership. This card offers 3% cash back at U.S. […]

School Policies and the High Cost of Healthcare

This is a bit of a rant, so please bear with me… As you’re likely aware, we have four school-aged kids. As such, it’s not uncommon to have one virus or another making its way through our house. And sometimes this results in having sick kids who need to stay home from school. In an effort to combat truancy, our district has adopted rather strict attendance policies. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Art Supply Edition

Our children engage in so many art projects that we keep a small corner in our dining room set aside for their miscellaneous art supplies and in-progress art projects.Pretty much every single day, our children clear off some of the dining room table and cut/paint/draw/build something.The only tricky part with this is that they actually manage to run out of some of their supplies. […]

5 Public Colleges with the Best Graduation Rates

Getting into college is only half the battle. Getting through is another challenge. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that only about half of first-time full-time undergrad students at public schools graduate in six years or less. […]