Bargaineering is a blog that chronicles my personal finance life and where I discuss matters of shopping, insurance, investing, retirement, loans, credit cards, mortgages, bargain hunting and other issues in my life.

Latest Posts from Bargaineering (page 277)

Our New Dog Expenses

For the last few weeks, my wife and I have been visiting the local shelters and adoption shows to try to find a little guy to join our family. A few weeks ago, we met Tobey, a 7 year old Beagle who hasn’t had a “real” home in quite some time (I say real because he’s been a combination of fostered and kenneled, but treated very well throughout the whole process). […]

Paid Focus Groups: Easy, Infrequent Money

Last week, I participated in a paid focus group and was paid $75 for two hours. Unlike the last focus group in Baltimore, this one was only a five minute drive away. If you think paid focus groups are easy money, you’re right. There aren’t many things that pay $35 an hour! […]

Negotiating Your Medical Bills

If you have medical insurance, you should receive an Explanation of Benefits from your insurance company every time you visit a doctor. Have you ever looked at one? It’s amazing. You’ll see the how much the doctor billed you, how much the insurance company negotiated as an allowable rate, and the difference can be staggering. […]

Investigate Larger than Average Bills

JD shared a story last week about how their winter heating bill increased 50% compared to last year. Unfortunately for him, the increase wasn’t large enough to raise any red flags. He only did a post-mortem calculation but in looking back he saw energy use had increased 30% and the cost has only increased 50%. […]

Buying Municipal or State Bonds

Last week I was volunteering at Meals on Wheels when one of the other volunteers, Cheryl, asked me about buying state bonds. Until last week, I hadn’t really given it much research because the idea of buying individual bonds was never tremendously appealing. There is a big barrier to entry when you’re buying individual bonds and it’s with the minimum purchase amounts. […]

See Some Other Financial Network Maps

When I first drew up our financial network map, then subsequently wrote about and did a video about financial network maps, I had no idea it would become a popular idea. These maps are valuable for two reasons. First, they give you a good snapshot of your finances. Second, it forces you to understand and, if you’re married, discuss your finances. […]

Your Take: What’s Your Favorite Frugal Weekend Idea?

Last year, I had a whole series on frugal weekend ideas like visiting local wineries, going to a major league baseball game, visit a national park, or something simple like borrow a movie from the library. My favorite frugal weekend idea is probably to visit a local winery, such as when we visited Boordy (which ended up not being frugal!) a few weeks ago, because it has all the key characteristics […]

Don’t Forget the Big Picture

One of the things I learned whenever I drew up our financial network map was that I had a lot of bank accounts, mostly high interest savings accounts at online banks. […]

Spend to Save Trap

If you ever want to learn about consumer behavior, walk through a grocery store. Look at all the labels, how things are positioned, how sales are organized, and you’ll get tremendous insight into how we consume. Ever wonder why grocery stores have sales where they limit the number of products you can buy? You can get five cases of Diet Coke for $10 but you are limited to five cases. […]

BVC #9 - Last Minute Tax Tip (Roth IRA)

It’s April 15th, it’s getting late, and chances are you’re done with your taxes or getting ready to send it in. Here’s the best last minute tax tip you could possible get and you have until midnight tonight to get it done. The law on contributions is that electronic transfers would have to be received by April 15th but checks only need to be post-marked by the 15th. […]