Written by Karen Bryan
Welcome to the Festival of Frugality #342; Wimbledon Edition, named in honour of the grass court tennis Grand Slam taking place in the UK over the next couple of weeks. Let’s all try to hit winners with our financial moves, helped by the featured money tips from personal finance bloggers.
Dave presents Do Group Dynamics Influence How You Spend Your Money? posted at Financial Conflict Coach. As social creatures, we’re drawn to groups. In these groups, each of us assumes a specific role. These roles may have an effect on the way you spend or save money. I think that this is true and that the company you keep can greatly influence your spending patterns.
Glen Craig highlights that Just Because You Can Spend More, Doesn’t Mean You Should posted at Free From Broke stressing that althought you may have you been told that you could actually afford more than what you are planning to spend? Be warned though, it doesn’t mean you should spend more.
Miss T’s post Small Money Mistakes that Have Big Consequences on Prairie Eco Thrifter looks at 10 small money mistakes that many people make, often unaware of the impact they are having on their financial security.
Lazy Man’s post Are the Cheapest iPhones and Androids Pre-paid? on Lazy Man and Money relates that the prepaid carrier Cricket is going to start offering Apple’s iPhone. This is a first, at least in America.
Money Beagle’s post Why I’ll Hold Off On A New Phone For Now on Money Beagle feels that mobile phone suppliers aren’t making it very attractive these days to upgrade. The issue I have is that most mobile phone contracts are now for 24 months, whereas in the past they were for 12 months.
Eddie’s post Financial Infidelity – A Growing Concern On The Rise on Finance Fox highlights that nearly 60 percent of women, and 50 percent of men admit to some form of financial infidelity.
Joe asks if Should you drain your 401k to pay off your credit cards? on Personal Finance By The Book. When you see that money sitting in your 401(k), it can be easy to think about tapping into it to make that credit card debt disappear – but these are a few reasons why you may not want to. I think that it’s better to pay off your credit card balance in full every month, so you don’t end up owing a lot of money on which you pay interest rates of around 17%.
Bob asks How much should you contribute to your 401k? on Christian Personal Finance saying that although we all know we should be contributing to our 401K, but knowing how much is a much trickier question. It’s hard to decide how much to save toward retirement. The more the better for a comfortable retirement but money in a pension is very inflexible. In the UK you can’t access a personal person before the age of 55.
Dr Dean’s post Dementia And Your Money on The Millionaire Nurse Blog asks does your retirement planning guard against the risk of decreased mental capacity as you age? Mental decline can happen even if you take steps to avoid it.
Invest It Wisely’s post Living to 100 and Beyond: Building Your Portfolio on Invest It Wisely is the third in a series of articles on living to 100 and beyond. In this article, they discuss the investment vehicles needed after retirement. I’ve looked into ensuring that you have retirement income to last for the rest of your life in my article ‘Save or Spend‘.
Maria’s post Do you really need insurance? on The Money Principle highlights that we all need insurance because shit happens; and when it hits the fan we have to be protected. If you are thinking that while this is true, the statistical probability of something happening to you is pretty slim you are wrong. We’re believers in having good insurance cover, not necessarily going for the cheapest policy but looking at a good level of cover too.
John’s post Big Banks in Hot Water Over Payment Protection Scams on Card Hub examines overpayment for overpayment protection asking if banks that desperate to re-gain lost revenue? It certainly looks that way. He advises not waste your money on “insurance” you probably don’t need.
Green Panda’s post How You Can Save Money on Food and Shrink That Belly on Green Panda Treehouse describes how you can cut that food bill in half while shrinking your belly.
Lina Zussino has tips for Frugal Fun: Free Remedies to Family Boredom on Baby Alerts. She advises not to be disheartened by bored children, or immediately dip into your wallet for expensive but brief commercial entertainment ventures. Consider instead their lack of imagination to be an opportunity for all of you: turn it into the chance to spark their creativity; or family fitness time; or even a Tom Sawyer moment wherein you get them to whitewash the fence. Here are 5 activities – all without spending a dime.
Sandy’s post Getting a College Degree for Free on Yes, I am Cheap highlights how students are taking steps to actively alleviate that debt by applying to scholarships and grants. Here are five helpful tips that students can use to get a free college degree.
Penny Thots offers tips on 10 Ways to Slash Your Fitness Costs as Well as Your Waistline on Penny Thots suggesting ten alternatives to a pricey gym membership. I agree and suggest that you exercise at home to save on gym subscriptions.
Everything Finance offers Top 10 Frugal Tips – Part One on Everything Finance Blog highlighting that two of the best ways to get ahead financially are to earn more and to spend less. If you are looking to spend less and to embrace frugality, these 10 tips that will help you keep more money in your pocket to grow your wealth.
Katie describes How to set up a home office on the cheap on The Discount Coder Blog. Converting a spare bedroom to a home office can do absolute wonders for any young business. Productivity increases, staying organised becomes easy and it’s obviously very cost effective. But the price of setting up a home office can spiral out of control.
Mike Collins asks Are You Frugal or Just Cheap? on Wealthy Turtle commenting that whilst there’s nothing wrong with living a frugal lifestyle. But if any of these money saving tactics sound familiar, you’re practising frugal living. You’re cheap.
Jon the Saver asks if you Can You Become a One-Car Household? on Free Money Wisdom stressing that if you’re interested in cutting your living expenses radically the best way to do that is by eliminating big expenses. I’ve looked at getting rid of a second car in the household to save money.
Travel & Leisure
Paul Vachon gives tips on How to Travel Cheap at the 2012 London Olympics on The Frugal Toad explaining that although using London and the Olympics in the same sentence almost always means expensive. You would be surprised how cheaply you can stay in London. I’ve aslo got some tips for saving money in London.
Emily’s post Strategies for Paying for Vacations on Evolving Personal Finance shares five suggestions for how to pay for a vacation, including how they paid for theirs in the past and what they have found to be the best way.
Sustainable PF’s post Staycation: Better for Your Wallet and the Environment on Sustainable Personal Finance describes how staying home during your time off can save you money and the planet.
Jester’s post Myrtle Beach – The Perfect Affordable Family Vacation on The Ultimate Juggle explains some of the reasons why his family likes to vacation down in Myrtle Beach for their primary vacation.
In Ashley’s post Summer Plans on Money Talks Coaching she explains that although her kids are on summer break and she usually talks about it quite a bit leading up to the last few days of school, she didn’t this year.
Debt & Loans
Kevin’s post I Paid Off $33,850 in Student Loans in 4 Years on Thousandaire tells us that althought he graduated from college four years ago with almost $34,000 in student loan debt, he’s paid off the last dollar and is now saving for a house.
CF discusses Tackling my student loans posted at The Outlier Model saying that Student Loan debt is on of the most common forms of debt. Having a clear plan going in is key to achieving financial success.
CCS poses the question What is Credit Utilization and Why it Matters posted at Credit Card Smarts explaining that an important factor in your credit score is your credit utilization. See what credit utilization is and why you need to keep track of it.
Ben Demeter’s post about Getting a Loan Without A Credit Score Using Alternative Credit on CreditCardAssist.com Blog explains how alternative credit, which utilizes bank statements, rent, utilities and even child support payments, can be used by consumers to establish credit for a loan who lack a traditional credit score.
Passive Income Earner highlights How To Know If You Have A Debt Problem? on The Passive Income Earner explaining that many people make far more money than they really need to live. However, somewhere between lifestyle inflation and the requirement to make large minimum payments on debt balances each month, many who earn a sizable income are struggling to make ends meet and are living paycheck to paycheck. Debt is an issue that those in all income brackets must contend with.
Corey’s post 7 Ways To Pay Off Your Student Loans Quickly on 20s Finances explains that he is an advocate of paying off your student loans quickly. With the average graduates student loan bill coming in around $24,000, many feel overwhelmed with the standard 10 year repayment plan. This post is designed to show you ways how you can make a big dent in your student loan balance and get rid of the debt quickly.
Crystal’s post How in the World Did I Get Here? on Budgeting in the Fun Stuff questions if anyone been transparent about how they got into their massive debt? She shares some of her story regarding her downward spiral into endless debt.
Wayne’s post on How to Work Your Way Out of Debt Quickly on Young Family Finance highlights that many young families are struggling to get out of their debt. As a result of college expenses and traditionally lower salaries, overcoming large amounts of debt can be quite the challenge.
Jason’s post on How to Invest in Consumer Debt on Work Save Live describes how many investors are familiar with investing in corporate and government debt through the purchase of bonds. Bonds are often attractive because they’re considered one of the safer types of investments. This is especially true of U.S. Treasury bonds which are guaranteed by the U.S. government.
Dividend Growth Investor’s post Dividend Investors – Do not forget about total returns on Dividend Growth Investor discusses how dividend investors often get into the strategy because the dividend component of total return is more stable. This makes it an ideal strategy for retirees to live off dividends and not be dependent on short term market fluctuations
Hank’s post Killer Stock Characteristic #4 – Dividend Growth Rate on Money Q&A explains how a company’s dividend growth rate is a good proxy for how much their share price should also grow. A company’s share price is the present value of all its future cash flows.
Kanwal’s post asking Are You An Investor Or Speculator? on Simply Investing asks if are you an investor or speculator? Or are you a speculator who thinks that they are investing? Over the years he’s heard people say things like – I’m going to play the stock market and gamble a few hundred dollars on this stock.
Don’s post on How To Invest When You Are Scared of The Stock Market on MoneySmartGuides highlights the many stories about the younger generation being scared to invest in the stock market because they started to invest at the peak of the market back in 2007 and then lost almost everything.
Earning a Living
PITR’s post 3 Lessons to Boost Your Positional Leadership on Passive Income To Retire discusses how most people need to begin a career at the bottom of the totem pole, then work their way over the years to a more prominent position in the company.
Philip talks about Summer Jobs for Students on PT Money Personal Finance in which he shares 5 of the summer jobs he worked when I was younger and offers 10 more to consider, along with reasons why students should get a summer job and what to do with their money when they’ve earned it.
Daniel wrote the post Would You Rather Have One-Time or Passive Income? on Sweating the Big Stuff as he believes that many personal finance bloggers have an unhealthy obsession with creating passive income. It sounds great, but they’re giving up lots of money. I also have a problem with some blogger’s definition of passive income. To me it means not having to do anything for the money to come to you e.g. a pension. It doesn’t mean being a blogger and working for hours every day.
Kyle flags up a Smart Phone App Pays You to Look at Displays While Shopping on The Penny Hoarder. He thought that there must ibe an app that pays you while you shop? As it turns out, there is such an app and its called EasyShift.
A Blinkin’s post How To Get A Job and Girlfriend on Funancials asks if you have ever been without a job? He’d heard that, aside from losing a child, being unemployed is one of toughest experiences to go through. If you have been fortunate enough to have not experienced this anguish, let’s find another angle.
Aloysa gives tips on How to Negotiate A Raise From an Insider’s Point of View on My Broken Coin. She admits that while supervising people can be a very rewarding experience, it also can be frustrating, sometimes even maddening. Some people like to ask for advice or direction they need to take with a project.
YFS’s My 1000 Dollar Budgeting Mistake and How You Can Avoid it on Your Finances Simplified talks about budgeting. He relates a story about budgeting mistakes. By this time he reckons that you should know how to budget. But, if not, he’ll create another video.
Beating Broke’s post Ramit’s Big Wins Hype on Beating Broke acknowledges that although a budget, cutting back on lattes, and pinching pennies can, and does, work. It isn’t instant. It takes hard work and dedication.
Ashley Lennon offer advice on How to do a Wardrobe Audit on Skint in the City illustrating how to audit your wardrobe to save money on new clothes and find new uses for old clothes and cut clothes bills, whilst getting organised.
Jason presents Emergency Fund Goodness, Reasons #491,207 and #491,208 posted at Live Real, Now. Thanks to my wife’s governmental job, she got a surprise, unwelcome, unpaid, three-week vacation. Our emergency fund hasn’t grown to the size that can handle this, but it is enough to take the edge off for a couple of weeks.
Miranda Marquit writes about How to Negotiate Your Bills on ReadyForZero Blog. When you receive a bill that seems impossible to pay, you may feel like the situation is hopeless. However, you may be surprised which bills you can get a break on. This article will help you understand how to negotiate various types of bills.
Jen presents Avoiding Having Kids Costs Money Too posted at Master the Art of Saving. There are a ton of posts out there that talk about the cost of having kids, but not many or any about the cost of not having kids. While we already have a kid and know how expensive it is, our goal since then has been to not have any more kids. Oddly though, avoiding having kids can still cost money.
Peter is a fan of Buy Quality to Save Money in the Long Run described on Bible Money Matters. His philosophy on the quality vs. price debate is to find a middle ground. On the things he uses on a daily basis or that vary greatly in quality, he buys quality. For the the things that don’t matter much, or that are throw away items he tends to go the cheaper route.
Janet asks Could You Be Better Off with an Apprenticeship Instead of University? on Credit, Eh. One of the up and coming ways to reduce the costs of an education is to seek an apprenticeship, rather than a degree program. You develop a marketable skill, but without the cost of attending university.
Teacher Man presents TFSA vs RESP Contributions posted at Young And Thrifty. I had to look up what these meant. They’re Canadian tax efficient ways to save. A TFSA is a Tax Free Savings Account and a RESP is a Registed Education Savings Plan.
Odysseas gives tips on What to Do if You Lose Your Wallet posted at Wallet Blog where he highlights that until it’s gone, most of us don’t even realize how much of our life we carry in our own wallet. If it goes missing, you should know what to do. If you haven’t lost it, you should still know what to do.
Amanda L Grossman describes how We Were Swindled, in Our Own Home posted at Frugal Confessions. She relates how they were swindled and managed over 45 minutes they literally had to escapee to the top of their two-story home and shut the door to mher office to regroup. She asserts that she is not even close to exaggerating.
Suba talks about Professional Profiles: Sarah, the International Grad Student on Broke Professionals. Her best friend earned admission to graduate school across the pond. Turns out, she’s not the only American flocking to Britain for business school.
101 Centavos’ post What You Know Ain’t So on 101 Centavos draws attention to the fact that what you know may not necessarily be so. Conventional wisdom has a conventional way of being frequently turned on its head. Myths get bust.
Steve Zussino’s post ponders What’s next for the US – A recession or a recovery? on Canadian Personal Finance. What would happen if the US economy were to experience another recession similar to the scale of the Great Economic Depression, 1929? Wouldn’t your life change dramatically? The unemployment rate would rise from 9% to 25%, economic output, as measured by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would drop by 25%, from $14 trillion to $10 trillion.
Jeremy’s post How Breaking Up Is The Best Kick In The Ass Money Can Buy on Modest Money. He reckons that although feel your world has been turned upside down. when a relationship ends you are and it is tough not to just focus on the negatives of the situation. Really though, it is the ideal time to improve pretty much every aspect of your life. I’m not sure I agree with him, a lot of people are worse off financically after a splitting up, as they have to pay for two households instead of one.
Roshawn Watson gives 10 Reasons To Seek Abundance on Watson Inc asserting that the reasons for seeking abundance transcend pure indulgence. Building significant wealth will not only revolutionize your life but may also impact the lives of those in your circle, your community, and beyond. Here are 10 reasons to seek abundance.
Steve’s post Filing Taxes Online is just One Step towards Financial Responsibility on 2010 Taxes acknowledges that they have done their best to teach you about financial responsibility.
Ross Garner wonders if Do Cooperative Networks Make Credit Unions More Convenient? on Wallet Hub Blog If you’re trying to choose between a bank and a credit union you need to know about credit union cooperative networks.