It is July already here at BMA World Headquarters, and we all know what that means. Seasonal posts about winter and Christmas.
There was Ten Ways to Keep Energy Costs Down in Winter at My Personal Finance Journey. And one of the few blogs with a comma in its title, Call Me What You Want, Even Cheap, shared a story about saving money buying Christmas gifts for relatives at a dollar store. That went well until one of the cousins complained. The post does not say what she got, but it was apparently either a “cute toiletry gift basket” or socks. We guess there is no making some people happy.
Of course, buying very inexpensive gifts is a half-measure. As Donna Freedman tells us at MSN Money in Summer’s almost here: Think Christmas, “A no-gift holiday really is an option.”
Read more »
Once again, the first Friday of the month is upon us. Time to review what we have learned about The Frugal Way in the past month.
We start with a warning. The recent IPO of a company called Facebook might inspire curiosity about its product, which is a website that may appear to be free to use. (Other than showing you a tiny bit of advertizing that could not possibly generate enough revenue to justify a market cap of $60B, never mind the loopy $100B it went public at. We digress.) In fact, it is a scourge that will “push your savings to the edge of a dangerous precipice.”
You see, in the good old days big spenders were segregated away from the frugal types and we were not led to temptation by seeing their fancy vacations and store-bought clothes. Now, in this decadent digital age, we are “connected” to all sorts of people, some of whom post pictures of themselves on Facebook. So beware.
On to happier tips.
Mother’s Day once again fell in May this year, so there was the usual round-up of frugal gifts for the occasion. Most of them, a home-made card, a phone call, etc., were pretty obvious. But Yes I Am Cheap had a list that began with lottery tickets. “Nothing says, ‘I love you’ like the chance to win money.” How true.
Read more »
Because we are always frugal here at BadMoneyAdvice global HQ, it is always Friday.
First, an apology. We have not managed to post our round-up of doings in the frugalosphere for a while. The cost of the extra electricity required to conduct our research was exceeding our frugal-by-choice budget limits. But now that we have our new-to-us steam turbine generator in the backyard up and running (it burns toilet paper tubes, egg cartons, and dryer sheets for fuel) we are back in business.
But where to start? How about birth? If you are thinking about reproducing, you might want to read Shopping Detox’s analysis Which are most frugal: cats, dogs, or babies? Spoiler alert: it is cats.
If you take that lesson to heart, you might be looking for frugal contraception. Of course, the the most frugal method is abstinence, something that comes naturally to many frugalists. But condoms are a good second choice and Wise Bread’s Mikey Rox points out that there is really no reason to pay for them.
Read more »
It seems that every month Frugal Friday includes at least one, and sometimes two, hot new frugal tips from Wise Bread. Nothing surprising in that, as Wise Bread is a multi-author powerhouse of money insight. They also maintain the official list of top personal finance blogs. (And modestly rank themselves at only #5.)
If this month’s frugalosphere performance is any indication, they may be soon moving up a few notches. I counted no fewer than four separate frugal tips worthy of passing along here.
Give kids cash for Christmas. Dollar-for-dollar, they will appreciate it more and it is much cheaper to ship and wrap than other gifts.
Make your own infused liquor. Wise Bread provides a recipe: put the thing with the flavor you want to add into your booze, let sit for a few days, and then strain the lumpy stuff out again. I never would have figured that out on my own. Most frugal suggested flavor source: leftover Halloween candy.
Read more »
There were two big and obvious seasonal trends in the frugalosphere this past month. The arrival of September means it is time to get serious about Christmas shopping. And it was, as we all know, National Coupon Month. But did you know that NCM is only 13 years old? Seems like it has always been there, but it was just in 1997 that it “was first introduced by the Promotion Marketing Association, Inc. (PMA) to heighten awareness to savings and increase coupon usage.”
In celebration, there were the usual pro-coupon posts, but also at least one in the this-has-gone-too-far vein. Coupons for Lottery Tickets – Seriously? from Provident Planning informed us that just because you get a two-for-one coupon for lottery tickets in the mail, that doesn’t mean that it is a good deal. As the author points out, the Pennsylvania Lottery (who sent out the coupons) only pays out 61% percent of their revenue in prizes, so a $2 ticket is really worth only $1.22. You would have to get a serious discount to turn that into a good deal.
Read more »