What Questions Do you Ask a Potential Employer?

Mr. Stapler was offered a job! I had a lot of questions for the company. He didn't ask them during the interview because it's not really appropriate to ask about vacation time while simultaneously assuring your interviewer that you'll work hard. Awkward! I once interviewed when I was four months pregnant (I could hide it the first time around), and I didn't ask about maternity leave until I was offered the job. After getting the offer, and before accepting, I dropped the bomb: I'm due in five Read more [...]

STAPLES July 20: Get out your School Supplies List

The upcoming week at Staples isn't nearly as great as the deals this week. So, if you're on the fence about stopping in and picking up the free Sharpies and Mastercard Moneymaker, this upcoming ad might change your mind. Here we go ... stock-up prices on school supplies are HERE! You don't have to use them for school, of course. I'm sure you can find another use for free Sharpies. There is also a Mastercard moneymaker, which is always a nice bonus to visiting your local Staples store. As an Read more [...]

Staying On Budget With Growing Kids {How to Get Great Deals on Great Clothes}

If there's one thing you know for sure about your kids, it's that they will grow out of their clothes. When they're little, it feels like you're constantly re-arranging their drawers because things don't fit anymore. When they get a little older, you switch clothes out every year or so; or maybe you switch them out with the seasons. All those clothing purchases can add up if you're not careful. But with some strategic shopping, you can stay on budget with your growing kids. As with many things Read more [...]

STAPLES July 12: Back to School Savings!

Here we go ... stock-up prices on school supplies are HERE! You don't have to use them for school, of course. I'm sure you can find another use for free Sharpies. There is also a Mastercard moneymaker, which is always a nice bonus to visiting your local Staples store. As an added bonus, Staples is offering a coupon for $5 off of a $25 purchase. Also, they are offering 25% off of all school supplies purchased when you buy a new backpack. That means that the freebies will be moneymakers after Read more [...]

The Debt Payoff Setback Blues

I am feeling so defeated. Somehow, my budget projection for the month grossly underestimated our credit card bill. I think I just forgot to update the current balance on the credit card in my accounting spreadsheet. Then I got the statement, and because of the billing cycle, TWO daycare payments are on the bill! That means that the $1000 student loan payment we were slated to make today isn't going to happen. And neither is the $3500 payment at the end of the month -- looks like it will be a Read more [...]

How Much Do I Need to Retire?

How much do you need to retire? The typical answer posits some sort of formula based on how much you earn now. It then tries to calculate how much money you need to put away in order to amass that annual salary by the age of 65. But if you start the calculation a different way, the answer changes significantly. Instead of asking yourself how much you spend now, ask yourself how little you could spend and still be happy. If you need less money to live on each year, you don't need to save for Read more [...]

July 2014 Financial and Mid-Year Goal Updates

2014 is halfway over. What kind of progress have we made in 6 months? The goals I set for 2014 are: Earn as much in 2014 as my prior job’s annual salary. Uh-oh. Not even close -- I've only made 33% of my 2013 income so far this year. Hopefully it will get better, but I will be going without two months of paychecks while I'm on maternity leave. So, I better get on it! Pay off two student loans ($24,000). So far, the loan in our crosshairs is only down by $2,000. We plan to make another payment Read more [...]

STAPLES July 6: Back To School Sales Have Begun

Staplers, it may feel like school just got out, but July and August are the months to watch for awesome deals at Staples -- and they have just begun. It started off slowly last week, with the announcement of their 110% Pricematch Guarantee. Now they have started slashing prices on school supplies. But if you're in no hurry to buy pens, markers and highlighters, I would wait this out and see what they have to offer in the next month -- you may be able to get them for free or for $0.50. Buying a Read more [...]

How I Efficiently Pay Bills and Save Money — Plus, a Bonus for You

Although there are some parts of my personal and professional life that are not exactly efficient, my banking is fully optimized. My checking account automatically sends a paper check to my landlord on the same day of each month, I can pay multiple bills at the same time with an electronic transfer at no additional charge, and my savings account receives an automatic deposit on the same day each month. I first started out with Capital One 360 in 2002, back when it was ING Direct and only offered Read more [...]

STAPLES June 29: Pricematching Just Got Better!

Staplers, you know I love to pricematch at Staples -- especially when Staples offers a bonus on top of the pricematch. Well, it just got better ... Staples is now offering a 110% pricematch guarantee. What does that mean for all of us pricematchers? Not only do we get the best price available, but it's discounted by 10% and then, if there's a bonus, we get that too. Beautiful. Here's an example: This week Staples is offering a $15 gift card to iTunes or Starbucks if you buy $75 of HP ink Read more [...]