Friday’s Frugal Tips: Travel for Free

Today, personal finance people from around the country converge for the latest FinCon convention. Due to a pile of unfortunate circumstances, I'm not able to join them. If I were to join them, here's how I would hack it ... Open a New Credit Card. Don't you dare carry a balance on it, but open up a card that offers great mileage rewards to the city where you want to fly and open another that offers travel rewards in the form of a statement credit. I have done this for the past two FinCon conferences Read more [...]

September Financial Update: I Hate Money

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I feel overwhelmed with the prospect of never getting ahead of our expenses. It’s the danger of owning a home at the very top of our price point. We knew that times would be tight at first and have been hoping for that moment when we’ll get a little bit of financial breathing space. Now that kindergarten has started and we have eliminated the $1,000 monthly daycare expense, I had hoped to be breathing big, deep, breaths. Yet, I look at the next few months of expenses and our goals for the next Read more […]

Friday’s Frugal Tip: Find your Lost Phone with this Free App

Mr. Stapler tends to lose things that aren't nailed down. Let's just say his brain is always whirring in different directions and not paying close attention to where he left his sunglasses in the locker room or his skateboard on the train (true story). This week, he left his phone on the bus. We use Republic Wireless,* which requires you to buy your own phone. So, it's not like he's due for an upgrade any time soon. The phone is nothing short of awesome, and worth $300. You can imagine how Read more [...]

Should you Buy the Scholastic Books Even if You’re on a Tight Budget?

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Our oldest son devours books. We had to impose a three-book limit to his bedtime routine. Otherwise, he could listen to us read him books forever! I love a good deal on books. The cheapest place to get books will always be the library. My favorite place to buy children’s books is also at the library — at library booksales. Paperbacks are usually $0.50 and hardcovers $1 each. Even PaperbackSwap can’t beat those prices. So when our oldest son came home from kindergarten with four Scholastic Read more […]

Friday’s Frugal Tips: Saving Money on Vacation

This summer we took three vacations, two of which were week-long trips with extended family. A fun and frugal time was had by all. Here are some of the ways we saved money while on vacation: Rented a house and we prepared most meals there. Better yet, for our second vacation, we borrowed a summer home from a friend who lets friends stay there often. She is happy to have it "lived in" consistently, and we were happy to enjoy it! We made sure to re-stock her paper goods and any house supplies Read more [...]

August Financial Update:

Let's start with the good news: We got $500 back into our Emergency Fund! It feels so good to have a safety net again, even if it is really tiny. It's still something. I set up a new retirement account. My new job matches up to 3% of my retirement contributions, so I set up a 3% contribution. 6% per year is not a boatload of cash, but it's better than nothing -- and 3% of it is free money. That's hard to pass up. You may have noticed that there is some new advertising on the blog. It's all Read more [...]

Friday’s Frugal Tips: eBay, craigslist and Bookscouter success!

Always hustling, I did a few things to clean out the house and make a few bucks last week. Sold clothes on eBay. I bought some swim trunks for Baby Stapler last year, thinking that they would fit this summer. I was wrong. He's already outgrown them. I sold two pairs of swim trunks and a rash guard on eBay for $9.50 total. I think that's more than I paid for them last year! Tip: Although I had them on sale all summer, they didn't sell until August. I think that's because stock is low and Read more [...]

The Plutus Awards Raises an Existential Question

Last year, I was a finalist for the 5th Annual Plutus Awards. You all nominated me for the “Best New Personal Finance Blog” and “Best Frugal Blog” categories. What an honor! When I saw my competition, I was truly honored that I made it among the finalists. The well-designed blog Listen, Money Matters! won for Best New Personal Finance Blog. The fabulous Club Thrifty blog won for Best Frugality-Focused Blog. The nominations for the 6th Annual Plutus Awards are now open, and I am torn on Read more […]

Friday’s Frugal Tips: Freebies and Found Money

Here’s what I did this past week to save a few more bucks and earn a few extra bucks: Topped off my oil at Jiffy Lube for free. Did you know that if you bring your car back to Jiffy Lube within 3 months of your last oil change, they will top off your oil for free? Up to 2 quarts! That’s about a $12 value. Especially if your car is burning oil. Womp womp. :(   Grabbed free school supplies. Last year, I picked up free markers, crayons, pencils, and colored pencils. When we got Read more [...]

How To Celebrate a 2-Year Blogoversary? With a Giveaway, of course!

What a wild ride it's been the past two years! When I started this blog, I never thought that I would, in two years, be (1) cuddling my infant, (2) living in a house in my hometown, (3) practicing law in my current field, and (4) envying my husband's paycheck. All of these big life changes have impacted our personal bottom line. We went from over $100,000 in negative net worth to "only" $30,000 in negative net worth. It's still negative, but at least we're $70,000 closer to $0. To celebrate two Read more [...]