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Facebook Yard Sales: Worth the hassle?

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Have you heard of Facebook Yard Sales? They are (usually) private Facebook groups (you have to request to be added) that are organized by region. People post items that they would like to sell and respond to inquiries on Facebook. I usually sell my baby gear at semi-annual consignment sales, but there are some downsides. For someone trying to declutter her basement yesterday, it’s frustrating to wait for the sale to roll around twice a year. It also involves a lot of pricing and tagging at Read more […]

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Tips for Finding the Best Deal on Tax Preparation Software

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(Please note that there are affiliate links in this post.) I love collecting the tax forms that arrive in my mailbox every January. Does that make me strange? OK, I know I’m a bit of an oddball. I like to do my taxes every year. It’s a fun puzzle to see how much income we had the year before and plug in our deductions, credits, and exemptions. I love to see how that little (or large!) number at the top of my screen changes. Year after year, I also seek out the best prices for TurboTax. Read more […]

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Why I Don’t Want an Emergency Fund

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We used to have a $20,000 Emergency Fund. This was back in 2009, before Little Stapler arrived. We were both working full time, spending little, and banking $3,000 a month. No, that’s not a typo: We saved $3,000 a month! I like to think of them as the financial glory days. Although I do wish that we were socking away that savings at our student loan debt, I appreciate that we were able to pay cash for our second car — a used 2006 Toyota Prius. Until that point, we had been commuting together Read more […]

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January 2016 Net Worth Update: We’re Getting Closer to Zero!

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Don’t worry — I wasn’t hiding anything from you when I didn’t post a net worth update last month! I was just too busy making Christmas happen for my family. Now that the holiday season has died down, I have a chance to regroup and debrief about December. Plus, I think it’s really important to look at the year ahead and set some goals and priorities. I’m thrilled to report that we moved the needle even closer to zero last month! I’m also going to do quarterly financial updates instead of monthly Read more […]

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Our 2015 Financial Goals Check-in and 2016 Goals

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It’s that time of year … time to reflect on the year behind us and look forward to the year ahead. Setting goals and priorities has become an annual tradition here at Stapler Confessions. How did We do on Our 2015 Goals: Save for a down payment: SUCCESS!  A combination of an up market and some serious belt-tightening allowed us to put down $50,000 on our home purchase. This is $10,000 more than we had at the beginning of 2015, and most importantly — it allowed us to avoid a rate increase Read more […]

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Frugal Holiday Check-in

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My son just reminded me that there are only 10 day until Christmas. To him, that seems like for.ever. To me, it seems a little too soon. I have been steady checking items off of my “to do” list and attempting to stay on budget. Last year, I admitted to having some frugal holiday failures. Thankfully, I learned from those mistakes and won’t repeat them again this year. First, I am done buying gifts. I have completed the shopping for everyone on my list. So now I have to stop. No shopping in Read more […]

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New Grads with Student Loans: You Can’t Afford to Make This Mistake

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Student Loan Hero is sponsoring this post. They asked me to check out their site and provide an honest review for my readers. What I found was a useful tool for student loan borrowers — particularly new graduates. My biggest financial mistake was not to take out student loans, but to ignore them for too long. With $200,000 in student loans, I thought that paying them off forever was a foregone conclusion. Then I read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and met the frugal folks over on Mr. Read more […]

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9 Lego Gifts for Every Kid and Every Budget

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I never understood Legos when I was young. Maybe I was frugal even then, but I thought it was a waste of money to get such an expensive set of bricks that could build only one thing; and then, after you built it, what do you do with it? I thought you only used each Lego set once, and that seemed like a waste. Sure, I would love to put together the Lego castle set, but somehow I knew that I was never going to get such an extravagant toy. What was I going to do with it after building the castle? Twenty Read more […]

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Best Baby Gifts Under $20

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      All babies are different, but when both of my children have the same favorite books and toys, I put those books and toys at the top of my gift list for other kids. It should come as no surprise, then, that I have bought several glowing seahorses and peekaboo books in the past few years. Here are a few more of my “go to” gifts for kids: (Links to Amazon are affiliate links. Your purchases through those links support this blog. Thank you!) Favorite Infant Books: Baby Read more […]

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November Financial Update: Two Years of Financial Updates!

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This month marks the 25th month of exposing our personal finances. It’s hard to believe how far we have come in the past two years. Despite being laid off and cobbling together an income for the majority of the time, we increased our net worth by over $75,000. Wait a minute. Let’s absorb that number. We increased our net worth by over $75,000.  The entire time — and I mean the entire time — it felt like we weren’t getting ahead, just barely getting by. Our frugal dedication wasn’t painful, Read more […]