2015 Goals

I almost didn't write this post. I pretty much failed all of my 2014 goals and didn't want to even think about how to set goals that I wouldn't fail at this year. It's a wonder that I'm even trying to set goals for 2015, given the miserable failure that was my intention to achieve a few personal finance milestones. Yet, here I am -- ready to set myself up for failure again! No, no ... I won't set myself up for failure this time. And I didn't do it last time. You may remember that, in addition Read more [...]
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Will We Regret Buying a House?

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  I’m popping online for a few minutes while Baby Stapler is asleep because I have a question that has been burning through my head during the wee hours of the morning, when it’s just me and the Baby — and the Baby doesn’t have an answer for me. So, I’ve been trying to get online and ask my readers about it. For my entire adult life, I have wanted to buy a home. Yet, my life circumstances had me thinking that I would live in that area for more than three years. So, I couldn’t justify Read more […]

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January 2015 Update: Frugal Holiday Failure

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That’s right: December was not a frugal month for the Stapler household. I slid down the slippery slope of consumerism and finally hit the bottom with a big purchase. It started innocently enough, when I bought cute little boxes for my nieces’ and nephews’ ornaments. At $2.50 a pop, it seemed innocuous enough. Then I put the ornaments in there, and decided I needed to give them more. So I put $10 iTunes gift cards in there too. I got them for a big discount, but at this point I was $35 more Read more […]

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An Easy and Inexpensive Heirloom Christmas Craft

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This is the easiest Christmas craft on the internet. You can make it for under $10 and give your little kids a tree that they can decorate without breaking ornaments, electrocuting themselves, or tipping over a 7-foot-tall fire hazard. All you need are felt, scissors, and a few Command strips for hanging your new creation on the wall. Looking for something to keep your kids occupied while you do your holiday baking? Something other than asking you “Is Christmas tomorrow?” for the umpteenth Read more […]

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Frugal Gift Idea: A New Smartphone {Trust me: It’s Frugal!}

Is there someone in your household who is really difficult to shop for? Maybe he or she has “everything” or wants nothing? If this person is involved in the family finances, I’m sure he or she would want to save a bunch of cash each month. And if the person likes to use their phone not just for talking and texting, but surfing the web and taking photos, he or she would probably like a new and fast smartphone. Enter Republic Wireless, with their no-contract mobile phone plans starting at $5 Read more […]

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Frugal Holiday Gift: DIY Coffee Syrups

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‘Tis the season for giving. Finding a thoughtful and inexpensive gift can be a challenge for those of use digging out of debt. To that end, I’m featuring easy, frugal gifts throughout the holiday season.  Today’s frugal gift comes from Kate Horrell, a financial coach and blogger with a vivacious personality and who, I imagine, has a list of friends and family a mile long. She is sharing one way to make the holiday budget stretch long enough for everyone on her list — coffee syrups. They make Read more […]

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December Net Worth Update: Surviving!

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These days, I go to bed face-first. My head literally hits the pillow before the rest of me. I used to have a cat that did that, we called it the “flop,” and now I know that our cat must have been exhausted. Because that’s why I’ve been flopping into bed with a faceplant. It should come as no surprise, then, that the big news for November is that Baby Stapler has arrived! We are in love and completely exhausted. Baby’s debut did not take away from my Black Friday shopping. Mr. Stapler braved Read more […]

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Staples November 30: Discounted Gift Cards and Free Software

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Staplers, if you’re not too hung over from turkey and shopping earlier this week, you may want to stop by Staples to pick up free anti-virus software and discounted gift cards. One of the gift cards is for Lowe’s — a favorite store of mine for gift card deals around the holidays because they sell Christmas trees for a very reasonable price. If we hadn’t already gotten our tree this year, I’d be at Staples first thing in the morning to pick up a gift card at 20% off. Another sweet deal is the Read more […]

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Fun, Frugal, Family Activities During the Holidays and How to Find Them

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Every Christmas, my mom would pick out a holiday performance for the family. Over the years, we have enjoyed some real gems and endured some truly boring events. But I can’t blame my mom for getting us together and trying to cram some culture down our throats. I want to do the same thing for my family, but I’ll admit that the price of just one Nutcracker ticket makes me cringe. It’s a challenge to find inexpensive holiday activities for the entire family. Although $25 per ticket sounds frugal, Read more […]

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My 2014 Black Friday Shopping List

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Where will you be after the turkey has cooled off and the football game is on the TV while the chef is closing her eyes after a hard days’ work? Watching the game? Snoozing? Or … shopping? Fortunately, my favorite deals start long before Thanksgiving. On Sunday, at CVS and Walgreens, where I plan to stock up on toothbrushes and candy for stockings, and pocket a few bucks by leveraging some coupons. In order to make a few bucks, you have to pair the freebies with coupons. There are a lot Read more […]