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 [...]

Creating a Side Gig to Pay Off Debt

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Mr. Stapler is a hustler. A side hustler, that is. If you’re not familiar with the term side hustle, and you’re struggling with debt, you should learn all about it. It’s a new term for an old concept, one known by many names: A side gig, a second job, moonlighting, freelancing, etc. A side hustle is a way to earn money when you’re not earning money with your usual job. Why should people in debt learn all about side hustles? The key to paying off debt is not just to Spend Less, but to Earn Read more […]


How to Get Rid of Used Books (And Make Some Money Doing it!)

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Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with books? There is a lot to love about pages of words that transport you into another world or teach you how to write a software program or show you pictures of creatures you’ll never be able to see in real life. When it’s time to move, however, there’s a lot not to love about books. They’re heavy to transport. They take up a lot of space to store. They seem to multiply every time you turn around. (or … does that not happen to you?) Books Read more […]


How to Get the Best Deal Online

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  I was psyched when Groupon Coupons contacted me for the following sponsored post — because it meant that I could share some of my favorite tips for getting the best deal online while promoting a service that I actually use. Whenever we have to buy something that’s a little pricey, I will always compare prices to see how to get the lowest possible deal. Is my time really worth the $5 I’ll save in shipping or get as cashback? Probably not. But I love to comparison shop and I hate to Read more […]


July Financial Update: Bye Bye Credit Card Debt

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Did you miss my monthly financial updates? I was too embarrassed about our credit card debt to post one last month. Now that I’ve come clean about it, and we received The Check, I’m breathing a sigh of relief over most of that mess. I would like to say that we’re putting it all behind us, but I realized that, particularly until Little Stapler goes to kindergarten, we will have to watch our spending like hawks. To that end, we are using the cash envelope system for managing our spending. It forces Read more […]


The Envelope System Experiment: Balancing Our Budget

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I’m moving towards budgeting with cash, known as the “envelope system.” I’ve never used cash to pay for fluctuating expenses before, and I’m not used to having it around on a daily basis. I have used in the past to track how much of our budget is still available for certain items throughout the month. Balance the Budget Duh! A no-brainer, I know. But you can’t have a deficit budget when you’re using cash. Aside from our fixed expenses, like our mortgage, student loan payments, mobile Read more […]