Budgeting and Saving

Five frivolous items that are really worth it

Perhaps, then, you'll understand why I found myself taken aback recently by an email that said: "You talk a lot in your content about the smart and practical things to do with money.  However, when people do come into money, they are going to 'blow' some of it.  So would you share some ideas on which items are smarter choices when it comes to frivolous spending or admittedly unnecessary luxury things that just make people feel good?" I'll confess

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How to easily erase late fees

How to easily erase late fees
Why you need to ax the late fees Simply put: They're expensive. Consider the following penalties for missing a credit card payment: According to IndexCreditCards.com, issuers nationwide charge up to $39 in credit card late fees. You'll continue to receive a late fee each month that your payment is late. Default interest rates mean you can be charged at a penalty rate that is double or triple your regular rate. If you have a special balance transfer

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Reduce your risk of identity theft

Are you at risk for identity theft? Answer the following questions developed by the Denver District Attorney's Office and add up your score. I use checks for shopping and carry my checkbook with me in public (10 points). I pay bills with checks and place them in my mailbox or in a corner postal box (10 points). I do not use direct deposit or electronic transfer for paychecks, refund or insurance claim checks (10 points). I have new boxes of checks

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A five-step strategy for getting out of debt

A five-step strategy for getting out of debt
Chuck Wallace had made the decision to remove himself emotionally from his debt and the reasons he got into it. For him this became, as it should for you, a pure business venture, a matter of simply applying dollars and cents to abolish debt. Committed to putting the debt plan in place, Chuck had relinquished the idea that he was too far in and only a windfall could save him. Chuck also understood that it takes longer to get out of debt than it does

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Top 5 financial resolutions to make this year

Top 5 financial resolutions to make this year
January is a tough month when it comes to finances. We're feeling the strain of holiday spending and credit card bills need to be paid. Get budget-wise To help ease some of the sting here are a few tips to help you start the year off on solid financial footing. Try making the following resolutions for a more secure, budget-wise 2012. Introduce no-cost treats Treating ourselves is fun. It makes us feel good and it's nice to let others know you care, but

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Extreme Couponing returns to TLC

Extreme Couponing returns to TLC
The Extreme Couponing special on TLC in December had us wide-eyed and amazed at the ways so-called "super couponers" saved hundreds – even thousands – on their grocery store trips. Now, TLC is bringing Extreme Couponing back as a weekly show, starting Wed. April 6. We have to admit, the first Extreme Couponing special got us pumped to save money on our own grocery trips. We took a few of the tips and have saved a bunch of green in the process.

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Black Friday: Best money-saving retail websites and apps

Black Friday: Best money-saving retail websites and apps
No longer just the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday has evolved into a month-long campaign of meticulous planning, research and bargain hunting. With extreme deals like $300 40-inch flat-screens and free games for the new XBox Kinect at stake, there's no time for aimless meandering, turkey coma or not. Sure, there's Cyber Monday, but if you want to strike it big, you'll have to brave Friday's predawn retail assault. 'Tis the season to get your

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Saving money in these economic times

Saving money in these economic times
These are the times that try our wallets. But if you think that higher prices at the pump and the grocery store mean that saving for the next rainy day – or even your next vacation – is surely impossible, think again. With a little thought and some planning, you can develop a strategy that will allow you to save a few dollars and even have enough to make some investments in very worthwhile bargains. While it is true that "these are difficult

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Debt – The good, the bad and the downright ugly

Debt – The good, the bad and the downright ugly
Non-mortgage debt Most Certified Financial Planner practitioners recommend that no more than 10 to 15 percent of a person's take-home pay go to non-mortgage debt -- that is debt that's paid to student loans, car loans, personal loans, credit cards and so on. Just as important is carrying the right kind of debt. Good debt Good debt is generally debt that can provide a long-term financial payoff. Educational loans, either for your children or perhaps

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Preparing food at home saves money

"When you eat out or buy processed food, you also are buying the cost of the 'labor' and packaging to produce and prepare your food," said Kathy Walsten, who is part of K-State Research and Extension's Family Nutrition Program. For example, buying a quarter-pound hamburger, french fries and large shake costs about $5.50 a person. The price tag for the same food made at home is about $1.25, Walsten said. Individually wrapped granola bars cost at least

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