Thursday, February 25, 2010
In this economy....
my husband lost his job, but accepted a new one at a great company.
I have begun paying myself first.
we bought our first house.
In this economy...
I have become an expert coffee maker.
I have learned more about myself.
I am very grateful for what I have.
In this economy...
saving money has meant being better to the environment.
I put a priority on taking better care of my health.
shopping is more fun when there are coupons and sales.
How would you use "in this economy" in a sentence? Have you gained anything in this recession?
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
As I was going through my mail the other day, I noticed a letter from ING Direct and decided to check them out. Their interest rates are double that of my current bank for a savings account! ING Direct is purely online - they don't have any branches - so depositing and transferring money is all done via the internet, phone or mail. But the good news is they pass what they don't spend on brick-and-mortar locations to you!
Although I ended up signing up for an account with them, I'm not saying you should. What I am saying is you should think about taking a few minutes to evaluate if your money is working as hard in your bank accounts as you think it should be. How do you know? Well, if you sign up for Mint.com, it automatically shows you how you could be saving money and exactly how much you'd save over the course of a year! If you aren't signed up with Mint, I'd suggest checking out your local credit union, smaller regional banks, or online banks, like ING Direct or Ally. What was the satisfaction with "other" banks (i.e. those I just listed)? Over 80 percent!
Are you happy with your banking situation? Have you recently moved your money?
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
So I looked up the definition of cheap, and it states what I thought it would - stingy and miserly. On the other hand, frugal means prudently saving or not wasteful. I would say that I'm more of the "frugal" than "cheap" but I love this quiz from Moolanomy - it discusses your dining out habits, your shopping habits, and even your gift receiving habits. I got 25 points - I'm definitely frugal!
After taking the quiz, what was your score? If there's a way for you to save more money, what are your solutions?
Monday, February 22, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Apologies for the lack of posts this week - Frugal Femme and I have been a little busy! No matter - here are your Friday Deals!
*Cefiore wants you to share the love with your sweetheart. FREE froyo when you buy one! Participating locations only, and I think you may have to print out this little graphic below...
*Martin and Osa are having 20% off, plus FREE shipping, now through Monday! Don't forget to add the promotional code 34197998 when you checkout online.
*Bath and Body Works is having a Presidents' Day Sale - buy 2 get one FREE aromatherapy, 5 for $5 pocket hand sanitizers, and more! I'm going to get their pillow mist. I love that stuff!
*FREE 10 day sample of Bare Essentials BareMinerals foundation! Redeem this coupon at a Sephora inside a JC Penney or order online at Sephora.com with code BEBARE for the original and BEMATTE for the matte foundation.
*50% off spring styles at Ann Taylor LOFT, now through Monday! Wow!
*Buy one, get one FREE pant offer at New York and Company!
*FREE digital copy of Sister Hazel's new album, 20 in '10 on Amazon.com. How good of a song was "All for You"?
*And if you need a place to go to dinner this weekend, Restaurant.com is having 80% off their usually cheap gift certificates - you pay $2 for $25 worth of food when you enter HEART at checkout.
Have a fantastic Valentine's Day weekend, and if you're lucky enough to have a 3 day weekend, enjoy it! Cheers!
Monday, February 8, 2010
But just because it's not one of my favorite holidays, that doesn't mean I don't celebrate it. In fact, I like to celebrate it by spending time, not money. Does it mean you love someone more because you spent more money on them? Of course not.
Friday, February 5, 2010
*FREE sample of 2 Breathe Right strips! I've always wondered if these worked...now I might give them a try!
*Keeping on the snack food, participating Starbucks stores will be handing out samples of Kind Bars today as part of incorporating healthier foods in their stores. Yum! Thanks to Fantabulously Frugal for the deal!
*J. Crew is still having a good deal on sale merchandise - up to 40%! Crazy! I purchased some items a few days ago when it was 30% off, thinking it wouldn't get much better! Wish I waited!
*Friends and Family discount at Express this weekend! Save 20% in-store or online with this coupon.
*And I'm sure you've probably seen the commercials - I listen to anything Taye Diggs says - but you can get a FREE ticket to Disneyland by volunteering! Here's the site where you can get information on eligible agencies/opportunities and other rules.
Have a great weekend! Cheers!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Then, by adding different spices, veggies and meat, you have completely different meals! I love concepts like this - adding a few ingredients to make something new. Check out the old post from my favorite Women's Health article!
How about you? Any multitasking recipes you have? I'd love to hear them!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
- 10%-Long Term Savings: usually you won't touch this money. It's for emergencies are a very large purchase like a down payment or remodel. Of course, you never want to deplete your long term savings either, so make sure you still leave some for emergencies.
- 10%-Short Term Savings: first paying down any debt aside from a mortgage, then for vacations, Christmas presents, vacations, new appliances, etc.
- 10%-Fun Money: Anything you want to do during the month, eating out, going to a show, new clothes.
You take what is leftover from your 60% after fixed costs, utilities, car insurance, mortgage/rent and divide into three envelopes. Gas/transportation, Food/household supplies and Entertainment.
So far the key seems to be having that savings money deducted at the beginning of the month, so you get use to seeing only your 60%.
We're playing with this new system and will let you know how it goes. So far it's upped what we're saving by a lot. I'll keep you posted about any tips/tricks along the way. Has anyone tried a similar system?
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
1) How do you spend: cash, debit, or credit?
I am all about using credit cards RESPONSIBLY. This means paying off in full every month, and deciding what credit card suits your needs and lifestyle. I think credit cards are convenient, they help me track my finances better AND you get cash back or other rewards. Nice!
2) Do you bank online? Do you use a financial aggregator (Mint, Wesabe, etc)?
I am completely paperless when it comes to banking. I pay bills online with Chase, although I'm thinking about moving my money. I also have accounts set up with USAA (love them!). And you've definitely heard me rave about how much I heart Mint. It's so easy to track your spending and also figure out if there are better options for your banking needs.
3) What recurring bills do you set on autopay?
I only have my car payment, cell phone bill, and cable bill on autopay. Everything else fluctuates a little too much for me to have it on autopay and I think it keeps me more on top of my budget when I look at my bills every month. (Another plug for Mint - it reminds you of due dates!)
4) How are your finances automated?
The only automated part of my finances is funding my 403b. Other than that, I move money from one account to another as it's needed. I'm trying to keep just what we need with a tiny cushion in checking while putting the rest (and promising not to touch it) in savings.
5) Do you use checks? If so, how often?
Our joint checkbook is so old, it has our previous address on it...and we moved almost 4 years ago! My personal checkbook has my COLLEGE address on it. Wow. Needless to say, I'm not a big check person. Just rent. And scratch paper.
6) Where do you keep your short-term savings?
I keep short-term savings in a savings account; however, I am thinking about switching to a no-penalty CD, which have higher interest rates than most savings accounts.
There! As I mentioned, I would love to hear how you all keep it together - respond in the comments with your 6 answers!