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I know ‘stupid’ is a naughty word.  Thank goodness none of my nieces or nephews can read. 

Surely there are more than 5 stupid things you can do with your money, but I’d be writing forever. 

1. Ignore it.

I know many adults who are still intimidated by the terms finance, budget, and fiscal.  I’m still a little hazy on fiscal.  It’s all too common that people avoid thinking about their finances altogether.  If you ignore your yard, it’s still going to grow.  One day you’ll look outside and realize that it’s a jungle out there.  A little, consistent maintenance over time can result in a backyard escape you can be proud of (the yard is a metaphor for your finances, smooth, I know). 

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Article publié pour la première fois le 26/08/2010


Five Skills to Save You $$$: Creativity

The fifth, and final of our skills that will save you money is a little different than the first four skills. While this skill tends to exist mostly in the realm of the abstract, it is no less important than the first skills we covered, and it is arguably the most important skill. This skill is something we all have in varying degrees. It is something many people believe cannot be improved upon (but they are wrong — I’ll tell you why in a minute). This oh-so-important skill is creativity.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Great, we come here looking for practical advice that will ultimately save us some of our hard earned cash and here comes Mrs. Bleeding Heart to tell us all about how all we need is love, creativity, rainbows, and unicorns. Thanks for nothing!” Please stick with me on this because, while creativity is more of an abstract skill, it yields real world results. Creativity is the one skill you can learn that will boost and inform all of the other skills you have that can, or possibly could, save you money. By learning to creatively look at your problems from different angles, you will be able to concoct new solutions to those problems. Creativity is what will help you stretch your last dollar to feed you for a week. Creativity is what will help you find new ways to fix your car or make that small repair on your house. Creativity will help your outlook on your financial situation and life in general. When it comes to those skills that will help you through life, more than any other, creativity is king.

The problem with creativity is that it has something of a P.R. problem. People seem to think that you either have creativity or you don’t, like it’s a genetic problem you have no control over. This is why people tend to divide the world into right and left brain people. They feel that creativity is a part of who you are. The truth of the matter is that while creativity may come easier to some people, it is something we all have. It would be next to impossible to function on this planet without some creativity. And, because we all have creativity, it is also something that can be made to grow. It is truly like most muscles, it can be exercised and it can be made stronger. By working on your creativity, you can make it not only stronger, but you can make it a key part of your life skill arsenal.

So this begs the question: how do you increase your creativity. Like I said in the first of this series of articles, the purpose of these articles is not to teach you how to gain these skills, its merely to show you what skills to acquire. That being said, the following are a few places to search to learn to grow your creativity.

John Cleese’s talk on creativity. Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to watch this video. It is easily found through a simple Google search for “John Cleese creativity.” In this talk John Cleese (of Monty Python fame) argues that creativity is not a talent but rather a way of operating. He then explains how to operate in a creative way. It is full of good advice for upping your creative prowess.

TED talks on creativity. In recent years, TED has become a valuable resource for learning about big ideas. Luckily, creativity is one of those big ideas. Go to their website and search for talks about creativity. You can learn everything you wanted to know about the subject and more here.

Google search “33 Ways to Stay Creative” and read the list that pops up. I saw this a couple of years ago and it gives some great ideas for building your creativity. Plus, quite of a few of these suggestions sound like a lot of fun.

What do you think about creativity? How do you build your creative muscles? Is creativity really that important to saving money? Let me know what you think below.

Article publié pour la première fois le 03/06/2013

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3 Reasons Why We Keep & Buy Crap

Last week I told y’all how I’m helping the folks purge their closets, drawers, and cabinets of childhood “relics” that the sisters and I had left behind (either intentionally or unintentionally). 

Apart from some interesting finds – like my 5th grade autobiography/political manifesto (because of which I am now likely on some sort of government watch list; crazy crazy stuff) – most of my discoveries have been, as expected, crap. 

Some of the found items we could have never meant to leave behind, i.e. Hungry Hungry Hippos.  Many of the things, however, we simply couldn’t bring ourselves to throw away; but that didn’t mean we wanted them in our houses either.

So why do we keep junk?  Better yet, why do we buy it in the first place?


1. We are Delusional

I found 20 puzzles in one closet, several of which were unopened.  Did we delude ourselves into believing that we could be some sort of puzzle-doing maniacs?!  No one has ever done that many puzzles before, it’s impossible, which is perhaps why our puzzle goals were soon abandoned.

Puzzles left us with nothing but broken dreams and an incredibly cramped closet-space.

This is the type of crap that you buy because you envision it somehow changing/ enhancing your life in an unrealistic way and/or you overestimate how committed you will be to using it. 


If I buy this How to Learn Italian book, I will practice it every night.  Pretty soon, people will start recognizing how very cultured and fancy I am.  Then, Italians everywhere will embrace me as their own and give me free spaghetti. 

Anyone want to learn how to speak Italian?  I’ve got a book for ya.

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Article publié pour la première fois le 02/11/2010


Welcome to the 242nd Festival of Frugality!

Franklin This week’s edition is dedicated to none other than Poor Richard himself, Mr. Benjamin Franklin.  Although mostly famed for lacking the sense to come in out of the rain, Franklin played a major role in establishing industry, thrift and frugality as American values. 

Poor Richard’s Almanack was published from 1732 to 1758 and offered various forms of entertainment including arbitrary weather predictions (weather was very amusing in 1732) and, more importantly, sound financial advice in the form of sayings and poems.  This week enjoy some of our frugal heritage!

Photo Credit: Cliff1066

Editors Picks:

An ounce of wit that is bought,
Is worth a pound that is taught

BWL presents Frugal Home Repairs: Do It Yourself Or Call A Professional?

Squirrelers presents How Saving $1 Can Really Save You Over $10

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Budget Management Software Options

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Article publié pour la première fois le 10/08/2010


A Spouse’s Guide to: Cannon AFB

Squash copy  

Clovis Top 3:

1. Grow a vegetable garden, you won’t believe the yield.

2. Be open and give the people and the area a chance.  This is a great base, the best one for us thus far as far as fellowship.

3. Garage/estate sales are great around here; if you hold one, you will probably get sold out!

4. Enjoy rodeos, carnivals, the Balloon Fest in Albuquerque; all that small town living has to offer.

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Article publié pour la première fois le 27/06/2010

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Short Term Lending Options

Every now and then there may be a time when you need to get access to money quickly for a short period of time. This is where short term lending can be especially helpful. It is there in case of emergencies, and isn’t designed to sustain you for a long time. A good example is an unexpected car repair. Here are some options if you need to get a short term loan.

Cash Advance

The first option you may want to consider is using the cash advance feature of your credit card. Many people don’t realize that most credit cards do offer cash advances up to a certain amount. All you have to do is go to an ATM machine with your credit card and get cash. The interest rate on this cash is usually about the same as your normal credit card, but be aware that some cards do charge fees or higher rates.

Payday Loans

Another option could be payday loans. Unlike using the cash advance feature, for a payday loan, you must go to an actual lender. The lender will then have you write them a check for the amount you need to borrow plus interest and fees. If you don’t pay back the loan, the lender can cash this check. Payday loans typically have much higher interest rates than traditional cash advances, and they usually have more fees associated with them as well.

Peer to Peer Lending

Peer to peer lending is a relatively new option for getting a short term loan. There are now several websites where you can post a description of what you will use the loan for, and individuals will bid on your loan. Based on your credit rating and other factors, investors will choose the rate and amount. If your loan is funded, you will get the amount wired to your bank account within a few days.

Peer to peer lending can be great for larger sums, and they usually have longer repayment periods as well. However, they tend to be slower than the other options, so if you need immediate cash, they may not work.

Article publié pour la première fois le 02/06/2012

photo by: zingbot