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Savings on Fall Fun

Fall just may be the best season of the year. Sure, people love Summer, It  is easy to love. Who doesn’t like cookouts and swimming? It’s kind of hard to beat those long lazy days of Summer. But I think that Fall puts up a good fight. Sure, the days are shorter, but the world goes through a transformation unlike any other season. Fall is associated with many of my favorite things: apples, pie, falling leaves, and crisp weather. And, while it’s easy to come up with fun cheap things to do in the Summer, I think its just as easy to enjoy those cool days of Fall. So for those looking for some cheap activity ideas, here are those I look forward to year after year. And best of all, they won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Go outside. Yes, Summer is usually associated with spending copious amount of time outside, but I think that Fall is the true season for getting outside. In large portions of the country June through August is unbearable. In the Southwest, the heat is so bad, all you can do in the Summer is hunker down in the air conditioning and pray for mercy. It is only as the Fall approaches that those in these oppressive climates can finally step outside. In these areas, Fall feels like Summer does is cooler parts of the country. As for those living in cooler climes, while Fall might mean colder weather, it also means beautiful Fall foliage and crisp air, perfect for getting outside and enjoying. Sure, you may need a sweater, but who doesn’t love sweaters? Admit it, Fall is the time to get outside. Best of all, the beauty of Fall can be enjoyed for free. Save money by simply stepping out of your front door.

Hit up the supermarket and the dollar story to get Fall decor for cheap. Fall hosts some of the best holidays of the year. Halloween and Thanksgiving provide an atmosphere and flavor to the season that can’t be beat. While celebrating these holidays can be expensive if you let them, they don’t have to be. It’s a lot of fun to go to pumpkin patches during October, but have you seen the prices they sell pumpkins at? It’s a lot of money to spend on something that will be covered in mold and wilting on the porch in a few short days. Save those dollars but simply buying your pumpkins at the supermarket and go to the pumpkin patch to simply enjoy the atmosphere. You’re really only going to the patch to enjoy some Fall activity, so do so without emptying your wallet. Also, can you tell the difference between the fake spider webs from the dollar store and those bought from Pottery Barn? Yeah, me neither. Save your money and get your fun holiday decor from the dollar store.

Take advantage of pumpkin patches and corn mazes. Despite my above advice, don’t miss out on visiting your local pumpkin patch. More often than not, pumpkin patches are a lot more than a place to buy produce. Patch owners like to give customers a full Fall experience and go out of their way to do so. Hay rides, pumpkin throwing contests, scary story telling, bobbing for apples, and a variety of other activities welcome those who venture out to your local pumpkin patch. Also, don’t forget corn mazes. For a small fee, these can provide hours of entertainment. Make sure you get a map before you venture into the corn.  Otherwise, it was nice knowing you.

It’s simple to enjoy Fall without spending lots of money. What do you do for fun in the Fall without shelling out the cash? Let me know below.


Article publié pour la première fois le 24/10/2012


Around the Interwebs – Week of July 26

Could You Live Without Your TV @ SmartMoney

How to Work With Your Spouse on the Budget @ Christian PF

Wants that Morph Into Needs @ PF Advice

Article publié pour la première fois le 31/07/2010


Time is Money – Part 3: How to Avoid Cleaning

In this third article in our series on how to save time, we look at how to save time cleaning your house.

We can all agree that when it comes to cleaning, we would all rather just not do it. Aside from its benefits as a mind-numbingly-repetitive chore, cleaning is miserable. You either have to deal with harsh chemicals that are trying to slowly kill you or “green” excuses for cleaning products that basically do little more than water and elbow grease. Reason enough to avoid cleaning completely is the bathroom. No matter how you look at it, it’s just not civilized. Here are some suggestions in getting out of cleaning and maybe saving not only time but money in the process.

Make your cleaning supplies work for you. One thing that many people forget about cleaning supplies is that they need time to work. When it comes to cleaning agents, patience truly is a virtue. Spraying on the bathroom cleaner and then immediately wiping it away does little to aid your cleaning. Stop working so hard. Apply your cleaning chemicals and step away; go read a book or something. Let them do their job. When you come back later you will see why those little bottles have the poison skull and cross bones on them – they are grime murderers. It’s all about cleaning smarter, not harder.
Buy the right cleaning supplies. There are two parts to this tip: first get the correct cleaning agent for the job. Trust me, do your research, it makes a difference. The second part is to buy cleaning supplies that take the work out of cleaning. Buy one of those shower cleaners that hang in the shower and automatically spray it down daily. Buy a cleaning puck for your toilet reservoir, or better yet, one of those gel cleaners that attach to the side of the bowl. Why scrub down your toilet and shower when you can let science do it for you!?! Taking a little time now to find helpful cleaning supplies will save you time up to your elbows is mold and mildew later.
Get a maid. Yes, I know, this hardly seems like a cheap choice, but you have to admit, it’s definitely a time saver! Honestly though, getting a maid may end up saving you money in the long run. When people usually think of getting a maid, they think Alice from the Brady Bunch – a live-in person to constantly pick up after your lazy and dirty butt. That is not what I’m advocating. Many maid services can be hired to come once a week or once a month to clean things up. Sure, you may not mind general picking up clutter, but you’d rather head-butt a ram than scrub down your kitchen. You may find it cheaper for your sanity to simply pay someone once a month and give your house a good scrub down. If you can then use that time you save not cleaning by actually making money, you’ll come out on top and you’ll have avoided some pretty nasty business (that is unless you work at one of those many dirty jobs Mike Rowe made look so cool.)
So what tips do you have for avoiding cleaning? Sound off below.

Article publié pour la première fois le 02/12/2013

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Money Carnivals

Here are the carnivals where I was featured this week!

Editors Choice! Carinval of Personal Finance @ Provident Planning – 4 Bad Deals

Festival of Frugality @ Frugal for Life – The Problem With Easy Money

Carnival of Money Stories @ Intelligent Speculator – Take This Job and Shove It?


Article publié pour la première fois le 27/08/2010


How to Get Rid of the Stuff that Haunts You

We've all got that stuff around that we wish would just spontaneously combust.  We no longer have any need/use/want for it, and yet it lingers; cluttering, bothering, haunting

My old, slower-than-molasses-in-January laptop, for example, has stalked me from Texas to Oklahoma to Texas again and now to Colorado.  Lord almighty, I'm seriously considering filing a restraining order.  Leave me alone Dell, please just leave me alone.

Over this next month, I've offered to help my parents sort through their closets and expel some of those unwanted items that have lingered for years – a way of earning my keep while Husband is tied up in another month of training until the big move.  

Seeing as how I'm already going through the process, I thought I'd share some valuable, supernatural-stuff-fighting information with y'all and save you a bit of time, space and sanity (and maybe even make you a little bit of money too). 

I ain't afraid of no ghosts.

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Article publié pour la première fois le 26/10/2010


Are you new to the world of personal finance?  Well then, hello and welcome (I think this makes me some sort of an ambassador; gee I hope we get badges, oooo or sashes.).  Right now happens to be a good time to take up an interest, perhaps even a passion in proper money management; you know, global recession, high unemployment, catastrophic national debt and all. 

Friend emailed me a great article the other day about the newly frugal souls out there, and it’s got me wondering just how many of you I’ll see around later – please stay, I hear we might be getting badges!

Here are some of the key excerpts from New York Times article Credit for the Recovery

EVERY time the United States suffers a recession, trendspotters hasten to identify signs of frugality, extol the rediscovery of thrift and find evidence that Americans are finally (finally!) kicking their demon debt habit. We crack open history books to locate the anti-debt impulse in pre-revolutionary America and troll through quotation collections for ammunition. I’ve been around long enough to go through this exercise twice — first in the early 1990s and then in 2001 after the dot-com bust. Here we go again…

…Indeed, the savings rate, which fell into negative territory in 2005 at the height of the boom, bounced back strongly. Through 2009 and thus far in 2010, Americans have been setting aside 5 percent to 7 percent of disposable income as savings. Web sites like couponmom.com and Groupon have attracted millions of penny-pinching users.

But for this recovery to mature, broaden and persist, the greatest economic force known to mankind — the American consumer — has to get back in the game.

In an economy in which consumers account for 70 percent of activity, credit is both a vital lubricant and the indispensable fuel. Money may make the world go ’round, but credit makes the gears of commerce run smoothly.

John Maynard Keynes wrote of the paradox of thrift — if everyone saves, everyone becomes poorer, because demand for goods and services will fall. Here’s another paradox: Running up consumer debt may be a moral failure and a recipe for long-term damnation, but it also contains the roots of our short-term salvation.

Are your thoughts provoked?

Mine were.  In fact, here they are in convenient numbered formatting:

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Article publié pour la première fois le 01/11/2010