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5 Painful Ways to Save Money

It’s easy to start cutting back on those not-so-fun expenses like car insurance, your dental plan, and septic tank maintenance.  Do you have what it takes to cut where it hurts (metaphorically speaking, of course)?  Or are you just a sissy?


I absolutely advocate saving money wherever you can (you may want to rethink cancelling your dental though), and I don’t really believe that you should live like Oliver Twist if you don’t have to.  You work to maintain a certain quality of life, and so long as you are living within your means, that’s just fine with me.  For those of you that are feeling like you can’t make ends meet or should be saving more, if you haven’t considered these cutbacks, either 1. things aren’t as bad as you think, or 2. you should.

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


Five Skills to Save You $$$: Introduction

The little illustrative story I am using to begin my article this week comes from my husband…

“When I was in college I had a roommate who was always broke. No matter what activity we wanted him to participate in, he was always short on cash. Yet, despite his constant lack of money, it seemed like he was always going out to eat. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, it didn’t matter, he was constantly eating out. One day, while I was eating dinner in our apartment, I finally asked him about this apparent paradox: why are you always broke but you seem to always be able to go out to eat? He responded that he was broke because he was always eating out and he could not understand how I had money to eat and also pursue other activities. I answered that I simply cooked at home, which was substantially more cost effective than eating out every meal. He looked at me with a confused stare and said, “you know how to cook?””

This roommate was bleeding money due to one simple problem, he didn’t know how to cook. As soon as my husband showed him a few things around the kitchen, he started preparing his own meals and he was able to keep a lot more of his money in his pocket.

When one thinks about saving money, the first thing that usually pops into someone’s mind is, “how can I spend less?” Unfortunately, as most find, saving money is not only about spending less, its about making due with less. Its about taking what we already have and making it go the distance. When you boil it down to its essence, saving money is simply about knowledge. It’s about having the know-how it takes to not spend a penny when one can be saved.

It is with this basic understanding, that saving money is about knowledge, that I begin this series of articles about the five skills that will save you money. Now, these are not five random skills, because really anything could be considered a skill, but I don’t think juggling or touching your tongue to your nose will really help you out financially.  These will be, in my opinion, the top skills for saving you the most money in the long run.  I have noticed that there are certain people who are simply able to make due with less. I’ve also noticed that those people tend to be quite knowledgeable in regards to one or more specialized skills. It is my hope that by pointing out those skills which will provide the best value to you, that you will be able to invest your time and learning to create some valuable knowledge for yourself.

Now, while these articles will briefly explore these five skills, they will not serve as in-depth treatises about these topics. These articles will teach you about the skill, but they will not serve to teach you the skill. For that, you will have to do a little legwork yourself.

Lucky for all of us, we live in a special time in history. For thousands of years, information and knowledge was something only accessible by the elite. Today, we have the great knowledge equalizer, the internet. By reading articles, watching YouTube videos, and communicating in online forums, you will be amazed at how much you can learn, simply by accessing the internet. Therefore, I encourage you to learn more about the various skills we will highlight by spending some time searching the internet and building your money-saving toolbox.

So get ready readers. We are about to embark on a money-saving mission. It is my hope that as you explore and learn more about these money-saving skills, you will find yourself with more information in your brain, and consequently, more money in your pocket. Strap up, because here we go . . .

Article publié pour la première fois le 11/02/2013


6 Childish Lessons in Finance

I spent this past week in Home-Sweet-Colorado with family, including my 5 nieces and nephews, all of whom are under the age of 4.  A few meltdowns, a few dirty diapers, a few scrapped knees later, I’ve come away with some financial lessons that all children know; even if they don’t know it.  

1. When everyone else is freaking out, I will panic also.

If Jimmy screams, then Cooper will scream.  If Cooper screams, then Alex will scream.  If everyone is screaming, then I will scream too.  This form of domino chaos reminds me of those habitual stock market watchers.  Sure, if you are nearing retirement, you should be monitoring your portfolio more closely.  But if you are young, with 30+ years until you are out of the workforce, then perhaps those daily check-ups on your stocks are unwarranted, maybe even harmful; lest you liquidate everything on a not-so-hot tip or domino type panic.

2. It’s not always a fair trade.  

Someday an older kid may try to convince you to trade your working ray gun for his not-working ray gun.  He’ll try to tell you that his ray gun is way cooler, that you’re really getting the better end of the deal.  Making the most of your hard earned dollars means making informed decisions.  Do some research, take it for a test drive, take it to the mechanic (Mommy) before giving away your prized ray gun.

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Article publié pour la première fois le 19/07/2010


To Insure Prompt Service – Tips

I am a lousy tipper.  Husband is an excellent tipper.  Can you imagine a more outrageous couple?


You may have gotten the cutesy email that explains that the word ‘tips’ is actually an acronym, short for the phrase “to insure prompt service.”  Well, stop spreading that rumor, because according to Snopes, it’s not true; and it really doesn’t make any sense if you think about it.   Truth be told, I will generally, begrudgingly, tip at least 15%.  Buy why?  Today I wanted to find out where that magical 15% comes from, but as far as I could find, the waitress union pushed the initiative through a top secret campaign.  15% actually does seem like a reasonable amount for good service, but what about just OK or bad service?


Reasons Why We Might Over-Tip:

We Don’t Know It 

Many people just glance at their receipt, which is normal, because they have lives to get to.  But if you’re not careful, you may miss the automatic gratuity that can be added to parties as few as 6 in some restaurants.  Doing some quick math can ensure the proper compensation and prevent double tipping.

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Article publié pour la première fois le 02/08/2010


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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Being money smart at a casino

Everyone knows that there simply are never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that we want to do. Technology has tried to assist in this matter by making many things easily done online. This has even included the way in which we enjoy casino gambling. The creation of online casinos has made it possible to enjoy gaming from home or even other places on the go. With this new technology comes the need to make sure your gaming environment is a safe one.

When playing any mobile casino games or any casino games online, make sure your computer is protected with the most up to date virus and anti-spyware protection. Also be sure to set the option for this software to automatically update as well as perform periodic scans to ensure your computer remains free of viruses and spyware.

Use the internet to help you research a potential gambling site you may want to join. There are many independent websites out there with unbiased reviews about the site. These reviews can provide you a quick and easy indication about a site you may wish to join. If there are any fraudulent activities associated with the site, these will often be revealed after performing an internet search. If you are unable to find any information, good or bad, about a site, then you probably shouldn’t join that site.

Online casino sites will never ask you to provide them with personal information via email. If you should receive an email requesting such information, do not respond to the email. Usually these emails are phishing for you information with the intent of defrauding you. Reputable casino sites will only ask for information from the main site where they can provide encryption of your data. This would include making changes to your personal information or other sensitive account information.

Article publié pour la première fois le 01/12/2013