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In our first Disneyland post, we discussed how to help you make the happiest place on earth feel less like the most expensive place on earth. While a trip to Disneyland can yield life-long memories, it can also make one resort to weeping on the Dumbo ride while trying to plan your escape from your creditors due to how expensive everything is. Here are more tips to help save you and your family money while visiting Mickey in his place of residence.

Avoid the souvenir trap. One of the most fun parts of a trip to Disneyland is the part you get to take home with you. No, I’m not talking about memories, those are great too, but I’m talking about the stuffed Mickey Mouse, the Goofy t-shirt, and the Cinderella dress. Kids especially love to find their own personal piece of Disneyland with which to abscond from the park. Unfortunately, Disney didn’t get to be the large wealthy corporation it is today by being dumb. Knowing that nothing can get a parent to part with their hard-earned money faster than a kid throwing a fit because they want a Buzz Lightyear doll, Disney has placed their souvenir shops right at the gates to the park knowing at the end of the day, you can’t escape until your kids have seen all the fun things to buy. Disney is also smart because they have taken all of their fun licensed items and marked the price up, ensuring you walk out the gate with your pockets a little lighter. So, with kids being kids, how do you combat this perfect storm of consumerism? The answer: with a little forethought and planning. While a stuffed Donald Duck might cost $25 in the park itself, chances are you can buy the exact same toy online or in stores outside of the park for a lot less. Before you leave for your Disneyland trip, buy whatever dolls, t-shirts, dresses, etc. you think your kids will love and give it to them when you are entering the park. Then they will have their new toy to play with while waiting in line and hopefully, you’ll avoid the souvenir trap as you leave the park. The best part: you’ll save half the cost of the toys.

Bring your own water bottles. This doesn’t seem like much of a tip, but believe me it is. Remember, everything at Disneyland is hyper-inflated price-wise. Consequently, a 16 oz. bottle of water can set you back $4-$5. FIVE DOLLARS FOR WATER PEOPLE! Don’t buy into that insanity! Bring your own water bottle into the park and bookmark “The Happiest Potties on Earth” (http://www.mouseplanet.com/potties/). This website will show you were every bathroom in the park is located. Inexplicably, many of them are hard to find. Wherever there is a bathroom, a drinking fountain is not far away. Fill up your bottle throughout the day and laugh at all the silly people paying good money for something you got for free.

Finally, because when you are talking about visiting Disneyland, time really is money, try to save time wherever possible. Want to go from one end of the park to another? Take the train! You’ll get a fun ride and get to where you’re going sooner than later. What one of those famous Dole Pineapple Whips? Time your treat with a visit to the Tiki Room. The line for the Dole Whip is shorter in the waiting area than outside. Want to splurge and dine at the Blue Bayou restaurant? Call for reservations days ahead and save time waiting in line or rushing to make a reservation in person. Remember, you only have so much time, make it count.

So there they are, some tips for saving money at Disneyland. http://kopuamonastery.org.nz/felmor/8366 Do you have some insider tips for saving money while visiting the Happiest Place on Earth? Tell about it in the comments.

Article publié pour la première fois le 07/10/2013


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

https://www.orthodonticpartners.net/mirtyew/4340 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, find more information 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 — telecharger site de rencontre 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. resource 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 — http://hivtestkit.ph/?melisa=rencontres-alternatives-facebook&f5e=83 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:

[click to continue…]

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


If there is one thing that stresses me out  about the holiday season it’s office holiday parties. These parties drive me insane.

Don’t get me wrong. I like having an afternoon off of work to hang with co-workers and eat, drink and be merry.  Even if the party is in a building conference room that’s been decorated with a certain lack of taste by a well-meaning co-worker rather than a “real place”, it’s still a nice thought. Since my state has faced serious budget cuts and we had our salaries cut 2 years ago, morale is low.  Like REALLY low. Holiday parties try to build back some of that morale and give us a chance to relax.

But my problem with holiday parties is this—there are too damn many. In the next 3 weeks, I will have 3 separate parties at work. And each one is a pot-luck. This where my problem begins.  To be clear, I do not expect my bosses to pay for our holiday parties nor do I have a problem with a pot-luck. I like to cook and bake. I enjoy both activities far more than I should.  However, when I have to shell out money for three different parties as well as devote precious time that I truly do not have to baking for each of these parties, I start to get a bit edgy.  Especially when I get 1-2 days notice.

I like to contribute to pot-lucks.  I also like to keep my budget within reason. To deal with the finances of 3 pot-lucks in 3 weeks, I’ve employed the following strategies:

  • que pensez vous du site de rencontre edarling Bring desserts. Desserts are actually my specialty so making them is fun for me. What’s also nice about bringing desserts is that they’re significantly less expensive to make than main dishes. I have a few desserts that I use and the ingredients typically cost less than $10 total.
  • rencontre entre sourd et muet Purchase ingredients throughout the year when they’re on sale. Most of the desserts I make for pot-lucks involve cake mix in one capacity or another. Throughout the year, cake mix goes on sale for $.89-$.99 per box. I usually keep 3-4 boxes of cake mix on hand because of these great prices, so when it comes to pot-luck time, I only have to pick up one or two items.
  • rencontres perpignan pyrénées-orientales Use what’s on hand. In addition to having cake mix on hand, I usually have the ingredients to make buttercream frosting as well (I make my own frosting. It’s super easy and tastes way better than what comes from a can). This means I can slap together cupcakes or a cake on a day’s notice.  This comes in handy if I don’t have time to run to the supermarket to pick up Reese’s Pieces or candy melts.
  • fille recherche amie Use seasonal ingredients. On the off chance I’m out of cake mix and other baking staples, I’ll try to locate a recipe online that uses seasonal ingredients like pumpkin or apples or gingerbread.  This helps save money and keeps with the theme of the parties, too.
  • Offer to bring items no one else wants to. Pot-lucks are a time for people to show off their cooking and baking skills. Since I know mine are stellar, I don’t feel the need to show off (that much). So, sometimes I’ll offer to bring things like soda, plates and silverware, napkins—things that can be bought for relatively cheap at the grocery store or the dollar store across the street from our building. These things are a huge necessity and no one ever wants to bring them. I have no problem assuming this responsibility.

For me, pot-lucks also bring about the issue of food waste. During a season when we’re often asked to donate food, it hurts my head to see the amount of food that gets wasted during these events. Many people often overestimate the amount that needs to be made and while some people will bring leftovers home or leave the leftovers at work for people to eat the following day, I’ve seen my share of food get thrown out. This happens less with desserts. Selfish as it seems, it eases my conscience to provide a dessert that I know will not go to waste.

I appreciate the effort that goes into organizing an office holiday party. I welcome the idea of a pot-luck. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to spend a fortune feeding people I only speak to once or twice a month.

How do you deal with office pot-luck holiday parties?

Article publié pour la première fois le 12/12/2011

1 comment

Home Improvements That Can Save You Money

Home Improvements That Can Save You Money is a guest post by Amanda @ Car Insurance Comparison, dedicated to helping you make sense of the auto insurance industry.

Every month, a good portion of our income goes toward paying off utility bills. Consequently, every month we may find ourselves gawking at these bills because it seems like the price of everything, from water to electricity, keeps going up. While it may remain a mystery as to how you managed to use of $300 worth of natural gas on your latest bill, there are certain fixes you can make around the home to bring down the annual cost of utilities – and help you save money.

Install Low Flow Faucets

Did you know that faucets account for at least 15% of water use in the home? That may not seem like very much at first glance – that is, until you get your water bill. The worst part is that most of that water technically doesn’t get used, it just comes out of the faucet in excess.

By installing low flow faucets you can reduce how much water comes out of the faucet when it’s being used. These faucets will use no more than 1.5 gallons a minute, thus significantly reducing your water usage and your bill.

Install High Efficiency Shower Heads

Installing new shower heads is probably the easiest and fastest way to start conserving water and saving money in your home. If you’re concerned about performance don’t worry, these high efficiency bathroom staples use much less water without hindering the outcome.

Install Water Saving Toilets

If you thought faucets were the problem in your water bill you should think again. In the average household the toilet accounts for about 30% of water consumption – making them the largest water consumer in the house. By installing eco friendly water saving toilets you can save up to 20% in water and a lot more than that on bills. If your current toilets were made before 1994 you could even see savings upwards of 60%.

Change Your Light Bulbs

Most homes are still using incandescent light bulbs, meaning that your lights are eating away at your electricity and your wallet. If this is the case in your home you may want to consider switching to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs for short). They use up to 75% less energy and seriously cut the costs of your energy consumption.

Seal and Insulate

Another easy home improvement that will save you money is making sure that your home is ready for the weather outside. That is to say, when its winter make sure your home is properly insulated. This will reduce how much energy you use when heating your home and drive down the cost of your bill. Similarly, make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed during those hot summer days so as not to let an air conditioning escape.

Use a Tankless Water Heater

The initial cost of a tankless water heater may cause some sticker shock, but it will undoubtedly save you hundreds of dollars annually. A tankless water heater runs on 98% efficiency in comparison to the 80% efficiency of conventional heaters. In the long run this can save you upwards of 20% on your bills.

By making some minor adjustments around the home you can not only save water and energy, you can also save a ton of money. Fortunately, most of these projects are easy fixes so that you can start saving as quickly as possible.

Article publié pour la première fois le 08/12/2011



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Article publié pour la première fois le 27/05/2010


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