Common Ways to Slash Expenses

cut expenses

In the job market such that it is, dominated by cost cutting fever, it’s harder than ever to make more money. If your budget is tight and income salvation looks nowhere to be found then the best option is to cut living expenses. Fortunately there are ways to do that which won’t require radical alteration of your lifestyle. A few adjustments here and there, but nothing drastic.

 

Cut telephone expense

Get rid of your landline, right? Maybe, but way too easy and not everyone is in a position to do it. No, I’m thinking more along the lines of switching to a computer based line. My wife and I did that two years ago through Vonage and it’s worked well for us. We still need a landline for occasional faxes and also for the long conversations our kids like to have that they’re forbidden to have on their cell phones.

We had the traditional landline service for two lines with all the preverbal bells and whistles, and it was running over $140 per month. We switched to Vonage for both lines and had similar features as with the full service provider, except we also have unlimited long distance to select countries, including Canada, Mexico and major European countries. The full cost, including taxes and other fine print charges was about $60 per month, enabling us to save nearly $1000 per year ($80/month X 12 months).

If you can get by with a single line, you’ll pay only $30-$35 per month. Unless you do a lot of business calling on your landline, there’s no need to have it.

 

Cut down on meat consumption

Because it costs more than other food types, meat tends to take up a disproportionate amount of the grocery budget. If you eat meat every day, you’ll save quite a bit of money by cutting that back to three or four days per week.

Eggs and beans are good protein substitutes and both cost a lot less than meat.

Also consider substituting meats. Chicken is a lot cheaper than steak, and buying whole chickens is cheaper still. Stocking up when they’re on sale will save even more.

 

Eat out less

This is a standard area of recommended savings, but only because it’s such a rich source. You don’t have to go cold turkey here; simply cutting back can make a big difference. For example, if you normally eat dinner out twice a week, at an average cost of $50, cutting that back to once a week can save $200 per month, or an amount equal to an average credit card payment or student loan payment.

Also, if you’re in the habit of buying lunch at work every day, understand that this also counts as eating out. Even if you only go to fast food restaurants at an average of $5 per meal, you’re spending about $100 a month. Eating lunch out just one day a week and brown bagging the others can save you $80 per month, that’s nearly $1000 per year! See how the nickels and dimes add up?


Raise the deductibles on your auto and health insurance

There’s real savings to be had by raising the deductibles on your auto and health insurance, and since both are typically recurring monthly charges lowering the premiums can provide welcome relief to your budget. And there are ways to do this without putting yourself or your family at greater risk.

For example, let’s take a fictitious a married couple, both 40, with two dependent children covered under Assurant’s CoreMed health insurance plan. They’ll pay approximately $471 per month in premiums with a $2000 deductible. But by increasing the deductible to $3500, the monthly premium drops to $376 a savings of $95 per month. A quick calculation shows that saving that much each month for 12 months is $1140 per year, which is better than 75% of the deductible you forfeited.

If you have ongoing health conditions that typically cause you to hit your deductible every year you won’t want to do this. But otherwise you can offset the risk of the higher deductible by having an amount equal to the deductible sitting in your emergency fund. This is a form of self insurance, but as you can see, the cost of paying for lower deductibles is almost dollar-for-dollar. If you don’t normally come close to your deductible in a typical year, then raising it and backing yourself up with your emergency fund can save you a lot of money.

 

Gasoline

With gasoline prices running steadily toward $4 a gallon, this is an expense that gets more attention these days, as well it should. If you’re paying $50 per week to fill your tank, then you’re paying at least $200 a month just to keep your car on the road. The only way to cut that down especially in a time of rising prices is to drive less. How do you do that?

  1. Walk or bike to anywhere that’s within a mile of home. Not only will it save money but it’s also great exercise that might help cut down on some healthcare bills.
  2. Consolidate trips. Few places we go are for emergencies, so we can delay them and group them with other trips. The fewer trips you take, the more you save.
  3. Drive off peak. That might mean a flextime arrangement at work that will put you on the road before the morning and evening rushes or after them. Avoid heading to the mall on weekends where you’ll have to fight for road space with the weekend shopping crowds. Traffic jams mean burning gas getting nowhere.
  4. Work-at-home. If you can do this just one day per week, you’ll reduce your gas for commuting purposes by 20%.

The combination of these efforts can reduce your budget by hundreds of dollars per month. That can allow you either to bank more money giving you a greater sense of control over your finances or to have extra to enjoy life more. Either way, the less money we spend on basic living expenses, the more we have for those things that make a difference in life.

 

(Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of his own personal finance blog, Out of your Rut. He has backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids)

Coupons are Still a Great Way to Save in Tough Economic Times

coupons

Before we get into the history and details about coupons, we must share with you one of the best coupon resources we have ever found. We recommend you check it out right away.  This website is your one stop shop for finding the best deals, best discounts, and best coupons all in one place. You can save yourself a lot of time and money!  The site is called Frugaa, and you can find it here: www.frugaa.com .  Jump over there right away and start saving.

As Americans continue to weather harsh economic times, I’m reminded of some of the tactics past generations have used to save, budget and make ends meet.

One strategy both my mom and grandma used was clipping coupons. This helped them squeeze every penny they could from their weekly shopping trips. Each Sunday they would clip coupons, scour the ads for the best prices and make lists. My mom had a tattered brown box she lugged her coupons around in. Inside, labeled envelopes divided the coupons into categories like, “Frozen Food”, “Health and Beauty”, and on and on.

Years later my sister and I joked with my mom about her box of coupons and the meticulous way she would scan the receipt after checking out to make sure every dime saved was accounted for. She simply replied to our teasing, “That’s what you do when you only have $100 dollars a month to spend on groceries for a family of four.”

Wow. I’m still amazed at how she did it.

Not surprisingly, coupons gained popularity in the 1930s during the Great Depression when families struggled to have enough money to eat.

With the advent of the Internet in the early 1990s, coupons have evolved from being “clipable” to becoming downloadable, printable and even scanable from a smartphone.

Today, coupons are just as prevalent and as useful as ever. American shoppers were estimated to have saved $3.7 billion using coupons in 2010, according to a report by NCH Marketing Services, Inc.

With new technologies, former coupon clippers, may need a refresher on how to get the best coupon deals while using the Internet.

Here are some tips on how to start getting online deals like the generations before us used to get from printed coupons:

1. Know how to use online coupon codes.

If you’re buying a product online, it’s more likely than not you can find on online coupon code to shave off a few dollars.  Great resource is Harry and David coupon code. Sometimes coupon codes are as easy to find a searching online and then typing in a few letters at the checkout portion of the purchase. Other times, say you’re getting a deal on online software, you may need to enter the code before the payment info. click here to see a screen shot directions on how to use software codes.

2. Deals of the Day.

Sign up for a daily deal alert through a site like livingsocial.com or groupon.com. These sites help you save up to 50 percent on dining and entertainment in your area. How it works. You provide your email address and each day a coupon offer is sent to your inbox. You have the opportunity to “bid” on the coupon. You are essentially buying a half price deal up front and then printing off a rebate coupon to redeem.

3. Smart phone ready.

One of my favorite stores is Target. Now, you can you can click here and opt into their mobile coupon program so scanable coupons will be sent directly to your phone. Go to sites like Coupon Sherpa to see if your favorite store offers a mobile application.

(Kristy Hessman is a freelance writer for a variety of publications. Click here to practice your coupon code skills on this offer for Symantec Antivirus Software: http://couponpal.com/coupon-code-lists/internet-security)

 

Don’t Wait: How to Save Money Now!

stacked money

There are a number of things you can do now that will help you save money in the long run. However, many of us are more interested in how we can save money right now, providing us with the ability to see more immediate changes in monthly cash flow. If you want to save money now, here are some things you can do:

First: Get Your Priorities Straight

One of the reasons that we have a hard time finding extra money in the budget is because we haven’t prioritized our spending. Figure out what is most important to you, and then decide which items in your budget are mostly likely to help you achieve your goals. Before you pay for the unimportant things, make sure you have taken care of what’s important. This simple exercise can help you start thinking about your spending in a new way, and might even prevent you from spending money on things that aren’t priorities.

Start Making Cuts

Now that you have determined your financial priorities, you can start making cuts in your budget. Perform an audit of your budget, and pinpoint where your money leaks are. Some of the places you might be able to cut back include:

  • Subscriptions: Not only can you get rid of some publications and monthly web site subscriptions, but you can also look at your TV subscriptions. Do you really need a movie package? Even if you don’t get rid of a TV subscription, see if you can downgrade it.
  • Meal planning: You might be surprised how much money you waste just by not having a plan for dinner. Plan your meals so that you can stay on task while shopping for food, and so that you aren’t running out to grab something real quick. There are plenty of 30-minute recipes, as well as crock pot recipes, that you can use to take advantage of easy cooking.
  • Conduct an energy audit: Go through your home and look for energy wasters. Seal around windows, check electrical outlets, and look for ways you can combine different devices on a single power strip — that can be turned off at night. When you use less energy, you pay less in utilities.
  • Creative fun: You don’t always have to spend money to be entertained. Picnics, bike rides, snow-fort-building, board games and other creative activities can be enjoyed at a low cost. Look for free admission days in your town, and consider visiting historical sites as a fun activity. At the very least, you can eat out at lunchtime to save money, rather than going to dinner.

I’m sure if you took a few minutes, you could think of additional ways to save money.

Put Your Money to Work for You

Now that you have found some ways to add a little more room in your budget, you can put that extra money to work for you. Use the money to start up a side business, build up an emergency fund, create a dividend portfolio, increase your nest egg, or save up for a family vacation. You really do have the money in your budget; all you need to do is find it.

 

This article was contributed by Miranda Marquit, writer at PT Money: Personal Finance. Check out PT Money for more saving strategies, including how to use a travel rewards credit card to earn free flights.

 

Never Too Late to Save Money for Winter

I know it’s the back end of summer at the moment, but before you know it we’ll be keeping ourselves warm for the winter. For many households, winter can be the most expensive time of the year, with boiler breakdowns, car repairs and Christmas combining to put a real strain on budgets. For this reason, it’s essential to look at every way possible of saving a bit of money â“ and there are a number of things you can try.

As strange as it may sound, one of the best ways to save money could be to spend it more wisely and potentially devote more of your budget to certain things. For example, insulating your home or getting boiler insurance may require an initial outlay, but you’re like to see the savings in the coming months and years.   Here’s a guide to how these things could, help along with a few other top tips for good measure.

Insulation
Quite simply, the more you insulate, the more efficient your home will be. So look at lofts and cavity walls â“ these are among the places where the biggest savings will be seen. Then also consider insulating your pipes and water tanks â“ this will come in especially useful when the temperatures go sub-zero. In many cases, you’ll recoup your outlay within a few months or years.

Arrange boiler insurance
Each passing winter seems to break the record for the lowest temperatures ever recorded. So it’s no surprise that the nation’s boilers have taken a battering in recent years, with record numbers of breakdowns recorded by home emergency specialists. With boiler cover in place, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to call on a fully qualified Gas Safe Register approved engineer to carry out the work â“ and the cost is only likely to be your excess, rather than a repair bill running into hundreds of pounds.

Repair windows and doors
If your outside doors have seen better days and you’ve got small chips or cracks in your windows, then it’s best to get these fixed before winter sets in.  Not only could the adverse weather damage them further, but could also make your property increasingly inefficient.

Don’t ignore your garden
If you’ve been tending to your plants and lawn in recent weeks and months, don’t let the harsh winter weather undo all your hard work. Protect particularly vulnerable plants by moving them into containers and putting them in the shed or conservatory. Cover anything that’s vulnerable but can’t come out of the ground with sheeting. And if you keep fish in a pond, put a tennis ball in the water which can be removed to let oxygen circulate when the pond freezes over.

Putting in a little time and effort ahead of the winter could really help you reap the rewards â“ so don’t delay and get cracking as soon as possible.

Pay Off Your Car 52 Months Early

pay off your car

To pay off your car is no easy task.  Considering most Americans have a car loan their entire life, paying a car off early and never making a payment again is an unusual personal finance feat.

See the picture above? That is my amazing 2004 Acura TL.  It was my dream car during college and I vowed to own one after I graduated.  I made myself a deal.  I told myself that if I graduated college debt free, I would go against one of my main principles: to never have debt.  Yes, I promised to go into debt for a depreciating object!  It sounds so silly, but there is just something really cool about this car.  Let me tell you, it was worth every penny 🙂

So, I ended up graduating college debt free and purchased the Acura TL you see in the picture above.  I hunted, scoured craig’s list, checked autotrader, and did ALOT of praying.  I ended up finding the one I bought.  The total cost of the car with taxes came out to roughly $15,000.  My cash flow was tight at the time, so I ended up paying $5k up front and taking out a 5 year loan for the other $10k.  At 3.99% interest, I didn’t hesitate to take this loan out.  It’s funny because I was actually qualified for $50k.  I remember the credit union clerk asking me why I didn’t want to spend more haha.

Anyways, so there I was, a proud owner of a 5 year loan.  The excitement about the new car lasted for a while, but the gut wrenching thought of owing a bank money quickly took over.  I knew I had to do something about it.  I needed to pay this car loan off pronto.  So what kind of steps does it take to pay off your car?  Well, I’m glad you asked!

It was just after I purchased the car that I made a plan to pay off the car in less than 12 months.  I moved away from home, set up a budget and made it a goal to save $1000/month strictly for paying off my car.  If I did that, I could easily get it payed off before my goal of 12 months.  Saving $1000/month would mean I would be able to pay off the car after 10 months.  How did I do it in 8 months?!  Two words: TAX REFUND.

Yes, my tax refund of $7k (thank you tution credits) made it possible to pay my car off in 8 months.  My point is this.  Don’t squander your tax refund.  Whether it’s $1000 or $12,000, use your tax refund responsibly and pay down debt.  Just make it a priority.  If you do, you will savor the new debt-free air and never turn back.  Let me tell you, it’s an amazing feeling.  I love telling people that I own my car and the story about how I paid it off so early.

Another strategy I incorporated to pay my car off early was to schedule “extreme saving” weeks.  By this, I mean that I made an extra effort to reduce my expenses to almost zero.  This would mean brown bagging my lunch, raiding old food for breakfast and dinner, refusing to drive places on weekends, avoiding the grocery store, and other unusual saving activities.  Through the use of extreme saving weeks, I could easily save a couple hundred extra dollars for that individual week.  Keep an eye out, I’ll be writing a post on this subject in the near future…

I also shopped around for car insurance.  I ended up going with a local car insurance company in the Seattle area.  You need to make a strong effort to search out cheap car insurance quotes before you make any final decision.

So, get to it!  Here’s the deal, you need to make a plan. You might not pay off your car 52 months early like I did, but you will be taking one step closer to “debt free driving.” After you pay off your car, you can contribute even more to your retirement accounts like 401k plans or a Roth-IRA.

 

Groupon is Not a Lifestyle

groupon

As anyone who has compared prices between online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores lately knows, the Internet has been an incredible vehicle for saving money on all kinds of goods. More recently, though, the Internet has also been a catalyst for savings in services too. There are hundreds of websites out there offering legitimate savings on dining, cosmetic treatments, gym memberships and other services but not all of them are created equal, and some of the big names out there might not get you where you need to go.

You may have already heard of companies like Groupon and LivingSocial, which post  daily deals for restaurants, bars, salons, and other local businesses. The voucher offered gives you a steep discount (often 50% or more) off a product or service if you buy it up front.

These sites are enormously popular among people seeking new experiences on the cheap, but can fall flat when it comes to actually supporting a frugal lifestyle. As the name suggests, ‘deal of the day’ sites tend to offer only one or a handful of deals every day. More often than not, you won’t find much that fits well with what you normally do.

Most of the deals on Groupon or Livingsocial are on highly discretionary spending items. In this economy, not everyone is in the habit of routinely eating at fancy restaurants and going skydiving; unfortunately, that’s precisely the kind of discount that seems to crop up on social buying sites most often. Shelling out for these perks still costs money even if you get a discount, so if you’re serious about reducing your day-to-day expenses, going to Groupon or Livingsocial is very much a hit-or-miss proposition.

Moreover, Groupon has a well-documented history of overselling its coupons. Like many other Groupon buyers across the country, you may visit a local business with a voucher only to find that hundreds of other people have also showed up, overwhelming the owners and making it impossible for them to serve everyone. This business model may be good for Groupon’s sales targets, but it reduces the value consumers get out of the deal and often has negative consequences for local merchants as well.

Perhaps all you want is dinner at a restaurant in your neighborhood. Groupon’s deal of the day for yet another Brazilian wax job is not quite the score you need. LivingSocial, meanwhile, has a great deal on… whitewater rafting. What’s a money-wise person like you to do? Go to the competition and see if they can serve up something more relevant!

Some companies, like Foursquare, can get you offers like a free drink delivered to your phone. That’s pretty handy if you’re out on the town.

Another deal site, BigTip, doesn’t even limit you to a handful of deals of the dayâ; Bigtip.com has over 200,000 local deals from more than 80,000 merchants already indexed, waiting for you to search for them. Instead of one or a few coupons to choose from in your area, you now have hundreds at your fingertips, vastly increasing your chance of finding exactly what you want. Simply searching for Seattle deals on BigTip.com by entering zip code 98101 gives you results for dozens of restaurants, bars, tourist attractions, fitness centers, retail stores and other local merchants.

Remember, all businesses need to compete for your money, discount sites included. Try a variety of sites to get the best dealsâ”you’ll find that often the best savings and the biggest buzz are not in the same place.

(This is a guest post by Russ Wung, a graduate of the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.)

 

Easy Ways to Save on Gas Money

(This is a guest post by my friend Charles over at a cool credit card site, Credit Donkey.)

gas guzzler

With increasing gas prices, people are desperate to find ways to cut back on their gas money. It may seem impossible, but with a little time you can make the necessary changes. There are many fool proof ways you can cut down on your gas costs, and stress related issues with gas prices.

  1. Drive Smoothly: Believe it or not, the way you drive effects how much gas your car needs to use. Don’t speed up and down a lot. This uses more fuel, and is a rather large gas monster in general. Learn to keep your transition from your break pedal to your gas pedal, and you will spend less time pumping gas.
  2. Drive The Speed Limit: Not only are speed limits in place for our safety, but they also help save on fuel. Anytime you go more than a few miles over the speed limit, your car uses more gas. When you pay attention to speed limits, you’ll notice a difference in the gas consumption of your vehicle.
  3. Combine Drive Time: Instead of going to multiple places through the week, try to get all of your errands done on one or two trips. The best, and easiest way to save on gas is to simply cut back on your driving time.
  4. Check Your Tires: If your tires are unbalanced, this can lead to the use of more fuel in your car as it tries to compensate. Find out which local gas stations offer free air, and try to check your tires on a monthly basis.
  5. Tune Up: A tune up is important for your vehicle’s performance in gas usage. Simple things like checking your air filters, engine maintenence, and fuel tank tune ups are important. Try to get a tune up at least as often as stated in your car manual to avoid more gas usage than necessary.
  6. Be Prepared: If you know that a holiday is looming in the distance, then you also know that gas prices are going to soar. Instead of paying more during those times, fill up before hand so you’re ready for the holiday. That way you won’t have to shell out the big bucks when it is time to visit grandma.
  7. Join Gas Clubs: Many gas stations offer clubs or groups for their customers. Basically, this is where you join the club, get a card, and for every certain miles, you get a percentage of your gas. This can help save dollars each week, which adds up to hundreds of dollars over time.
  8. Consider Car Pools: If you commute every day of the week, you may want to consider carpooling with another person a couple of times a week. Try to find someone from the same office area, so that you don’t have to worry about finding a bus or ride the rest of the way to work.
  9. Drive Smaller Cars: For the most part, smaller cars often get the best gas rates. Before making an automobile purchase, do your homework. The more gas it saves you in the long run, the better.
  10. Cash vs Credit: Did you know that some gas stations charge a cash price and a credit price? Weigh the difference against a gas rewards credit card and see if it makes more sense to pay in cash or with a credit card that might offer up to 5% cash back.

These 10 simple steps to help you save on gas money will make a great impact on your cash flow. It may feel a bit overwhelming, so try to take each step one at a time. As your gas bill lowers, you will readily begin making further changes.

5 New Ways I Practice Frugality

I talk a lot about frugality on this blog, but how do you know I “talk the talk” and “walk the walk?”  Well, I guess you will never know haha.  On a serious note, I wanted to write up a post describing 5 new ways I actively practice frugality on a day to day basis in my personal life.  Living frugally is definitely an active, decisive choice.  It’s not like you wake up one morning and tell yourself, “I’m Mr. Frugal today.”  No, it takes a little more planning and thought than that.

Here are my latest “initiatives” in trying to live a more frugal life:

1-Shop at low end grocery stores. Yes, you will take a hit to the pride, but this one has saved me hundreds a month.  My grocery bill used to be around $500/month shopping at high end places like Vons and Trader Joe’s.  My grocery bill comes to around $300/month by shopping at the cheaper grocery stores like Food 4 Less.  Yes, you will have to bag your own groceries.  But you will save money in the process!

2- Use Groupon for date nights. Thankfully, I have the most amazing girlfriend in the world and she is just as frugal as I am.  This has made it comfortable to seek out deal for date nights.  In the past, I would have never thought about bringing a coupon on a date.  To the guys out there, find a girl who is as frugal as you.  Trust me, you will save yourself a headache and a financial disaster.

3-Shop at low end retail stores. You think I look this good by spending my whole paycheck?  Ohh, just kidding.  But honestly, I’ve had people ask me where I shop.  I usually whisper to them “Ross or Marshalls.”  Yes, I’m proud to say I shop at the low end retail stores.  But here’s the thing, the trick is on people who shop at Nordstrom. I get the same clothes but for a 1/4 of the price!

4-Pack a brown bag lunch. This is one I’m trying to prove on.  I used to spend a massive amount on eating out.  Boy, has that changed!  Let’s look at some numbers.  Let’s say the average lunch costs $8.  A typical brown bag lunch for me costs $3.  If I do that 5 days a week for work, that is over $1,200 in savings!  I can use that to contribute to my retirement accounts instead.  Bada-bing, bada boom, done deal, brown bag lunch it is.

5-Shop around for gym memberships. This might push some buttons, but do you really need the sauna pretty boy?  I never bought into the whole “releasing of toxins” non-sense.  All it is is another way a gym can increase their membership dues.  Who cares about the pools, hot tubs, or snack bars.  Go find a simple gym with weights and cardio equipment.  I’m a member of World Gym in San Diego and love it.  It has everything I need for $25/month without a contract.  And you should NEVER pay a sign-up fee.  If they do, look elsewhere, because this is a sign the gym will probably pull something on you for more money.

What are some ways you’re trying to live frugally?  Comment below and share your wisdom!

 

 

I Love Living as a Minimalist

 

THERE, I said it!  I love all things simple.  I love the feeling of not being tied down, I love not worrying about possessions, and I love the freedom it gives me.  This kind of thinking started when I relocated for my career after college.  I made a goal for myself.  This goal was to get rid of junk I accumulated over 22 years and only keep possessions that would fit in my four door sedan.

I haven’t looked back.  Since then, if I haven’t used something in a month, I get rid of it.  Sometimes I throw it in the garbage, sometimes I give it to charity, and sometimes I try and sell it.  I am going to continue doing this the rest of my life.  Go ahead, call me a bad American.  I’ll admit, this type of thinking does go against everything Hollywood and the general media throws at you growing up.

This is a work in progress though.  I’m new to the minimalist lifestyle and I’m sure I’ll be updating you guys in coming articles.  I wanted to share four rules I recommend to anyone thinking about adopting this type of lifestyle.

1-Clear out the closet. I used to struggle with this one.  I used to worry about whether or not I would need a certain shirt in the future.  But then I realized something.  I hadn’t worn it in years!  So why am I keeping it!  Do a solid cleaning out of your closet and stop by your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.  Instead of keeping clothes and shoes you haven’t used in a long time, why not give it away to someone less fortunate than yourself?  It’s a win-win baby!

2-Sell the toys. This rule is all about getting back to basics.  For me this meant selling toys that I rarely used anymore.  For me, this was getting rid of my street bike, excess electronics, video games, and other “fun stuff” that was in storage.  My two toys now consist of my car and my computer.  That’s it!  I cannot tell you how many complaints I hear from people who regret buying boats, ATVs, the latest gadgets, or expensive electronics that are rarely used.  Sometimes, toys just aren’t worth the hassle.  This  goes along the lines  with  my motto, “why buy a boat when you know someone who has one?”

3-Focus on items you really care about. This ties in well with selling your toys.  When I say sell your toys, I don’t mean sell all your toys.  Really enjoy a few items instead of never getting to use a thousand items.  Cut your belongings down to  a minimum and focus on those things.  This will look different for everyone.  If you like the guitar, focus on that.  If you like fitness, focus on that.  If you like hot-rods, focus on that.

4-Consolidate bank accounts. I see this one a lot with people around me.  What’s the point of having multiple accounts!  Why not have it all in one place!  I will never understand people who have multiple bank accounts and/or brokerage accounts.  I keep it simple.  I have a single brokerage account with Vanguard where I keep everything from my Roth-Ira to my individual stock purchases.  Then I have a checking and savings account with a local credit union.  That’s it!  Why make things more complicated than they have to be, right?

Awesome Tribute to ROSS

Sometimes, a video is worth a thousand words.  This is definitely the case for this epic video, “I got it at Ross” by Abraham Linkin.  Ross is where I do most of my retail shopping.  I bargain shop like my momma taught me!

This the best coolest tribute to a store ever!  When you’re feeling down and it feels like you’re the only one bargain shopping these days, don’t hesitate to blast this in your car the next time you go shopping.  Enjoy!

-JE

“Pots for my kitchen, I got it at Ross!  What did you expect?  Please, you think I”m bout’ to spend my whole pay check, please!  On clothes, please!”