Should I clip coupons?
Knee Jerk says: "Heck no, it takes too much darn time."
Second Thought says: "Probably, if you have extra time."
The Moneysherpa says: "Use your free time wisely."
Way To Decide if Coupon Clipping Is A Waste Of Time Moneysmartz Coupon Guide
Suggested Links: Psychology Today Overspending Tags, To Buy or Not to Buy
Related Moneysmartz Topics: Money Management, Frugality
Simplicity and Abundance
Suggested Links: 5 Tactics for Pursuing Voluntary Simplicity, Thoughts on Voluntary Simplicity
Related Moneysmartz Guides: Voluntary Simplicity, Frugality
Holiday Money Saving Tips
If the thought "I'm going to be smart about my holiday spending" has not translated into the act of spending less, then the following links offer hope for a more frugal holiday season:
Getting More From Pocket Change
Category: Money Management
Until the recent economic downturn, the need to manage pocket change was in serious decline. Suddenly, pinching pennies makes sense again. Coinstar, the leader in consumer coin counting and a public company since 1997, helps consumers get the most from loose change. Coinstar's machines, conveniently located throughout the United States, count and convert coins into cash for a fee. To avoid a fee, coins can be converted into gift cards or eCertificates at well-known brands like Amazon.com or Starbucks.
Moneysmartz Profile Updates 3/20/09
Category: Money Management
LowerMyBills.com is a consumer finance website owned by Experian Interactive, a global leader in analytical information services. LowerMyBills.com, one of the largest price comparison sites in the U.S., helps consumers lower their monthly bills. Consumers log on to the LowerMyBills.com site and enter information about their current bills. LowerMyBills.com then matches consumers with up to 500 service providers offering savings in categories like home loans, credit cards, and wireless and phone service. LowerMyBills.com has been featured in many leading publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and MarketWatch.
Moneysmartz Profile Updates 3/6/09
| LinkAbout.com: Frugal Living
About.com's Frugal Living guide offers quality information and solutions on how to live frugally including articles and blogs with tips on budgeting, money management, and cost cutting. The site is intended for anyone searching for expert guidance and practical advice on frugal living. About.com is one of the largest publishers of original content on the web, and the Frugal Living guide is just one of the many subjects and categories that they offer.
Moneysmartz Profile Updates 3/5/09
| LinkNational Endowment for Financial Education
Category: Money Management
The National Endowment for Financial Education is a private, non-profit foundation dedicated to improving the financial welfare of Americans. NEFE is known for delivering reliable financial education and objective personal finance advice. NEFE provides resources for financial education to consumers, materials for educators, grants and fellowships, and other programs. For around a quarter of a century, NEFE has formed strategic partnerships with organizations like the Foundation for Financial Planning, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, and more than 100 financial literacy initiatives
Moneysmartz Profile Updates 3/04/09
| LinkChoose to Save
Category: Money Management
Choose to Save addresses important financial security issues for most Americans. It is committed to raising knowledge about the importance of planning and saving for a better financial future. Over the years, ChoosetoSave.org has received Emmy and TELLY awards for its public service announcements (PSAs), and it continually strives to provide easy to use multimedia materials to guide individuals toward a better financial future.
Moneysmartz Profile Updates 1/7/09
Category: Money Management
Mint.com is a free web-based financial management solution. Launched in 2007, Mint.com has more than 250,000 users and currently organizes $10 billion in transactions. The site offers free software that assists users in financial planning and management. Mint.com was voted 2008's Best Banking/Bill Paying Website and Best Financial Services Website by the Webby People's Voice Awards. Time Magazine recognized Mint.com as one of the top 50 Best Websites in 2008.
The Real World and Your Credit Score
Have you ever thought about how a low credit score could take money out of your pocket? The bad news is that there are many ways a low credit score can hurt your personal finances. According to myFICO, a low credit score will result in much higher mortgage payments. For a $300,000 30-year fixed rate mortgage, the difference between a very low and very high credit score is almost $900 a month in cold, hard cash. That's real money and real life if you are in the credit score doghouse.
The good news is that you can do a lot to improve your credit score. First, learn as much as possible about your credit score. myFico's credit education center offers tips, advice, and information. Next, get your credit report and FICO score. You can contact one of the credit reporting agencies for a free report (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) or a service that monitors your credit for a fee. Be sure to correct errors on your credit report. myFico offers tips and advice to help to correct these errors. Finally, start paying bills on time and stop moving debt around. myFico offers a list of tips for improving your credit score.
By taking action and getting help, you can get out of the credit doghouse and look forward to lower payments on essentials like a home mortgage and less debt.
Garage Sale Tips
Spring is finally here, your house is full of clutter, and you are looking for a few extra dollars to pay for the rising cost of gas. If you are willing to invest some sweat equity, then a garage sale is a great way to clean and get some green. Before getting started with your garage sale, visit the Yardsalequeen.com for common sense tips and more links. Wondering how to price your items? Visit Your Garage Sale Source for pricing ideas. Try Craigslist to find and advertise your garage sale. For example, if you live in Denver, visit Google, type keywords "craigslist Denver garage sale," and click "I'm feeling lucky" to view the Craigslist Denver garage sale classifieds page. In addition, many local newspapers host garage sale pages with maps and information, so try Google keyword search "your city garage sales." Finally, if you are pressed for time or feeling charitable, find a local Goodwill to donate your stuff.
The Forever Stamp
Until the introduction of the Forever stamp last year, the frequent rise in the price of United States Postal Service (USPS) first-class postage presented an annoying dilemma for those left with unused and under priced stamps, waste money by combining two one-ounce first-class stamps or buy smaller denomination stamps to use with the now under priced first-class stamps.
Thanks to a little USPS creativity, the dilemma can be avoided through a Forever stamp, postage purchased today that is good for mailing "one-ounce first-class letters anytime in the future -- regardless of price changes."
With another penny price hike set for May 12, raising the price of a first-class stamp to 42 cents, we are faced with another, more pleasant dilemma. Stock up on the 41-cent Forever stamp today, and save a penny, or wait and buy a 42-cent Forever stamp on or after May 12. Regardless of your decision, the Forever stamp will probably save you a few pennies and make your life a little easier. To purchase stamps online, visit The Postal Store.
Looking for a friend to help you find the cheapest gas in town? GasBuddy.com, a network of over 180 gas price websites, will help you find low gas prices in your neighborhood.
Since gasoline prices frequently change and may vary by as much as a quarter a gallon within a few blocks, it's beneficial to know where to find the lowest prices. The GasBuddy network, powered by local websites, allows motorists to post gas price information.
To get a bird's eye view on gas prices in your area, visit the color-coded map on the home page. Drill down by clicking the map to find the best deals.
As gas prices continue to rise, it is good to know you have a friend working 24/7 to help you find low gas prices.
Going Green Update
If you think it's too much effort to fill your recycle container with paper, plastic, and cans, then stop reading. If you already recycle, even reluctantly, then keep reading. Going green requires some effort and a little pain, but the upside can be big, for both your financial situation and the environment. The newly created Moneysmartz Going Green category is all about helping your green transformation put real dollars in your pocket. The best place to start is your home, so be sure to visit Energy Star, an Editor Best Bet, and a place where you learn about how to save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Another Editor Best Bet, Frugalist, offers tips, tools, and tutorials to help you save a "boatload of money." The Moneysmartz Going Green category also includes information about socially responsible investments, tools to help you measure your ecological footprint, and a lot more help saving money. If you are still reading, then take the time to learn a little more and do even more good for yourself and the environment.
Feed The Pig
Benjamin Bankes has a lot to say to young Americans about taking baby savings steps today for big savings in the future. Who is Benjamin Bankes? He is the spokespig, imaginary of course, for the Feed the Pig™ national public service campaign sponsored by The Advertising Council and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Through commercials and a website, the campaign is encouraging "the 40 million Americans age 25 to 34 to take control of their personal finances." The commercials are offbeat and the website offers podcasts, calendars, tips, and resources to help individuals begin paying off debt and start preparing for a better future.
Are you drowning in paper? Is your trash can full of unused remnants of paper from recent print jobs? Have you ever wondered if there is a way to reduce the waste? GreenPrint, a Moneysmartz Best of the Web selection, saves money and helps the environment by preventing waste pages from being printed. According to the GreenPrint website, its product "analyzes the content of each print job for pages that have wasteful characteristics. These are the pages with just a banner ad, URL footnote etc. It also allows you to very quickly add and remove pages from your print job, without having to return to the original application." It's a sleek and simple solution to an insidious problem for prolific printers. GreenPrint offers a free trial and a $29 license for a direct download. Enterprises pay $70. Best of all, GreenPrint saves a lot of trees, while saving you money.
How much is your pocket change worth? If you have a money jar, then you know that pocket change adds up fast. The challenge for many is where to bring the change to convert into cash.
Fortunately, Coinstar, the top brand in consumer coin counting, invented self-service coin counting and has locations throughout the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom.
If you want hard cash from a Coinstar machine, you'll pay a commission. To stretch your pennies and avoid a commission use Coinstar for gift certificates at leading stores like Amazon.com, Starbucks, iTunes, and many more.
Coinstar has a charity option where you can donate your change by keying the unique identification number of your charity and pouring your coins into the machine. When Coinstar finishes counting, you will receive a tax-deductible receipt.
To locate a machine near you, visit the Coinstar locator page.
Coupons and Online Deals
With higher gas prices, lower home values, and a weak stock market, now is a good time to find ways to cut costs. Coupons offer a quick and easy way to begin saving money today. For grocery coupons and online deals, visit CoolSavings, SmartSource, and Valpak. For a complete list, visit the Moneysmartz Coupons page.
Rainy Day Savings
So, if you don't have enough socked away in your rainy day fund, then what can you do?
First, don't panic, you can start saving today and in less than a year you'll be much better prepared.
Next, and this is hard to do, try to pay yourself first. Set aside a small amount every month before spending or investing. We are notoriously bad about taking action in this way, so continue reading.
Liz Pulliam Weston, an MSN personal finance columnist recommends getting a line of credit from your bank. If you do this, then be careful to avoid using the line to pay for non-emergency expenses. Otherwise, you'll only dig a deeper hole.
By taking a few simple steps, you'll be thankful when the rain starts to pour.
Adult ADD and Money
Site Name: Adult ADD and Money Blog
Sound Money Tips
Site Name: Sound Money Tips Blog
Frugal for Life
With a recent spate of articles about America's declining savings rate, now may be the time to find ways to save money. Frugal for Life, dedicated to simple, frugal living, provides observations and experiences on the frugal, simple life and a collection of links to related frugal living sites, including blogs, forums, and free classifieds. Frugal for Life reflects the blogging trend of "monetization�? with an assortment of Google ad links. Because of intuitive placement and relevance to frugality and simple living, advertisements generally enhance the site. If you are looking for complete frugality immersion, then check out the Frugal for Life newsletter archive. With soothing graphics, easy navigation, and fresh content, five minutes with Frugal for Life may jump start your savings and lead to a simpler life.