dcsimg
Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the savings offers appearing on this site are from advertisers from which this website receives compensation for being listed here. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). These offers do not represent all deposit accounts available.

3 tips for hassle-free couponing


3 tips for hassle-free couponing

Published 3/4/14

3 tips for hassle-free couponing By Georgie Miller

I used to think that couponing was complicated. Buy the newspaper, sort the coupons, keep a binder, maintain a calendar of expiration dates. Extreme couponing may be fun for some people, but I found it frustrating.

Additionally, while there are amazing deals out there, they weren't necessarily for the items I wanted or needed. Fortunately, there are lots of couponing options these days. Here's my quick and easy process for saving money at the grocery store.

1. Pick a store

The first step is to pick a grocery store. Yes, different stores have different deals, so it's hard to get the best deal on everything in one place. However, it takes time (and gas money) to drive all over town, and for what? Ten cents off eggs? No thanks. I like to keep all my monthly spending on one credit card, and all my grocery shopping in the same store.

Read the full article »

3 things to remember when your credit improves

Published 2/10/14  (Modified 2/13/14)

3 things to remember when your credit improves By Justin Boyle

I traveled back to my hometown for an extended holiday this winter, and it isn't a full trip home without the whole crowd of my aunts and uncles standing in coats and hats around the brick firepit outside, drinking whiskey by the glass and jawing loudly about one thing or another deep into the darkness of the early morning.

One of my uncles has long been the butt of jokes among his siblings for some hilariously bad mistakes he'd made with money in his 20s. This year, though, he put the fun on ice -- he'd been smarter than ever with his money over the last several years and things had really turned around.

Hang on, he said amid chuckles of disbelief, look at this. He then reached into an inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out a stack of envelopes.

"Look," he said, "they're trying to give me platinum cards!"

If you've been doing all the right things with your own credit cards -- keeping tabs on your credit score, paying your bills on time, staying well below your limit, and so on -- then sooner or later you'll also find yourself with better credit than you've ever had. Here are some tips to help you hang on to it once you get there.

1. Resist new credit opportunities

As you might expect, the best credit card reward programs and low interest credit cards are often reserved for customers with credit ratings that prove them to be an acceptable lending risk. So once your credit gets into shape, you're likely to start getting some tantalizing offers.

Read the full article »

You know you need a new car when ...

Published 1/30/14  (Modified 1/31/14)

You know you need a new car when ... By Peter Andrew

Earlier this month I celebrated (admittedly, it was a low-key affair) my car's 19th birthday. When I bought it, nine years ago, a gear-head friend sniffily observed, "Oh, it's a BMW 520i. Bit basic and boring, but as long as you keep it topped up with oil and water, it'll go on forever."

And so it's proved. It gets routine servicing, and every few years I have to spend a couple of hundred dollars on replacing some part or other, but overall everything on it still works perfectly, and it delivers very cheap motoring. And it's now worth so little, I no longer suffer noticeable depreciation, nor have to bother with high insurance costs.

As you may have guessed by now, I'm fine with older cars. OK, if I won a huge lottery jackpot, I'd buy a whole fleet of brand new ones, but having one of the oldest vehicles in town doesn't bother me at all. However, there are plenty of circumstances when you (and even I) should know it's time to make a change. Here are five.

1. An embarrassing episode

If your teenage kids suddenly decide they want you to drop them off a couple of blocks from school, because they'd "enjoy the walk" (even though it's raining), you can be pretty sure you're seeing your car through rose-tinted spectacles. Maybe it's just not destined to become the classic you have in your mind's eye. Maybe it would look positively better as a cube of mangled metal after a scrapyard remodeling.

Read the full article »

Give like Santa, spend like Scrooge: 4 tips

Published 11/19/13

Give like Santa, spend like Scrooge: 4 tips By Holly Johnson

Whether we like it or not, the holidays are back. Did you miss them?

It really seems like last year's shebang just ended, but yards are already filled again with Christmas light displays and blow-up Santas. And if you're loved one's gift expectations are already through the roof, you're surely not alone.

But, regardless of those expectations, not everyone is able to shower their friends and family members with gifts this time of year. In fact, many are struggling just to pay their bills, let alone buy gifts. And for every family who is struggling, there's another who is tight on cash simply because they're saving for a new home, college tuition or other important expense.

Whether your funds are tight or you're saving for a goal, you may be wondering how to get through the holiday season without being renamed Ebenezer. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save on gifts without calling attention to yourself or your situation.

Read the full article »

3 frugality myths that need to die

Published 11/8/13

3 frugality myths that need to die By Justin Boyle

It's always been a dorky thrill of mine to find small ways to save money. Over the last several years, I've developed a workable strategy for frugal living that decreases my everyday costs, but allows me to maintain a perfectly agreeable quality of life.

Along the way, though, I've taken a few suggestions from like-minded folks that have turned out to be less helpful than they sounded at first. Here are three myths on frugality that people should really stop spreading.

1. Generic electronics are no different from name brands

Although it's true for the most part at the grocery store and pharmacy, the phenomenon of near-identical generics doesn't stretch into all walks of life. Take phone chargers, for example: Internal electronic components that are poorly assembled or source their parts from unlicensed manufacturers can cause voltage spikes and fry the delicate sensors on your handset. Not only that, electronics blogger Ken Shirriff reports that unlicensed power adapters may deliver less than half of their advertised wattage output and produce "dirty" electricity with an extremely bad signal-to-noise ratio.

Read the full article »

Dear Secret Santa: Make the holiday work expenses stop

Published 11/4/13

Dear Secret Santa: Make the holiday work expenses stop By Georgie Miller

It's still October as I write this, but the holiday onslaught at my day job has already begun with our annual Halloween potluck and gift exchange. Yes, you heard that right. We are expected to bring a "sweet treat" for our co-workers as well as a spooky gift for a white elephant-style exchange.

And it doesn't stop there. As December approaches, so does the Cookie Party, the End of Year Reception, and the White Elephant Exchange. And those are only the official work events. There is no shortage of other opportunities to socialize with co-workers this time of year, and unfortunately, this type of socializing can get expensive.

But it doesn't have to be! In some ways, holiday-themed parties and happy hours are like children's birthday parties. While many people's default setting may be "no expenses spared," there are ways to enjoy the company of your colleagues without spending a fortune.

1. Pick your battles parties

Your normal strategies for avoiding office spending may not work as well during the holidays, when people are expected to attend a variety of organized events. But remember that you're not obligated to attend everything.

Read the full article »