Sunday, October 18, 2009

Francis Ford Coppola Encyclopedia Wine Redeux

Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Here's my recent fun reuse: one of my bottle's from the Francis Ford Coppola Encyclopedia Wine collection repurposed into a flower vase. What do you think?

Frugal Friday: Good to the Last Drop

Image credit: Jules @ Money Feuds

It's no secret that making full use of ones resources is a great way to reduce costs and minimize one's impact on the Earth. However, sometimes, especially with hectic lifestyles, it's easy to forget One of my little secret frugal habits is trying to make full use of my resources. For example, I

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Money & Marriage Article Link

Interesting article from MSN Money: Why savers and spenders marry by MP Dunleavey. What do you think? Are you paired up with your opposite, financially speaking? If so, are you the saver or spender?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Green Habits Keep Green in the Bank

I was thinking about it the other day... what are my most eco-friendly habits and how do those effect my personal finances. Here's the list I came up with of those green-tinted habits:

*paper: completely use both sides of paper, make grocery lists on envelopes that are mailed to me, use those same envelopes for storing coupons, receipts, etc.

*beauty: don't use hair dye, rarely use make-up (only a few times a year, if that!)

*water: take short showers, use the clothes and dishwashers only when full, don't leave the water running when not in use

*driving: minimal driving, group trips together, drive a fuel-efficient Japanese car, being a conscious driver (no quick stops or speeding)

*clothes: buy second hand clothes, happily accept hand-me-downs, mend and rotate clothes currently have, wash clothes only when necessary to increase their life

*books & videos: borrow from the library

*computer: hibernate or shut down when not in use

*rubbish: compost foodstuff for garden soil, recycle what I can, reduce purchases that have lots of packaging

Those are some of the areas that I feel I at least a little green in and that may be helping me to hold onto more of my greenbacks. How about you? What green habits of yours are allowing you to keep more green in your bank?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Money Mistake: Lost Costco Gift Card

My top financial mistake this week was misplacing (losing?) my new Costco gift card. About a week ago I received a $50 card in the mail (as a gift for signing up for a Cable/Phone/Internet bundle). Excited to use it, but having enough insight to delay my Costco run until firming up my list (me + no list at Costco = bringing lots of cool stuff home while leaving lots of my money at the store), I "safely" set it on my mail counter.

Yet, today, wah-lah, the gift card is MIA. It's missing! Lost! Stolen (that one's probably dramatic, but still)! No matter the reason for its disappearance, I am highly saddened, frustrated, and disappointed by this recent financial mistake. Gift cards rock, but I always seem to hold onto them too long... so they end up getting lost or they expire before I use them. This is the anti-thesis to peaceful finances when you are counting on that card to cover some needed costs.

How about you? Have you ever lost a gift card or let it expired unintentionally?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Prime Time Money's Review of High-Yield Online Savings Accounts

Prime Time Money has recently posted a handy review of the major players in the online high-yield savings accounts. To read his post, check out High-Yield Savings Account Mini-Reviews. It's a nice article to get an idea of some of the online banks and what their current offerings are.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Go Green, Gain Green

Image by author, March 2008, Oxford

The green movement is quite trendy today. Yet, many people have been living green for a long time, maybe without even realizing it. No matter the reason for "going green", green choices are often economical. A big (broad) example is that reducing one's consumption is probably one of the most environmentally-friendly things a person can do. Decrease your amount of consumption (of cars, clothes, energy, electronics, fuel, food, paper, plastic, toys, water, etc.) and you will inevitably save money as well.

Green (our environment) and green (your money) go hand in hand. "Going green" does not only mean buying expensive pairs of organic jeans (but props to you if you can afford them and want to spend your dough on them) or having the latest, coolest Hybrid. Driving a 1998 used-Honda that is well-maintained can be what makes sense for you. And it can be especially green if you are conscious about your driving habits (no quick starts or stops) and you try to lump trips together when you do drive (instead of walking, taking public transportation, or biking). Likewise, buying new (even if it supposed to be eco-friendly), while trashing something older, doesn't necessarily make sense, especially if the old goes directly to the landfill.

Being conscious and reducing what you consume are things that can easily earn you more green [since more green money (at least for those in the States) will remain in your savings account]. At the same time, you are being "greener" and more eco-savvy.

For more thoughts on being a clean, green machine:

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Quality vs. Cost

I'm slowly learning that quality needs to be a bigger factor in my consumeristic decisions.

As a college student, cost ruled my world. At TJ Maxx, I picked the running shoes with the lowest cost. Score! At the thrift store, I'd snag some sweet finds. Vintage Levi's for $8. Say hello to mama! A free avocado-green blender, from my Aunt, that hasn't been used in decades. Sweet!

TJ Maxx, thrift stores, and hand-me-downs still have a role in my life (especially for cool clothes deals), but as I'm getting older and my husband and I are starting to purchase appliances and furniture for our home, I am becoming more aware of the importance of quality. For example, when I'm looking for pots and pans, I don't necessarily want to get the cheapest ones I can find. The greenest and most economical decision is to get quality pots and pans, with a timeless look that will withstand the test of my experimental cooking for years and years and years. Basically, I want those babies to last.

So, for me, no more really cheap deal on a blender that will only lasts through one smoothie-making blitz! I'm looking for stuff that will go the distance. That is good business for my pocket book and for the Earth.

How about you? How do you weight quality versus cost in your decisions?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dave Ramsey's "Drive Free, Retire Rich" Video

I just watched a video about the cost of car ownership. Dave Ramsey addresses the obvious to the not so obvious in this cute but effective video. While this was created to demonstrate what a money drain cars can be, especially when they are purchased new and replaced soon, the concept can be extended to other aspects of one's financial life.