Monthly Archives: November 2007

Dinner Parties: Plain and Simple

Dinner parties can be a lot of fun to attend, but not necessarily a lot of fun to host. From staying up late the night before preparing the meal to racing home after work to finish cooking the meal, it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, Food / Groceries | Leave a comment

Six Frugal Family Gift Exchange Ideas

I used to love Christmas shopping. I truly enjoyed searching for just the perfect gift for each person on my list – something that fit each one’s personality and interests, something that no one else would buy, and yet something … Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting, Frugal, Holidays, Saving Money, Shopping | 6 Comments

Breaking a Bad Spending Habit

For me, running errands or shopping for groceries is like an adventure. Every time I enter a store there’s always a new item on sale, which of course I never need, but yet I always end up buying. Why is … Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting, Credit Cards, Personal Finance, Saving Money | 2 Comments

Free Online Puzzles: Where to Get Your Daily Dose

I enjoy doing most kinds of puzzles. My favorites are logic puzzles (the type that usually come with a grid in the Penny Press Logic Puzzles magazine), kakuro, and crosswords. My local newspaper carries kakuro only on Sundays and doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment | 6 Comments

Four Phases of the Family Financial Cycle

By David John Marotta In 1985, an MIT professor won the Nobel Prize for a simple technique that squirrels have known intuitively from birth — you have to “squirrel” away some nuts during times of plenty so you can survive … Continue reading

Posted in Saving Money | 4 Comments

5 Reasons to Ditch the Car in College and 5 Ways to Do It

Last year I went without a car in my first year of graduate school. The result? I saved myself $2000 in student loans, just in parking, gas, and insurance. With education costs rising, cutting out car expenses can really be … Continue reading

Posted in Cars, Personal Finance, Saving Money | 3 Comments

Calories and Cash: How to Avoid Overeating and Overspending this Holiday Season

Lately I’ve been trying to save more and spend less, all the while trying to exercise more and eat less. I’ve learned that even though I’m trying to accomplish two different goals, the principles to succeed are very similar. And … Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting, Food / Groceries, Health, Holidays, Personal Finance, Saving Money, Shopping | 1 Comment

What the Rich Know and the Poor Don’t

By David John Marotta Financial planning is important, but it is never urgent. Most people fail to establish a financial plan because they fail to start planning. Some resolutions can be postponed, but for every six years that you delay … Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting, Investing, Personal Finance | 4 Comments

Money Communication with Weekly Pow-wows

Shortly after my husband and I got engaged, he asked to take a look at how much I had in student loans. He knew that my graduate program cost a lot, but had no idea how much in the red … Continue reading

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Have the Courage to have the Christmas You Can Afford

I was talking with a group of friends about the upcoming holidays and one said, “I’m so afraid of Christmas. I don’t know how we’re going to afford it and I just know we’re going to end up in financial … Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting, Frugal, Holidays, Personal Finance, Saving Money | 8 Comments

Build Your Own Solar Window Heater for $10 – Save $45 a Month

This is my project for the weekend – to build a solar window heater (shown in the video below). It’s been a fairly mild winter here in Japan thus far and I have managed not to take out the space … Continue reading

Posted in Saving Money, Utilities | 17 Comments

How to Buy a Car without Breaking the Bank

By David John Marotta and Justin Harris Purchasing a car is the second biggest spending decision we face as consumers next to buying a home. Unlike real estate or an investment portfolio which appreciates, cars are rapidly depreciating assets. In … Continue reading

Posted in Cars, Debt, Insurance, Investing, Personal Finance, Saving Money | 1 Comment

Student Loans: How to Pay Them Off and Build Wealth

By David John Marotta and Beth Anderson Nedelisky The average college student graduates with almost $20,000 in student loans. While this is a daunting sum, it is still possible to build wealth even while paying off student debt. But earning … Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting, Debt, Education, Investing, Personal Finance, Taxes | 37 Comments

The Final Leg of the Journey

Yesterday, as I washed two coffee mugs that my aunt gave me, I said unexpectedly to myself, “These will be among my final things.” An image flashed before me. I saw myself, old and shrunken, seated at a little table … Continue reading

Posted in Personal Finance, Relationships, Retirement | 2 Comments

10 Ways to Save Money by “Plugging Out”

I am one of the first to admit that television, video games, the Internet, and cell phones add fun and convenience to our lives. But this past April I took the challenge presented by and shut the television off … Continue reading

Posted in Frugal, Personal Finance, Saving Money, Utilities | 4 Comments

Five Simple Financial Commitments to a Better Marriage

By David John Marotta No married couple wants a scandal, even if it is just financial in nature. Money problems can ruin the love affair with your spouse. The work of blending two lives in harmony requires certain basic commitments. … Continue reading

Posted in Relationships, Saving Money, Shopping | 2 Comments

Why I Have Decided to Buy a Jukebox

I love music. My husband collects CDs like I collect books. We also have a large collection of LPs and of MP3s on our computer. I won’t even go into our magnetic tape collection. Literally, I won’t go into it. … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, Shopping | 6 Comments

Five Profound Experiences (that Happen to be Free)

There’s a lot more to life than money. Even when you do concentrate on money issues, it should be with the thought of getting your finances in order so you can pursue the experiences in life that you want. Yet … Continue reading

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Visualize Credit Card Use: That $8.50 Lunch Costs You $850 at Age 63 and $8,500 by Age 85

By David John Marotta If your credit card minimum payment was $10 and you repaid it every month for 15 1/2 years with an accruing interest of 15.9%, a $1,000 purchase would end up costing $2,250. Every time you use … Continue reading

Posted in Credit Cards, Debt, Education, Investing, Personal Finance, Retirement, Shopping | 5 Comments

Buy Big, Save Big: Ideas for Getting the Most Out of Your Big Purchase

I definitely wouldn’t consider myself an impulse spender. At least not on items of $50 or more. That seems to be my line of what I would consider a small purchase or a big purchase. Everyone has a different number … Continue reading

Posted in Personal Finance, Saving Money, Shopping | Leave a comment