Author Archives: Ann Hartter

How to Make Your Credit Card Less Useful

I am sure at some time in our bill-paying lives each of us has stared at a lengthy itemization of a credit card statement and wondered, “How did I get so bound to a piece of plastic?” We try planning, … Continue reading

Posted in Credit Cards, Debt | 13 Comments

How Living A Cluttered Life Can Cost You

At some point, we’ve all done it: during the middle of a move or the week of finals. Somehow, everything gets shuffled. Some of us make it a way of life. But something not very many people consider is how … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Housing, Personal Finance, Saving Money | 14 Comments

Financial Jargon From A to Z

What is jargon? It is a social term technically defined as the lexicon (set of words) used in an esoteric (specialized) field. It is what we’re talking about when we say “I don’t get all that medical mumbo-jumbo” or “The … Continue reading

Posted in Personal Finance | 2 Comments

Things About People and their Money that Make Me Angry

We all have those little pet peeves about people and money. These are some of the things that put the flame to the fire when I see them happen: Left receipts at the grocery store. This is a blatant indication … Continue reading

Posted in Personal Finance | 19 Comments

Treasure Hunting Empty Houses

Do you ever wander by an empty house for sale or rent and wonder what kinds of treasures it may hold? You might be surprised. Once, I had my secrets about houses, but now that I’m a homeowner and won’t … Continue reading

Posted in Housing | 12 Comments

Learn to Play an Instrument on a Modest Budget

Some students go through rigorous training. Some students attend private lessons daily, and for hours. Some students are gifted. Some students have access to thicker pocketbooks, and some students dedicate their lives to their instrument. However, “picking up” an instrument … Continue reading

Posted in Saving Money | 3 Comments

The Great Crayon Reform: How To Revitalize Used Crayons

The older the artist, the smaller the crayons become. Many kids don’t have a problem with broken crayons. Many kids ignore them. Many kids get gifted several boxes of crayons in a year, or build up a collection over time. … Continue reading

Posted in X Files | 4 Comments

How to Curb Over-Generated Art Without Curbing the Imagination

Babies draw. Toddlers draw. Kids draw. They color from the first time they get a crayon in their hand to the time they learn to write, as sketches and drawings are their best way of written communication and expression. As … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 2 Comments

10 Free (or Nearly Free) Ways to Get Books

I love books. I’m addicted to bindings, paper, and ink. I become intoxicated by the smell of an old edition. I melt at a beautiful children’s picture book. I truly breathe only when the printed word is being read across … Continue reading

Posted in Saving Money | 7 Comments

Real Estate Cars

My husband sighs, “I’m still bummed about the Cayenne.” We’re at a stoplight and out the driver’s side window is a beautiful, sparkling, silver Porsche Cayenne. About a year ago we were hot in the market for a new car. … Continue reading

Posted in Cars, Personal Finance | 1 Comment

Mall Kiosks: Some Shopping Observations

So kiosks can’t think, but there is a lot of thought behind them, as well as a surprising lack of thought. Kiosks hold a pretty unique spot in the sales realm, and since most frugal shoppers like to know the … Continue reading

Posted in Shopping | 3 Comments

Moving – 10 Financial Reason You Should Always Help

In the past year, I have moved. My sister-in-law has and is again moving. My best friend’s mom moved, and my best friend moved. In the past six years, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law have each made significant moves, I have … Continue reading

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

Tips for Taking an Impromptu Vacation

Not everyone can afford the impromptu vacation, and we couldn’t have done it without having done some basic preparations. Here’s what we did, and what we spent, that made our two days refreshing and allowed us to arrive home relaxed. … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, Holidays, Saving Money, Travel | 1 Comment

Saving Secrets: How To Save Money Buying School Supplies

I remember my mother being hit with that little piece of paper once a year: the school supply list specifying discretely the ways your child will be ridiculed if you skip something, or worse, choose to empty your wallet on … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Saving Money, Shopping | 9 Comments

Ten Great No-Cost Newspaper Gift Ideas

Newspapers are handy inventions. They are delivered to our door once a day, whether we want it today or not. They are at every grocery store, en masse. Wrinkle and shake one open, and you can find all sorts of … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Saving Money | 10 Comments