Author Archives: Jennifer Derrick

The Problems With Keeping Things Pristine

Twice in recent weeks I’ve come across situations where people were trying so hard to keep their things in pristine condition that they ended up cheating themselves out of some fun and being a complete jerk. The first happened when … Continue reading

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Take Responsibility for Your Purchasing Decisions

Last week I had the misfortune of witnessing a messy exchange in the return line at a local department store. The woman ahead of me was trying to return some items that she bought and had apparently decided that she … Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting, Personal Finance, Saving Money, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Saving Money vs. Privacy

We all want to save money. Unfortunately, many of the ways to save money available today require that you sacrifice at least a little bit of your privacy. Retailers, websites, and manufacturers want your personal information and information about your … Continue reading

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10 Advantages of Keeping All of Your Accounts at One Financial Institution

Last week I wrote a piece about the advantages of keeping accounts at multiple financial institutions. The benefits range from having fall back money if one account is compromised to taking advantage of the strengths of certain types of banks. … Continue reading

Posted in Personal Finance, Saving Money | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

11 Ways to Keep Fresh Produce Fresh Longer

One area that most people try to save money is on food. Many people trying to eat healthy on a budget bemoan the fact that fresh produce doesn’t stay fresh for long. Too much of it goes to waste because … Continue reading

Posted in Food / Groceries, Personal Finance, Saving Money, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

13 Ways to Prepare for a Layoff

Layoffs are hard, but not all layoffs are totally unexpected. Often you can see a layoff coming if you keep your eyes and ears open. Some warning signs: The company seems to be struggling and bills aren’t getting paid or … Continue reading

Posted in Personal Finance, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

10 Advantages of Using Multiple Financial Institutions

I have several acquaintances that do all of their banking with one institution. (Typically it’s the bank that holds their mortgage or where they have a large investment account like an IRA or 401K.) They use that one bank for … Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting, Personal Finance | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Pay Attention: Changes Affect Money

I wrote a few weeks ago about how many people are upset about the end of the Social Security tax holiday. Now that tax rates have returned to 6.2%, many people are struggling to readjust their budgets because they’d come … Continue reading

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Choosing a Hobby Without Spending a Fortune

I’ve heard plenty of people bemoan the fact that they don’t have a hobby. Some even post to some of the message boards I frequent, asking for help choosing a hobby. This isn’t a position to which I can personally … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, Frugal, Personal Finance, Saving Money, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Time Flies and It’ll Cost You

Last year there were changes to our health insurance plan. The employer has always used a high deductible plan and they have always been kind enough to contribute $2,000 toward that deductible. The money has always been available at the … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Insurance, Personal Finance, Retirement, Saving Money | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Valentine’s Day: The Battle Between Frugality and Disappointment

This time of year there are lots of tips about how to save money on Valentine’s Day. Advice abounds about ways to show your love for free and alternative gift ideas such as coupons for kid-free days and taking over … Continue reading

Posted in Frugal, Holidays, Personal Finance, Relationships, Saving Money, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

The Best Gift I Gave This Year

This past Christmas I gave many gifts. None of them were dramatically expensive, but my family really enjoys the gift exchange and I enjoy finding the perfect gifts for each person. The hunt is almost as much fun as the … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Personal Finance, Relationships, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Goal List

We all have financial goals. Maybe you want to retire early, travel more, pay down debt, or save more money. Having goals is what drives us forward and keeps us from staying in the same place. Unfortunately, many of us … Continue reading

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What Do You Need?

If you want to get ahead financially, one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is, “What do I need?” It seems like such a simple question, one where the answers should be immediately obvious. You need food, … Continue reading

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10 Things to Do Instead of Complaining

Like most people, I sometimes find myself complaining about money or “stuff.” Sometimes I get frustrated by work and money issues, or when there’s something I want that I can’t afford, either immediately or ever. There will always be people … Continue reading

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Is Brand Loyalty Costing You Money?

Most of us have brands and products that we prefer over others. Maybe we prefer the taste or we’ve found that Product A works better than Product B. Sometimes our loyalty is rooted in the prestige a brand confers upon … Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting, Food / Groceries, Frugal, Personal Finance, Saving Money, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Don’t Count on Windfalls

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks listening to the bitter complaints over the “loss” of the two percent Social Security tax holiday. In case you’ve missed it (or you aren’t from the U.S. and didn’t follow our “fiscal cliff” … Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting, Personal Finance, Taxes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What Does It Mean to Be Rich?

Everybody wants to be rich. And there are many people in the world who certainly appear to have achieved it. What’s funny, though, is that I’ve never met a single person who says that they feel rich, wealthy, or well-off. … Continue reading

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Using Credit as an Emergency Fund is a Bad Idea

Not too long ago my neighbor needed a new water heater. After it was installed, we went on one of our daily walks and she moaned about the expense and hassle. “Well,” I said, “at least you covered it out … Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting, Credit Cards, Personal Finance | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Difference Between Budget Living and Being Cheap

When many people think about becoming budget-conscious, they cringe because they associate living on a budget with being cheap. They don’t want to be known as, “That cheap SOB.”What they don’t understand is that the two terms are very different. … Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting, Frugal, Personal Finance, Saving Money | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments