Author Archives: Shannon Christman

Twelve Ways Advertisers Insult Consumers

Advertising sells products. Yet, for all the time advertisers spend trying to make their products stand out, many ads don’t seem to be very well thought out. In fact, many of them have the opposite of the intended effect on … Continue reading

Posted in Shopping | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

How Local Schools Can Help You Save Money on Entertainment and Services

It’s a catch-22 for many young people: to get the job, you need experience, but to get experience, you need the job. Many schools are aware of this problem and encourage students to get as much practical experience as possible … Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting, Entertainment, Frugal, Saving Money | 1 Comment

Selfish Reasons to Give Money Away

One basic fundraising rule is to tell potential donors what’s in it for them. It sounds strange that charities would appeal to donors’ sense of self-interest rather than to their sense of charity, but that’s what they do, albeit subtly, … Continue reading

Posted in Personal Finance, Taxes | Leave a comment

15 Money-Related Things I’m Thankful For

Usually at Thanksgiving, I make a point to give thanks for non-material things. I need that reminder not to overlook the things that really matter when I’m so busy thinking about earning, saving, and spending money. However, this year, I … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Personal Finance | 21 Comments

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

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

Ten Great Reasons to Have Frugal Friends

Alcoholics Anonymous, Weight Watchers, local faith communities, service organizations, and even mommy groups all acknowledge the power of positive peer pressure. When you want to accomplish a goal or live your life a certain way, it is a bit easier … Continue reading

Posted in Frugal, Relationships, Saving Money | 7 Comments

Financial Nostalgia: Do We Really Want to Return to the Days of Ten Cent Ice-Cream Cones?

My Dad loves to save money and to tell stories. One way he combines these loves is to reminisce about the low prices in “the good old days.” He is realistic, however. When he talks about buying ice cream cones … Continue reading

Posted in Personal Finance | 3 Comments

If It’s Broke, Fix It

In James Grippando’s novel, Lying with Strangers, a nurse tells a doctor, “We are the last repairmen on earth.” He goes on to explain that people rarely take the time to fix things anymore; soon the only thing left that’s … Continue reading

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

Christmas Clubs and the All-Cash Christmas

When my mom started her first job around 1950 or so, she didn’t have a 401(k), but she did have a Christmas club. Every paycheck showed a deduction for her Christmas club savings account, an account she emptied each December … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Personal Finance, Saving Money, Shopping | 4 Comments

Ten Free Things to Do at the Mall

My family is unusual. We love to go to the mall, but we rarely buy anything. While I don’t recommend this form of recreation for a compulsive spender, those who have strong self-control (or who simply don’t want many of … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, Shopping | 7 Comments

Live Auctions: A Beginner’s Guide

EBay and its competitors have renewed the popularity of auction-style sales, but many online auction devotees have been too busy or too intimidated to try the real thing – a live auction. They are the equivalent of football fans who … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, Saving Money, Shopping | 7 Comments

Will You Need A License To Sell On eBay?

Last week, eBay sent me a message urging me to contact my state representatives in support of a bill that would exempt eBay sellers in Pennsylvania from having to get auctioneer licenses. “You may have heard the Pennsylvania State Board … Continue reading

Posted in X Files | 11 Comments

Another Chain Letter: Why This One Won’t Work, Either

“You must follow the simple instructions exactly, and in less than three months, you will receive $800,000. GUARANTEED,” promise the two identical, unsigned letters I received in the past month. That statement alone should make anyone skeptical – not only … Continue reading

Posted in Personal Finance | 19 Comments

Ten Inexpensive Alternatives to Sending Flowers to a Funeral

Romantics will tell you that fresh flowers are perfect objects of condolence because they symbolize the beauty and brevity of life; allergics will tell you that they would prefer their sniffles and tears at a funeral to be from grief. … Continue reading

Posted in Relationships, Saving Money | 16 Comments

How to Handle Social Obligation Expenses

“You’re causing me social stress!” was a common complaint of my college roommate, who liked solitude. I, on the other hand, loved the social life of the dorms and the wide activities college offered. I knew what she meant by … Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting, Saving Money | 13 Comments

Fifty Things To Do with Junk Mail

One definition of frugality is making the best use of the resources available. I have an abundance of junk mail, so I thought, How can I make junk mail useful? Here are some ideas from my brainstorming session: 1. Sign … Continue reading

Posted in Saving Money | 5 Comments

Fraud by the Quarter: The Perfect Crime?

I may have discovered the perfect crime. I can’t tell you who exactly is committing it, how exactly he’s doing, or who exactly it hurts, but I know someone, somewhere could be getting rich from it. Last month, a charge … Continue reading

Posted in Credit Cards | 12 Comments

Save Money by Doing Your (Financial) Chores

It’s easy to get so caught up in looking for new ways to make or save money that we neglect our regular financial chores. But taking care of the money you already have can prevent some losses and can help … Continue reading

Posted in Personal Finance, Saving Money | 7 Comments

Eleven Tricks Stores Play To Make You Think You’re Getting a Better Deal Than You Are

Last week, I thought I had found a great deal on 12-packs of 7-Up and A & W root beer ($2 each) but my total grocery bill seemed high, and when I checked my receipt at home, I found I … Continue reading

Posted in Food / Groceries, Personal Finance, Saving Money, Shopping | 10 Comments