Personal Finance Roundup

Back to Basics: Start doing the little money-saving things again [Mighty Bargain Hunter] “Here are thirteen of those little money-saving things that you can do to lessen the pain during these trying times.”

Announcing the Save $1,000 in 30 Days Challenge [I Will Teach You to be Rich] “Each day in November, I’ll post one suggestion to cut your spending. If you spend time each day working on the day’s post, the vast majority of you will save over $1,000 each month.”

25 Useful Pieces Of Free (and Open) Software for Macs [The Simple Dollar] “What follows is a list of twenty five pieces of software that are the cream of the crop of open source software for Macs. Not only is every piece of it free, many of them directly replace expensive software packages.”

Hold Off On Heating with These 10 Warming Ways [Wise Bread] “Ten strategies for keeping warm just a wee bit longer – sans heating unit.”

5 tips for stretching your holiday budget [Consumer Reports] “Great ways to save this holiday season.”

FREE MONEY FINANCE (Photo: frankieleon)

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  1. socktree says:

    My tip for stretching the holiday budget? Box of cookie mix, brownie mix and candy canes. Cheap ribbon and cheap (possibly festive) tupperware, like Gladwear.

    Last year, everyone loved my edible presents and it saved me a ton! I got a ton of people presents and I maybe spent $30 on the entire amount of supplies.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @socktree: I wish I could do that… my parents don’t like cookies and cake, and my mother in law already makes cookies and cake.

      • richcreamerybutter says:

        @socktree: I have some old family recipes, and bake treats from scratch every year. Invest in a decent candy thermometer and everyone will be blown away by your baking and candymaking skills.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @socktree: I embroider and cut some Christmas cost by usually making presents for a couple-three people on my main list.

      If you have any hobby you do competently, there’s probably at least a couple people on your list you can make something for. We have a friend who blows glass as a hobby, so he often makes very pretty pendants for the women on his list.

  2. Git Em SteveDave loves this guy--> says:

    I have a gold bi-centennial quarter as well. Did some company make those?

    • MikeGrenade says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy–>: Yes. The US Mint has never released any Washington quarters containing gold. They are all produced by companies who plate the things with a trivial amount of gold and mark them up like crazy. There’s a lot of state quarters like this floating around, I even found one in some change.

  3. richcreamerybutter says:

    Not open source, but Bare Bones TextWrangler as a free coding/text editor is amazing!

    [www.barebones.com]

  4. youbastid says:

    That $1,000 in 30 days stunt is asinine. “We aren’t going to be like every other list on how to save money that uses retarded tricks to save you $10 per week.” And tip 1 is to not go out to lunch as much. Tip 2? Turn down the thermostat 3 degrees. Step 3 is selling something on eBay, which really has nothing to do with saving money at all.

    • olivia2.0 says:

      I sort of agree with @youbastid: a lot of the tips aren’t ground breaking. But what is more annoying and even offensive is that he actually says “retarded tricks” and THEN he says you have probably never sat in the library and read on a Saturday UNLESS YOU ARE ASIAN.

      This is so f’in offensive, both to people who DO read, and to Asians.

      I refuse to take the advice of someone is who clearly a racist at worst, and insensitive and idiotic at best, and I am actually sort of disappointed that his site is linked to so often from here. I’ve never visited it before, but I am sure never going there again!

    • mr_morgan says:

      You may not agree with how Ramnit presents his stuff on I Will Teach You.. but he has his own voice and he’s innovative. His last two tips are creative and practical ways to save money: optimizing your cell phone bill and using gas prices to become your own hedge fun.

      I’ve read plenty of finance blogs and I’ve never seen anyone suggest anything like that.

  5. EBounding says:

    I liked the idea of the $1000 in a month challenge. It’s not as impossible as people think. But the tips so far have been really lame.

    Here are some of my tips:

    1) Don’t Buy Food for a Month: Even if you haven’t gone shopping in awhile you probably have enough food in your pantry to feed an Ethiopian for a whole year. It’s ok to cheat for small perishables like milk and bread. Potential Savings – $200-$400

    2) Cancel Cable: You’ll survive with just the broadcast channels. Potential Savings – $30-$60

    3) Raise Auto Deductible: Raise the deductible on your insurance. Or even better, eliminate collision coverage. Potential Savings – $10-$40

    4) Work More Hours: Even if you’re salaried, the more you’re at work, the less opportunities you’ll have to spend money.

    5) Lock Yourself at Home: Similar to tip 4, but useful if you can’t get the overtime. I don’t know about everyone else, but the weekends are when my disposable income flies out the window. Stay home and just do things around the house. Plus you won’t be using any gas and there won’t be any chance of you getting in an accident (useful if you’ve already applied tip 3).

    6) Sell Something of Value: Sell something that’s at least $50 and wouldn’t take all that much time to prepare to sell.

    7) Cancel Internet: This would be the last thing on my list, but I would consider it if I really needed the savings.
    Potential Savings – $20-$45

    If you earn near the US median wage, you can easily save $1000 and more if you do these things. With that said though, a challenge to save $1000 in a month is more like a bet, not a lifestyle change. You obviously wouldn’t want to stay at home all the time to save money, that’s a horrible life. But you might want to in order to win a bet like this.

  6. snoop-blog says:

    I have $80+ in bi-cen quarters. You never know, they may be worth some money to someone long after I die.

    No seriously though, I collect all kinds of coins that will probably never be worth any more than face value but at least it’s a emergency savings if nothing else. Even if our currency takes a complete dump at least the metal in them is worth more than paper.

  7. lockdog says:

    Best way to save money on your heating bills, gas or electric is a few $1 tubes of caulk and a package of that window shrink film. We spent a year living in a beautiful old apartment in an absolutely decrepit building. The landlady freely admitted that the reason she hadn’t raised the rent in decades was because the heating costs in the winter were so high. The house had three in the wall type gas heaters. If you wanted to heat a room you brought a lighter with you, and because the heaters themselves (original 1930s) were so old, we never left a room with them on (and had a CO detector in every room).

    We went crazy with the caulk. Went over the house with a stick of incense hunting for cracks in windows, casing, baseboard, behind outlet plates, even some of the cracks in the plaster. The window film came next to really seal things up. Of course, sweaters and slippers in the house, just like Jimmy Carter would have wanted. Our worst gas bill was just over 200 dollars, while our upstairs! neighbor paid $700 the same month. Of course they missed all the rising heat they used to gain free from the previous tenants.