Personal Finance Roundup

5 Memberships Worth Signing Up For [Yahoo Finance] “There are some paid memberships that do pay for themselves — and quickly.”

Prepay a Mortgage? It Depends [NY Times] “In the current financial environment, prepaying on a mortgage might make sense.”

How to save $8,919.45 a year [CNN Money] “In tough times, consumers are looking to stretch their dollars further. Here are six simple ways to save thousands.”

4 Financial Crisis-Related Scams [US News] “Con artists are using market fears to collect personal information and defraud investors.”

Five Signs You May Be on the Layoff List [Wall Street Journal] “Here are five omens that may signal your position is on the line.”

FREE MONEY FINANCE (Photo: Marike79)


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  1. tange1 says:

    Great – my company has 4 of the 5 items happening from the article “Five Signs You May Be on the Layoff List “

    No one is out the door yet..

  2. kathyl says:

    I really wish I hadn’t already been cheap (budget-minded?) before the recent financial downturn so I could read an article that talks about almost $9,000 worth of savings I could realize and actually find one line item that applies to me. I already don’t drink coffee at all, much less Starbucks, have energy-efficient appliances, buy generics when they make sense, carry no CC debt, and have free child-watching swaps with other parents/friends. (Too bad, I was looking forward to another $9,000.) Someone needs to write an article about how someone who was already a tightwad (oops, I decided I’d call myself budget-minded, didn’t I?) can save more money.

    The tip in the Yahoo article about joining the zoo is probably good only if you have kids, as most adults don’t seem to have the same zoo/aquarium/animal watching compulsion that your average toddler/elementary school-aged kid has. Also, unless you have a big-ticket electronics purchase coming up, I’d still say it’s only worth joining a warehouse club if there’s one within a reasonable driving distance from your home or work. I’d blow an extra 40 miles (round trip) worth of gas driving to the nearest warehouse club, and I’d probably be tempted to buy too much crap I don’t really need once there to make the trip “worth the drive”.

    Good to have links to articles to make you think, though, even if it’s to decide that you disagree. :)

    • floraposte says:

      @kathyl: Seriously. It’s like the authors of these articles don’t have ideas for people who aren’t doing considerable overspending already. “Wanna lose weight? Give up the after-breakfast brownie sundae and walk to the car instead of being carried.”

      • oneandone says:

        @floraposte: Exactly! On the one hand, I’m still holding out hope for relevant advice. On the other hand, I guess there are some people who need the reality check, or are using the current state of things to change their lifestyle.

        And on the other other hand, I’ve now decided to have brownie sundaes for dinner.

  3. emona says:

    A membership that wasn’t on the list but worth it: Museums! Our membership of $125 gets us both in for free, free parking, discounts on special exhibits, free films, special previews…. and we use it like crazy! Plus, it admits us to something like 250 other art museums nationwide, so we always have a cheap day of fun no matter what family member we’re visiting.

    This has come in handy when we’ve (recently) been too broke to do anything but watch Netflix online but were dying to get out of the house.

    • frugalgirl says:

      @emona: I work in museums and I think people forget about them, especially if they don’t have kids, and they are a great resource. thanks!

  4. hellinmyeyes says:

    Wow, am I the only one that thinks the NYT article on mortgages is total crap? (At least until the very end, when he says something that actually does make sense, like paying off early and having the ability to tap a HELOC if necessary.)

    • Fist-o™ says:

      @hellinmyeyes: Nope, I agree with you there. Only a moron would keep a mortgage around so they could invest the rest at a higher interest rate. Too many risks.

  5. bishophicks says:

    Massachusetts ParksPass costs $35 per year and gives you free parking at all Mass state parks, beaches (except 2), inland waterways, etc. For people 62 and over, the pass is free. What’s more, the pass is for a car, so if you take your family to the beach and pick up grandpa on the way, you can use his pass even if he’s a passenger.

    Once I had kids, the BJ’s membership became a no-brainer. My kids drink a gallon of milk per week and I save $1 or so per gallon, so that alone more than covers the membership. They offer a lot of processed foods, but I ignore them and shop mostly for eggs, bread, meat, fish, flour, sugar, basic vegetables and some fruit (bananas were so cheap I thought I was committing a crime). I probably net about $500 per year in savings after covering the membership fee.

  6. resonanteye says:

    It’s funny to read stories telling people to use coupons. It always makes me wonder what world the people writing the article have been living in- doesn’t everyone always use coupons? and shop for the lowest price?

    If I saved 50$ more a week on my groceries, I’d be getting them for free.

  7. frodo_35 says:

    You can save 150$ yearly by spending thousands on crappy appliances that wont last 5 years. Thanks for the tip. Am I the only guy making 40 grand a year on this site. 6 bucks a day for lunch try 110 for the big n tasty or .50 for that cup o noodles. The sad thing is I make alot higher wage the then average in this rural co in tn. Who were these tips designed for. Save money do you own landscaping fire that service. Moms stop volunteering to save gas in the hummer and lose the upstairs maid.

  8. synergy says:

    WTF? How much are you spending at the grocery store if you can potentially save $5,200???

  9. nsv says:

    Oh boy, I can save $2 on Windex!

    Or I can buy the generic glass cleaner (my windows don’t mind, really,) and save $3. Publix store brands are mostly great, and there are frequently buy one get one sales, so I cruise all the aisles every week, watching for sales.

    I gave up clipping coupons when I realized that they’re for highly-processed packaged foods or super expensive cleaning products I don’t use. Why would I buy a nasty frozen dinner when I can get a small steak and an ear of corn for the same price?

  10. fairywench says:

    Coupons? Who in the world buys all that processed junk that coupons are used for?

    Probably the same people who thought an Adjustable Rate Mortgage was a good idea, I guess.