From the monthly archives:

March 2009

Wide Open Wallet hosted the Carnival of Personal Finance: “World Record Edition” this week which included my article on “Why Lending Club Isn’t for Most People.”

Last Weeks Carnivals:

MoneyTLD hosted the Money Hacks Carnival Spring Edition containing my article on “Why is Money a Four Letter Word.”

MoneyNing hosted the Festival of Frugality #170 Last Week which had my article on “Store Brand vs. Name Brand.”

PimpYourFinances ran the Carnival of 20 Something Finances with my article on “What is a Ponzi Scheme”

Four Pillars hosted the Carnival of Personal Finance #197 including my article on “Your Rights Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act”

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Savings rates The rate at which people are saving is on the rise which is a great thing, but if you have been struggling trying to get yourself to save or even just to save more I have three great ways you can increase your savings automatically.

Direct Deposit

The best way you could increase savings with minimal impact is to take it out before you ever get it. Psychology has more to do with your ability to save than your actual financial situation. If your employer allows it you should partition out your paychecks to put your savings away before you ever really get it.   Commit to an amount, set it, and forget it.  It really is that easy and you will probably never even miss it.  David Chilton in “The Wealthy Barber” recommends saving 10%. When it never hits your checking account you are much less likely to spend it.

Automatic Debits

Next to the direct deposit your best bet is going to be setting up automatic ACH to either deposit the funds into your savings account or pull it out of your checking account. You need to make it automatic and you need to try to forget it is happening. The down side here is that you are going to have to keep up with this as an additional item in your check register and you may be tempted, when times are tight, to cut out that line item to make things easier on the checking account.

Flexible Spending Account

Many people credit Flexible Spending Account’s for their tax breaks but there is an added advantage.  You spend money and then you have to submit your receipts et. al. to get reimbursed for it.  The key here is that you already spent the money, it’s gone.  Set your spending account to pay back directly into your savings and you have instant savings.  If you have a dependant care account that is $5,000 a year in added savings. Because you already spent it you probably aren’t going to miss it, make that money work harder for you and save it or invest it.

The key to all three of these options is to set it up and forget about it.  Make it a subconcious act and you are going to see your savings increase like you never have before.

Photo: (krasi)

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Every Sunday I try to reference 4-5 articles I found particularly insightful or useful. This week I am highlighting some great articles I read about living frugally.

MoneyNing had a great post on Inheriting Frugal Living

Flexo over at Consumerism Commentary lists eight tips for living through a recession.

MoneyTLD’s Mike talks about eBaying Coupons

Green Panda Treehouse and Get Rich Slowly both had great articles on saving money at the grocery store.

Jim with Bargaineering compares the cost benefit of switching to a single serve coffee pot vs. Starbucks coffee.

If you don’t follow me on Twitter then you probably aren’t aware that I am currently out of town, I unfortunately won’t be able to post on Monday and Possibly Tuesday but look for some new stuff for the rest of the week.

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Vampire Power is Sucking Your Wallet Dry

March 27, 2009

Vampire power can be described as that little bit of juice your electronics need to be able to turn on when you click your remote, or the power required to keep you satellite data on the receiver.  Whenever you turn off your TV, your blue ray, and your cable box, they go into more of […]

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Ramblings of a Tired Man

March 25, 2009

At what point does our propensity for savings and frugality start to affect our ability to enjoy life in the now?  I could give you 100 examples on 100 blogs about finance of how to save money, make money, grow your own food, etc.  Finance books talk about how American’s desire to accumulate things has […]

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