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Saving On Gas Tips

May 27th, 2006 at 11:13 am

I just spent the last few hours surfing the Internet looking for tips to save money on gas - there are quite a few of them. I need help if you know of any other tips (whether they work or not) that I may have missed. Thanks for your help in advance.

Saving Games

May 23rd, 2006 at 10:13 pm

I've always been a game player when it comes to my saving. If I can turn the saving into some type of game or competition, I can keep with a lot better in the long run. It also turns the saving from being a chore into something that is enjoyable (at least for me).

Wixx has come up with an interesting Finder's Fee Game that I think I'll incorporate into our other games. my wife and I do well at these type of games - especially if the savings go toward something like a nice dinner out.

Chinese Save 30%

March 9th, 2006 at 05:47 am

An interesting article over at Money.com that says while Americans currently have a saving rate of less than zero, the Chinese have a personal savings rate of approximately 30%.

How Smart Are TV Viewers?

February 24th, 2006 at 05:38 am

The TV Media doesn't think very - a quote from Geraldine Laybourne, the head of Oxygen Media, speaking out against the a la carte cable TV plan.

ďTV viewers often don't know what they want to watch until it's there for them as an option.Ē

Well, there you go. We don't know what we want to watch so we should pay more to figure it out. Did I miss some logic somewhere?

It Pays For Itself

February 19th, 2006 at 08:23 pm

It's always a nice break when I come across a piece written about personal finance or saving money that has a bit of humor in it (I think that is one aspect of personal finance education that is almost non existent - if you could write a personal finance book that also incorporated humor, you'd have a great tool to teach plus make a lot of money)

In my daily reading I came across this article titled The Cost of Saving Money Is Adding Up: After a careful review of our household finances, I have come to the conclusion that we can't afford things that pay for themselves.

Once we have the new furnace installed, I consider having all the windows replaced, because it seems like a shame to have all that brand-new heat going outside. So I call a window company to come out and give us an estimate. The estimate is about 4,000 times higher than I expected.

"I know it sounds expensive," the salesperson concedes, "but these windows will pay for themselves."

"How soon?"

"Well, depending on various factors, no more than 20 years."

"I won't be living here in 20 years," I reply. "In 20 years I'll probably be living someplace where they come along every couple of hours and wipe the applesauce off your chin."

While the article takes jabs at investing in appliances that "pay for themselves" over time, it brings up a valid point and one where you need to seriously consider how you will be using the items you purchase. Buying the cheapest doesn't always save you money if it costs more to run while investing in an appliance that will "pay for itself" doesn't make sense if you're not going to be there to benefit from the savings (this is not taking environmental factors into account which would be a separate argument).

If you've been reading a lot of personal finance lately, take a short break to read this and put a smile back on your face before tackling more articles...

Saving Isn't Sexy

February 2nd, 2006 at 08:08 pm

This post has already gotten me in trouble with my wife, but I swear it was necessary research!

Big Mike was kind enough to inform me that:

"The problem with this (simple investing) plan is that itís boring, and if itís too boring people would rather spend their money on a new car than the investment plan, and theyíll never get to that $100,000."

Boring?!? Hmmm, obviously there are people who visit here that don't think that my writing is sexy enough and I wasn't going to sit around and do nothing about it. Research - I needed to do lots of in depth research (yes, you can now see why this post got me in trouble with my wife Wink ). What I found wasn't promising. According to this piece, saving money is just not sexy:


Weíre told money isnít everything. It canít buy love, happiness, talent or respect. But while we like to say we trust such ideals, popular culture suggests otherwise. After all, itís only after Scrooge opens his wallet that he obtains friendship and approval.

A silly dichotomy exists in our current culture of mass consumption. First, the stereotypical savers, who put on a sweater rather than adjust the thermostat and are afraid to have any fun, opt to squirrel away nickels and dimes for distant rewards Ė education, retirement, travel. As in Monopoly, personal wealth is itself the goal, and millionaire status can be obtained through a lifetime of pinching pennies.

Second, the suave spenders, who shop their way to glamour, thrill and status with carefree spontaneity, indulge in immediate pleasures like fast cars, fancy clothes and frequent excitement.

Itís true Ė saving isnít sexy. But the credit-based, material-girl lifestyle norm isnít healthy.


So obviously with my saving money as the best investment you can make theory, I'm up against some pretty strong stereotypes in trying to convince people that saving money is sexy. To solve this problem I decided I needed to embrace the tools that are used to create the culture of spending and apply them to saving money. If a commercial can convince bald, aging men that they can have sexy cheerleaders doing cheers just for them if they buy the right kind of beer, I can convince my readers that saving money is sexy by simply posting lots of scantily clad women among my writing! (you can see how this project was getting me in even deeper trouble with my wife)

Saving Money Is Sexy Association

Realizing that a good portion of my readers are women, I also needed to place a token scantily clad male subject within the writing too (for some strange reason, there was no complaint from my wife at this...)

Saving Money Is Sexy Association 2

I also decided that it was important to place in at least one sexy link to add to the sexiness of the entire post.

So there you have it. I have transformed my simple investing plan from a boring tutorial into one that will ensure that every person that follows it will have scantily clad women or men all around them (depending on your preference). It's amazing what you can accomplish with a little bit of marketing association wizardry.

Saving Money Is Sexy! (and for some strange reason, my wife now wants to go through my recently bookmarked pages...)

Smart Financial Move

February 1st, 2006 at 09:45 pm

I was reading the latest Millionaires in the Making and wanted to point out a smart money move that they made that most people would never consider:

"Most people move into a bigger house when they have kids. Not the Lees. To both give their two children a good education and continue saving for retirement, 13 years ago the Lee's downsized from a new 3,200 square foot, 5-bedroom colonial to a 30-year-old, 2,200 square foot four bedroom home...

The smaller house was in a better school district and thus avoided the need to send the kids to expensive private schools. Instead they plowed that money into their 401(k)s..."

With everyone always thinking "more and bigger" it goes to show how doing something a bit different can have a huge impact on your finances.

Negative Savings For 2005

January 30th, 2006 at 08:48 pm

If you came out of 2005 with more savings (or less debt) than you began with at the beginning of the year, give yourself a huge pat on the back. You were one of the few. The Commerce Department reported today that consumer rose more than double the rise in incomes which left the 2005 savings rate at the lowest level since the Great Depression: negative 0.5% This is the first time the savings rate has been in negative territory outside of the Great Depression

While there are a lot of experts putting on the spin that the reason people spent more than they had in disposable income was due to "soaring housing prices which made them feel wealthier," I'm not buying it. I think it is an attitude change where people don't believe that they have to save anymore. A perfect example is the huge increase in no down payment mortgages for homes.

When I was talking to some friends the other day about saving for a down payment, they looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language (and I swear I wasn't speaking Japanese at the time). There attitude was, "why save for a down payment when there is no need to?" Their basic logic was that they can get a loan for no money down so they must be making enough money to afford it - an extremely dangerous assumption.

I'm wondering what type of spin the experts will put on if the savings rate is still in negative territory and the housing market isn't growing as much as it has been - my prediction for 2006. For all of you taking the time to visit the personal finance site and get your finances in order, give yourself a huge pat on the back. You're obviously in the minority at the moment...

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