Home & Leisure
Everyday Cheapskate: My Sincere Apologies to Pawnshops Everywhere
In the wake of America's big economic wake-up call back in 2008, dollar stores and thrift stores saw a big resurgence. And now another kind of retail quasi-lender is commanding all kinds of attention from sellers and buyers: pawnshops.
I admit to having grown up with a weird bias against pawnshops. To me, pawnshops were just one level above ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Great Tips From My Great Readers!
With the cost of feeding a family so high, it's no wonder that so many tips readers submit are geared to help us save money and time in the supermarket and kitchen -- with plenty more for all around the house and garage, too.
My tip might seem like a contradiction to "cheapskate" but it has saved our family a fortune. Do not be ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: So You Think Money Is for Spending? We Need To Talk
It took me a dreadfully long time to understand this important truth: Money is not for spending. It is for managing first, and then for spending.
It takes courage to believe it, but when you do, it will profoundly change the way you think about and manage your money.
Imagine this: It's Friday, a day you have come to know and love as Cake Day. ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Lessons From a 2-Year-Old
I gave my son and daughter-in-law lots of gifts when their son, Elijah, was born. But none has come back to bless me more than the gift of Friday. Since he was 6 weeks old, I've closed the door to work on Fridays to care for and learn from my grandson, Eli.
In these two years, Eli and I have explored our neighborhood looking for cats, dogs, ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: When Holiday Debt Lingers Long After the Gifts Are Forgotten
Got debt? I could be wrong, but if you're revolving a big credit card balance, I'm guessing at least some of it is holiday related.
Sadly, holiday debt can hang on long after the gifts are forgotten.
So, what's the problem here? Procrastination. When it comes to Christmas, the longer you wait to shop, the more you'll spend. The more you spend,...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Dear Cheapskate: Oodles of Hotel Toiletries, Lawn Mower Agreement and an IRS Goof-up, Too!
Lots of mail this week, but who's complaining? Not me, that's for sure. I love hearing from my readers, and when I can help out with an opinion, website or other solution to a problem, that makes it even better.
Dear Cheapskate: I have bags and bags of hotel soaps -- you know, stuffed away after trips (guess we traveled more than we realized). ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: A Frugal Solution for the Heartbreak of Melted Ice Cream
Some people are born frugal. They come into the world with a bent to use it up, wear it out and do without. Not me. I arrived with an overly developed spendthrift gene. Frugality is a learned behavior and way of life I have chosen. And I learn something new nearly every day.
Take melted ice cream as an example. For one reason or another (too ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Little Known Ways to Get Free Seeds, Tools, Gardening Supplies
There's nothing like spring and the promise of warmer summer days right around the corner to awaken one's inner gardener.
Whether you're an experienced gardener or a beginner, given these inflationary times, you may need more time to fork out money on gardening supplies and tools. Well, take heart! There are a number of places where you may be ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Shocked at the Pump!
Yesterday I filled up at the gas station and I was shocked. Shocked! Cost to fill up? $87.12! I really haven't been hiding under a rock. It's just that I don't often fill the vehicle I share with my husband, so it wasn't until I handed over $87.12 that the runaway cost of gasoline got personal.
Believe me, as I pulled away, I renewed my resolve...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Extended Warranty -- Good Deal or Rip-Off?
Recently, I stopped into a popular toy store to get a little something for my grandkid, Sam. Yes, I am one of those grandmothers. We found the cutest ever toy shaving kit, just perfect for bath time. The price was under $10. At checkout, and without missing a beat, the sales clerk inquired if I would like to add an extended warranty for just $4....Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: How to Move from Overspending to Spending Less
Even the mention of words like "frugality" and "thrift" send some people over the edge because for them, those words conjure up thoughts of poverty and deprivation.
They assume that cutting costs is tantamount to diving into dumpsters to find one's next meal. No wonder so many people prefer a life of debilitating debt to one of frugality.
Let ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: How to Set Up an Automatic Payment Plan
Creditors, especially banks and credit card issuers, are unbelievably sensitive to whether you pay your bills on time. So is your credit score. One slip-up could cost you dearly if that means you lose your low- or no-interest rate, or a late payment results in a big late fee.
Late payments when reported to the credit bureaus can mean a serious ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: How to Keep Your Iced Coffee Strong to the Last Sip
The arrival of warmer weather marks the reappearance of various things, with my personal favorite being iced coffee season. It's a revitalizing method to kick off the day and a refreshing afternoon energizer when hot coffee doesn't seem appealing.
If you, like I, are a leisurely coffee sipper, you're likely acquainted with how fast melted ice ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Worst and Best Ways to Grill Chicken
Grilled chicken should be delicious, moist, tender and full of flavor. But all too often it turns out charred on the outside, raw in the middle or bone-dry and tough as shoe leather.
Here are the things you've been doing all wrong when grilling chicken:
-- Starting out with cold, wet chicken: Chicken should be brought to room temperature and ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: You Can Weather the Storm
Perhaps the fact that I have never lived in a hurricane state gives me a pass for thinking hurricane season had arrived early when more than 2 feet of rain soaked Fort Lauderdale, Florida, recently. Truth be told, hurricane season officially begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 1.
Being prepared to "weather the storm" is applicable to all of us ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: You Really Can Recover From Dumb Money Mistakes
During the 13 years it took for my husband and me to get out the horrible debt mess of my creation, I learned how important it is to deal with mistakes as they happen so they don't morph into major setbacks.
No one is perfect. You're going to make mistakes, and when you do, you need to know how to react and what to do to minimize the damage.
Everyday Cheapskate: How to Take the Pain Out of Saving Loose Change
I am not one to spend coins. I prefer to save them. In fact, I go out of my way to make sure I get plenty of change. But I hate to carry loose change, so my husband and I routinely dump the day's accumulation into a container to save for a trip or to buy something special. One year we saved $1,100 in coins. But I have to admit the logistics can ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: This Is What Happens When Financially Immature Students Get a Credit Card
Our kids are fortunate to be growing up in the most progressive and exciting time in history. Sadly, the very culture that offers them the world is also perpetrating this lie: "You are entitled to have everything you want, even if you don't have the money to pay for it. It's not a problem. You deserve it. Get it now, and you can pay for it later...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: How to Save Yourself From a Foolish Purchase
I wish I had a quarter for every stupid purchase I've made in my life. I'd have some major dough. Regrettably, my financial faux pas have been remarkable in both quantity and quality. I've made some real doozies.
Take the above-ground swimming pool. Its a la carte price was bad enough. Adding everything required but not included took it from ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: It's Shocking How Much Dirt Some Vacuums Miss
Perhaps this has happened to you: You've lived with carpeting, and then for one reason or another you live with hardwood or some other type of hard surface flooring that shows up every little bit of dust and dirt. You can't believe it! You can sweep or vacuum one day and by the next morning, the dust and dirt have returned.
Of course, we think ...Read more