Even though it still feels like winter, home improvement centers are hauling out air conditioners this month and putting them on sale. And March is National Frozen Food Month, so plan to fill your freezer. But that's not all. Check out all these things you'd be smart to stock up on this month.
SNACKS AND SODAS
The NCAA calls it their ...Read more
I've written about it a lot over the years, and by "it" I refer to my six-figure credit card debt and how it affected me mentally, physically and spiritually. I speak of it routinely as I have addressed audiences across the U.S. and around the world. While my debt has been paid off for many years now (my gratitude knows no limits), I can recall ...Read more
Everything I know about buying and selling clothes on consignment I owe to my friend Kathleen, a remarkably well-dressed woman. She shops for clothing exclusively in consignment stores, but only those that are located in upscale areas. And boy, can she dress!
Kathleen is a consignment seller, too. In fact, I've known her to buy an outfit from ...Read more
As you might imagine, I get a lot of mail. And since I could never respond to all your letters, questions and comments individually, I love to reach into the mail bag, selecting some of your letters to answer right here.
Dear Cheapskate: Is it cheaper to wash dishes by hand since I wash most of my pots and pans by hand anyway, or use the ...Read more
I have a love-hate relationship with the delete button on my computer keyboard, but not so much on my phone. For some reason, after more than 20 years of having a mobile phone, the two of us have never bonded. Most of the time, I don't even know for certain where it is. But my laptop? Oh, yes, the bond is tight.
I know where it is at every ...Read more
Bill Smith sits down to his most dreaded chore -- paying bills. Every month, it's the same story: Pay the most urgent, and leave the rest. There's never enough money, no matter how hard he works.
Jane Miller flies into the school office frazzled and 30 minutes late because she was 20 minutes late getting out of the dentist's office because she ...Read more
What grade would you give your parents for how well they prepared you to manage your finances? What grade will your kids give you someday?
There are six basic financial principles your kids need to know before they leave the safety net of home.
NO. 1: HOW YOU SPEND AFFECTS YOUR FUTURE
Kids need to know that if they spend their money without ...Read more
If getting physically fit is on your to-do list for the New Year, you may be contemplating a gym membership. Good for you, but please be cautious. This is fitness gyms' biggest season for signing up new members. While you're polishing off that last plate of holiday fudge, the sales force is gearing up to drain you dry when you sign an ironclad ...Read more
Here's some good news: You don't need to break the bank to keep your home sparkling clean and disinfected. We can get away with spending pennies, not dollars, to get all the house cleaning jobs done. How? In a word: Vinegar. Plain white vinegar is one of the most versatile and budget-friendly cleaners that can handle almost any mess in your home...Read more
Kids of elementary school age are becoming aware of the real world around them. They are eager to learn and still believe everything adults tell them. And they want their own money.
For all of those reasons, I suggest that now is the perfect time to start a simple allowance system. This will create wonderful opportunities for you to pass on ...Read more
I love houseplants, and boy, do I have some beauties! The truth is I don't have a green thumb; I just know a few secret tricks and tips that I will gladly share with you.
KNOW YOUR VARIETIES
Only consider plants in what I call the "thrivus neglectus" family, which comes from the Latin root meaning "really cheap" and thrives even under the ...Read more
Now here's a question I'll bet you ask yourself from time to time: Can I really save money by shopping at a discount warehouse club? You can find great deals there, but you can also get into a lot of trouble if you have, shall we say, an impulsive propensity. You can really stretch your dollars if you are willing to stick to a few basic rules:
Have I told you lately how much I love my readers? Especially those who send me messages, questions, and tips. EC is crazy for great reader tips. Some I receive are startling and send me running to verify; others bring on gales of laughter. But mostly, they leave me wondering, "Wow, really? Why didn't I think of that?!" Now, before we get going,...Read more
Dear Cheapskate: Help! I dripped latex paint on my new carpeting and discovered it too late. It dried hard and I'm afraid the carpet is ruined. -- Ruby R., California
Dear Ruby: Relax. Even if it's been there for a long time, you can get latex paint out of carpet or any type of fabric with lacquer thinner (not paint thinner!) available at ...Read more
My readers have no doubt that I am a big fan of finding every possible way to save time and money. And when they take time to send me their latest ideas and efforts, it pretty much makes my day! Check these out:
TEACH THE KIDS
In an ongoing effort to educate my 12-year-old I have started a new tracking system. On a large white board I have a ...Read more
Money is an excellent tool to teach kids how the world operates. You can use financial principles to teach them about social issues, too. That's because money is about values, relationships, choices and self-worth.
One important lesson you need to teach your kids before they leave home is about how to build and maintain good credit. Let's title...Read more
When our lives get chaotic, we pay dearly in terms of stress and money. There are hundreds of things you can do to simplify your life. Here are seven to help you get started ... one a day for the next week.
1. Carry only the keys you use every day. Clean everything else off your key ring. If you don't recognize what a key is for, toss it. If ...Read more
Have you ever noticed that no matter the size of your apartment, condominium, house, garage, drawers, closets, hard drive, handbag or briefcase -- it mysteriously fills to capacity?
Our first apartment was 300 square feet. We were newlyweds and still in that "cozy stage," so it wasn't a problem. Three years later, we were packed to the gills ...Read more
I can't tell you how many times I've heard from readers who are stuck in a mindset that says in order to be frugal in the grocery store, one must live on a diet of high-carb, low-quality and basically unhealthy junk food. And conversely, sticking to a healthy diet is expensive and generally out of reach for most families.
Today, I would like to...Read more
Dear Cheapskate: I just love your column, it has certainly helped me. My question has to do with wedding gifts. Recently I've been swamped with invitations. I was wondering if you had some good ideas for affordable gifts. I'm tempted to give money or gift certificates, even though they say that is rude. -- Avid C., Texas
Dear Avid: If the ...Read more