Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Book Review: Your Money Or You Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.

I found this book to be quite informative, especially for those who are beginning to handle their own finances.  I have been tracking my finances for some time and recently watching those expenses so that I can reach financial independence sooner.  Still, those book was helpful in rethinking some things and reinforcing others.  Yes, it is not the perfect book on financial independence but it is a very good book in assisting one in rethinking how they handle money.

I am a frugal person by nature, but have changed my perspective and approaches to reach my goals sooner.  Not everything may work for everyone.  Each has to find their own path and figure what works for them, but this book is a good start and should be a recommended read.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Ebates - Getting Money Back for Shopping Online

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.

Ebates is a website that gives cash back to those who shop online.  And who doesn’t shop online these days.  They have partnered with many retail companies to give the online shopper the best deals.  Don’t I sound like an advertisement?  I was actually hesitant to join Ebates, but my wife is a member and sent me the link.  I signed up, she got her bonus and now I make sure when I do shop online I click the Ebates button to get my rebate.

I shop mostly for office supplies, but every little penny back in my pocket helps.  And when we aren’t getting discounts or free travel, I will book our travel through Ebates (they do partner with some good travel sites) and after the travel is completed I get money back.  Like I mentioned, I am not a big shopper, but since joining Ebates, I gotten back over $75.00

A warning though, it may take some time for your travel rebates to show up in your account.  Shopping rebates come rather quickly.  Also note, they only pay out quarterly, so it is not like you get a check every week or month.  My money goes to PayPal.

So if aren’t signed up already, click the link, I’d appreciate it and if you sign up and spend $25, you get a $10 from Ebates.  What a deal.  Okay, I sounded like an advertisement again!  Happy shopping, folks.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

August Passive Income Recap

The month of August was not as good as July, but I did receive my first income form the blog.  Although, I have to admit that most of that income was sitting around from another blog I had some 4-5 years ago.  But it finally reached the threshold to payout last month with my new blog.  This makes me happy.

We are also moving into a new house and I have been spending my time packing up and cleaning and moving money around.  Hopefully, when the dust settles, I can get back to the blog.

Good news is that my net worth increased 2.21% from July and 17.37% from the previous year.  All is good.

Monday, September 10, 2018

What is Your Good Life?

What is the American Dream today?  It used to be the house with the white picket fence.  Now people just want a good life.  But what does a good life mean to you?  Some say, it is being debt free or independently wealthy.  Others may say it is living off the land or traveling or helping others.

Think about it. If you were like me, you wanted it all; the new car, the house with the big yard, a great paying job and all that money could buy.  Now for me it is all about making memories.  My personal good life is not about all that materialistic stuff.  Yes, I need a roof over my head, food to eat and clothes to wear, but I don’t need the best or the most expensive.

The worst is that in this day and age, we are bombarded with consumerism.  Ads on TV, ads on the internet, pushing more and more items that they say you need, that you want.  But does it make you happy?  Maybe for a moment, but that gratification will soon dissipate.  True happiness is not purchased in stores.

We are about to move into a new home and boy, do we have things that we don’t use, nor do they hold any memories for us.  We will have cut about half of these possessions from our lives as we make the trip to the new home.

But memories of spending time with family and friends, taking trips, exploring new places, they will stay with me forever.  That’s my conception of a good life.  What is yours?

Sunday, September 2, 2018

What's In Your Pantry?

If you are frugal like me, then you probably can’t pass up a good deal.  Use that coupon before it expires (especially on a sale item) and get those BOGOs (Buy One Get One Free) off those items you regularly consume.  But I never buy something I don’t regularly use just because it is on sale.

With that said, you may have an overabundance of items in your cabinet that you aren’t aware of.  With me, it was coffee.  I had bags and bags of it.  My mother had over a dozen jars of salad dressing and some were expired!

My suggestion today is to skip food shopping this week and eat what you already have at home.  You know how much you can save that way.  It was about $50 a month for us.

Take an inventory of what you have and see what you can create with what you have.  And please toss anything that is expired.  Throw away old food sitting in the refrigerator and make sure you don’t buy it again.  If you don’t eat it, don’t buy it.

I clean out or freezer, cabinets and refrigerator once a month by using and eating what we already have at home.  I can get really creative in the kitchen.  We have very little food waste.

Remember eat all that you have and save that extra money you are not spending!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Impulse Buying - Stop It Now!

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Impulse buying could be a very bad thing for the frugal minded.  It is the desire to have something immediately, then most likely regretting the purchase later.  In other words, one did not think it through when they made such purchase.  You buy because you may be afraid of missing out or you are addicted to shopping and the rush makes you feel good.

I have done that in the past; bought a piece of real estate in Arizona on eBay.  Bought a bunch of old lunch boxes to start a collection because I saw some in a museum.  This list goes on.  I wanted a Ronald McDonald stature sitting on a bench or the Sinclair Dinosaur that you see at the gas stations.  But I have stopped myself.

Why? Because the thrill of the purchase fades quickly and you are in possession of something that you may not want later and will regret it.

But if you want to save money and not waste it, then do what I have done.

Write what you want down, don’t buy it.  Look at your list in three days.  Do you still want it?  Look again in thirty days.  Do you really need it?  Think about what you could do with this money otherwise.  That usually helps me.

Stay away from shopping websites, especially the auction sites.  Reward yourself for not making an impulse buy.  An ice cream works for me!

Plan ahead, save in advance for things you need.  Write it all down, review it, then review it again.  Is it worth it? Is it needed?  Can you live without it?

I find I feel better not buying something I wanted just for that quick joy.  Saving money for my future is a much bigger joy.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Squeezing pennies out of a gift card

What would you do if you found a gas gift card sitting on top of the pump?  Would you assume it was used up and leave it? Or would you take it and check the balance?  Guess, what I did.  I took it and logged on the website and found out it has a balance of $1.61.

If you found that out, would you toss it or use it?  It is not even a gallon of gas and maybe not worth it.  Too me, it is.  I used it with a $5.00 gift card I had won to put gas in our car.  Every little bit helps this frugal man.

It reminds me of the times I used to travel into NYC and see tossed metro cards around.  I would pick them up and scan them.  Most didn’t have a balance, but sometimes there would one.  Did you know that that you can take metro cards with a balance to the subway station booth and the agent would combine them all into one card?  I did this a few times also.  It’s like picking up loose change from the ground.  I do that too.  Before we left NYC, it was harder to find those cards because I believe now they charge $1.00 for a new card.  What a scam!  I have been away from New York in almost three years but still have my metro card.  It is expired, yes, but if and when I visit again, I will get a new one without having to pay that one dollar fee.