Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Thursday when I got to my truck after work, I discovered the front passenger tire was flat. I had a party that night and didn’t want to get dirty, so I called GEICO’s roadside assistance. Unlike in the past, they took a long time to get to me, so I started removing the front tire myself, and that’s when it happened:

the lug stud snapped off.

When the assistance finally came, I had them replace the tire and secure it by four bolts since that’s all I could do. I spent the holiday trying to figure out the best way to replace the stud.

I’m still figuring it out.

The parts came out to well under $20. However, it appears this is going to be one of the more difficult repairs to do and I’m still considering if doing it myself is wise.

Unfortunately, the tire couldn’t be repaired and was in fact replaced, making money more of an issue. But so is safety, and I’d rather have this fixed than make it worse. It’s a tough call, because I pride myself in doing things myself, but I may not be able to this time.

I had no idea things have gotten quite this bad. Even “good” debt–student loans–are getting to the point where people are heading overseas to avoid payment. has an article on “Student loan fugitives”: United States citizens who take out student loans and, when they realize that the difficult to discharge loans are too much, default and go abroad to avoid collection agencies.

While this appears to be a small percentage, it is true that higher education costs are high and constantly getting higher and when students get out of college, they’re typically not very ready to deal with debt. Compound that with the fact that many students pile up other kinds of debt (can you say credit cards?) during their college years and we have a recipe for potential disaster.

Still, it seems to me that going overseas to avoid paying is quite extreme. I hope it’s not getting more common, but if it is, that may just be an indicator of how bad things have gotten with debt.

Hello to those of you visiting from the Money Hacks Carnival, brought to you this week by $aving to Invest. Welcome!

I’d like to extend a warm aloha and mahalo to those of you who are visiting us on this Tuesday from the Festival of Frugality, hosted this week by Almost Frugal. Welcome, and if you like what you see, please consider subscribing to our RSS feed.

My good buddy Kyle of returns, this time with some ways to save money each month as well as–you guessed it–more money saving coupons. Mahalo for doing yet another great guest post here, Kyle!

I was reading some articles on Yahoo! Finance last weekend and stumbled upon an article by Ben Steverman, titled 25 Ways To Save More Each Month that I thought had some great advice in it. I won’t go through all 25 because I don’t want to bore you, but I wanted to share what I thought were the 5 best pieces of advice. Here they are in no particular in order:

~ Stop Paying For Premium Cable.
While this piece of advice is fairly straight-forward, I have found a way to keep premium cable and also pay less. About a month ago, I called up my cable company to cancel services and they offered me not only free movies channels, but also $10 off my monthly bill for 8 months. They want your business really bad. I would recommend you call your cable company today and say you want to cancel and see what they will give you! I think you will be really surprised with what they offer.

~ Pay Bills Online. I love the ability to pay bills online. Not only do you save money on stamps, but also time. I can sit down at the computer and pay 5 bills in a matter of minutes.

~ Consider Alternatives to a Gym Membership. I started riding my bike a couple years ago in lieu of a gym membership. Not only do I save money, but I get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of the area where I live. Another excellent option is a brisk walk in your neighborhood in the evenings or before work.

~ Waiting Period for Major Purchases. The article suggests 48 hours as a good waiting period. I love this advice and it definitely works for me. After the 48 hours period has elapsed I have typically lost the “buyers urge” and have moved on with my life!

~ Shop Smart, Shop Online. And of course my favorite piece of advice, shop smart by using coupons! Steverman also points to other ways to save money when shopping online. Printable coupons, online coupons, and price comparison websites to name a few.

And speaking of online coupons, here are the most popular ones on my website so far in August. Hope they can help you save some money.
Get 10% taken off your entire online purchase
Expiration: 8/31/08
More 1-800-Flowers Coupons

Get $10 off your $80 or more online purchase
Coupon Code: BBSAVE10
Expiration: 9/30/08
More Celebrate Express Coupons
Get 15% taken off your entire purchase
Coupon Code: AUG15
Expiration: 8/19/08
More Kohls Coupons

Get 25% taken off your entire online purchase through this link
Coupon Code: None Needed
Expiration: 8/25/08
More Limited Too Coupons

Get 20% taken off your order w/ your Old Navy Card
Coupon Code: STUFFSAVE
Expiration: 8/21/08
More Old Coupons
Free shipping on your $49 or more online purchase
Coupon Code: WK28FS
Expiration: 8/21/08
More JCPenney Coupons

Free Shipping on your $75 or more online purchase
Coupon Code: SUMMER75
Expiration: 8/22/08
More Red Envelope Coupons
Get 15% taken off your $25 or more online purchase
Coupon Code: AF63-AG08
Expiration: 9/09/08
More Shutterfly Coupons


Online Coupons: How to Spend Less

This week’s guest post by the incredible Kyle of gives some tips on frugality, and helps Ryan preserve some brain cells to try to recover this weekend and get more blogging done. Thanks, Kyle!

A couple weeks ago I stumbled on an article at Yahoo! Finance that documented ‘5 Ways To Save $1,000 Per Year’, that I thought was very interesting and may be of use to you. I think the article has some pretty solid advice which points to some fairly simple ways to reduce spending in your everyday life. Here are the major bullet-points followed by a little commentary by yours truly.

~ Drink Plenty of Water. I am a big proponent of this tip, especially at restaurants where a soda often runs $2.50 and a beer is $4.50. Also, the health benefits of drinking a lot of water are unarguable.

~ Drive Efficiently. A great way to save money at the pump is to drive the speed limit and avoid fast accelerations and stops when possible. Also, keep your car well
maintained, tires properly inflated, and don’t skip oil changes and routine maintenance as it will cost you more money in the long run.

~ Use Thrift Stores Often. This is one that I am not too good at. I tend to not think about thrift stores for much more than furniture that I can re-finish. But there is no doubt that you can save a ton of money by shopping at thrift stores regularly.

~ Do Stuff Around The House Yourself. This is one that I am pretty good at! I take care of my own yard and my wife and I clean the house ourselves. I have also become pretty good at home repair and improvement projects. But I definitely know when I am in over my head, especially with electrical and plumbing jobs.

~ Cancel Expensive Services. This one is pretty obvious. The examples that come to mind include getting rid of the gym membership that you rarely use and not renewing that magazine subscription which never gets read.

What advice would you add to this list? Please leave a comment. I will go ahead and throw in a sixth, which is to use online coupons on as many purchases as possible. The coupons are there for the taking, and here are a few good ones I found during the past week.
Free Shipping on your $49+ Online Order
Coupon Code: MEMORIAL
Expiration: 5/27/08
All JCPenney Coupons
Save 20% Off your Photo Gifts order (Great for Father’s Day)
Coupon Code: THANKSDAD
Expires: 6/04/08
All Snapfish Coupons

Save 25% Off Inspiron Laptop purchase of $999 or more
Coupon Code: 66Z2MXLFSZF43P
Expiration: 5/29/08
All Dell Coupons

Save 15% Off your Entire Online Order (Discounts Shows at Checkout)
Coupon Code: None Needed
Expiration: 5/31/08
All Hanes Coupons

Save 10% Off your $75+ Online Order + Free Shipping
Coupon Code: FRNFM05
Expiration: 5/30/08
All Radio Shack Coupons
Save 15% Off your Entire Online Order
Coupon Code: LKS18M55
Expiration: 5/30/08
All Footlocker Coupons

The Children’s
Save 15% Off your Entire Online Order
Coupon Code: S2A58
Expiration: 6/01/08
All Childrens Place Coupons

One Step
Save 15% Off your Entire Online Order
Coupon Code: MAYBIRTH
Expiration: 5/31/08
All One Step Ahead Coupons