Earlier this week I had a poll asking readers how they were coping with the recession. It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but the majority of responses had something to do about being more frugal. Frugality is one of the easiest ways to immediately improve your bottom line. You can continue to do most of the same things you’re currently doing but also hopefully saving a few dollars by doing something yourself instead of just spending money.
Sometimes there is a trade-off and it might make some frugal activities less attractive, but the great thing is that you can pick and choose what you want to be frugal with. One of the easiest ways to save money is to go out to eat less and make your own food at home. Eating out is certainly convenient, but it comes at a cost. If you don’t mind spending a little time in the kitchen and buying food at the grocery store you can enjoy the same level of dining for a fraction of the cost.
Another increasing trend I’ve seen lately are those who are beginning to brew their own beer. I’ve been brewing myself for a while now, but I didn’t get into it simply to save money. But when I tell people I brew my own beer, the first thing I usually hear is along the lines of how much money I must be saving. Well, yes and no. It is possible to brew good beer for less than you can buy, but at the same time it’s very easy to go overboard and find yourself in an expensive hobby.
So, over the next few weeks I’m going to run a series of posts about brewing your own beer. I’ll talk about how to create the ultimate budget brewing system, walk you through the brewing process, and provide some tips to help you get started if you’re thinking about home brewing beer. I’ve had a lot of fun with it, and if you have the patience, it’s a delicious and rewarding hobby.
But for now, on to the links.
How Much is That Tree Out the Window? – Do you have an office with a window? Surprisingly, most people don’t and it can be quite a perk. I’m fortunate enough to have a window, but all I can see out of it is the concrete face of another building. But hey, that’s better than no window at all, right?
Buying A House: Down Payments and Private Mortgage Insurance – If you’re buying a house there are a few things you’re going to need to seriously consider. One is the down payment. The down payment is quite important these days with tighter lending standards. And let’s not forget about PMI, which can also be avoided if you put down a 20% or more down payment.
Have A Part Time Business? Why Moonlighting Can Suck – I know about this firsthand. It is great to also be your own boss, but it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. Having a part-time job on the side can really take its tool. Here are a few things to think about.
The Automatic Poorhouse – Here is an interesting story about someone who has automated every aspect of their finances to live on a very tight budget paycheck to paycheck. Will it pay off in the long run?
Craigslist Credit Score Affiliate Scam – Watch out for this one if you use Craigslist! This is a pretty sneaky scam that can lure you in with a great apartment deal and the only thing you end up with is a monthly subscription to some credit service.
Tips for Embracing Green Frugality – There couldn’t be two hotter trends these days than going green and frugal living. So, what about green frugality? Sure, you can be both green and frugal.
Forget Economic Stimulus! 20 Ways To Improve Your Finances Today – You may have heard the discussions around another stimulus, but why wait around for that? Here are 20 ways you can improve your financial situation today with little effort.
Sprint Rebates Suck – I’ll take Lazy Man’s post and just say that all rebates suck. I hate them. I actually have to fill out a Verizon rebate this weekend for my new BlackBerry. I hope I do it right because there is $70 on the line!
How To Save Money On Your Prescriptions – Health care is a big topic right now, and one area that can vary greatly has to do with prescription drugs. Depending on your insurance coverage, where you buy your drugs, and whether or not you use generics can have a huge impact on how much money you will spend. Here are some tips to help you save money on your next prescription.
Financial Regrets – What are some of your financial regrets? We all have them. I know I’ve made plenty of very stupid choices with money over the years, and if I could go back in time and change things I would. But the good thing is if you reflect back on your mistakes you’ve probably learned a good lesson and will avoid making the same mistake again.
Testimony of a One Car Couple – Can a couple get by with just one car? Impossible? Here’s a real life account of just how it worked out for one couple. My wife and I “could” probably technically do it if we had to, but I’ll go ahead and keep two cars for now!
Become A Debt Killing Machine In Five Steps – If rebates suck, debt sucks more. If you’re struggling to climb out of debt here is a five step process to help you become a debt killing machine.
8 Reasons You Should Spend More Than You Earn – Spend less than you earn. We’ve all heard that over and over again when talking about money. But are there situations where maybe you should actually spend more? Here are 8 reasons where you might want to spend a little more.
7 Reasons to Skip Hotels & Rent Vacation Homes – Skip the hotel and rent a house on your next vacation. Our family used to do this down in Myrtle Beach every year. It was great, we had our own private house for the week right on the ocean. Jim has seven reasons you might want to consider skipping the hotel next time.
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Filed Under: Friday Finance Findings
About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.