Archive for August, 2009

Get 20 Free Stock Trades With Zecco – Special Promotion Ends September 13

Zecco is Offering 20 Free Trades
You may know that I tend to focus on long-term investing through index funds and ETFs, but I also like to do a little trading on the side. For obvious reasons, any trading is done with non-essential assets and won’t negatively impact my retirement if I make a few trades. [...]

About the Author: Jeremy is a retirement planning specialist and founder of Generation X Finance and the guide to Financial Planning at About.com. To learn more, follow Jeremy on Twitter.

Get 20 Free Stock Trades With Zecco – Special Promotion Ends September 13

Flipping Houses for Profit

I’ve mentioned before in a book review that I was, at one point, very interested in flipping houses for profit.  What do I mean by flipping houses?  It means to purchase houses that need cosmetic (or more) work selling for well under market value, upgrade them, and sell them for profit (hopefully) in a relatively [...]

Weekly Roundup – Swine Flu Preparations Edition

It sounds like swine flu could make a real comeback this fall. While this doesn’t necessarily pertain to finances, it could certainly affect your personal finances if you have to miss work, or pay costly medical bills. I saw the doctor last week for a nasty case of bronchitis and overheard them telling another patient [...]

California Unemployment Rate History: A Visual Guide

What is the job situation where you are? Overall, jobless claims have been lower compared to earlier this year, thanks to Obama’s stimulus package and signs of recovery in certain industries. The national unemployment rate is still up there though, and will expect to hit 10% by the close of this year. [...]

California Unemployment Rate History: A Visual Guide

Flashback: One Year Ago… August 2008

Do you know what you were doing last summer? Here’s a look back at the hot topics from a year ago.

And of course, August usually means the kids will be going back to school shortly. When the back to school sales start popping up, it reminds me that summer is almost over… and September is just around the corner.

Popular in August 2008

  1. 7 Sneaky Ways Your Health Insurance Can Save You Money
  2. 12 Ways the Olympics Can Impact Your Finances
  3. Back to School Savings Challenge
  4. Digging Out of Dirt and Debt
  5. IRS Loses Lawsuit: Refunds for 30 Million Policyholders Possible
  6. Unconventional Roth IRA Strategy to Lower Tax Bill

Written by Madison


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Quicken Discounts Thanks to Microsoft Money

Quicken discounts of $20 off Quicken Deluxe and Quicken Premier are available for the next two weeks. Intuit is running the special offer since the personal finance software Microsoft Money is no longer available for sale.
Microsoft Money Discountinued
Although Microsoft Money will be supported through the end of 2010 many long time Money users are up in [...]

The Trouble with Reward Points

I love reward points. I collect PC (President’s Choice) points, Shopper’s Drug Mart Optimum Points and Airmiles. Recently even Sobey’s started offering points and I got one of their cards too!
Shopper’s Drug Mart makes very little off of me, so much so that I’ve begun to question the ethics of points. Just [...]

lying in the workplace, part 2

Yesterday I wrote about Mary and Veronica, who had lied about their work under my supervision. I caught their “errors” and confronted both.  Mary, who worked hard but often made mistakes, had lied to cover up her lack of comprehension.  Veronica had lied to finish her work more quickly, but understood fully what she [...]

lying in the workplace, part 2

Make fresh seltzer as fizzy as you like it for just 20 cents a liter with a SodaStream soda maker! No more schlepping, storing and recycling cases of bottles from the store. Soda-Club carbonators make 110 liters before exchanging door-to-door.

Do You Save Loose Change?

My grandmother was a prodigious coin saver. I remember one summer when I was about ten years old helping her roll dozens of rolls of coins. Sensing I was getting a little bored making my piles of fifty pennies, she took me back to her room where she had hidden shoe boxes of rolled coins [...]

Repair Bad Credit, Avoid The Scams

The credit crisis has left behind a swath of ruined credit — from people who are struggling to avoid bankruptcy and foreclosure. For a lot of people things seem hopeless, and unfortunately, these are times when vultures come out of the woodwork to try to exploit the vulnerability of those who are desperate or [...]

Repair Bad Credit, Avoid The Scams

“When It Rains, It Pours”

I think this describes the best how we feel right now, but it’s all good.
Our agent says “Things are heating up!” and they really are.
This time last week, we were worried that we may have to leave our house on the market, hoping either to sell it if we are lucky or rent it out [...]

Original Post on The Sun’s Financial Diary

Special bonus offers

“When It Rains, It Pours”

Zecco Bonus Code for 20 Free Trades

Popular online discount broker Zecco Trading is running a campaign which offers 20 commission free stock trades, a $90 value, to all new brokerage customers who sign up by Sunday, September 13, 2009!
Zecco is one of the brokers which I have an account with and I have written about it quite frequently here (read my [...]

Original Post on The Sun’s Financial Diary

Special bonus offers

Zecco Bonus Code for 20 Free Trades

8 Ways to Save on Auto Insurance

If there is one item in my budget I hate more than everything else it has to be auto insurance. If you think about it, you can go years or maybe even your entire life without ever having to make a claim so it feels like you’re throwing good money away. At the same time, [...]

About the Author: Jeremy is a retirement planning specialist and founder of Generation X Finance and the guide to Financial Planning at About.com. To learn more, follow Jeremy on Twitter.

8 Ways to Save on Auto Insurance

Preventing College Student Identity Theft

Identity theft probably isn’t the primary concern of most college students heading off to school this fall, however, college campuses can be big targets of identity theft.  With so many people living together in such close quarters it can be a hot spot for thieves and dishonest students to take advantage of other unsuspecting students. [...]

How Canada Savings Bonds and Canada Premium Bonds Work

A reader emailed me asking about my thoughts on Canada Savings Bonds. Basically, she has been withdrawing a portion of her paycheck every two weeks to purchase some CSB’s, but really doesn’t know how they work.   Most of the details can be obtained from the official CSB website, but I will dissect the info [...]

lying in the workplace, part 1

Years ago I supervised two young women on two different projects.  Both were about three years removed from college; I was a new manager being given some guidance by an older and almost comically disinterested manager.  The two young women had a problem in common, even though they worked on separate clients and seldom crossed [...]

lying in the workplace, part 1

Make fresh seltzer as fizzy as you like it for just 20 cents a liter with a SodaStream soda maker! No more schlepping, storing and recycling cases of bottles from the store. Soda-Club carbonators make 110 liters before exchanging door-to-door.

Recession’s Silver Lining: Consumer Debt On The Decline

Credit Karma recently released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report reflecting data for July 2009. It revealed a few interesting trends, the most interesting being the continued decline of consumer debt for those currently holding a credit card. This means that, overall, Americans are paying off more than we are spending.

Of course, this is bad [...]

Work At Home Mom Shares Tips On Saving Money

As a WAHM, it’s essential to find a way to network since there’s typically nobody else to talk or exchange ideas with when you’re working at home. I discovered several online forums and social networks dedicated to WAHMs and SAHMs (work at home and stay at home moms). Through these forums, I met [...]

Work At Home Mom Shares Tips On Saving Money

Budgeting with the Envelope System

One of the popular ways to stick to a budget is by divvying out cash amongst labeled envelopes. The labels correspond to your necessary expenses, savings goals, play money, etc. There are a few advantages to the Envelope System:

Those who do better with the physical representation of money can visually see where [...]

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Welcome to Budget Planning Week

I threatened to do a whole week on budgeting at the end of last week. I was joking at the time as I imagine it to be very dry and boring. However, the more that I think about it, the more it seems like an interesting challenge. Is it at all possible [...]

Related posts:

  1. Planning and Goal Setting Week: Lazy Man’s 2007 Goals Almost like a great high school guidance councilor Flexo has…
  2. How to have a successful budget meeting with your spouse Glblguy is the author of Gather Little By Little ,…
  3. Miscellaneous Articles to Read this Week and An Announcement I wanted to call your attention to a few things…
  4. What’s Your Pampering Vacation Budget? As I had mentioned previously, I am going on vacation…
  5. How to Eat Healthy on a Budget I’ve been meaning to write about eating on a budget…

How to Shop for the Best Home Loan – Finding the Best Mortgage

Finding the Best Mortgage Can Save You Thousands
Buying a home is one of the largest purchases you’ll ever make. Because it’s such a large purchase and there is a lot of money at stake it only makes sense to get the best possible financing. After all, most home loans last for decades, so a poor [...]

About the Author: Jeremy is a retirement planning specialist and founder of Generation X Finance and the guide to Financial Planning at About.com. To learn more, follow Jeremy on Twitter.

How to Shop for the Best Home Loan – Finding the Best Mortgage

Budget Travel Tips

We’re on vacation this week, so it’s perfect timing to feature this guest post by Matthew Kepnes. Matthew has been traveling on a budget for over three years. You can find out more at his website, Nomadic Matt. If you want more travel tips, photos, and stories from his upcoming 3 month trip to Europe, you can also subscribe to his RSS feed.

Budget Travel Tips

Flying and accommodation are two of the biggest travel expenses people have when they plan a trip. The cost of these two are the biggest financial barriers to going away. People look at the cost of these two and think “I can’t afford a trip this year.” However, there are many easy, simple, and convenient ways to cut the cost of flights and dramatically cut the cost of accommodations.

I’ve been traveling for over three years. I fly about 10 times per year and I spend a lot of time in hotels, hostels, and bed and breakfasts. If I traveled like how most Americans think they need to travel, I could never afford it.

Here are some big ways to save on flights and accommodations so your trip becomes more affordable and a closer reality.

Flights

Traveling is always a fun experience when you get your plane tickets at a discount and luckily, the global recession has made flying a lot cheaper than it used to be. Airlines need to fill seats and they are looking to do so through steep price cuts.

Book in Advance. When booking your flight, book about 6-8 weeks in advance. The best time to buy is around 8 weeks before you travel. If you book too close to your trip, airlines know they can charge you a lot because you need the flight. If you book too far in advance, airlines raise prices to hedge against rising costs.

Fly Round Trip. Tickets are always cheaper if you book round trip. The airlines give a “discount” to round trip tickets because they know they will have seats filled. Even if you are only going one way, always book a return portion to save money.

Travel Midweek. Avoid traveling on the weekends since this is when people have off work so are looking to fly the most. Airlines raise prices on the weekend because they know they can make more money. Therefore, the best time to fly is between Tuesday and Thursday when flights are at their lowest capacity and flights are the cheapest.

Accommodations

Accommodations are one of the biggest day to day expenses people have. No matter what your accommodation tastes may be, one thing we can all agree on is that we all want to save money on it. Most people stay in hotels but hotels are the most expensive option on the road.

Stay in Hostels. A good alternative to hotels is hostels. People often think of hostels as for young college students who want to share showers and sleep in 20 bed dorms. However, hostels are for all ages. All of them have private rooms with showers, free wi-fi, and breakfast cheaper than hotels. In New York City, that kind of room cost me $90 per night in Times Square, and the room was cleaner than any similar priced hotel and even came with TV!

Try Couchsurfing. If you are looking to pay nothing, consider using Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing connects travelers with people around the world who let them stay in their home. You get a bed or a couch to sleep on. It’s a very safe service too. People are scared to couchsurf but the people who use this service are usually very open minded people and nice people. The couchsurfing website take steps to provide security for their users. They provide various levels of verification and allow users to rate and leave comments on people’s profiles. There’s never been a problem with this service and you can see if people are worth staying with by their reviews.

Rent an Apartment. If you plan to stay in a city a long time, renting an apartment can be a good option. These furnished apartments are usually cheaper than hotels and give many more amenities like a kitchen, laundry, and TV room. You’ll get the comforts of home without spending a lot of money like you would at a hotel.

By using the above methods, you can save hundreds of dollars on your next vacation without much effort. There is a myth that travel is expensive but that is because the travel industry wants you to believe it is so you will spend a lot of money. But travel is not expensive and there are many ways to travel cheap and, as people who want to save money, we can all appreciate that.

Written by Madison


Click here to leave a comment on this article.

© My Dollar Plan

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Happiness For Others Comes From Contentment With Yourself

Why do we have such a hard time being happy for others? It is something I have struggled with over the years, and I recognize much of my resentment towards others’ success has been a result of my own insecurities.
Back when we were really floundering, my wife and I were friends with several couples who [...]

Lifestyle Inflation

As most of us progress through our careers (or business), our paychecks increase and as a result our lifestyle slowly (sometimes unknowingly) increases to match.  Bigger houses, newer cars, fancy restaurants, and new travel destinations are just a few of the common choices due to having more money.
This is commonly called lifestyle inflation, basically as [...]

Budget Travel Book Winners

The budget travel tips are in and the random number generator has selected some winners!   David is giving away two copies of his book in the contest and since we had so many useful entries I’m going to ship copies to two more readers.
Here are the winners as chosen by Random.org along with their budget travel [...]

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