The Best $250 Gadget Ever Purchased

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A friend of mine suggested I stop fighting with my old, cracked iPod Nano and replace it with something more current. Call me cheap, frugal, or nostalgic – I just can’t bring myself to part with my old friend (the iPod, that is). Gadgets are exciting! Gadgets are fun. Gadgets make life easier. They are also expensive. Americans spend thousands of dollars on new gadgets – sometimes all at once! A new TV, new phones for the family, and upgraded game systems sit under the Christmas tree each year. There is nothing wrong with that, of course – as long […] Read more »

We’re NOT Going Out For Breakfast……Because I Can Cook!

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“What would you like for breakfast?” I asked my wife. Weekdays are full of the hustle and bustle of getting ready for work and/or getting kids off to school, so on weekends I like to put my cooking skills to use and make my family a big breakfast. “Can we go out for breakfast?” was her reply. We were out of hash browns, plus she couldn’t decide exactly what she was in the mood for. She was thinking that if we went somewhere with a breakfast buffet she could have a little of everything. Eating out is something I would […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/28

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  A few weeks ago I posted a review of the Kaiku prepaid debit card.  Yesterday I read an article from my friend Crystal over at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (who has also reviewed Kaiku) about a situation in which a reader had an issue with their Kaiku and reached out to Crystal for assistance.  Customer service is a big deal to Kaiku, and the issue was quickly resolved.  Two things to make note of here: Kaiku customer service ROCKS.  As with any company, sometimes issues arise.  The key is how these issues are dealt with, and Kaiku gets […] Read more »

All Hail the Almighty Guarantee

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One of the first things a level-headed consumer looks for when shopping is a guarantee from the company that they stand by the quality of their product no matter what and will do whatever it takes to keep their customers happy. After all, the customer is king, and this king would like nothing more than to get something of value out of the transaction. An Age Old Marketing Practice Offering a guarantee is a highly effective marketing strategy meant to boost sales and develop a base of loyal customers. Ever since Josiah Wedgewood pioneered the practice in the 18th century, […] Read more »

School Time Is Here – Time To Redo Your Budget!

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According to the dry erase calendar on my refrigerator both my son and daughter have school schedule pickup this week. A new school year is about to start, which means homework in the evenings, earlier bedtimes, bus stop pickups and time for a budget rework. Switching over to the school year schedule also requires a shift to a different budget because there expenses that only occur during the school year. There are also some changes in our purchasing habits that need to change with the shifting schedule, as well as some one time expenses that we need to plan for. […] Read more »

20 Ways to be Romantic on a Budget

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Show your partner how much you care with the following great ideas from SurveyCompare, all of which are ideal for romance on a budget. #1. Go on an art date Invite your love to spend the afternoon with you exploring the art in your local area. Take your time, be inspired and get lost in conversation. #2. Plan a picnic Pack a hamper of tasty snacks and head to your favourite park for a romantic picnic. You will be saving money on eating out while setting an intimate mood. #3. Attend a book reading Find out about the latest book […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday – I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/21

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Yesterday the Pizel family headed to Valleyfair, an amusement park about 90 minutes away in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.  It was our last summertime “hurrah” for family activities.   We arrived 30 minutes after the park opened, and stayed almost until it closed.  I haven’t gone on that many rides in one day in, well….ever.   So. Much. Fun.  How did you say goodbye to summer?   Fist pump for amusement parks, and keep ’em going for my favorite posts of the week! Posts That Make Me Fist Pump Debt Payoff Isn’t Just About Discipline from Fruclassity 3 Tactics to Speed […] Read more »

Stop Living in the Moment: 5 Steps to Invest for the Future

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When you’re young and broke, it’s hard to imagine a future time when things will be different. Young people and older people (at least those who have learned to develop their money) live in different, comparable worlds. On the one hand, young people tend to have great health but vulnerable financial lives. If something were to go catastrophically wrong, young people usually have less of a safety net to catch their fall. But older people have more vulnerable health, and their finances tend to be more secure. When and if something goes wrong, with their health or otherwise, they are […] Read more »

Say NO To Your Fears

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A friend mentioned over the weekend that she wanted to do more adventurous things with her husband. She didn’t want to wake up 20 years from now, and look back at all the things they talked about doing but never did. Our conversation made me think of a recent experience of my own. I crossed the finish line of Grandma’s Marathon in just over 4 hours and 23 minutes. After a volunteer put my finisher’s metal around my neck I took a few more steps, and my lower body completely cramped up. I could barely move my legs, any step […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday – I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/14

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My wife and I had a great time at a concert last night.  There’s a club in our mid-sized city that works really hard at bringing nationally known hard rock acts to town.  Nothing gets my heart pumping like some great hard rock in a club setting.  So. Much. Fun. The only downside is that it wiped most of our entertainment spending for the weekend.  But have no fear, it’s all been planned for and budgeted!  We have enough left for me to fire up the smoker to make some ribs on Saturday to have some friends over for Minnesota […] Read more »

Keeping Your Retirement As Bright As Gold

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In today’s world, there are many shortcomings in the economy. Just recently, the recession caused the value of the dollar to drop drastically before rising again, and the state of the world is such that it could easily happen again. If you are someone who isn’t exactly young enough to be able to deal with such a failure in the world’s economy again, or if you are simply a person who plans for your future and wants to keep your retirement fund secure against any possible future global market crashes, you should be looking to turn a portion of your […] Read more »

What Does Your Refrigerator Tell You About Your Finances?

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I view life as being made up of many strands, all interconnected and affecting each other. Each strand represent some aspect of a person’s personality or a stream of experiences. They are separate, but intertwined, each affecting the other. I looked in my fridge over the weekend, and noticed how cluttered it was. I was reminded of how I had been feeling about our finances lately. Let me show you what I mean: Pizza : I found a container of leftovers from our favorite local pizza place. We got back to town late Saturday evening after being at a lake […] Read more »

Do you really need an attorney when you buy or sell property?

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When you buy or sell property you don’t legally need a property lawyer, so you can actually do all of the document searches and submissions yourself. It is a huge job, though, and real estate attorneys are experts in property law, so it seems a bit disingenuous to not have an attorney on board. The likely reasons that people don’t engage a property lawyer when they buy or sell property is that they want to save money, however, an attorney can actually save you money in the long run. The benefits of engaging a real estate attorney They can fast […] Read more »