Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Couples Checkup

On Dave Ramsey's website there is a Couple checkup to see how you and your partner deal with finaces. There are about 25 questions that you both answer. There is a $19.95 cost for it, but if it can help you with your financial future. On the website it shows the list price of $42.90, but it is new so the introductory price is $19.95.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Coupons in Parade Magazine

There were more coupons in the Parade magazine in Sunday's paper than there usually are. Usually there is only about one.

There were coupons for the following:

$1.00 off CoverGirl product
$2.00 off 2 CoverGirl products
$2.00 off CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless
$1.00 off Bit-O-Luv Dog Treats
50 cents off Cottonelle Soothing Clean Wipes Tub
$1.00 off Cottonelle toilet paper Aloe & E 12pk

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dave Ramsey Books & CDs on sale

Most of Dave Ramsey's books and Cds are on sale for $10 until July 6th. Most of the books and CD are regularly $15-$25. The Total Money Makeover book is a great book to help you get your finances on the right track.

The sale is at dave ramsey

Saving "Bread" on Bread

Another tip I use to save money is to buy bread and buns, etc at Bread Outlet stores. The one I usually go to is Country Hearth. Most of the items are cheaper than the grocery stores and many items are between $.50 and $1.00. I usually buy about 6 loaves or so at a time and put the extras in my freezer. This is another case, where it "pays" to have a chest freezer.

As with other money saving tips, you can't usually go looking for something specific. But is an easy way to save money.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Junior Achievement Speaker Panel

A few nights ago I attended a speaker panel about How to deal with money with your kids. It was sponsored by Thrivent and put on by the Junior Achievement. There was a speaker from Thrivent, The Village Family Center, an elementary teacher and a high school business teacher.

More information and handouts are available at the Junior Achievement website is
Junior Achivement

Some the things discussed were teaching kids the difference between wants and needs. Realizing what things cost and where money comes from. Some times when kids see their parents paying with checks and credit cards they don't realize that you do have to account for that money. There have been times when kids want something and their parents say they can't afford it, and the kids say just write a check.

Another thing is to teach your children the dangers of using credit cards. On college campuses there are many instances that credit card companies set up to get students to sign up for a credit card, many times giving incentives like free tshirts or fast food coupons. They may get the card thinking that they won't use it or just use it for emergencies. But many times once they have it they will start using it and it can get out of hand. They also mentioned that some kids take out more in student loans than they need for school expenses to use on other things. They have to realize they eventually have to pay that back.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Being Honest about your finances

On the Dave Ramsey show last night a few of the callers were wives that had major credit card debt that their husbands didn't know about. One of them had about $78,000 in credit card debt and they only made about $60,000 a year. She had tried refinancing their house by her house to help with the situation and found out they both had to sign to refinance.

Dave suggested to have both spouses be involved and in agreement with the spending. In a lot of couples if one makes the money they leave it up to the other one to manage the spending. But if they get to being over their heads all of the weight and worry is on one person.

Studies show, one of the major cases of marriage problems is because of finances. So to have a better marriage it was suggested to work together on the finances.

Even if you aren't married, some people lie about their finances. By pretending to be able to afford things they can't afford. But evenutally it catches up to them.

Restore Stores - Habitat for Humanity

One place to look for discounted prices on home improvement items is the Restore stores that benefit Habitat for Humanity houses. There is a store at 210 11th St N in Moorhead. You can search Habitat for Humanity to see if there is a store in your area.

They have a variety of home improvement items. Some of the items are used items dontated by people and other items are new items donated by stores and contractors. Because it is run on donations, you can't usually go looking for specific items.

Some of the items they usually have are paint, stain, doors, windows, trim and carpet. The store in Moorhead recently has new carpet for $1/SF in different sizes.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Learning to Manage What You Have

Many people think if only they could earn more money they could be rich. But many times when earnings increase, your way of life and expenses also rise. It seems the more money you have the more money you think you have to spend. Alot of people that earn more money probably don't have any more saved than people that make a lot less.

Also, some people hope to win the lottery. Studies show that of people that have won large prizes from the lotter, within 5 years a majority of them have lost it all or most of it. This is because even though they have a large sum of money, they still don't know how to manage it.

I have been thinking about writing about this lately and the other night I watched the movie "Mad Money". Its about a few people working on the cleaning crew at the Federal Reserve that figure out a way to steal money that is going out of circulation and being shredded.

Just remember it doesn't matter how much you earn, its how much you SPEND!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Speaker's Panel - Talking to Kids about Money

Speaker's Panel presents
How to Talk to Your Kids about Money & The economy
Carl Ben Eielson 1601 13th Ave S, Fargo
Tuesday, June 23 7-8 pm

Panelists will give you tips to talk with children of all ages about smart money management, budgeting, investing, saving and emotional stress and family difficulties during these economic times.

open to public, free to attend

RSVP to Lisa Metzger lisam@jaum.org or 241-8628

How to Live Like a Millionaire

How to Live like a Millionaire

How do millionaires live? What kind of spending choices do
they make? How do they handle their money? These were the
questions that Drs. Thomas Stanley and William Danko,
authors of “The Millionaire Next Door,” tried to answer
through their 20 years of studying and researching people
with a net worth of over a million dollars.

What they found through their research was surprising. Most
garden-variety millionaires (not celebrities or sports
stars, but just average wealthy people) do not drive
expensive cars, wear expensive clothes or jewelry, or have
homes the size of the White House. Most of the people Drs.
Stanley and Danko interviewed look and act very much like
the rest of us. The only difference is that these people are
millionaires while the rest of us only dream about it.

The fact that most millionaires in America are so much like
the guy next door surprises many. Most of us think of
millionaires as being people who are easily identifiable
because of the cars they drive, the luxuries they enjoy, and
the neighborhoods they live in. But as the authors point
out, “Most people have it all wrong about wealth in America.
Wealth is not the same as income. If you make a good income
each year and spend it all, you are not getting wealthier.
You are just living high. Wealth is what you accumulate, not
what you spend.”

Below are a few of the points about millionaires found in
“The Millionaire Next Door.” Let’s see what lessons those of
us who aren’t worth millions of dollars can learn from those
Americans who are.

1. Most average millionaires live well below their means.
They could afford to spend more and enjoy more luxuries in
life but they choose not to. They know that they would have
probably never become millionaires while supporting an
extravagant lifestyle.

Lesson to the rest of us: It’s hard to accumulate wealth if
you spend all you make. Living below your means allows you
to save, invest and accumulate more. Ben Franklin once
wrote, “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a
great ship.”

2. Most average millionaires live frugally.
These people are not typically big spenders. They watch all
of these expenses, both big and small because they believe
being frugal is the key to achieving financial independence.
As authors Stanley and Danko write, “Being frugal provides
them with a dollar base to invest.”

Lesson to the rest of us: Frugality is a tool that can help
get you where you want to be financially.

3. Most average millionaires are more concerned with
financial independence than social status.
They believe in the statement, “You aren’t what you drive.”
They understand that many people who appear wealthy actually
have little wealth because they spend it all in order to
support a lavish lifestyle.

Lesson to the rest of us: Benjamin Franklin also said,
“Rather to go to bed supperless than rise in debt.”
Unfortunately this concept is totally foreign to a big
portion of the population. Too many Americans are stuck in
the cycle of spending tomorrow’s cash today in an effort to
attain and maintain social status.

4. Most average millionaires believe in the value of hard
work and being self-sufficient.
A majority of these people did not receive significant
financial support from their parents, nor do they provide
financial support to their own children.

Lesson to the rest of us: The authors state that the odds of
becoming wealthy by inheriting a fortune, winning a lottery,
or becoming a celebrity are about 1 in 4000. However, the
odds of having a net worth over $1 million is about 3.5 in
100, and more than 80% of the people in this category are
just ordinary people who accumulated their wealth slowly and
steadily. In other words, don’t bank on becoming financially
secure by chance. Hard work is a much more reliable ticket
to financial security.

5. Most average millionaires use their time, money and
energy wisely.
“These people understand that efficiency is one of the most
important components of wealth accumulation,” write Stanley
and Danko. Thus, they allocate these resources in such a way
that helps them increase their net worth.

Lesson to the rest of us: Wealth rarely “just happens.” It
is almost always the result of hard work, planning, and
controlling consumption. If these things aren’t part of your
financial planning, you probably don’t have what it takes to
accumulate wealth.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Relative Value and its Importance

Relative value is the cornerstone of teaching responsible management, and the basis for making intelligent decisions about money.

Relative value means what one thing costs in relation to what you personally have to do to pay for it. Relative value is the "real" cost of something, and it can make your and child's purchasing decisions much clearer.

For example, to take your family of four on vacation for a week to DisneyWorld, it may cost you a total of $6,000. Now think of the cost of that vacation in a different way. Did you have to work one week to earn the money, or eight weeks? You may have spent $6,000 in money, but in terms of relative value, that vacation cust you X number of weeks of sweat.

Also, when thinking of the cost of something. You may think it is only so many hours or days of work, but if you get too many of those things, they may end up being most or all of your pay.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wants Vs Needs

I feel part of the reason some people are in the situations they are in concerning money is not distinguising the difference between wants and needs.

Need is defined as something without which your daily living would be impossible, or very difficult.

A want is something that if you had, you'd be happier, but if you didn't, you could live without it.

Wants and needs are different for all people. When looking at your financial situation you have to decide if you are willing to give up something else to afford something that you want and may not necessarily need.

I also feel it is important to teach children this difference. That they have to decide what they really need and they may not be able to get everything they want.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ideas for Bargain Summer Travel

Here are some ideas for affordable summer travel Summer Travel ideas.

Another idea is a staycation. You can research attractions in your home town or surrounding area. Many people don't take the chance to explore places right in their back yards. Just to take a chance to get out of the house and doing something different.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Suze Orman's Recession Rescue Plan

On Oprah's website Suze Orman has ideas for a Recession Rescue Plan

She has ideas to save money and get by if you have lost your job or to be ready in case you do. The economic problems have been worse in other parts of the country but the effects are starting to hit our area too.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What Would You Dare to Live Without?

Thursday on Oprah the topic will be what things you can give up. They will follow a few families for a week as they try to cut back on shopping, TV, video games, etc.

Also, trying to cut back on wasting food, electricity and water.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sears - $50 Reward Cash

Purchase $50 worth of men's pants or jeans from Sears by June 21, 2009, and you'll receive $50 in Sear's Reward Cash. This Reward Cash can be used on any men's apparel in July and August. The rebate form is at sears.com

The Difference

I recently read "The Difference", the new book by Jean Chatzy. The front cover says Some People Have Secured Their Financial Future - What They Know That You Don't The Difference

Through candid interviews and a study of more than five thousand people Jean reveals the traits and habits of those who moved from the lowest economic strata to the highest. The Difference helps you take a look at where you are now and offers simple strategies for going where you want to go.

Following are a couple points from the book:

The Healing Power of Saving. Part of the difference is understanding that spending more than you make is just as bad for you emotionally as it is financially. It certainly won’t make you happier. In fact, it does just the opposite. And the worry that comes with financial trouble can quite literally make you sick. Saving money, on the other hand, is actually good for both your health and your wealth. As one noted researcher put it: “Saving money is like healing your sould a little bit every day”. The wealthy get that.
The Difference isn’t easy. The Difference is an advanced concept. And yes, you have to want it becaue it will-in all likelihood – occasionally put up a fight. It is, in that way like the marathon you want to run, diet you want to undertake. The smoking you want to stop. And the money you want to save. The Difference is a choice that you make every day.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

21 days to a new Habit

I have read different places that it takes about 21 days or 21 times of doing something to become a habit.

Like I've said before, I don't expect you to use all of the tips I write about, but I hope you get a chance to try some. Every little bit helps. A dollar here and there may not seem like alot. But if you consider saving $1 ten times, that equals $10 saved. ( and $20, so forth).

Some people say they don't have time. If you try a few quick tips when you get a few minutes, you may save yourself time and money in the future. If you have items on hand and prepared ahead of time, it can save you from stopping for takeout, etc. Sometimes if you have things prepared, you can have a homecooked meal ready in about the time it would take to stop for something.

Another way to save time on meals is to use a crockpot. There are many cookbooks and websites with recipes. This way you can get things ready the night before or in the morning and have it cook all day and have home cooked meal when you get home.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Number One Way to Save on Food

Michell at leaving excess has a post on saving money by stocking up on items when they are on sale.

This week Hornbachers has raspberries, strawberries and blueberries on sale. I bought 2 pints of raspberries, rinsed them and drained. I put them on a cookie sheet to freeze and then bagged them to use in the future, for smoothies, etc or just for a snack. I did the same with the strawberries, I rinsed and drained and then sliced and froze.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Making Use of Dried Bread

If you have dried out bread or the ends of loaves, let them dry out and crush in food processor or blender to make bread crumbs. You can add seasonings to them to make seasoned bread crumbs instead of buying them. Or before letting the the bread dry out, cut into small squares, brush with oil and sprinkle with seasoned salt or other seasonings. Bake at 200 degrees until they are dried out and you have homemade croutons.

You can bag the bread crumbs and croutons and keep in the freezer so they last longer.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Can You Afford That?

suze orman will be on Oprah on Friday. She will be taking questions from viewers about if they afford to buy things that they want to.

She also has a weekly show on CNBC on Saturday nights where she has a segment like this also.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Saving a bag of Potatoes

The other day I realized I had almost a 10 pound bag of potatoes that was starting to go bad. I made a batch of scalloped potatoes which the leftovers I froze.

Then I looked on the internet to see if there was a way to freeze potatoes. There were some tips on freezing french fries and hashbrowns. For french fries, wash, peel and cut into strips and either fry part way or bake part way. I put the strips in a plastic bag with some oil and salt until they are all coated. Bake on a cookie sheet at 425 degrees until light brown. Let cool, bag and freeze. When you are ready to use them, finish baking at 425. I tried them and it did work. So I have two gallon bags of french fries instead of throwing them in the garbage. And instead of buying frozen french fries.

For hashbrowns, the tips said to wash, peel and grate the potatoes. Fry until they start browning, then cool, bag and freeze. When ready to use, finish frying like you normally would.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Clearing Clutter to Save Money

In one sense by clearing clutter and being organized you can save money. If you have things organized and in certain places, you know what you have. How many times have you had to go out and buy something and then later found the same item in your home. Also, with articles of clothing if you have too much clutter you may forget what you have and go buy an idential item.

One suggestion I have heard of is to have 3 boxes or bags on hand. label them, "toss", "donate", "keep". Start with one room and start picking out 27-30 things and put in the correct bag. There is a new book, throw out fifty things by Gail Blanke with the suggestion of throwing out 50 things.

Also, if you have a lot of clutter and unorganized items, it may take longer to find items you are looking for and you waste time, you could be using to do something else.

Monday, June 1, 2009

14 Ways for Free Money

Following is a link to an article on ways to find free money 14 ways to Free Money.

Some of the items mentioned are unclaimed funds, scholarships, 401(k) matching funds