Welcome to the Festival of Frugality #331 – A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

by Sean Bryant on April 10, 2012

A wise person once said “A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned.”  This is a motto that I live my life by.  I would by no means call myself cheap.  I like to take vacations to see the world.  I like to eat good food at nice restaurants.  I am a frugal minded person so I have no problem giving up certain things and save my money for the things I truly enjoy in life.

This edition of the Festival of Finance is dedicated to life stories about saving money.

1. Kevin presents The First Step to $1 Million of Net Worth posted at Thousandaire. – I would say that a majority of Americans are late to the party when it comes to saving for retirement.  Kevin had an article last week about a reader of his who is just 20 and already starting to think about saving for retirement.  First off props to him for his duty in the military and for thinking about retirement at an age when most are thinking about the next party they’re going to.

2. Amanda L Grossman presents The Groundhog Day Financial Lesson I am Doomed to Live Over and Over Again posted at Frugal Confessions. – I love the meaning of this article because she hit on an awesome point that just because something is on sale doesn’t mean its a deal.

I think I need to make sure my wife reads this article.  She loves to see what kind of deals she can get at thrift stores, but the sad thing is I have donated some of those clothes right back to the goodwill with the tags still on them.

3. Bobbie Bushman presents Voluntary Simplicity or Poverty? posted at Budgeting with the Bushmans. – I love this article because it points out the fact that just because some people like to live a more simple life it doesn’t mean they’re poor.  It instead means they are happy and debt free.

The Best of The Rest

FMF presents Is Buying a Car from Costco a Good Deal? posted at Free Money Finance. MSN Money recently covered the Costco Auto Program, the service where Costco helps members buy a car. Members contact Costco, get directed to a participating dealer, and go to the dealer to receive a car and a pre-negotiated price.
Because Costco has lots of negotiating power, the prices are pretty good. But can you do better on your own?

Jim presents NetSpend & Prepaid Debit Cards You Didn’t Apply For posted at Bargaineering. Beware getting prepaid debit cards you didn’t apply for.

Lazy Man presents Spending Money to Save: Focus on the Total Cost of Ownership posted at Lazy Man and Money.  Many consumers focus too much on the cost of something now, and rarely take the long term financial considerations into account. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), is a business term for analyzing all the ramifications of purchase decision.

Peter presents 8 Ways to Buy Organic Produce and Meat on a Budget posted at Bible Money Matters.  If you are concerned about the quality of the food you buy, you may want to consider buying organic. However, while many people want to feed their family high quality foods, they hear the word organic and think those products are not compatible with a family on a budget. Yet, there are several strategies you can use to make buying organic more affordable.

Dr Dean presents 24 Stupid Things People Do With Their Money! posted at The Millionaire Nurse Blog.  Have you ever done anything stupid that cost you money? Check out my list of stupid things not to do and see how well you’re doing.

SFB presents Size Doesn’t Matter: Why Bigger Isn’t Always Better posted at Simple Finance Blog.  American culture seems to suggest that bigger is better – but I’ve found three cases where size doesn’t matter when it comes to your family’s finances.

Princess P presents Securing Your Financial Future posted at Portfolio Princess.  Make sure you are taking the time to learn how to plan for your finances in the future. Open a savings account and put away 10 percent as a minimum.

Laura Edgar presents Top Free Checking Accounts at Credit Unions posted at NerdWallet.  When you open a checking account at a credit union, they can use that money to make auto, home and small-business loans to your fellow credit union members. There are literally thousands of great credit unions all over the country, but here are some of NerdWallets picks.

A Blinkin presents I Don’t Want To Be Debt Free posted at Funancials.  Did you do a double-take when you read this title? Considering a lot of my readers are personal finance bloggers, Im guessing yes; especially since the majority of personal finance bloggers see debt as an unnecessary evil.

Daniel presents Why I Already Won The Lottery posted at Sweating the Big Stuff. Daniel might not have won the mega jackpot but find out why he feels lucky anyways.

Shaun presents Should Families Buy a House or Rent an Apartment: Why Home Equity is Overrated posted at Smart Family Finance.  Every time you assume your homes market value as the equity you command you are overestimating your net worth.

Ashley presents Skipping the Mortgage Payment to Pay the Car Loan? posted at Money Talks Coaching.  This is a great article about people methods when it comes to paying bills.

Tushar presents Filing for Bankruptcy – How Retirement Accounts Are Affected posted at Start Investing Money.  This Post was Originally published at Filing for Bankruptcy How Retirement Accounts Are Affected on Start Investing MoneyBankruptcy is a horrible thing to endure, but in these uncertain economic times, it is becoming an all too common occurrence.

Suba presents Perfectionism On The Job: What It’s Costing You posted at Broke Professionals.  I was a perfectionist – until the world’s worst day at work made me realize what I once considered my greatest strength on the job was actually my biggest weakness.

Hank presents My Favorite Financial Tools That I Use posted at Money Q&A.  From time to time, Im asked about which financial products I personally use and which I would recommend to others. I have finally listed many of the financial resources, firms, services, and products that I personally use and recommend.

PITR presents Real Estate Investing Is Back On the Table posted at Passive Income To Retire.  Find out what makes real estate so attractive to investors and why there will always be a demand for rental properties.

101 Centavos presents A Labor Shortage? Surely You Can’t be Serious… posted at 101 Centavos.  101 Centavos talks about a labor shortage in China.  I know that kind of threw me off a little too.  Keep reading to find out why this is the case.

Corey presents How to Save Money in Your 20s posted at 20s Finances.  Have you ever considered an adjustable rate mortgage? Find out the benefits and whether it is right for you.

Jon the Saver presents Six Questions About the Federal Income Tax posted at Free Money Wisdom.   These are six questions you should ask yourself when it comes to the federal income tax. Make sure you’re not overpaying the government.

Crystal presents House Hunting on Pause posted at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff.  Crystal talks about the struggles to buy a home while self employed.

John presents Have Free Banking Accounts Gone the Way of the Dinosaur? posted at Married with Debt.  Its over. The days of free checking have gone the way of the free check under your hood and wash your windshield at the service station.

Steve presents Living Like a King in Bangkok posted at Money Infant.   I thought that before I give you some insight into my own Bangkok budget I would put to rest the rumors of living like a king on $5000 a month in Bangkok.

FG presents A Tale of Two Brothers posted at Financial God.  One of my favorite books is ‘Economics in One Lesson’, by Henry Hazlitt. If you have not yet read this yet, I highly recommend that you go and purchase a copy. The book has also been made available online for free through the Mises Institute and its generous donors.

YFS presents An in-depth view on Roth vs. Traditional IRA posted at Your Finances Simplified.  Since the conception of the Individual Retirement Arrangement IRA in 1974 from the Employment Retirement Income Security Act ERISA, it has helped thousands of individuals to save money for a comfortable retirement.

Wayne presents Purpose of Budgeting posted at Young Family Finance.   Are you left wondering why you should budget? Find out the purpose of budgeting and whether it’s important for you.

KT presents 5 Ways to Save on Interest on Student Loans posted at Personal Finance Journey.  The average college student graduates with $25,000 in student loan debt. Many more students have higher balances than this. If you are repaying your student loans, there are several strategies you can utilize to pay less in student loan interest. Consider the following: Automate your payments.

Aloysa presents Five Lessons on How To Survive in a Ghetto Apartment posted at My Broken Coin.  From day one I slowly started to learn what was appropriate and what was not in my hood. Over time I acquired a set of certain survival skills that came in handy for a single girl who found herself living alone in a ghetto apartment.

Don presents The End of Buy and Hold? posted at MoneySmartGuides.  This is a great article discussing whether we have seen the end to the buy and hold investing methods.

Jeffrey presents Money Rules Book Review: A Quick Guide to Finances posted at Money Spruce.  I recently checked out the new book Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security by Jean Chatzky. It’s modeled much like Michael Pollans Food Rules with many one-page rules that give short but useful tidbits of information.

Jen presents 6 Free Financial Resources & Tools to Improve Your Finances posted at Master the Art of Saving.  If youre interested in monitoring or improving your finances, then you probably dont want to be spending money to do it.

Jason presents 3 Words to Start the Week Off Right posted at Work Save Live.  Jason’s Kansas Jayhawks might have come up on the short end for the national championship but his team has taught him some good life lessons.

Ryan presents Demand for Rental Property and Residential Contracting is Expanding posted at Early Retirement Investments.  Lately, it seems like the demand for rental property and residential property are on the rise! Read how these areas are expanding

Luke presents Treasuries head south as US stocks end best Q1 in more than a decade posted at Learn Bonds.  All you need to know about today’s bond market action with commentary on top moving stocks as well.

Little House presents Tips for Saving Money on Electricity posted at Little House in the Valley.  I’ve been working on reducing my electricity bills this year and I’m proud to say I’ve slashed them in half. Here’s what I knew I had to change to save some bucks.

Cash Flow Mantra presents When to Buy Extended Warranties posted at Cash Flow Mantra.  While most of the personal finance blogging world would advocated against buying an extended warranty, I would like to explain why there are certain situations when I think it make sense. I know that it has made sense for me with certain products.

Darwin presents Pairs Trade: Real Examples and Profit Potential posted at Darwin’s Money.  Here’s a way to invest and profit with zero dollars out of pocket! Amazing but true, you just have to pick the right direction.

Liana presents How Quickly Will My Credit Card Charges Remove Fraudulent Charges From My Account? posted at Card Hub.  Understand the process for reversing charges, and how the law protects you.

John presents Do You Know What Your Bank is Charging For? posted at Wallet Blog.  Make sure you read your statements carefully every month. If it doesn’t look right, it probabaly isn’t. Don’t get charged more than you should.

Jason presents Birthdays on the Cheap posted at Live Real, Now.  Birthdays are expensive. Shoot, I’ve said that before. It’s usually true, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are five ways to cut birthday party costs.

Miss T. presents How to Have a Small Budget Wedding posted at Prairie Eco Thrifter.   Weddings can always get very pricey very quickly, even if you’re trying your hardest to save money. However, you should know that there are a number of steps you can take toward having a more affordable wedding.

Hannah Walton presents Frugal Hobby Series – Interview with Sweepstakes Winner “Cyt” posted at The Cheapskate Mom.  An interview with a lifelong sweepstakes hobbyist and winner which encourages the reader to think about hobbies that are inexpensive and even financially beneficial

Mike presents Best Gas Rewards Cards posted at Rewards Cards Canada.  When combined with an affiliate credit card, gas rewards cards can subsidize your annual spending by fuel by 4-6%, enough to get you a couple free tanks of gas each year.

Echo presents Why You Should Avoid Mortgage Life Insurance posted at Boomer & Echo.  Buying mortgage life insurance from your bank is generally a bad idea. Term life insurance is much cheaper and offers greater protection.

Jake presents 7 Financial Tips For Young Adults posted at I Am 1 Percent.  Seven tips I wish I had in my late teens and early 20’s that would’ve assisted me in my road to being in the 1 percent

Philip Taylor presents 3 Lessons to Learn Before Your Next Family Emergency posted at PT Money Personal Finance.  Life is unpredictable. This article contains 3 things that are important to remember or plan for in case of emergencies.

Teacher Man presents Why Cutting The GST Was Great Politics and Terrible Economics posted at My University Money.  As some of you may have picked up on I tend to have a slightly right of center bias on economic issues (not social ones I should quickly point out). I tend to believe in many of the bedrock foundations of fiscal conservatism such as a balanced budget, the responsibility of the individual, and small governments.

Robert presents Spending More Money: It’s Not Always a Bad Thing posted at The College Investor.  Being frugal doesn’t necessarily mean being cheap any more or less than paying full-price promises that you’re guaranteed to get the best quality. When it comes to generic prescription and OTC drugs, paper towels, and various pantry staples such as flour (among other items), I will certainly purchase the cheaper option. Here are some other commonly purchased items that it just makes more sense to splurge on.

Tim presents Dave Ramsey 7 Baby Steps Complete Summary posted at Faith and Finance.  Dave Ramsey’s baby steps have helped thousands of people to become debt free while giving them the tools they need to completely reshape their financial picture. Here’s our full summary on the 7 Baby Steps.

Karl presents Spring Training for your Money posted at CultOfMoney .  The point of spring training for baseball is so that players can shake the rust off after a long off-season, work on their fundamentals, and lets coaches evaluate what players will work best on the baseball team. I’ve written with the baseball analogy with respect to fantasy baseball before. If you follow the same process for real baseball and have a spring training for your money, you’ll be ready for opening day too. Just remember though, there’s actually no off-season for your finances.

Emily presents Dental Care without Insurance posted at Evolving Personal Finance.  After speaking with a coworker, I found that I could have saved 50% off a recent dental visit! I list several possibilities for saving money on dental care without insurance.

Glen Craig presents 7 Online Service Alternatives that Save Money posted at Free From Broke .  Money-saving expert Andrea Woroch discusses 7 online service alternatives that will help you save money. Many of these services are free to use.

Paul Vachon presents Where to Find Financial Aid for College Tuition posted at The Frugal Toad.  With college tuition rising much faster than the rate of inflation, more college-bound students depend on financial aid to help pay for college. This comprehensive guide shows where to find financial aid and scholarships.

Ray @ Financial Highway presents Ways to Eat Cheap Organic Food posted at Financial Highway. So if you’ve ever considered leaving fast food nation for the greener, healthier pastures of organic foods, then put that cheeseburger down and listen up. Here are 4 ways to eat healthy – without busting your bank account.

Jocelin presents Money Saving Tips for Gardening posted at One Money Design. It’s that time of year again so we thought we would share some money saving tips for gardening. For example, are you watching your seed sprouting percentage?

Miranda Marquit presents 5 Tips for a Successful Road Trip posted at Personal Dividends. I love vacations, and travel, and I used to do quite a bit of road tripping while in college. As you prepare for a road trip here are 5 things to keep in mind.

Miranda Marquit presents Tips on Graduating College with ZERO Debt by Living a Frugal College Lifestyle posted at Planting Money Seeds. The cost of college can be quite large, but there are ways to get around leaving college with an enormous debt.

Jon Rhodes presents How To Remove A Virus For Free posted at Affiliate Tips. This article shows you how you can remove viruses and malware for free.

Super Saver presents Earn Large, Live Small posted at My Wealth Builder. Building wealth is all about earning large and living small. To me, many people make the mistake of doing the opposite: earning small and living large.

That’s the end of this week’s Festival of Frugality. Next week’s Festival will be hosted by Budgeting with the Bushmans. As always, send your entries through the form here, before the Monday night deadline.

If you are interested in hosting an upcoming Festival of Frugality edition make sure you sign up on the Festival of Frugality website.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created OneSmartDollar.com in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.
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