There is an exercise where people write down everything they buy each day for a couple of weeks. A lot of people are shocked by what they spend.
The book Your Money or Your Life goes into this and you find out how much of your life energy is burned at work to pay for those things.
On top of what you spend, you need to add taxes. Not just sales tax, but your net income after you pay into Medicare an Social Security and so on.
You can lock in the $79 now even if your renewal comes after the price hike!
From slickdeals.net user <em>orick</em>:
>If your current Prime membership is scheduled to expire on or after April 17th, and therefore would auto-renew at the $99 price, you can effectively lock in the $79 price by taking the following steps:
>(1) Look up your Prime expiration date. (Let's say yours is June 11th.)
>(2) Purchase a Prime Gift Membership here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/prime/pipeline/prime_gifting_landing
>Set the delivery date as the date after your membership expires (in this case, June 12, 2014).
>Enter your own e-mail address as the gift recipient. It is okay if this is the exact e-mail address already associated with your Amazon Prime account.
>Place order (total will be $79).
>(3) Turn off your Prime auto-renew.
>(4) On the day after your membership expires, you will receive an e-mail from Amazon with the gift membership. Follow the instructions to apply it to your account.
>This is a pretty straightforward way to save $20.
Checked the price history, and they've definitely come down a lot from a few years ago, but they've been at $65 most of the time since last August, and were just a bit over $70 before that. So, don't splurge on them if you don't need them right now, because they'll probably still be cheap in the future.
Taking the time to make some lemonade, some popsicles and such to sit out with can help make it feel a bit more summery. Especially great if you have something to read too. Is there a library nearby you could get books from?
Or how about doing some equipment-free workouts outside in the sun? You could go for a run or a walk too, and if you do look out for places to play sports. If there is, there's the opportunity of joining in, or asking if there's going to be any games where regular people can join in.
If you have any local museums, botanical gardens, markets, parks, festivals and such, keep an eye out for free days or events. Google and look around on facebook for events too, some of them are bound to be free, and they're great for finding some locals to befriend as well!
Alright, time to assess your sitaution.
What is your transportation situation like? Do you have a reliable car/transport? Do you have any debt on it? Is it in need of repair work that you've been putting off?
Do you have an emergency fund (either in cash or in savings)? What are you other debts looking like?
25k out of 200k isn't that huge of a chunk, so IMO you shouldn't just throw that at student loan debt. You need to position yourself to succeed going forward.
If you have any other monthly debts (credit card, car payments, etc), I'd first look at eliminating those with the money. Increasing your monthly cashflow will help a lot.
I would strongly advise keeping at least 1k as an emergency fund, either in cash or in a savings account.
Reach out to your student loan providers and see if you can work out an income-based repayment schedule.
Do you have regular income, or is it still really sporadic? If it's really sporadic, is there anyway you can get yourself a regular income? You've said that your freelancing is drying up - maybe it's time to pick up a 'normal' job if you can, and still freelance on the side.
It sounds like you need to really take the reins of your financial life, and this may be a turning point. If you don't really have much financial experience, I would strongly suggest reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover (or listening to the audio book). Disregard the religious junk if you disagree with it, the overall advice is very solid.
A great book that I read talks about this breakdown that OP has done to an even better extreme: Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin.
I'm sad I gave that book away, I want to read it again. But anyway, the major premise of the book is this:
Your salary minus taxes is not what you're actually making each month when you get your paycheck. There are other costs associated with your job and your lifestyle that cut away from your salary and really show how little you've made your time worth.
Stress, job satisfaction, commute (gas, car wear and tear, time in transit, commute stress etc), wardrobe necessities (if you have to be business professional, buy your uniform etc), whether you have to pitch in monthly to the office birthday party etc all take away from what your actually making and taking home.
The commute especially. If you're working 40 hours a week but commute and hour each way, when you're calculating your hourly wage you're adding 10 extra hours with no additional money. Add on the gas costs, and the wear on your car, when you re-calculate your real hourly wage it is nowhere near what it says on your paycheck.
When I first read the book I did their calculations to find my "real-hourly-wage" (I think that's what they call it in the book) and found that I was really making about half of my take home due to all of those extra costs. When my real hourly wage was only like $4-$5/hr. buying a $4 coffee thinking "is this coffee really worth the hour of work I put in for it" really changed how I spent my money.
I totally butchered the explanation I'm sure, but OP reminded me of this book and how much it had shifted my view on spending money and on my occupation, I highly recommend it to people who are trying to get better budget wise.
Here is the ticker for oil futures, set for delivery in June. Here is the one for July.
For people who aren't familiar with financial instruments, this means that you can enter into a contract today to buy a barrel of crude oil on June 12 for $105, regardless of how much it actually costs on that day. If the actual price is higher, you can instantly sell, making a profit; if the actual price is lower, then you've bought high and sold low, taking a loss.
Basically, this means that traders - people who are actually putting their money where their mouths are - think that the price of crude oil will be around $105 in June (plus a few dollars because of the time value of money). It takes roughly a $30-$35 movement in crude oil prices per barrel to result in a $1 movement in prices at the pump.
So, traders expect oil to come in at between $110 and $115 a barrel in summer. That's about $3.80 a gallon. For $4.50 a gallon, we would need to see somewhere between $135 and $155 a barrel. (The record high was $147 a barrel, and at those prices, the record pump price was $4.25.)
What I'm saying is that this prediction is a crock load of shit. Because if it were at all credible, people would be buying up oil futures like crazy. After all, you can buy June oil for $105 today, and then be able to sell it at ~$145 four months from now.
I occasionally fill out fake wedding registries. Some companies offer freebies to couples that put X amount of dollars worth of their products on their registry. Got all of my kitchen knives doing that. That Ema Nymton is quite a gal and deserves only the best.
ITA MATRIX by Google is less known. They can't actually book flights for you, but they search for the best airfare.
skiplagged is also great. Great for hidden city ticketing as well. For example if I want to go from New York to Miami, it will search all flights that have a stop in Miami and you'll just get off in Miami and not continue to the final destination. Doesn't work if you have checked baggage of course but it has saved me loads so far.
You can buy an inflatable hot tub for $350 US. We have one and it is totally white trash and we kind of love it.
There's also an extension for multiple browsers that automatically checks the price of whatever you're looking at on other websites.
EDIT: Only works in the US, UK, and Germany. Sorry everybody else!
Nope. As of the latest available data, the battery failure rate for Toyota's hybrids takes 12 years to reach 5%. With Prius taxis able to run beyond 300,000 miles on their original battery pack, it's not a stretch to say that the median life of the battery pack exceeds that of the car itself.
200,000 miles is the reasonable reliable life expectancy of cars these days. 30 years ago I think it was closer to 100,000. We have come a long way.
I do think it is particularly important to pick a car with a reputation for reliability when buying one with over 100,000 miles on it. This list from Consumer Reports is a good place to start.
I have a 9-page PDF called "Reddit Guide to Couponing" credited to "Reddit user Thinks_Like_A_Man". I can't give you the link I downloaded it from, but IIRC it was Dropbox or Google Drive. What I can do is share it from my Dropbox. Get it here (PDF, 101KB).
I made an updated version that is better for updating and has US tax brackets included:
I became ill in my early 40's. Fortunately I had managed to save thanks to coming across a copy of <em>Your Money or Your Life</em>. Money was so stressful in my childhood that I was naturally frugal anyway.
Paying for his daughter to go through Stanford was a nice thing to do. I imagine most parents would probably want to do that.
This is a really great book. It tells you tips like: 1. Bring the other party to the same side of the table. 2. Preserve the relationship with the other party. 3. Brainstorm solutions together so that both sides are invested in the end solution. 4. Attack the problem, not the people. Really eye-opening to me. There is a sequel called "Getting to Yes with Yourself", it's on my reading to-do list.
Besides the obvious that flying midweek will save you money, check out Google Flights. I just went to the Dominican Republic and was able to save abour $150 per ticket over Expedia/Priceline/Kayak, and the search tools let you make a lot more specific choices (like choosing exactly which nearby airports you want to fly out of).
Just sell the whole laptop as-is on Ebay/craigslist and state that things are broken. Some one will buy it. Probably not for top dollar though.
You can probably get slightly more if you sell parts of the laptop separately as working parts. RAM, laptop DVD, battery, charger, etc. but that's more work.
The one thing I would caution you is to make sure the hard drives have been wiped first. You may need to pull them out of the laptop, mount them in an enclosure or in a desktop and overwrite everything. I use the http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ for this. Let me know if you need more details on how to do this.
Before I spent $200+SSD cost($89)+new oem battery(~$60?) on an aging heavy business laptop for the tasks you mentioned, I would also consider buying a new chromebook and running linux on it with crouton.
This unlocks the potential of a chromebook turning it into an all around laptop and still lets you run chromeOS and linux side by side, easily, switching between the two with a keystroke.
Unless you need to run premium creative apps, like Adobe Creative Suite, linux is the ultimate frugal OS. Most of the other apps you need are available for linux free, and linux itself is free, and crouton is free.
If you can set up an account on mydisneyexperience.com and link your tickets/passes, then you'll be able to set up Fast Passes and get through the lines on 3 rides in just minutes. You have to be frugal with your time, right?
Also, if you're going to the Magic Kingdom, Pinocchio's has pretty good kids menu items. Maybe $6.50 for a pizza, fries, yogurt, and a drink. Just order that for the whole family. It's pretty good and filling.
Or be super frugal and take your own food and drinks into the park. As long as you don't have glass bottles, you can take any food items in. There is a McDonalds close to Animal Kingdom on property. The prices aren't much worse than any other McD but the selection isn't as good (usually no promotional sandwiches). Here is the location.
Private Internet Access is a VPN service that costs around $4/month. It allows you to route all of your internet traffic through a server in a different country. So the website thinks you live in that country.
Once you're logged in and connected to the foreign country's server, you should use an incognito browser window. That way none of your cookies that are on your normal browser are seen by the website.
It appears like your buying your tickets from that foreign country as opposed to from your home country.
Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" assisted me getting back on my feet. The principles carry over to anyone's situation.
It's a plan worth investing in and he talks about how to do get out of debt, live within a budget and build for the future.
Budgeting is work and takes time, focus and patience. It is worth the sacrifice.
One of the author's other books on the same topic is on YouTube:
Transforming Your Relationship with Money: The Nine-Step Program for Achieving Financial Integrity, Intelligence, and Independence is a seminar from Joe Dominguez, coauthor of the bestselling book "Your Money or Your Life". The book is based on the lectures Joe used to give in the 1980s. Even though some of the figures might be dated the themes are timeless.
Make a comprehensive budget (I used Mint.com) to figure out what you spend money on each month. You will likely find several areas where you spend way more than you want to, such as eating out / shopping. Cut back in these areas to increase your rate of saving money.
Establish a nest egg. Calculate 6 months' living expenses and start putting away as much money as you can each money until you reach that amount. I suggest looking for super-high interest checking accounts in your area (there are a lot in the US right now that offer around 4% APR) and using it as both a checking and savings. Pay attention to the requirements, they're usually weird stuff like making at least 12 debit purchases a pay period and signing up for E Statements.
If your employer offers a 401k, pay at least as much as is necessary to get the maximum matching from them. This is free money, and it would be foolish to throw it away.
Consolidate your student loans, if any. There are some very low interest rates available right now. If you have both federal and private student loans, things can be tricky. Note that you want someone with really good credit to cosign with you, because that will get you a lower rate.
Refinance your mortgage. There are fantastic interest rates available right now. If your mortgage interest rate is higher than what you can get, do it.
Once you have accomplished/discounted all of the above, learn to invest in un-managed index funds and ETFs. I suggest reading Coffeehouse Investor and The Millionaire Next Door. Invest intelligently and you're much safer than millions of Americans who lose their shirt.
If you like carbonated water, don't buy one of those store-made gizmos (e.g., SodaStream), that tie you to a subscription of Co2 in their proprietary canisters.
Purchase a Co2 tank, a regulator, some food-grade tubing and a specialized top that screws onto 1- and 2-liter bottles. Fill the Co2 tank (All Co2 is the same, there is no "food grade" co2) at your local liquor store or fire extinguisher supply place, they charge roughly $1 per pound.
I can make roughly 1100 liters of soda water from 20 pounds of Co2, so each liter is just under .02 cents.
My Initial investment:
These two articles helped me build my setup:
We just switched my wife's prescriptions from Walgreens to Costco. The cost went from $346 to $202.
Consumer Reports: Save Money on Meds: 6 Tips for Finding the Best Prescription Drug Prices
Chart showing pharmacy price comparisons from CR
Be careful about what you buy there.
bunsofsteel_MRI_boy, I want to thank you for this contribution.
I'm not going to tell you that you're wrong, because you are not wrong, but this advice aims lower than the solution we've already found and shared here.
Yes, razors dull from rust more than use. That's correct. But here are facts you are missing:
water has a high surface tension, and only the larger droplets of water will be jarred into splitting and coming loose by tapping the handle, the smaller droplets will remain and cause rust
moisture from the shower remains in the air long afterwards and will continue to condense on the blade if you leave it in the same room you showered in
any stuck solids (hair, soap or skin cells) on the blades will create a trap where more water can remain adhered to the surface, so rinsing the blades clean first is quite important
For the above reasons, many of the most frugal among us have already found a superior method of razor blade storage. Storing the razor blade-down in a small glass of mineral oil accomplishes the following: (1. buoyancy and fluid tension push the lighter water molecules to the top surface of the heavier oil, away from the blade 2. creates a total barrier to room humidity 3. keeps the blade oiled for smoother shaving 4. helps prevent minerals from tap water from collecting on the blade)
You think one month is good? Try 6-9 months for a single blade. Mineral oil is super cheap too and has a lot of lubricating uses around the house.
Having worked in a facility that made garbage bags, this is one of those where there isn't much real difference between generic and brand name basic garbage bags. NOTE - The bags that have the different weaves (Glad ForceFlex?) or whatever through them are manufactured differently and the following doesn't apply.
What you want to watch out for is the thickness. My machine would have the plastic pellets dumped into it, and I would increase or decrease certain settings to make them thicker or stronger and then change the packaging it was going into. Sometimes we added the draw string. Sometimes we changed the cut (for flaps or whatever).
So - when you go to the store, you'll want to see how many garbage bags you are getting for a particular price, and compare it to the mil. thickness on the boxes. Albertson's/Smith's/Safeway's .47mil kitchen bag is going to be pretty comparable to Hefty's .5 mil bag.
TL/DR: Buy by thickness and cost per bag instead of brand. Additional info
Very similar to Invisible hand, a chrome alternative. Priceblink
I would also like to mention that I have routinely done this sort of checking, and more times that not I find that it's cheaper on Amazon, whether by lower shipping costs, or just plain price.
Ok here's some of the more fun frugal tips I can offer. Most of them come from just being creative, reading a lot, and opening your eyes. Best book on money I've ever read is Your Money or Your Life by Robin.
Ghengis grill: 3 meals for $8 -- Only put meat in your bowl. Steak and others in the bottom, and then layer on the beef. If you layer on the beef the right way, it clumps nicely and you can get 3x the height of the bowl.
Olive garden will let you order off the kid's menu. $5 gets you pasta, side, a drink, and unlimitted breadsticks and salad.
Mexican food - my wife is tiny. We get full on chips and salsa, split a $10 plate, and have leftovers for another meal.
I didn't buy many book, but we'd frequent going to barnes and nobles or borders for a couple of hours, reading a book, and walking out
Here you go. If accurate, their chart does support the theory of summer being the time for low costs (presumably also with production costs going down with better technology, etc).
Lesson 1: Don't Buy Stuff You Can't Afford.
Lesson 2: See Lesson 1.
Edited to add SNL clip from Hulu (sorry non-USA folks).
If you have a smartphone, and get Craigslist Notifier. There's a free version, which is nice. You type in keywords/prices/locations, and it notifies you when matching ads get posted. Useful for furniture and such.
Check out goodwill, they often have lots of cookware and things.
"The Millionaire Next Door" describes people like you. It's how most families create wealth, even with much lower incomes. Luckily, the author is part of a small subset that overspends, then overshares. If not for people like him, where would our schadenfreude be focused?
I thought it might be interesting to start a list of where spending more for quality saves you in the long run. Here's my start:
Your current rent is 600/mon plus shared internet+utilities/mon. When you move, your costs will be 1000/mon plus individual internet+ utilities/mon. Also, if you plan on overhauling your wardrobe to match your new gender, that could be expensive, too. This means that for you to live in a place that is 400+ more, you need to cut at least 400+/mon expenses elsewhere or earn at least 400+/mon more with a side job/gig.
Have you looked into ways to either increase your pay or decrease your other costs? Now's a great time to budget your expenses and see what's easiest to cut.
For example, to increase pay:
If you think you can handle it, can you ask your boss for more responsibilities and thus more pay? Can you see what's out there and try to look for and apply for different jobs now? It doesn't hurt to ask and show interest. If nothing is currently available, you can ask them to please keep you in mind for future openings.
If you think you can work more than 40 hr/wk, can you find a side job/gig?
For example, to decrease other costs:
Is there room to bring your monthly food costs down, while keeping healthy? Maybe you could start brown bagging lunch, make your own daily coffee, decrease the amount of meat in your diet, r/mealprepsunday, etc.?
Can you change cell phone providers to decrease your monthly cell phone bill? For example, if you're on Verizon, but Google Fi service is great in your area, even if you save $35/mon with that change, all these little changes add up and can help you out.
These are just some examples. I'm sure you can think of a way to optimize your budget that you didn't look into before.
When I saw the headline and the CNN link I knew it was them ripping off this month's Consumer Reports Magazine. At least they gave credit in their article.
But the OP should have linked to the actual Consumer Reports link instead:
One page. No ads. Way better than CNN.
Great to know this subreddit helped.
Weird tip (unless you already know) you can iron the plastic bags you get from the grocery store to make a stronger bag. This creates a strong leather-ish substance that can be used to make other things (laptop case, guitar strap, easy clean baby bibs, apron, wallet, decorative items, etc.) Some people like to cut the bags up and braid them into rope for leashes and such. Hope this helps you!
Just this one purchase pays for my Costco membership three times over every year:
Zyrtec 24 Hour allergy pills (70 count) from Wal-Mart $35 Before tax (About $0.50 a day/pill or $15 a month)
Kirkland Aller-Tec (Costco's Generic) 365 Tablets $16 before tax (About $0.04 a day/pill or $1.31 a month)
It's also a great corporation with good morals that don't stop and start at the bottom line. They treat the customers AND the employees very well. I go out of my way to support that and you should too.
There's a popular urban legend that unwrapped sweets will contain razor blades, drugs, etc. See here - apparently, it actually sort of happened - but these stories often prevent paranoid parents from accepting anything unwrapped.
Why organic? If you're concerned about arsenic contamination of rice, just avoid rice from Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, where they fertilize with manure from chickens fed arsenic-based growth enhancers. California rice is fine. White rice has less contamination than brown, and washing rice can effectively remove some of the arsenic.
Here are some good easy ways that require no extra skills to make money:
Online paid surveys - many are scams, but the most reputable one is called swagbucks which is recommended by a lot of people
Sell your leftover food and products - Use letgo or facebook marketplace to sell your extra things you don't need. There are also some new companies that let you sell your extra produce if you plant I forgot what it's called.
Airbnb if you don't stay at home that much
During the nights you don't do much you can also enlist an Uber/Lyft driver
Those are just the ones I know off the top of my head. Hope it helps!
I'm sure plenty of you are already aware of this, but there's an interesting book on this very subject called The Millionaire Next Door. The authors surveyed a large pool of American families with a net worth of one million dollars or more to find out how people got so much money. One of their findings was that most of these millionaires lived a much more frugal life than most people expect: they bought used, American cars, suits from JC Penney, Timex watches, modest houses, things like that.
Check out /r/beermoney as well. It's beermoney for a reason - not going to earn you a lot, but given your tight budget, it could make a difference. Between surveys on mturk and Prolific Academic I make $50-$75/month. There are other sites, too, but I've found these to be the best for me (especially PA). For mturk, if you have Amazon Prime, make sure to sign up using that account, then if you want to use your mturk payments on there, you get Prime. For PA, check their survey page several times a day and do whatever it says you're eligible for; I'd say most days I snag one survey, some days none, and occasionally 3 or 4, just checking when I'm taking a break during the day.
If you can do basic cooking, I'd be glad to send you a few of my more cost-effective recipes, just PM me.
You're always welcome to take a gander at this.
Coursera gives you online access to real college courses. They don't provide college credit, but at least some of them will provide a certificate of completion is you pass the course.
Maybe I can address this a bit - I work for the literary agency of Ury and Fisher (I don't want to put super identifying information out there but if a mod wants verification I can prove it). It is definitely stealing, regardless of where it's hosted. You wouldn't believe the effort behind Getting to Yes, and even apart from my professional connection to it, I believe they're entirely deserving of proper compensation by the people reading and benefiting from their work.
The Millionaire Next Door. Parts of it are a little dated, but it's about how rich people are all around us and it's frugal living that gets them there. It was a conversation changer in the 90s when it came out and it still sells really well today.
I'd recommend the book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (old but good) and Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People.
Yes absolutely you can try negotiating prices on furniture. Here is an article from Consumer Reports on the topic.
>Successful furniture hagglers saved $300 on average
I usually have much better luck with online stores, they typically have decent sales.
Tip: If you aren't sure if a product is a good deal, check its price history on Amazon at http://camelcamelcamel.com/ to see if it has ever been at a lower price point in the past.
Not this exactly, but pretty close: Firesheep.
WiFi Sniffing for Facebook accounts. This is why you should use the HTTPS Everywhere add-on.
And clothing from the mall has formaldehyde on it. You're always supposed to sanitize clothing no matter where you got it.
If the laptop has the product key in it and you have another computer and a blank DVD/flash drive, you can just use this site to download a disk image and either burn it to the DVD or write it to the flash drive (you can use this to create the bootable media)
I love tuna, too, but mercury is serious stuff. You should also be aware that the danger is very high for young children.
There are great replacements for tuna in the canned fish aisle. People often recommend canned salmon, which I love but can be pricey compared to tuna. Sardines are great but canned mackerel is probably my favorite. It's like tuna, but with a much meatier flavor. Kippers are great for breakfast and sandwiches, too.
It might be worthwhile to look into the book "The Millionaire Next Door." His behavior is classic "under-accumulator of wealth" behavior, to use the book's terminology. I'd suggest you read it, and maybe bring up some relevant points to him that might make an impact, like the "good offense" versus "good defense" in wealth building (and how only one of them is actually good at building wealth).
None of you guys use an air compressor for powering tools? What?!?!
ರ_ರೃ The hell are you going to buy an expensive multipurpose tool if your not going to utilize it's multiple purposes.
Houston, we check a lot of your boxes but summer is barely survivable and we are periodically underwater.
Obviously not rural, but we still have hiking. There's plenty of camping in state parks within an hour's drive. Good music, great food, huge car culture. Cheap to live and relatively easy to find work. I think those last bits are Houston's biggest selling points. It's lively down here, y'all.
EDIT: Deranged grammar
The quickest way to "de-rate" a hard drive is to punch holes in it. I like to do that with a 30.06 myself, but that option isn't available to everyone. Also, when taking it apart, you get these really cool super magnets.
When I go "curb shopping", the first thing I do is try to wipe the hard drive. Who knows if the computer you pick up off the curb on trash day is infested with viruses or even if it contains kiddie pr0n. I'm not willing to take the risk, so it all gets wiped ASAP. I have a low end PC which I boot Parted Magic or DBAN or "secure erase" on (all included on the UBCD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ ) for the older PATA IDA drives, but I have to use my desktop for the newer SATA drives.
The example I heard was from 'Predictably Irrational' by /u/DanAriely.
>At an office supply store, you find a nice pen for $25. You are set to buy it, when you remember that the same pen is on sale for $18 at another store 15 minutes away. What would you do? Do you decide to take the 15-minute trip to save the $7? Most people faced with this dilemma say that they would take the trip to save the $7.
>Now you are on your second task: you're shopping for your suit. You find a luxurious gray pinstripe suit for $455 and decide to buy it, but then another customer whispers in your ear that the exact same suit is on sale for only $448 at another store, just 15 minutes away. Do you make this second 15-minute trip? In this case, most people say that they would not.
>But what is going on here? Is 15 minutes of your time worth $7, or isn't it? In reality, of course, $7 is $7—no matter how you count it. The only question you should ask yourself in these cases is whether the trip across town, and the 15 extra minutes it would take, is worth the extra $7 you would save. Whether the amount from which this $7 will be saved is $10 or $10,000 should be irrelevant.
Yes! I love, love, love listening to audiobooks and podcasts on my ~50 minute commute.
It makes the time fly by and I usually learn something interesting from podcasts. If you enjoy reading, you can easily work in an extra dozen or more books into your schedule each year with audiobooks.
Pocket Casts is my favorite podcast app
Smart AudioBook Player is the best audiobook app for android (IMO)
TL;DR - You Need A Budget!
No really, YNAB. It's fantastic. /r/hailcorporate and all, but in this context, it's really helped the wife and I stick to a budget and gives me all sorts of shiny graphs and charts.
For the truly Frugal route, add it to your Steam wishlist and wait for the summer sales. Managed to pick it up for 75% off that way.
You can then take a regional jet to many other cities in Europe for really cheap and have a super cheap trip to Europe. Paris to Rome was only like $25 round trip when I check last.
I was using kayak to check prices earlier this year. As long as your return flight is before June 1, prices are super cheap.
I've tested a few airports and they all seemed pretty cheap. Houston -> Paris was like $500 round trip. Ply around with it. :)
register an account, download, start, flip the switch to UK.
Takes only two minutes to do it. Works fast, after you start the BBC stream, exit TunnelBear (because a free acc has a 500MB limit/month).
I read and enjoyed The Millionaire Next Door, it has had a nonzero impact on the comfort and ease with which I underconsume.
I also read a reasonable critique of the book's conclusions while reading Nassim Taleb, not against the frugality but against the promotion of risk taking that is also advocated in the book.
The heart of the critique is to say that the book overall is an example of survivorship bias, and without "looking at the graveyard", one cannot reach any conclusions by examining the population of rich folk for characteristics.
I still highly recommend The Millionaire Next Door to anyone stupid enough to ask me about reading material, but I do add the caveat and recommend Taleb's Incerto trilogy just as if not more highly.
Stop smoking, stop drinking alcohol, stop eating meat/fish, cook yourself, and you will save a huge amount of money each month.
I realize this might be too extreme for many, but just cutting each of those categories by two and cooking 4 out of 5 meals will make a huge difference. Also, it will highly benefit your health in the long term, and thus reduce your medical costs in the future.
Walk or bike instead of taking your car. Optimize your grocery shopping with a list and stick to it.
If you need snacks during the day, get fruits, almonds and nuts instead of going for a snicker bar.
If you need help changing habits, I highly recommend the book "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg.
As for social interactions, most people will understand if you explain that you're reducing your alcohol consumption for X reason. Hell, most will even be happy that there's now a de facto designated driver. For restaurant with friends, it's trickier. I have replaced it by inviting friends over at my place and cooking for them, and challenging them into cooking too. Now it's like a game of who's the best chef!
This is kinda interesting: "It is highly probable that you are reacting to one or many of the other chemical substances extracted from the roasted coffee beans during the coffee making process. Of the 850 volatile chemical substances identified so far, about 25 have the greatest impact on coffee and its taste. Here is an analysis of the substance groups that are found in green and roasted coffee beans and which may cause you to react in some way. "
Well it comes down to two things:
1) Mindset. You seem very worried, but the good news is that you have most of what you need to do down. Calm down and take a deep breath. Look on Craigslist for personal assistant jobs, or even cleaning, but be careful.
2) Convenience vs Savings. You'll get comments saying that you could cut down on gas by riding a bicycle, if you have one. Things like that are fine if you are willing to "lower" your standard of living.
I assume you already do the whole saving energy/gas/etc thing and your bills are still at those amounts. It comes down to $845 per month. That's not so bad! You can live on the rest. Make the most out of each meal. Cook the chicken and keep the water to make delicious lentil soup. Lentils are healthy, cheap and taste great. Buy more rice and some of this (should be in any wholesale store): http://www.creebs.com/catalog/images/idahoan_mashed_potato.jpg - 65 servings for about 14 bucks. Don't worry about adding milk to that like the instructions say, just water works fine. Keep buying frozen fruit for vitamins. You can also do eggs if you guys can eat them - two dozen a week should be plenty for you guys which comes out to at most $25 a month. If you have rice, lentils, some meat or chicken, eggs, mashed potatoes, frozen veggies, etc and you don't know what to make, use this: http://allrecipes.com/Search/Ingredients.aspx I'm sure there is a lot more food advice, I'll message you if I think of anything else. You say he's enrolled in college? My college sends out daily announcements, and there's almost always some kind of organization hosting a meeting with pizza or other food. Go to those, you'll get plenty of food. See if you can take the leftovers home too. Also not sure if you guys qualify for food stamps, but hey, try it.
Thankfully eBooks are tiny. Like really tiny. For the amount of data consumed by one hour on Netflix you could download 9,000 eBooks, and while that's back of the napkin math it's not much of an exaggeration at all. Hell, just browsing through Netflix titles consumes more data than several eBooks combined.
eBooks (excluding comics) are the single most data-efficient form of digital entertainment, whether measured in efficiency of compression or measured in hours of entertainment per byte. The entirety of <em>The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes</em> likely consumes less data than just pulling up this comment thread.
So if you're worried about data caps the solution is actually to read more eBooks in deference to streaming video.
The short answer: Do a search with the criteria for price, picture included, etc, grab the url from your browser from the search results page, and then append &format=rss to the end and you have the link to the feed. Then use it with whatever rss feed reader you use.
Actually that is not accurate, in the study done by the two Ph.D's who wrote The Millionaire Next Door they break down that 80% of millionaires are in fact first generation wealth. In fact wealthy parents negatively coorelate to continued wealth unless the parents demonstrate positive financial habits. So if the parents have a high income but don't save and invest well the kids will most likely follow and even if they parents do save and invest well if they give too much money to their children before they learn to manage their money they are likely to not continue as wealthy.
Wow, there is so much hate on stock investing here.
I recommend cross-posting to [/r/personalfinance](/r/personalfinance).
I think you picked a good mutual fund for someone with risk aversion. If she's that averse to talking about stocks, then I don't think a book will help - but if you'd like to understand the arguments better, the best introductory work on the subject is The Intelligent Investor.
I think education is the best tool here. There are a few critical points that she'll have to understand if she wants to accept investing as distinct from gambling:
Actually choosing individual stocks and profiting is exceedingly difficult, except for rare individuals with the time and skill necessary to do so.
Individual success and failure often falls into statistical noise. Like an infinite number of monkeys mashing typewriters, sometimes someone hits Shakespeare.
Regularly putting money into a balanced mutual fund is not the same as trying to pick stocks, time the market, or otherwise "beat the odds."
The "bet" you are making is that your allocation of stocks/bonds will accrue value over decades. This is an extremely solid bet... but it is not a guarantee.
What is a guarantee is that keeping your money as cash, and not investing it, will mean you lose value in the long run to inflation.
If you don't have the stomach to keep your money in the stock market during bad times, then you're stacking the deck against yourself. Getting out of the market at the low points is the same as selling low and buying high.
And a final bit of advice you probably don't need: if everyone is telling you that something is guaranteed to give you a return, that is an excellent sign of a bubble.
Past examples include tech stocks and real estate. You can make a strong case for gold, but as always, it's dangerous to try to predict the future.
You know what's crazy? The price of a 2-Liter of Sprite from Jet.com
I'm new to this. Are they really charging $10.80 for soda?!?
This Lifehacker article might be what you’re looking for:
Looks like December would be the time to buy that laptop, maybe Black Friday you could find a deal or if not keep looking in December but according to this wait until January for the clothing purchases.
I did a nutritional comparison between 2tbsp tomato paste, 3/4 cup tomato juice, and 1 medium tomato. Those last two are considered 1 serving of vegetables, and the tomato paste is roughly equivalent in nutritional content.
If a tsp of celery salt had the entire nutritional content of one serving of celery, then it should be considered a serving of vegetables. Of course, it doesn't.
50lb bags, $43, free shipping http://www.saltworks.us/ultra-epsom-salt-wholesale.html#.U71P2bG9aSo
Or order by the ton - 2000 lbs for $50-100 and ship it from china. http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Epsom-Salts_1861532563.html
Yep, San Disk products are great. I've used their e200, Clip, and Clip Zip players. I've always installed the Rockbox firmware. It gives quite a few more features and options.
These players all have an FM radio and a microphone for recordings. All but the first Clip have MicroSD card slots for additional storage. I've been able to buy a number of Clip Zip players used for under $20.
Libre Office is a popular free program that is compatible with Microsoft Office. It's basically an updated version of Open Office since it's based off Open Office. It doesn't use the ribbon interface though.
The Kingsoft Office website says they support MS Office documents, but I've never used it so can't say how well it works. Since it's free you can test it out to see.
This is still a useless idea since the purpose would be to keep the data away from T-Mobile in the first place.
Don't use this service. Use Private Internet Access if you want simple or any of the myriad OpenVPN clients.
I would be very careful on taking advice from reddit on how to plan for retirement. This is a lot of money we are talking about and will take a lifetime to accumulate it. My advice is this:
I can offer a few tips that should only be acted upon if you thoroughly research: -minimize expenses
-don't try to time the market
-If you think you can pick winning stocks, you are probably wrong.
>since I won't be able to pull my 401k out without penalties?
IRS rule 72(t) says this is not true. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/rule72t.asp
Your post is accurate in terms of cost-savings, but doesn't account for the fact that making your own orange juice tastes nothing like the orange juice you can buy. Comparing the two is very much like comparing filet mignon to burger king as far as taste goes.
100% pure orange juice at the grocery store... isn't.
This is /r/frugal though so I will say that it's not especially frugal, though if you're going to buy the expensive brands of orange juice (like Simply Orange) and have access to oranges for about $1/pound, it may be only slightly more expensive.
Costco has a 12-pack of 60w replacement LED bulbs (uses 9w) for $45. I bought some last week, they're great. That's the cheapest I've seen.
I've been using codeacademy, I just started recently and this is my first programming learning experience so I cannot speak for the quality of the content, but I've enjoyed it so far and I feel like I'm learning. I've only completed about 30% of my first course and I think I won't really know until I try to do something with what I've learned, but it's definitely a better use of my time than what I normally do when sitting on the computer.
edit: also check /r/learnprogramming they have tons of great information and links to resources on their FAQ/Wiki
Another tip, If your professors don't assign homework out of the book: You can usually turn a $150 book into a $5 book by getting one edition earlier. I've never seen a college text that had anything truly groundbreaking appear in the most recent edition.
If you sell your books: Wait to resell them on the internet until just before the new term starts. Prices get inflated to maximum just before school begins. Use this site to check out price trends.
538 USD If you want to take the long way to London.... Nonstop is another 100
Keep your eye out for Sling TV (a Dish Network Product.)
I don't know what you are looking for but I've been dying for Food Network, HGTV and ESPN since cutting the cord.
Doing a very quick search shows Purex costs $7 for 100 loads at Walmart. So that's $0.07 a load. I've bought this detergent on sale for $5 a bottle or 5 cents a load.
The Simple Dollar, a site well known for using fuzzy math and estimates claims his version costs 5 cents a load in 2012 dollars and claims that you can't get generic detergent below 15 cents a load. This is, as I proved above, absolutely false. Purex isn't even the cheapest (though it's one of them.)
If you're saving at all, you're saving pennies and as linked several times in this thread, it's bad for your clothes and makes them smell like feet.
Yep. If you want to get fancy, I've seen candles with coffee beans (whole) in the wax. That would fit well with the teacup theme.
You can also make some really cool candles by freezing a wick in a cardboard milk carton (like a quart size), then pouring hot wax in on it, so the ice melts, the wax flows in, and the candle that forms is full of holes and weird pathways. My sis has one that was made like that, and it is so cool.
>"Germany and Parents From the United States Germany has reciprocal agreements with all but 5 states in the United States. This means that if a noncustodial parent of a German child resides in the United States, the custodial parent can petition the German government to enforce a child support order unless the noncustodial parent resides in South Carolina, Alabama, Maine, Mississippi or the District of Columbia. Similarly, if the noncustodial parent lives in Germany and the custodial parent in the United States, the custodial parent can ask the U.S. government to enforce a child support order overseas.
>Under German law, if both parents and the child have lived in Germany for three years before the divorce, the divorce is a German matter; child support would therefore be applicable to German laws rather than U.S. laws in such a case."
Read more: German Child Support Laws | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6711551_german-child-support-laws.html#ixzz1TeXHdqdf
> Banks do not transmit your credentials over the inter webs
Yes they do. How do you think they get from your computer to the bank website when you log in? On the internet. Where they bounce through over a dozen routers, switches and computers on the path between you and your bank's web server. Luckily the data's encrypted with the exact same SSL/TLS technology Mint and every other secure website uses, so nobody along the path can understand what was sent except the intended recipient.
> No company does anything truly free. Why is mint free?
Referral commissions. They recommend bank accounts, credit cards with better rates, retirement accounts, car insurance quotes that beat what you're paying, etc. If you sign up for one of those accounts/services, they pay Intuit a commission for the referral.
You sound like a loon implying that Mint is free because it's a conspiracy by Intuit to get your bank information and steal it to make a profit. As if the $17 billion dollar company that's made the accounting software most businesses have used for the past 24 years is suddenly scheming to trick people into using a personal finance manager to scam them.
You need help. See a doctor. Get medication. This kind of paranoia is not healthy.
You make some great points - but one of your core assumptions is wrong. You claim that the battery on the 100k miles prius could go at any minute, but history has shown that's not the case.
Consumer reports actually looked into it twice, and the battery lasts well to $200k miles. Here are some articles about it. A more recent article in greencarreports and the original in consumerreports
The point is - yes it will be cheaper to buy a used old car in the scenario you outline. However, an equivalent car would be a 2008 civic with 100k miles on it, and that car can't actually be bought for $2000. In fact, kbb values it over $10000.
If you continue with the average 15,000 miles / year
A 30 MPG car will require 500 gallons
A 45 MPG car (conservative for a Prius) will require 330 gallons.
The difference of 170 gallons is equivalent to ~$600 at today's gas prices.
So OP - you have to figure out how long you plan on keeping the car, and multiply that by the $600 per year figure to see if your prius is worth it.
It will be important to ask what sort of budget you have, and what your situation is for that particular car. How long you drive it, will you need something bigger to carry things, or just a commuter vehicle.
If it were me, I would take my time and try to find a bargain. If you can find an economic, well maintained car for well below market value, it would be worth it. For example, in March 2013 my gf got a 2012 toyota corolla with 1500 miles on it for $15000. It was basically brand new, the dealer used it as shuttle vehicle / loaner for customers.
Your best bet - if you want a prius, would be a 2010 or new model, since it's the 3rd generation, and it's the most refined one.
The weakest point in the wire is usually right at the base of the jack. The headphone wires can move/swing back and forth at the jack and it fatigues the copper strands until they break. By wiggling the jack, you push the two broken wires together temporarily and get a signal back.
You can repair it yourself by cutting off the headphone jack and soldering a new one onto the wires. A quick Google search returns multiple how-to guides: http://www.ehow.com/how_114206_replace-headphone-plug.html
Basically acquire a replacement headphone jack (new or salvaged from other headphones), strip the ends of your wires, solder them to the new headphone jack, and then slide a cover in place or tape/shrink-tube the connections.
Requires replacement jack, wire strippers, soldering iron, solder, tape or shrink tubing.
Read the book called The Richest Man in Babylon. It was assigned in my econ class in high school and it honestly changed my views on personal finance. Basically it teaches how to live below your means, save cash, and pay off debt.
Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.
It does an excellent job of debunking all the bad financial myths and habits that we were taught by our schools and our parents.
I have repeatedly told friends that I wish I had that book when I was 21.
I hate his politics, but his book is wonderful. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Easy to follow, easy to do. It also explains different types of insurance, how credit rating work, investing, budgeting, etc. My husband and I have paid off over $30K on his plan and just have one student loan left to go!
Why not give it a try, since you're curious? You may love it, or if you don't, Costco will refund the full $55 membership fee: > We will refund your membership fee in full at any time if you are dissatisfied.
Librivox is a good one for public domain titles. Totally free, too! They are read and recorded by volunteers - some being better than others. You can find who you like and listen to everything they’ve recorded. It’s really cool!