Good, as in karma from accepting hand-me-downs graciously. Bad, as in “money jerks” who don’t pitch in for their share of restaurant bills (tips included) or who are constantly hitting you up to contribute to fundraisers. And Ugly, as in regularly checking the obituaries—so that you can anticipate where you’re likely to be able to scoop up antiques and secondhand merchandise on the cheap at forthcoming estate sales.
4 affordable (and awesome) gifts for kids’ birthday parties. For instance:
Gift Cards for Edibles: Buying snacks as a gift can be seen as cheap, but a gift card for food brings a sense of legitimacy to the idea. If there is a popular place in town that kids like to buy their pizza or ice cream from, for example, grab a few of their gift cards at the beginning of a school year, and stash them in a drawer for unexpected parties.
5 frugal ways to treat seasonal affective disorder. For instance:
When it’s 20 degrees out and there’s a stiff wind, I know how hard it is to go outside. Trust me, I’ve had more arguments with myself over this than anything else. But making yourself go outside to get some exercise is one of the best ways to combat SAD. Take a walk, go snowshoeing, go make a snowman, do whatever it takes to get outside at least once a day.
5 unnecessary banking and credit card fees. For instance:
Checking account maintenance fees
Richard Barrington, personal finance expert for MoneyRates.com, says that having a higher balance will give you more options when it comes to avoiding maintenance fees. While the conventional wisdom was to keep very little in your checking account and a greater amount in savings where it would earn interest, that advice isn’t as important anymore since interest rates are currently so low. “I think what you’re going to see is free checking is not going to disappear,” says Barrington, “but the conditions under which it’s offered might tighten up.”
5 ways to avoid impulse buys. For instance:
Phone a Friend
For big-ticket items, it sometimes helps to grab a second opinion. (And no, the salesperson’s doesn’t count.) You want to ask someone who understands your goals and can give you honest advice on whether that new sofa is worth the $1,200 price tag.
Although education and certification requirements for substitutes vary by state and school district, they’re typically not as stringent as those for full-time teachers … The national average for substitute teacher pay is $105 per full day, according to the National Substitute Teachers Alliance.
If someone’s offering to ship you some hand-me-downs, the least you can do is offer to pick up the cost of postage.
7 tasty ways to stop wasting food. For instance:
Eggs, the great reanimator
Have leftovers you don’t quite know what to do with, and have eggs you’re trying to use? It’s frittata time! Sure, there are recipes, but here is the gist of all of them. Put leftovers — or, of course, fresh ingredients — nearly of any sort as long as they’re solid in a bowl. Break a couple of eggs into another bowl, whisk together with a fork, add a pinch of salt, and stir into the leftovers.
10 meaningless words and phrases used by marketers. For instance:
Hypoallergenic It’s a nice-sounding term that doesn’t mean a thing. Why? There is no official standard for what the word means. There isn’t even a voluntary standard that defines the term. It does not mean that the product won’t cause an allergic reaction. It might, at best, mean that the marketers think that the stuff in the product probably won’t cause an allergic reaction – which really doesn’t mean much at all, does it?
10 dumbest money moves. For instance:
Paying interest to buy things that drop in value
There are only two situations where paying interest makes sense, at least mathematically. The first is when the purchase goes up in value at a rate greater than the rate of interest you’re paying to finance it. Example: You borrow money at 5 percent to finance real estate that you think might return 8 percent on your overall investment.
10 money jerks. For instance:
The Perpetual Fundraiser
Ding Dong! She’s he-e-re (again)! You’re probably hit up by well-meaning fundraisers regularly. Sponsor my run for the cure? Buy some of my kid’s Girl Scout cookies? Come to my corn hole tournament benefit? Join us for casino night at the Catholic school? The person who takes the “fun” out of fundraiser is the person who has a new cause every week and hits up the same folks over and over again.
12 secrets to buying and selling secondhand stuff. For instance:
Know When to Buy
The spring and fall are the best time to find yard sales, says Caroline Bawden, who makes $25,000-$30,000 a year buying and selling antiques. But estate sales happen year-round, and Bawden suggests checking the obituaries to see who in the area has recently passed away.
19 recommendations for choosing generic or brand name. For instance:
Bleach – Generic
Bleach is basically watered-down chlorine, so it makes no sense to buy a name brand. If you want to go even cheaper than buying a gallon generic jug, add one teaspoon of chlorine granules as the water runs into the wash tub, let it completely fill and agitate for a minute before loading the clothes.
100 best jobs in America. For instance:
Physician Assistant (#2 overall)
What’s to like: No med school, no grueling internship, more freedom to move from one specialty to another — yet all the satisfaction of delivering care.