Also, wanna start making more money? Consider making a bet with a friend, in which the person who earns the most next month will get a free dinner—courtesy of the loser.
4 ways to make a healthy diet more affordable. On average, it would cost $380 extra per year for a typical American to eat healthier and meet the government’s recommendations for potassium intake. Here, some tips for improving your diet without breaking the bank, like:
Try dried or preserved fruits These fruits can be cheaper, have a longer shelf life and even be more dense in nutrients than the fresh versions. For example, dried prunes are a great, cheap source of dietary potassium, but they typically fly under consumers’ radar. One pitfall of eating dried fruits is that they’re high in sugar, so it’s best to be moderate.
5 tips to control pet costs. In addition to shopping around for less expensive pet food and pet medications, bust out the toothbrush:
Brush your pet’s teeth. Dental disease such as gingivitis, tartar or loose or infected teeth can lead to heart and kidney problems and expensive procedures, the ASPCA said. Dog and cat toothbrush and toothpaste sets cost less than $10. Another option is dental chews, which release enzymes to clean teeth.
5 bills not to automate. Whatever benefit you get in the convenience of bills being paid automatically can sometimes be outweighed by the likelihood these expenses will increase without you noticing. Home and auto insurance are a couple of examples:
“I call them ungrateful service providers,” says Brian Preston, wealth manager at Preston and Cleveland in McDonough, Ga., and host of the Money Guy podcast. “They give great rates to brand-new customers, but then they’ll have premium creep over the years, because they hope you’re not paying attention.” Keep them honest by shopping the rates every year or two.
(MORE: 5 Tips on Asking for a Raise)
5 money lessons I learned from my middle class parents. The big one is to not let money define who you are:
Being a good friend, husband/wife, dad/mom are things that should define you. Being respectful and reliable should define you. The fact that you do the right thing even when nobody is looking should be what defines you. Sure, you can be all of these things and more and have money, but the “and have money” should always be an oh-by-the-way appendix to your life story, not the lead-in paragraph.
6 ways to find the best deals on diapers. There are bloggers who do just about anything—including the tracking of top deals on baby supplies:
Check out TheThriftyCouple.com. Every week they lay out the best deals available from major retailers on diapers and wipes.
8 classic car-buying tips that no longer hold true. For quite some time, experts have endorsed the buying of late-model used cars for drivers hoping to get the most value for their money. But considering that the asking prices of used cars have soared, buying strategies aren’t so simple. Not only is it easier to argue nowadays in favor of buying a new car, it’s even possible to make the case that leasing—often assumed to be an especially costly way to get wheels—makes financial sense:
“There are some pretty amazing lease deals,” said Phil Reed, senior consumer advice editor for vehicle website Edmunds.com. Consumers nowadays will see more short-term leases available, such as 24 months. And leases, once largely the domain of upscale and luxury brands, are now available on less expensive compact cars.
PriceGrabber, one of the leading price comparison websites, lets users search for a product by brand or category to find which website or store offers the lowest listing price. One Consumer Reports study last year found that PriceGrabber had the lowest prices on a wide range of items including computers, DVDs and footwear.
9 water-conserving tips for summer gardening. You might think that watering an entire plant—with special attention to the leaves—is appropriate. It’s not:
Don’t soak the plant’s foliage; it does little good. And don’t apply water outside a shrub’s or a perennial’s root zone. A shrub’s root zone is roughly 1 Ω to 3 times the diameter of its canopy, and keeping the water inside this radius will allow it to soak down to where the plant’s roots can reach it.
If you see water puddling or running off, stop; let the water soak in before resuming.
10 ways to delay gratification. Prepare yourself to battle the devil that’ll inevitably pop up on your shoulder and could foil long-term goals:
Make a list of your most common rationalizations and then come up with a counterpoint to each of them. For example, if you’re prone to saying “It’s just five dollars”, remind yourself that five dollars a day adds up to over $1,500 in a year. Or if you’re always promising yourself to do better starting next payday, ask why put off what you can easily start today?
10 ways to get the most out of your gear (without spending extra money). For techies, this list of repurposing hacks includes the suggestion to turn a Nook into an Android tablet:
Instead of buying a new tablet, you can take a less expensive Barnes & Noble Nook Color E-Reader, root it, and run stock Android on it for a much more versatile, very cheap Android tablet. Rooting it takes a bit of work, obviously, but it’s certainly worth it to save another $250 or so.
57 shortcuts to prosperity. Are these really shortcuts that’ll make you rich? Nah. No such thing. But there’s some advice in here worth trying regardless. Under the “Make It Fun” subcategory, there’s this suggestion for motivating an increase in income:
Wager with a friend. For example, whoever makes the least money this month has to buy the other dinner.