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  • Use Resources to Check for Financial Adviser's Past Misconduct

    Posted Mon at 8:25 AM by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   Shopping for a financial adviser you can trust has never been easy. The new Department of Labor rule requiring brokers to act in a fiduciary capacity when dealing with retirement plan assets has not made it any easier. The government's intent was to help consumers cle...

  • retirees in the workforce

    Posted Mon at 5:11 AM by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics nearly 19% of people 65 or older are still in the work force. The percentage has been rising since the 1980s and has been very much on the increase since 2000. And the last time the ratio was that high was ba...

  • Should I Leave My Mortgage Open?

    Posted May 19 by Gary Foreman

    Dear Dollar Stretcher, I'm Canadian - Live in Canada - Vancouver Island, BC. Today I got a call from the credit union telling me my house mortgage is now paid out. They then asked me if I wanted to de-register the mortgage - at a $75.00 fee, or leave it as it is, in case I needed money for a reno...

  • My Credit Score Dropped 200 Points!

    Posted May 17 by Gary Foreman

    I have never been late or carry more than 2 credit cards in more than a decade (I have never been late on anything). My credit scores had always been in the early 800's to high 700's. Due to all the credit card issues with retailers; I have had fraud alerts on my accounts for years. I was just able ...

  • Another Housing Bubble

    Posted May 17 by Gary Foreman

    Guess it would be fair to say that I'm always on the lookout for debt statistics. This week I saw one from the "Credit Union Trends Report". The report said that "Credit union mortgage loan balances increased more than 8% in 2015, the fastest increase since 2008."   What does that mean? It pr...

  • Living and Loving the Frugal Lifestyle

    Posted May 12 by TDS Review

    I've been writing about and living the frugal lifestyle for years and I will admit to feeling burned out now and then. It sometimes seems as if everything that needs to be said has already been said. Since I've been frugal all my life, I do many things without even thinking about it. I quit using d...

  • Getting Paid to Save

    Posted May 11 by Gary Foreman

    Our feed from Bankrate included an article about negative interest rates. If you're not familiar with that term/strategy it's the government's attempt to boost a sagging economy. Savers are actually charged for storing their savings at the bank. In other words, they earn negative interest on their s...

  • Some Tips for Downsizing Your Life

    Posted May 10 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Elsie Brown   When I was a little girl, my grandma lived in a studio apartment by the beach. We would walk to the shoreline together almost every time I saw her. I have great memories of chasing her on the sand and her catching me just as a wave was about to overtake me. She was a ...

  • How I Paid Off $30,000 in Credit Card Debt in Two Years

    Posted May 9 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Donna Sako    I once was $30,000 in credit card debt. I got there when emergencies occurred and our emergency fund got low. I managed to pay it off in two years through willpower and borrowing from my 401K. Now, I know that experts say never do this because it will put you far...

  • Cozy Small Home Storage

    Posted May 5 by TDS Review

    When my oldest daughter was born, we were living in an 8 X 40 mobile home. There was a lot of storage space for the size, but the interior measurements came to a whopping 245 square feet (The "8 X 40" included hitch and all). I learned some storage tricks back then and they've helped ever since. &n...

  • Running Estate Sales

    Posted May 3 by TDS Guest Blogger

      contributed by Beth   I held three yard sales with my mom's belongings after she passed. I had never been to an estate sale, so I didn't know what to expect. However, due to issues that popped up, I think these tips should be mentioned to anyone thinking of doing such a sale.   ...

  • Take the Next Step

    Posted May 2 by Gary Foreman

    Here at The Dollar Stretcher we love to hear about people changing their financial futures. It's especially neat when some of our articles played a part in helping them achieve their goals.   That's why a number of years ago we added 'Next Step' to the end of most articles. We wanted visitors...

  • Living the American Dream

    Posted May 2 by TDS Guest Blogger

      contributed by Success in the Southeast   This sounds a little old fashioned, but a family is a strategic endeavor. Being frugal must always be partnered with balance in life, and the thought that frugality adds to the quality of life. If not, frugality becomes just stinginess. T...

  • Working at Home

    Posted April 28 by TDS Review

    It used to be that finding work to do at home, especially on the internet, was a dangerous thing to do. So many scams and pennies per hour "jobs" were prevalent that the real jobs were like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. While there certainly are scams and underpaid work available, es...

  • Time to Reduce Your Debts

    Posted April 25 by Gary Foreman

    I know that I tend to harp on debt. That's because I've seen debt hurt so many people. People who didn't get to live the lives they had planned because they were always playing catch-up financially.   So it won't surprise you that an article from Bloomberg caught my eye. The theme of the arti...

  • I Repaid $18k in Debts

    Posted April 25 by TDS Guest Blogger

      contributed by Crystal from Oklahoma        After reading The Tightwad Gazette and Your Money or Your Life, getting on some frugal forums, and reading The Dollar Stretcher, I started paying off debt in 2003. I used large wall charts to motivate myself and told...

  • How to Make Money Baking From Home

    Posted April 23 by Jason Cabler

    My latest money making idea was inspired by all the baking shows that are so popular on TV these days.  I got the inspiration from seeing so many people on these shows who love to bake delicious treats in their spare time, and how they make people so happy with their creations. Thi...

  • Why I’m Living Paycheck to Paycheck (and Why You Should Too)

    Posted April 21 by Jason Cabler

      I’ve decided to come clean and make a confession about my finances!  I’ll fess up here in just a minute, But first I wanted to share a couple of important facts with you. Did you know that studies show 2/3 of people are living paycheck to paycheck, and 1/3 ...

  • Real Food From Your Kitchen

    Posted April 21 by TDS Review

    I was raised in an era when everything you ate was made at home, so home cooking or cooking from scratch seems simple to me, but if you weren't raised like that, the simplest dishes can seem mysterious. "Seem" is the key.   No factory, no "secret" recipe archive, no "kitchen" (laboratory) can...

  • Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

    Posted April 20 by Gary Foreman

    Want to be healthy and wealthy? Then you'll want to consider these two articles I found this week.   The first one is from Yahoo finance. It was titled: “A man who studied rich people for 5 years found that they avoid one type of person.” Naturally, I bit and clicked on the articl...

  • The Importance of Valuing the Dollar

    Posted April 18 by TDS Guest Blogger

      contributed by Julie   I consider this a success story, but others may not think it's that amazing. For me, it is!   About ten years ago, I married a man who had poor credit, but made excellent money. I had excellent credit but didn't make much money. In our marriage, we spent ...

  • 7 Things You Need in Case of a Weather Emergency

    Posted April 14 by TDS Review

    With the weather warming up, it's time to double check your preparedness for weather disasters or just inconveniences. When the power goes out due to a late spring storm or a tornado causes damage or a hurricane threatens, it's too late to do much about your situation. Here are some things to be sur...

  • Disabled and Debt Free

    Posted April 12 by TDS Guest Blogger

      contributed by Barbara in SC   My parents paid only 1/6 of my undergraduate college expenses. Work-study, summer jobs, scholarships (1/4 of my expenses), and a very small loan, less than 1/12 of my expenses, covered the rest. I paid off the loan in two years. I paid for my graduate de...

  • Financing Your Business

    Posted April 12 by Gary Foreman

    In nearly 30 years in working in personal finance, one of the most knowledgeable people I've met is Gerri Detweiler. So when she told me she was doing a book on financing a small business I was excited. Especially since I know that so many people are looking to create side gigs. So if you're thinkin...

  • Your Success Stories

    Posted April 11 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Last week we mentioned that TDS is 20 years old. Since the beginning it's been a joint effort. So many of the great ideas we've been able to share have come from readers. So we want to continue the celebration by sharing some of your success stories.   ...

  • Simple Living Not Always So Simple

    Posted April 11 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   "Living simply with fewer material possessions leaves room for more soul" (meaning more joy, connection, peace, and spirituality). "Material possessions prohibit one from finding deep contentment."   Recently I had a conversation with a person who deeply believ...

  • How to Increase Your Credit Score Without Using Credit Cards

    Posted April 10 by Jason Cabler

      If you’ve been reading my blog posts for long, you know I’m not a big fan of having a credit score.  In fact, I believe the best credit score is no score at all.  So why would I write a post about how to increase your credit score? Well, in some cases it’s easi...

  • Do You Pay for Pretty Food?

    Posted April 7 by TDS Review

    If you've ever grown tomatoes in your back yard or in a container on the patio, you know that not every tomato that grows is perfect and without blemish. There might be a place where a stem laid across the growing tomato, or it might be misshapen in other ways. It might even have a smalll black spot...

  • 20 Years and Counting

    Posted April 5 by Gary Foreman

    “It was twenty years ago today Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play They've been going in and out of style But they're guaranteed to raise a smile So may I introduce to you The act you've known for all these years Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band” - The Beatles, 1967   ...

  • Landscape and Garden for Free

    Posted March 31 by TDS Review

    There is an elm tree in my front yard that provides shade for the kitchen in the summer. It's 15 to 20 feet tall, I think, and every year, it gives more cooling shade. I didn't buy it. There are elm saplings that pop up here and there wherever they're not cut back, like at the edge of the foundatio...

  • Prevent Auto Theft

    Posted March 30 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   My car (a 2008 Toyota Solara) is probably too old to be a theft target. But being a car guy I couldn't pass up this article from Wired. It talked about how thieves using a device they can build for $225 can gain entry and start many keyless entry vehicles. &...

  • How to Select Energy-Efficient Windows

    Posted March 29 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Fran J. Donegan   Windows play a major role in the energy efficiency of your home. Drafty windows drive up your heating and cooling bills and may be costing you more than you think. Whether you are building a new home, adding an addition to your existing house or just want to repla...

  • confident about retirement

    Posted March 28 by Gary Foreman

    Did you know that only 22% of workers 25 and over feel confident that they'll have enough money to retire on? That's what a recent survey found.   Another stat that's interesting for After 50 Finance readers was that only 9% of those with serious debt issues are confident about their retireme...

  • Older Consumers Targeted By Fraudsters Not Once, But Twice!

    Posted March 28 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Stacy Canan and Cora Hume     After reviewing complaints submitted by consumers, we have discovered a financial scam targeting older consumers who had previously been victims of fraudulent money-making schemes, such as bogus timeshare investments and in-home business opport...

  • Why You Should Care About Government Pensions

    Posted March 25 by Gary Foreman

    Bankrate recently did a fascinating article titled: Shining a Light on Government Pensions. It pointed out that many of the promises that various city, state and the federal government have made haven't been properly funded. Estimates are that they'd need somewhere between $1 and $3 trillion to be f...

  • Are You Becoming Obsolete?

    Posted March 24 by Gary Foreman

    If you're a regular reader you probably know that I follow the online version of the Harvard Business Review. Here's another article that you could find interesting.    Technology is changing many jobs and making some obsolete. In fact Oxford University says that nearly half of the jobs ...

  • My Business Failed and I’m a Disabled Veteran

    Posted March 23 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      Question:   Dear Steve, We bought an existing business (a gym) with an SBA loan. Even though we grew the membership from 80 to 430 within two years, the overhead and servicing the loans were crushing us. Enter the $10 per month gym chains and we had no other option than to sell the gy...

  • Good Stewardship and Effective Money Management

    Posted March 22 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Julie Z.   Something I have noticed throughout my life is that people who strive to be good stewards are very effective at managing money. I'm writing to share some strategies I've found helpful, at any point in life.   Be aware of the difference between need versus want. If...

  • Two Things to Do When You Are Asked if You Want a Store Credit

    Posted March 21 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Steve Rhode   We've seen the situation a hundred times while standing in line to checkout at a store. The person in front is asked if they want to apply for a store credit card and get a fabulous discount on their purchase. And you know what happens next, you are going to be asked...

  • Time to Pay Down Debt

    Posted March 21 by Gary Foreman

    From the 'in case you missed it file' there are two articles that should be of interest to you. One on a big picture level, the other very practical advice.   The first is the big picture item. It's from CNN and is titled "Foreign governments are dumping U.S. debt like never before".   ...

  • Ye Olde Motor Home

    Posted March 18 by TDS Review

    'Way back when the kids were little, we bought a motorhome. It was small, used and a little worn, but we thoroughly enjoyed it.    It took us everywhere from an evening of star watching in the nearby Rocky Mountains to a one lane dirt road outside of Cripple Creek that scared us (and the...

  • 7 Beauty on a Budget Hacks That Go a Long Way

    Posted March 16 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Velma Gray   When you have chosen to adopt a penny-wise lifestyle that does not mean you have to compromise on your looks. Besides I cannot even pronounce some of the ingredients let alone have a clue about what they do in commercially available products.  Fancy cleansing syst...

  • Giving and Happiness: A Complicated Partnership

    Posted March 15 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   Recently a reader suggested I write about the relationship between giving and happiness, noting that research shows people who give to charity are happier. One such study from Harvard Business School in 2009 is titled "Feeling Good About Giving." It not only found a l...

  • When You Find a Co-Worker Makes More Than You

    Posted March 15 by Gary Foreman

    Wanted to pass along a couple of interesting articles.   The first one comes from the Harvard Business Review and is called "When You Find Out a Coworker Makes More Money than You Do" I suspect that if you've been in the workforce for more than a few years it's happened to you. You hear that ...

  • 3 Types of Identity Theft You Should Safeguard Against Today

    Posted March 14 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Ashley K   If you are a person who has a rather cavalier attitude about personal identification documents or data, then this article is for you! You must be aware of identity theft and the major problems that it can cause for the victim. This is not an issue that only wealthy peopl...

  • It's Gotta Be Spring

    Posted March 10 by TDS Review

    I saw an old metal watering can that had been painted and planted with some sort of herb that I didn't recognize. Then I saw a "sale" sign over a rack of seeds. Then.... I noticed the wind had blown a deep layer of leaves in a corner of the yard, where the daffodils were struggling to come up. ...

  • Private REITs Not a Good Choice for Small Investors

    Posted March 10 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   Real estate is one of the asset classes I recommend including in a diversified portfolio. For many small investors, the best way to hold real estate is through a REIT, or real estate investment trust.   So far, so good. But some REITs are about as appealing as ...

  • How to Use Your Smartphone to Stop Overspending

    Posted March 8 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Stephen Bradshaw   Budgeting.   That single word can strike fear into the hearts of even the best-intentioned dollar stretcher. Everyone wants to stick to a budget; it's just hard to do (as evidenced by the many budgeting tips and tricks articles on the Dollar Stretcher). &...

  • A New Housing Bubble?

    Posted March 7 by Gary Foreman

    Just read something interesting on Reuters.com. The article was titled: "Home 'flipping' exceeds peaks in some hot U.S. housing markets".   Three things in the article stood out. First, that home flipping hit a 10 year high. It's way up in the number of homes being flipped and the average pro...

  • Plant Your FREE Herb Garden Now

    Posted March 2 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Susannah Shmurak   Read about saving money by growing your own food and thought it sounded like a nice idea, but more than you were prepared to take on? Not ready to dig up the backyard and know absolutely nothing about gardening?   No problem! You can get started with just ...

  • Corned Beef and Other Sales

    Posted February 25 by TDS Review

    Because of John Smith's article on corned beef, I put dark rye and Swiss cheese on my grocery list. Guess what I'm having soon after March 17?   Reuben sandwiches made with leftover corned beef. I shoud have plenty because I intend to buy the biggest piece I can find while they're on sale. If...

  • Real Rate of Return

    Posted February 24 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   Is there anything more important than the overall rate of return you earn on your investment portfolio? Yes, there is. It's the real rate of return.   Over the past five years, even diversified portfolios have earned relatively low returns. Many investors are f...

  • ASSISTED LIVING CAN BE AN UNHINGING EXPERIENCE

    Posted February 23 by TDSPaige

    Assisted Living Can Be an Unhinging Experience: Tips, Tools, and Questions To Help Weigh Options by Nora Jean Levin, Executive Director, Caring from a Distance (a non-profit organization serving the needs of Long Distance Caregivers. http://www.cfad.org)   THE CURRENT TERRAINFor the AARP ge...

  • Credit Counseling Versus Debt Settlement

    Posted February 22 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      Both offer services to help if you are having trouble making payments on your debts. Credit counseling services to help you deal with debt are different from debt settlement companies in a number of ways:   Credit counseling services that assist with debt Debt settlement compan...

  • Negative Interest Rates?!?

    Posted February 22 by Gary Foreman

    I'd like to include two topics for your attention.   The first one regards something called 'negative interest rates' and a soft global economy.   Let's start with the economy. Many economists are concerned about a global recession. China's economy is growing much more slowly than in t...

  • Shopping at Thrift Stores

    Posted February 18 by Pat Veretto

    Are there secrets to successful thrift store shopping? Yes... and no. I love that kind of answer. It gives me a chance to wander around a question. Anyway, the first "secret" to successful thrift store shopping is to look at clothing carefully. Check zippers and buttons and seams. If you can fix t...

  • Medicare Imposters Want to Steal Your Money. Don't Let Them.

    Posted February 17 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      Pop quiz: If someone calls you asking for your bank account number, should you give it to them?   Answer: Never. Hang up. It's a scam.   We’ve heard about different kinds of imposter scams on the rise. In one scenario, scammers call, pretending to work for Medicare. They ...

  • 0% balance transfer

    Posted February 12 by Gary Foreman

    I could of written that question! I am in the very same situation almost to the same $$ amount!   I have the opportunity to pay off my credit card by using a 0 percent interest check from another credit card until April 2017. Then I would put $200 per month off on my $3800 balance continuing ...

  • Donate for Free

    Posted February 11 by TDS Review

    It seems like we donate a lot around Christmas time and the end of the year as charities make emotional pleas to help those who don't have enough money for the things most of us take for granted. After Christmas, though, and after the first of the year, when our thoughts are turning to spring, gard...

  • Buying a Bag That Won’t Break the Bank

    Posted February 11 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Ashley McCann   A purse is more than just a fashion accessory. It serves a practical purpose, functioning like a friend who is always by your side ready to offer life's little essentials like gum, spare change, and lip balm. A great purse gets used so frequently that it's worth spe...

  • 7 Tips to Get Better Deals When Shopping Online

    Posted February 9 by TDS Guest Blogger

      contributed by Katie   These days, there is literally nothing you can't purchase online. There's a reason why this is a preferred method of purchase in 2016. When asked why they prefered shopping online, most consumers had the same reply. It's just plain convenient. There are no crowd...

  • Sew Worth It

    Posted February 4 by TDS Review

    Sewing machines weren't invented until the mid 1880s. Up until then, women sewed all the clothing for everyone and all the household linens, too. Young girls were taught the art of needle and thread just like they were taught to sweep or wash dishes. It wasn't a mystery then and it shouldn't be now....

  • I Heard if I Make Token Payments I Can’t Be Sued. Is That True?

    Posted February 2 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Steve Rhode   Question: Dear Steve, I started a collision repair business in 2011 and it started off well but it started dying out slowly but surly, the area kept getting worse and worse not to mention my rent was $2500 per month not including all of my other bills.   So t...

  • February Money Savers

    Posted February 1 by Gary Foreman

    Ah, February! A month that's dominated by the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day. I suspect that many of you are thinking of Super Bowl parties and how to tell that special someone how much you love them.   If you're planning a Super Bowl party we have a couple of articles that can make your part...

  • 18 Smart Ways to Save Money on Your Utility Bills

    Posted January 29 by Jason Cabler

    I’m all about saving money wherever I can.  Especially when it comes to saving money on utility bills and other recurring expenses that can get out of hand very quickly if you’re not paying attention. So I thought I would share with you all the ways I’ve found to save money...

  • Yarn Crafts Are My Zen

    Posted January 29 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Gwyn Goodrow   We live in a stressful world, filled with chaos and uncertainty. This turbulence results in a constant fight or flight reaction that our body naturally produces under stressful conditions. To overcome the stress of daily living, I relax by listening to calming ...

  • Bugs, Mice and Other Winter Visitors

    Posted January 28 by TDS Review

    Just a few days ago, I noticed a big, fat housefly buzzing in the window. A fly. In January. In Colorado. Where in the world did it come from? After a little research, I discovered that flies overwinter in walls. I guess the house was too cozy for that fly to stay in the wall! (He should have staye...

  • 5 Ways to Make the Most of CSA

    Posted January 28 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Leanne Ely   Another week, another CSA delivery! I look forward to my box of fresh local produce every week, but I am well aware that there are many of you out there who might not have had a chance to finish all of last week's veggies before getting your new load.   Today we...

  • Use It Or Lose It

    Posted January 27 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Boomer Friends!   Saw a really interesting report courtesy of the Harvard Business Review. It was titled "Is Age Kinder to the Experts?"   "The best experts may not be immune to aging, but their previously acquired expertise and current activity help them maintai...

  • Finding a Financial Advisor with Heart Skills

    Posted January 26 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   I've written from time to time about the qualities to look for before you engage a financial planner, such as experience, professional qualifications, and having a fiduciary responsibility to clients. One other factor is often important, as well: whether a planner is ...

  • Classic Money Advice

    Posted January 26 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   Some financial advice just doesn't grow old. Many recommendations I've made for years are as applicable as ever for the 21st century, and they bear repeating. Here are some of the best financial moves to consider as you move into 2016:   1. Understanding and ma...

  • Dry Skin Remedies

    Posted January 20 by TDS Review

    This time of year, dry skin is a problem for many of us and you probably know that lotions and creams don't cure the condition. The effectiveness of any lotion or cream is in direct proportion to its oil or fat content - no matter how exotic (and expensive!) it might be. The fat is mixed with water ...

  • Making a Yearly Menu Plan

    Posted January 19 by TDS Guest Blogger

      contributed by Dianne B.   You don't need to make up a meal plan each week or two. It's just as easy to make a whole year's worth of menus as it is to make two weeks.    My menus are only for dinners, so I started by writing down all the dinners I typically make. Some of o...

  • Don't Waste Your Discounts

    Posted January 14 by TDS Review

    I remember the first time I got a senior discount. And, yes, it's been long enough ago to fit the "I remember" category. Anyway, it was at a thrift store. The clerk didn't actually ask if I was a senior citizen, she just mentioned that there was a discount if I was over a certain age. I was and I go...

  • Emergency funds and goal setting

    Posted January 11 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Did you know that only one in four people have a sufficient emergency fund?   Then I saw this in the Harvard Business Review: "Analyzing data from the Swedish Level of Living Survey, they found that Swedes who said they could not come up with a moderat...

  • 4 Things You Must Have in Place Before You Retire

    Posted January 11 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Chris Hogan   Retirement is just around the corner, but there’s no time to relax. Not yet. Before you go to your farewell party, there are some things you need to have in place. Taking these steps now will free you to enjoy your retirement dream without worrying about what li...

  • Excuse Me, You Have Holes in Your Walls

    Posted January 7 by TDS Review

    "You can't heat the whole outdoors!" Mom used to say when we would leave the door open. It's true and it's just as true when it comes to leaving windows without coverings. Did you know that as much as 50% of a home's heat can be lost through windows? Windows act like big holes in your walls, so it ...

  • Got a List?

    Posted December 31, 2015 by TDS Review

    With the new year upon us, most of us have or will take stock of where we are and where we want to be. To get there, we need lists. Really.   Making lists and rules for ourselves help us weed out the stray thoughts and wants and focus on the things that we really want and need. It's been show...

  • Your Financial Plans for 2016

    Posted December 31, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! Turning a corner. Starting a new chapter. Turning over a new leaf. Common phrases that all convey the idea of beginning something new.   So what are you planning for the new year? Are you going to take on something educational or work related? A home improveme...

  • Homemade Christmas Tree Ornaments from Old Holiday Cards

    Posted December 29, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Julia Marchand     As the holiday season comes to an end, budgets have been stretched to their limit. We stressed about picking the perfect gifts, then we stressed about paying for them, all the while trying to find some way to enjoy the season. Now, take some time to decom...

  • 5 Secrets To A Good Financial Advisor

    Posted December 28, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Zina Kumok   If you want to get serious about your finances, hiring a financial adviser is usually a good first step. Unfortunately, sleazy salesmen sometimes masquerade as financial advisers, convincing people to buy products and make investments they don’t need.   So...

  • Why I Don't Like New Year's Resolutions

    Posted December 28, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    If you're like many people, you're thinking about setting some New Year's resolutions. I admit to having mixed feelings about them.   There's a part of me that doesn't like to be told what to do. So if the whole world is making resolutions I'm likely to do the opposite and ignore them. The ar...

  • What You Need to Know When Shopping for Vintage Clothing

    Posted December 24, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by L. Kent, Vintage Textile Appraisals and Sales   As a vintage clothing dealer and appraiser for over 35 years, I would like to clarify a few points the author has brought up in the article "How to Shop for Vintage Clothing."   Many venues in which vintage clothing is fou...

  • How to Stretch Your Retirement Dollar

    Posted December 23, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    With an average of 10,000 baby boomers joining the retirement ranks every day there should be a lot of interest in how to get the most for your money in retirement. I was recently interviewed by NewRetirement.com. I like to think that I presented a few good ideas. You'll find the interview here. Ho...

  • Caregiving Stories

    Posted December 22, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      According to the Center for Disease Control, there are over "34 million unpaid caregivers providing care to someone age 18 and older" and it's estimated that 1 in 5 U.S. households have someone requiring caregiving.   We asked our readers to tell us their caregiver stories. We'd like ...

  • Best 13 Free Tools & Sites to Save Money on Entertainment

    Posted December 21, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Terry Smith     We all like having fun: going to cinema, attending sports events, listening to new music, and other great things to do. Generally, entertainment costs a pretty penny. For example, an NBA game ticket may cost you around $100; the concert ticket price is even...

  • Merry Christmas

    Posted December 21, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Merry Christmas!   Christmas is a time of celebration. For Christians it's one of the holiest times of the year. For others it's a time of parties, sharing and general good will. A time to be happy together.   But with all the parties and get togethers, please don't forget to reach out...

  • Do You Meet Your Goals?

    Posted December 17, 2015 by TDS Review

    We all have them. They're sometimes no more than wishes or daydreams that we don't ever seriously intend to do anything about. It's often not easy to know the difference between those daydreams and the other things we really want to do.   Okay, sometimes it's easy. Wishing you could be an ast...

  • Beware of Scams Targeting Older People During the Holidays

    Posted December 14, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Jenefer Duane   Our Office for Older Americans is working to provide older consumers and their families with the tools and information they need to protect themselves from frauds and scams.   Scams that target older people occur every day, but you can count on scammers to ra...

  • Saving Money on Lunches

    Posted December 14, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      contributed by Elizabeth   Essential Ingredients   Time: You probably spend at least 15 minutes each day ordering and waiting for your lunch. You need to time shift this to put it into working out your grocery list and preparing stuff on Sunday nights and maybe Wednesdays ...

  • Five Favorite Christmas Stories From The Dollar Stretcher

    Posted December 10, 2015 by TDS Review

    They're my favorites, anyway. I spend time in the archives of The Dollar Stretcher quite often but sorting through the Christmas collection kept me busy for a long time! There are so many good ideas and thoughts and advice that it was hard to choose just five. Actually, it was going to be three, but...

  • What is Snagshout?

    Posted December 7, 2015 by TDSPaige

    This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Snagshout. All opinions are those of The Dollar Stretcher.   All of us have opinions, right? Opinions about what food tastes good, what clothes look best...pretty much everything. But how about snagging a discount on a product...just for offering ...

  • New TDS Front Page

    Posted December 7, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Here at TDS we've always wanted to save both money and time. So often we see that there's a trade-off. To save money you must spend time. Or to save time you must spend money. So in an effort to save you some time, we've rearranged our front page. We've organized the articles by category. That shou...

  • Shop to Stock Up in December

    Posted December 3, 2015 by TDS Review

    Of all the months, December is the month for shopping! The holidays all beg us to be generous and it's easy to get carried away and spend too much, but hold on to your wallet! There are some very good buys in December that have nothing to do with the giving of gifts. Plan ahead to go shopping with t...

  • Thanksgiving Resolutions

    Posted November 30, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Here we go! Time for that dash to the holidays and end of another year. Probably the 4 busiest weeks that any of us will have this year. I had an idea that I wanted to share with you. Instead of New Year's resolutions, what would happen if we made Thanksgiving resolutions? For instance, what if I ...

  • Affordable Activities to Do with Teens

    Posted November 23, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      contributed by Diana   Love the list of things to do with teens. I have two daughters, ages 14 and 15. My parents live with us as well. They enjoy going to the girls' sports activities and music recitals. If the grandkids are coming to visit, you should look at tripadvisor.com for ide...

  • Logical Grocery Buying

    Posted November 20, 2015 by TDS Review

    Grocery stores do what they can to make us buy more than we intend; that's a fact of a free market. We have a choice, though. We can be manipulated by their tactics or we can be empowered by our own logic. Simple choice, right?   Who wants to be manipulated? No hands?   Okay, here's wh...

  • Avoiding Student Loan Wage Garnishment

    Posted November 16, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Steve Rhode, Get Out of Debt Guy   Steve, Help! My student loans are about to send me into financial ruin. In 1991 I took out a $12,000 loan to achieve a two-year degree in Electronic Engineering. The school I inquired with lied to me and told me that I could get a very low in...

  • Facing the Holidays When You're Broke

    Posted November 12, 2015 by TDS Review

    There's little worse than facing extra expenses and not having enough money to meet your daily needs, much less anything over that.   If you are having trouble with cash flow this holiday season, here are some tips that could help:   1. Refuse to buy groceries for one week. Eat what yo...

  • How Debt Delays Retirement

    Posted November 12, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

    by Chris Hogan   Have you ever gotten your car stuck in the mud? It's incredibly frustrating! No matter what gears you use or how fast you gun it, you're just spinning your wheels. The more you try, the deeper you sink.   Debt is a mud bog. You can't get traction on your future because...

  • Save Money by Growing Your Own Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs

    Posted November 11, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Jonathan Leger   Feeding a family is expensive. The USDA estimates that feeding a family of four will cost between $200 and $300 weekly. If you want to save money on your food bill and enjoy fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, you should try gardening.   The Burpee Seed...

  • Flexible Spending Acccounts

    Posted November 10, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    I'd like to bring two things to you this week.   First, if you have a Flexible Spending Account you'll want to use it. Our friends over at MoneyTalksNews.com has a good article explaining what you need to do. Don't forget, if you don't use that money you could lose it!   Secondly, I'd ...

  • Save Money on Heating Your Home

    Posted November 5, 2015 by TDS Review

    As temperatures cool and winter looms larger every day, many of us have already turned on the heat and many more are getting ready to. Even if you've already started, you still have time to check the following list to get the most out of your heating dollars this year and stay safe and comfortable, ...

  • Budget Act Cuts Social Security Filing Options

    Posted November 4, 2015 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   Congress is about to curtail two little-known, but very useful, benefits of Social Security. These are the ability to file-and-suspend and to file a restricted application. At the time of this writing, Congress had not formally passed the bill but it was expected to p...

  • Holiday Spending

    Posted October 30, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! Here we are entering the last two months of the year. A time that can be financially challenging for many of us. This week I saw some statistics on what people are expected to spend on the holidays.   The National Retail Federation's average per person spendin...

  • Why Millenials Don't Sweat Student Loan Debt

    Posted October 29, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      Millennials might be investing significantly more for school and racking up record student debt, but they don’t mind, in accordance with a fresh feedback survey of 500 college graduates by Credit Sesame.   Although the cost of college has actually been going through the roof, th...

  • Bang! And We're Off... Winter Holidays Are Here!

    Posted October 29, 2015 by TDS Review

    Halloween seems to mark the starting line as we race toward the winter holidays. Food, gifts, decorations and activities need to be planned and time seems to slip by so fast that the days and weeks melt into each other.   Although food is central to many winter celebrations, it doesn't have t...

  • Sponsored Post: Prepare for the Good Times and the Bad

    Posted October 28, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      brought to you by TermLifeInsurance.com   The advice you see on the average personal finance blog isn't that complicated. Save, don't overspend, pay off debt, you've heard it all before. But the average personal finance system usually culminates in building a workable financial system...

  • Cleaning Tips That Will Simplify Your Life and Save Time

    Posted October 27, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      presented by HireHouseCleaner Hammersmith   You spend half of your day at the office? If so, you probably have trouble keeping up with your cleaning tasks as you never have enough will to finish with all of them at once. You vacuum and dust but put off collecting the dirty clothes fro...

  • To Daycare or Not? Our $150,000 Decision

    Posted October 26, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Brian Feroldi   Mr. & Mrs. Long Term Mindset are the happy, proud parents of three beautiful children. They are a lot of work to raise, but it's hard to overstate just how much we love them.   We decided to have kids relatively young in our lives (we were 28 when our oldest ...

  • What to Burn Besides Wood

    Posted October 22, 2015 by TDS Review

    Warming oneself by the fire, whether it's in a fireplace, a closed wood stove or it's a bonfire outdoors, is one of the most wonderful things of cold weather. The heat soaks into your bones, it seems, and contentment soon follows.   Fire wood isn't as plentiful as it once was and the price of...

  • New Email Scam

    Posted October 22, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Chances are that you've heard of (or received) the new credit cards with chip technology. They're supposed to make using your card without your permission harder and reduce the amount of theft.   But, as you might expect, the bad guys saw this as an op...

  • Comparing E-Pantry to Amazon

    Posted October 21, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our site terms and conditions for additional information. E-Pantry also sent us a promotional code to sample products offered through their service.   There's something about natural cleaners that just makes me smile. They almost alway...

  • Father Forged Kids Names on Student Loans. Do They Owe Them?

    Posted October 20, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Steve Rhode    Question:   Dear Steve, My ex husband left two of my children with over $100,000 each with student loan debt. He signed loans with their names without their knowledge, he missed months of payments which incurred high interest rates, and now these kids bot...

  • Teaching Children How to Manage Money

    Posted October 19, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Chuck Donalies, CFP®   I think it's safe to say all parents want their children to possess financial skills that will allow them to be happy and successful in life. The problem is not every parent has strong personal financial skills to share with his or her child. That's under...

  • Eating Out in (Frugal) Style

    Posted October 15, 2015 by TDS Review

    According to Restaurant.org, people started spending more at restaurants than they did at grocery stores for the first time in December of 2014 and the trend continues. The writer gives lower gas prices the credit, which makes sense. If you've got it, spend it. Right? Yes, I am kidding.   Her...

  • Your Brain and Your Finances

    Posted October 15, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! Had breakfast with a friend of mine this morning. He's widely read and always has something interesting to share. Today the topic came around to what people believe about themselves. He was looking at it from a weight loss perspective. Naturally I thought of how peop...

  • 4 Things to Consider When Buying Your First Home

    Posted October 15, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by John Stevenson   Buying a home is never as simple as you want it to be. Between contracts, closing, lenders, and inspections, something is bound to go wrong. Financing your new home can be the trickiest part of all.   Thankfully, you don’t have to go in unprepared. Mak...

  • Be Wary of Investment Guarantees

    Posted October 14, 2015 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   The prospective client interviewing me was nervous and skeptical. She insisted on some type of guarantee that, if she hired my firm to manage her investments held for retirement, we would make her money.   I asked her what she meant by "make her money." She sai...

  • Why Shifting Tuition Payments to Retirement Fund Seldom Works

    Posted October 13, 2015 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   College graduation is obviously a cause for celebration. When the graduate is the youngest child, some parents have an extra reason to rejoice: no more tuition payments.   At the end of the college years, many parents who have chosen to fund their kids' educati...

  • Stay Warm, Inside and Out!

    Posted October 8, 2015 by TDS Review

    Cold weather is beginning to threaten many of us while some of us have already felt it creeping in. The change of seasons is exciting and beautiful in most places, but beyond the beauty of it lies the discomfort of being cold and paying high utility bills.   There's a better way. Most of you ...

  • How Millennials Can Avoid Big Financial Mistakes

    Posted October 5, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Source: GoodCall

  • How Much is Your Time Really Worth?

    Posted October 5, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Sherita J. Rankins   Time is our most valuable resource. Yet, we all are guilty of driving farther down the road to get gas priced $.05 cheaper, taking on a home improvement project ourselves which ended up doubling the time commitment, and going from store to store just to snag a ...

  • Don't Look Like You Shop the Thrift Stores When You Do

    Posted October 2, 2015 by TDS Review

    I'm not one to follow the latest fads and there are some fashions that I will never wear, but I don't like to look like a frump and I suspect that you don't, either. When the clothing budget is limited for any reason, shopping at thrift stores or garage sales is a logical alternative and even if the...

  • How Much Do We Need to Save For a Baby?

    Posted September 29, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Elle Martinez   Having a baby girl has been a wonderful blessing for us. As we're settling into her third month, we're constantly surprised at how quickly she's growing.   When we found out we were expecting, my husband and I decided that we were going to set aside some mon...

  • Turning the Tables on Credit Cards and Bankers

    Posted September 28, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      contributed by anonymous   I just checked my bank account and the feeling was so good. I thought I'd share my story in the hope it will inspire someone else.   I was utterly naive about money and, consequently, buried under a mountain of debt in 2007. I was living paycheck...

  • 6 Tips For Dealing With a Financial Emergency

    Posted September 24, 2015 by Jason Cabler

    Every one of us has do deal with the occasional financial emergency.  If you haven’t had a financial emergency rear its ugly head at some time in your life, just wait, it WILL happen. Sometimes these emergencies are beyond your control, such as a car accident, storm damage to...

  • Dumpster Diving!

    Posted September 24, 2015 by TDS Review

    I will never forget my first dumpster diving experience. My sister and I had been to a local store that was similar to the old "five and dime" of which Walmart and so on, are modern examples.   We didn't intend to stop. We just drove around behind the store on our way out because that was the...

  • What Could You Learn From an Unplugged Lamp

    Posted September 24, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Here's something to think about. I recently attended a conference and stayed at the hotel that hosted the conference. Nice enough room. The usual amenities. In the corner was an easy chair with an end table to the side and a lamp behind it.     It looked like a perfect spot to read. S...

  • 3 Ways You're Sabotaging Your Financial Success

    Posted September 24, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Stephanie Sprinkle   If you make a decent living but you're still having a hard time saving money or getting out of debt, you may be inadvertently sabotaging your financial success. See if any of these common financial pitfalls are affecting your bottom line:   1. You don't ...

  • Department of Education Tips Hand on Student Loan Defense

    Posted September 23, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Steve Rhode   The Department of Education is scheduled to publish a request that seems to tip their hand about a borrower defense that could allow lots of students from having to repay their student loans.   Clever attorneys will find a way to confirm if schools have violate...

  • When Doing Nothing Is Investment Strategy

    Posted September 22, 2015 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   A few weeks ago, when the US markets started dropping dramatically, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal called. He asked me if I had received any calls from worried clients. I told him I had heard from 5% of my clients. "What changes in their portfolios are you mak...

  • How to Avoid Student Loan Debt With Weird Scholarships

    Posted September 17, 2015 by Jason Cabler

    College is expensive, and student loans are not a good solution by any means.  That's where scholarships can come in really handy.  Here's a guest post from Pyper Barnes who is a current college student and runs a unique website named WeirdScholarships.net where you c...

  • Quit Buying "Convenience"

    Posted September 17, 2015 by TDS Review

    But what would you do without paper towels?   You would use a rag to clean up things that fell on the floor and you would wash it and use it again, or, if the mess was really bad, you'd toss it just like a paper towel. The only difference is that you didn't buy it to throw it away.   Y...

  • Are Your Advisors Biased?

    Posted September 14, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Saw an interesting item in the Harvard Business Review. Let me quote them: “In an experiment, advisers who had a financial incentive to give biased advice were 56% more likely to do so if they knew their advisees would get a second opinion, say Sunita ...

  • Cheap Luxuries

    Posted September 11, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Dr. Penny Pincher   I may not be a billionaire, but I have just as many hours in my day as Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. The key to enjoying cheap luxuries is to find things and experiences that you can achieve using your time and knowledge instead of money.   Food   ...

  • 6 Reasons Early Retirement Might Not Be Right for You

    Posted September 10, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by AJ Smith   While it isn't possible for everyone, some people are able (and even make it a priority) to quit the grind well ahead of schedule. They usually reach this early retirement with careful planning, perseverance and extra discipline.   Knowing how much savings you ne...

  • Free Firewood

    Posted September 10, 2015 by TDS Review

    Thinking about fall and that first wonderful fire of the season that warms the heart as much as it does the body? You might be thinking about how to get firewood, too!   There are several ways to get free firewood that are covered in Finding Free Firewood but I'd like to add a little to that....

  • Term Life Insurance Most Affordable for Young Parents

    Posted September 9, 2015 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   The stage in life when most adults have the most need for life insurance is when they are parents and their children are young. Unfortunately, this is often a time when financial resources are already stretched. Unlike health insurance and house payments, life insuran...

  • How to Use the GI Bill to Pay for Your Kid’s College

    Posted September 8, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Gerri Detweiler   Ingrid Bruns admits that she and her husband, Arch, probably didn’t save as much for their two daughters’ college educations as they should have. Though the couple is careful with their money (Ingrid became an Accredited Financial Counselor while livi...

  • The Frugal Season: Fall

    Posted September 3, 2015 by TDS Review

    It's a little early yet, but as fast as time goes any more, we will soon be in the middle of fall, and that's my favorite frugal time of the year! Why is it frugal? It's between air conditioning season and heater season, to begin with. It's also harvest time, which means that some wonderful food is...

  • Giving Kids the Best Financially

    Posted September 3, 2015 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   Almost all the financial decisions parents make around our kids have one thing in common: we want what's best for them. This is the case whether we're setting the amount of an allowance for an eight-year-old, helping a teenager make college choices, or deciding whethe...

  • 37 Addendums That I Include in Every Lease

    Posted September 1, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Elizabeth Colegrove   As an experienced (AKA jaded) landlord, I have learned over the years and MANY tenants that an explicit lease is the key to a reduction in stress induced moments. While everyone will have their own opinion and experience, this is coming from someone who has no...

  • Frugal Homemade Chocolate Pudding

    Posted August 27, 2015 by TDS Review

    One of the things that most of us buy and don't even think of as a convenience food is pudding mix. The word "mix" should clue us in, but somehow, most of us slip right past it.   Like most "convenience" food, pudding mix costs more than making the food from scratch and it has more ingredient...

  • Living Paycheck to Paycheck- How to Manage Your Money Better

    Posted August 27, 2015 by Jason Cabler

      When I did the latest reader poll here on Celebrating Financial Freedom a few months ago, the biggest problem most of you said you were facing is that you are living paycheck to paycheck.  It’s a problem that I see almost daily when readers contact me for financial advice. Unfo...

  • Why Having Roommates Is Good for Your Taxes

    Posted August 26, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

     by Dinara Sharipova There is a time once a year that takes place in winter-early spring period, when adults of the United States talk nothing, but taxes. Yes, paying taxes is among few things that are certain to happen in our life, and of course we want to be smart when paying it.  ...

  • 5 Ways Having No Credit Score Can Hurt You

    Posted August 25, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Gerri Detweiler   If you don't plan to borrow money, what difference does your credit score make? Why even sweat it?   As counterintuitive as it seems, you could end up spending more money because you don't have a credit history. (Though like any other tool, credit used irr...

  • TDS Recommends...How much to Pay the Babysitter?

    Posted August 24, 2015 by TDSPaige

    As a parent, a good babysitter can be a treasure. But it's also so unclear what you should pay a babysitter, right? I found a wonderful post today from fellow bloggers over at Pennies into Pearls, on tips for figuring out what to pay your babysitter.  From how many kids you have, to what time ...

  • Getting Out of Poverty Takes More Than Financial Literacy

    Posted August 20, 2015 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   Helping people work their way out of poverty isn't just about money. It requires addressing the beliefs and culture around money that may be keeping people stuck both financially and emotionally.   Like many of my financial planning colleagues, I have an intere...

  • Stretching to Success

    Posted August 20, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Saw something interesting that I wanted to pass along.   “Research participants who had very nearly won a game put greater effort into a card-sorting task, sorting the cards 23 to 45 times faster, on average, than people who had either won the ga...

  • How We Became Debt Free

    Posted August 18, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      contributed by Melanie H.   Hello there! I've been a "dollar stretcher" since about 2008 when I had a wake up moment. Me and my husband were in our late 20s with two car payments and an ocean of credit card debt ($14,000), and we lived in an apartment in one of the most expensive...

  • Finding the Right Student Loan

    Posted August 17, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Nate Matherson   Student loans get a bad reputation these days. With $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, student loans are a huge problem in the United States. As the summer comes to an end, many students and families are preparing for back-to-college season. Student l...

  • About that $3 cup of coffee...

    Posted August 13, 2015 by TDS Review

    Jeff Yeager wrote that "it's just unrealistic and indeed irresponsible to think that this strategy alone will provide for your long term financial security."   He was talking about cutting out buying coffee by the cup and other smart, but small, ways to save. He has other ideas on how to accu...

  • TDS Recommends...Breakfast Tips for Busy School Mornings

    Posted August 13, 2015 by TDSPaige

    Since we are officially entering the back to school season, our schedules inevitably will change. Mornings become more hectic, and afternoons are busier. Since breakfast is definitely an important staple before kids head out to school, why not make breakfast a little easier with some time-saving tip...

  • 2008 Again?

    Posted August 11, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to All My Frugal Friends!   "New orders for manufactured durable goods in June increased $7.7 billion or 3.4% to $235.3 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This increase, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, followed a 2.1% May decrease."   Like so much of...

  • TDS Recommends...Consider Resales for Decluttering

    Posted August 11, 2015 by TDSPaige

    If you are in back-to-school mode, you're probably gathering school supplies, planning out pick-up and drop-off, and going through school clothes to see what fits and what doesn't. So why not make a little extra money on the side with your back-to-school decluttering efforts? If you've never heard o...

  • How the Rich Got Rich

    Posted August 11, 2015 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   Ask ten people how the rich got rich and you will get at least ten opinions. Some of the more common assumptions are that people become wealthy by inheriting fortunes, taking advantage of those less fortunate, or "playing" the stock market. I even remember one governm...

  • Could Your Facebook Friends Impact Your Credit?

    Posted August 10, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Christine DiGangi   The U.S. patent office granted Facebook an updated patent on technology that would allow lenders to evaluate loan applicants based on their social network connections, reports VentureBeat.   The technology tracks how closely (or not) people are connected...

  • If I Had a Ton of Tomatoes

    Posted August 6, 2015 by TDS Review

    I wish I had a ton of tomatoes. My tomatoes are not doing well this year, but they got a late start with a cool and rainy spring that just wouldn't turn to summer.   If I had a lot of tomatoes, I would make refrigerator salsa, with onions and garlic and jalapeno peppers. And tomatoes, of cour...

  • How Much Will Lower Oil Prices Save You?

    Posted August 3, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   If you're like me, you can't help but notice when gas prices change. Lately they've been going down. In large part that's because crude oil prices have dropped about 20% this month!   Experts say that there are a number of factors for this. Among the b...

  • Little Known Uses for Baking Soda

    Posted July 30, 2015 by TDS Review

    Did you know that if you mix a small amount of baking soda with super glue, it makes for an excellent bond with balsa as well as porcelain? It's so.   Mix it with white glue and use it to fill in nail holes and small cracks in walls. You can sand and paint it when it's dry. Be aware that it s...

  • The Issue with Retirement Compartmentalizing

    Posted July 30, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    Image courtesy of Solomon203   I recently read the book All the Money in the World by Laura Vanderkam. While she espoused a lot of the same sorts of ideas that I am always attracted to and tend to write about, there were a couple of things that she wrote about that seemed a little off-base. ...

  • Teacher Discharges Student Loans in Bankruptcy. ECMC Fights It.

    Posted July 29, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Steve Rhode   Today I'm looking at another bankruptcy discharge case, see more here, where a bankruptcy judge felt it was appropriate to allow for a legal discharge of student loan debt. In this case, the consumer represented herself in the action and has fought a valiant battle. ...

  • 8 Quick Picks for Your Beach Picnic!

    Posted July 27, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Leanne Ely   Oh lazy, hazy beach days. One of the most wonderful things about summer. And what’s a day at the beach without a cooler full of goodies?   But one must be strategic when it comes to packing food for the beach. Because at the beach, there is sand....

  • For the Love of Pete, Pay Off Your Mortgage Before You Retire

    Posted July 24, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    I recently provided a short webinar for a group called Talent Marks, and I was reminded of an important aspect of retirement planning that can sometimes be glossed over: your mortgage.   At the end of my webinar, the floor was opened for questions, and one participant asked if it was better...

  • Stretch a Little Meat to Feed a King

    Posted July 23, 2015 by TDS Review

    Make the most of leftover meat by making a sandwich spread that's fit for a king! All you need is a food processor, a blender or a good knife and cutting board.   First, the meat. It could be a little leftover roast or chicken, turkey or ham... anything, really. Probably not fried fish, but a...

  • What You Should Learn from the Greek Financial Crisis

    Posted July 23, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    The Greek financial crisis may seem far away. And, depending on who you ask, it's either very simple or very complicated. Taken together that's a good reason not to pay much attention to it. That could be a mistake. There's a lot we can learn from the Greek debt crisis.   It can happen here. ...

  • TDS Recommends ... Cutting Your Grocery Budget without Coupons

    Posted July 22, 2015 by TDSPaige

    So often busy parents really want to cut their grocery bills. BUT...they may not have all the time needed to clip coupons or other traditional grocery cost-saving measures.  This post from fellow bloggers at The Cole Mines has some awesome tips for cutting down a grocery bill without using cou...

  • Poolside Snacks for the Kids

    Posted July 21, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Leanne Ely   You get the towels ready, the sunscreen applied, and settle down to enjoy a few minutes of sun while the kids play in the pool only to hear, seconds later, the familiar refrain, "Can I have a snack?"   Swimming seems to make children hungrier than anything else,...

  • TDS Recommends...Scoring Free Kids Books for Summer Reading

    Posted July 20, 2015 by TDSPaige

    If you're like me, summer reading means piling up the books...and the more children you have, the more books you may be buying. So when I saw this fantastic post from fellow bloggers over at Saving with Jen, I couldn't help but share. Jen describes so many great resources in this post - all for gett...

  • How to Buy a Used Car From a Private Seller

    Posted July 20, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Bob Sullivan   One of the easiest ways to save money, and avoid debt, is to buy used cars instead of new. But once you decide that used is for you, there's a second way to potentially save thousands of dollars — buy privately instead of from a dealer. There are plenty of pote...

  • Feeling Financially Overwhelmed?

    Posted July 18, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! Do you ever feel like you're being overwhelmed by events. I think that most of get that feeling periodically. And it can happen to anyone. The single mom who's juggling work and parenting. Or the retiree who's having trouble keeping up with things like credit scores....

  • Don't Make Perfect the Enemy of Good

    Posted July 17, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    One of my biggest pet peeves is the preponderence of the perfection position on change.   (I'll quit it with the P proliferation now.)   What I mean by perfection position is the common belief that anything less than perfection is not worth doing. That kind of thinking leads to perfe...

  • Retired and Working

    Posted July 16, 2015 by TDS Review

    I like to say that I'm retired, but that's not really true. I still work, mainly because I would be bored to tears otherwise, but the income is nice, too.   One thing I have found out about working after retirement is that it gets to a person sometimes. The older we get, the more mornings we ...

  • TDS Recommends...5 Tips for Paying off Debt

    Posted July 16, 2015 by TDSPaige

    If you've ever looked over your bills and truly felt like you were never going to catch and pay off your debt, this post is for you. We've found a fantastic post from fellow bloggers over at Cents and Order with great tips and ideas for paying debt off faster. We especially love all the suggestions ...

  • Millionaires and Billionaires

    Posted July 15, 2015 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   Would you like to build up a million-dollar nest egg by the time you retire? For middle-class earners, that goal is challenging but possible if you start at age 25 and save $1750 a month. Many married couples could do this by maxing out their 401(k) contributions. Or ...

  • TDS Recommends...Should You Sell Your House For a Downpayment?

    Posted July 14, 2015 by TDSPaige

    I've had several friends tell me recently that they were planning to sell their home, so that they could essentially put the money they earn into their downpayment on a new home. On its face, this seems like a pretty good plan, right? In fact I never thought much about going about this process in a ...

  • Business Profits Essential

    Posted July 14, 2015 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   I recently had a conversation with a teenager who was annoyed at Disney's ongoing promotion of the movie Frozen. The young woman's point was that Disney is a creative company, and by pouring so much time and resources into promoting Frozen, it was robbing its loyal cu...

  • Increase Your Self-Discipline with Habits

    Posted July 10, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    Photo of various delicious temptations courtesy of Daniel Julia Lundgren     My sister recently introduced me to habit and behavior expert James Clear.   While Clear's focus is more on the athletic and productivity side of improving habits, everything he suggests is also applicab...

  • Free Plants for your Yard and Garden

    Posted July 9, 2015 by TDS Review

    Did you ever see a tomato plant sprawl all over the ground? If it's not in a cage, that's the natural growth pattern of most "heritage" tomatoes. Tomatoes are, by nature, opportunists of the plant world. Wherever a branch touches the ground and is there without being disturbed, the tomato plant will...

  • TDS Recommends...Teaching Kids Money According to Age

    Posted July 8, 2015 by TDSPaige

    If you're like me, you really want to try and teach your kids the basics of money and financial responsibility - how to save it, how to wisely spend it, how to give to support charities and good causes. But at what age can they really understand financial principles? I stumbled on this fantastic pos...

  • 5 of the Most Common Used Car Buying Scams

    Posted July 7, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Christine DiGangi   Big-ticket purchases are always a battle between finding a great deal and a quality product, and buying a car is one of the few great expenses that consumers make over and over again throughout their lives. When you need to buy a car, there are a lot of priorit...

  • How Middle Class Families Lost $50k in Income

    Posted July 3, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Middle class families are having a tough time. But could they really have lost $50k in income? That's what a report by the President's Council of Economic Advisers said.   Surprising, at least to me, was the main reason cited: lack of productivity growth. According to the CEA that accounted f...

  • 4 Important Things You Need to Know About Social Security

    Posted July 3, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by AJ Smith   Retirement sounds exciting, but it can actually be a difficult landscape to understand and navigate. A retirement calculator can help guide your savings goals, both with a total target you are trying to hit and a monthly amount to include in your budget. But figuring out...

  • Boxes!

    Posted July 1, 2015 by TDS Review

    You know that kids are just as fascinated with the box their new toy came in as they are the toy, so why not skip the toy?   Frugal thought, right?   If you have cardboard boxes around (and who doesn't have a few?), bring them out some time when your kids need something new and let the...

  • 4 Times You Can Sue a Debt Collector

    Posted July 1, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Kali Geldis   It's every consumer's worst nightmare: You're busy at work, mired in debt, and your cellphone keeps ringing. You’re doing your best to pay off that bill, but the unknown number flashing on your phone's screen is a dismal reminder you haven't.   "Most peo...

  • Help! Someone Took Out a Student Loan in My Name

    Posted June 30, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Gerri Detweiler   Some students worry about whether they'll get the financial aid they need to pay for the next semester of college. Others wonder why there is a record of them taking out student loans when they didn't apply — and now they can't get the loans they need. Cons...

  • How a Student Loan Bill Can Go From $97K to $236K

    Posted June 29, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Christine DiGangi   There's been a lot of discussion lately about Americans deciding to not pay back their student loans. While the reasons for purposely defaulting on education debt vary, the consequences are invariably unpleasant: debt collection, wage garnishment, growing loan ...

  • Planning for Retirement

    Posted June 27, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! What do you think? Does it make sense to plan for your future? What about Gen Xers (ages 35-48)? What do they think? And interesting study by the Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America commissioned the Allianz Generations Apart Study was quoted in an articl...

  • How to Negotiate (When Negotiation Give You Hives)

    Posted June 25, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    Image courtesy of Tobias Wolter   I recently found myself in a career-related negotiation.   I hate negotiation. It makes me break out in hives.   But, I felt pretty darn good about my recent negotiation. I think all parties will be reasonably satisfied with the outcome--and I h...

  • Essential Oils: Frugal, Safe and Efficient

    Posted June 24, 2015 by TDS Review

    Did you ever wonder about the safety of using those commercial bug repellants? Or what about products that promise to minimize stretch marks or scars or other blemishes? Commercial concoctions often contain chemicals that are "inactive," meaning that they don't add to the effectiveness of the produc...

  • Unlocking The Secret To Long-Term Potato Storage

    Posted June 22, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      Several weeks back, a friend and I were talking about gardening. Her family had a huge garden when she was growing up and they relied on it to keep them all fed. But because she felt it was drudgery back then, she doesn't care to garden much these days. She was quizzing me on the different t...

  • Making an Anatomical Gift Donation

    Posted June 22, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      contributed by Cindy   Regarding your article "How to Plan a More Affordable Funeral," a very viable alternative would be an anatomical gift donation to a medical school (probably less palatable still to most folks but certainly well worth checking out). I recently decided to do this ...

  • Choose Your Degree Carefully

    Posted June 19, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Last week I was at a conference with financial writers, editors and analysts. One topic of conversation was the value of a college education. One group of economists put it at around $300,000.   The general consensus among my colleagues was that a degr...

  • How Well Do You Know Social Security?

    Posted June 19, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    Mass Mutual recently came up with what is possibly the world's most boring quiz. (And I say this as a former English teacher who used to give grammar quizzes about once a week.)   This quiz double checks your knowledge of basic facts about Social Security benefits. Despite the snooze-worthy...

  • Cheap? Frugal?

    Posted June 18, 2015 by TDS Review

    Do people call you cheap? Maybe you're coming across the wrong way. Frugal people are not cheap. We are very much aware of the value of things, both to us and to others.    One time, I was in a restaurant with a young couple who were aspiring to a more frugal lifestyle. As we finished ou...

  • Throw a Birthday Cookie Decorating Party

    Posted June 18, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Ranie Denver   If you're looking for something different but not really too crazy for your child's next birthday party, why not have a cookie decorating party? Sure, it makes a mess, but you can contain the mess to the kitchen and the kids will have a treat as well as a take-home f...

  • TDS Recommends... 50 Free (or Cheap) Summer Activities for Kids

    Posted June 18, 2015 by TDSPaige

    For kids, summer is an awesome time to kick back and take it easy. But as a parent, you dread hearing that familiar phrase -"I'm bored..." especially at the beginning of their summer vacation. MoneyTalksNews.com has an awesome slideshow of 50 free or cheap activities for kids all throughout the summ...

  • How to Make Homemade Yogurt

    Posted June 12, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Elizabeth Wayne   I wanted to add something along the same line of your "Heirloom Cooking" article, namely making homemade yogurt. I typically purchase organic, whole milk yogurt for $4 per 32 oz. (from Trader Joes), which could get very expensive as this only makes about three ser...

  • Get Ready for Christmas!

    Posted June 11, 2015 by TDS Review

    No, I didn't read the calendar wrong! We can work toward having an awesome Christmas year 'round.    I know some of you start the day after Christmas and are already stocked up on gifts and decorations. Some of you might even be done with it, but for those of us who aren't, summer is the...

  • I Can’t Afford My Car Lease Anymore. What Do I Do?

    Posted June 11, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Gerri Detweiler    Larry's car lease payment is killing his budget. His monthly payment on the four-year lease for his Hyundai Santa Fe is $725.49. It's too high, and he wants to know what his options are.   An increasing number of consumers are choosing to lease their ...

  • A 5-Minute Guide to Student Loans

    Posted June 11, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by AJ Smith   You may have heard that college in this country isn’t cheap. Maybe you’ve even encountered this firsthand for yourself, a child or another family member. But knowing that getting a degree is going to be expensive doesn’t mean you know how to pay for it....

  • Do You Know Who Your Beneficiaries Are?

    Posted June 10, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    Image source   A recent conversation with a friend of mine reminded me of one of the basic truths about modern life:   Nobody, but nobody, likes paperwork.   Specifically, the kind of maintenance paperwork that can easily slip your mind and cause you the kind of stupid tax that ...

  • Planning the Perfect Beach Day Outing on a Budget

    Posted June 9, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Jason Feller   One of the best parts about summer is the ability to have a beach day whenever you want. On the other hand, beach days can get very expensive if not planned ahead wisely. The last thing you want is to blow so much money on your first day at the beach that you ar...

  • Protect Yourself When Hiring Contractors

    Posted June 9, 2015 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   This time of year, half the homeowners in town are trying to hire landscapers. All of us check our phones even in the middle of meetings or medical appointments, because we desperately hope it might be the yard guy calling back.   As my wife and I work on our y...

  • Do Smart Homes Save Money?

    Posted June 8, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      Smart homes were once reserved for millionaires and luxury homes, but with a little elbow grease, now anyone can have a smart home. Yet the question remains, are smart devices priced low enough that it’s worth it? Let’s take a look at some of the most common smart home devices an...

  • TDS Recommends...Ways to Make Extra Money This Summer

    Posted June 8, 2015 by TDSPaige

    Now that summer is finally here, you might be trying to brainstorm some great ways to make a little extra money. Maybe you're looking for the perfect side gig? Or maybe just something creative, that might make a few extra bucks too? If you're in that boat, we've got the perfect article for you. Fell...

  • 5 Upsides to Losing Your Job

    Posted June 5, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by AJ Smith   Being let go can be scary. Instead of focusing on the negative, you can turn your situation around by looking for the silver lining while staying on track financially.   You may need some time to accept it, but when you are ready to move on and make the best of a...

  • Keep Your Cool When It's Hot

    Posted June 4, 2015 by TDS Review

    It wasn't all that long ago that not many homes had air conditioning. The best most people could hope for was a cooling breeze through an open window to cool the house. What did they do? Did they just suffer with the heat? Oh, no... and we can use some of the ways they used to keep themselves cool, ...

  • Should You Plan on Working in Retirement?

    Posted June 4, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    Photo of the classic retirement plan courtesy of Harold Shipp.   Our parents and grandparents got to enjoy a golden age of retirement, the lucky dogs. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, retirement meant leaving a career at age 65 in order to enjoy daily tee times, spoiling grandkids, and generally...

  • Should You Borrow The Money?

    Posted June 4, 2015 by FromTheEditorsDesk

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   Had an interesting ad hit my inbox this week. The subject line shouted "80% LTV - No Doc Subprime is BACK". Suddenly it's 2003 again!   I remember back then speaking with Greg McBride of Bankrate. We were discussing all the new mortgage types that were...

  • TDS Recommends...Hurricane Preparedness on a Budget

    Posted June 2, 2015 by TDSPaige

    If ir;s one thing we know pretty well here at TDS headquarters, it's hurricanes. Here in Florida we take them seriously, and the season for keeping an eye these storms just started yesterday. If you also are in the midst of preparing for hurricane season, we found a wonderful article from fellow blo...

  • How Much Does Divorce Really Cost?

    Posted June 1, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Rebecca Zung   Fear is the universal emotion everyone starts off with in divorce, and one of the biggest and most scary fears, is “How much is this divorce going to cost me?” Divorce is already painful, so the financial costs involved in a divorce are really like salt i...

  • Stupid Financial Advice Given to Graduates

    Posted May 29, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    Photo courtesy of David Goehring   It's that time of year again! Graduation season is in full swing, and the same stupid advice is being bandied about toward this year's graduates as was passed along to every previous graduate in the history of education. In particular, I'd like to debunk the...

  • Why Lifestyle Inflation Is Killing Your Budget

    Posted May 29, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by AJ Smith   Congratulations! You got a raise, came into an inheritance or sold your home for a profit. No matter what has brought more money into your budget, it’s important to manage that money wisely. Just because you have greater access to money doesn’t mean...

  • Payday Loans to Repay Debts

    Posted May 29, 2015 by FromTheEditorsDesk

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   According to an article in Employee Benefit News HR departments are concerned about their employees finances. That makes sense. An employee who's worried about paying the bills can't give full attention to their work.   They quote a survey of human res...

  • Summer Fun for the Kids

    Posted May 28, 2015 by TDS Review

    Shouts of joy at the freedom of summetime stretching before them often turn into moans of boredom as children who are used to having their days scheduled start wondering what do do now.   Your kids might not be bored yet because the season is still early, but it's bound to happen at some poin...

  • Cosigning Student Loans: The Benefits, Risks and Alternatives

    Posted May 28, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Nate Matherson   It is that time of the year. It is student loan season. As acceptance letters and housing deposits hit the mail for the upcoming academic year, heavy tuition bills are sent in quick pursuit. If you are like most students or families these days, student loans are pr...

  • Where Do You Get Your News?

    Posted May 27, 2015 by FromTheEditorsDesk

    Where do you get your news? For 100+ years before the internet, the daily newspaper was the preferred method. Now, not so much so. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center as quoted in the Washington Examiner website large media companies are abandoning or spinning off print editions in order t...

  • Money Realities for New Adults: Toothpaste and Toilet Paper

    Posted May 27, 2015 by Rick Kahler

      by Rick Kahler   The daughter of one of my clients left home right after high school graduation for a full-time job and part-time college classes. As she was settling into her first apartment, she told her mother, "I never thought I'd be the person who had to buy things like toilet pa...

  • 5 Ways to Keep Your Credit Cards Safe When You Travel

    Posted May 26, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Jason Steele    Hitting the road soon? Your credit card can be one of the most valuable things you bring, but there are some risks as well.   If your credit card is lost, you could be left without a method of payment for critical services like a hotel room or a rental c...

  • Retire Like a Mensch: Keeping Inflation at Bay

    Posted May 22, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    Photo of the effects of hyperinflation in Budapest courtesy of Mizerák István     Inflation is one of those insidious forces that seem to be the sort of plan hatched by an evil mastermind: "I will slowly erode the purchasing power of their money, so that the items they n...

  • Hope You Have a Great BBQ!

    Posted May 21, 2015 by FromTheEditorsDesk

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! Like just about everyone I enjoy a week with a holiday in it. A little extra time off, a backyard BBQ, more time to visit with friends. What's not to like? If you're hosting a party this week, you might want to check out our section on party planning. You'll find ar...

  • For the Birds and For Your Budget

    Posted May 21, 2015 by TDS Review

    If you like to feed birds so you can watch them, there's a very frugal way to get birdseed. It will cost you a little to begin, but after that, it's almost free.   The method? Grow your own. Why not? If you have houseplants, a few flowers out front or a full blown garden out back, you know ho...

  • 7 Deadly Student Loan Sins

    Posted May 20, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by AJ Smith    We all know that higher education is expensive, but we also know the professional and personal growth it can provide. For many people, going to college means taking out student loans, a serious credit product that shouldn’t be entered into lightly.   I...

  • TDS Recommends...Parenting Questions Answered

    Posted May 19, 2015 by TDSPaige

    As a parent, we often have questions about our kids, their activities, and our parenting lives in general. We stumbled on a pretty interesting website yesterday called Parenting Syrup that has a wealth of great information for parents of kids of all ages. From pregnancy all the way through the teena...

  • 31 Best Websites for Free Stuff

    Posted May 18, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Douglas Ehrman   As the world becomes even more commercialized, an increasing amount of free stuff can be had through discount offers, recycling efforts and internet loss leaders. Learning where to look for these deals and free samples can save you a significant amount of mo...

  • A Debt Free College Degree

    Posted May 18, 2015 by FromTheEditorsDesk

    If you have children you've probably thought about getting them into and paying for college. I know that was a big issue for our family.   Getting into college is more competitive than ever. At least, it is if you're trying for one of the more prestigious schools. On the other hand, state sch...

  • What can we learn from our mistakes?

    Posted May 15, 2015 by FromTheEditorsDesk

    I like to think that I can learn from my mistakes. Isn't that part of what thinking being do?   The other day I created a learning experience for myself. I had a disagreement with a smoked pork butt. I was just finishing smoking it and taking the foil pan out of the smoker I set it on a shelf...

  • Cheap Sew and Sew

    Posted May 14, 2015 by TDS Review

    Probably more of us would sew, at least a little, if the cost of fabric wasn't so high. By the time you buy even a couple of inexpensive yards of material, a few buttons and some thread, you could easily buy a shirt or dress for much less.   As with most projects that frugal people get into, ...

  • 5 Ways to Save at the Grocery Store Without Using Coupons

    Posted May 14, 2015 by Jason Cabler

      Saving money at the grocery store is one great way to use your money more efficiently.  Most experts (me included) recommend that your food budget should be between 5-15% of your take home pay.  This includes groceries and eating out combined. My family and I typically stay with...

  • Who Is Responsible?

    Posted May 13, 2015 by FromTheEditorsDesk

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!   I read an interesting article the other day in Employee Benefit News. It said that “Thirty-seven percent of plan sponsors are unaware they are fiduciaries to their workplace-sponsored retirement plans.”   What that means in layman's terms i...

  • Retirement or College Savings? A Menschly Dilemma

    Posted May 12, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    Despite the fact that I am a personal finance writer, a retirement expert, and the daughter of a financial planner, I have broken one of the cardinal rules of savings:   For years, I prioritized saving for my sons' college education ahead of saving for my own retirement.   I'm sure y...

  • 5 Ways to Save on Summer Travel

    Posted May 11, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by AJ Smith    With the weather warming up and images of travel getaways looking even sweeter than before, you are probably looking forward to (or trying to figure out how to afford) getting some vacation time this summer. Even if your trip seems miles or months away, you can sta...

  • TDS Recommends... Tips to Maximize Your Yard Sale

    Posted May 8, 2015 by TDSPaige

    Now that spring is here, no doubt many readers have been digging out of reorganizing and spring cleaning projects. What to do with all those things you don't want anymore? How about a yard sale! We found a great post from fellow bloggers over at Cash the Checks with tips on having a successful yards...

  • Caring for cast iron cookware

    Posted May 7, 2015 by TDS Review

    A cast iron pan or pot should be heavy! Don't go lightweight here. Thin walls and light weight means poor conduction of heat. Food will burn easily.   The sides, bottoms and lids should all be the same width with no variation. If the sides are uneven or thinner than the bottom, the pan is poo...

  • How Much Money Can You Be Responsible For?

    Posted May 6, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    Back in high school, I was friends with a young man who believed that pennies were so worthless, he would actually throw them away. (Though I had not yet realized that I was a money nerd, I can assure you that I did not allow him to be so riduculously wasteful in front of me. I made him give me th...

  • TDS Recommends...FutureAdvisor's Diplomas without Debt

    Posted May 5, 2015 by TDSPaige

    This sponsored article produced with support from FutureAdvisor in conjunction with Kasai Media. All opinions are those of the author.   Just last week, I was talking to an older family member whose youngest child just graduated from college. Both of his two kids are on their way to (hopefull...

  • Who Is Responsible?

    Posted May 4, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! I read an interesting article the other day in Employee Benefit News. It said that “Thirty-seven percent of plan sponsors are unaware they are fiduciaries to their workplace-sponsored retirement plans.”   What that means in layman's terms is that o...

  • Air Freshener or Clean Air?

    Posted April 30, 2015 by TDS Review

    The best way to freshen the air in your home this time of year is to open the windows. Winter is behind us and the hot days of summer still ahead. Most of the time, temperatures are agreeable, so why keep the house closed up? A good exchange of stagnant air for fresh can make a world of difference i...

  • TDS Recommends...Keep Moving to get Smarter

    Posted April 30, 2015 by TDSPaige

    If you've spent any time wondering how to keep your brain in optimum shape, we found an idea you may want to try. Our Boomer friends over at FunandFit.org have a great post detailing ways to keep your brain and your body in good shape after age 50. They recommend you aim for at least 150 minutes of ...

  • TDS Recommends ... Cheap Camping Ideas for a Summer Getaway

    Posted April 28, 2015 by TDSPaige

    If you've been mulling over what to do during summer vacation, camping could be a great (and budget-friendly) idea! We stumbled across some wonderful tips for keeping camping costs down, and keeping the fun factor up. Take a look at this great post from fellow bloggers at Thrifty Jinxy to get some ...

  • How Many FICO Scores Are There?

    Posted April 28, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Christine DiGangi   There are hundreds of algorithms companies use to score consumers, and even the most common credit scoring company has dozens of models. Fair Isaac Corp., more commonly known as FICO, has about 50 scores (a 2012 report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bure...

  • Retire Like a Mensch: Beware Retirement Charming

    Posted April 24, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    The mensch is back, and focused on helping you to retire--without having to eat cat food! In their ground-breaking book Your Money or Your Life, Vicki Robin and Joe Domiguez describe a scenario that we have all experienced—searching for what they call Job Charming: “It’s as thou...

  • Women Aren’t Talking About Money. Here’s Why

    Posted April 24, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Emily Guy Birken   A recent study by Fidelity Investments has uncovered some intriguing paradoxes about women’s relationship with money.   Despite the fact that 92 percent of the women involved in the study want to learn more about financial planning, and 83 percent wa...

  • Solutions From the Rag Bag

    Posted April 23, 2015 by TDS Review

    Do you have a rag bag? You know, a place where you stash worn out clothing and household linens? You might have some old tshirts there or a thin sheet or maybe a stained tablecloth or worn out jeans. If you don't have a "rag bag," better get one started!   What you do with your stash besides ...

  • Who is Right About Budgeting Our Money, My Wife or Myself?

    Posted April 22, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Steve Rhode   Question:   Yo Steve, My wife and I fight, or shall I say disagree, all the time about spending and a budget. She has one opinion and I have another. She says we should not spend more than 25% of our income on housing but I say 33% is alright. Who is right? Jim...

  • TDS Recommends...the Ultimate Baby Shower Giveaway

    Posted April 22, 2015 by TDSPaige

    Are you or someone you know expecting? We've partnered up with some great bloggers for the Ultimate Baby Shower giveaway! Take a look below at all the great prizes offered, and enter for your chance to win!   Welcome to our 3rd Annual Baby Shower Event! This event is hosted by Dixieland Rev...

  • 23 Ways to Save Big at Your Wedding

    Posted April 20, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Aaron Crowe   For all of the many reasons to get married, paying for a wedding isn’t one of them. It’s an expense that can be used elsewhere ­ such as for a down payment on a house ­ or to pay for a honeymoon or use as an emergency fund.   Those aren&rsqu...

  • Retire Like a Mensch: Fighting Analysis Paralysis

    Posted April 17, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    The mensch is back, and focused on helping you to retire--without having to eat cat food! Don't you just hate making complex decisions?   Recently, my sister called to ask my advice. She needs a new computer. (And when I say she needs a new computer, that means the Smithsonian is on the ph...

  • Before You Buy Patio Furniture

    Posted April 16, 2015 by TDS Review

    How about checking what you already have? You might not want to put the old overstuffed couch out there, but what about the last two of that set of comfy diningroom chairs? Or the unused side table?   What's in the attic or garage? You might have furniture like an old ice cream chair or other...

  • Questions to Ask an Insurance Adjuster

    Posted April 16, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Anna Souzdenkova   When it comes to a car accident, repairing or replacing the car is half the battle. Knowing what questions to ask your adjuster can better prepare and guide you through the ordeal. Generally, the adjuster is there to inform you of the next steps and expectations....

  • TDS Recommends...Hope during Debt Repayment

    Posted April 16, 2015 by TDSPaige

    If you're deep in debt repayment, you know how difficult it can be at times to keep your momentum going. Sometimes it's hard to stay the course. But one of the best tools for motivation for debt repayment or any other goal in your life, is hope. We found a wonderful and inspiring post on the motivat...

  • Retire Like a Mensch: How to Increase Your Savings

    Posted April 10, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    The mensch is back, and focused on helping you to retire--without having to eat cat food! There is one nearly universal truth about saving for retirement:   You* are not doing enough of it.   Sorry to call you out there. This is one of those super-depressing aspects of hanging out w...

  • Your Credit Score Could Save You Money

    Posted April 9, 2015 by TDS Review

    Did you know that having a good credit score will save you money? It's true.   As we go about our daily business, we interact with many people, businesses and situations. Many of them are interrelated in ways that we don't always think about. For instance, how does your credit score relate to...

  • TDS Featured in Trusted Helplines Mobile App

    Posted April 9, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends! I love making big announcements! About 10 years ago a friend began collecting various non-profit helplines and placing them on his website called Care Connect USA. Everything from utilities assistance to tax debt relief. It's been so popular that thousands of company...

  • Is It Better to Shop Online or In Store?

    Posted April 7, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Mallory Zoe   Shopping has become a mighty exciting thing to do these days! There are plenty of choices as to where and how to shop. You maybe the kind who likes physically going to a shop and buying or the kind that is too busy or too lazy to shop. You may be home bound and are u...

  • 10 Things You Need to Know About Saving Money in April

    Posted April 6, 2015 by Gary Foreman

      An April adage: “A fool and his money are soon parted. The rest of us part with it on tax day.” With that in mind, here are 10 ways you can save money in April.   Find out if you’re one of these 4 types of savings addicts >>>   1. Declare April &ld...

  • Is There Hope for Us in Bankruptcy?

    Posted April 6, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Steve Rhode   Dear Steve, We have roughly $80,000 in credit card debt. We have four children. Two are in college, and we have two yet to go. We own a small business that we run out of our home in addition to my being a teacher.   How much are we really going to lose through ...

  • Deodorize with Vinegar

    Posted April 2, 2015 by TDS Review

    Probably the one most useful product for any household is plain white vinegar. Not only does it clean a variety of things, it deodorizes, too. The smell of vinegar itself doesn't last very long, so your home will smell fresh and clean with no cloying or chemical odors.   Vinegar can tackle th...

  • Retire Like a Mensch: How Not to Retire

    Posted April 2, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    Here's a funny question to ask yourself on the way to retirement. Why do you want to retire?   This is the sort of thing we don't often ask ourselves. I mean, wanting to retire goes without saying, right? Who wouldn't want to trade the boring workaday world for a life of leisure?   But...

  • Women's Confidence in Being Prepared for Retirement

    Posted April 1, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Rick Kahler   When it comes to being financially prepared for retirement, Chinese women are the most confident women in the world. In fact, they are almost twice as confident as their US counterparts.   This conclusion comes from a 2014 global survey, the Aegon Retirement Re...

  • Save on Your Next Vacation with Smart Credit Card Usage

    Posted March 31, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

      by Elizabeth Boyd   With spring right around the corner, the summer months are not far behind, and our thoughts start to turn to vacationing. As with most large expenditures, early planning and research will make a major difference in your ability to design a workable budget and real...

  • Being Chased for a Debt You Don't Owe

    Posted March 30, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Steve Rhode   Dear Steve, I'm getting really tired of being hassled for an old debt I don't owe. I keep trying to explain to the debt collectors that I don't owe the bill, and they keep trying to say I need to pay. What can I do? Mary     Dear Mary, Being chased f...

  • This is Why Your Budget Isn't Working

    Posted March 29, 2015 by Jason Cabler

      When I wrote some of my recent articles on how to budget, I wrote two posts entitled “How Do I Start a Budget?” and “How Do I Start a Budget (Round 2)” as well as “How Do You Budget on a Variable Income?”. But I just now rea...

  • Retire Like a Mensch: Demystifying Investments

    Posted March 27, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    The mensch is back, and focused on helping you to retire--without having to eat cat food! Dollar Stretcher reader and commenter Beth asked an excellent question on my post about the Bucket Method from two weeks ago:   What about index funds? The Bucket Method only makes sense if you know w...

  • Should We Rent or Buy a House?

    Posted March 27, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

      by Steve Rhode   Dear Steve, My wife and I are new to the area and wondering if we should jump right in and buy a house or rent. I hate to rent because I think we are throwing our money away. What do you think? David     Dear David, I can certainly understand the ide...

  • Don't Buy Easter Hype

    Posted March 26, 2015 by TDS Review

    Easter isn't the most expensive holiday, and it's colored with more family and religious tones than some, but even so, it can become quite expensive if you cave in to the huge (hollow) chocolate rabbits and the live chicks (what do you do with them after Easter?) and the idea that it's another day f...

  • How a Collection Balance Can Keep Going Up

    Posted March 26, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

    by Gerri Detweiler   Question: I have been paying on a debt to a collection attorney. I’ve been paying the agreed upon monthly payment, but the balance keeps going up! The original debt has gone up about three times!   Answer from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:   When you work...

  • How to Use Amazon Mechanical Turk to Make Extra Money Whenever

    Posted March 25, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

    by Steve Rhode   Over here at GetOutOfDebt.org, I recently read about a service Amazon provides called Mechanical Turk, which intrigued me. Unlike other online sites that look for contract help, the Amazon Mechanical Turk service seemed to offer easy to accomplish tasks that could be complete...

  • 6 Simple Tips to Lower Your Water Bill

    Posted March 24, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

    by Thomas Sullivan   When it comes to home efficiency, it's usually air conditioning and heating use that get most of the attention. But your plumbing system can be just as impactful on utility costs, and it deserves every bit as much attention.   Here are six easy-to-implement tips t...

  • TDS Recommends...22 Reasons Dogs Make You Healthier

    Posted March 24, 2015 by TDSPaige

    If you've been on the fence about whether to take on the responsibility of a pet, our friends over at Chewie Says have created a wonderful infographic and post that outlines 22 reasons why dogs make humans healthier! From lowering blood pressure to creating stronger immune systems, dogs have a uniq...

  • One Way to Eliminate Your Student Loans in Your Spare Time

    Posted March 23, 2015 by TDS Guest Bloggers

    by Steve Rhode   We talk a lot about student loan debt and how to deal with it here at GetOutOfDebt.org. It is something that so many people are trapped under. How do you start a family, buy a home, or just live a comfortable life when your minimum monthly student loan payment is more th...

  • Tale of a Tree

    Posted March 20, 2015 by TDS Review

    When I moved in here, there was an old wooden planter on the south side of the house, where the sun beat down on it almost all day. There was old, tired dirt in it and it looked as if it were ready to fall apart if I tried to move it, so I put that off for awhile.   A few weeks later, I notic...

  • TDS Recommends...Make Money from that Spring Cleaning!

    Posted March 20, 2015 by TDSPaige

    If you're like me, the warmer spring temperatures also mean starting up some spring cleaning. I actually enjoy spring cleaning (strange I know...). It's a bit of "welcome to spring" mixed with "fresh starts" with a tad of "get organized for summer" thrown in there too. But what if you could make som...

  • Retire Like a Mensch: It's All About the Attitude

    Posted March 19, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    The mensch is back, and focused on helping you to retire--without having to eat cat food! The older I get, the more clear it becomes that my mother was right.* She has always told me that only thing you really have control over is your attitude.   Believe it or not, this bit of maternal wi...

  • TDS Recommends...Lessons from Grandchildren on Living Life

    Posted March 18, 2015 by TDSPaige

    If you're a Boomer who's decided to retire, you may be considering what to do with your time. And with good reason - Boomers are one of the most active generations. So when I found this great article from the website Boomerly, a website currently in development for Boomers, I had to share it. The au...

  • Just Wash It!

    Posted March 12, 2015 by TDS Review

    A long time ago, I had a pair of soft suede boots that I loved wearing. They had soft soles and were so comfortable that I practically lived in them until I accidentally stepped in a deep pool of mud just outside of the yard.   I tried to clean the mud off, but the stain was stubborn. I tried...

  • Retire Like a Mensch: Understanding the Bucket Method

    Posted March 12, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    The mensch is back, and focused on helping you to retire--without having to eat cat food! Photo courtesy of David, who apparently needs no other name.   Last week, I mentioned something called the Bucket Method as a strategy for further hedging your bets that you won't outlive your money in ...

  • TDS Recommends...Financial Lessons for Your Younger Self

    Posted March 11, 2015 by TDSPaige

    If you've ever looked back and wished you'd known something years before, you're in good company. And financial decisions made early can have consequences for decades. So when we found this post from fellow bloggers over at CNA Finance on financial lessons they wish their younger selves would have k...

  • The Ultimate Garden Repurposing Guide

    Posted March 5, 2015 by TDS Review

    Really and honestly. If you want to make an ever popular container garden this year, you don't have to spend your hard earned money on buying containers. You probably have several already; you just have to look at things a little differently to see them.   See if these might spark a creative ...

  • 7 Great Ways to Accelerate Your Savings

    Posted March 5, 2015 by Jason Cabler

      Most Americans are saving very little money, if any at all.  I know my savings have been harder to come by in recent years. Over the last few years my income was cut almost in half due to several factors.  On top of that, we were also paying cash for my wife’s bachelor&rsqu...

  • TDS Recommends...Ways to Make Extra Money

    Posted March 5, 2015 by TDSPaige

    Now that Spring is here, you might be thinking of paying down an extra debt, or putting a little extra cash in your pocket. And if you're tired of reading the same tips to try and find extra money, here's a really unique list from our friends over at The Pennyhoarder of 12 ideas for making extra mon...

  • How Much Money Do You Need for Retirement?

    Posted March 4, 2015 by Emily Guy Birken

    The mensch is back, and focused on helping you to retire--without having to eat cat food! This week, let's talk about just how much money you really need to retire.   This is one of those deceptively simple questions that seems like it should have an easy answer. Instead, you get economist...

  • TDS Recommends..A $750 Amazon Giveaway!

    Posted March 4, 2015 by TDSPaige

    What are you planning for Spring Break? And would $750 dollars from Amazon help you out? If so, here's your chance to win!!  We are working with some fantastic bloggers to bring you an opportunity to win this great prize....perfect for stocking up on Spring Break essentials. To enter, visit ou...

  • 4 Steps to a Budget You Can Keep

    Posted March 3, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

    by Joseph Hogue, CFA   Is there anything more boring in personal finance than budgeting? Seriously, how many articles about saving money could you just not wait to sit down and read?   Investing and learning how to grow your money, good stuff. Making your retirement plans and feeling c...

  • TDS Recommends...Eating Fresh and Local Produce

    Posted March 2, 2015 by TDSPaige

    I'm a huge fan of local produce. I love coming home from my weekly farm visits with delicious and seasonal fresh produce right from my community. So when I ran across this great post  from our friend Ruth Soukup from Living Well Spending Less, I knew I had to share it with you! Ruth's post has ...

  • Corned Beef and Cabbage!

    Posted February 26, 2015 by TDS Review

      I love corned beef and cabbage and I always try to stock up on corned beef just before Saint Patrick's Day.    I like to have it three or four times a year, so that's how much I try to have on hand, as far as corned beef goes.   I also buy at least one extra head of...

  • 7 Easy Ways to Cut Office Expenses

    Posted February 26, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

    by Thomas McClintock   Business owners are always looking for more ways to cut costs at the office. And who can blame them? The more overhead you can get rid of, the better your long-term profit. It's a no-brainer. However, finding the right places to cut isn't always easy.   Here...

  • TDS Recommends...Better After 50

    Posted February 26, 2015 by Gary Foreman

    Mrs. Dollar Stretcher and I became empty nesters a few years ago. And, while we love our kids and are really happy when they visit, it's also nice to be empty nesters. But, if you're a responsible loving parent (and we like to think we are!), that means that you'll feel a little guilty about enjoyin...

  • TDS Recommends..Who Doesn't Love Pizza Rolls?

    Posted February 24, 2015 by TDSPaige

    I'm a huge sucker for cheesy, yummy, melt-in-your mouth pizza. Maybe it's the goopy cheese, or the crunchy crust. Or maybe it's because I watch what I eat most days, and pizza is a rockin' splurge. Whatever the case, I've certainly passed the pizza love on to my 3 kids. It's a favorite for dinner, f...

  • Healthy and Inexpensive Food

    Posted February 19, 2015 by TDS Review

    Too often, when we think of healthy food, we think of expensive food. We see visions of pricey salads, lean beef and out of season vegetables, but that's not necessarily the way to eat healthier. As a matter of fact, it isn't healthy to eat out of season produce because it has either been flown or t...

  • TDS Recommends...A Spring Wedding Giveaway!

    Posted February 16, 2015 by TDSPaige

    Spring is almost here! And with Spring comes wedding showers and weddings! And I couldn't resist passing along this amazing giveaway to TDS readers! It's a wedding giveaway! So brides-to be, bridal parties, families of the bride and groom - take a look below! And good luck!     Welc...

  • Winter Blahs Getting You Down?

    Posted February 12, 2015 by TDS Review

    Along this time of year, it's easy to get cabin fever and want nothing more than to get outside and see something fresh and new. Winter seems to drag on and on. A change of scenery would help!   So why not make a change of scenery indoors? You can do it for free or very little, especially if ...

  • Quest for the Great Flour Tortilla

    Posted February 5, 2015 by TDS Review

    Bright person that I am, I decided that I could save money by making my own flour tortillas instead of buying them premade from the store. It was a good thought, because right after that, the price of a package of tortillas started going up. And up. And up. Right now, it costs almost twice as much f...

  • Things to Consider Before You Go Solar

    Posted February 4, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

    by Tim Smith     via Modernize Solar   On paper, installing solar panels on your home seems like a no-brainer. After all, who wouldn't want to substantially decrease their electric bill or perhaps even eliminate it altogether? While that may sound like a winning idea, there are...

  • Prepping Frugally

    Posted January 29, 2015 by TDS Review

    Being a prepper doesn't carry quite the negative connotations that it seemed to in the past. Due in part to recent disasters, more people have realized that they need to depend on themselves and not government agencies that may or may not appear when they are needed.   Being ready for a hurri...

  • Biggest Risk in Crowdfunding You Didn’t Know About

    Posted January 27, 2015 by TDS Guest Blogger

    by Joseph Hogue   If you have seen the headlines or have had any experience with crowdfunding over the last year, you’re probably thinking how you can get in on this booming new form of finance. I’ve been coaching crowdfunding campaigns for a couple of years and was really excited...

  • Use Up Those Odds and Ends

    Posted January 22, 2015 by TDS Review

    Still eating out of the pantry? What are you going to do with that little jar of pasta sauce you thought you'd use? Or the package of ancient grains that never made it into a loaf of bread? Maybe it's a dry soup mix that you've had for awhile or a package of instant cereal no one likes.   Mak...

  • Pantry Challenge Homemade Bread Adventure

    Posted January 20, 2015 by TDSPantryChallenge

    We ran out of bread this past week, and for a family that loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, this was a big problem. But before I get into my bread-making adventure, let me give you a quick update on all things Pantry Challenge at my house. 1. I cleaned out my refrigerator over the weekend. ...

  • The Basics of Life: Beyond Pantries

    Posted January 15, 2015 by TDS Review

    I'm not talking about the birds and the bees. I am talking about the things that we really need to live a fulfilled and happy life. Of course, it's going to vary for each of us, but maybe a "Go to Zero" session now and then would help us all get our feet back on the ground.   I was enchanted ...

  • Pantry Challenge Meal Planning

    Posted January 14, 2015 by TDSPantryChallenge

    Hi everyone - Paige here, and we are in full Pantry Challenge swing at my house! So far so good! ...but then again, we just started Monday, right?   I wanted to share a few meal planning templates and strategies that I thought could be really useful in figuring out what (and when) to cook cer...

  • Small Victories Win the War- Get Out of Debt & Achieve Goals

    Posted January 13, 2015 by Jason Cabler

      Getting out of debt can seem like a daunting task.  When you finally decide to take the step of getting yourself out of debt, it’s easy to be intimidated by the huge goal you’ve presented for yourself. And when you realize what you’re up against, you’re ready ...

  • Have You Ever Done a Pantry Challenge?

    Posted January 12, 2015 by TDS Review

    I have, but on my own terms, and usually without actually planning it, at least the way they do it on the forums here. The next four weeks have been designated as "TDS Pantry Challenge" weeks, so you can find lots of ideas, guidelines and information about it.   What is a pantry challenge? Ge...

  • The Pantry Challenge Begins!

    Posted January 12, 2015 by TDSPantryChallenge

    Hi everyone! It's Paige, from TDS Recommends and staff writer/reviewer on the site too! I am excited to be joining Andrea for a month long Pantry Challenge adventure! This past weekend, I told my fam about it. I explained that I wanted to try to use up all that we had in the pantry, and also save a...

  • Choosing Your TDS Pantry Challenge Parameters

    Posted January 9, 2015 by TDSPantryChallenge

    The great thing about doing a pantry challenge is that you can structure it to fit your own needs and goals. You will need to decide how long you should do the challenge, and how much weekly food 'allowance' if any, you will get. The trick is to structure in such a way that it pushes you to reach yo...

  • 8 Reasons to Take the TDS Pantry Challenge

    Posted January 9, 2015 by TDSPantryChallenge

    So why do a pantry challenge? We'll give you 8 great reasons!   1. To put some extra cash in your pocket.   The main reason many people choose to do a pantry challenge is to free up a bit of extra cash. Maybe you'd like to pay off those holiday bills as quickly as possible or have some...

  • Pantries and Expiration Dates

    Posted January 8, 2015 by TDS Review

    This time of year is a great time to clean the pantry along with all the other decluttering that seems to suit the season. So I did and I have to say that it's not always easy (at least for me) to be disciplined enough to use food before its expiration date.   Now, mind you, I have eaten and ...

  • TDS Recommends...Rethinking Your Laundry

    Posted January 8, 2015 by TDSPaige

    I am a self-professed hater of laundry. To me, it's the chore that always has to be done, and is never done. There's always clothes to wash, to fold, to put away... and to be honest, for years, it's been my least favorite cleaning task. But today, I read this inspiring post from Empty House Full Min...

  • The TDS Pantry Challenge How-To

    Posted January 7, 2015 by TDSPantryChallenge

    Welcome to the TDS Pantry Challenge!   If you have never done or heard of a pantry challenge, the idea is to only eat and prepare meals using things you already have in your kitchen for a specified period of time in order to avoid spending money on food. At the end of the challenge, you hopef...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 1/7/2015

    Posted January 7, 2015 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Join TDS for a Pantry Challenge!

    Posted January 6, 2015 by TDSPantryChallenge

    Does your lack of pantry organization lead to you finding food in your cupboards long after it has expired? Could you use a little extra cash in your budget right now to pay off those holiday bills?  I know I answered yes to both of these questions! My name is Andrea, and even though I work her...

  • TDS Recommends ... An Easy Way to Calculate Retirement

    Posted January 2, 2015 by TDSPaige

    If you're thinking about your own retirement this week, as part of your resolutions or long term plans, maybe you're wondering about a way to calculate how much retirement  you'll need? If so, we've got a great post from Open Retirement on steps to take to calculate your retirement. these are s...

  • Donate and Buy: Time for Thrift Stores!

    Posted January 1, 2015 by TDS Review

    Decluttering and organizing is as natural to this time of year as picnics are to summer! If you're like most, you're eager to clean out closets and cabinets and drawers and bookshelves and pantries. It's time for a fresh start, and how can we start fresh with all that stuff in the way?   Thri...

  • TDS Recommends! ..The Secrets of Senior Sucess

    Posted December 30, 2014 by TDSPaige

    Hello again! And welcome back to TDS Recommends! Beginning 2015, we want to resume bringing you great ideas and tips from some excellent bloggers accross the web. So dive right in! Today, we ran across a great post/tweetjam from Daily Finance on successful senior secrets. From staying focused on sa...

  • Savvy Savings TDS 12/30/2014

    Posted December 30, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Get Ready for the New Year

    Posted December 26, 2014 by TDS Review

    You have about three working days to make charitable contributions to ease your tax load for 2014, check your credit record for the year to make sure things are all right and max out retirement funds. And then there are those after Christmas sales. Sorry, didn't mean to scare you. I know... I kno...

  • Need to Get Out of Debt? 5 Simple Steps to Get Started Right N

    Posted December 22, 2014 by Jason Cabler

    Ever entertained the idea of getting completely out of debt but never figured out how to get started?  I think most anybody who’s in debt or has been in debt has entertained that idea at some point. You realize you’re not comfortable with how much debt you have, and you...

  • The Wisdom of Scrooge? - Part 2

    Posted December 22, 2014 by TDS Guest Bloggers

    by Rick Kahler   Last week we discussed the most important step of changing a problematic financial behavior: becoming willing to admit that changing the behavior is important and to seriously contemplate the change. Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol took that step when he heeded a warnin...

  • Quick and Frugal Last Minute Gifts

    Posted December 18, 2014 by TDS Review

    The holiday season means gifts of many kinds for many reasons, and frugal folks are usually on top of it all, having planned and even shopped months or at least weeks before the rush.  It happens to us all, though. First we write the list, then we go shopping. We mark off this one and that one,...

  • The Wisdom of Scrooge?

    Posted December 18, 2014 by TDS Guest Bloggers

    by Rick Kahler   For me, the Christmas season doesn't seem complete without Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. I've long been captivated by the transformation of the cold-hearted and calculating Mr. Scrooge, the seemingly inherent goodness of Bob Cratchit, and the haunting visits of the Gho...

  • How to Renovate Your Life- 3 Steps to Make Change Happen

    Posted December 13, 2014 by Jason Cabler

    At my house, we’ve recently had a bright red cardinal start paying us a daily visit.  He seems to like the feathered wreaths my wife Angie hung in our front sitting room window. He likes to perch himself on the weeping cherry tree next to the window, and every 30 seconds or s...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 12/12/2014

    Posted December 12, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Presenting Frugal Food Gifts

    Posted December 10, 2014 by TDS Review

    Large tins of gourmet popcorn and small tins of special (or not so special) cookies, fancy wrapped cheese logs and pretty containers of candies seem to be popular Christmas gifts. You can really spend a ton of money on them, though! Just go to a search engine and type in "food gifts" and you'll see ...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 12/5/2014

    Posted December 5, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the up...

  • From the Archives: Presenting Homemade Gifts

    Posted December 4, 2014 by TDS Review

    Are you giving homemade candy, cookies or other goodies as gifts? Presentation means a lot. Your offering is unique, so make its presentation unique. Expensive products are often dressed up in elegantly colored and decorated boxes or bags, making the recipient feel as if they were getting something ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: See You in 2015

    Posted December 3, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    I am working feverishly on my second book right now--and feverishly is the operative word. Like many a writer before me, I find myself within a few weeks of my deadline with many a word still unwritten. My publisher has woken up Spike, the Deadline Enforcement Agent, and thrown him a couple of bones...

  • How to Avoid the 4 Biggest Risks in Peer Lending

    Posted December 2, 2014 by TDS Guest Blogger

    by Joseph Hogue, CFA    Peer lending is making a huge comeback and looks to change the way we think about lending in America. Getting over its stigma from the financial crisis, investors and borrowers are coming back to the idea resulting in billions of loans just in the last year. ...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 12/1/2014

    Posted December 1, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Don't Manage Your Debt- Eliminate it For Good!

    Posted November 29, 2014 by Jason Cabler

    Being a personal finance blogger and a money geek, I like to read personal finance blogs, watch shows about money, and read tons of books on money, business, and finance.  I even listen to podcasts and radio shows about money when I get a chance. Most of the personal finance experts I l...

  • Had Enough "Frugal" Gifting?

    Posted November 28, 2014 by TDS Review

    Baskets of goodies, mixes in jars and IOUs for services become rather uninspiring and downright boring after a few years! If you're past that and would like to be frugal without looking frugal, here are some ideas to get your creativity flowing: 1. Go to the dollar store and pick up a frame, then i...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 11/28/2014

    Posted November 28, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Give Thanks for Your Stuff

    Posted November 25, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    I love Thanksgiving. I love pausing each fall to take the time to be thankful for all the abundance in our lives.   (I also have a thing for turkey and stuffing, which just makes Thanksgiving the perfect holiday.)   Most Novembers, I advocate that we should take the time to be thankf...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 11/24/14

    Posted November 24, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Walking the Selfish/Selfless Line

    Posted November 21, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Photo of Roz Chast courtesy of Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0   Last week, I basically inhaled the witty and moving and sad book Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant by cartoonist Roz Chast. It's an illustrated memoir of Chast's parents as they reached the end of their long lives and how...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 11/21/2014

    Posted November 21, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Thanksgiving

    Posted November 21, 2014 by TDS Review

    I overheard a woman talking in the grocery store about Thanksgiving dinner. She said it was a family tradition to eat out on that day and she was thankful that she didn't have to cook it.   I guess that works for some folks, but to each their own! We should be thankful for being able to make ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: When J Doesn't Want to Do a Car Repair

    Posted November 19, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    As I've mentioned previously, J does a large portion of the car care/maintenance/repair on our two vehicles.   Every once in a while, however, he'll come to me and say, "I'd really like to put the car in the shop for X repair."   This is the point at which I say: "Sure thing!"  ...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS11/14/2014

    Posted November 17, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Taking Care of Your Money

    Posted November 14, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    This morning I came across the following quotation from Goethe (and if you'd like to know what the benefit of a $100,000 liberal arts education is, it's the fact that I can show off that I know his name is pronounced Gerta.)   Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to t...

  • Old Fashioned Christmas Decorating Made New

    Posted November 13, 2014 by TDS Review

    Remember paper chains and cutout angels? Popcorn balls in a big bowl and candy canes hanging on the tree... these are decorations from days gone by, when most people made do with what they had and didn't have to go out and buy new decorating themes for each holiday.   Those things might seem ...

  • How to Start an Envelope System and Budget With Cash

    Posted November 13, 2014 by Jason Cabler

    Starting an envelope system along with a consistent monthly budget is absolutely the best way to operate your finances, period.  If you consistently have trouble knowing where all your money goes, and having the discipline to keep from spending too much, then using an envelope system (along w...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 11/13/2014

    Posted November 13, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Farshtinkiner Planned Obsolescence

    Posted November 11, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Or, An Easy Way to Tell If One's Husband Has Seamlessly Transitioned Into a Genially Grumpy Dad Type.   Here at Chez Mensch, we believe in an equal distribution of labor. J handles outside stuff (which includes cars, yard work, and anything difficult involving a ladder) dog stuff, floor clean...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 11/10/2014

    Posted November 10, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Make Online Shopping Easier and Cheaper

    Posted November 7, 2014 by TDS Review

    If you're a wise shopper, you can shop some awesome deals at Amazon and make this Christmas a lot less expensive!   Shopping of any kind, even at the best prices, can still be stressful, though, so how about a little help? Enter: Amazon's "memory." Amazon keeps track of your orders from year ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Contentment Is My Currency

    Posted November 7, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    I have recently been thinking about my money philosophy. As I've mentioned before, money has never been a major worry for me. This is partially because I grew up with the lesson that a problem that could be solved with money isn't really a problem. That lesson helped me to recognize that there are...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Semi-Frightening Retirement Statistics

    Posted November 6, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    "Connected to the Internet? But where are the series of tubes attached?"   If you'd like to be bummed out, there are three types of individuals you ought to talk to: 1. Morticians 2. Virologists 3. Retirement experts These three groups are a hoot to have at a cocktail party, let me tell...

  • Congratulations to October's Pinner of the Month!

    Posted November 5, 2014 by TDSPaige

    Congratulations to October's Pinner of the Month - Jessica Q.! Jessica pinned our article on Saving at Bakery Outlet Stores. As our Pinner of the Month, she wins a $10.00 Amazon gift card! She has some wonderful and informative Pinterest boards, including some beautiful pins on canning as well as cr...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 11/5/2014

    Posted November 5, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 11/3/2014

    Posted November 3, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: A Halloween/Blogoversary Retrospective

    Posted October 31, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Image courtesy of Justin Cozart Happy Halloween!   Not only is today one of my favorite holidays of the year, but it is also my blogoversary. Three years ago today, I wrote my very first Live Like a Mensch post. The one that started it all.   I thought I would take a minute and think...

  • For Safety's Sake

    Posted October 30, 2014 by TDS Review

    It used to be that identity theft meant that thieves got into your trash and found your bank statement. Paper shredders became popular, then shredders that cut both ways came on the scene.   That doesn't seem to help much any more.   If you're online, you're at risk for the malicious u...

  • Live Like a Mensch: 4 Clutter Free and Cheap Gift Ideas

    Posted October 29, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    I am already thinking ahead about gifts for Hannukah. This is in part because since LO's birthday in late August, the child has been asking if any and every box that comes into our house is a present for him.   But I am also thinking ahead about Hannukah because I want do two things this year...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 10/29/2014

    Posted October 29, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 10/27/2014

    Posted October 27, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Broke for Christmas!

    Posted October 24, 2014 by TDS Review

    Okay, so it's still a few days until Christmas but it's past time to start thinking about it, especially if you're watching your money. You may not be completely broke, but it isn't quite Christmas yet, either, so it's early enough to make some plans and put them into action so that you can have a g...

  • Living Paycheck to Paycheck? How You Can Get Ahead (Part 2)

    Posted October 23, 2014 by Jason Cabler

        In the first " Living Paycheck to Paycheck?- How to Get Ahead " article in the series, I showed you eight things that may be causing you to live from paycheck to paycheck. In this second part of the series, I'll show you some of the things you can do in order to sto...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Minimalism vs. Frugality

    Posted October 22, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Image courtesy of Swaminathan   I recently decided to embrace a little more minimalism in my life.   This is something I come to about once a year, I believe, but this time I mean it! (How many times have you heard that?) I have realized that the true secret to organization is to hav...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 10/22/2014

    Posted October 22, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 10/20/2014

    Posted October 20, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 10/17/2014

    Posted October 17, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Cheaper Restaurant Meals

    Posted October 16, 2014 by TDS Review

    There are good reasons to eat out now and then. Celebrating a special day, on vacation or for any other reason, you can eat out and curb the cost of those restaurant meals.   If you intend to ask for discounts, do it before you order, not after. You may have to order a certain meal to get it....

  • Live Like a Mensch: 10 Things to Do Today to Save on Christmas/

    Posted October 16, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    "But Santa, it's not even Halloween yet!" "Hush, child. It's Christmas when the retailers say it's Christmas!"     Okay, as much as I seriously lament the annexing of first Thanksgiving, and now Halloween, for the great red-suited one (and seriously, do we need to ALREADY have Christ...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 10/16/2014

    Posted October 16, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings!   Earn FREE Money Every Shopping Trip With Checkout 51 Checkout 51 offers cashback when you buy specific items at ANY store. This app is great because unlike iBotta a smartphone is not needed. You have the option to upload your receipt using your comp...

  • Live Like a Mensch: The Power of Outwitting Yourself

    Posted October 15, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Image source   Over the years, I have very slowly come to a profound realization about organization:   Those who appear to be born organized are not any smarter/more mindful/better at juggling than the average bear. No, the born organized are just better at one single activity: Outwitt...

  • Living Paycheck to Paycheck? How You Can Get Ahead

    Posted October 14, 2014 by Jason Cabler

    Studies have shown that more than two thirds of people are living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time. That's a pretty stunning statistic. Keeping your head above water financially seems to be getting harder and harder every year, and there are a variety of reasons why that's ...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 10/13/2014

    Posted October 13, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: On Not Caring What Others Think

    Posted October 10, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    The face of someone who *seriously* doesn't care.   I have to admit to something that I'm not proud of:   I am susceptible to the peer pressure to spend.   Now, that doesn't mean that I buy name brand items to impress people I don't even like. That seems like a good strategy t...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 10/10/2014

    Posted October 10, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Dispose of the Disposables

    Posted October 9, 2014 by TDS Review

    Why do people buy things to throw away? Is it because they can't generate enough trash otherwise? Or is it because they have some extreme sense of cleanliness? I can think of another couple of possibilities, but I don't want to offend anyone!   So let's get specific. Why do YOU buy disposable...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 10/8/14

    Posted October 8, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: The Importance of Knowing What You Want

    Posted October 7, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    My mom, the Grandmensch, is visiting. This, of course, means that we took an afternoon on Sunday to make a pilgrimage to our favorite place--The Container Store. (Which J refers to as "The Store That Must Not Be Named." Seriously, the man breaks out in hives if I just mention the word "Container.") ...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 10/6/2014

    Posted October 6, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • 18 Ways to Simplify Your Life and Spend Less

    Posted October 3, 2014 by Jason Cabler

    Have the demands of your life and finances become overwhelming?  It’s a problem that most of us face at one time or another.  The quickening pace of modern society can easily overtake your time, your money, and ultimately your happiness if you let them. If you’ve gotten to t...

  • How To Stay Warm When It's Cold Out

    Posted October 2, 2014 by TDS Review

    When it's cold outside (and it's coming, for most of us!) is not the time to try to make your home more "energy efficient." That's a buzzword that's popular now, but the truth is that being energy efficient means that you're more comfortable for less money and that's a worthy goal!   You've p...

  • Live Like a Mensch: 3 Ways to Talk to Your Spouse About Retirem

    Posted October 2, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Pictured: a couple about to have a wild and crazy night talking about 401(k)s and compound interest   It has been my experience that the marriage money model that J and I follow is a fairly common one: namely, there is one person who is either a money nerd or less squicked by the idea of thin...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 10/1/2014

    Posted October 1, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the NEW Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the up...

  • Live Like a Mensch: The Joy of Tracking My Expenses

    Posted September 30, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Image source     In a fit of irony, I recently decided to indulge one of my gazingus pin habits by purchasing the above budget tracker so that I could fulfill one of the important steps of the Your Money or Your Life process: tracking our expenses.   J looked askance at me when...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 9/29/2014

    Posted September 29, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 9/26/2014

    Posted September 26, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: A Problem That Can Be Solved With Money…

    Posted September 24, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    One of the pieces of wisdom that was passed down to me from my mother’s family was the following statement:   A problem that can be solved with money isn’t really a problem.   Growing up, I understood this to mean that money should never be the impediment to any particula...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 9/24/2014

    Posted September 24, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: The Away-From-Home Spending Phenomenon

    Posted September 22, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    (The only family friendly photo of Bourbon Street that I could find on Wikipedia courtesy of Infrogmation.)   I have just returned from the fourth annual Financial Blogger conference, familiarly known as FinCon, which this year was held in New Orleans. In getting prepared for the four-day co...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 9/22/2014

    Posted September 22, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. You can get (2) prints of each coupon per computer, so go ahead and print the ones you think you’ll use! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the...

  • Frugal Laundry

    Posted September 19, 2014 by TDS Review

    For Mothers' Day a few years ago, my daughter bought me a scrub board. Does she know me, or what? I have often done laundry by hand just for the fun of it (and to save a few pennies). I bought a wringer washer from my brother-in-law that is used regularly. It saves a lot of water, electricity and de...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 9/17/2014

    Posted September 17, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $2.00 off Dunkin' Donuts coffee & coffee creamer...

  • Live Like a Mensch: What Goes Into Being Good with Money?

    Posted September 16, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

      Because J and I have our fingers firmly on the pulse of the most current pop culture, we recently watched the film 21 Jump Street.   Early in the film, Ice Cube's character--the angry police captain in charge of the ridiculous high school sting operation--is judging Jonah Hill and C...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 9/15/2014

    Posted September 15, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $1.00 off ONE ZzzQuil™ product $1.00 off ...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 9/12/2014

    Posted September 12, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $2.00 off two Starbucks Packaged Coffee products...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Unnecessary Purchases

    Posted September 12, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Ridiculously adorable photo courtesy of sawamur   I recently read this article on Wise Bread detailing 13 dumb purchases you need to stop making.   While it does include some of my least favorite personal finance advice--basically, yet another iteration of the Latte Factor, which I bel...

  • Time to Gather Firewood

    Posted September 12, 2014 by TDS Review

    Long ago and far away (not really) we heated our house with wood. Since we lived on the prairie, we had to buy wood for the most part, but we supplemented that with bartering and with free wood.   One way we got it free was to offer a corner of our back lot to a tree trimming service. These s...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 9/10/2014

    Posted September 10, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $1.00 off any ONE (1) Newman's Own Frozen Pizza ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: The Five Hour Hot Dog

    Posted September 8, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    This past Saturday, J stood in line for over five hours for a hot dog.   Now, before you decide that he's crazy, let me assure that he is.   Here's how it happened: J and a friend of his have had a somewhat stressful summer. They decided to plan a fun trip to Chicago, where they'd ha...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 9/8/2014

    Posted September 8, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $0.55 off ANY ONE (1) STATE FAIR Corn Dog Produc...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS Checkout 51 Offers 9/5/2014

    Posted September 5, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings Checkout 51 Offers!   Earn FREE Money Every Shopping Trip With Checkout 51 Checkout 51 offers cashback when you buy specific items at ANY store. This app is great because unlike iBotta a smartphone is not needed. You have the option to upload your rece...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 9/5/2014

    Posted September 5, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $1.00 off 2 Kellogg's Nutri-Grain/Special K Bars...

  • Autumn and Any Time Fun and Savings

    Posted September 4, 2014 by TDS Review

    Autumn fun around here means a trip to the local pumpkin patch. There are several here, but our favorite always has a huge display of pumpkins on square bales of hay. Off to the side are huge bins of gourds, brightly colored decorative corn and winter squashes of various kinds.    It's g...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Getting Rid of 27 Things a Week

    Posted September 4, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Photo courtesy of Dwight Burdette   J and I moved into our current home almost exactly two weeks before LO was born.   I do not recommend this.   When my mom and sister came to meet newborn LO and help out around the house, the majority of what they did to help was unpack and pu...

  • My Top 5 Budgeting Apps

    Posted September 4, 2014 by Jason Cabler

    If you’ve been following Celebrating Financial Freedom for very long, you know I’m a huge fan of budgeting.  I truly believe it’s very hard to succeed financially without doing a consistent monthly budget that gives every dollar a name and keeps you from spend...

  • Live Like a Mensch: No Gift Birthday Parties

    Posted September 2, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Sunday was LO's 4th birthday. (The picture above was from his third.)   We had a lovely day celebrating with him and his best friend from school. We had that young man and his family over for lunch, and we all walked to the custard stand on the other side of the park for LO's birthday treat...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 9/2/2014

    Posted September 2, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $1.00 off (1) Minute Maid Juice Box 10-pk $1.00...

  • Gourmet Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix (Secret Ingredients Exposed!

    Posted August 30, 2014 by TDS Review

    I generally don't make or keep mixes on hand. For me, it's just as easy to start something from scratch when I want it as it is to find storage space for the mixes I would have sto start from scratch anyway. However... there is something to be said for the convenience of having a mix on hand, especi...

  • TDS Recommends...DIY Mason Jar Lanterns!

    Posted August 28, 2014 by TDSPaige

    If you've been looking for a late summer, early fall crafting project, perfect  for outdoor star gazing or meals on the back porch, this post is for you! We've found a great post from fellow bloggers over at The Happy Housewife on how to make your own mason jar lanterns. The post explains all t...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Freezing Out the Ice Bucket Challenge

    Posted August 27, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Image courtesy of Rauglothgor   Unless you have been spending your summer under a cozy rock, you have no doubt by now heard of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge that has swept the Interwebs, the Twitterverse, the Blogosphere, and other humorous-sounding names for social media.   The ice buc...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS: What to Buy or Not to Buy in September

    Posted August 27, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Sooner or later just about everything goes on sale. Knowing when items are at their lowest prices and buying them before you need them is a shopping technique that can save you hundreds of dollars every year on all kinds of items from groceries to gifts! The month of September brings summer to an e...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 8/27/2014

    Posted August 27, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $1.00 off any 2 Gerber Graduates Lil' Whoos $1....

  • TDS Recommends...5 Winter Preparation Tasks

    Posted August 26, 2014 by TDSPaige

    As summer winds down and fall is slowly approaching, you might be thinking about getting ready for the upcoming winter season. If so, we've got a great post for you from fellow bloggers over at Southern Girl Ramblings on 5 tasks you might consider doing before the cold winter weather sets in. We lo...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 8/25/2014

    Posted August 25, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $0.50 On ONE (1) package of any Rhodes Bake-N-Se...

  • How to Cheat at Refrigerator Pickles

    Posted August 23, 2014 by TDS Review

    If you eat pickles from the store, here's the easiest, cheapest way possible to make a good jar of pickles. They will be crisp and taste just like your favorite pickles.   First, you must save the liquid from your store bought pickles. When you have emptied a jar of pickles and have some cucu...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Tomorrow is Today

    Posted August 22, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Image of your past courtesy of vastateparkstaff   I may have mentioned before that one of my guilty pleasures is reading the various funny and informative articles on Cracked.com. I have also recently discovered the joy that is their podcasts. They are all about one hour long, which makes the...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 8/22/2014

    Posted August 22, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that have just posted. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $1.00 off one Ore-Ida Frozen Potato Product $0....

  • TDS Recommends...Considering Solar Power Options

    Posted August 21, 2014 by TDSPaige

    If you've ever considered installing solar power at your house, but you don't know much about your options, we've found the post for you! Fellow bloggers over at Urban Survival Resources have detailed three different options for residential solar power - from grid-connected units to units that are c...

  • Live Like a Mensch: The $40 Graham Cracker

    Posted August 20, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Back in May, I started a no-sweets challenge for myself in order to combat my rational addiction to all that is chocolatey and delicious. As the Dude might say, there have been strikes and gutters in the process.   One particular hiccup occurred when I discovered that graham crackers dipped i...

  • TDS Recommends...Ideas for Newborn Photography

    Posted August 19, 2014 by TDSPaige

    Newborn babies are adorable, and the time that they are small passes very quickly! Many of us want professional pictures to capture each moment, but professional photography can be very expensive! We found a great list of photography tips and ideas from fellow bloggers over at Trendy Mom Reviews tha...

  • Live Like a Mensch: A Review of The Teen Money Manual by Kara M

    Posted August 18, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

      Though LO still refers to multiple coins as "moneys" and BB has yet to prove himself trustworthy in the presence of coins--I have rescued several errant and slobbery nickels from his mouth--I am still always on the lookout for good finance books geared towards kids.   And this is mo...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 8/18/2014

    Posted August 18, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that posted this week. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $0.55 off (1) Hi-C Drink Box 10-pk, any variety $...

  • Live Like a Mensch: I'm Featured in Woman's World Magazine

    Posted August 14, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    I can finally share some good news with you! I am featured in the August 25th issue of Woman's World Magazine, which arrives on newsstands today. Image source The magazine invited me to provide some retirement advice for the weekly "Ask America's Ultimate Experts" column. Please do pick up a copy ...

  • Win the Closet Storage War

    Posted August 14, 2014 by TDS Review

    It seems as if we're all inundated with "stuff," doesn't it? It all seems important, at least it did at one time, so it's hard to let go of it. We store it instead, in cardboard boxes, in plastic containers, in shelves and drawers and corners and wherever else we can find a little space. Our closet...

  • TDS Recommends...Stocking up on Beach Towels at Clearance Price

    Posted August 14, 2014 by TDSPaige

    On your last shopping trip, you may have seen end of summer beach towel clearance deals beginning to pop up on store shelves. If you've been considering stocking up on these seasonal items after seeing some of these deals, then this is the post for you! Fellow blogger Maggie over at Squarepennies ha...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS Checkout 51 offers 8/14/2014

    Posted August 14, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Checkout51 Savvy Savings!   Earn FREE Money Every Shopping Trip With Checkout 51 There is a brand new FREE savings app out similar to iBotta! Checkout 51 offers cashback when you buy specific items at ANY store. This app is great because unlike iBotta a smartphone i...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 8/14/2014

    Posted August 14, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that posted this week. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $1.00 off one Ore-Ida Frozen Potato Product $0....

  • 5 Budgeting Excuses and How You Can Overcome Them

    Posted August 13, 2014 by Jason Cabler

    Making a monthly budget for your money before you spend it is a habit I’ve been recommending for years, and I’ll keep recommending it until everybody gets it. In today’s post, I’ll cover the most common excuses for not budgeting, and how to overcome them.  I'll also g...

  • TDS Recommends...Picking Out Expensive, Secondhand Furniture

    Posted August 12, 2014 by TDSPaige

    Here at TDS Recommends, we love thrift store shopping. Clothes, furniture pieces...you can pick up some great items secondhand if you are at the right place at the right time. So when we found this great post from fellow bloggers over at Frugal Rules about How to Spot Expensive Furniture at Thrift ...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 8/11/2014

    Posted August 11, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that posted this week. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $4.00 off Non-Drowsy Claritin-D 15ct or larger ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: The Best Things in Life Are Free

    Posted August 8, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    And no, I'm not talking about love, friendship, sunshine, a baby's laughter, or even a really funny Internet meme.   I'm talking about actual material stuff. For free.   Like, for example, my immersion blender: Image courtesy of Fluous   I wanted an immersion blender of my...

  • Cheap Decorating Tips

    Posted August 8, 2014 by TDS Review

    We all want our homes to look nice, but we don't all have money to spend on them! A few cheap tips and tricks can certainly help your home look and function better without spending much money (if any!).   1. Bulletin boards for family rooms, offices or kitchens can hold photos, seasonal pictu...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS Checkout 51 offers 8/8/14

    Posted August 8, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings with Checkout 51!   Earn FREE Money Every Shopping Trip With Checkout 51 There is a brand new FREE savings app out similar to iBotta! Checkout 51 offers cashback when you buy specific items at ANY store. This app is great because unlike iBotta a smartp...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 8/8/2014

    Posted August 8, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that posted this week. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $1.00 off ONE (1) 6-pack any flavor Hawaiian Pun...

  • TDS Recommends...Retirement Options for Boomers

    Posted August 7, 2014 by TDSPaige

    If you're considering your retirement options, and you don't know where to start, we've got a great list to get you thinking! Fellow bloggers over at Personal Income have a great list of ideas to get you thinking about retirement options. From IRAs to rental properies, the article has some great re...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Handling Grocery Store Returns

    Posted August 7, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Last week, I had one of those frugality conundrums that appear to have no good answer.   On Monday, I bought a bag of potatoes for the crock pot roast* I was planning on making on Friday. When I opened said potatoes on Friday, I was met with the funk of 40,000 years .   Clearly, not ...

  • 21 Things You Can Do Today to Set Up Your Finances For Massive

    Posted August 5, 2014 by Jason Cabler

    You can read all the personal finance blogs and books ever produced to learn to be successful with finances.  But none of it really means anything until you use that knowledge to take action in your financial situation. To set yourself up for financial success, you have to focus your ef...

  • TDS Recommends...Back to School Clothes Shopping Tips!

    Posted August 5, 2014 by TDSPaige

    Just in time for back to school shopping, we found a fantastic post on how to get great clothing for kids at great prices.  Fellow bloggers over at Making Lemonade have some great tips for scoring awesome deals on kids clothing. From consignment sales, to the best retail prices for deals, Maki...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 8/4/2014

    Posted August 4, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that came out Aug 1. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $1.00 off any four Old Orchard frozen concentrates ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Changing Our Behavior

    Posted August 1, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    This past weekend, J and I and the menschlings were visiting friends when we noticed that they had gotten a Roomba.   Intrigued, we asked about it.   "It was my birthday present," the wife told us. "It's been life changing."   J and I simply looked at each other. The fact that...

  • TDS Recommends...How Grandparents can help school aged kids

    Posted July 31, 2014 by TDSPaige

    As we say goodbye to July, August means continuing summer temperatures and, for many of us, kids returning back to school.  But as students and parents begin getting ready for school, is there a role for grandparents too? If your grandkids are getting ready to head back to school this fall, we'...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 7/30/2014

    Posted July 30, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are all the new Printable Coupons that popped up overnight. Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $1.00 off four (4) Gerber 2nd Foods 2-Pack Tu...

  • TDS Recommends...An Inexpensive (and Easy) Homemade Dip Recipe

    Posted July 29, 2014 by TDSPaige

    If you're planning a backyard barbeque, a summer shower, or you just want to munch on some veggies and dip, we found a delicious looking recipe from our friends over at Frugal and Fun Mom.   She has created a wonderful dip with Bacon and Onions that is pefect for dipping veggies for a snack or...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Can You Trust Those Unit Prices?

    Posted July 29, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    This past Saturday morning, I stopped by our local Marsh store on the way home from the gym to pick up some salad fixings for a potluck we were going to that afternoon.   As I've mentioned before, I ususally do my shopping at Target. One thing that Target does not do that I wish it would is p...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 7/27/2014

    Posted July 27, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are some of the latest coupons! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! 0.55 off Horizon Snack Crackers or Grahams $1.00 off one Florida's Natur...

  • The High(er) Cost of Food

    Posted July 25, 2014 by TDS Review

    If you have so much as bought a candy bar or a gallon of milk, you know that food prices are rising. Since they're not included in inflation indices, those prices "don't count" in your budget, at least according to government calculations.   We know better, though. Food prices do count as a p...

  • Live Like a Mensch: How Much Leisure Time Is Just Right?

    Posted July 24, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    In the book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, there is a week wherein the girls' mother allows all four sisters to give up their chores and do nothing productive for several days. The girls each choose a different "slothful" activity, but Jo's decision to sit in a tree and read all day was the pa...

  • TDS Recommends...Reassessing How You Might Be Wasting Your Mone

    Posted July 24, 2014 by TDSPaige

    Bills, chores, and schedules are all part of everyday life. But you may want to look closely at some parts of your routines to make sure you aren't inadvertantly wasting money.  We found a great post from fellow bloggers over at Queen of Free on 7 Ways You Might be Wasting Money. From reviewi...

  • Savvy Savings Sneak Peek of Checkout 51 offers for 7/24/2014

    Posted July 22, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here is a sneak peek of the Checkout 51 offers starting 7/24/2014!   Earn FREE Money Every Shopping Trip With Checkout 51 There is a brand new FREE savings app out similar to iBotta! Checkout 51 offers cashback when you buy specific items at ANY store. This app is great because unlike...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 7/22/2014

    Posted July 22, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are some of the latest coupons! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $1.00 off 3 Kellogg's Pop-Tarts toaster pastries $1.00 off two DINTY MOO...

  • TDS Recommends...Reconsidering High Thread Count Sheets

    Posted July 22, 2014 by TDSPaige

    Considering updating your bedroom decor? From new paint to new sheets, interior upgrades can start to add up. So when we found this great post from Len Penzo on why purchasing high thread count sheets might be a waste of money, we had to share it. Just recently, I actually also went shopping for new...

  • Live Like a Mensch: What's Your Gazingus Pin?

    Posted July 21, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    As I mentioned earlier, J and I recently listened to the audiobook version of Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez.   In a move that you will momentarily see as ironic, I went out and bought the paperback version of the book two days after we got home from our road trip. A...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 7/20/2014

    Posted July 20, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are the latest coupons! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $1.00 off one Florida's Natural Citrus Smoothies $0.75 off 3 Chicken of the Sea ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: When Customer Service is All About Sales

    Posted July 18, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Image courtesy of Dave Winer   By now, you have no doubt heard the viral phone call from Hades between tech writer Ryan Block and an unnamed Comcast retention specialist who refused to take "I'd like to cancel my account" for an answer.   Now, I'm no stranger to the annoyances (and rag...

  • Homemade Bread

    Posted July 17, 2014 by TDS Review

    Home made bread brings up visions for me of Mom kneading bread on the big old wooden table in the warm kitchen. Snow would be falling where we could see it through the long, narrow windows and there would be a pot of beans on the old wood cookstove. I can smell it now!   That description migh...

  • TDS Recommends...Paying for College without Student Loans

    Posted July 17, 2014 by TDSPaige

    Wow! When I read this post, I couldn't help but think about the upcoming school year. Many students may be graduating this year, and as part of their graduation planning, they are beginning to look at college applications and financial aid options. Fellow bloggers over at Color Me Frugal have an am...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 7/16/2014

    Posted July 16, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Here are the latest coupons! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $1.50 off ONE (1) Starbucks VIA Instant Beverage $1.00 off any 2 Keebler™ ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: I Might Just Start Throwing Crockery Around

    Posted July 16, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    A little over six years ago, J and I were in the midst of planning our nuptials when we got into our first argument.   (I'm lying of course. We'll just say it was our first crockery-based argument. Possibly our only crockery-based argument, but I wouldn't put it past us to have had others tha...

  • TDS Recommends ... DIY Bathroom Upgrades

    Posted July 15, 2014 by TDSPaige

    If you've been considering some home improvement updgrades this summer, and the bathroom is on your to-do list, we've found the perfect post for you! Fellow bloggers over at Young Adult Money have a fantastic post on how to upgrade your bathroom with some great DIY projects.  From putting down...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 7/14/14

    Posted July 14, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Happy Monday! Here are the latest coupons!This is a RedPlum Round-up! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $0.50 OFF on any ONE (1) LUIGI'S® produ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Romancing the Budget

    Posted July 11, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    A friend recently told me that she and her husband went over their household budget together to reflect his recent raise. She was excited to be able to increase various budget categories and make plans. He was miserable even talking about the budget. "Ugh. Budgets are no fun," was his reaction. &...

  • Free Plants and Landscaping

    Posted July 11, 2014 by TDS Review

    We used to live on a rural road where we were left to our own devices when it came to controlling weeds and trash along it. The neighboring farmer had a small tractor with a belly mower and he would come along now and then and mow down the weeds all along the road. It wasn't a regular occurrence, bu...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 7/11/2014

    Posted July 11, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! TGIF! Here are the latest coupons! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. You are able to print two per computer! $1.00 off any two International Delight $1.00 off Planters Nutrition product ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Accepting the Frugality Trade-Off

    Posted July 10, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    On our way home from our Michigan trip, J and I and the boys listened to Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin (and the late Joe Dominguez.)   I listened to this audiobook once before and thought that J might also enjoy it. (The kids were not so impressed.) Basically, Robin and Dominguez had...

  • 13 Ways To Save Money On A Low Income

    Posted July 10, 2014 by Jason Cabler

    I get a lot of questions from readers wanting to know how they can save money on a low income, so I thought I would write a post about some of the suggestions I’ve been giving out that can help you put money in the bank, even when you’re living on a limited income.  I’ve als...

  • TDS Recommends...Budget Friendly Upgrades for Outdoor Spaces

    Posted July 10, 2014 by TDSPaige

    Summer is the perfect time for entertaining outdoors. Even if a party is out of your budget, having dinner outside when the weather is nice can be a great way to wind down the day. In fact, fellow bloggers over at Squarepennies have put together a fantastic budget-friendly list of ways to create t...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS Back to School Deals 7/9/14

    Posted July 9, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are some great Back to School Deals! Crayola Sixth through Eighth Grade Supply Pack- $27.99 **Remember Amazon Changes their prices often. Deals go fast** Paper Mate 70501 Pink Pearl Premium Erasers, Large, 3-Pack- $1.99 Elmer's Disappearing Purple School Glue Sticks, 0...

  • TDS Recommends...Frugal Summer Fun for Kids

    Posted July 8, 2014 by TDSPaige

    If summer camps are out of your budget, and you're brainstorming ideas for kid-friendly activities that don't cost a fortune, we've found a wonderful list for you! Fellow bloggers over at Family Focus Blog have come up with some fantastic ideas to keep kids entertained during summer months, and most...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 7/7/2014

    Posted July 7, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Happy Monday! Here are the latest coupons! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. $1.00 off (5) Yoplait Greek or Greek 100 yogurt $1.00 off Planters Nutrition product $2.500 off any (2) Zone...

  • Get the Most from Garage Sales NOW

    Posted July 5, 2014 by TDS Review

    Yard sales are in full swing here. Every weekend, the paper is filled with ads promising everything from craft supplies to baby items and from furniture to car tires. Whatever you're in the market for, a yard sale is bound to have it. I always keep my eyes open for a few things, like unique Santa s...

  • Live Like a Mensch: The Importance of Having a Hobby in Retirem

    Posted July 3, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    The Mensch family is currently on vacation.   Because we're us, we started our annual family vacation in sunny Detroit.   Really.   (The decision for this vacation destination stems from the news last year that Detriot was bankrupt and considering selling off the artwork at th...

  • TDS Recommends...Considering a Manual Lawnmower

    Posted July 3, 2014 by TDSPaige

    As the sun shines and the summer rain pours, the grass grows. In many parts of the country, during the summer, many of us are cutting the grass once a week. So have you ever considered using a manual lawnmower, rather than a gas one? We found a really great article from fellow bloggers over at The A...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 7/2/2014

    Posted July 1, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! July Coupons were just loaded! Remember these will reach their print limit FAST! So print them now and save them for the upcoming sales. $1.00 off (5) Yoplait Greek or Greek 100 yogurt $1.00 off Planters Nutrition product $2.500 off any (2) ZonePerfect box...

  • TDS Recommends...4th of July Recipes for your weekend menu!

    Posted July 1, 2014 by TDSPaige

    This Friday we celebrate the 4th of July! And you might already be planning a menu chock-full of barbeque, sides, and yummy desserts. But if your stuck thinking of what to make, with no plans in place, we found an excellent list from fellow bloggers over at Brown Eyed Baker of 120 fantastic Fourth o...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 6/30/2014

    Posted June 30, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Print these NOW!! These will reach print limit very fast. $1.00 off (1) Box Cascadian Farm Granola $1.00 off Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal $2.00 off ONE Tide OXI Multi-Purpose Stain Remover $3.00 off TWO (2) NEW OxiClean™ Laundry Detergents" $1.00 off o...

  • Summertime!

    Posted June 27, 2014 by TDS Review

    We're past the official summer mark now and the weather and celebrations prove it. Summertime brings hot weather, a need for cooling drinks and activities and the desire for vacations, either short or long. Yard sales, backyard BBQs and day trips to the beach or mountains beckon us irresistably. I...

  • TDS Recommends...Better Childcare Budgeting

    Posted June 26, 2014 by TDSPaige

    When it comes to childcare, many families are finding themselves ill-prepared for this often necessary expense. In fact, Care.com just conducted a recent survey and found that childcare, in homes with young children, is the family's biggest expense...an even bigger expense than food and housing! Car...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Work Expands to the Time Allotted

    Posted June 26, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    My mother always told me that housework expands to the time allotted. Which means that planning for the dishes to take an hour to clean will ensure that they do.   It wasn't until I went looking that I discovered this principle was first coined by a man with the 50-cent name of Cyril Northc...

  • 6/25/2014 Savvy Savings at TDS

    Posted June 25, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! New coupons added! Hurry check them out and get them printed! $1.00 off (1) Box Cascadian Farm Granola $1.00 off Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal $1.50 off Pampers Splashers Swim Pant $1.50 off Pampers Cruiser Diapers $1.00 off Any Boudreaux's Butt Paste Product ...

  • Live Like a Mensch: A Lesson in Sunk Costs

    Posted June 24, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    About once a month, our local YMCA (where BB also goes for day care) offers a Parents' Night Out. For the low low price of $8 per kid, the Y offers on-site childcare from 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. on a Friday night, which includes pizza, a movie, games, and a general good time had by all. The parents...

  • TDS Recommends...a Patriotic Dessert for Fourth of July Fun

    Posted June 24, 2014 by TDSPaige

    Summer is here, and Fourth of July is fast approaching. You might be looking forward to holiday festivities and possibly even planning a BBQ menu or potluck. If so, we found a great dessert idea perfect for celebrating the red, white, and blue! Fellow bloggers over at Chic n Savvy Reviews put togeth...

  • 6/23/2014 Savvy Savings at TDS

    Posted June 23, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! New coupons added! Hurry check them out! Also, check out the game coupons! This is a great way to stock up on FUN for Family Game Night!! $1.00 off (2)Hungry-Man Dinner $0.55 off Forida Crystals $1.00 off (2) Heinz 57 Sauces $1.50 off (2) Oral-B Manual To...

  • Two Sides to the Coin

    Posted June 22, 2014 by TDS Review

    Saving money, making money. Those are two sides to the coin, and both are important. I write mostly about saving money, because it doesn't matter how much you make, if you have no control over where it goes, it does you no good.    Others write about making it. That's good, because if yo...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Becoming a Minimalist

    Posted June 20, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

    Despite the fact that my house currently looks something like this: I am steadfast in my resolve to become more of a minimalist. At some point in my life, I would like to feel more like I own my stuff, rather than it owning me.   To that end, I've been researching some minimalist suggestio...

  • 6/20/2014 Savvy Savings at TDS

    Posted June 20, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! New coupons added! Hurry check them out! Also, check out the game coupons! This is a great way to stock up on FUN for Family Game Night!! $1.50 off any 1 Starbucks VIA Instant Beverage $3.oo Two Starbucks K-cups Packs $1.00 off Australian Gold Products $3...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 6/19 Checkout 51 OFFERS

    Posted June 18, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

        Make sure you are following us on Facebook and Twitter!! I will be posting those flash savings offers!! Check out our Facebook Page and like us, and follow our Twitter Page.   I want to hear about your experience in getting these special offers! Did you combine cou...

  • 6/18/2014 Savvy Savings at TDS

    Posted June 18, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Just loaded! Hurry print yours and save them for the upcoming sales! $1.50 off any 1 Starbucks VIA Instant Beverage $3.oo Two Starbucks K-cups Packs $1.00 off Australian Gold Products $3.00 Milo's Kitchen home-style dog treats $2.00 off (2) Herbal Essence...

  • Live Like a Mensch: Why I'm No Longer Allowed On Amazon

    Posted June 17, 2014 by Emily Guy Birken

     Photo courtesy of Matthew Paul Argall   I am sorry to say that it has happened again. I went on an Amazon shopping spree when I completely lost my mind and started buying books willy-nilly simply because they sounded interesting.   The real problem with doing this is the fact tha...

  • 6/15/2014 Savvy Savings at TDS

    Posted June 15, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! Some of these will be out of print as of TODAY! Hurry print yours and save them for the upcoming sales! $1.00 off Newman's Own Frozen Pizza $1.00 off (2) Prego Italian $1.00 off one 12pk cans of Schweppes Ginger Ale $0.50 off any Lugigi's Product $2.00 of...

  • Good Used Cars

    Posted June 13, 2014 by Pat Veretto

    I paid $6,000 plus a trade in for a car a little over 14 years ago. It was used, of course, but that was a good price. I bought a Carfax report on it, which was one of the best $25 dollar investments I've ever made. It had two previous owners and came to this area from a few states over. No accident...

  • Ease College Loan Burden–Borrow Like a Pessimist

    Posted June 12, 2014 by Rick Kahler

    by Rick Kahler High school graduation is a time of optimism and possibilities. Commencement speakers all over the country urge graduates to follow their dreams and reach for the stars. But when it comes to funding the education you need to fulfill those dreams, you might be better off with a dose ...

  • TDS Recommends...Putting Your Dryer on Summer Vacation

    Posted June 12, 2014 by TDSPaige

    According to an article posted this morning on USA Today, people are wasting huge amounts of energy every year using inefficient dryers to dry clothes.  It costs many homes around $100 dollars per year to run an electric dryer, and there is much room for improving dryer energy efficiency. So w...

  • TDS Recommends...Fitness Apps to Stay in Shape on a Budget

    Posted June 12, 2014 by TDSPaige

    For many of us, the summer season is a great time for getting outdoors and enjoying activities. And if you are trying to stay in shape during summer, there are some great apps out there to help you keep track of fitness goals and stay in your budget too. Fellow bloggers over at The Dime Colorado hav...

  • A Family Sale

    Posted June 11, 2014 by Lori

      Have a Family Sale.   Recently, one of my retired friends mentioned a special offering to her new family. She and her new husband found they had a great amount of household goods. These included furniture, kitchen equipment, linens, rugs, wall hangings and many other objects often fo...

  • 6/11/2014 Savvy Savings at TDS

    Posted June 11, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! This weeks coupons were just loaded! Hurry print yours and save them for the upcoming sales! $1.00 off (2) boxes of Barrilla Plus Pasta $1.25 off (2) Nestle Nestum Cereals $1.00 off (2) P3 Portable Protein Packs $2.00 off (1) 4pack of Svelte organic $0.50...

  • TDS Recommends...Ways to Save Money on Your Bills

    Posted June 10, 2014 by TDSPaige

    If you're like us here at TDS Recommends, we are always on the lookout for ways to save on monthly expenses. So when we saw this list from fellow bloggers over at Bible Money Matters , we had to share it. This post gives some fantastic and unique suggestions for cutting monthly bill expenses in all...

  • 6/9/2014 Savvy Savings at TDS

    Posted June 8, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! June coupons were just loaded! Hurry print yours and save them for the upcoming sales! $1.00 off any Schar Gluten Free Product Buy one ZonePerfect bar, get one FREE $1.00 off (2) P3 Portable Protein Packs $2.00 off (1) 4pack of Svelte organic $1.00 off one ...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 6/8/14-Checkout 51 Offers

    Posted June 8, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

        You will want to make sure you are following us on Facebook and Twitter!! I will be posting those flash savings offers!! Check out our Facebook Page and like us, and follow our Twitter Page.   I want to hear about your experience in getting these special offers! Did ...

  • TDS Recommends...Tips for Your Telecommuting Resume

    Posted June 5, 2014 by TDSPaige

    Thinking of trying your hand at working from home? If so, you'll need to dust off your resume and tailor it towards telecommuting. This post from Not Now Mom's Busy details some useful tips for getting your resume ready to use for telecommuting and work-from-home positions. We really like the tip t...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 6/4/2014

    Posted June 4, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

                              Here are today's Savvy Savings!                     &nbs...

  • Summer Water Cents

    Posted June 4, 2014 by TDS Review

    Every year about this time, I start trying to save on the water bill. Here, where I live, in Colorado, lawns and gardens usually have to watered regularly because we don't normally get enough rain to keep them growing. Our water bills double and triple easily throughout a hot summer. This year isn'...

  • 5 Tips for Best Coast Living on a Budget

    Posted June 4, 2014 by TDS Guest Blogger

    by Emily Laurent Home to sandy beaches, world-famous sunsets, and beautiful people, the Pacific coast is a dream location for just about anyone. It's no wonder so many are drawn to the allure of life on the coast. But sustaining a healthy financial status there isn't always paradise. The living st...

  • 10 Ways to Prevent Identity Theft

    Posted June 3, 2014 by TDS Guest Bloggers

    by Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com There are always going to be people who try to steal your identity or credit cards. The key to protecting your critical financial and personal information is to be proactive in keeping them safe. While there are ways to limit your liability and stop identity f...

  • TDS Recommends...Ways to Make Extra Money This Summer

    Posted June 3, 2014 by TDSPaige

    Summer is here, and many of us might have a little extra time on our hands. If that's the case, why not use summer as an opportunity to make a little extra money to use towards paying down debt or increasing savings? This post from Sprout Wealth gives some great ideas for making extra money during...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 6/2/2014

    Posted June 2, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

      Here are today's Savvy Savings! June coupons were just loaded! Hurry print yours and save them for the upcoming sales! $1.00 off (1) Dole Dippers package $2.00 off One Secret Clinical Deordant $10.00 off Philips Sonicare Healthy White $1.50 off Colgate Total Toothpaste FREE Diabet...

  • Savvy Savings at TDS 5/30/2014

    Posted May 31, 2014 by Lisa Rudolph

    Here are today's Savvy Savings! These coupons were just added! $1.00 off (3) Kellogg's Cereal $2.00 off (2) Right Guard Extreme Deordorant $1.00 off (2) Portable Protien Packs $1.00 off Swiffer Refill $1.25 off Oxiclean Dishwasher Detergent Save on every grocery trip with Checkout 51 SA...

  • No Washing Machine?

    Posted May 30, 2014 by TDS Review

    I can remember a time (a long time ago!) when Mom used a washboard to wash all of the laundry. It was hard work, yes, but she did it. We kids would carry in enough water to fill the tubs and she would heat it on the wood burning stove. She scrubbed each piece, then wrung everything out by hand...

  • The Parenting Lesson That Never Ends

    Posted May 28, 2014 by TDS Guest Blogger

    by Stephanie Edwards “Do you know what I have been eating?” His face was bright; he rocked forward in anticipation. “What have you been eating,” I asked. “Eggs. Toast. Hash browns. I feel great,” he said. I was glad he felt great. At 21, budgeting and grocery sh...

  • Old Things Made New

    Posted April 24, 2014 by TDS Review

    When I was a kid growing up, we never had much money, but we always had everything we needed. We did not need to buy paper towels or margarine or vitamins or snacks. Paper towels were rags that were washed over and over. Margarine was homemade butter from the milk the cow gave. Vitamins came in the ...