Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Money Saving Tips

Everywhere you look, there are things that you can re-use in order to save money (and lets face it the environment) I was just going through several of my old magazines and found all these great ideas.
1. Plastic bags that you get with your dry cleaner's, tie one end and it makes a perfect garbage bag.For that matter, all of those plastic bags you get at the stores, those are perfect for the small cans that you tend to keep in your bathroom and den. I use them for when I am throwing out food that smells but don't want to put them in my half empty kitchen garbage can.
2. Used coffee grounds are great as a fridge deodorizer leave them right in the filter and then it become great fertilizer.
3. Old Toothbrushes can be used and a mini scrub brushes for those tiny out of reach places.
4. While you are in the bathroom, old loofas are great to scrub the tub.

Al this stuff is already in your house, what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Big Picture

Simple question. What do you want. Do you want that morning latte, do you want HBO so you can watch Entourage? Do you want a new pair of Lucky Jeans. None of these are necessary bad things to want. Do you need them? No. But that doesn't make them wrong. And there's no reason not to have them as long as you no you can afford them without going into the credit card black hole debt. It's give and take. What do you need to give up so you can have more.

What do you want more? Starbucks 2 times a week at $8.00 a week? A $120 pair of jeans? $15.00 a month for HBO. Every person will have a different answer and everyone will have a different justification for their choice. $120 pair of jeans will last longer than 15 weeks of coffee. Having HBO will save money on movie rentals and movies. Starbucks is a cheap treat that is perfect for getting ready for a hard work day.

All reasons are perfectly acceptable and I don't believe that being frugal means depriving you of things that make your life more enjoyable. It's all about the big picture and what will bring you happiness in the long haul.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Credit History - yearly check up.

No better time to check you credit history than at the beginning of the year. All three credit bureaus will send you a free copy of your history once a year. If you do it at the beginning of every year, you will never have to remember when you last did. Yearly reports ensure that if there is a problem it hasn't existed for a long time so it will be easier to correct. It also helps to avoid any surprises when you are applying for a loan. As mentioned, there are three companies that keep tabs on your credit, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. All three companies may have different information and all three companies report to different creditors. That means you need to request all three reports and study all of them for blips. Easier than going to all three individually, check out Create a password and they will take you to all three credit companies. Be prepared, for security purposes, they are going to ask you a couple questions that they hope you will be able to answer. Multiple choice questions ranging from a street you lived on 10 years ago to the range of your monthly car payment. If you don't know the answers, you won't have immediate access to your report. They allow you to review your report online, download it for future reference and print it for your files.

If you don't want to do this online, call each bureau and and answer a few questions and they will mail it to you.
P. O. Box 9595, Allen, TX 75013-9595 Tel: 888-397-3742
P. O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241 Tel: 800-685-1111
Trans Union
P. O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022 Tel: 800-888-4213

Whatever you do, DON'T pay for your reports. You are entitled to a free report from every company 1. once a year, 2. if you were turned down for credit or 3. if you have had your identy stolen.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Always Ask! Can't save money if you don't Ask.

I learned a very important lesson this week. Well actually I always knew the lesson but I was reminded this week and that reminder saved me $450. One of the sensor lights went off on my Mini today. My heart sank when I looked it up in the manual and realized it was my brake pads.

Brake pads are expensive and gone are the days where I use to do it myself. I lived in SE Michigan, everyone knew how to change brake pads in the BIG 3 Territory. But to make it an even more bitter pill to swallow, I had brought my car in for a check up just 1000 miles ago just before my warranty ended. I had hoped that the service would catch anything then and the dealership would have to pay.

I called the dealership and told them that 1. my light went off, 2. why didn't they catch this when my warranty was expiring and 3. is there anything that can be done. After a very logical explanation from the manager on why he couldn't change pads before the sensor light went off, he followed up with the magic words, "As an act of good will, we will take care of this for you". Sigh as the $450 magically disappeared from my credit card statement.

If I didn't ask, I wouldn't have gotten it. This applies to possible late charges from credit cards, late fees from bills, bounce checks any thing that may or may not be your fault. If you
don't ask, you won't find out if they can waive the fee.

The easiest way to save money is to ask if you have to pay for it.

Asking may be a bit awkward but to save $450, I'll always ask.