Personal Finance Roundup: 50 Healthy Food Items for Under $1 Per Pound

Affordable healthy food optionsFinding food that is both healthy and affordable can be a big challenge, and one that can result in people buying the less healthy options purely because they might be cheaper. This great post on Wisebread lists a whole host of foods that can all be bought for $1 per pound or less, so you can be confident that you’re eating things that are good for you without spending a small fortune in the process. Check it out and see if you can find some options that suit your tastes and your budget!

Click to continue reading...

How To Save Money On Your 4th of July Party

budget 4th of July partiesHosting a 4th of July party is a great way to get your friends and family together for the celebration, but many people are put off by the potential costs. If you assume that you’d need to spend lots of money to throw an impressive party, think again. As long as you’re prepared to do a little more planning than you might otherwise have done, you can easily save across most areas without looking cheap or tacky. Here are some tips for hosting a 4th of July party that won’t hurt your budget too much and that will still be remembered for all of the right reasons:

Click to continue reading...

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Borrow From Your 401(k)

why you shouldn't borrow from your retirement savingsIf money problems arise and you don’t have savings to tap into, you might be tempted to withdraw from your 401(k) plan instead of using alternative options like credit cards or taking out a loan. Many people are of the mindset that because they’ve paid money into a 401(k), they’re perfectly entitled to take it out again as they see fit. In reality though, it doesn’t work like an extended savings account and shouldn’t be treated as such unless you want to run into problems. Here are some of the reasons why I’m not in favor of borrowing from your 401(k) unless there really is nothing else to fall back on:

Click to continue reading...

Online Prescriptions: Tips on Staying Safe

prescription medicationMy cat was recently diagnosed with kidney and thyroid problems and has been prescribed medication to control the symptoms or delay the inevitable. I was happy to pay the prices marked out by our local veterinary surgeon because I assumed that the costs would be much the same across the board. Last week, a friend casually mentioned that she was contemplating buying medication for her three cats online after stumbling across various websites that were selling the same medications as her veterinary surgeon, but for a much cheaper price. This got me thinking about buying prescription medication in general via the Internet, and how to know if you’re really getting such a good bargain in reality. What kind of things should you be keeping an eye out for if you’re looking for a reputable online pharmacy to buy prescription medication from?

Click to continue reading...

Personal Finance Roundup: Why Great Deals Don’t Automatically Equal Savings

saleI came across a post on the Money Ning blog that gave me some food for thought this week. I’m usually not one to turn down a bargain if I feel like I’d be getting a good deal, but their recent post on Are You REALLY Saving? 3 Ways You Could Be Overspending made me stop and think about whether that’s really the best move. Many of us make bulk buys or keep an eye out for sales so that we can save money on our purchases, but you may want to think twice after reading Miranda’s points about why you’re not necessarily getting the deal that you might assume.

Click to continue reading...

Why You Shouldn’t Take Out Payday Loans

payday loansWhen unexpected expenses come out of the blue and you’re not sure how best to pay, you may be tempted to take out a payday loan to get a hold of the money straight away and get the payment wrapped up. Here at Money Crashers, we are strongly against payday loans. If you’re not familiar with how they work, the basic idea is that you are temporarily loaned the money until your next payday. In most cases, you apply for the loan and are approved very quickly (often within one or two hours), and the money can usually be deposited into your bank account that same day. Sounds good, right? Think again. There are some pretty big downsides to payday loans that make them a very risky and unattractive prospect. Here are some of the reasons why we’re so set against payday loans:

Click to continue reading...

Throwing a Budget Baby Shower

cheaper baby showersIf you’re reading this post, there’s a pretty good chance that someone close to you has recently announced their pregnancy. Once the congratulations have been dished out, your thoughts might turn towards throwing a baby shower for the new mom. There is a common misconception that you have to spend a good deal of money to throw an enjoyable baby shower (or any type of party or celebration, for that matter) but this is simply not true. You can easily throw a great baby shower on a budget if you’re prepared to get creative, and here are some tips to help you do just that:

Click to continue reading...

LendingTree Review – Taking The Hassle Away From Loan Shopping

As you can probably tell from the name, LendingTree deals with loans. More specifically, it acts as a convenient way for consumers to find loan options. I’ve had some personal experiences using LendingTree and want to give you some insight into the service.

Both personal and commercial loans can be taken out through the website. LendingTree doesn’t deal with loan requests directly. Instead, it gathers together your information (both personal and financial) and passes it over to member banks, who will then send you their rates from which you can compare and choose. This makes things a lot easier for you if you’re looking for a loan since you don’t have to spend a boatload of time shopping around to compare quotes.

Click to continue reading...

Graduation Attire – What to Wear to a Graduation Ceremony (on a Budget)

graduationJudging from the comments on my recent post about going to a wedding for less, it seems that graduation ceremonies are definitely hitting people hard at this time of the year. I’ve opted to focus this post on the outfit side of things, because this can soon send the costs soaring. Academic dress can be a big expense, especially when you are unlikely to have any need for it afterwards. Here are some tips to get prepared for a high school graduation (but this post applies to other levels of graduation as well), particularly if money is tight:

Academic Dress

Click to continue reading...

How to Stop Expensive Friends Pushing You Into Debt

spending freezeAre friends with expensive tastes encouraging you to spend more than you want to? I have one particular friend who always insists on going to expensive restaurants while she’s visiting. Granted, she only visits once or twice a year and I do have plenty of time to adjust my budget in preparation, but it’s still money that I wouldn’t otherwise be spending. Being someone who likes to spend as little money as possible, I still come to begrudge the expense even though it’s not a regular occurrence. For some people reading this post, the situation will be much worse. Accepting such an invitation might even be the difference between being in the red and in the black. So, how do you tackle the problem without losing the friendship? Communicate, don’t make a scene, be assertive, and take charge of the plans!

Click to continue reading...