Festival Of Frugality: Back to School Edition

high school lockersAs the Principal of the Festival Of Frugality School, I’ve elected to award one participant the Festival of Frugality Valedictorian Award.

As the Valedictorian, this student of finance and life has been well-liked by his fellow students and always brings his positive attitude with him wherever he goes. He brings out the good in others and shines as an example of what other students should aspire to be like. In one particular instance, titled Squirreling Gone Wild #22: Drive-Thru Discount, Ray of the Squirrelers class exhibited grace and charity after his resourcefulness led him to a tiny financial discount along his day to day path.

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Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Tourist Tips to Save Money on Hotels, Restaurants, Parades & More

mardi gras festival new orleansMardi Gras in New Orleans deserves its status as the “largest party in the United States.” With its lavish parades, masked balls, and late-night parties, it’s an unforgettable experience for anyone who visits.

But when the good times roll, especially with free-flowing alcohol and great dining, you’ll find yourself loosening your purse strings or opening your wallet more quickly than you expected. If you want to enjoy Mardi Gras on the cheap and leave New Orleans with a dollar or two left in your pocket, you need a game plan.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Go to College – Besides Just Getting a High-Paying Job

college lecture studentsThere has been a lot of talk lately about whether or not it is worth getting a four year college degree.

While it can greatly increase your chances of landing a high paying job after graduation, that is not always the case. In fact, there are several six figure income jobs that don’t require a degree and can still get you a big paycheck.

However, there are many important reasons a young person should consider going to college other than just the potential financial rewards.

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Target Date Mutual Funds – Pros & Cons Saving For Retirement

target date fundA target date fund is an attractive option for savvy passive investors. These mutual funds provide strong results with minimal effort, and adjust your investment risk level according to how soon you plan to retire. As a result, many 401k and IRA investors choose them as the backbone of their personal investment portfolios. As with any investment, however, not fully understanding these financial resources can cost you plenty.

In 2008 and 2009, many target date fund investors lost fortunes learning that funds without well-designed “glide paths” can leave you dangerously overexposed to stocks in the few years right before expected retirement. If you know how target date funds are designed – as well as their benefits and downsides – you’ll be able to choose the best target date fund for your portfolio.

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5 Dangers of Overly Fast Small Business Growth Strategies

business growth team plantWhen you start your own small businesses, you immediately start thinking about growth. Maybe you just dream of eventually opening a second store, or you might envision becoming a huge conglomerate or one day franchising the business.

Growth isn’t just admirable – it’s expected. But often, small business owners don’t consider that growing a business too quickly can eventually cause the company’s demise. You can easily find yourself lacking working capital, which is one of the biggest contributing factors to the failure of one in six new small businesses.

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5 Rental Car Insurance Coverage Loopholes to Avoid with Credit Cards

rental car girlOne of the most frequently repeated bits of travel advice is to avoid being coerced into paying extra for additional rental car insurance. When you pay with a credit card, you are usually covered by the policy that is included by the network that your card is affiliated with.

This advice, while generally true, glosses over a much more complicated insurance picture.

Many travelers think that they are covered by their credit card’s policy only to find out after a car accident that they were not.

Here are six common situations where you might think you are covered, but you’re really not.

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Personal Finance Round-Up: The Value of Your Free Time

The verdict is in. I have found myself guilty of not taking the value of my time seriously enough. When I was younger, I played video games and sat around not doing much. I called that using my “free time.” Really, there’s no such thing as free time. Time is the most valuable commodity because you can’t get it back, and you can’t make more. When it’s gone, it’s gone. It’s why learning effective time management skills and techniques is so important.

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Executor of Will Duties & Responsibilities – Letter of Instruction Sample Template

writing a letter of intent is key to estate planningIf  you’ve ever been the executor of someone’s estate, you know that the role is a difficult one. Mourning the death of a loved one is painful in and of itself. Add to it the responsibility of sorting out what they’ve left behind and you can quickly become overwhelmed.

A number of questions must be answered before the actual legal settlement process can even begin. Where do the deceased keep all of their documents? Where are all of their assets? Do they have property somewhere that you don’t know about?

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Penny Stock Investing for Dummies – 4 Tips for How to Buy & Research Penny Stocks

penny stockFew investment phrases can create as much excitement as these two words: penny stocks.

But what’s the fuss over cheap share prices? Do hot penny stock picks actually live up to their money-making hype?

What’s a Penny Stock?

The problem with penny stocks is that their definition is ambiguous. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) defines them as low-priced speculative securities of very small companies. In this article, we’ll further restrict penny stocks to shares trading under one dollar.

So why do traders go wild over penny stocks? What is the appeal of these low priced shares?

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