Personal Finance Round-Up: Is Frugality an Illusion?

frugality illusionYou can find plenty of genuine ways to save money, like clipping discount grocery coupons, negotiating, and planning ahead. But for every genuine way to save, there’s another bogus savings “method,” like buying in bulk without doing research on prices, and stocking up on things you don’t actually need or will never use.

One specific topic with a mix of good advice and bad speculation is saving money on gas. Fuel is one of those things that most of us need to spend on: We have to drive to work, soccer practice, and school. Some of the better advice on saving money in your car budget includes driving more carefully, hitting the brakes earlier, and not going too fast.

And then there are the illusions and delusions of savings that really cost you money. Len Penzo analyzes one of these money-saving strategies in his post The Grand Illusion: How Cheaper Gas Ultimately Costs You More. Without running the numbers, you may find yourself leaking money unnecessarily.

The wisdom found in the following articles, however, is no illusion:

Would You Rent Your Car Out While Not Driving It? Car Sharing Explained
This new and interesting business idea has gotten more popular as society has gotten more connected and eco-conscious. On one side it can be a great way to make extra cash, and on the other it can save you money on renting a car. Would you try it? [Mint Life Blog]

What Yoga Taught Me about Personal Finance
You can learn some of the best lessons in life in some of the most unlikely places. Yoga may not be that much of a stretch for financial lessons though, since both topics are all about balance. [Young and Thrifty]

How to Be Fashionable on a Budget
Dressing well can change a lot of things in life. You could have better luck in interviews, feel more confident around strangers, or just feel better about yourself overall. But it’s expensive to dress to the nines, right? Not always. Here are some tips to dress well on a budget. [Christian PF]

How Ignoring Mr. Market’s Mood Swings Can Increase Your Wealth
Just as key to a sound investment portfolio as diversification, ignoring the shifts and emotions in the market will make or break your financial future. [Kiplinger]

Is America Destined for Major Tax Hikes?
History may repeat itself, but each time it does, we’re still surprised. Is the U.S. really so different than it was in the ’80s? [Free By 50]

I Want to Feel Okay with Spending Money
It may be a sign of financial security to no longer feel guilt for buying higher quality products when the cheaper alternative will suffice. It’s that quality of life that we are all shooting for. [Figuring Money Out]

How Much Money Can You Live Off Of?
Do you really know what your magic number is? It’s the exact amount of money that you’d need to live your life they way you want. [Prairie Eco Thrifter]

How to Avoid Getting Hired
Knowing what not to do is sometimes more important than knowing what to do. Here’s exactly what you should do if you don’t want that dream job. [Wise Bread]

CK FAQ: What’s the Best Way to Pay My Credit Card Bill?
Learning about money is a process that takes time. On top of that, it’s very personal and everyone does things differently, even when it comes to simple tasks like paying a credit card bill. [Credit Karma]

Disputing a Credit Card Charge
Credit card companies and retailers make mistakes too. At some point in your life, you will have to dispute a credit card charge. Here’s one person’s experience. [Bucksome Boomer]

  • youngandthrifty

    Thanks so much, MC for mentioning my post.

    When I was writing it, I had no idea it would draw so much attention. I guess it’s kind of odd to see the words yoga and personal finance together :) I agree- both need balance. :)

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter

    Thanks MC for including my post in your round up. Very appreciated.

  • Len Penzo

    Hey guys, thanks for the mention! It’s true, trying to save a few cents per gallon is definitely a tricky endeavor. :-)

    All the best,

    Len Penzo dot Com

  • Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer

    Thanks for the mention. There are some great articles included!