Friday, September 17, 2010
Having just finished a vacation out to the state of Washington, I've realized something quite important. These days, efficient packing when it comes to air travel can make a reasonably large dent in your travel costs.
More and more airlines are charging for checked bags, and even at $20 per bag each way, this can add up quickly. While there might still be an airline here and there that doesn't charge such fees, they are becoming a rare breed.
Rather than pay these rediculous fees, the family packed light, each taking one carry-on bag. And by carry-on bag, I don't mean a full-sized suitcase, I mean a regular sized backpack. Of course since we were staying at a place with a washer and dryer, we had the advantage of not having to pack many outfits. Still, things were a little tight. It also meant we were forced to leave certain toiletries and other items behind, but that was okay because we had a plan.
We knew that a local discount dollar store existed near where we were staying. This meant that items such as soap, shampoo, shaving cream, socks, a few toys, and similiar items could be left behind to be purchased when we arrived. We figured that even if we spent between $20-40 at the store buying toiletries and clothing, we'd still come out ahead by $40 (the airline we traveled charges $20 per bag each way).
Therefore, consider this example the next time you're packing your bags. While you might not be able to pack as lightly as we did, even by eliminating one or two bags from your travel inventory, you can save quite a bit of money.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
It's amazing just how much money you can make by selling back your old stuff. From having a garage sale to selling books, CDs, and other items over the Internet, there are so many convenient ways to convert your unused or unwanted belongings into cold, hard cash.
Here are a few of my experiences with reselling some of my stuff over a one month period. I've included a breakdown of just how much money I made from each of my endeavors.
Friday, September 10, 2010
It's amazing how so many couples avoid or feel uncomfortable talking about money. While it's often one of the most important issues in a relationship, many of us would just prefer to talk about something else.
However, in an effort to keep our relationship's healthy, it's often important to discuss and explore issues pertaining to our personal finances. If you think it's time to start opening up when it comes to 'money talk' here are a few things to consider.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Unlike many people these days, I don't tend to spend much time talking on the phone. This fact left me questioning why I even have a land line phone anymore. Sure, it's nice to have around just in case, but I realized my need for such a service was more habit based than necessary. I'd always had a land line phone and signing up for this service just came with the territory whenever I moved to a new location.
Seeing as I now had a pay-as-you-go cell phone though (mostly for emergency purposes), I decided it was time to do away with the old phone service. At the time, I was paying $65 a month for the land line phone. With my cell service, I am required to put a total of $20 onto the plan every three months -- more if necessary (so far it hasn't been).
Even though on a per minute basis the cell phone is more expensive, overall the plan only requires me to pay $80 per year, where as the land line phone service would have been around $780.
This means that I'm saving $700 a year, and even if I add a little more than the $20/3 months onto the cell plan, I am still making my change in service well worthwhile.
Something to consider for all you non-talkers out there!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Most of us would probably agree that the current recession stinks. Sure, there are always those who will profit from a particular situation be it bad or good, but for many of us, we are counting the days until the economy turns the corner and things start looking a bit brighter.
But maybe this recession is more than just about a bunch of mortgages gone bad and a financial crisis caused by the greed of others. Maybe we need to look at ourselves a little bit and begin to consider the way in which we spend and handle our personal finances.
While it might be a bit late for this go around, we might be able to learn a little something from our experiences in this recession in order to change our mindsets and let us be a little better prepared for next time.
Just wanted to throw this little thought out there for all to ponder.
I realized the other day that we probably only watch 10% of the cable television shows we have available through our provider, yet our cable bill keeps increasing on a regular basis. While I love certain shows on channels we wouldn't get through a basic service, there are several of these programs that I can either watch online or when we're spending time at the in-laws house, which we do on a regular basis. Therefore, I hacked into our cable bill by cutting our services and sending back an additional receiver for the downstair's television we weren't using.
Long story short, I got our cable/internet bill down from just over $110 to a little over $60. That's $50 bucks a month savings, which equates to $600 a year. Not too shabby huh?