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Holidays

Cheap Ways to Celebrate the New Year

It’s the last day of 2012. Have you decided how you will be ringing in the New Year? Restaurants and bars capitalize on one of the busiest nights of the year by jacking up prices for a fixed menu or set number of drinks. If you like that type of event and have already budgeted for it, go have fun. If you have waited until the last minute, but still want to participate in some festivities, here are some cheap ways to celebrate the New Year. Stay Home and Invite Friends Over You can avoid the crowds by staying at home. You don’t have to go all out financially to have a great party. It can be BYOB or pot luck. You can dress up or wear pajamas. You don’t even have to invite friends if you don’t want. It’s your house. Do as you please. What can you do for entertainment? Play Board Games Have a Penny Poker Tournament Watch a whole TV series or trilogy of movies on Netflix or Amazon Prime Watch your favorite band’s concert DVD Play Pictionary Have an after Christmas white elephant exchange Pull out your pictures from trips and events from the past ...

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Financial Lessons from Clark W. Griswold

Since it’s Christmas Eve, I hope you are enjoying your time rather than last minute shopping. One of our favorite things to do during the holiday season is to watch  Christmas movies. At the top of the list is Christmas Vacation, one of my all time favorites. If you grew up in an Amish family and haven’t seen it, this movie is a comedy starring Chevy Chase,and it is about his misadventures in trying to achieve the perfect family Christmas. I’ve probably seen it 50 times, but still laugh at all the classic scenes. Although the movie is all in good fun, for us finance geeks out there, we can learn some financial lessons from Clark W. Griswold. Don’t Overspend on Christmas Decorations One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when Clark lights up his house for Christmas. It has inspired many terms of endearment toward those who tend to over decorate. In reality, you don’t need that many lights, and Clark runs up a huge electric bill. Switching to LED lights might also be a good option, but those weren’t available in the 80’s. Clark does make up for his electric bill by cutting his own ...

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It’s Fun to Stay at the YMCA-Gift Exchange Reveal

December can be such a fun month. I’ve enjoyed all the different blogger movements, and the Frugal  Portland Gift Exchange did not disappoint. Thanks to the lovely Kathleen for putting this together. I drew the name of Catherine from Plunged in Debt. For her gift, she received a wine bottle candelabra and wine glass markers with a corkscrew. I thought this was a wonderful gift for her, except after I mailed it, I second guessed my memory. I thought I had read that she was a red wine enthusiast, but maybe I got that mixed up with someone else. If it turns out she doesn’t drink, won’t I feel silly? However, she will have some great items to re-gift. When my gift arrived, I really had sort of forgotten and thought it was one of the neighbor’s packages dropped off by mistake. They keep UPS in business, so we get strays delivered to hour house on occasion. This box had my name on it, though, so I ripped it open to find……… This headdress, very similar to the one I wore when I made a fool of myself sang YMCA as one of the village people while under hypnosis. I ...

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Happy Labor Day, Useless Fact Edition

For those friends in North America, I hope you all enjoy your day off. For those friends elsewhere, I’ll think of you while you’re at work. Since it is a holiday, I’ll share a few useless, interesting facts about me. I have been to Graceland six times. (I lived in Memphis for a while) I once rode a mechanical bull. (It hurt) I love most animlas but am terrified of spiders,  birds, and teenagers. (not particularly in that order) Daniel Boone’s sister is buried in my hometown. (Our one claim to fame besides moonshine) I know your day will be much better now knowing these facts. I hope everyone has a great holiday or Monday, wherever you are! What’s your favorite Elvis song? Would you rather be locked in a room with spiders, birds, or teenagers?      

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