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Saving Money

Does Renting a Car For Long Trips Save Money?

Broken town car

After playing revolving automobiles for most of our adult working lives, we finally realized that buying or trading cars every few years is not a wise use of money. Sure the new car smell is great, but there is really no smell that is worth sacrificing our goals of financial independence. With that in mind, Jim and I are determined to keep driving our current vehicles until it doesn’t make financial sense to do that or one of them dies a permanent death. Our cars are getting older, though, and my question today is whether or not it makes sense and/or saves money to rent a car for long road trips. Since we live in rural America, we drive a lot! There is absolutely no public transportation where we live unless you are a senior citizen who needs to go to the doctor. We don’t really live close to any major cities, with Denver, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City all being about 7 hours away. Albuquerque is the closest major airport, but it’s still a 4 hour drive to get there. Sure we could move if it was a huge issue, but the low cost of living, small town atmosphere, ...

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Automatic Savings: The Key to Stress Free Finances

calculating expenses

Earlier this week we talked about paying certain bills annually as a way to save money. Even if the discount is only 5% or 10%, it adds up over time. Monthly payments take more work, more money, and can cause extreme stress when you get hit with an emergency. Being able to pay annually for bills or any other type of big expense requires that you have an adequate amount of savings. Today, I’ll offer my experience on how you can achieve a high savings rate without having to rob a bank to get started. Determine Your Expenses As I’ve said since starting this blog, if you don’t know where your money is going, you’ll never be able to save or pay debt. If you don’t track your expenses, take time to go back over the past year and see how you spent your money. If you have online banking, it should be pretty simple. If you use lots of cash and don’t save receipts, it might be impossible, but you can start tracking from today. Look for big expenses like car insurance, life insurance, HOA dues, money spent on contact lenses, or gym memberships. If you can pay these ...

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Awesome, Easy Ways We Saved Over $2000 Last Year

Happy saving money

2013 was our first year in over a decade without consumer debt. While we originally started saving money to try and pay off  credit card bills, once we saw how awesome it was to have extra money, we just couldn’t stop. Here are some great, painless ways we saved money last year. Hopefully some of these might help you if you are looking to stash some cash. Cut Cable or Satellite TV- I am so sad to say that we didn’t do this years ago. For the roughly $850 a year we were spending on Dish Network, we could have paid off our debt earlier, but hindsight is 20/20. Honestly, the only thing we missed that hurt just for a second was when Jim was unable to watch the BCS final that was on last week. We are not Auburn or Florida State fans, but it was kind of an annual tradition to watch the last game. I asked if it was worth getting satellite TV back for sporting events and he answered with a resounding NO. We have been able to watch more then we need on Netfilx, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Instant Video. Sign Up for Store Coupons, ...

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Affordable Ways to Modernize Old Furniture


Have you ever had old furniture that you just can’t get rid of? Maybe your grandparents gave it to you as a gift and it has sentimental value to you. Maybe you’ve found some awesome antique pieces at your local thrift shop that you’d like to incorporate into your modern home design. The problem with having old furniture sitting around is that sometimes those items do not fit into the modern design of your home. So what do you do with outdated furniture that you can’t part with? Simple, you modernize it. By making a few updates to your existing furniture, you’ll be able to fit classic pieces into your home. Modernizing and making use of old furniture saves money and it’s also helps you to be eco-friendly.  Here’s a few affordable tips to help you modernize your old furniture. Refinish Refinishing old furniture is the easiest way to update old furniture. By refinishing old wood furniture, you give the piece a fresh new look. Also refinishing repairs scratches and other damage. By refinishing you add value to the piece. Sometimes it can be a lot of work but it’s definitely worth the time and effort. Reupholster Reupholstering antique dining ...

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Make Christmas Shopping Affordable, Starting Now

This post is from regular contributor, Kyle James. He has some great tips on saving money on holiday shopping! I remember it like it was yesterday, driving around in the pouring rain looking for a place to park at the mall. It was December 23rd, and like the young fool that I was, I hadn’t done any of my Christmas shopping and was forced to brave the elements. The elements being the weather, the cranky sales people who wanted to go home, the long lines filled with kids who wouldn’t stop whining about wanting a Snickers, and of course the “full retail” price tags. I knew then there had to be a better way and over the years I have developed a more stress-free and cheaper strategy for doing my holiday shopping. Here are my seven favorites tips. 1. Make A List and Budget This is obviously the first place to start your Christmas gift buying. Write down everyone you are planning on buying for and set a budget you are comfortable with for each person. This is going to be your go-to piece of paper to make sure you don’t end up with a surprise credit card bill in ...

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