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Small Tips for Holiday Travel

  If you are getting ready to travel this holiday season, you’ve probably researched flights, hotels, and rental cars. It’s so easy to get caught up in the big things that you may forget to do some of the little things that can add up and save lots of money. If you are getting ready to hit the road, consider these small tips before you leave. Turn Down the Thermostat-Don’t forget to turn your thermostat down when you leave for a trip. You don’t want to turn the heat off in case it gets cold enought for your pipes to freeze, but you don’t need to heat the house for your furniture and clothes when you’re gone. We usually turn ours down in the fifties. It doesn’t usually get that cold in our house because we have a good amount of passive solar heat, but even if it did, things wouldn’t freeze. Bring Snacks- I especially like to bring snacks for the airport. Since you are a captive audience, they can charge whatever they want.  This also works well for road trips. Convenience stores can be almost as expensive as airports unless you are getting the 2/$1 chili dogs that have most ...

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Can Once a Month Cooking Help Your Grocery Budget?

If you have read this blog with any sort of regularity, you know that I am trying extremely hard to curtail our grocery spending. I’ve made attempts before, but like tons of busy families, we shopped too much and often restocked the things we eat most rather than coming up with ways to use up existing food supplies. I finally found a way to make myself stay away from the store: By playing the Grocery Game at Canadian Budget Binder. I know I sound like a broken record, but by posting everything you buy, you become much more aware of what you are spending money on. I have noticed that we spend way too much on snacks and convenience foods. I’m convinced Mr. CBB could whip up a yummy, frugal recipe out of a turnip and saltine crackers, so it’s a hard act to follow. Recently I’ve discovered the idea of having a cooking marathon one day a month from Mandy at  Money Master Mom and Catherine at Plunged in Debt. The idea is to cook like a fiend for one day so that you can take a cooking vacation for a few weeks. Also by having ready made meals in ...

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How To Have a Cheap European Holiday

 The following is a guest post from Pauline Paquin, a French girl who has recently started to blog over at Reach Financial Independence.  Pauline blogs about how she has been traveling the world for the past 10 years, while trying to build wealth and achieve financial independence, and how you can follow your dreams and reach your goals too. You can follow Pauline on Twitter @RFIndependence. Pauline and I are blog swapping today, so head over to her site and read my post about ways to take care of your eyes when traveling. If you would like to guest post, please see the guidelines and contact me, and you still have a few days to enter the giveaway for $100.         Traveling to Europe doesn’t have to be expensive, even though the Euro is pretty high these days. With some careful planning, you can secure good deals on flights, accommodation, and attractions.  Find a Cheap Flight to Europe First, search until you are blue! Depending on the day, the time, the length of you stay, and the route you chose, you can find great variations of price. For example, I just flew from Brussels to Cancún, Mexico. Flying from Paris ...

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Everyone Needs an Emergency Fund

You’re driving home from work one day, when all of a sudden, your check engine light comes on about the same time you start to notice black smoke coming from under the hood of your car. Which would describe your next course of action? A) Pop the hood and immediatly diagnose the problem. Run to the auto parts store (in this scenerio, you are an Ironman Triathlon alumni, and running five miles is no sweat) to pick up a new thingamabob needed to fix the problem. Run back to the car, and fix it with enough time to get home by dinner. B) Call your spouse or friend to come pick you up. You are concerned, but not too worried because you have some money saved up for emergencies such as this. C) Call your spouse or friend to come pick you up and try to remember if all your credit cards are maxed out because you know you have $3.75 left until your next paycheck, which you might not get if you don’t have transportation to work. Life is full of uncertainties. If you chose answer C to this question, it might be time to start thinking about starting an emergency ...

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Moving from Employed to Self Employed, What Am I Forgetting?

being self employed

I have owned my business for the past 10+ years, which makes me essentially self employed (and about half crazy )  However, I have been a w-2 employee as far as salary and witholdings. I walked into an established business that had employees who did most of the book work. Deposits went through the corporation, and expenses were paid before I saw a dime.  At the end of the year I will be selling my business that has provided a huge safety net for the last decade. I will be my own corporation without  a book keeper to figure things out for me unless I want to spend the extra money to hire one. I’m hoping my experience is enough to make the right financial decisions to avoid any huge mistakes. This is my list for going from employed to self employed. Am I forgetting anything? Salary On paper my income should be higher than the salary I have been paying myself. I have three jobs lined up. One with the government, one as employee for the new buyer of my business, and one with another optometry office. At my old office, I will still be a w-2 employee, but the other two jobs are ...

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