Setting Long-Term and Daily Goals to Improve Wealth and Health

setting winning goalsDo you like to set goals for yourself, whether short-term or long-term?  By this, I truly mean actually setting the goals and trying to reach them.  Sometimes it’s easy to say this, but not always done in practice.

For example, some of us are planners nature – as opposed to those who thrive on spontaneity.  While of course we need a balance of both, it seems like many of us tilt one way or the other.

I’m in the former group, being a planner.  Really, always have been this way to varying degrees. Also, I’ve been actually following plans to varying degrees over the years, sometimes well but many times not as well as I intended originally.  It’s something that I’ve been working on getting better at in recent years, and have developed some habits that have helped me along the way.

Here is my current process to keep me focused:

Annually

Each year, around the New Year, I’ll take stock of where things are overall in different areas of life.  Typically, this focuses on money and health for me, though it makes sense if people also think of relationships too.  After all, health, wealth, and relationships are interconnected in many ways.

In terms of money, it means different areas: making (especially career-related goals), saving, and investing.  Primarily the first two are part of goal-setting, with the latter a bit less controllable.

I’ll set goals that are at the following intervals: 1-year, 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year.  This is intended to cover short, intermediate, and long-term.  Does this sound very planned to you?  Perhaps excessive?  I could totally see this seems way to much so to many.  It might not work at all for some people, but it does for me and keeps me pointed in the right direction.

Monthly

At the beginning of each month, I’ll go through what I would like to accomplish.  Some of these things might be specific tasks to be completed, or they might be progress markers for activities with a longer-term time horizon.

Weekly

As each week commences, I’ll figure out what I’d like to (or need to) do for the week.  As a part of this, specific deadline dates will be noted.  Sometimes this neatly fits into that particular week, but some things that come to my attention might get planned out for later.  It’s sort of fluid this way, as need to be flexible.  Life doesn’t run off templates!

Daily

Each day, I’ll go through my list for that specific day.  I’ll prioritize them based on importance/urgency, and go from there.  Ideally, the ones at the top of the list will get done first, and subsequent priorities tackled in order.

This rarely gets done perfectly.  However, it gives me some structure, and at the very least I’ll usually start with the most important things early on.  Not sure about you, but it works for me to handle the important/urgent things when my energy level is highest, which is usually early in the day.  If things don’t get done, they’re going to be low on the list – the way it should be.  Plus, it feels great to get key things done early, and removes or alleviates some potential stress in the process.

I’d say this planning and prioritizing process takes 10 minutes.  Sure, it’s a decent investment of time, but I find that it pays off and keeps me from being disorganized or scattering my attention wildly (which might otherwise be possible!).

The other thing that I do now, which has really been working, is doing a one minute review of my long-term goals every day.  You remember, the 1-year to 10-year planning I mentioned earlier?  Each day, I try to spend just a quick minute reminding myself of the bigger picture goals.

This latter step of reconnecting with bigger picture goals works to help me stay on track.  If I ever waver, which can happen quite often, this helps keep me going in the right direction.

We each have our own approach to goals, so I’m curious how you do it.

My Questions for You

Do you consider yourself a planner, or a more spontaneous person?

What is the timeframe for your goals, both long-term and/or short-term?

Four Low-Cost Foods to Help You Get Healthy and Wealthy

healthy and wealthyI think most of us want to have good health and a good financial situation.  Even if we’re doing well in both areas, isn’t there room to improve?  I thought so.

Since so many resolutions are around being healthy and getting wealthy, in some way or another, why not take steps that can help on both fronts?

I’m like many others, with resolutions that involve both health and wealth.  So far, I haven’t slipped up.  Yeah, it isn’t too far into the new year as I write this, but so often people start with good intentions then slide back into old habits after a few weeks.   Not yet, over here :)

Here are four foods that I’m incorporating more this year, in the quest to work on health and finances:

Kale

You know, what’s ironic is that kale has been used as slang for money.  How appropriate, as it’s so healthy and relatively inexpensive.

It seems like kale is all the rage.  Last year seemed to be the year of quinoa, and this year looks like it’s the year of kale.  I’ve seen bagged baby kale at stores, more food items that claim to have kale included, and even some dishes at restaurants with kale.  A local supermarket even has a stand with fresh smoothies, a few of which have kale.  This veggie certainly wasn’t so widespread just a few years ago.

Some people I’ve talked to just don’t like it.  They say it’s bitter, tastes bad, etc.  Maybe I’m in the minority, but I think it’s actually pretty good!  A bag of organic baby kale leaves can be purchased for about $3, and gives me about 4 full salads. Now, there may be some asking, is it important to buy organic? But even if there is a slight premium in this case, it’s a pretty good value for something that’s seen as a “superfood” by many.

If you haven’t read about all the nutritional benefits of kale, please do so.

Quinoa

Yeah, I know.  I just mentioned that it was all the rage last year.  Quinoa seems to be everywhere.

The thing is, it’s pretty nutritious and easy to make.  It’s high in protein compared to alternatives, and is quite versatile.  It can be eaten alone, or blended into different dishes.  I know of one person that even eats it for breakfast occasionally, though I find it works better for me at lunch or dinner.

I serving of quinoa can easily cost less than $1.  Pretty good, right?

Another aspect of quinoa is that it can be a part of a gluten-free diet.

Pumpkin

I’ve written about this before, how pumpkin products have popped up everywhere.  It was amplified this past fall, going well beyond pumpkin-flavored coffee drinks.  Pumpkin flavor seemed to be in all kinds of products in many venues.  I saw pumpkin candles multiple places.

Aside from the flavor itself and the whole seasonal theme associated with it, pumpkin is said to have a good nutritional profile.  Canned pumpkin is very high in Vitamin A, has a lot of Vitamin K, and is a good source of fiber.  It’s also a low fat food.

We use a recipe for “pumpkin pudding”, which tastes just like pumpkin pie filling.  Last year, I only made it once, but will make it more often this year.  I know there are plenty of recipes out there for pumpkin, so there are different options to incorporate it into your diet once in a while.

Canned pumpkin works just fine, and is actually much easier to use than trying to deal with a raw squash.  Plus, a can be purchased for just a few dollars, and a serving (with other ingredients) should cost much less.

Oatmeal

Another one I’ve written about, and still do have periodically.  But I’ve started to make it a staple of my morning routine once again.

Quick-cooking steel cut oats are healthy.  A meal can be nutritious, with protein, fiber, and other nutrients.  Plus, it’s filling and seems to control cravings later.

Additionally, it’s a great base to add nutritious toppings.  For me, this means ground flaxseed and some fresh blueberries.  This frugal and healthy breakfast should cost less than $1.

My Questions for You

Do you look to save money by eating inexpensive and healthy food?

Are any of these 4 foods a part of your diet?

Do you have any other healthy favorites that help you stretch your budget?

Freezing Cold Weather and Financial Illiteracy!

freezing weatherQuite often, in the personal finance sphere, there are a lot of intelligent posts and discussions ongoing.  So much is written about making, saving,  and investing money.  There is also quite a bit of discussion on avoiding debt.  Clearly, a lot of bloggers get the basics of money management, and love to share these concepts with everyone.

The thing is, when reading a number of such blogs, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that most people think this way.  As in, the idea that most people make reasonably intelligent decisions with money, and have a solid understanding of both what to do and what not to do.

I don’t think this is the case, and it took a non-personal finance situation to remind me of this reality.

Recently, it has been incredibly cold here in Chicago.  Schools were closed for two days as some of the coldest weather I’ve ever experienced descended upon this part of the country.  The “polar vortex”, as it has been called, has seen temperatures go down to 15 below zero with wind chills past 40 below zero.  This just days after we had a multi-day snow event that brought over 20 inches of snow to some parts of the area.

We’ve had Siberian-like weather here.  Clearly, not the weather you want to venture out in.

Nevertheless, there are some people that just don’t seem to be fazed.

On Sunday, a day before the extreme cold hit, I was at a local grocery store getting food.  Understandably, the store was completely packed, even though the weather on that day was less than ideal (snow, 10 degrees).  It was going to get worse, we all knew it, and there was this feeling that the end of the world was coming.  Not really, but this weather was no joke, and people are smart enough to prepare.

Except a few people at the store.  They showed up wearing hooded sweatshirts and jeans.  This in 10 degree weather.  There was one guy who showed up in a short sleeved shirt and shorts.  Yes, in 10 degree (and dropping fast) temperatures with tons of snow on the ground, the guy wore shorts to the grocery store.

Wouldn’t it be common sense to realize that this is dangerous?  Wouldn’t it simply be uncomfortable?

Of course, but that didn’t stop that guy.  Nor did it stop the others visiting the store without a heavy coat, hat, gloves, etc.  Why?

Well, I’m not about to analyze why.

What I do know is that it served as another example that there are people out there who might otherwise be intelligent, nice people – but they simply want to do what it is they want to do.  All the common sense in the world won’t be enough to get these people to do the sensible thing and bundle up to avoid getting sick.

Relating this to personal finance, it tells me that there are clearly too many people that might be well-meaning, but make similarly brainless choices with money.  Taking on massive credit card debt because they “want” something, buying a “dream home” they can’t afford, or any number of moves.  People make them every day.

In other words, if people can be cray cray enough to freeze in 10 degree weather, they can be cray cray enough to make really bad financial decisions.  We just don’t encounter too many of them on personal finance blogs.

Why does this resonate with me?

Well, as a personal finance blogger, it’s another reminder that there are people that could really be helped by reading about how to manage money and plan their financial future.  There is value to these posts, because they can help people.  Validation of our efforts! Clearly, there are people that can use the help.

Also, if you’re not a blogger but currently doing a good job with your own finances, pat yourself on the back.  You’re doing something that many other bright people can’t bring themselves to do.

Like wearing a coat and long pants in 10 degree weather :)

My Questions for You

Do you ever stop to think how personal finance basics can be a total mystery to some people?

Why do you think it is that some folks reject common sense? Is it simply lack of knowledge, defiance, or both?

What do you think is a good way to get someone aligned with good money management practices, if they don’t currently practice them?

Money Junkies: What was the First Personal Finance Blog You Read?

personal finance blogIn a matter of months, it will be 4 years that Squirrelers has been live.  In the world of personal finance blogging, that’s actually a long time!  It seems like the number of new blogs out there is increasing at something more that a linear rate.  So many people blogging about their money and lives, and some are sharing some really good tips and/or starting thought-provoking discussions.  There hasn’t been a better time to be a money junkie :)

Realizing that I’ve been around the blogosphere for a while now, this got me thinking about how I first got started.  At this point, I’ve written over 600 posts, so perhaps some of those early blogging memories are getting hazy :)  But, back in 2009, I actually checked out my first personal finance blog purely by chance.

I was searching for something (don’t remember what), and I somehow landed on Free Money Finance.  I liked what I read, and found it interesting as it was from a regular person and not some corporate site.  As I read more, I began to realize that he was a guy who had some solid tips on building wealth, and was discussing what he was actually doing himself.  This resonated with me, and I started to follow his blog.

Then, I paid closer attention to the people commenting, and realized that some of them had blogs too.  Additionally, the blogroll had links quite a few other sites.  This piqued my curiosity, and naturally I checked out some of those other blogs.  Some were so-so, but some were pretty solid.  And yes, they were pretty much regular folks too.

At that point, I had some kind of brainwave that I could do this too!  It would be a fun hobby, where I could share my own tips and thoughts on personal finance, and get the chance (hopefully) to interact with others who have a similar interest.  From there, my thinking went, I would be able to continue to learn and develop while possibly helping or inspiring others.

Its been great, and has worked out well in that regard.

The thing is, it was that first opportunity to read a good personal finance blog which got me started.

How about you?

What was the first personal finance blog you read?

Or, alternatively, what was the first blog or group of blogs that really inspired you?

If you’re a blogger, how did you get your start?

5 Overlooked Insurance Policies

overlooked insuranceOverlooked insurance policies are lurking out there, outside of the eyes of most of us.  While we’re busy focusing on the usual types (auto, home, etc), there are plenty of others that cover all kinds of interesting things.

This topic came to mind after hearing about a car dealership that ran a promotion which was based on the local pro football team shutting out its opponent this past weekend.   The team did in fact end up giving up zero points, and the dealership apparently had payouts that would be due to lucky winners of the contest run during the prior week.  As in, payouts totaling over $400,000.

Apparently, per this article on ESPN, the insurance policy taken out cost about $7,000.  Seems like it may have been a smart move!

Insurance can be taken out for many different possible events.   While there are innumerable polices that have probably been issued, here are 5 that are non-mainstream but worth knowing about.  Even if for curiosity’s sake!

Jewelry Insurance

If the jewelry that you have is of modest value, you might not need to pay any extra attention to insurance.  However, if it’s of high value and worth more than general coverage you already have, it’s a different situation.  In this case, you might consider an add-on policy or rider for the specific pieces of jewelry in question.   Nobody wants an expensive heirloom or wedding ring to be gone forever with no recourse.

Identify Theft Insurance

The costs associated with dealing with identify theft can add up, as it’s not a cost-free activity when getting things restored.  This insurance can help with such expenses.  It’s a good idea to pay attention to how the coverage is marketed, as some of the high dollar amounts may not be entirely necessary.

Flood Insurance

We’ve seen in recent years how water-related disasters have wreaked havoc with people’s lives across the globe.  Hurricanes, tsunamis, and even raging rivers have created big problems that often involved tragic outcomes.  While much less serious, water damage to property can still be a problem for people.

In the winter and spring, this can come into play with melting snow.  If water enters your home that way, it might be necessary to get this separate insurance rather than depend on standard homeowners insurance.  Keep in mind that there might be a decent waiting period for the policy to take effect, so waiting just a few days before an anticipated event might be an effort made in vain.  Being proactive is key.

Wedding Insurance

Nobody wants to see their wedding day get impacted by unforeseen calamities.  Weddings cost a lot of money, and involve a lot of time and emotion. Of course, things can and do happen.

What if the bride or groom suffers a major injury? What if the venue shutters its doors, unexpectedly closing?  What if a natural disaster strikes the area of the wedding?  These are reasons why some people might be tempted to consider wedding-related insurance.

Travel Insurance

Everyone I know wants to enjoy his or her vacations.  That’s the purpose, right?

Well, when you’re away from home and particularly if you’re in an unfamiliar setting, there is some risk involved.   It wouldn’t be fun to get seriously ill in some remote locale, or get hurt hiking the mountains.  It would also be less than fun to have to deal with the financial ramifications.

Of course, there are other aspects of traveling that involve risk – such as cancelations, interruptions, and like events.  More reasons to at least explore travel insurance for some voyages.

My Questions for You

Aside from the traditional policies (health, home, care, life, etc.), have you purchased any other types of insurance policies?

Have you ever purchased any of these type of insurance policies listed above?

Do you tend to be insurance-oriented, or is it an area you don’t spend much time thinking about?

Will You Define Retirement On Your Own Terms?

defining retirementRetiring on your terms sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?  After all, you will eventually retire.  Unless you suddenly die while being employed at the time (I know, uplifting thought!), there will be a period of time when you’re done working for good, but still living.

The question is, on whose terms will this retirement of yours actually be?

I’ve been giving this some thought, in light of both my own life and what I hear from others.  The latter also includes what I read on other blogs regarding retirement.  It seems like there are varying approaches to what retirement will look like, and when it will happen in life.  More on that soon.

First, here are two very uncool things that will probably happen to us as we get old:

  1. Physical or cognitive problems will make it difficult or impossible for us to work.  Sure, this may be tough to envision in one’s 20′s or 30′s, and perhaps even in the 40′s and 50′s.  But at some point, the body and/or mind will decline.  It happens.  And, there is a high degree of likelihood that it can happen to most of us.  Yes, even if we’re incredibly fit now.
  2. Ageism.  Employers, in general, seem to favor youth, energy, and speed over age, wisdom, and a slow pace.  I think we all realize this will happen, even if we don’t want to acknowledge it or have never experienced it.  Maybe we have seen it happen to an older family member or someone we know of an older generation.

Given these two factors, how do you want to define your retirement?

Here are a few ways to go about it.

Keep Working Until You No Longer Can Because You Need the Money

In this approach, you keep on working until you run out of options, or your body or mind breaks down.  This basically leaves things in the hands of nature and others, based on the two factors mentioned above.  When you can no longer work, you no longer have income.  Then, you are forced to live on what you have saved, whether or not it’s enough.

I actually respect  people that keep on going as long as they can.  The thing is, do you want it to be on your terms or based on factors you can’t control?

This brings us to another approach….

Keep Working Until You No Longer Can, Because You Simply Enjoy Working

In other words, you work until the end of your useful working life because you want to, not because you need to.  Doesn’t that sound better than the first option?  It requires planning, and a recognition that those two factors above will happen.

There is another approach that works well too:

Keep Working Until You Decide You No Longer Want To, On Your Own Terms

Here, you can choose opt-out of the workforce when you choose to do so.  If you lose the passion, and want to focus your energies on other areas of life outside the realm of your career, you simply do so.   In this case, done right, you might have the option to “retire” in different ways:

  1. Semi-Retired.  Maybe you still like your career and have a passion for it that you don’t want to put aside.  Perhaps you can work part-time
  2. Mostly Retired.  Perhaps you want to simply consult, or work on a few part-time side projects.  Maybe that would be more fulfilling.
  3. Totally Retired.  You check out of the scene entirely, and spend your life on other things that don’t involve working for money.

Making It Happen

I think what it really comes down to is recognizing the reality that we each have an effective useful working life that isn’t eternal, planning for that reality, and then customizing our plan based on what we envision our future to be.  Sure, there are occasionally factors way out of our control that prevent our best plans for succeeding, but careful planning and positively directed time and energy can help us make it happen.  The way we want it to, on our terms!

If we want a simple approach to giving ourselves options, I’d say that increasing these 3 important financial numbers is a good start.

My Questions for You

What retirement path are you presently headed toward, based on your current situation?

What retirement path would you actually prefer take?

What are you doing to make your goal happen?

Online Reviews Can Often Help Save Money and Time

online reviews can help save moneyThere’s nothing like learning from experience.   This can be particularly true when forming an opinion on a certain product or service.   We can choose to spend our money where we believe – based on what we’ve encountered – that we are most likely to get the most value for it.

There may something that could be better than learning from one’s own experience: learning from the experience of others.  

Now, I don’t think that learning from someone else’s experience is necessarily going to be better than learning from your own.  After all, if you’ve bought a product, you would naturally have your own opinion of it.  Who better to know how a product will be for you than yourself!

But it can often be difficult to get first-hand experience to inform every purchase you make.  For example, if you were looking for an appliance, you might have an opinion of a certain brand you’ve used.  But you wouldn’t know about other brands.  After all, how could you have tried them all?  The same concept might apply to a variety of other things such as cell phone providers, debt consolidation loans, and accounting software.

Thus, it’s just not feasible to try everything ourselves when it comes to many products or services.  There is only much time – and money – that we have available. 

That’s where online reviews can come into play.  If you’re going to spend your money, or get help with your money, it couldn’t hurt to have additional information to at least consider.  That additional information can come in the form of online reviews.

Reviews can be a great way to make effective use of our time.  Instead of relying on our own time and resources, we can leverage the experiences of others.  If we can utilize others to provide us with some input, in the form of a review, it could potentially help us make decisions that are more informed.  The best part is that we save those resources and that time I mentioned.

Thinking about it, one might be able to learn from how we utilize reviews for other types of purchases.  Two examples that come to mind are movies and restaurants.

With a movie, the cost these days isn’t all that low if you’re going to the theatre.  Before spending money and time on a new movie that has a compelling trailer, I’ll check out a review.  This is even more important with dining out at unfamiliar, pricey places.  When we’re spending a pretty penny on such a meal, we’re taking a chance if we haven’t been to a place.  By reading online reviews, we’re taking an interest in protecting our money and time.  And, in the case of a few restaurants, maybe even our health.

Anyway, the concept of doing some research and reading reviews is one that should be paid attention to.   Here’s one more example to consider: cars.  Would you buy a car without at least reading some reviews?  Certainly not a waste of time there, so one can consider applying this approach to other situations as well.

The costs of a bad decision could be high.  Potentially mitigating the risk of these types of bad decisions is something that can be beneficial to us in terms of finances and other ways.

What about you?  Do you utilize online reviews to help you make decisions on purchases?  If so, have any proved to save you money or potential hassles?

 

Selling Stocks In a Bull Market: Interesting Historical Lessons

selling stocks in a bull marketMarkets go up, and they also go down.  Kind of like gravity: if you throw an apple into the air, it will eventually come back down.

Except, that’s not exactly how it goes with markets.  Sure, they do go up and down, but the long-term trend is up.  Even when you consider the impact of inflation on stocks, there’s at least some upward trajectory over time.  When you add in the reality that compounding can be a great benefit, that higher rate of return with stocks is understandably a place that’s appealing to many with long-term time horizons.

So stocks tend to go up over the long-term, and offer rates of return that are pretty good compared to lower risk vehicles.  We know that.  But what about when stocks have been going up for a while? In other words, do stocks get a lot more risky in a bull market?

I thought of this because as of this writing, stocks have reached historical highs here in the U.S.  Naturally, there tend to be a fair number of people who start to get squeamish during protracted bull markets.  In other words, they wonder when the floor will drop from underneath them prices will tumble.

There’s that saying that we should be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.  I’m no Oracle from Omaha (far from it!), but maybe we should be careful to avoid being too fearful in bull markets.  Perhaps we can hold onto that greed a little bit.

As I do on occasion here, I pulled and analyzed some historical stock data to figure this out.  In this case, I took historical S&P 500 data for just over 63 years – from January 1950 to November 2013.  Based on this available data, I analyzed the annual yearly change in the market price in the context of bull markets.   Here is what I found:

Finding #1: Stocks tend to follow a strong year with another solid year

How do you define “strong year?”  In this case, I defined it as a year with returns of 20% or more.  Since 1950, there have been 17 such full years.  In the year following a strong bull market year, stocks average a nearly 11% rate of return!

So, if you’re in a year that happens to be very good – where there is a bull market – the following year tends to have strong performance too.  Now, these are averages of course, and there were some subsequent years that were awful.  No streak continues forever!  But some were good, and clearly the average of nearly 11% is very solid

Finding #2: Stocks still don’t automatically fall after a strong 2-year period

So, we talked about one year in the previous finding.  What if we expanded it to 2 strong years?  In this case, we’ll define a strong 2-year period as one with a total increase of 35% over that time frame.  There were 13 such 2-year time periods since 1950.

In the year following 2 years of bull-market performance, stocks average a return of just over 4%.  So, after 2 years of well-above average returns, things tend to come back down to earth.  However, it’s not like a return of around 4% is a total disaster.   There are far worse “safe” alternatives, though it should be pointed out that with stocks there is a range of good and bad years in there.

What are the implications of these 2 findings?  I see this as a lesson to be learned, that just because stocks have gone up quite a bit during the course of 1 or 2 years, it doesn’t mean that they’re ready to start crashing.    Of course, going from 1 strong year to 2 strong years collectively can decrease the odds of subsequent strong returns.  However, clearly there is often longer life to bull markets than might occur to the more risk-averse investor.

As I write this, we are in the midst of a situation that basically fits both of these scenarios above:  1) Annual returns > 20% (YTD through mid-November), and 2) a nearly 2-year return > 35%.

Food for thought, as you consider what type of scenarios might happen next.

My Questions for You

Do you get worried that stocks will fall, after a prolonged bull market?

Do you agree that bull markets have a longer life than one might realize?

What are your current thoughts – positive or worried – about the markets might be headed?

Festival of Frugality #408

festival_of_frugality_pinching_penniesWelcome to this week’s edition of the Festival of Frugality!

If you enjoy frugality, and micromanaging pennies, this collection of articles is for you.   Plenty of good reads below:

 
Kali presents Twenty Things Twenty-Somethings Should Know About Money | Common Sense Millennial posted at Common Sense Millennial.

Daisy presents Giving When Money is Tight posted at Suburban Finance.

Harry Campbell presents “Annual Enrollment for 2014: My Company’s HSA vs Traditional Plan “ posted at Your PF Pro.

Pauline presents Money Choices: How Millennials Can Make The Right Financial Decisions posted at Reach Financial Independence.

SavingMentor presents 6 Tips For Keeping Better Tabs On Your Money posted at How To Save Money.

Mrs. Accountability presents Who Should Pay For The Date? posted at Out of Debt Again.

JP presents Lost Health Insurance Because of Obamacare: Can I Still Sign Onto My Spouses Plan? posted at My Family Finances.

Bobby presents The True Cost of Commuting and Some Alternatives posted at Making Money Fast and Slow.

Daisy presents A Cup of Coffee: Daily Necessity or Daily Indulgence? posted at Suburban Finance.

SFB presents How to Save Money When Buying Your First Home posted at Simple Finance Blog.

Lindy presents Know How To Spend And Manage A Credit Card Account Responsibly posted at Minting Nickels.

Tushar presents Write Down What You Spend: You’ll Save More posted at Start Investing Money.

Suba presents Should You Learn to Fix Your Own Car? posted at Broke Professionals.

Mr. Frenzy presents Single Cent Problems: The Truth About The Penny posted at Frenzied Finances.

Don presents Ten Tips for Choosing the Best Home Loan posted at MoneySmartGuides.

Jeremy presents Tips to Save Money on Groceries posted at Modest Money.

Kayla presents The Key To Paying Off Credit Card Debt Quickly posted at ReadyForZero Blog.

John presents Buying in Bulk: Making Warehouse Club Shopping Worth the Trip posted at Frugal Rules.

Bryce presents I’m Glad I Live Now posted at Save and Conquer.

Ben presents The Twitter IPO: A Big Disappointment For the Little Guy posted at The Wealth Gospel.

FI Pilgrim presents Flipping The Script: How I Learned To Live On Last Month’s Income posted at FI Journey.

Sustainable PF presents Adopting Minimalist Principles to Save Money and Live Sustainability posted at Sustainable Personal Finance Blog.

Alexa presents How to Pay Off Debt posted at Defeat Our Debt.

Alexa presents How to Make Money Blogging posted at Single Moms Income.

Natalie presents Are We Enabling Bad Behavior? posted at Debt and the Girl.

Barbara Friedberg presents Roadblocks to Saving: Not Planning Ahead posted at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance.

Holly presents Why is Obamacare Taking Away my HSA? posted at Club Thrifty.

Monica presents 8 Warning SIgns That You’re Living Beyond Your Means | Monica on Money posted at Monica On Money.

Buck Inspire presents Club MomMe’s Family Fall Fest 2013 Recap posted at Buck Inspire.

Marissa presents How to spot a good mortgage broker from a bad one posted at Finance Triggers.

Bob presents Age Old Debate of Whether to Buy or Lease posted at Dwindling Debt.

Andrea presents The Cost of Carrying a Baby: 8 Unexpected Expenses of Motherhood posted at So Over This.

Hadley presents Build or Buy? posted at Epic Finances.

Matt presents The High Cost of Using Cash posted at Budget Snob.

David Leonhardt presents Protein Powder – not just for shakes! posted at The Happy Guy.

Little House presents Three Most Common Causes of Debt posted at Little House in the Valley.

Emily presents Accepting Money for a Favor posted at Evolving Personal Finance.

Lazy Man presents TrueCar Reviewed: We Bought a New Car posted at Lazy Man and Money.

Miss T. presents Avoiding the Need to Upgrade Gadgets posted at Prairie Eco Thrifter.

Dollar presents Free Ways To Make Money Online posted at Easy Extra Dollar.

Justin @ Root of Good presents Join the Military to Retire Early? posted at Root of Good.

Thanks for checking out these articles, and I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of the Festival of Frugality!