Welcome to the 168th Festival of Frugality!
The recession seems to have put a lot of us in the reflective mode: quite a few writers have contributed think pieces of one sort or another. I enjoyed reading these as well as all the tips and strategies for frugal living. Editor’s picks are flagged with adoring hearts: ??
Reflections and Insights
Personal Finance Blog by Money Ning
Our Eternal Pursuit of More Wealth
Is money everything?
Saving to Invest
Will Obama’s Budget Plans Help the Poor by Taxing the Rich
Wanna rile up the readership? Just whisper the words “wealth redistribution…”
Budgets Are Sexy
Complaining Will Now Cost This Blogger $1 per Incident…
An explanation of what Lent is about and a great idea for a Lenten challenge
The Truth about Saving Money with Coupons
The straight skinny from an expert on the subject. Very interesting!
Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter to Shareholders: 2009
After highlighting some of Buffett’s most interesting remarks, Investor considers their implications.
Life Is NOT All about Saving Money
Determined to find some balance, Studenomist establishes a few guidelines.
The Personal Financier
Is Rationalization the Key to Happiness?
Dorian asks some probing questions about honesty (with oneself) and its effect on a person’s sense of well-being.
Living Almost Large
Can You Be Too Frugal?
w00t! The case of the $500/month clothing budget stirs up a hornet’s nest of reader comments!
Is It Odd to Save?
‘Fessing up to living within his means earns Ryan a puzzled reaction from one of his coworkers.
Mrs. Modern Tightwad
MT Tips: Respect for Other People’s Choices
And on the very subject that worries Ryan, Mrs. MT has something to say.
Family Balance Sheet
Seven Frugal Reasons Why I’m Ready for Spring
Is April the frugalest month?
Ryan and Leslie
Can Redistribution of Wealth Help Both Poor and Rich?
Uh oh: it’s b-a-a-a-c-k! Ryan and Leslie, though, don’twhisper “wealth redistribution”; they run a video on the subject.
Two Wise Acres
Obama’s “Making Homes Affordable” Program and Evil Real Estate Investors
Real estate investor casts a gimlet eye on pending mortgage rescue plans.
Surviving a Large Pay Cut
After having chosen to take an 80% pay cut to make a career change, Elizabeth has some thoughts on dealing with involuntary pay cuts.
The Ripples of Personal Finance
A reflection on the many ways seemingly small decisions can affect a person’s entire financial life.
The Frugal Live for Recessions
Suggests (among other things) the long period of prosperity and relative stability we’ve seen has reduced the number of people remaining to teach frugal habits.
I Pick Up Pennies
Through the Looking Glass: A Look at Perceived Frugality
An introspective essay about human nature and its potential costs
Funny about Money
No Crash Here: Riches in the Department of What Matters
The Great Gilded Bubble: Gold Investing
You say you moved your money out of stocks into gold? Uh oh…
The Consumer’s Guide to Functioning in an Economic Cycle (L-O-N-G)
A few thoughts on staying solvent in an unstable world
Inventions and Tools
Raising Chickens: Homemade Plans—Another Chicken Feeder
Here’s a clever and simple idea that could easily be adapted, using smaller parts, to make a frugal wild bird feeder. And if you have designs on turning your backyard into a chicken ranch, here’s a whole blog on the subject!
The Ultimate Pricebook Database
Why build your own when you can use Kyle’s database for tracking prices?
*Mary at Simply Forties (guest post)
How to Make Toilet Paper Roll Seed Starter Pots
This is one of the most ingenious ideas out there.
The Sun’s Financial Diary
Google Tip Jar Lets You Take and Share Tips
No, not the monetary kind! Check it out.
Watts Up Pro Kill-a-Watt Monitor
Here’s a nifty little doodad that will tell you exactly how much energy your stuff uses.
Cash Money Life
You Need a Budget Review
Budget-making software, plus a coupon
Thrifty Tip of the Day
Don’t Throw Away Those Bananas!
Overripe? Try this.
The Balanced Life
What Is the “Value” of Fast Food?
A fresh take on the actual cost of grabbing a meal on the run
Smith Family Garden
The Great Sunflower Project: Free Seeds!
Get free sunflower seeds in exchange for participating in a research project
It’s Frugal Being Green
Generating Passive Income during Time off Work
IFBG plans to use paid and unpaid time off to prime the pump for the second income stream.
The Household Maven
This Week’s Menu
They eat well at the Maven’s house, at a reasonable price.
Five Cent Nickel
Save Money with Do-It-Yourself Car Repairs
Nickel’s brother’s misadventure inspires some advice on simple car maintenance and a slew of mechanic stories from readers.
The Buck List
Use Your Library
Think you know all the ways your local library can save you pennies? Check this out!
Frugal for Life
The 5 Rs of Basic Frugality
~Dawn adds two new principles to the old standbys.
Silicon Valley Blogger
The Digerati Life
Cheap Meals and Easy Dinner Ideas: Recession Dining for Under $10
SVB finds Clara, the Depression cook, and offers a few of her own ideas for keeping food costs down.
The Smarter Wallet
Protect Your Assets from Financial Loss! Avoid Bad Financial Decisions
Wallet exhorts readers to think before spending, with a couple of excellent examples.
Recession Tips from Fifth-Graders
I was tempted to put this under “Entertainment and Fun,” because it’s always charming to hear what youngsters have to say on the subject of frugality.
Being Frugal? Just Use a Little Less
Very smart insight!
My Dollar Plan
15 Budget-Trimming Tips
Lots of links to past My Dollar Plan articles on money-saving strategies
Out of Debt: Christian Finances and Debt Help
Avoid Paying $81 Billion on Your Credit Card
Yup…she got that right.
Sharon Harvey Rosenberg
The Frugal Duchess
Saving Time and Money for Dinner
Three frugal, convenience-promoting ideas for working families
Wide Open Wallet
Costco vs. Sam’s Club
This is a tour de force! Don’t miss it.
Pimp Your Finances
10 Tips for Saving More at the Grocery Store
The title says it all!
Free Money Finance
How to Feed Your Family for $1,500 a Year (Kind Of)
A rumination on a family of four’s year-long project
Cheap Healthy Good
Weekly Menu Planning for Singles, Couples, and Working People
A strategy is mapped out in detail: save money, save time, and relieve stress.
Poorer than You
How Much Can You Save with the Entertainment Book?
Interesting comparison between the regional Entertainment Book’s price and the user’s savings over a year.
We Are Baby-Ready!
The optimistic dad-to-be believes he and the mom-to-be are prepared for the advent of…yes! Twins!
Learn Financial Planning
7 Questions to Ask Yourself before Buying a Car
Look before you leap!
Inaccurate Grocery Store Pricing?
Mary generates some conversation by asking readers whether they track the accuracy of grocery-store prices at the cash register and, if so, what they do about it.
Starting a Coupon Club
An interesting idea
Engineer a Debt-Free Life
25 Ways to Save Money and Bargain-Shop in Small Towns and Rural Areas, Part 2
Life in a remote spot may be peaceful, but there’s no competition to drive down prices at the local grocer’s. Some of these ideas will work for city dwellers, too!
Frugal Entertaining and Fun
Sound Money Matters
Ideas for Hosting a Frugal Baby Shower
A shower of good ideas for dealing with this grand old tradition.
PF Credit Cards
Priceline Gets You the Cheapest Hotel Deals
PFCC does a quick real-world comparison of online travel booking sites.
DIY and Crafts
Fine Craft Guild.com
Free St. Patrick’s Day Crafts Templates: Prancing Leprechauns
Great for kids and holiday decorators
How to Remove Burnt Smell from a Microwave?
The Fire Finances performed the near miracle of reviving a microwave after it was infested with the parfum de burnt popcorn. Not an easy trick, as any of us who have trashed a micro this way can attest.
My Life ROI
My Life ROI: Getting the Best Return on Life
How to Figure Out Taxable Income for a Recent Graduate
One of a series of primers in dealing with income taxes
Four Ways to Get a Bigger Tax Refund in 2009 and 1010
How to increase your annual “bonus” from Uncle Sam
Blueprint for Financial Prosperity
Highest National CD Rates
Jim recently updated this handy list and promises to keep it up to date: something to bookmark!
Borrowing from Your 401(k) Plan: Advantages and Disadvantages
Suggests that contrary to popular wisdom, it may sometimes be to your advantage to borrow from your 401(k).
5 Ways Saving Online Makes Sense
Benefits to online banking
Good Financial Sense
Is It Time to Refinance Your Home?
A guest post that offers some basic guidelines to considering whether to refinance.
Free from Broke
Frugal Ideas to Help Your Home Sell
Adds some fresh ideas to the old standards.
Debt Relief Strategies
Debt Reduction Strategy: Trading Down the Auto
Some things to consider before trading in your car
4 Debt-Free Ways to Pay for College
Ideas for present and future college students to consider
Christian Personal Finance
Make Money Designing Logos
A site invites designers to submit logos for purchase.
Passive Family Income
Passive Income Opportunities: Think Creatively
Buy low and sell dear…down at the local CVS!
The Dough Roller
2009 Economic Stimulus Package FAQs
DR explains some of the new legislation’s key features in easy-to-read Q-&-A format.
Military Finance Network
Extra College Money for Military Members and Veterans
Surveys opportunities for educational support.
Next week’s host for the Festival of Frugality is TBA (maybe you should volunteer?). Be sure to send your submissions in by Monday evening.
Rodin’s Thinker: photo byCJ at Wikipedia Commons
John William Waterhouse, The Crystal Ball
Lightbulb: Armin Kübelbeck at Wikipedia Commons
Scrooge McDuck (link), by Carl Barks
California Costco by Dennis Pick at Wikipedia Commons
WPA Crafts Class: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum