Friday Faves: Welcome to Summer

May 29, 2015 Permalink 0

Friday Faves_Compressed

Has it started to feel like Summer in your neck of the woods yet?

It actually has been pretty cool, mild, and damp in my hometown. We haven’t had this much rain in I don’t know how long. I’m hoping the sun will come out soon and the plants will green up and get to growing. I can’t wait to enjoy the flowers I planted by my mailbox this year!

There’s no real theme to this week’s Friday Faves, but we still have a good set of posts for you to enjoy this weekend when you are bored and want to spend some time reading about money. :)

We all Have Unique Financial Situations – Suburban Finance – Sarah reminds us that we all have different circumstances to deal with in life and when it comes to our finances. But that doesn’t mean we can’t all learn from each other along the way.

The Value of Time is Irreplaceable – Plunged in Debt – In this post, Catherine tells us that we all need to slow down and smell the roses now and then. Life isn’t all about work, work, work.

5 Ways to Kill Your Spending Triggers – Wise Dollar – This is a great post to review if you are having trouble sticking to your budget and keep overspending in the same areas over and over again. I need to look at this one myself, haha.

Should You Drive Your Car Until it Dies? – Frugal Rules – Staff writer, Cat, asks readers if they are of the opinion that they should drive their car until it dies. Personally, I’m in favor of getting rid of it before it strands you on the side of the road, but all know I’m not the most frugal person ever, ha!

5 Lessons I Learned in 5 Years of Blogging – Budget Blonde – First, congrats to Cat on her 5 year blogiversary! Woot! Second, there are some great lessons to be learned in this post from a seasoned vet in our community. You should definitely check it out!

Our Personal Finance Work:

Aaron and I aren’t slackers. :) Both of us are constantly working and writing for a variety of websites about personal finance. Here are just a few places you can find some of our latest works.

6 Times it’s Ok to Drop Insurance – Christian Science Monitor – In this post picked up by Christian Science Monitor, Aaron talks about the age old negative stigma around dropping insurance and why it may be ok in some situations.

Unemployment Insurance Can Help First Time Buyers – Mortgage Loan – Aaron’s post explores how first time home buyer’s can get creative to make their dream happen.

The 3 Legged Stool: A Retirement Theory – Financial Conversation – In this post on my new site, I share a retirement theory from the past, the 3 legged stool theory, and talk about how it can be modernized to account for differences in retirement planning today.

Can Single People Afford to be Self-Employed? – ShoeaholicNoMore – Here I explore if I am at a disadvantage when it comes to my dream of quitting my full-time job to pursue self-employment due to being single.

That’s all we have for you today. We hope you have an amazing weekend and enjoy some summer weather!

Friday Faves_Compressed

3 Financial Mistakes New Grads Should Look Out For

May 27, 2015 Permalink 0
graduate mistakes

A building on my college campus!

With lots of lots of new college graduates now getting ready to enter the “real world”, aka the working world that we’ve all come to dread love, including my little brother, I’ve been thinking a lot about the financial mistakes I made as a new college graduate. There were plenty!

While I was pretty smart about getting through school on a shoe-string budget and not taking out too many student loans, my good financial decisions were pretty much all un-done when I graduated from college in May 2012.

Here are a couple financial mistakes I made after college, and another that others around me made too.

Giving in to Lifestyle Inflation

We all know that lifestyle inflation is evil not a good way to spend your money. But it can be hard to want to maintain your broke college student way of life when you graduate and suddenly find yourself making more money. There are some lifestyle inflations that are okay, and probably even smart, to starting spending more money on, but others are just silly and a waste of money.

For example, increasing your food budget so you don’t have to live off cheap junk food is a good lifestyle inflation decision. Getting a TV subscription when you never watch TV is not a good spending decision. Giving in to lifestyle inflation is one of the mistakes I made after college.

Spending Money Before You’ve Earned It

Right after college I got in the habit of spending my paycheck before I’d even earned them and before they were in my bank account. I charged a lot to my credit card with the thought that I’d be able to pay it all back when I got paid next week or whenever because I was making so much more money. In reality, after taxes, retirement savings, and paying required bills, I never had enough left to pay off my latest purchases. Instead of realizing this early on, I continued to spend more than I made and before I had the money in my account for several months.

Being Too Good to Take a Job

My college friends and I had lots of interviews the last month of classes before we graduated. I was lucky because I had a job before I finished college, but a lot of my friends didn’t. One in particular ended up having to work at more than one part-time job to make ends meet while she continued to search for a full-time career-type job.

Unfortunately another friend of ours wasn’t so savvy. She decided she was too good to go back to waitressing while looking for a career-type job and instead had she had no income coming in at all and she charged all of her living expenses to credit cards during her period of unemployment.

Graduation should be a happy time during your life. No matter what your job or financial situation is, you should avoid making the mistakes my friends and I made when we were new grads just a few years ago.

Did you make any financial mistakes when you were a new grad?

32 Brands With Lifetime Warranties

May 26, 2015 Permalink 0


moneyYour parents have had the same furniture and appliances for close to two decades. You replace everything from your wardrobe to smartphone every couple of years. No wonder they’re shaking their heads — the concept of planned obsolescence must seem mind-boggling. Where’s the commitment to craftsmanship and value?

Fortunately, not every manufacturer has kicked the idea of classic goods to the curb. American-made products sold last year are more reliable than products from seven years ago, according to a March 2015 report from the warranty industry publication Warranty Week. Perhaps more companies are following the lead of mainstays like CamelBak and L.L.Bean, which rely on top-notch quality and lifetime warranties to build fierce brand loyalty and long-term savings for customers.

If you still value time-honored quality and excellent customer service, take a look at the following companies that offer some of the best lifetime and limited lifetime warranties available, guaranteeing your purchases have lasting value.

Related: Why Paying for Extended Warranties Isn’t Worth the Money

1. ALDI: Low-price grocer ALDI impresses with its famous Double Guarantee. If you’re not fully satisfied with any product, ALDI will not only replace the product, but refund your money as well.

2. Big Green Egg: Outdoor chefs, here’s a warranty that should light your fires. The distinctive Big Green Egg ceramic grill outdoor cooker carries a limited lifetime warranty on materials and workmanship for its ceramic components. The company offers limited warranties for other components and models as well.

3. Briggs & Riley: Luggage takes a real beating, but nobody wants to have to replace it again and again. Briggs & Riley will repair your broken or damaged B&R bag free of charge — no strings attached — even if the damage was caused by an airline.

4. CamelBak: Hikers, rejoice. The lifetime warranty for CamelBak hydration systems protects against defects in material and workmanship for the life of your reservoir, backpacks, bottles or accessories.