Money and Finance Articles

Learn to live a life of financial freedom and browse money-saving tips and tricks to stretch your dollar further than ever before. Browse dozens of great articles, hundreds of tips, and full tutorials to take control of your pocketbook!

From Simple Tips to Develop a Saver’s Attitude to understanding the difference between Paying Down or Paying Ahead to understanding When and Why to Give your Kids an Allowance, we have articles covering every money and finance question you have!

You can do it, we can help, and it starts with the articles here!

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Tips and Tricks to Stop the Money Leaks

For many, it’s not the big expenditures that keep them spending beyond their means, but rather the thousands of little purchases that together wreak havoc on their finances. Want to start leaving more money in the bank each month? Start paying attention to all the little ways money leaks out of your life.

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TOOTHPASTE LIKE A PEA. Those toothpaste ads that show the toothbrush covered with toothpaste in an artful swirl use about four times as much toothpaste as necessary to brush our teeth thoroughly. My dentist told me that it takes enough toothpaste the size of a pea to do a good job. And the fact that a smaller amount is still effective, is more comfortable than having a mouth full of suds and makes the toothpaste last three times longer is my idea of a great way to stop the money leak. Edna, Oregon

LINT ROLL THE LAMPSHADE. My lampshades don’t get dirty, but they sure do get dusty. I “dust” my cloth lampshades with a lint roller. Works like a charm! Anita, Minnesota

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Handy Reminders Save Money

I don’t know if the world is getting older, or we all just have too many things to remember, but more and more memory-saving tips are landing in my inbox. Let me just say, “thanks, keep ‘em coming!”

COUPON REMINDER. I used to have such a challenge remembering to use the instant coupons that came stuck to the front of a product. I’d get home from the grocery store and there it was, still stuck to the product. One day it dawned on me what to do. When I pick the product off the shelf, I IMMEDIATELY stick the coupon over the bar code. That way, if I get busy unloading the basket the clerk will have to remove it to scan the product! Sylvia, Louisiana

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ODOR-FREE ONION STOCKPILE. Make sure when you are freezing onions to use freezer bags, not just sandwich zip-type bags. Bags designed for the freezer do a better job of keeping the food’s odors from escaping. I mean, who wants their freezer to smell like onions? Tina, EC blog

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Being Hopeless at Math is Costing Us Money

“I don’t do math—numbers give me a rash.” That’s a line I’ve used a lot, mostly because it’s true, but also because it gets me a laugh. Truth be told, most of us stink when it comes to doing math on the fly. That’s a problem, because being hopeless with math makes us putty in the hands of retailers.

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Why is it socially acceptable to say that we’re bad at math, but not socially acceptable to say we’re bad at reading?

The truth is that it’s not okay to be hopeless with numbers. Here are three ways that our aversion to math costs us money:  Read more

How to Revolt Against Spouse’s Money Rules

Dear Mary,
My husband and I don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to spending. Basically, he feels that I should run every purchase I make by him, no matter how big or small. It’s gotten so bad that he now highlights the “questionable” purchases on our Visa bill and leaves it for me to explain. I really can’t stand being treated like a child. I work hard, and I’m not a spendthrift at all. In fact, my friends marvel at what a great bargain shopper I am!

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I have become resentful of him, and it’s starting to creep into other areas of our marriage. What can I do to get him to see how unreasonable he’s being? Doreen, Maine Read more

Rules of Money Management Haven’t Changed

Dear Mary,
I love your “Everyday Cheapskate” newspaper column. You’ve changed my life! Now I need help. My house is worth half of what I owe on the mortgage. Is it still considered a secured debt? I would love to sell it. I’ve even tried to give it back to the bank, but they won’t take it. Many people are in my situation. I’m trying to play by the rules, but I feel they keep changing. Laurie, Michigan

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Dear Laurie,
Thanks for your kind words. Many people tell me they’re getting the equivalent of a degree in personal finance just by reading “Everyday Cheapskate.”

The housing crisis in this country is a tragedy, and one that way too many people didn’t see coming when they mortgaged their homes so heavily. However, I do not see where the rules are changing, as you suggest. In fact, I see the opposite. Many people now want lenders to change the rules based on the economy. Read more

Save Money in Everything You Do

It’s amazing how saving a little here and little there can add up to big savings. Each of these tips on their own doesn’t save much. But added up over time? It can really make a difference.

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Don’t believe me? Think about the amount of cosmetics you’ve tossed because of an allergic reaction or it just wasn’t the right color. And don’t get me started on buying or making decorations for a child’s party—that can be a real money drain. Let these tips get your creative juices flowing on how you can substitute, reuse or repurpose what you already have. And send any new tips you come up with to me. I’d love to include them in a future column.

EYELINER TRICK. My eyelids swell when I use eyeliner pencils, and liquid eyeliner looks too harsh. Instead, I take an eyeliner brush or Q-tip, dip it in water and then into a dark shade of eye shadow. Then I apply it to my eyelid with the same results. This has saved me money, since eye shadow is less expensive than eyeliner. Tania, email Read more

Plastic: Hazardous to Your Wealth

Today, there is a huge debate about whether exposure to plastic poses health risks. But there exists still an even bigger problem with a different kind of plastic exposure, already proven to be hazardous to our wealth. I’m talking about the kind of plastic we carry in our wallets.

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Convenience Factor. Most people begin their relationship with plastic on what I call terms of convenience. They have enough money in the bank to pay for groceries or gas, but it is just so much more convenient to swipe a card. And the monthly statement offers such a tidy record of transactions. It is so convenient.

Then comes the time when the bank balance is a bit low and the perfect shoes are on sale. Can’t pay the entire balance when the statement comes? Not to worry! Because of the minimum payment option, you can pay a small amount and buy yourself another 30 days. Such convenience. Read more