Infographic: How Much Do People Spend On Coffee, Lunch and Gas for Work?

Posted March 20th, 2012 in Frugal Living by Jeremy Waller

I’m sure you’ve heard before how quickly things like coffee and lunch can add up if you’re buying them every day. Anecdotally, I’ve talked to a number of people who are making coffee at home and are bringing leftovers for lunch to save money.

However, according to this year’s Accounting Principal’s Workonomix Survey, there are still plenty of people that are spending bucket loads of cash buying coffee and lunch every day.

Half of the American work force chooses to buy coffee every day and over 50% of people who buy coffee are spending more than $20 per week – over $1,000 per year.

Nearly a quarter of the people surveyed prefer to dine out for lunch, spending $37 per week on average – or almost $2,000 per year.

Here’s a neat infographic that lays out some of the findings (click for full size image):

Carpooling Etiquette: 10 Ground Rules To Keep Your Sanity

Posted March 6th, 2012 in Cars, Frugal Living by Jeremy Waller

The following is a guest post from Alex Kelly. Thanks Alex!

Whether it’s rising gas prices, the cost of parking or just the frustration that can come with the daily commute, there are many reasons why you may be considering forming a carpool. Carpooling, or sharing a ride with others headed to the same destination, can help you save money and wear on your vehicle.

There are two primary types of carpools: those for work and those for parents whose children participate in extracurricular activities. You can also find ride-sharing options for long-distance trips and errands such as doctor appointments and grocery shopping.

Regardless of the type, any carpool requires certain logistics and ground rules in order to work effectively. Use these 10 carpooling tips to get started.

  1. Dividing the cost. If all passengers take turns driving, then each can assume the full cost when he or she is the driver. If the carpool has people who are only riding and never driving, then you might consider equally splitting the cost of gas, vehicle wear and tear, parking and tolls. Consult AAA’s driving cost assessment to help with the math.
  2. Finalizing the carpool participants. Decide who will be carpooling and how you’ll split the driving.
  3. Coordinating pick-up and drop-off. You have several options: meeting at a central location, meeting at the driver’s house or having the driver stop at each residence.
  4. Dealing with tardiness. Establish how long the driver will wait for latecomers. A window of five minutes is generally acceptable.
  5. Deciding how often to carpool. Carpooling even a few times a week can help lessen the cost of driving and reduce stress. For passengers who have occasional obligations before or after work, a daily commitment just isn’t feasible.
  6. Etiquette in the car. One of the best carpooling tips is to discuss what is acceptable in terms of music, cell phones, food, smoking and scents like air fresheners, perfumes or cologne. This can prevent a lot of tension.
  7. Emergency arrangements. Come up with a plan to follow when the driver is suddenly unavailable. Advance notice would be best, but if it’s a family emergency or the car won’t start, you don’t always know ahead of time. Be sure to exchange contact information so everyone can be notified.
  8. Vehicle requirements. While you can’t control the cars that others drive, your carpool group may want to insist on certain standards, such as the number of seats, full coverage car insurance, cleanliness or safety features. Passengers whose cars don’t meet the requirements must be riders only.
  9. Discussing driving records. Have an honest discussion about accidents, speeding tickets and more serious offenses before you start carpooling. If any participant’s driving record is less than desirable, don’t be shy about asking that person not to drive.
  10. Agreeing on a policy for extra stops. Talk about whether you will allow time for stops on the way. It can be a great inconvenience for others in the carpool if you insist that the vehicle make unplanned stops at the pharmacy or dry cleaner.

Finally, be sure to check your vehicle insurance policy to see if it mentions carpooling. You want to be sure you have enough coverage to protect against the unexpected. If you’re not satisfied with your current insurance, consider shopping around for a better package.

Is Laser Hair Removal Worth It? Warning: Highly Technical Analysis

Posted March 1st, 2012 in Frugal Living by Jeremy Waller

Ok. I admit this post is a little strange for me. Laser hair removal isn’t something that crosses my mind often (ever?)

But, I saw a Groupon the other day and I really did wonder if you could save money in the long run. I can’t remember the details offhand, but it was something like $400 for six sessions on an “exta-large” area. (Do they charge more if you’re really overweight?) I’m assuming that your legs or your back fall under the extra-large category. Continue Reading »

Sometimes It’s The Simple Things in Life

Posted February 21st, 2012 in Financial Freedom, Frugal Living by Jeremy Waller

There’s the saying that the best things in life are free.

Recently we’ve cut out budget way back to help meet some of our financial goals this year. That means our fun budget is pretty thin right now. But that didn’t stop us from having a great weekend. Continue Reading »

Save Money on Essential Items With Price Comparison Websites

Posted February 7th, 2012 in Frugal Living by Jeremy Waller

It’s relatively easy to save money on non-essential items: you just tighten the belt a bit and go out to eat less, buy fewer clothes any forego evenings out for a cheaper alternative at home. When it comes to saving money on essential items, however, it takes a bit more work. Continue Reading »

Giving Christmas Gifts On A Tight Budget

Posted December 1st, 2011 in Budgeting, Frugal Living by Jeremy Waller

It’s that time of the year again. Christmas is coming. I love Christmas. It’s a great opportunity to spend extra time with your family. It’s a time for Christmas traditions. And for a lot of people it’s a time to totally blow their budget out of the water.

Christmas doesn’t have to be that way. It’s just that most of us have bought into this materialistic mindset.

It’s Christmas! You have to buy presents for everyone! Who are you? Ebenezer Scrooge? Continue Reading »

Hot Deal Alert – Get 100 Issues of Business Week for $10

Posted October 1st, 2011 in Frugal Living by Jeremy Waller

Hey everyone. Just wanted to drop a quick note about an awesome deal I came across this morning.

As of the time I am writing this, you can get a 2 year subscription – 100 issues – to Bloomberg BusinessWeek Magazine for $10. That is a super deal. Cover price on these is $400.00. The best price I could find on a regular subscription was $100. At $10 this is a steal.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (2 years) $10

Use coupon code BW10 at checkout.

BusinessWeek is a pretty good resource for information about the economy, industries, trends and the markets. At $10 I highly recommend you check it out.


Update: Ok – I found a couple more magazine deals. These aren’t my cup of tea, but they’re still good deals.