Plugging the Holes in Your Budget

by The Happy Rock on June 3, 2010

The following is a guest post by a dear friend Ed(@ed_bruner) who is just months away from finally getting out from under $40,000+ in debt. Use cash to plug up the holes I assume every family budget has holes in it.  Ours did.  The holes were mostly unaccounted spending or personal spending…a trip to a retail store, a lunch out, snacks, etc.  These “little”spending events can destroy a budget or even derail your debt reduction if they are not kept in check. The way we handle this issue is by allowing ourselves weekly spending cash. The rest of the income […]

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We Spend Coins Faster than Bills

by Debt Destroyer on May 18, 2009

Lately I’m becoming an expert on the psychology of spending money, and it’s all thanks to my trusty radio. Last month I wrote about a story I heard on NPR which said that we can save money by carrying big bills.   Earlier this week I heard another story which goes hand-in-hand with the big bill story. According to this story, not only will we hold onto a $100 longer than five $20’s, but we’ll also keep a $1 longer than we will 4 quarters. I did some head scratching while listening to it. They talked about a couple of studies which […]

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Remember Traveler’s checks? Do People Still Use Them?

by Debt Destroyer on April 25, 2009

Yee-Haw! The Debt Destroyer clan finally got out of Dodge (meaning we took a quick vacation over Easter break).   And with such a trip, there are all the last minute preparations you need to take care of before leaving. Making sure the kids are all packed up. Making sure the van is ready to go. Bring snacks, DVDs, & music for the trip. Drop off the dog. Get Traveler’s checks(cheques). I crossed the last one off because it’s the 21st Century. While I might pretend to be a pretty cool cat, I’ll admit to being old enough to have […]

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Does Carrying Big Bills Save You Money?

by Debt Destroyer on April 7, 2009

On more than one occasion I’ve mentioned my love of public radio, so it should come as no surprise that a piece I heard this past Sunday made my wheels turn. All Things Considered ran a story about a study which found that people will spend less money if they carry around big bills rather than smaller ones. The idea was that it is psychological more painful to spend a $100 bill than it is to spend five $20’s. Does this sound familiar? It should, because this is the same logic behind the idea that using cash will save you money over using […]

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The Penny Is Being Retired!

by The Happy Rock on April 1, 2009

With the soaring cost of gold and other precious metals,  the penny which has cost more than 1 cent to make for a few years is finally being retired.   A single penny which is 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper now costs almost 1.8 cents to produce in 2009.  It has been this way for years, but only recently has the cost of a penny risen to almost twice its worth.  The Obama administration has decided that removing the penny will be a simple cost cutting measure that will also be a boost to the economy and the exchange of […]

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Gift Cards Are Bad Gifts And A Waste Of Money

by The Happy Rock on December 18, 2008

Harsh?  I don’t think so.   An estimated $97 billion dollars were spent on gift cards in 2007 and companies were able to keep almost $8 billion dollars in breakage, fees or unused money.   It is one of the first things they teach you when opening a business, sell gift cards.   Any unused money is pure profit and even if they use it they are forced to use you service or store.   Brilliant business, but not good personal finance. The real brilliance in the gift card business came when they were able to convince us that the gift of cash was […]

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The “Paying Cash” Experience – 2 Months Later

by Debt Destroyer on November 25, 2008

Some of you may remember that at the end of August I decided that starting in September, I would start paying cash for certain items (groceries, household stuff, & entertainment). Obviously I hoped that this would lead to major savings.  Dave Ramsey professes that paying in cash will save around 12% or even more!  I was shooting for savings of around $100 per month. I have to admit that it was a little weird paying for stuff using cash after so many years of putting everything on plastic.  Especially at the grocery store where the bill can easily be over […]

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Paying with Cash…Does it Save Money?

by Debt Destroyer on August 30, 2008

The other day when I was prepping for a fantasy football draft, I stumbled upon a video at Yahoo that covered a family who spent only cash for one month. According to the story they saved $1800 (24%) compared to what they normally spent. After I picked my jaw off the floor from being amazed that they could spend almost 8 grand a month, I started thinking maybe I should get in on the savings. Some of you will remember that I’ve recently been introduced to Dave Ramsey and his method of debt elimination set out in his book, Total […]

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Paying Cash Saved Us Over $1,000

by The Happy Rock on June 6, 2008

I talk often about the benefits of paying cash and the credit card premium, but just recently The Rockette received a first hand lesson about how paying cash can save you money. The Rock Garden had to hire a new babysitter a few weeks back who wanted to get paid in cash rather than by check. The Rockette works 18 hours a week as a Registered Dietitian Consultant and would now be handing over the cash on Friday afternoons instead of me writing a check with the bills. The second week she had to hand over $212 in cash to […]

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Sticker shock. That is probably your first thought, I know it was mine when The Happy Rockette first told me about the stroller. A little more than 3 months later, we own one! See the picture below for a quick look or click here for an in depth look at Here are the criteria I used to evaluate and review our Phil and Ted stroller purchase and why I think it was a great purchase: Pay Cash. The Rockette had been working every other Saturday to help out at her former job and decided she wanted that extra effort […]

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