Is Capitalism Always The Answer?

by The Happy Rock on September 8, 2009

I know that probably sounds like blasphemy to a lot of folks out there, but I am starting to feel like it is the truth. As much as I like free markets, they don’t magically solve every problem.  We all probably have different definitions of what we think capitalism is, so let’s define it so we all start off on the same page.  I am not saying this is a perfect definition, but one that is probably is digestible by all of us. Capitalism – An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods that are distributed […]

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Quick question:  Do you think a microwave is a necessity or a luxury? I ask because the other day NPR ran a story about a Pew Research Center study that asked these types of questions. According to the findings Americans are paring down on what they consider necessities.  For example, in 2006 68% of people called the microwave a “necessity”.  In 2009 only 47% now feel that way. Here is a chart showing how some other items fared as well. It’s interesting to see that a shaky economy has people viewing less items as necessities.  But it totally makes sense. […]

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Picture Post – Got Room In Your House?

by The Happy Rock on March 22, 2009

Got room?

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Reader Stories : The Beauty of Frugality and Family

by The Happy Rock on January 26, 2009

A Happy Rock reader shared this story with me and I loved the images so much and thought the readers would too. ———————————— The scene was a ‘girls night out’ were the girls of the family went out to run errands and grab a bite to eat. This exchange took place : Mom asked her daughter(11 years old) how she and her friends were getting along. The daughter said that everything was fine, but sometimes she wished she had a cell phone as a lot of her friends got one or an updated one for Christmas. Nobody in the family […]

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Sacrifice and Save Money with Store Brands

by Debt Destroyer on January 22, 2009

I used to think “generic” was a derogatory term.  It probably stems from a childhood visit from my snobbish cousin who called everything I had or liked “generic” and everything he had or liked “special.” Kids can be cruel. But that was a long time ago.  I’d like to think I moved on as soon as I hit adulthood, but I didn’t.  All during college I held on to my trusty name brands.   Perhaps buying them was like having a little piece of home in my dorm/apartment.  Or maybe I was just a sucker for the clever marketing. Who […]

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Our Rules For Buying A House

by The Happy Rock on November 6, 2008

The Rock Garden has been planning a move back to Pennsylvania for a long time now and the wheels are finally in motion.  The logistics of trying to sell our house, buy a new house, and deal with changing both our jobs is a bit scary at times, but it is something we both want(especially me). We have been talking about this move for years, so we have laid out some common sense principles that will help keep us on track when the house buying frenzy begins to cloud our thinking.  It is easy to get caught up in the […]

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What Is Your Purchase Personality?

by The Happy Rock on September 4, 2008

As I struggle to resist the temptation to snag a snack from the vending machine during my ingredient month, I began thinking about how different personalities chose what to eat at vending machine or even at a restaurant. This led me to identify five distinct purchasing personalities.  The purchase decision at a vending machine or a restaurant serves as concrete situation to help us think about our own purchase personality.  We all can probably be any one of these at different times and in different situations, but the question is what personality are you most of the time. The Lavisher […]

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Picture Post – Spend Time With Me

by The Happy Rock on July 31, 2008

“I don’t need more stuff, I need someone to spend time with me” Photo Credit – LightChaser: Luis Cruz

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How Much House Can You Afford?

by The Happy Rock on March 30, 2008

Or maybe how large a car payment can I handle? Every were you turn online calculators and salesman are always telling us the maximum we can spend on any given purchase. It’s the wrong question! So you can afford a $200,000 house that has the extra big yard that, but it is 50% of your take home pay. Or maybe you can afford the next size SUV that gets 15 – 18 miles per gallon for a mere $450 a month. What the salesman and free online calculator from a site that is is trying to lend you money forgot […]

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I have seen people on Slick Deals do things that skirt the line of honesty and legality in order to get a great deal. I can even relate to getting caught up in the hype of certain deal or the possibility of free stuff. I have even contemplated doing something that I wouldn’t have regretted in the midst self created frugality hysteria. But when I read about a Craigslist hoax gone wrong, I couldn’t even believe it without reading the original article. Robert Salisbury of Oregon came home one day to find 30 people rummaging through his house and filing […]

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