5 ways to save money now


I often get emails from people desperate to get control of their finances and immediately reduce their spending. Most often, these emails are the result of a sudden job loss. While I’ve published more than 80 money savings tips as part of my Money Saving Monday Tips series, I thought it would beneficial for some out there to have a consolidated list of quick tips that would provide immediate money savings.

Here are 5 ways you can save money now:

iPhone application giveaway winners!

Ok, so I’m a day late. Sorry about that everyone. For some reason I had it in my mind that I would announce the winners on Saturday. Symptom of too much going on I guess.

I received 16 comments on the iPhone applcadation giveaway article and with 2 codes being given away, everyone had really good odds of winning! The winners are:

Rebecca who added comment #6 and James who added comment #7

Congratulations to both of you and you have emails from me with the download codes!! Thanks to everyone that entered! Watch for more contests coming very soon!

Reverse Mortgages: Destined to be the Next Subprime Meltdown?


Reverse mortgages are suddenly coming under fire. But these unique loans remain an effective and at times essential financial option for seniors across the country – and they’re proving more popular than ever.

One of the federal government’s banking regulators this week warned that reverse mortgages may soon need greater oversight and scrutiny. John C. Dugan, Comptroller of the Currency, compared reverse mortgages in part to subprime mortgages, claiming some of their similar risks should “set off alarm bells.”

How in the world did I get here?

You Are Here

Ever ask yourself: “How in the world did I get here?”  If your current situation isn’t a good one, generally there is a huge emphasis on the word “here”. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve asked myself this same question over the past 4-5 years. Fortunately a few of the times have been positive, like when I stand out on our front-deck and see our beautiful mountain view or when I look at my work queue for my blog consulting business that is now booked out 4-weeks. For the most part though, the last 3 years or so have seen that question in a less positive light and particularly with my personal finances.

Figure the interest


Johnny Carson once said, “Scientists have discovered a powerful new weapon that leaves buildings standing, but destroys people . . . it is called the 17% interest rate.” Another famous quote about interest may or may not have been uttered by the famous physicist, Albert Einstein, who was once asked about the most powerful force in the universe and answered: “compound interest”.

Ask the M-Network Inquiries


Over the past few weeks I’ve received a number of Ask the M-Network questions. Normally I’d post up one of the questions and associated responses, but given the number of questions I’ve received, this edition will contain multiple questions along with their responses from the M-Network:

What happens to my pension if GM goes bankrupt?
What to do with my tax return?
Continue with Company Stock?
Money for college student?

What happens to my pension if GM goes bankrupt?

An anonymous reader asked:

I am GM retiree. What happens to my pension if GM goes bankrupt?

12 Frugal Wedding Ideas from Stew


Okay, these ideas are not really from Stew, but Stew gets some credit because he asked his wife if she had any suggestions for a frugal wedding. Here are twelve that she listed off the top of her pretty little head. She actually claims to have more, but without further adieu, here are the the twelve:

  1. Save wedding invitations that you get in the mail. Use the ideas of others. Making your own can be fun and unique. Enlist the help of your closest friends and family to help you assemble them. My invitations (including envelopes and inserts) cost around $100 for 300.

Pay off Debt iPhone application giveaway

Last Sunday, I announced a giveaway for a new iPhone and iPod Touch application called Pay off debt. The announcement was buried in the article and given the low number of comments, I’m pretty sure not many people saw it.  Blogging is a learning  journey just like most everything else and lesson learned: Don’t bury a giveaway in another unrelated article.

How to save even more money on your electric bill


Due to the warmer weather, we’ve gone 100% without either AC or heat for more than a month! I received our first resulting electric bill a week or so ago. I was excited to see how low it was going to be. While it was significantly lower than our winter bills, about 45% lower. The bill was still higher than I anticipated.

I’ve been assuming all winter long that the primary consumer of electrical power in the house was the heat pump and underlying electric based back-up coils. While certainly a large portion, it would seem  there might be some additional opportunities to reduce costs as well. Here’s the run-down of other consumers and in the order I think they are “guilty”:

Frugal Saltwater Aquarium Reefkeeping


A few pictures from my reef tank

One of my hobbies is maintaining a 75 gallon saltwater reef aquarium. I’ve mentioned this a few times before in some other articles I’ve written. A number of you have written asking me about my aquarium and saying you’re in the hobby as well. So I thought I’d share a money saving article that applies to saltwater aquariums.

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