I have said it before, I LOVE Coffee!   If I would pick one food or drink item that I just could not do without, Coffee would be it.   I have also said before that if you made Starbucks your #1 choice in the morning, the amount of money you would spend over time would be astronomical.   If you have read my post on “Your Daily Starbucks habit could mean $330,633 less money at retirement“, you will see that it can be an expensive habit.

None the less, if you just can’t help the urge to get yourself a Starbucks, then I have compiled a list of tips & tricks to save you some money while drinking this irresistible drink.  Here are my 8 hacks to stretch your money at Starbucks.

Free Refills

Did you know you can get free refills at Startbucks?  You have got to be kidding me right?  No it’s true.   During the same visit, if you use the same registered Starbucks card or mobile app and return for a refill, you will get a free cup of brewed coffee (hot, iced or cold brew) or tea (hot or iced).   If you don’t believe me, check out their policy on the Starbucks web site.[Read More…]

Do you love to shop?    Well here are 8 awesome apps that you need to know about before you head out to do some shopping, whether it be online shopping or in store shopping.    All 8 of the apps are completely free and in fact these companies will pay you!   Awesome right?

Let me tell you about them:

Swagbucks

This is a fun little app where they focus mostly on providing you surveys to complete and in exchange you earn what they call “Swagbucks”.    The surveys are generally not a drag to take and they usually don’t take long.   The great thing about this site is that they tell you how long the survey will take and what you will earn ahead of time.

For example, you could be presented with a 6 minute survey where you could earn 50 Swagbucks.   When you reach a certain threshold of Swagbucks, you can then begin to turn them in for gift cards of your choice.    This is perfect to kill time when you are waiting in line somewhere, or at the doctor’s office or when you lay down to go to bed.   Fire up the app and take a survey and earn some Swagbucks![Read More…]

You have come to the right place if you want to get out of debt!   We use to be in over $75,000 in credit card debt alone, not to mention the mortgage and car payments on top of it.   If anyone knows debt, we do!

Being in debt can be very emotional, with feelings that you have the weight of the world on your shoulders.  The bank owns you, it may feel like.   The debt ball and chain has a strong hold on your footing.    I understand, I’ve been there.

How would it feel to be free of all this debt?   To get the control back in your life so that you can have some extra money to do things with, rather than the bank always being there demanding every red cent that you have.   It’s time to take back your financial freedom.   It’s time to take these 8 steps and get yourself out of debt.

Trust me, it’s worth it being debt free.   You have more options, you can take more vacations and you can ultimately plan to live a great life in retirement rather than slaving away well past retirement age.

Here are the steps you need to take…[Read More…]

Traveling is one of life’s most rewarding experiences to me.   I think it all started when I was younger and my parents would set off across the country on a regular basis in their Airstream camper, as part of the Wally Byam club with a caravan of trailers and like minded people in tow.

The open road, the unknown adventure, meeting new people along the way, seeing new and experiencing what this great world has to offer.

Needless to say, I developed a travel bug from the early days of my life that continues on even more as an adult.   I Love to Travel!   It’s pretty obvious that we have a love for travel based on the emphasis we put on it in our budget.  It’s important to us, so it receives a fair share of attention when we are “bucketing” our money, as we call it.

Yes you need to budget for vacation, just like everything else.   You have to set a goal on what you need to save in order to take the vacations you want every year.

Here are some tips and tricks on how we tackle our vacation goals each year.[Read More…]

I have to admit, I love Amazon!  LOVE Them!  When you are eager to pay a company $99 a year (Amazon Prime) for the privilege to buy stuff from them faster (2 Day Shipping), then you know you have something going on.

I do have to be careful with what I do on Amazon, because they make it so easy to buy from them anymore.   I could order something by just talking to Alexa, I could simply press one of my Amazon Dash buttons, or I can just set it and forget it with their subscribe & save feature and poof an Amazon box drops on my front door step.   There is no arguing that Amazon is revolutionizing our way of life.

You will soon be able to checkout at Grocery stores without waiting in line (Amazon Go), in fact you don’t need to do anything except to just walk out.

You will even be able to order online and receive your delivery in an hour through a Uber-like on demand Amazon delivery service, maybe even a drone will drop off your package in your front lawn soon.   The sky is the limit!

Let’s come back to the ground though and talk about today.   There are several ways that you can save money on Amazon that you may not even realize exists, until now![Read More…]

Now I love being frugal as I approach life.   I like to budget, I like to save and I like to invest when we can.   Sometimes I even can take it too far and get caught up in saving money to the detriment of me and other things in my life.   This is when you start to move from being frugal to just being cheap about it.

You will see that having a balance in life of saving maxed well with still having fun in life is the best approach and what I will showcase to you in the 6 signs of when you know your not being frugal, your just being plain old cheap about it.

Here are my 6 tips.

Never Spending the Fun Money

Every year about this time of the year, we start researching where we are going to take our big vacation of the year.   We research areas of the world, means of transportation and what we are going to do when we get there.  I mean we did spend all year saving for this grand event, we might as well live it up and celebrate all that hard work.

None the less, I still have some guilt hanging over my head knowing that I did spend all that time saving and to spend it all in a week or so doesn’t sound too frugal does it?  Well here is the thing that I have to correct myself on every time.   We collectively made a decision in our budget to save the money specifically for spending the money on something fun.[Read More…]

We LOVE to travel!   There is nothing better than being set free from the confines of normal life and to begin an adventure on the road.   It’s then that life gets really interesting.   It’s no longer about any kind of material thing, but the experiences that you capture by seeing and doing new things together.

We have become pretty creative on how we fund these vacations and mini trips while we travel across the countryside.   From New York City, Orlando to California and beyond, we have found numerous tips and tricks along the way to save money on our hotels and accommodations so that we can take more vacations in the long run.

I think people think we have tons of money to burn on vacations because we are always taking multiple vacations a year, plus multiple long weekend trips to Chicago, New York City, Orlando, Pittsburgh and more.   It’s not that, it’s that we have just got some tricks up our sleeves!

Stay tuned for a couple to save some money on accommodations later on in this post.

Here are my tips.[Read More…]

When I graduated high school and went to college, I was hit with an army of people across campus yielding all kinds of credit card offers.   Like most college students, I figured I needed to build credit anyways and I could use some extra cash as well.

Well that was my first mistake because my 20’s were then filled with a constant search of bills and working to try to keep up.   As I will speak about often, I ended up racking up $75,000 in debt in my 20’s and as you can imagine, that was a painful experience.

None the less, I learned a ton of tips and tricks to save money from this period of my life because I didn’t really have a choice.

Get free stuff off of Craigslist

You may not know this, but there is a free section on Craigslist where people just want stuff out of their house and they want it out now.   Maybe the item doesn’t have enough value for them to bother with trying to sell or they just want that sofa gone now because they have another one coming in a few hours.[Read More…]

Ever since we got married, we would declare January as an entire month of No Spend.   It was right after the holidays after we just got done with putting a bruising on our personal finances, we would shut down all spending for the entire month and at the same time slow down life.

During this time, we would spend getting our life back in order, organizing our life, pay off any bills that we could and honestly just relax.  It was during this time that we would come up with some pretty creative ideas to occupy the time but without spending money.

At the end of January, we would have things back in order and prepared for what’s next.   For you, it doesn’t have to be a month worth of time.  Maybe just a weekend to get started.   So for this weekend you make a pack that your not going to spend a dime and truly make it a No Spend weekend.   You will come out of it relaxed, with a few extra dollars in your pocket and ready to face the world again.

Here is my list of NO SPEND weekend ideas:

Family Movie Night

I can’t tell you how many of these we have had.   Pop in a DVD or turn on the TV and see what’s on, pop some microwavable popcorn from the cupboard and curl up on the couch next to those that you love.[Read More…]

Ok, so a few days ago I posted my $20 challenge to save money.   This is my personal way that I save money through out the year for big ticket items and our emergency fund, as disclosed in my recent blog post Don’t Budget Your Money, “Bucket” Your Money.   I challenge you to do the same.

On the same note, I wanted to showcase another challenge if the $20 challenge wasn’t aggressive enough for you.   You don’t want to run the 5k, your a marathon runner.   Ok well let’s take it up a notch.   How about we save the same amount of money as you were doing in the $20 challenge, but let’s do it in half the time with this fun little exercise!

Instead of 52 weeks to save $1000, we will do the same thing in 26 weeks and here is how.

We will start by depositing $26 into an account in week one.   For each following week, we will add a whopping $1 to the deposit amount each week until we reach our 26 week mark.   At 26 weeks, you will have collected over $1000.   Pretty amazing huh?

This is a fun way to up your game each week as you progress to your goal at week 26 of $1001.    It’s just another way to keep things fun and interesting as you make it to your goal.[Read More…]