Money Quote Friday – Happiness Of Not Having Things Edition.

Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.” ~Elise Boulding

Hope you guys have a fantastic weekend. 🙂

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It’s Not What You Earn, It’s What You Spend.

The first 30 years of my life I was convinced it was the other way around. I believed that in order to be successful you had to make a lot of money, at any price, even if it meant that you hated what you did for a living. After all, what was more important than making a lot of money? (more…)


How To Request A Credit Freeze From The Credit Reporting Agencies.

Credit freezes are designed to prevent any of the 3 credit companies from releasing your credit report without your consent. When you request a freeze on your report, for whatever reason, you are usually given a PIN number to be used to authorize someone to look at your credit report – whether that be at a car dealer, for a real estate transaction, etc.. The credit reporting agency being asked for your information will contact you for this PIN number and assorted other personal identification, just to be sure that you are who you say you are. After all, if you are requesting a credit freeze, it is usually because your identity has been compromised.

Requesting A Credit Freeze

In order to freeze your credit reports, you will need to send a letter to each of the three credit agencies. Each of them charges a fee to put a freeze on your credit, and the amount of the fee could be different from state to state. However, the fee is pretty low and worth every penny. Lucky for you, the Identity Theft Resource Center has a free PDF download of a sample letter you can send to the 3 agencies

With any letters you send, you must send proof of your ID. After all, you don’t want a “fake” you requesting a freeze on your credit, do you? Send along these docs:

  • A copy of your driver’s license
  • A copy of your Social Security Card
  • A copy of a bill matching your name and address

Be sure to always send your letters via Certified Mail Return Receipt. Here are the addresses for each of the credit agencies:

P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
State info and fee schedule for Transunion

Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, Georgia 30348
State info and fee schedule for Equifax

Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
State info and fee schedule for Experian

While I don’t recommend freezing your credit for no reason other than fear, it’s good to know that you can freeze it if you feel your identity has been compromised. It can instantly stop any thieves from using and/or getting new credit in your name, and requires any lenders to really secure who they are lending to.


Getting The Lowest Subscription Cost On The Newspaper.

I haven’t gotten the newspaper delivered to my house in years. Every once in a while I would pick up a Sunday paper back when I lived in Los Angeles, but ever since I moved to New Mexico and now to Colorado I haven’t been buying or reading the local papers…until this past week. For my own “green” reasons I don’t buy the paper Monday – Friday, but now that I have limited my internet time on weekends I have decided to subscribe to the paper on Saturday and Sunday only. Having the physical paper in my house on the weekends makes me take the time to enjoy the coffee and do some reading rather than just jumping right on the computer like I do every other morning. However, as I discovered, reading the paper can cost you either street price OR a heavily-discounted price, depending on how/where you get it from. Which one do you think I went for?

If you buy the paper at the store, you pay the “sticker” price. So buying the paper here in Denver on each Saturday and Sunday would cost me $.75 and $1.50, respectively. That’s $2.25 per week, $9.00 per month, $108 per year. Pretty pricey, if you ask me. While I thoroughly enjoyed walking to the newsstand with my grandfather when I was younger, it’s not as fun when it’s your own money you are spending. I will pass on buying it at sticker price.

Subscribing is cheaper. However, not all subscriptions are the same. If you go directly to the newspaper website, you will probably get the least “cheap” subscription. That’s because this is where they expect most people to visit when they want to subscribe, so they want to charge as much as they can get away with. Sure, it’s cheaper than sticker price, but not by too much.

Subscribing from different places can save even more money. I got the deal I finally signed up for off the back of a receipt from the grocery store. (See, sometimes it pays to read the receipt) I also saw special subscription offers on flyers inside the Sunday paper, on a bulletin board at Starbucks, and on a business card stuck in my front door. It pays to look for an offer before you sign up for the first one you see.


So how much was my subscription for the weekend paper? $9 for a full year. That’s a savings of $100 off the sticker price and about $30 off the rate offered online. Not bad for 52 weeks worth of newspapers! Having that paper show up at my door every weekend will ensure that I stay off the computer on weekend mornings until I read it, check out the crossword puzzle, and drink a few cups of coffee. It’s a small price to pay for some sanity on the weekend.

Do you subscribe to the paper? If so, how much did you pay off sticker price?

Photo from Shutterstock


Flyer Side: Compare Local Grocery Prices Without Leaving Home.

I was just sent a link (from the founder) to this site called Flyer Side which allows you to compare the prices of products at grocery stores near you – before you even go shopping. All the sales in the weekly flyers are listed on the site by zip code, and are rated on a five-star scale by unit price. For instance, a bag of shrimp is compared with other shrimp sales to see how good it is per pound. The result is our rating: 5 stars is excellent, 2.5 is average, and 0 means wait for a better deal. Pretty cool, indeed. I checked out my zip code here in Denver, and while I do 99% of my shopping at Whole Foods, the site did have listings for the “regular” grocers like King Soopers and Safeway. They also suggest recipes which combine cheap sales from your grocery stores, which can be helpful to those of you on a strict food budget.


Since they are just getting started with the site, not every zip or store is there yet, and that’s why they want to hear from you. If your favorite store isn’t included, just let them know so they can work on getting it in the system. Pretty clever idea, and one that I think many people could find use for.

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