Sunday Money Roundup – Long Weekend Edition.

Although most any weekend could be a long weekend for those of us who are self-employed, Memorial Day weekend has a special meaning to me because my father died in 1991 from a cancer that was a result of Agent Orange spraying during the Vietnam War. I do hope everyone can take a minute to not only thank our Veterans who are still with us, but also to remember those who have already passed.

Gather Little By Little teaches you how to build a compost bin. I cannot recommend this enough, as not only does it give you free nutrient-rich soil, but it also reduces the amount of trash you throw into landfills.

Silicon Valley Blogger wants to help you avoid foreclosure. Timely advice for many people.

Good Financial Cents tells you how to be prepared for any storm or emergency. I have written several times about our emergency supplies, and I fully believe everyone should be as prepared as possible.

Cash Money Life wants to help you Evaluate Which Online Broker Is Right For You?

Simple.Organized.Life. has How I Live My Simple Life.

Money Ning is going to teach you How to Dispute Unreasonable Charges on Your Bills.

Steadfast Finances tells us that New York Investment Bankers Can Rationalize Theft and Cheating Twice as Easily as Regular People. Gee, didn’t see that coming!

Five Cent Nickel wants to help you find the best mortgage rates.

The Wisdom Journal talks about a fabulous budgeting system. If you are looking for one, check out this post for sure!

Almost Frugal has some frugal pregnancy tips. Those friends of mine who are pregnant, pay attention!


Credit Card Research: Eufora Prepaid MasterCard with Credit Builder.

Since I get emails all the time asking about different credit cards and if people should be signing up for this, that, or the other one, this will be a new feature every week about different credit cards. This week’s card is the Eufora Prepaid MasterCard with Credit Builder, which is a stored value card designed for those who have fair, poor, bad, or no credit history and would like to rebuild their credit (If you are reading this by RSS, you might have to click through to see all the details)


Money Quote Friday – Accept The Challenge Edition.

With greater emphasis on working to live, not living to work, we are creating awareness for simpler solutions, a more creative existence with healthier, happier longevity, for those brave enough to accept the challenge.

-Tracey Smith

Hope everyone has a fantastic Memorial Day weekend!


I Don’t Want A Gift, But Thank You.

Today is my 37th birthday, and I hope I don’t get anything. Well, cash is alright, as are gift cards to stores I normally go to, but other than that? I don’t need nor want for anything else. No plastic doodads, no new mugs, no wall hangings. I am all set with that stuff, thanks. I have lived on my own for 15 years since college, and my house is pretty well stocked with all the things I need. If there was anything I was missing, such as a dish with a funny picture on it, I would buy it myself. Now that we have that out of the way, let me extrapolate a little on why I am writing this post.

See, when people buy gifts like that for you, they are just wasting their money. And I hate seeing people waste their money! They don’t know what to get you and they sometimes think that quantity is more important than quality. “If 2 gifts means I like them, 5 means I love them!” That is not effective gift-buying! Just buying whatever you can find because you are “supposed” to is not a good way to go about it, and not only does it waste money but it is kind of insulting to the gift receiver. Ever gotten something where you were like “Um, thanks?”. Well, consider that feeling when buying gifts for people. It’s better to buy nothing at all than to give a useless or unthoughtful gift!

Choking the Chicken
Creative Commons License photo credit: jasonksu

I realize some of you might think that this post sounds ungrateful, and that is not my intent. I am grateful for all that I have in my life, and I am grateful for the fact that I can usually buy most anything I should need or want. The point, really, is that too often people waste money on these types of things when their money could go further with a little more thought. I want to help you use your money wisely! A gift card to a favorite store, while impersonal in many ways, goes a lot further than a trivet with a picture of a cat on it. 100% of the money you bought the card with will be put towards something the recipient really wants!

Because I would rather not buy something for someone than just buy them some random gift, I guess I expect the same. I would rather get nothing at all than get something that A. you can tell no thought was put into and B. I don’t need. Be thoughtful, spend your money wisely, and if you just cannot find an actual product to get them that you yourself would want to receive, just get them a gift card, a bottle of wine, or even better – some of your time. Please don’t waste your money! Think about what you would like to receive and then try to duplicate that in your gift-giving. The recipient and your wallet will thank you.


Taking The Cheap Way Out On Medical Issues Costs More Later.

My wife has been going to the dentist a lot this year. The reason? She has a bunch of faulty fillings from years ago that have gone bad and required a lot of work to fix. While we have dental insurance, it only covers a percentage of any work done (other than cleanings) so we have had to pay a pretty penny out of pocket for the work. Really it’s being paid for a second time, as my wife already paid for this work years ago at one of those dental clinics that are a lot cheaper than a regular dentist. In her effort to save money that she didn’t have, she paid a really bad clinic to do really bad dental work. Turns out it doesn’t save much in the long run if you have to pay even more later to fix what they did!

Vintage Ad #813: New Boss for the Annual Offer
Creative Commons License photo credit: jbcurio

There are several reasons why visiting a dental clinic like the one she used to go to will cost you more in the long run. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

  • Those clinics are in the business of doing dental work like an assembly line operates. Quick in, quick out, get the next guy in there asap. They have to keep a constant stream of patients to keep their costs down and keep those interested in saving money coming back for more.
  • Because they have to work so fast, they don’t let your mouth get as numb as it needs to be. Then, when they start working on you, it hurts – so maybe they don’t scrape out every last piece of corrosion. They then give you the filling but there is still decay under it, which continues to grow and needs to be fixed later.
  • Clinics use less expensive tools, machines, and materials to save money. Because they don’t normally get reimbursed by insurance companies, they take the cheap way out when buying the good they need to do their job. This in turn could make for ineffective fixes in your mouth, which just get worse with time.
  • Sometimes the staff is not as trained as they should be. I want to know that my dentist or hygenist is the best I can find, and while I am sure that some who work at those clinics are properly trained I bet most of them are not. Otherwise, wouldn’t they be working at a dental office with proper pay, equipment, and support?

Of course, there are exceptions to any rule, and the same applies for dental clinics. I am sure there are some that are perfectly fine, but the one my wife went to back in the day obviously was not. They are a “chain” dental clinic, found in lower-income neighborhoods across America. My wife was not making a lot of money back then and she needed dental work – so she went to who was the cheapest she could find. Unfortunately, the cheapest she could find was also the worst, which has led her back to many hours in the dentists’ chair getting the previous work scraped out and repaired. Which leads me to this – just because it saves you money today doesn’t mean it is going to save you money in the long run. Your health is important enough to spend money on, even if you have to go on a payment plan with the dentist for the next few years. I spent over $10,000 last year on my own health issue, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Cause really, what’s the alternative?