It’s back to school time here, and my daughter has returned to her (private) school for the year. At her urging, we signed up for her to buy hot lunch every day. The cost? A painful $60 a month. I had an e-mail conversation with a friend about this topic, and she jokingly threatened to “out” my lack of cheapness on this blog, so I figured I’d better do it first.
In June, the U.S. savings rate — the percentage of income Americans save — fell to zero. Nothing. We don’t save a dime — on average. It’s the lowest savings rate since the Depression.
If you’re reading this on your computer, surely you have antivirus and firewall software installed. Given that you probably have many passwords and much private information on that computer, you need that protection. It occurred to me this week that another step we should take to protect our credit is to heed the number of credit cards we have listed on sites like Amazon and Paypal. Information hacks happen infrequently at these huge sites — but what if they do? Or what if someone steals your computer and hacks into your passwords? (Or worse, can just log onto the site to charge everything under the sun to your Visa — you don’t have Web sites save your passwords, do you?)
In May, I made a $900 impulse buy. But as it happens, that “impulse” was well thought-through. The back story
I’ve got a guest blog up today at Free Money Finance. Check it out — it’s called “Reap the Benefits of Direct Deposit — Without Direct Deposit.”
About a year ago, I signed up for an ING Direct Orange Savings Account. Then I added a couple more accounts. Now I have one for savings for my daughter (the occasional birthday check is going here), one for an emergency fund, and one for my own money. (Mr. Cheap and I have a joint checking and savings account through our credit union, but this is the account where I stash money that’s just mine, like the cash from a few savings bonds my late grandmother left to me.) ING Direct was very appealing for our emergency fund for several reasons:
I know, you’re on summer vacation – but school bells will be ringing soon enough, and more importantly, the next couple of months are when most students will be finalizing their student loans. Today, some 60 percent of people go to college, and two-thirds of undergraduate students graduate with some debt.
Periodically, I see articles like this one, titled “Turn $1 a Day Into $67,815.” These kinds of tips are inspiring, and I’m fortunate enough to be able to stash away $1 a day (and I think I’ll try to start after reading his final figure there).
On Tuesday night, I was steaming away in our poorly ventilated kitchen, making raspberry syrup (verdict: not worth it), when the phone rang. It was Mr. Cheap, calling to share his misery: His wallet is lost. I finished the canning just as he came in from his night class. He double-checked everywhere, but no wallet turned up.
Yet another Carnival of Personal Finance is posted at Get Rich Slowly. This is extensive. Everything from living on a student budget to investing and knocking out debt.