small change toward a rich life

Topic: Timeless Tips

  1. Eating cheaply and well: learn to be an improv cook

    26 February 2013

    I’ve waxed philosophical in recent articles, so I thought it was time to offer up something practical. Today I’m going to help you eat surprisingly well on just three to four dollars per day. First, a few numbers to establish my grocery thrift credibility: The USDA estimates monthly costs for food at different spending levels. […]

  2. Optimize your car insurance: strategies to protect yourself while saving money

    28 September 2012

    Insurance companies often advise you to purchase auto coverage at “as high a limit as you can afford”. This is singularly unhelpful. For one thing, how do you decide what you can afford? Not to mention that their motivations are suspect. Between the complex choices, the obscure jargon, and the lack of unbiased information, many […]

  3. Car insurance definitions you need to know

    25 September 2012

    Last month, I promised you all an Auto Insurance Primer, in which I would “explain all the different types of coverage, demystify the jargon, separate the necessities from the ripoffs, and suggest strategies for lowering your premiums without taking on undue risk.” That’s a tall order, so I’m going to separate it into two parts. […]

  4. Comparison-shop for cheaper car insurance quotes

    15 August 2012

    At the end of July I got an email reminder from Geico about my next car insurance payment: my six-month premium, due September 1, would be $447. That seemed … wrong. Too high. I went back and checked what I’d paid five months previously: $409 for the six months from March through August. Sure enough, […]

  5. Extended warranties: from sucker’s bet to outright scam

    9 July 2012

    In the summer of 2009, our comfy but crappily-constructed Ikea couch was not merely bedraggled beyond belief, but the frame had actually snapped right in two, after just a few years of normal wear. We needed to replace it, and I was tired of churning through shoddy sofas. This time, Jak and I wanted to […]

  6. Frugal grocery shopping basics

    17 May 2012

    As I’ve started to write up my experiences grocery shopping in Mexico, I’ve realized that in order for the comparisons to make any sense I first need to give them some context. If you’ve been reading Pocketmint for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that I place a lot of emphasis on food. From […]

  7. Check infrequent habits for money leaks

    16 March 2012

    Normally when we think of habits, we imagine something we do frequently — every week, every day, or maybe even multiple times a day. But there are also habits that occur much more rarely — patterns of unquestioning behavior that we engage in only under specific, occasional circumstances. I had a facepalm moment recently when […]

  8. Shopping debacle; Craigslist rescue

    10 June 2009

    Last September, I proudly blogged about my bargain-hunting skills in purchasing two sets of dinnerware online. The Corelle worked brilliantly for everyday dishes, so much so that I went back and bought 4 more each of the plates and bowls, even though the price by that time was slightly higher. They’re lightweight, virtually indestructible, and […]

  9. Quick and easy estimated income tax for freelancers

    7 June 2009

    Next Monday, June 15, is the deadline for filing second quarter estimated taxes with the IRS. If you are self-employed and so do not have taxes withheld from a paycheck, you need to discover if the IRS expects you to pay tax in quarterly installments. I confess that I’ve never paid estimated tax before. In […]

  10. Fillet or fish: picking the better bargain

    10 July 2008

    The weekly grocery fliers arrived yesterday, and when I saw the QFC ad for ‘Fresh Wild Coho Salmon’ I was reminded of a frequent shopping dilemma: should I buy whole fish or fillets? This week’s offering is $9.99 for the fillets, or $6.99 for the whole fish. I have no idea which price is the […]

  11. Gas mileage: we’re doing it wrong

    24 June 2008

    Gasoline prices are on the mind of nearly every American right now. Here in Seattle, where gas is currently climbing past the $4.50 mark, we like our hybrid cars. A lot. But Seattle had an environmentally ‘green’ culture long before the recent spike in gas prices, which suggests that a lot of those hybrids are […]

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