Now that my wife and I have been married for more than 10 years, picking out Christmas presents has become somewhat of a challenge for each other. She’ll ask me what I want for Christmas, and I’ll do the same. But neither of us can really think of many things in particular. It’s not that we’re fussy or don’t know what to get each other. We’re both got a lot of things that we really want to do, but they’re not really your classic “under $50 and under the tree” variety. Part of the problem (if you can really call it that) is that we’re both pretty realistic about what we want. We don’t get too carried away. Plus we’re both working professionals, and so we’re accustomed to buying the things we need when we want them. But then there’s the … [Read more...] about What I Want for Christmas
Do you see that thing over on the left? That is the Lego Star Wars Death Star, and it’s what my son wants for Christmas (among a thousand other things). It’s pretty amazing as far as Lego sets go; capturing several different scenes from the Star Wars movies into one toy. However, it also costs around $380. (It was $400, but they kindly knocked the price down for Christmas). That is pretty ridiculous; even for a Lego set. Plus it is way over the limit my wife and I are prepared to spend for each of our kids. While picking up my kids from school, I tried to explain to my son that I don’t think he’ll be getting a Lego set that costs the equivalent of a car payment for Christmas. To that, he replied “That’s okay, I’ll just ask Santa”. When I … [Read more...] about Figuring Out the Operational Cost for Santa’s Christmas Presents
Did we really just quote some Dickens’ to open this post? A Christmas Carol was always one of my favorite Christmas stories, but that’s not what’s got me thinking about this topic. This week I was trying to clean off some of the broken links from my site in hopes of FINALLY raising my Google Page Rank score in the next update. While running the link checker, I kept noticing the same trend of broken links popping up in the results window: Past personal finance bloggers. Yes, if you really want to bum yourself out, go visit your post archive from about a year ago, and look at the names of the people who used to leave you comments. I was finding that a pretty significant number of them no longer visit my site. I decided to find out why. … [Read more...] about Ghosts of Personal Finance Bloggers Past
Can you believe it’s already almost that time of year again? The Christmas Season and all its madness have quickly creept up upon us. And with the Christmas season naturally comes that special occasion of Black Friday where just about everything is on sale. It can be a little bit extreme in some circumstances, but fear not. Here's a few of my Black Friday shopping tips for getting the most out of the occasion! … [Read more...] about Black Friday Shopping Tips – Preparing to Get the Best Deals!
I’d like to be the first one to give you a gift this Christmas season: My free, downloadable Christmas Present Planner. If you really want to save money this season, the first thing you need to do is get organized so you don’t over-spend. This handy Microsoft Excel file will allow you to keep track of both your initial budget and the amount you actually spent on each individual. Overall, it will help you keep your spending on track and make sure that everyone on your list is well taken care of. … [Read more...] about Download My Free Christmas Present Planner!
When I was younger, my bank had this thing called a “Christmas Club” program. The way it worked was I’d sign up for a set amount of money I wanted to save for Christmas ($100 - yeah, I know big spender - I was about 10 years old) and then I’d receive a small book with 50 payment slips ($2 each). Each week throughout the year, I’d pay off each of those slips. As part of the program, the bank would pay the last one. Although this wasn't a groundbreaking investment (about a 2% return), it did teach me a little something about saving and preparing for Christmas: • Christmas is a lot easier when you save little by little throughout the year • Getting free money for the act of saving isn’t bad either Now that I’m all grown up, I have a little … [Read more...] about Buying Christmas Presents For Free Using My Rewards Programs