Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

Alison is a freelance writer, teacher, budding entrepreneur, and mom.

Safe Cyber Shopping Tips

It’s the Holiday shopping season and savvy shoppers everywhere know the best deals of the year can be found in the few days immediately after Thanksgiving. The bravest of us get up at the crack of dawn on Black Friday to stand in ridiculously long lines and fight (sometimes literally) crowds of people for the hottest toys or gadgets at rock bottom prices. Some of us who may be less concerned about buying cheap than about...
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Act Now to Save Up to 42% on College Expenses Next Fall

Act Now to Save Up to 42% on College Expenses Next Fall
According to data collected by The College Board for the 2014-15 school year, the average cost of room and board ranges from $9,804 at four-year public colleges and universities to $11,188 at private ones. With total expenses at in-state public institutions averaging $18,943 and those at private schools hovering around $42,419, that means room and board can take up anywhere from 26% to 52% of your total education budget. Ouch! How would you like to hang...
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Six steps to back to school savings

This time of year, if you’re a parent of school-age kids, you might relate to that old commercial with the dad skipping merrily down the aisles of the office supply store as he tosses school supplies in his cart to a celebratory chorus of “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Or, perhaps, you dread the imminent return to harried mornings packing lunches and shuttling kids off to school followed by evenings fraught with homework...
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Budget-Friendly Landscaping Tips

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your home. Curb appeal--or lack thereof--significantly impacts property value. Investing in a nicely designed landscape can increase your home’s overall value by up to 20 percent. But, like many home improvement projects, landscaping expenses can easily get out of control. Below are a handful of tips that can help you stay within your budget and get the best return on your landscape investment.Plan your work and work your...
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NDYL, A Sort of Epilogue

Well, friends, the time has come. The curtain is about to close on the literary reality show known as “Nickel and Dime Yourself to Life”--at least, for now. Regular NDYL readers might remember my original plan was to try this little experiment for 6 months. My, time sure flies when you’re--um, I’m not sure “having fun” accurately describes this experience. Still, I can hardly believe over six months have passed since I began chronicling the budgeting...
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NDYL, Part 6B: Eat to Save

This year I’m going to spend less on food by eating more. Nutritious foods, that is. Eating mostly minimally processed homemade nutrient-rich food, rather than a lot of convenience foods will save my family at least $#222222. Unlike last month, when I included some hypothetical savings, this time my figures reflect only actual budget dollars. Most of those dollars we’ll re-allocate toward paying down our debt. Last month I began discussing a set of behaviors I...
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NDYL, Part 6: How I’m saving my family over $33,000 a year

Yep. I’m not exaggerating. If all goes according to plan we really will have saved over $33,000 by the end of the year. Admittedly, numbers aren’t my forte, so you’d be right to question that figure, but I guarantee my math’s not fuzzy and $33,000 is only the tip of the iceberg. That amount only speaks to the items on which I have hard data right now or don’t need the help of an expert economist...
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NDYL, Part 5B: Relapse Recovery (Yes, Virginia, there is a way to make it happen, even at Christmastime)

“The best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray.” True dat, Robert Burns. True dat. I don’t know anything about Mr. Burns, the poet who penned those wise words, but I suspect he must have had children. If all had gone according to plan I would have finished this half of the “Relapse Recovery” column weeks ago and the holiday shopping tips I was going to share would still have relevance for most of...
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NDYL, Part 5A: Relapse Recovery

I’m on stage, speaking to a huge crowd of people I’ve never met before about a subject far outside my comfort zone, and I’m naked. I cannot see my audience members’ faces or hear their voices, so I can’t read their reactions. I can’t tell if they’ve even heard a single word I’ve said . . .I’ve just described a dream most of us have had (or some variation of it) at some time in our...
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NDYL, Part 4: Don’t Let a Windfall Knock You off the Wagon

Windfalls can be both a blessing and curse. When a sudden and unexpected chunk of cash blows our way most of us will squander it all in a New York minute. So say the statistics. We’ve all heard cautionary tales of lottery winners who, ironically, end up destitute within a year and a half of becoming millionaires. Hang on a moment. I need to clarify something here. Before you start getting all excited for me (or...
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