Tips and information about debt reduction, personal finance, and thrifty living

Don’t keep a home mortgage for the tax deduction

If you have the opportunity to pay off your home mortgage, do not take the advice of “experts” who say to keep the mortgage for the tax deduction…the math doesn’t add up.  For example, let’s say that you do itemize your taxes and that mortgage deduction gives you a $10,000 deduction.  If you are in the 25% tax bracket, this will save you a little over $2,000 in taxes.  Ask youself this:  would you rather send your mortgage company an extra $10,000 so that you can save $2,000 in taxes?  I am not a fan of sending Uncle Sam tax money, but there are other ways to get tax deductions other than sending extra money to the banking industry.

The Financial Wisdom of the Greatest Generation

Sitting at my computer on the morning of Memorial Day 2012, I couldn’t help but to think about an article I read in Friday’s Cincinnati Enquirer.  The article’s title was “Greatest Generations greatest gift”, and it talked about those of the Greatest Generation…the men and women of the World War 2 era.  The article made the argument that their gift was not the winning of the second world war, but the fiscal discipline that they learned in the 1930’s and 40’s. Read the rest of this entry »

Save Money with these ten tips to save on your grocery bill

save moneyWith the current state of the economy, times are tight for a lot of families. One great place to save money is the grocery bill. In many ways, grocery shopping is a bit like stock market. Do your homework, and buy low.

What follows are ten tips to help slash that grocery bill, but still bring home the things we really need with a minimum of time and effort. Read the rest of this entry »

Save money by visiting these free e-book download sites

E-books and e-book readers have to be one of the greatest inventions of the last decade.  The advantages that e-book readers offer over traditional books are too numerous to list.  However, my favorite advantage is economic.  Oh sure, you have to spend the money up front for the e-book reader, but e-books are just down right cheap!  Instead of spending five or more dollars for the average paperback novel, many novels are just a dollar.  Of course, that’s still not as good as my favorite price…. free!

For years, you have been able to check out books from your local library free of charge.  As we move further down the path of the digital age, there are new ways to get books for free.  My local library allows you to check out e-books just as you would check out printed material.  While this is great, the selection of e-books at my local library is not very extensive.  And based on what other people have told me, many libraries around the country have similar offerings.  Fortunately, where libraries have lacked the Internet has filled in the gaps.  There are many sites that you can go to where you can download e-books for free.  What follows is a list of some of my favorite sites where you can download your e-books for free.  The list is by no means complete, but these are the sites I have found to have a great variety of e-books.

Read the rest of this entry »

Financial education for college students

As I write this, we are in the heat of the back to school season for colleges and universities.  Chances are if your son or daughter is off to college, he or she had a pretty good GPA.  Let me ask this:  How well did they do in their financial education class….you know, the class where they learned how to make good financial decisions.  Did the high school even offer such a class? Read the rest of this entry »

How to Save Money on College Textbooks

Let’s face it; college is expensive.  The average cost of a four year degree is now over $20,000 per year.  And if coming up with the funds for the tuition bill isn’t hard enough, now you have to buy the books.  It is estimated that books can cost 25% of tuition fees….that’s $5,000 per year!  Fortunately, there are ways to bring down those book expenses.  In this article, we will take a look at some of the most popular ways to save money on college textbooks. Read the rest of this entry »

Save money by paying no….or low….college tuition


This is written as a companion to my article “Save money on college by attending a free college”. If you have not read that article, be sure to check it out!


The average cost of a college education is now around $20,000 for a four year degree. For years, I have watched friends and family members struggle for years after graduation with the burden of student loans. Is there a better way? Can you get a college education, but not pay the bill?


You bet! What follows is a list of some of the most common ways to pay for college without the money coming out of your pocket. In many cases, the entire tuition may not be covered, but combining several methods may cover the whole bill. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Save money on college by attending a free college

The cost of education keeps rising at an astronomical rate, and parents are finding it harder and harder to send their kids off to college.  Many look toward grants, scholarships, and student loans.  However, did you know there are free colleges in the United States?  You heard that right….FREE!  Of course, other things such as room and board or books may not be free, and there may be a catch or two, but these colleges are definitely worth looking at. Read the rest of this entry »

Earn extra money by selling your clutter

Who has a bunch of clutter in their home?  If you said yes, make a point to get rid of it! This is not so much saving money as making it, but the frugal, simplifying cheapskate, like myself, will want to declutter and make a few bucks doing it. Hold a garage sale or sell it on eBay. It’s amazing what some people will buy.

Save money by avoiding the mall

Don’t go to the mall or other shopping area or department store to look around and shop. Go to a store if you know what you need, and then get out. Many times people go shopping, with a vague idea of what they want, and get caught up buying much more. Or they go just for fun, as a form of entertainment. That ends up costing a lot. It can really add up. Instead, stay away from shopping areas and find other ways to have fun.