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September 2014
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How I Decorated My Entire Living Room For Less Than $1,400

20140831 - living room

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Do you remember when you bought your first house and had absolutely no furniture to put in it? Somehow you had to scrounge up some cash (or credit for some of you) to buy enough furniture to make the house look like it wasn’t empty. So how much did you spend on that furniture, artwork, the rug, and the other decorative pieces? I’m just guessing it was more than $1,400. . . . → Read More: How I Decorated My Entire Living Room For Less Than $1,400

Paying Off The Mortgage: August Progress Update

August Payoff Graph 20140831

Ahhh!! The end of the year is coming so fast! This is the last day of August, which means that there are only four more months for me to complete my year-long challenge of paying off the mortgage! While this is a little freaky, I feel like I have done a pretty great job thus far. Here is the summary of what I have done from January through July:

January – $54,217 February – $53,871 March – $43,524 April – $39,999 May – $34,120 June – $31,252 July – $27,934

The Month of August

I knew that August wasn’t going . . . → Read More: Paying Off The Mortgage: August Progress Update

10 Cheapskate Tactics That Will Save You Money

20110522 - money - staff prairieecothrifter

Are you looking to save yourself some more money each month? For many of us, money is tight, so certainly we’d like to save a few dollars whenever we can! Since I have been trying to pay off some big debts this past year, I have explored many cheapskate options. Some of them were a little too extreme for me (like rummaging through old food outside of restaurants or checking pay phones for change), but here are some that I have actually tried and enjoyed. I hope you like them as well!

1. Buy Used Furniture

New furniture can be . . . → Read More: 10 Cheapskate Tactics That Will Save You Money

Exchanging Time Instead of Money

exchanging time

Have you heard of time banks? They’re not your ordinary bank where you get cash. A time bank is more like service exchanging within a community rather than just two people. I recently learned about the organization hOur World (a mash of “our” and “hour”) and was intrigued by the idea of a community exchanging time and services. You may not think you have any skilled trade to offer but you can offer something as simple as doing laundry or picking up groceries.

The way time banks work is that you earn a “time dollar” for every hour of . . . → Read More: Exchanging Time Instead of Money

How Ditching Your Debt Could Lead to an Extremely Early Retirement

extremely early retirement

Have you been working hard to pay down your debt, but are beginning to wonder, “Is it really worth all this work to become debt free?” Let me tell you first hand:

Yes, it is!

My Story With Debt

I started paying down my college debt about 5 years ago. I buckled down, had pretty much zero fun for 14 months, and paid off $18,000 worth of debt. It was a great feeling, but unfortunately that was not the last of the debt. As almost every couple dreams to do, my wife and I excitedly purchased a house. Well, actually, . . . → Read More: How Ditching Your Debt Could Lead to an Extremely Early Retirement

The Tiny House Movement – I Love It!

tiny house

Have you ever heard of the tiny house movement? I think I ran across it once before, but it must not have resonated with me all that much at the time. This time around, it most certainly did!

My Current Home

By society’s standards, my home is fairly small. I have 650 square feet on the main level, 600 square feet upstairs, and a couple hundred square feet of semi-livable space in the basement. My home is a simple 3 bedroom, 1.5 bedroom set-up and would likely be considered “too tiny” for a couple with two children.

As I continue . . . → Read More: The Tiny House Movement – I Love It!

How Budgeting Helps the Spender and the Saver

budgeting

When most people think of budgeting, they basically picture a huge lock on their purse or wallet, not allowing them to spend any money on fun. Budgeting does not have to be this way, however. A simple budget can bring together spenders and savers, and allow them to live in harmony with one another, rather than constantly arguing and pointing fingers (and possibly even throwing some expensive china).

How Budgeting Helps the Spender

The spender sometimes gets a bad rap in a relationship. Their partner wants to stock pile some money, but you simply don’t understand why. If . . . → Read More: How Budgeting Helps the Spender and the Saver

7 Tips to Help You Cut Costs

cut costs

Looking for more ways to save money? Here are some tips that can help you trim costs in everyday life.

1. Explore Your Library. Dust off your library card for extra savings. Today’s libraries have more than just books for you and your family to borrow. Stop by soon to pick up popular DVDs, exercise videos, even download a new Kindle book. (That’s right — you can borrow Kindle ebooks from the library!)

2. Search YouTube. Need to make a minor home repair? Trying to fix your broken bicycle chain?  Do a quick search on YouTube before hiring a professional. There are tons . . . → Read More: 7 Tips to Help You Cut Costs

Is The Next Housing Market Crash Coming?

house crash

Have you been paying attention to the housing market lately? Ever since the value of homes began rising in late 2011, they just haven’t slowed down! In the past few months, I have seen only a hand-full of for sale signs out in the front yard, and they certainly don’t last long. Many of these houses are being sold in 15 days, 11 days, and others in just 2 days! The housing market has certainly picked up steam, and the rising housing prices are an obvious indicator of this.

To be completely transparent, this is awesome news for . . . → Read More: Is The Next Housing Market Crash Coming?

To Pay the Mortgage or Paint the House?

mortgage refinance

I think it was two years ago already that my neighbor walked up to me, introduced herself, and then quickly asked, “So when do you think you’ll paint the house?” I was obviously a taken off-guard a bit, and eventually responded with, “Probably soon.”

I still haven’t painted the house…

My neighbor is probably sitting in her chair right now, stewing at the fact that I have not yet improved my home with a little bit of paint, but I have a dilemma on my hands! If I hire someone to paint my house for $3,500 (I got . . . → Read More: To Pay the Mortgage or Paint the House?