Sunday, April 20, 2008


One of my new hobbies is to look at personal finance blogs to find out how to save money. OK, so I am a nerdy accountant, but saving money for the future is a good habit to get into. It's the little things that kill . . . eating out (which is Dana and I's vice) . . . shopping . . . netflicks . . . toys . . . tanning . . . it all adds up. I've even thought of starting a personal finance blog to add my own thoughts and link to others' great posts that I read for the day. So without further ado - here are some ways that Dana and I have found to save money:
  • REDBOX: How can you beat a new release for a dollar per night? You don't have to pay for a monthly membership, you can reserve them online, it beats $5 for 5 days at Blockbuster (who watches them more than once per day anyway?), there are even codes for free rentals online. Savings = 5 movies * $5 (Blockbuster price) - $5 (Redbox price) = $20 per month.
  • WAL-MART PRICEMATCH: Do you like shopping for deals? I do . . . but hate driving more than I need to. If you get newspaper ads in the mail, plan your meals based on what is on sale, then pricematch everything at Wal-Mart. They will meet all competitors' prices. This saves Dana and I about $30-40 per month.
  • RABBIT EARS: I know, we are crazy. We were once DirecTV-aholics, but found that we can get all the major channels by buying some high tech rabbit ears (about $40 bucks) and get free TV. It does get a little grainy sometimes, I miss ESPN, Hailee misses the Disney channel, and Dana whines that Gilmore Girls is not on, but I think it is worth the savings. We don't watch as much TV. Savings = $50 per month.
  • NO HOME PHONE: We have cell phones, but no home land line. We don't really need it! Our cell phones are a necessity to keep in touch and for emergencies, but who needs to fork out an additional $25 per month for a landline? Savings = $25 per month.
  • CRAIGSLIST.ORG: Free online classifieds for anything and everything. We bought 99% of our furniture, some tools, a baby swing, and yard equipment off the site. Great deals. Savings = ?? (lots!)
  • GYM PASSES: these are beginning to be a necessity, especially when it gets cold outside. If you are like me, you don't want to get into a contract to pay $25 per month. So, if your local gym will do it, buy a contract off someone that has prepaid for 1, 2, or 3 years. I paid $300 for 3.25 years of Gold's gym membership. Savings = $25 - ($300 /39 months) = $17+ dollars per month.
  • HAIRCUTS: OK guys, I know you like to go get your hair cut by a professional, but ever since Dana and I got married, she has cut my hair. I admit, the first time after we bought the $30 Wahl haircutting kit and Dana was going to buzz my melon, I was nervous. There have not been many "oops" moments either . . . but now, she does an excellent job in 20 minutes time. To add to this, Dana reminded me that I have dyed her hair a couple of times (please don't tell anyone though, or I will have to turn in my man card). Savings: $12-15 per month.
  • SCOOTER??: I haven't put this one into practice yet, but with gas nearing $4 per gallon, why not drive a vehicle that gets 90 mpg? Used scooters (on craigslist mind you) are anywhere from $700 - $1500. Driving to work (with a helmet) saves a lot. Savings = ??
More to come later!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Bed!

So let me tell you . . . I think I often spoil my wife. I like to buy her clothes, take her to dinner, and give her an occasional back massage. This week, we finally got a bed frame for our queen pillow-top mattress we bought while still in college. Yes, 5 years after marriage, we finally have a bed. Let me give you a little history about our beds:

April 2003: Dana and I rent our first apartment for the summer in Rexburg. Since it is single housing, we had to push two single beds together. The funny part is that we had to move in while we were single, and pushing the beds together was a little awkward for us . . . funny story to remember.

September 2003: We move to Provo, and being poor . . . we sleep on an air mattress for 3 months. It was very uncomfortable, to say the least. I'm really not sure why Dana didn't leave me at this point for the Serta Outlet manager. I mean, what kind of husband makes his new bride sleep on an air mattress?

December 2003: I finally pony up the $500 bucks for our pillow top mattress. We get the best sleep of our lives. Considering what Dana slept on growing up, I know this was a great purchase.

Dec 2003 - April 2008: We have the mattress and box spring sitting on the floor. It looks ghetto, but gets the job done!

April 2008: I find a great deal on a black sleigh bed on craigslist. $100 bucks! Dana loves it and even made the bed for a week straight!

As I write this, I realize that every piece of furniture that we have (save our leather loveseat) has been a used "good buy" from craigslist or from a yard sale. I just can't bring myself to pay full price for anything. I guess that is my frugal accounting side. Anyway, enjoy the pics!