May Frugal Wins

Indoor spring cleaning is a piece of cake when you are a minimalist. It took me about one hour to do a thorough spring cleaning of our entire 3500 sq ft home. The biggest reason being lack of accumulated clutter.

Outdoor cleaning was something I dreaded. We have been living in this house for over 5 years now.  So as you can imagine the windows and outdoor vinyl on the front porch had started getting dull and a nice coating of mildew.

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4 Simple Debt Management Tricks and Tips

In a recent poll conducted by NBC showed that 75% of millennials in the US are in some form of debt. A quarter of millennials — those 18 to 34 years old — are over $30,000 in debt, including 11 percent who are over $100,000 in debt. Only 22 percent of millennials are debt free. This has caused many to hold off some of the key milestones in their life.

There was time in my life, as well, when I had approximately $36k in revolving debt and these did not include my mortgage, car payments and others. Over a period of 4-5 years, I was able to turn around my financial situation to just the house mortgage debt and approximately $125k savings in the bank. How did I do it?

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April Frugal wins

April was a month I made a big change to move to working part time hours! With both our children in school age I felt I am needed a lot more at home. We ran the numbers and decided we are in a reasonably good shape financially that I can afford to take a salary cut.

Although we can easily manage our expenses even with our newly reduced income, We are constantly looking to find new ways to save money.

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Lending Club Review – My 2 year Investing experience

Having been using Lending Club as an investing platform, here is my experience….

I had been reading a lot on generating passive income. Few of the blogs mentioned peer-to-peer lending as a way to diversify investment portfolio. Lending Club and Prosper were the two popular vehicles. Not having tried this platform, I decided to start small.

Today I wanted to bring up my experience after two years of investing on Lending Club.

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Save $30 or more per month on your phone costs

I, personally, feel landlines are a thing of the past.  We’ve had a landline phone connection through our Comcast subscription. Due to constant sales calls, we started ignoring it and in some case led us to missing some important calls like from our kids school. Monthly we were paying $30 for a service that was not providing a value to us.

Since we both had our cellphones with us almost all the time. It was time to eliminate land phone service, but then we ran into issues where we needed to provide a “home” telephone number. So I started to check on other free options or even a low cost option. Continue reading “Save $30 or more per month on your phone costs”

The Dynamic duo of Grocery stores – How we reduced our grocery bills in half

Food always has been a large part of our monthly expense. We enjoy cooking and eating food as a family. Cutting down on our weekly groceries seemed like a very hard task. We shop mostly at a local large chain supermarket which is very close to home. On an average our monthly expense on groceries were around $800-$1000. Which is not too bad for a family of four, who mostly eat at home and also try to stick to quality food products. But I still wanted to see if there is way to reduce the grocery expense without affecting the quality of food we ate. We tend to eat mostly “real food” instead of prepackaged processed food. We also choose mostly organic produce. That’s when I started using the 2 grocery store combination and saw that I was able to significantly reduce our grocery bills and at the same time eat quality home made food. These two are None other than Costco and Aldi

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Managing a side hustle while working full time

In a recent survey conducted by www.Bankrate.com , 4 in 10 Americans (37%) have a side hustle. With an average earning of $8k annually, that is some serious dough coming into these households.

My interest in side hustles started in around late 2014 after I read a few blogs about making extra cash. Since then I have gotten to a point now (2019) that I have registered my side hustle as a single member LLC. How and why did I do it? That’s the story here.

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Shave off years in mortgage by a small change in monthly payment

We have been home owners, living the American Dream, since 2009. Our first starter home was a 1,600 sq.ft town-home with three tiny bedrooms. With our second child born in 2012, we had out grown the house by two fold. However it was not until  2014 that we finally decided to move into a 3,400 sq.ft new construction house. If it was today, we might have gone smaller, probably in 2,400 sq.ft. range but our justification at that time was the possibility of our aging parents coming to live with us. Regardless, we felt it was good time to buy a house as the housing market was beginning to recover from the Lehman crash is 2008.

After couple of months of house hunting, we finally decided on a new construction neighborhood which met most of the items in our list.

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Let’s Focus on value

 

As we approach the beginning of a new year let’s focus more on bringing more value to our lives. More value to our time , our relationships,  our choices and our money.  Money is essential for a comfortable life. There is no question about it. But getting too caught up in the rat race to make more money without proper planning will lead us to a bottomless pit of poor health and increasing cost to maintain our lifestyle.

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An overnight trip to Philadelphia for $150ish

Almost every city in USA has something special to offer during the holidays. In Philadelphia, we have the Christmas village featuring vendors offering authentic European food, crafts and ornaments. A special mention to mulled wine which is one of our favorite.

As a family, we plan a trip every year to the Christmas village and the surrounding Dibert park and City Hall. This time however my 6 year old was asking (borderline begging) to have an overnight stay in a hotel in the city. This is the same 6 year old who for her birthday wanted to stay at a hotel in NYC. In any case before committing to her, I wanted to check the prices.

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