Health food that’s half the price of fast food

January 23, 2013 7 comments

Healthy and Cheap

I am a bit of a health nut, so I’ve had numerous conversations with friends about how ridiculously unhealthy fast food tends to be, and why people keep going back to it.

I’m no saint.  I’ll indulge in an Egg McMuffin a few times a year, but I tend to treat fast food like an exotic delicacy, because you’d be crazy to spend money to eat that sugar and salt infused goodness every day.

Yet millions Americans do just that; it’s damaging to their life expediencies and their wallets.  Well I’m here to tell you, nay, prove to you that anyone can eat for less than half of what you’d spend at McDonalds and still have healthy, delicious, and quick meals all week long.

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Walking away from Grad School

January 21, 2013 5 comments

Palm TreeHave you ever been so sure of a decision that you’d bet your whole net worth on it?

Exactly two years ago, I decided to make a move that has drastically improved my life, even though at the time, everyone told me not to do it.

So let me tell you a story about how I quit graduate school and got a great job, and a new outlook on life.

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What will you still own a decade later?

January 18, 2013 5 comments

Board Games

I’ve got a challenge for you.  Look around your room and think about what possessions you will still own 10 years form now.

It seems like a relatively easy task, since those of us who consider ourselves frugal always try to buy consumer goods that are built to last the long haul.

The answer to this question may surprise you.  I know it was a shock to me.  Most of my possessions probably wont be here in 10 years.  This is a really useful strategy when shopping.  Ask yourself, is this going to be around in a decade?

It’s worth paying attention to those items that will last a decade.  So here’s what I found.

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My CostCo Investment: 6 months later

January 16, 2013 10 comments

We hear so many iterations of “Savings, Savings, Savings!” from various retailers trying to convince consumers to spend more and more.  But aren’t there some deals that actually make sense?

For a long time I’ve wondered about a membershipa at CostCo, so I decided to prove it.  As you probably know, I love spreadsheets so I documented my purchases vs the equivalent price at a few local grocery stores.  Here’s how it all worked out!

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Why I’ll never buy gold

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Past Gold Prices via Wikipedia

When it comes to investing, I like to keep it simple.  I invest almost exclusively in Vanguard broad index funds with low expense ratios.  It’s statistically proven, and it’s the same advice you’ll get from the other bloggers in the personal finance world.

So why does anyone buy gold as an investment?  With prices over $1600/oz, things are starting to get crazy!  How is this any different from stuffing money in your mattress?  Apparently most of the world disagrees with me, but hear me out.

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The satisfaction of Frugalistic Synergy

January 11, 2013 4 comments

Frugalistic Synergy

The other day, I happened to be going past a Target and decided to go in to get some Cumin (one of my favorite spices).  As I rounded the kitchen gadgets corner on my way to the spice aisle, a stand mixer caught my eye.  I do quite a bit of baking and stand mixer sounds like quite a luxury.

Anyway, the strange thing was that instead of trying to figure out how to afford it while playing with the store model, my brain did the opposite.  I suddenly screamed “I don’t need this stuff!  There’s nothing you have that I want!!!!” (in my head of course).  And I walked out of the kitchen gadgets aisle feeling empowered and ready to take on the world.

I guess once you consciously work on frugality for 3-6 months, you get so good at it that your body does it for you!

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Driving my gas costs into the ground!

January 9, 2013 2 comments
Gas Costs
The IRS recently increased the business mileage reimbursement rate to 56.5 cents/mile.  A few months back, I showed that the marginal cost for driving my vehicle is more like 30.88 cents/mile.  Although this is cheaper than the IRS average, it’s still not great.
It got me thinking about my cost of driving, and how much I’m still spending on my car.  As you can see by my fuel costs over the past few years, I’ve made some progress but I’ve got a long way to go.
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