The Wisdom of the Lazy Portfolio

Many fans of Your Money or Your Life are risk-averse and some have chosen not to have any involvement in the stock market at all.  Indeed, the first edition of Your Money or Your Life advocated that readers invest the majority of their money in U.S. Treasury Bonds.  But if you read the latest edition of Your Money or Your Life released in December 2008, you know that we Continue reading

Two articles worth reading

A woman who attended one of our workshops in NYC recently sent me an article on how a family shed $106,000 in debt.  If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed by money issues, I encourage you to read this article and forward it further.  It’s quite inspiring.     

Also, if you have any interest in examining the true value of a college education, I encourage you to check out this article which was posted recently on Get Rich Slowly.  Since the costs of college have risen so much faster than inflation, it’s always useful to  Continue reading

For those starting over

Last week we received the following email:

Just wondering if you might address the issue of those of us who have recently lost everything financially when our long-time industries took a dive, and are starting over? It’s clear as a bell what “enough” is now. If you have cautions or suggestions as we start over, we’d love to hear your advice. Your book is such an inspiration!

Vicki and I were both moved by this message.  The idea of having someone lose all the money they’ve worked so hard to save is a trial we wish no one had to endure. But the bright tone of the email above suggested that this person was going to overcome the setback just fine. I reflected on what I would do in such a situation and recommended the following ideas: Continue reading

YMoYL: A Great Tool for The New Economy

The U.S. economy grew at an unprecedented pace over the past several decades until the recession hit last year.  Many Americans made significant shifts in their lifestyles to accommodate the downturn and are waiting now for the economy to rally again.  Yet the U.S. economy has permanently changed in ways that the average American may not realize.  Just one generation ago, Continue reading

The Art of Price Reduction Even at Major Chain Stores

When I first started to haggle years ago, I only did it at independently owned stores.  One of my favorite stories included how I secured drastically reduced prices at hotels during a six-week trip out West after college.  My technique?  I would always show up around 9pm knowing it was unlikely that the hotel would be able to rent many more rooms at that late hour.  I’d casually mention that I would be more than happy to camp out that night if I didn’t get the deal I wanted (which was true), but I can remember only once or twice actually rolling out my sleeping bag.  My other favorite story is Continue reading

Frugality and the homeless

On my walk home tonight, a homeless man asked me for a handout. I asked if he was hungry and he said yes.  But when I told him that I had homemade food at home that I’d be glad to bring to him, he politely declined. I’ve found that this is a common response. Yet many of us don’t want to give money to the homeless because we fear that it might be used for alcohol or drugs or something else unsavory. We feel conflicted, guilty … and often just hand over some bills. Yet is there a better response? I have struggled for years as to how to handle this situation and have come up with a solution that feels good to me: I Continue reading

Fun hobbies can include grocery shopping

I just got back from a trip to my local grocery store where I saved 74% off my total bill. This is a new personal high for me and one that I thoroughly savored. Some people might be quick to dismiss such financial acrobatics but I really had a good time. My six-year-old was with me and she helped with the coupons and did all the bagging which made it fun for both of us. After 17 years of following the “Your Money or Your Life” program, I’ve observed that the activities I really enjoy doing often save me money too. I like cutting my family’s hair, gardening, refinishing furniture, cooking — and yes, even grocery shopping. I have added an element of fun to each of these household tasks by Continue reading

How Much is Enough: The Importance of Eliminating Food Waste

Did you know that we waste an estimated 27% of the food available for consumption in the U.S.?  That works out to approximately one pound of food wasted every day for every American.  I read these statistics in a New York Times article one year ago and was so stunned that they have stuck with me ever since.  Food waste is so common in our country that we don’t always even notice it.  But it became glaringly obvious to me after I had children.  So I decided to do what I could as a mom and a citizen to eliminate food waste.  First of all, Continue reading