Personal Finance 

Wise Bread’s 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget Giveaway

10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget is a compilation of over ten thousand tips and tricks to help you make the most of the cash you have. I’ll have a review of the book itself later on this week but I wanted to announce two special giveaways and contest they’re holding.

Win one of five Flip Mino Camcorders if you buy the book today (May 18th). Just buy the book from Amazon and forward your email receipt to before tonight. (full details)

The folks at Wise Bread have also given me three copies of their new book to give away! To win a copy, leave a comment here before Noon (Eastern Time) Friday, May 22nd. I will select three winners to win a copy Wise Bread’s 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget.

Bargaineering Users, you can purchase an extra entry into the contest for 10BB. You are limited to 3 extra entries. Email me to let me know you want to spend your BB on extra entries and how many (please include your username, which must match your email account)

Good luck! Void where prohibited.

The giveaway has ended the winners have been notified. Thanks for enterin!

 Personal Finance 

How To Create A Strong Password You Can Remember

Secure Password Example: Snakesonaplane!Everyone wants to be able to create ultra-powerful passwords, especially for their most sensitive accounts. It’s common knowledge that a strong password can go a long way to preventing identity theft.

However, no one wants to struggle to remember their most used passwords. If you have to resort to writing it down and keeping it in your wallet, doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

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 Frugal Living 

Save Money By Going Local for Flowers, Balloons

Handful of BalloonsThis past week one of my best friends had the unfortunate experience of her mother needing emergency care. I spoke with Jim and we wanted to send her some “Get Well Wishes” in the form of a Mylar balloon bouquet. She is a wonderful woman and we hope that they will bring a bit of cheer during the remainder of her hospital stay!

I started to price out the balloon bouquets by looking at the usual suspects, and Both had comparable costs of about $33 + taxes and a $10 delivery fee. It seemed overpriced for six balloons, which you can get at a local grocery store for about three dollars each.

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How Secured Credit Cards Work

Padlocked Green DoorI’ve been reading a lot of credit and credit scores lately because a lot of people are focusing on cleaning up their personal finances during this recession. For folks to have no credit or poor credit, rebuilding or building up your can be difficult and expensive. If you can’t get unsecured credit to establish your history, the next best option is to get secured credit. If you need a car and can get a car loan, that’s the best way. If you don’t need a car or you can’t get a loan, the next best thing out there appears to secured credit cards.

Read on to learn more about secured credit cards, how they compare to a debit card, how they improve/build your credit score, and what to watch out for if you’re looking for one.

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 Personal Finance 

When Childhood Hobbies Meet Adult Allowances

Topps Major League Baseball Card Pack 1989As a kid, I never collected baseball cards, but I collected all sorts of other things. I collected comic books, I collected comic book cards, I collected Magic: The Gathering cards, and all of these things are sitting in my basement right now, slowly appreciating in value. 🙂

I saw The Baseball Card Movie at and invested ten minutes watching the whole thing, it was great. Not only did the accent transport me back home (the Baseball Card Dugout is located in Brooklyn, NY) but it showed me what happens when a childhood hobby meets an adult allowance.

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Who Can Invest at Lending Club?

Try it Now! Join Lending Club.In the comments of the $100 Lending Club giveaway, Reader Barry said it would’ve been nice if I had notified you all about the restriction on Lending Club investors. Well Barry, you asked and thus you shall receive!

There are two parts to Lending Club. There is the actual Lending Club site, where you invest in notes (loans), and there is the Note Trading Platform, where you can trade notes.

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 Your Take 

Your Take: What Are You Worried About Now?

Recession Prices SignI think it’s safe to say that we’re knee deep into a Recession. In February, I had the great fortune of being on American Public Media’s Marketplace Money with Tess Vigeland, Lynnae of and Steve at Back then, we didn’t know if we were going to be in a recession but everyone pretty much believed we were well on our way. Here’s what I said:

JIM: It’s been crazy. Way back in September and October and November, when the economy was slowing down, but people hadn’t really cemented the idea that we were in a recession. Everyone was focused on the stock market and how it was, you know, one day it would be down 300 points, then up. Then down. My readers were saying, what should I do with my 401(k)? But in the months that have been since, everyone’s now worried about what should I do because I’m afraid I might lose my job? You know, it’s a shift away from “Oh, my 401(k)s down,” to “I might lose my job and not even have a 401(k) to contribute to.” And I think that’s led to a lot of nervousness.

It’s been three months and with the stock market recovering from the doldrums, I’m curious to know what everyone is worried about now or what they’ve been focusing on.

For me, I’ve been focusing on keeping my financial house in order. I call it personal finance defense and the best offense is a good defense. 🙂

We’ve returned to a more frugal lifestyle, eating out less than we did before and deriving entertainment from cooking our meals (two birds with one stone!). We’ve focused on making sure our financial documents are well integrated and organized (hence the deluge of videos about the charts we make, like the cashflowchart and the financial network map). We have continued to regularly review our credit reports to catch any errors and to make sure our credit score is as high and as accurate as it can be.

What have you been focusing on or what has been worrying you, if anything?

(Photo: anders-vindegg)


Win $100 from Lending Club

Stack of MoneyLending Club is doing it again, they’re giving away a hundred bucks to one lucky reader! How can you beat that? (two hundred bucks? hint hint!)

For those that aren’t familiar with Lending Club, they’re a social lending network. Investors can join and invest in 3-year loans, with Lending Club handling all the interest payments, at interest rates far superior to what banks offer. Borrowers can join and borrow at rates that are usually better than the banks, especially in this lending environment. It’s really a win win situation for all involved.

So how do you win the hundred bucks? Very very easy, you must:

  • Leave a comment on this post before noon, May 22nd, and,
  • Become a free registered member of LendingClub. If you signed up already, no need to do it again and you are still entered into the giveaway.

The second requirement, to register for free at LendingClub as a lender, is so that they can deposit the $100 directly into your account. You can withdraw that money immediately (or invest it, your choice).

Buy Extra Entries with Bargaineering Bucks! If you are a registered Bargaineering member (why you should register), you can buy an extra entry into the giveaway for only 25ββ! To buy an extra entry, send me an email with your username (please select “Bargaineering Bucks Request” as the subject). If you aren’t a member, you should sign up!

On May 22nd, I’ll select a winner and they’ll take home a hundred bucks!

Congratulations to Eric! Eric is now the proud new owner of a hundred bucks deposited into his Lending Club account.

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