Mitch Strohm's Articles

About Mitch



More about me.

Summer music festivals on the cheap…Or what passes for cheap in these days of inflated prices

by Mitch Strohm on June 18, 2015


When it comes to attending a music festival, cheap simply isn’t on the table anymore. These days it’s a matter of limiting cost.

This April, for example, a three-day general admission pass to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival pass cost $375.

Anyone who wanted a few perks had to pay $899 for a VIP pass and remember, that only covered one of the festival’s two weekends. You’d have to spend twice that if you wanted to take in the entire spectacle in Indigo, California.

Beyond the tickets, here’s a breakdown of some other common expenses at Coachella, according to CNN Money:

  • $400 for round trip airline tickets.
  • $80 to get from the airport to the festival.
  • $60 to ride the festival shuttle around for the weekend.
  • $85 to camp out over the weekend and $500 per night to stay in a hotel.
  • $50 to $225 per meal.

If you go with the hotel option, you could easily spend around $2,500 at Coachella for one three-night weekend, not including meals.

Go with the camping option and you’ll spend somewhere around $1,000 without meals, $2,000 if you go both weekends.

That’s a lot of cash to spend, especially for concert goers such as myself. And we are, after all, the ones who spend our summers traveling around to these raucous celebrations.
(click here to continue reading…)


{ Share Your Opinion }

Americans are spending how much on weddings?! Here’s how we had a blast on a budget on our big day

by Mitch Strohm on May 07, 2015

Planning on getting hitched soon? Start saving.

Mitch Strohm and Mandy Boyd on their wedding day

The average cost of a wedding is now a hefty $31,213 (honeymoon not included), according to the 2014 Real Wedding Study from TheKnot.com.

That’s up from $29,858 in 2013.

As a guy — and finance writer — who just got married last year, I find that number pretty outrageous. That’s a down payment on a home.

Thanks to our frugality, and the incredibly hard work of our friends and family, we didn’t even spend a fourth of that on our big day and an entire weekend getaway for our guest list (more on that later).

The study from The Knot surveyed nearly 16,000 brides and grooms married in 2014 to figure out the financial spending habits and trends of couples in America. It includes both national and regional stats on the average costs of tying the knot.

The venue was the priciest part of couples’ budget last year, hitting an average of $14,006. Next was the engagement ring at an average of $5,855 and then the wedding band for music at $3,587.

Couples are also spending more on each guest – an average of $68 last year, up from $66 in 2013, according to the study.

Here’s the wedding budget breakdown from The Knot:
(click here to continue reading…)


{ Share Your Opinion }

When you want to travel determines when you’ll find the cheapest airline tickets

by Mitch Strohm on April 06, 2015

If you’re shopping for a great deal on a plane ticket, the best time to book depends on when you’ll be traveling.

During off-peak season, on average, you’ll get the best prices on domestic fares 47 days before takeoff, according to a recent report from CheapAir.com.

For summer travel – June to August – 76 days out is the average target for the cheapest airline tickets.

And if you’re traveling during holiday seasons, the earlier the better. Booked 320 days in advance, air fares for peak-season travel were just $8 more than their lowest price point.

In order to get those averages, the online airfare shopping engine tracked nearly 1.5 billion trips in 15,000 markets and recorded the lowest fare for each trip every day from 320 days in advance up until one day before departure.

Of course, those averages are just a guide. For individual trips, it really depends on your destination, the time of year, and the days you’re traveling, notes CheapAir.
(click here to continue reading…)


{ Share Your Opinion }

The secrets to saving $1 million in your 401(k)

by Mitch Strohm on March 30, 2015


If you’re striving to save for retirement take some cues from the 401(k) millionaires over at Fidelity Investments.

According to recent Fidelity data, 72,379 of its 13 million 401(k) accounts now have balances of over $1 million.

That’s more than twice as many as in 2012.

And while the average annual compensation for these individuals was $359,000, between 1,000 and 1,200 of them made under $150,000.

How’d they save $1 million or more?

These individuals average 60 years old and had been with the same company for somewhere around 30 years. So stability at work is key.

But it’s not just one thing that these individuals did. It’s a lot of different things.
(click here to continue reading…)


{ Share Your Opinion }

Cord-Cutter Alert: Cheap new app pushes cable TV one step closer to obsolescence

by Mitch Strohm on March 23, 2015

If you loathe cable TV (and who doesn’t?), there’s now another, cheaper alternative for all of you aspiring cord-cutters.

Sling TV, a subsidiary of Dish Networks, is the newest streaming TV service on the block, and it seems to be a viable replacement for cable, especially if you only watch a handful of channels.

The company’s motto: “Take Back TV.”

For $20 a month, the service allows its subscribers to watch cable on demand from their television sets, smartphones and tablets.

You’ll get 14 channels: ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, ABC Family, Disney Channel, CNN, El Rey and Galavision.

For an extra $5 a month, you can watch live NBA, NFL, college basketball, college football and some soccer games — think March Madness and the NBA All-Star Game. You can also add a kid channel package ($5) and a news package (another $5).
(click here to continue reading…)


{ Share Your Opinion }

Where to find the highest pay, lowest cost of living

by Mitch Strohm on June 02, 2014


We often hear people say things like, “I’d be able to save more, if I lived in a cheaper city.”

But a lower cost of living usually means lower paying jobs, too.

So here’s the question you should be asking yourself: Which cities have the best balance of high pay and low cost of living?

National Public Radio recently put out a really cool interactive chart that answers that question.

It lets you see how far the typical paycheck really goes in 365 U.S. cities.
(click here to continue reading…)


{ Share Your Opinion }

Stop guessing about how much you’ll spend on gas

by Mitch Strohm on May 26, 2014


If you’re planning a summer road trip here’s a quick and easy way to see how much the gas will cost.

FuelEconomy.gov, the official government source for fuel economy information, recently released My Trip Calculator.

It’s a nifty tool that provides the best route and estimates your fuel costs based on whatever you’ll be driving, all in one spot.

The precision of this calculator is a real revelation for me because my typical trip planning goes something like this:

“Let’s see, I’m driving about about 300 miles, I’ll get about 30 miles per gallon and gas costs about $3 a gallon, so this trip will cost (pause for the mental math) about $30.”

Then I’m shocked when I spend twice that much.
(click here to continue reading…)


{ Share Your Opinion }

Manage your life like a CFO

by Mitch Strohm on May 05, 2014

If you want to save money, you’ve got to manage your life much like the chief financial officer runs the company where you work.

J.D. Roth of the personal finance blog “Get Rich Slowly” just launched a course that can help you do just that.

The course aims to help you eliminate debt, master your money and achieve financial independence.

It includes a 52-week email series with the best lessons from the Get Rich Slowly blog and a 120-page guide called “Be Your Own CFO” with supplementary downloads.

You’ll also find interviews with well-known individuals in the personal finance sector including Jim Wang (the creator of Bargaineering), Ramit Sethi, Pat Flynn, Jean Chatzky, Gretchen Rubin, Mr. Money Mustache, Paula Pant and Adam Baker, to name a few.

After taking a year off, Roth realized that there was an aspect of personal finance he hadn’t yet tackled.

“I think it’s imperative that people understand that they are responsible for building their own financial future,” he says.

It’s easy to sit back and take advice from your real-estate agent, broker, banker, family and friends, but Roth notes that the advice isn’t always geared toward your best interests.
(click here to continue reading…)


{ Share Your Opinion }
Advertising Disclosure: Bargaineering may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website.
About | Contact Me | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Terms of Use | Press
Copyright © 2015 by www.Bargaineering.com. All rights reserved.