Category Archives: Budget

Money Saving Guide for University Students

When I hear people say, “I’m still paying off my student loan,” years after they graduate and well into their 30’s I suddenly feel lucky to know that I didn’t take the route. Finances are hard as it is when you’re a young family the last thing I would want is student debt accumulated from years ago that still hasn’t been paid off.

Repercussions are generally felt years after, once you graduate and when you most need money  – starting out and as a young family.

Reading Money Saving Guide for University Students will educate you on some of the unexpected costs of those fiscally challenging years while you study. offers a guide to help pinch your pennies and plan ahead.

So what do they cover?

  • Housing: with suggestions on how to lower those nasty costs that tend to be the highest expenses.
  • Tracking Expenses: spreadsheets and apps that can easily be used to help you manage your checking accounts and stay on budget.
  • Building Credit: with offers and deals on various ways to help you mange your money.
  • Spreadsheets: that will help you compare apples to apples when looking for services that you just can’t live without liked cell phones and transportation.
  • Saving Tips on how to save on textbooks and tuition costs. Along with ways to save money on groceries.

A few of my favourite examples:

  • At compared the cost of driving vs taking public transit in several major cities across Canada. Surprising you with the numbers.
  • Saving tips on education by transferring credits and prerequisites.
  • Take time to think about how much you will use the phone and comping up with a good comparison of how to pick the right plan suited to your needs.
  • Student cards that we recommend and where you can apply for them.
  • Where to save on textbooks such as used book stores on campus. Used books in the marketplace online  and places like Facebook, Kijiji and Craigslist.


With a little planning and careful budgeting you will not find the cost of going to University overwhelming. Your debt will be minimized substantially leaving you with a lot less debt load once those years are over.

Money Savings Guide for University Students is a quick easy read for anyone going back to school.

As a person well into my 30’s and having graduated University without any debt I can honestly see the advantages I have over many of my colleagues that are still struggling to pay off debt even in their 40’s. It sounds scary having  student debt at 40 but it’s true and you would be surprised how easily it can happen without proper planning.

Do you take credit cards?

For us points junkies that love using credit cards we hate to hear, “I don’t take credit cards.” This is extremely annoying when you go to pay for something with your favourite points card only to be told, “sorry we don’t take that card.”


If you are unfamiliar with the way credit card processing companies work I’m probably a good candidate to tell you about it. I worked for a software company that supplied online credit card processing. I have a good understanding about the business and know the reasons why many merchants don’t take certain credit cards and along with their fees associated with credit card processing.

The truth is, credit card processing can easily add up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars for merchants so it’s in their best interest not to take certain cards. Some of the American Express cards like the Platinum can charge between 3-8% on any single transaction which for some merchants with low profit margins means profits can easily be eaten away. Not only are the fees expensive so is the turnaround time for deposits. Merchants can wait up to almost two weeks before they see their money be deposited into their account.

My response to merchants when I worked for the online processing credit card software company was – to always give customers as many ways to pay you that way you will more than likely get  the sale.

That was back a few years ago but with credit card readers there is no excuse for any merchant not to take credit cards these days! The credit card processing market is getting extremely competitive with new companies popping up all the time offering unbeatable deals and these guys are charging a flat rate of  2.69% on all transactions. This company also doesn’t charge for set up fees or any monthly monthly fees. Pretty darn competitive if you ask me.


To give you an idea of some fees besides the transaction fee that ranges from 2% to 8% here is a small list. Really there are hundreds of fees that banks love to charge.

  • Monthly fee
  • Annual fee
  • Set Up fee
  • Statement fees
  • Fraud Prevention fees or
  • Authentication fees
  • Batch processing fees
  • Pre-Authorize transaction fees

These are just a handful of the 100’s of fees that can be added on to credit card processing.

As you know I love saving money where ever I can and if you read my blog you probably do too.

Simple tips to boost your credit score

Being refused for a credit card application can be a frustrating experience and it’s most likely your credit rating is behind it.


A low score can be caused by everything from previous missed payments to having a lack of credit history. The latter can be confusing for some, but – believe it or not – some lenders prefer to see that you’ve asked for credit and made repayments on time in the past.

Improving your position can take time, so patience is key. But if you want to boost your credit rating then why not try some of these simple and effective ways to get back on track?

Check your file is accurate

Your score could be harmed if some of the details on it are inaccurate. Mistakes can happen, so it’s well worth checking everything is as it should be, if it’s not get it corrected as soon as possible.

Get a card with higher interest rate  

If you’ve previously found yourself struggling to make repayments on time then opting for a card with a high interest rate might be something you feel a little bit unsure of. However, if you use it responsibly it’s a great way to build up your score and show you can be trusted to borrow. The way to make them work is to make a purchase on them – perhaps monthly – and then clear the balance in full on time. There are a number of options designed to give people with a poor score a second chance, so compare credit cards to find the right one for you.

Never miss a payment

If you’ve been known to be forgetful in the past then it might be worth setting up a direct debit to ensure you’re at least covered for the minimum repayment due on a card each month. However, it’s preferable to cover the full bill, ensuring payments are never missed. It’s also worth making sure you stay on top of your spending to ensure your credit lending is never exceeded.

Don’t max out your card

While it may seem better to show you can comfortably repay larger sums each month it’s actually better to avoid doing this as it gives the impression you are close to maxing out your card. Instead stick to smaller, but regular repayments to help – rather than hinder – your rating.

Is using a credit card necessary?

After a college graduation you probably knew things were supposed to be more challenging, than they were before. Becoming an independent person, who solves problems on his own, is a huge step into an adult life. Finding a good well-paid job and renting a place to live – that’s what a lot of people go though in their middle 20s.


Sometimes there are things you don’t have enough money to pay right away, that’s when you start using credit cards. Surprisingly, they are a good way for a healthy financial plan, and if you use a card wisely, it can help you make larger purchases.

However, you’d better read some simple and useful tips before swiping your card here and there:

1. “Get rid” of your old debts

The number of young people, using credit cards has decreased over past few years, BUT the fact, that students start using them more often after actual graduation remains: plastic is used over by 60 percent of them. Besides, graduates think it’s really nice to pay down all of their debts as soon as possible. Would you agree, that paying an interest, which can go pretty high after a while, is just a stupid waste of money? You don’t want that to happen. Moreover, this is a very smart way for holding your credit score healthier.

2. Follow your budget!

To not lose your mind from spending too much in one moment, sticking to a certain budget will be necessary. Nobody guarantees that your job would be permanent forever. Instability at this period of time is usual, so creating a right budget plan will make it easier.

While looking for a full-time job, it’s kind of hard to limit yourself in lots of things, especially when you own a credit card, however try to stay away from overspending. Think two steps ahead: by doing that you won’t have too much debt giving away afterwards.

3. You don’t always need your credit card

Temptation will always follow you everywhere. Unfortunately, not a lot of people can handle not buying stuff with a plastic in their wallets. So leave it at home! Buying an extra pair of shoes or having a drink at Starbucks sometimes isn’t affordable for you, even if they don’t cost a fortune.

4. Build up a good credit history

It doesn’t mean that you have to totally forget about your credit card. A good history of you paying all your debts in time will only make it better. All in all, some day you will need take out a loan for a car or anything like that.

However, think about that kind of expenses, you are sure of paying them all every month. It could be just simple everyday things as food products, insurance or gas. The more often you pay off total amount of these expenses throughout 30 days or so, you won’t have to pay any interest. That would be a great credit history, don’t you think?

5. Be attentive

Sometimes there are great opportunities for your credit card rewards. Just do a little research on that, like ask your bank consultant or use internet. Read all the papers, before signing up for a new credit card: this is really important.

You can always get away finely with using your plastic and build up a nice credit card history for your future loans, that are going to get quite big. All you need to remember is that everything starts with a young age and then it becomes a habit. Have only good ones!

Alicia Sanders writes for Canadian financial service money loan online. She would like to talk to you about the necessity of using credit cards.

Is an MBA still worth it?

Those seeking to increase their marketability in today’s job force may have considered going back to school (or staying in school) to get their MBA (Master’s in Business Administration). However, considering the cost of education now, getting an MBA is no longer a no-brainer. So in this article, we will explore whether an MBA is worth it or not.


What is an MBA?

What is an MBA? It’s a degree of graduate study, usually from a two year program, that trains you in business management. It prepares you for all general functions of corporate business. It is often associated with higher salaries and position so f management, also sometimes referred to as the Executive MBA.

Considerations before Getting Your MBA

But is the MBA necessary? Let’s consider a few factors before examining the question at length:

1. The only MBAs that puts you in a huge advantage over others is from the top tier MBA schools, such as Wharton School of Business or Keller School of Business. You can still have an advantage over other applicants if you get your MBA from a renowned state school. MBAs from lower-tiered schools won’t actually give you a big advantage over other applicants—if any.

2. It is not always necessary to have an MBA to climb the corporate ladder. Many times just staying in the job you have and working to be promoted from within can be more beneficial financially and professionally for you.

3. The average MBA degree will cost anywhere from $12,000 to 54,000 per year of study.

But the salary increase may only be $10,000 to $30,000 with an MBA, depending on the job.

When you consider the debt incurred versus the financial or professional gain from an MBA, you are examining the opportunity cost of obtaining your MBA. This may be different for each person, so take time to consider the factors below.

Is the MBA worth your time or money? The short answer is, only if it will actually advance your career to the next level without leaving you in crippling debt. Be sure you can tell yourself why you want your MBA. Often you can’t even apply until you’ve had a few years of work experience (after undergraduate studies), so it might be a good idea to wait before getting your MBA, even if only to be sure that you really want to work in the field of business.

If you’re already working and considering the MBA, how will you pay for it? Do you really need the MBA or will your career be just as lucrative without it? As far as MBA trends, it seems that more and more people are choosing to get their MBA’s, which floods the market and makes the degree worth less than it used to be, which means you will often need more than an MBA in your bag of tricks to advance your career anyway.

The big question is one of cost: Adding an MBA to a Bachelor’s degree will increase your salary by $10,000-30,000 per year. However, this is not guaranteed, and if you incur financial costs through tuition ($100,000 total for two years of study for a premier MBA), moving to a new job location, or even just standard expenditures, this increase may not mean much over time.

On the plus side, an MBA can open up the doors for new salaries, job titles, responsibilities and overall marketability. It may also lead to a better overall work life balance with the option of better positions leading to more money and fewer hours spent at work.

The decision is ultimately yours, but it can be beneficial to speak to recruiters and career counselors to see the state of the job market and whether an MBA is right for you. You can even research the different types of MBAs to see which one may be right for you.

TK owns the site Finance and Career, which is a site that teaches people to make smart financial decisions and career choices.  You can also check him out on Google Plus.

The Check Is in the Mail and Other Client Lies


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It’s one of the first rites of passage for any freelancer: the client who is not on the up and up. How you, the freelancer, handle it can make or break your freelancing career.

There is any number of reasons why this is the case. Some clients are inexperienced and do not know what they need. Others do not appreciate the skills they are hiring and as a result undervalue them (or the person providing them). Sadly, others are simply out to take advantage of others for their own gain.

Size doesn’t matter. Large corporations and long-established businesses can be just as fraught with problematic clients as startups and small entrepreneurs. While outright fraud is rare, there are common situations and tactics that freelance writer Laura Spencer characterizes as “little white lies” that “can have a serious impact on a freelancer writer who depends on client work and client payments to pay the bills.”

Here are some of those little lies you should watch out for.

“We’d like to do the first project on spec and if it works out, we’ll have some paying work for you.”

This is the old bait-and-switch tactic. Ask any freelancer: They’ve heard it before… and chances are good they never got the future paying work they were promised. That’s because either the client never intended to pay, or he or she doesn’t respect you enough to pay you tomorrow since you worked for free today.

Try using this tactic with your wireless provider. “Oh, if I get good reception during the first month and all my text messages come through, then maybe I’ll sign a contract.” The reason it won’t work with your cell phone carrier or any other business is that they are providing a service or a product that has a certain value. So are you.

This “client lie” plays on your own insecurities or belief that you lack experience. Don’t let them rattle you. It is easier to walk away before you do any work. If you’re approached in the middle of a paying job to extend the scope of work it is time to renegotiate your contract.

The problem is, there are a lot of hungry freelancers who are looking for work and think this is a way to prove themselves. If you need to prove yourself offer to do pro bono work for a nonprofit, or get a job where you can build a portfolio — and get paid for doing it — before freelancing. Never work for nothing — or almost nothing! — on the promise of “future” work!

As freelance writer and professional blogger Miranda Marquit points out, “Don’t be suckered into future work. Future work won’t pay the bills, and you can’t rely on it for a successful financial future.” Instead, showcase examples of your work and politely insist that if they want to work with you they will need to pay for the privilege.

“The last guy did it for less.”

So, why aren’t they still using the last guy?

Look, there’s always room for negotiation. But if you don’t think you’re getting a fair price, walk away. No project is worth feeling like you’ve been taken advantage of, even if you are in a bind. Don’t underprice your services. Cutting your rate is the most common mistake freelancers make early in their careers.

As blogger Dean Rieck notes:

“[M]ost freelancers don’t make their entire fee schedule public. This makes it impossible to separate truth from hype about what copywriters actually charge… [C]lients show little respect for copywriters with low fees and view their work as a commodity, rather than a valuable service.”

If prospective clients don’t seem willing to respect you in the morning, better not get into bed with them.

Moreover, you should strive to position your services as a specialty. Be willing to “niche down” instead of trying to offer your services to everyone. If you were a dentist, would you prefer to hire the graphic designer who works for anyone or the graphic designer who only does branding and imagery for dentists? You’d hire the expert who knows your field best.

“I could do this myself, I just don’t have the time.”

Maybe. But it doesn’t really matter. If they want your time, they need to pay for it. This is a gambit to not only lower your price, but to devalue the work you do. Chances are such clients are not likely to be reliable, easy to work with, or pay on time. Or even all three! Avoid these kinds of clients at all costs.

If you don’t value your time no one else will either.

Katherine Reynolds Lewis emphasizes at CNNMoney:

“Whether you are an independent consultant or freelancer who charges by the hour, day, week, or project, you are trading time for money. So the question of how you value that time is central to how you negotiate with clients.”

“The check is in the mail.”

Here’s the deal. If your client is experiencing a cash flow problem, you, the lowly freelancer, are at the bottom end of the totem pole. The client may tell you the check is in the mail to keep you off their backs. However, what they don’t tell you is that the check is headed to pay someone who could shut off their power or otherwise shut their business down. You are relatively powerless in this situation. Other clients simply process payroll once a month, so you’ll just have to wait.

How you handle this white lie can make or break your freelancing career.

First, work to keep a buffer in reserve so you aren’t as susceptible to the cash flow issues of others. It is helpful to make “half up front, half on delivery” a standard part of your contract. Another proactive tip is to automatically add late fees to any invoices paid after 30 days. Make sure this is noted in your contract and on the invoice you send for prompt payment. Remember: clients are people, too. If you are flexible with a client while they address their cash flow issues that can help build a strong client relationship that will pay more over time.

If the client is truly a deadbeat who figures he or she can easily jerk around freelancer consider it a lesson learned. One consolation is that you can write off this loss on your taxes. Another thing you can do is to help others avoid dealing with a jerk.

As blogger and podcaster Rob Bowen points out, one solution is to take “your gripe to social media to alert the client and others that this situation is unresolved and far from over.” While it is tempting to call out deadbeats socially or otherwise, be careful. It can quickly backfire on you and make you and your business look desperate, nutty, or worse. No one wants to work with a loose cannon who publicly speaks ill of others. Keep that in mind.

If you feel so wronged that you feel you must employ embarrassment tactics or legal means to get paid, tread carefully to avoid tarnishing your own reputation. It’s a good idea to wait to see if the check does indeed arrive in the mail. Give it a week or so before you start raising hell. Remember, a bridge burned once is burned for good!

Finally, don’t get discouraged. All freelancers will experience difficult clients and those who are slow to pay (if ever!). The good news is that you will get better at recognizing these kinds of clients and these sorts of requests. You will do a better job of avoiding both as time goes on. Try to stay focused on your best clients and consistently overdeliver.

With time, you’ll have more work than you can handle. That’s when you’ll have the luxury of choosing to work only with the people you like and respect — and who like and respect you, too.

David Soyka is a freelance business journalist who writes for Vistaprint, the leading provider of personalized checks and other custom products for small businesses around the world.

How to Do Your Best Work on the Road

Business trips can take us all around the world. Sometimes it can be stressful and difficult, especially if you’re away from family for long periods of time.


But, if you have to be on the road, it’s best to make effective use of your time. And, I strongly believe to be one of the best ways to become effective while out of town is to book yourself a classy room. More specifically, if you find yourself in Calgary, find a Calgary executive suite.

So what in the world makes me think that a nice room will make you more effective at your job? Well, let me nail it down for you.

Stay Comfortable

Did you know there are studies that prove you have better retention and efficiency when you’re calm and unnerved? When you book a room at a sleazy hotel, how comfortable do you typically feel? You sit in your room and overhear conversations of those that are on the other side of the wall, you look at your bed and wonder how many parasites are going to attack you at night, and just the overall atmosphere of the room is dark and dank, which doesn’t exactly make you want to whip out your laptop and create a kick-butt presentation for your next meeting.

If, however, you reserved a nice room that makes you feel more like at home, your guard is down, you actually experience a calming quiet in your room, and the room often feels brighter and more welcoming. It almost inspires you to produce some of the best work of your life. Without interruptions, it’s amazing what you can produce. You might even surprise yourself.

Meet Other Executives

Do you know what happens when you stay in an executive suite? You meet other executives. Just by being friendly, you might very well meet your future client! Or, if you’re in the market for a new job, it’s very possible that one of your new comrades will suggest that you come work for them at their operation! By rubbing shoulders with other businessmen (rather than low income families at those other hotels), you might just create an opportunity for yourself. It might not have even been on your radar, but just by being in the right place at the right time, crazy things could happen.

Eat For Success

Many people don’t realize it, but what you eat has a direct impact on your mood and your brainpower throughout any given day. If you have a big fatty burger for lunch, chances are that you’re not going to be very sharp for the rest of the day. Instead, you’ll most likely be looking for a dark corner to take a nap in between business meetings!

If you stay in an executive suite, you’ll be able to cook up your own healthy brain food because you’ll have your own kitchen! All you have to do is buy some fish, marinade, rice, and some bread, and you’ve got a healthy dinner for your entire stay! Not only will you feel better, but you’ll look better too!

Fundraising Ideas

People and groups of all different statures and sizes can find themselves needing the generate money for something. Maybe it’s a big company trying to do some philanthropic work in the community. Perhaps it’s a church group that needs to pay for travel expenses to do some charity work in an impoverished country. Or it could be as simple as a twenty-something looking for
some cash to buy a new car.


Regardless of what the reason is, all of those scenarios require effective fundraising ideas. The best thing is that, as long as it works, pretty much anything can be used as a fundraiser.

One popular idea for larger fundraisers is to set up a raffle. Usually whatever the prize or prizes are will have been donated, so they don’t cost any money. Therefore, the money people pay to enter the raffle goes toward the bottom line. Another popular type of drawing is a 50/50 raffle, which doesn’t require anything except participants and raffle tickets. Half the money goes to the
fundraiser and half goes into a pot for the winner of the drawing.

Raffle prizes often have to be fairly expensive to generate interest, so it can be hard to procure them. Individual fundraisers are better off keeping it simple. It sounds childish, but have a party where you make a bunch of food and drinks and charge people a small fee to attend.

Also, don’t be afraid to get by with a little help from your friends. Have people give you their best recipes and compile a cookbook to sell. Have family members and others you know pledge money if you complete a task such as running a marathon or staying sober for an entire month (both of those options might be difficult for many!)

Get local businesses and restaurants in on the action. Ask them to put out tip jars near their registers for patrons to contribute to, or donate a small percentage of their profits on a certain night.

There are a plethora of ways to raise funds, whether it’s for a large group or a single person. The key is to get as many people involved and aware of the drive as possible so there will be plenty hands reaching into pockets to fill the coffers.

4 Smart Ideas On How To Save With College Books

Let’s face it: college is going to be expensive no matter how you look at it, unless you’re one of the lucky ones with a full scholarship. Whether your back at school for a Masters in Communications, or just beginning with your bachelors degree, no student can escape high book prices. But then again, why would you be reading this if you did?

There are many expenses that you aren’t able to negotiate such as tuition. But you can still survive college without going into a ton of debt if you are savvy in how you spend your hard earned money. Since books are one the biggest expenses after tuition, this article covers a few good ways to save on those pesky books.

Here are four ways you can save on college books:

college student and books

image (via Wikimedia)

Rent Books – This one is a no brainer right? With so many options on the internet, there are tons of websites that offer textbooks for rent. Even a site as simple as Amazon will yield a lot of options for you. If the book is available for rent, it’ll list the price and how long you’ll have it for.

Be careful to check the fine print to see what might happen if you don’t return the book on time or in pristine condition. You don’t want to risk paying more than you bargained for if you aren’t careful in how you take care of that book. Don’t forget to check your campus bookstore too to see if they offer book rental services. There might be off campus bookstores close by that might be willing to rent books.

Make friends with students that are in the same major as you (Older and Younger) – The advantage to this is that many of these friends will most likely take the same courses as you. You can organize a system where you can borrow each other’s books (if you bought them that is). Think about swapping books, for example, if you take the same courses within the same year but during different semesters. Your buddies can also alert you on good deals on books, other students who might want to sell their used books or others who want to join your awesome book swapping group. You can take it even one step further and rent textbooks to people you come across to make some extra cash.

Ebooks can be your best friends – If you have an eReader or a tablet, you can save some money by buying the digital version.  If you choose to rent, you don’t need to worry about what condition it is in when it is returned. Websites such even plants a tree through American Forests for every book you rent. If you are a literature major, you can even score free classics on many reputable websites. A popular website for this is Project Gutenberg, which boasts over 42,000 free books.

Take Care of Your Books – If you had to buy a textbook, try to keep it as pristine as you can. That includes no writing or highlighting. That way, if you choose to sell your book at a later date, you can sell it for more money because of the excellent condition it is in.

With these tips, you can save money on your college expenses, especially those high priced textbooks. You can then use the extra money for other expenses, like food or gas.

Guest article comes courtesy of Missy Diaz who writes about college and education topics including how to grab a master’s degree in business administration from online portals.

Canadian Personal Finance Happy Hour – Back to Canada edition

I am finally back in Canada after a 2-month break for Parental leave. Here is a photo of me with a baby carrier drinking a coffee in Greece (not recommended or wine). I already miss the food but I missed Canada (playing hockey, my apartment, family and friends). It was a great trip but Canadians should be thankful for living in an amazing country (it may by cold but our government tries to take care of you the best we can).


It was amazing seeing the world and 13 countries with my wife and daughter.

We have some nice submissions this week.

Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence writes 13 money resolutions for 2013: Make more money – This post is part of a 13 money resolutions for 2013 series, and talks about the many opportunities you have to make extra money and have more room in your budget

Eddie @ Finance Fox writes 10 Priceless Gifts That We Can Give Ourselves in 2013! – The best things in life aren’t things, and the best things that are things in life are FREE! Here are 10 priceless gifts that we can give ourselves in 2013.

Invest It Wisely @ Invest It Wisely writes How to Raise Happy, Healthy Children – There are many ways to shape our children into the happy, healthy children we desire. Here’s a few tips to aid you in getting there.

Anne @ Unique Gifter writes Cheque Mate! Wedding Check Writing Tips – Important Dos and Don’ts for good wedding check writing etiquette! Simple but important tips to make your wedding gift easily received.

MMD @ My Money Design writes What is Financial Freedom – The Easy to Follow Explanation – In this post, we’re going to layout a definition to what is financial freedom and explain where we need to focus in order to achieve it.

Jon the Saver @ Free Money Wisdom writes Easy Ways To Protect Your Money – Here are some practical and easy ways to safeguard your money and ensure that it stays protected.

Gary @ writes Should I Pay Off My Mortgage? – It’s the beginning of the year and you are planning your finances. Young or old, will you be deciding to pay off your home in the next few years? Does it make sense to do so? Here are the pros and cons of paying off your mortgage early.

Wayne @ Young Family Finance writes Saving Money for a Puppy – Families buy puppies before understanding what dog ownership will cost them. Find out how much it costs to raise a dog and how to prepare.

Kanwal @ Simply Investing writes What is a Dividend Aristocrat? – A dividend aristocrat is a company that has paid dividends consecutively for 25 years or more. Standard and Poor’s (S&P) maintain a list of US dividend aristocrats. Dividends are key to investing successfully. Dividends are cash payments made to shareholders. Once a dividend is paid it can never be taken back.

Daniel @ Sweating the Big Stuff writes How Much Do You Need To Save To Switch Insurance Companies? – When your car insurance is up for renewal, how do you decide whether to switch? Use this guide to find out.

Passive Income Earner @ The Passive Income Earner writes Is Netflix the next Cable model? – Will Netflix pave the way for the Cable companies for content subscription?

Amanda L Grossman @ Frugal Confessions writes Our 2012 Energy Consumption – Each year I take the time to review our energy consumption from the previous 12 months (electricity and natural gas costs).

Daisy @ Add Vodka writes The Many Inspections Needed When Buying an Older Home – We are happily settled settling into our new house; many boxes are unpacked, we’ve been able to conquer some of the work required to make it a comfortable living space, and I’ve just been able to start sleeping better in our… Read our discoveries!

Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes Money and Child Raising: Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers – A comparison of cloth and disposable diapers on issues of cost, environmental effect and convenience, with discussion of which diaper is better.

Jason @ Work Save Live writes Tips to Save Money on your Cable Bill – If you are currently paying $50-$60 a month for 200+ channels you rarely watch did you know you have options? Here are 3 options that will not only save you money on your cable bill but can also actually improve your programming.

MR @ Money Reasons writes My Secret Wealth Goal – Today I’m going to reveal on of my secret wealth goals. If I can conquer this goal, I should be financially independent and on my way to becoming wealth.

Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy writes When quibbling over finances leads to a rift in friendship. – Sometime money discussions and escalate to bad feelings, read my experience and advice.

Holly @ Club Thrifty writes The Value of Taking a Vacation – Vacation is the best thing since milk and cookies! While it may cost us a ton of money, going on vacation is essential for our well-being.

TDB @ Tax Deduction Blog writes Look Twice: The Most Overlooked Tax Deductions – Most people know the common tax deductions, but if you look hard there are lot of easily overlooked tax deductions, here is a list of them.

PPlan @ Provident Plan writes 4 Ways to Save Money in College – College is getting more expensive by the day. Saving money while in college is important in order to limit your student loans.

CF @ The Outlier Model writes How to write an awesome cover letter – It’s hard to make money without getting a job – make sure you’re putting your best foot forward with these tips on creating a winning cover letter.

Jules Wilson @ Faithful With a Few writes What I Learned About Contentment from Watching House Hunters – It doesn’t matter whether we are thinking about our home, car, electronics, job, clothing, or even relationships; we need to be grateful and thankful for what we have.

Miss T. @ Prairie Eco Thrifter writes Saving Money on Renovations – Like all home buyers (particularly property virgins), we have a vision and don’t want to sacrifice what we want. That being said, we don’t have an unlimited budget. So, (surprise, surprise), we have to sacrifice some of our “wants”.

Will @ Card Guys Blog writes Fill the tank (or not), not your credit card – If you’ve ever looked at your credit card statement and wondered how it adds up so quickly, the answer might be in your gas station habits.

Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes How to Make the Most out of a Small Bathroom – Although small bathrooms may seem less inviting than their roomy counterparts, there are some simple tricks you can use to make even the smallest washroom cozy and accessible.