Monday, February 28, 2011

Refurbish and furnish

Furnishing your home can get extremely expensive especially if you are buying new and financing it. Knowing that we would need chairs and other furniture that we did not own. My wife and I started looking for cheap or free furniture. I remembered an old chair my family had down in our basement that was hideous. I knew it had potential so I wanted to see if it was still around. Sure enough tucked in storage my sister was more than happy to get it off her hands. So here are the before and after pictures of

And the after

Looks a lot better doesn't it!!!! Because the chair was totally free we only had to purchase fabric and stain. We didn't keep the receipt but we estimate the total project cost was less than $25. A special thanks goes out to our mom Leslie who did the reupholstering when she was visiting us. I can actually take no claim to this project other than finding the chair. My family was amazed at how great it turned out, they almost couldn't recognize it. So next time you are thinking you need that new chair or dresser, see what you can do by refurbishing something you already own or purchasing something for a great price at a garage sale or thrift store. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dust off an old hobby this weekend.

First of all, I am sorry that I have missed this week. I was out all day Monday with my brother riding ATVs and it was has been midterms at school so I have been super busy. So with the upcoming weekend ahead I suggest dusting off a few of your old hobbies. We spend thousands of dollars purchasing different equipment to entertain us. Mountain bikes, paintball equipment, scrap book supplies, fabric ect.. So finally put them to work and get your money's worth. My brother and I really love to ride ATVs and haven't been able to use ours for awhile (snow). We had a great time at and were able to do it with things we already had. So why not put something to use you already own rather then spending extra money to entertain you this weekend. If you find you do not enjoy it as much as you thought, then see what you can get for it on Craig's list.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Long frugal weekend.

For many of us, finding frugal things to do over a regular weekend is hard enough. Add an extra day on top of that and it seems we end up spending a lot to keep ourselves entertained. So here are a few ideas on things you can do over a long weekend on the cheap!

1. Tackle one of those extensive DIY projects you have been wanting to do. A good way to do this frugally is by planning ahead. Spend a few weeks or months looking for discounts on the items you will need. Often using craigslist you can find that tile for your bathroom you have always wanted for less than half the cost at your local hardware store. The long weekend really opens up the scale and scope of the project. 

2. Jump start your spring cleaning and empty out a few of those closets that are too full. Plan ahead and post a few signs around town and host a yard sale the on Monday. Not only are you cleaning out your home but you are also putting a few dollars in your pocket. Following the sale donate the rest of the goods to to a local thrift or consignment shop. 

Want a more relaxing weekend where you are not working? 

3. House exchange, heading to warmer weather may not be as expensive as you think. Swap your home for the weekend with someone who wants a weekend ski trip while you enjoy the summer rays. Cutting out the cost of having to pay for hotels for a weekend. There are dozens of online services where you can arrange this. is just one of the many places where you can list your home for a week, or weekend home swap. 

4. Declare a care free weekend, turn off your cell phone, and set up auto reply for your email. Grab some books or whatever materials you need for a relaxing weekend and spend a few days sitting by the fire relaxing. Do not forget to order your favorite take-out at least once so you do not have to spend time doing the dishes. 

5. Visit family, take a weekend to visit some family who lives close by (within a few hours). Renew friendships and spend quality time chatting and catching up. This can be a lot of and talking is really cheap. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Saving on things you are already paying for!

As life goes on our monthly expenses typically go up. $15.99 for Netflix, $49.99 For cable and add another $25.99 for Internet and phone bundle. $25 a month for your gym pass and $125 for insurance on your home and cars the list of monthly expenses goes on and on. All too often we are looking for ways to cut back our expenses but we do not look at ways to cut back those automatic monthly payments.

Insurance: If you have not changed your insurance in the last 2 years the chances are you are being over charged. Insurance companies offer really great introductory prices to get you to sign up. Then they hope you will stay with them for years as they slightly increase your insurance overtime to add to their profits. You notice how every insurance company says they can save you hundreds of dollars on insurance each year? It's because they can, get free estimates and see how much you can save. Not to mention if you really love your insurance most of the time if you show them you have a better price from someone else they will typically match it to keep you as a customer. We did this just a month ago when we needed to add a different car to our insurance. The rate my current company was giving me was more than I was getting from others. As soon as I showed them they lowered my monthly payment $30 to match what the others were offering.

Cable: Every satellite and cable company offers great deals and incentives for new customers. It's typically a great idea like with insurance to shop around for the best deal and switch coverage every so often. Starting with the new company will usually lower your payments and get you all of the new hardware. However you may not want to leave but reminding your current company that you can get a better deal somewhere else will almost always lead to a better price with your current company.

Gym pass: Gym passes are either really good or really bad. I find that 80% of the people do not use their pass. So if you are not using your pass get rid of it and find a new way to exercise and stay in shape. However if you are planning to renew you should try to get a better price. When my wife and I canceled our passes they offered to give us half off per pass to renew. We were not utilizing them but $22 a month isn't too bad for two passes.

Credit Cards: I am not a fan of credit cards and encourage people to get rid of them. If you are paying of credit card debt look into lowering your interest rate by giving them a call. More often than not they will lower the interest rate. If they don't threaten to transfer the balance to a different card with a better rate. This will save you money on interest leaving you with more to put towards your debt.

The point is all to often we are over paying for services that are a luxury. So finding ways to cut back on those can really save a lot of money in the long run. What kind of things have you been able to lower your monthly payments on?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines day

Valentines day: The day we express our love and renew commitments. Sure you may have a different definition but I like that one. So what kind of advice can pinchapenny give about one of the more expensive holidays?

1. Make it a holiday where love really is the emphasis, no bouquet of roses or truck load of chocolates can extinguish 364 days of lack luster interest  in your partner. (but they can help)

2. Do something that reminds you why you are together in the very first place:
- Spend the day doing one of your favorite activities as a couple
-Rent the movie you watched when you first held hands
-Write a personal note or card telling them all the things you love about them
- Go to the restaurant you went to on your first date

3. Do something for your partner that you know they hate doing themselves. 

4. If you are a guy... make it about her because we all know she loves this holiday and you love her. 

Divorce is not only heart breaking and time consuming. But it is typically very hard on your finances. Not to mention that money problems are the number listed reason for divorce. So do something today to strengthen your marriage and in the next few days do something to strengthen your finances. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

This week in finance:

Here are a few articles that I found this past week that will help with your finances.

Who's debt should you really be focusing on?

 I couldn't believe this article, talk about integrity!

 Looking for a few frugal valentines ideas?

 Trim both bottom lines!

Have a great weekend, and do something that saves or makes you more money!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My 5 favorite personal finance APPS.

So before I get started with this, I want to acknowledge that there are thousands of finance apps that do many different things. These are just the few I use on a regular basis that I think are noteworthy.

1. app: Yes I recently made a post about and this is just another reason why I love them. I can evaluate and update my budget from my phone. I can also monitor all of my accounts in just one place which I love. This app also lets me see "to the date expenses" which helps me from spending too much.. especially on my work lunch budget.

2. Invoice Lite: This app is amazing! Because I run a small "side hustle" I need to give estimates and send out invoices. This app lets me create and send them from my Iphone or Ipad which is a life saver for me because I am always on the go. The invoices are customizable and look professional which helps me make more money!

3. Square: Square is a credit card processing app, which I couldn't live without. Using services with monthly payments and terminals just isn't an option for me. Although Squares percentages are a bit higher than other options I reap the savings when I do not have to pay monthly fees. I can also take payments anywhere I am at! You can also use square for personal use, if someone owes you money but doesn't have cash you can run their card and it will send the payment to your personal bank account. Not to mention you can send them a text or email with a handy receipt.

4. IntCalc: Is a compound interest calculator that is free and perfect for those of us who can't do compound interest in our heads. This has really helped me save money! How? Because when I want to make a large purchase I type the purchase price into this app and see how much that money could be worth in 30 years if I invested it into a Mutual Fund. Seeing the result really makes me think about the purchase.

5. ING Bank app: So it's no secret I love ING bank, they actually pay interest and even with the small amount of money I have. I notice the dividends each month. This app helps me manage that account and make withdrawals from my credit union. Login is easy and safe and the interface is awesome. If you are interested in opening an account with ING let me know and I will send you a referral email. Which if you sign they will give me $25 for pretty sweet eh?

I have close to half a dozen more on my phone but these are the ones I use the most. What finance apps do you use? How is it helping you save or make more money?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Side hustle update

Side hustles update

Courtesy of Dan Miller at I found these interesting statistics about starting your own business.

26 percent of business start-ups didn't require any capital
 34 percent needed less than $5,000
9 percent needed $5,000-$9,999
 12 percent needed $10,000-$24,999
 6 percent needed $25,000-$49,999
 5 percent needed $50,000-$99,000
 4 percent needed $100,000-$249,999
 3 percent needed $250,000-$999,999
 1 percent needed $1 million or more

So why not start your own business today? In addition to what was listed in the first post, here are a few more ideas of things you can do on the side.

Moonlight as a security guard: Enjoy spending the evening alone getting paid? Becoming a security guard is a great option for college students or people with full time jobs who are busy during the day. Why not open your own security business where you hire out security guards to keep an eye on local business and mini malls.

Become a car retailer. Here is a link to an ebook about how to do it.
Its amazing the great deals that auctions offer. Purchasing cars at a huge discount and then reselling them for profit can become quite lucrative.

Window washing business: I do not know many people who love to wash windows, but I know a lot of people who love working for themselves and making a good income. My friend put himself through college by washing windows with a business partner during the summer.

Online Parts Store: Have a passion for motorcycles, ATVs or cars? Why not start an online parts store where you create a website and relationships with wholesalers. Sell products at a great price and run the entire business all from your computer. Here is an example of a site that I love to use, where they are doing just that.

Snow Removal: Is your area being nailed with huge winter storms on a regular basis? Offer to shovel, snow blow or plow driveways. If you own a pickup look into purchasing a plow and offer to clear local businesses parking lots.

Event Staff: I met a family who would spend Saturdays at the local University football games selling food items. Eventually the money they made was used to purchase a local restaurant where they then hired people to sell their food at the games.

I plan to add to this list again, and would love to hear your ideas on what you are doing or thinking of doing as a side hustle?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Organizing your finances can be time consuming and tedious. However not having them organized can be extremely costly. There are dozens of software programs that can help, and my personal favorite is Most importantly mint is free, but don't let that deter you it is very comprehensive. The software is all online and can link safely with all of your financial accounts. This makes managing everything from your checking account to your mutual fund easy and accessible. In addition to the account "overview" mint offers a robust budgeting system that can help you track where your money is going. If that isn't enough it gives you tips on ways that you can save and cut out un-needed expenses. Last but not least mint has a goal setting option that helps you make, track, and keep your goals. So if you are looking for a way to manage your finances take a look at

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Treasure in the Attic

As a frugal person I am always on the hunt for good deals. In previous posts I have shown items I have found at thrift stores or garage sales. All of which were great deals especially when re-finished to meet our needs. In addition to that I am always looking for items that are valuable to sell. I have on occasion purchased something and then sold it for a profit. So what kind of treasure do you have in your attic? Do you have an old collection of items that are valuable? For example I was talking with a friend about old board games I used to play. So I wanted to look a few of them up, in doing so I found that a brand new copy of one of my favorite board games 'Heros Quest' was being sold on Amazon for $650. "Good" used versions of the game were selling for around $150 dollars.

We are not ready to part with the game, but its astonishing the treasure that can be found in the attic.

Check out this list of  valuable baseball cards that could change some peoples financial futures.

When looking for ways to get out of debt or to make some extra cash do not overlook items that you could sell. In fact you may be able to make a part time job out of buying and selling goods on Internet marketplaces like EBay or Amazon.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Official Post Schedule

After a lot of consideration, and inspiration from some friends who have successful blogs I have decided to make and stick to an official posting schedule, which will begin tomorrow, and consist of three posts a week, MWF. It was one of my New Years resolutions and I want to do it, I have set a goal to accomplish all of my New Years Resolutions and evaluate them weekly to make sure that I am on track.