Sunday, December 31, 2006

Get Your G's Together, G: #1 Budgeting

This is my first article in the series, "Get Your G's Together, G" where I will address some financial basics in case any of you made a New Year's resolution to be more financially responsible.... or at least to consider being more financially responsible. I don't consider myself an expert on these subjects since most of my education is from FatWallet Forums or other blogs, so don't be afraid to rip me a new one if I deserve it. Well, maybe you could be a little gentler, but I'd appreciate feedback if you know something that I don't.

One of my New Year's resolutions was to start tracking my expenses and creating a budget. To do so, I need some sort of program or system. My friend Andrew, who is the one who actually got me thinking about budgeting, gave me the software he uses. I'm going to give it a try, but I realize that not everyone has access to the same software. Therefore, I scoured other blogs to see what other PF bloggers had found useful. My main requirements for a program are that it must be free, functional, and fun. Free because, well, we're either poor or cheap or both. Functional because, well, it has to work. And fun, because well, I get bored easily if it's not fun.

Here are my top choices:
AceMoney Lite tops my list because it meets all of the prereqs, and surprisingly, one of the few that did so. It allows files to be imported in QIF(Quicken) or OFX format which are formats compatible with almost all, if not all banking systems. This was a huge factor for me since most of my purchases are on my credit card; if I can import my statements, everything is easier. You can also create a budget and track how you do in any given time period as well as seeing where your spending goes. This is only the tip of the icebergy - there are so many more features that you can take advantage of once you check it out.

SimpleD Budget is another great program and worthy of the name. Out of all of the programs I looked at, this actually looks the most fun because you can view everything in the form of graphs and piecharts. While it may seem superficial to point out how "fun" a program is, for I doubt budgeting ranks high among people's hobbies, so anything that makes budgeting interesting helps. The only downside for me is that it doesn't have the ability to import files in the ways mentioned above, but if you pay mostly in cash or don't mind inputting values, this is a program with a good feel.

I found both of these over at My Money Blog, where there is a huge compilation of budgeting tools, so take a gander over there to see the full list.

Here are some alterternatives:
Where are the Excel spreadsheets, you ask? Now I realize that most people have Excel on their computers, but technically, it isn't free. However, for those of you who like Excel, I found an excellent spreadsheet.

I looked at many spreadsheets, but the one Savvy Steward has created is my favorite.
He has two tables - one for "daily records" and another for a "table of totals." In the "daily records" he inputs and categorizes and on the table of totals he can tally all of the daily records together. What I find convenient is that once you categorize spending in "daily records", it is automatically tallied together for the table of totals. It also shows what your projected expenses would be if you kept at the current pace, so you can see how you should adjust future spending. Since it's a regular spreadsheet, you can easily modify it for your purposes. If you don't like this format, there are plenty of spreadsheets out there if you just do a search. Just be sure to type in "sheets" instead of "Sheen" or else you may get some unflattering glamour shots of certain celebrities.

For those of you who don't have Excel, an open-source equivalent of MS Office is available at My old computer died, and I didn't have a copy of MS Office, so I've been using this, and I've been satisfied. I would guess that the average user wouldn't notice any difference - I don't.

And finally, for those of you who are old school, here's a throw back to the times when we didn't have this oversized calculator and the only surfing you did was at the beach. has forms you can print out and fill in.

I looked at some other blogs that have some resources, and they may have what you're looking for if it isn't here. Here's the best of the rest:
I Will Teach You to Be Rich
Consumerism Commentary
Frugal for Life

I hope you find these useful, and if you have any other suggestions of good programs or spreadsheets, please post them here!

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Saturday, December 30, 2006


Do you remember the good old days when you could get paid for watching ads while you surfed? Back before the dotcom bust, there were several companies who created a system where you would download their ad bar, and you could get paid for watching ads while you surfed. I had dreams of earning multiple referrals and sitting back and watching the money flow in, but you can see where that got me. I'm still sitting here, sans my pile of money.

While they didn't succeed back then, but maybe it was just an idea ahead of its time. Look at the recent developments in internet advertising. Google has become an advertising mogul (they even own this blog), and advertising money is flowing, no gushing, into the internet because advertisers have realized the potential power. To ride this new wave, one company has come back with the Viewbar: Agloco

Agloco is in its initial stages, so if you jump on the wagon before everyone else, you have the potential of earning bookoodle bucks! They don't have a working Viewbar yet (it's in beta), but you can still refer friends, and as soon as the Viewbar is up, you'll see coins flowing into your coffers. The more people you tell, the more moolah in your moneyclip. Ok, ok, the alliteration is getting a little out of hand.

I'm still a bit skeptical because my dreams were crushed from the last time around, but it costs nothing, and it carries no risk, so I say, why not?

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Festival of Under 30 Finances

I've submitted my article Hot Food Finds to the Festival of Under 30 Finances hosted by Beachgirl's Budget Blog. In addition, here are some other interesting articles posted by fellow bloggers:

Universe of Success describes the "Law of tenfold return" While it's neither finance-related nor empirically proven fact, I do like to believe that karma goes around. Shoot, I still need to make up for running over that old lady crossing the street.... just kidding!

Life Training Online tells you "10 questions that determine your financial fitness" Considering I'm a student without any real income, I fail on most of these counts, but maybe you'll turn out better than I did.

Getting Green compares the similarities between the weight-loss industry and the financial services industry in "Of diets and dollars" Interesting comparison - I never would've made the connection. Not to toot my own horn - ok, so maybe just a little bit, but I need a little self-esteem boost after the last one - I must say I pass with flying colors on this one. I exercise my body and eat well, and I limit my spending.

There are several posts in this festival that discuss personal New Year's resolutions, and I was surprised to find that, like me, most of these people don't like New Year's resolutions! I wonder why that is? I am assuming that a lot of people who write these blogs are pretty financially responsible, so maybe they don't need them. Then again, maybe we're all so financially screwed up right now that we don't want to deal with the reality of our bleak bank roll. Either way, at least we're making them.

If you have any New Year's resolutions, post them here or link to posts on your blog. I'm curious to see what everyone's doing.

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New Year's Resolutions #2,3

Continuing the post I began earlier, a couple of more New Year's resolutions:

2. Create a budget
I've never really been one to budget (or make New Year's resolutions). Not because I can't control my spending, but rather the opposite - I know that I'm cheap. Even then, I think it should be an interesting exercise to see how much money I save as well as where most of my spending goes - right now, I'm betting on food (after rent, of course). Also, almost every personal finance article which I come across discusses budgeting, and how you use it to understand and control finances. It will be more beneficial to see where I am on a more continuous basis rather than progressing straight from, "Hey, I just got my huge loan deposited into my account" to "Yay, I made it to the end of the semester without going bankrupt!" I'm not sure how this will affect me psychologically. Will it become, dare I say, a game to see how much cheaper I can be? Or will I reward myself more for being under my budget? Only time will tell.

3. Post here at least once a week
I've had the opportunity to post so much recently because of a nice little break from school, but beginning January 2, I'm back in class - unless I have too much fun on New Year's Eve. I want to keep this up because I enjoy reading other blogs and interacting with fellow bloggers. I've also found that writing some of these posts require research, making me better informed, and thus more prepared to conquer the world. Furthermore, if I want to have a very successful resolution #1, I'm going to need people coming back for more. What was that movie? Field of Dreams, right? "If you write it, they will come"... or something like that. I need a strategy. My strategy will be to write a few posts when I have down time, and then post them gradually, so I always have some saved for when I get busier. Kind of like pumping out ideas by slow peristalsis as opposed to explosive you-know-what.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

New Year's Resolution #1

I'm normally not one to make New Year's resolutions. I'm not sure whether it's because I feel pretty satisfied with my life or because I doubt my ability to keep them. Still, with the new semester coming up, I'm anticipating my life to become busier, so I need to manage my time even more efficiently, and I think setting these resolutions will help. Without further ado, here is my New Year's resolution #1.

1. Donate half of the proceeds from this site
The word "stingy" has a rather negative connotation. At least when I think of stingy, I think of a particular Dickensian character. I'm not really stingy, or so I like to believe - I just chose the name Stingy Students because I like alliteration. Yeah, I know, weird. I like to think I'm pretty generous when it comes to other people - I just dislike spending money on myself. In fact, I think generosity is one of the most important qualities one needs to possess, which is why this is my first resolution.

I have several links on this site, located in the sidebar. Trust me, all of these sites are completely legitimate (as opposed to those illegitimate bastard sites). I recommend them because they help you save money. I will never put a link on my site solely for the purpose of making money - google Adsense, amazon products, etc. - because they don't necessarily help you save money. (I'll address this in a future post) With that said, some of these links on my site earn me a referral fee. Like I said, it costs you nothing, in fact is saves you money, and if I can earn a referral fee, we both win, right? Well, I don't think that's enough. I do this because I like to pretend that people enjoy listening to me ramble. Although I could really use the money since my net worth will be negative for the next decade or so, I think there are people out there who could use it more.

Therefore, I am pledging to donate half of the proceeds from this site next December. I haven't decided yet on which cause, but I recently discovered this new organization, Modest Needs, and I am leaning towards them right now. Do you have any suggestions? As soon as I fix up this site, I plan on creating a running tally on a sidebar, but for now, I have $10 in referrals from Ebates.

Running tally:
December '06 - $5

All of this hinges on you, the reader, and I mean the real ones, not the imaginary ones I make up in my head. I am hoping that this blog grows, and I'll be able to donate lots and lots of money to a good cause.

New Year's Resolution #2 coming up next....

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Best shirt ever

I try not to post hot deals on consumer goods because you can find that information anywhere on the web, but I just had to post this one. A couple of months ago, I needed some dress clothes, so I went to my local thrift store(s), and "splurged" on a couple nice things to add to my wardrobe. One of my favorite additions has been this no-iron shirt from Land's End.

For students, or anyone else just too lazy to iron, this shirt is truly wrinkle-free. Do you ever wake up in the morning and realize it's Monday and not Sunday? Or for the church-goers in the audience, have you ever waken up on Saturday, only to realize that you're supposed to be in church because in fact, it's Sunday? Now, you have to get dressed in 2 minutes because you're already an hour late, so you definitely don't have time to iron. This shirt to the rescue! Once you have one of these shirts, you'll never be able to go back to wearing regular shirts that need to be ironed.

The reason I'm posting it here is because right now, it's on sale for $14.99! This is one of those shirts that is worth it's full price of almost $40, but at $14.99, it's a downright steal! To make this deal even sweeter, if you buy it through Mr. Rebates, you get 4% back, bringing the final cost to $14.99 - $0.60 = $14.39 + tax + shipping.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Festival of Frugality

Another article! Money $mart Life is hosting the Festival of Frugality #54, and I submitted my article Dell coupon. Yeah, probably not the best article ever, but I was hoping someone could actually use it... no has contacted me yet though. I'm going to post it over on FatWallet Forums soon if no one claims it.

There seem to be less articles this time, and out of those, not as many relevant to students, but here are two I found to be interesting:

My Wealth Builder explains how to "Do it yourself and save money" I totally like DIY projects, not just because it saves money, but what's more manly that being able to fix your own things? I'm planning an article on another DIY project I'll probably do in a couple of months.

Probably even more relevant is My Two Dollar's demonstration of "How a $3.85 drink at Starbucks affects your bottom line." There are so many people in my class who buy coffee every morning, and I can't help but imagine how much money they could save if they just brewed their own cup every morning and brought it in a mug. Even if they bought the best brewer and best coffee, they'd recoup their costs in a couple of months.

By the way, I'd like to welcome all the readers from Boston Gal's Open Wallet. After she mentioned me on her site, I noticed I've been getting a lot of traffic from her. When I first started reading her blog, I remember wondering what we could possibly have in common. She's making money - I'll be losing money for 3.5 more years. She's a girl - I'm a guy. She's in Boston - I'm in Georgia. Her website looks good - mine is in need of several facelifts. But as time keeps passing, I hope to accomplish some of the things she has accomplished, and maybe we'll have more in common, except for the whole gender thing. I'll keep mine as is.

That's about it for now. I'm trying to fix up my site a little more, so watch out for more modifications.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Carnival of Personal Finance

I submitted my article Voiding Optional over at the Carnival of Personal Finance #80 hosted by My Personal Finance Blog. There seemed to be a lot of articles submitted, and the host didn't have much time to arrange them, so I took the liberty and picked out some of my favorites. Here is my mini-carnival:

Well-Heeled asks "Why don't we learn about money in school?" That's a good question. I always wanted to take econ in college because I wanted to know more about money, but I never got around to taking it. Maybe it was a good decision because what they teach you in econ classes is not personal finance, so I wouldn't have gotten much out of it.... except some numbers from those hot econ chicks.

Personal Finance for Students and Fresh Grads mentions me in "Finance blogs for/by students or fresh grads" Who you calling fresh? Just kidding playa!

An English Major's Money advises us on "How to set goals you can achieve." I'll be coming out with my own New Year's resolutions soon, so I'll definitely keep these suggestions in mind.

Ask Uncle Bill addresses the problem of decreasing the interest rate on student loans in "A REALLY stupid idea" Yes, he says it's a problem. The real problem is the unrestricted increases in the costs of higher education, which I completely understand. Just because it's higher education, doesn't mean you have to pay higher prices year after year, right?

And last, but not least, My Retirement Blog explains how it pays off to start early in "10 Rules for Starting Early" Ok, ok, so maybe there was a reason I put this last - because retirement is the last thing on some of your minds. But seriously, start early, and you and I can be kicking it on the beaches of Iceland sipping fish oil when we retire.

I don't know about you, but I kind of like this mini-carnival thing, and not just because it's something I did. If I (or you) ever want to go back and read something, I can find it much easier instead of searching through old carnivals. It's kind of like a bookmark, but even better because I get to add my own stupid comments. What do y'all think?

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Pardon the construction

I've been trying to learn a little HTML/CSS to try and fix up my site and make it look nice and purty, so I apologize if things change. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to leave them, that's what the comment section is for.....
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Monday, December 25, 2006

Hot Food Find

Do you like food? I thought so. While there are a lot of posts out there that talk about how you can save money on this and that, food is one of the few things that all of us actually need. Whether you like to get a good deal on your groceries just because you like to save money or whether you need the savings because of limited income, this is for everyone.

Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization that offers boxes of food for a substantially reduced cost by cutting out the middlemen (grocery stores) and using the help of volunteers to distribute the food.

From their site:

Angel Food's groceries are sold in a quantity that can fit into a medium-sized box at $25 per unit. Each month's menu is different than the previous month and consists of both fresh and frozen items with an average retail value of approximately $50. Comparison shopping has been done across the country in various communities using a wide range of retail grocery stores and has resulted in the same food items costing from between $42 and $78.

Generally, one unit of food assists in feeding a family of four for about one week or a single senior citizen for almost a month. The food is all the same high quality one would purchase at a grocery store. There are no second-hand items, no damaged or out-dated goods, no dented cans without labels, no day-old breads and no produce that is almost too ripe.

Also offered are specialty boxes such as steaks, chicken and pork. Many participants in this bonus program appreciate the expanded choices. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of units or bonus foods an individual can purchase, and there are no applications to complete or qualifications to which participants must adhere. Angel Food Ministries, like most all other retail grocery stores, also participates in the U.S. Food Stamp program, using the Off-Line Food Stamp Voucher system.

The menu for next month:

January 2007 Menu

(6) 5 oz. Bacon-Wrapped Beef Filets
(1) 1.5 lb. Boneless Pork Roast
(1) 2 lb. Fully Cooked Frying Chicken
(1) 2 lb. Salsbury Steak Entree
(1) 2 lb. Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast
(1) 1 lb. Flame-Broiled Meatballs
(1) 16 oz. Bean Soup Mix
(1) 26 oz. Pasta Sauce
(1) 16 oz. Pasta
(1) 7.5 oz. Mac & Cheese
(1) 24 oz. French Fries
(1) 16 oz. Green Peas & Carrots
(1) 15 oz. Diced Bartlett Pears
(1) 14 oz. Peanut Butter
(1) 8 oz. Pancake Mix
(1) Dessert Item
(1) 7 oz. Brown N Serve Sausage

While it sounds like this program is geared for people with low-incomes, I say it again, it's for everyone. By purchasing a box, it increases the leverage of Angel Food Ministries to purchase in larger quantities, thereby decreasing per-unit costs. The local organizations or churches that act as host sites also receive $1 for every unit sold. By buying a box, you are not taking anything away from deserving people, in fact, you're helping the cause.

The deadline for ordering for January is January 2 or 15, depending on which state you're in. For more information, visit the website. If there isn't one where you live, you can get one started - there are details on how to start a host site.

Merry Christmas and appreciate what you have - and don't forget to keep in mind those less fortunate.
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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dell coupon

Here's a late Christmas present for you guys. A few months ago, I was helping my brother buy a computer, and we decided to buy it from Dell. Because UPS supposedly could not find our address - although they had delievered an item earlier in the week - they sent our order back to Dell. After talking to customer service for longer than it would've taken me to drive from Georgia to Texas and back, I finally got a concession coupon for $35. I had planned on buying something with it, but there's really nothing I need right now, so I figure I'd give it away before it expires on 12/30. If any of you are looking to buy something from Dell, it is yours to be had.
Validity of the Coupon:
1. Coupon valid only for online purchases
2. This coupon is valid for purchases from U.S. Dell Home and
Home office's online store only
3. Coupon is valid for one (1) online order only at
( and is not valid through a telephone
4. Coupon cannot be applied if the order amount is less than the
Coupon dollar value before Shipping and Tax
(Example: If your coupon is for $25.00, then your subtotal before
tax and shipping must be $25.01 or more).
5. Coupon is good with select other offers but cannot be combined
with any other concession coupons.
Dell also has a pretty good outlet site where they sell refurbished, open box, and returned items at a pretty good price, and I would think this coupon would be valid there as well. (

Now you ask, how do I get this coupon? Simple, all you have to do is create a post about this on your blog and send me the link, either by leaving a comment or sending me an email. On December 27th at noon (central time), I will select a winner by drawing a name out of a hat (or hat-like apparatus) and post it here, along with a link to your blog. Who wants it?
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Friday, December 22, 2006

Five things you didn't want to know about me

Wow, that's pretty amazing. The past couple of weeks, I've made a semi-serious commitment to this blog after realizing that this is something I could write about every so often without getting bored (maybe I should've been an econ major). In that time, I've probably had the same number of visits to my site as the past 4 months combined, and I seem to be getting some attention at other blogs, so thanks to those of you who keep coming and turning this into a blog with a real readership instead of the imaginary readership for whom I was writing before.

Boston Gal over at Boston Gal's Open Wallet tagged me to continue the "Five things you don't know about me" chain that's spreading through the various personal finance blogs. So, here goes:

1. I sang in an acappella group in college. You'd never know though because I rarely sing in public, unless I'm rather intoxicated at a karaoke bar. I was never a great soloist, but I can blend better than a Waring. Somehow though, I got paid to sing in Hebrew for some sort of Jewish Cantata..... despite the fact that I'm not Jewish. Check out my old group at

2. I'm a Fourth of July baby, so I assume those fireworks are for me. On the downside, I never got to celebrate my birthday during the school year. When I discovered that my 11th grade math teacher brought cupcakes on people's birthdays, I lied about my birthday, and she found out.... but she still brought cupcakes!

3. I'm a human garbage disposal, a la Kobayashi, yet I still weigh only 150 lbs. I'm anticipating my metabolism will catch up with me eventually, so I should probably cut back on my eating, which will also help with spending. I think it's the makings of a New Year's resolution.

4. I cannot float for the life of me. I think my head is too light and my legs too heavy.

5. And my most embarassing secret: I've danced before.... in a group.... in public..... to the infectious beats.... of N'Sync (I was Joey). We were actually semi-celebrities at our school because we were the only ones in the Dance Company with the balls - or perhaps lack of shame - to dance a completely unoriginal, played out dance to the remix of several N'Sync songs. It was actually quite demanding, and I think it's made me a better dancer, but you'll probably never see me do it again..... although I hear there's a DVD of our performance floating around out there.

I'm just going to go ahead and tag the people who I have received traffic from but haven't done this yet. If you want to be on this list, leave a comment, and I'll stick you on here too. MotherLoad, Money and Values, Savvy Steward, and Hustler $$$ Blog - you're it!
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Gaining my religion

Interesting story that J.D. over at Get Rich Slowly posted. There is an evagelical minister that goes by the name of Revered Billy who heads up the Church of Stop Shopping up in the NYC. Now I know this may trouble some of you, but don't worry, it's not really a church - or at least it doesn't appear so.... except for the gospel choir part... The point is, while the "religion" is rather extreme on the surface - antishopping - he realizes the impossibility of such a feat. People will have to cave in and buy stuff eventually.

The gospel he preaches is about taking your purchasing power to your local mom and pop stores rather than big box and chain stores. I can agree with the philosophy, which I explained in an earlier post, but it's a number of factors, ranging from economics to environment to sustainability issues. All of J.D.'s posts from yesterday seem to touch on this, but I especially like the article on how he explains the internal debate that everyone must face when making purchasing decisions. In fact, just go check out his entire blog. I've recently gotten into the habit of keeping up with a few blogs, and Get Rich Slowly is one of those that finds interesting topics and is well written. In fact, I think I'm going to add it to my blog roll right now... well, I mean, after I finish writing this.

Church of Stop Shopping
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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Voiding optional

Have you ever had a check written to you saying "void after 180 days"? Well, I have. Unfortunately, I had stuffed it away into a notebook during school, and I came across it, oh, about 2 years too late........ oh crap. Most people probably don't have problems like this because they deposit or cash their checks immediately whereas I have some sort of compulsion to procrastinate - even when these things would benefit me. So I was stuck.

I have a decent sized check written out to me - almost $150 - but it's expired. Should I try and change the "2004" to "2006" with my non-existent counterfitting skills, possibly committing a crime and ending up in jail where I'd be subject to the whims of a man who had not seen a woman in 10 years? On second though, I think I'll take it as a loss and consider it a lesson learned.

Still, this bug kept itching me. $150! That's a pretty expensive lesson to learn, at least when you're as young and poor as I am. I scoured FatWallet Forums to see if anyone else had encountered a similar situation, and lo and behold, they had! The expiration date on checks is more of a recommendation on part of the issuer so that some people forget about it and don't cash it because it's past the date. However, most banks will still accept checks even if it's past the date. Since I had two checks, I deposited one at Bank of America and the other one at Wachovia to see if either one or both would accept them. It's been over 2 weeks now, and both seem to have gone through without a hitch.

In summary, just remember expiration dates are optional, much like with food - although to a greater extent. Just because it says something is void after so many days, go ahead and deposit it.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

A few posts ago, I mentioned the benefits of your local public library. Well, if you're too lazy to go the public library or you've racked up so much in overdue fees that your face is plastered on WANTED posters throughout the local libraries, here's another option. is a new site where members can trade books for essentially free. It reminds me of the libraries at hostels where travelers can leave or take books as they please. You have to list 9 books to start off, and you get 3 credits. For each credit, you can request a book that some other member has listed, and they pay for the shipping. When someone requests one of your books, you just print out a sheet of paper that you wrap around the book, and you send it off - at your expense. Now you're scratching your head and saying, "wait, that's not free!" Well, my friend, it actually is, in that pay it forward kind of way because for every book you send, you get another credit which you can use to request another book. What a great idea, huh?

While I still like the public library, this is another great option, especially if you end up liking the book so much that you want to keep it, or you're one of those people who likes to take notes and highlight the book so extensively that it doubles as your bedtime reading and nightlight. And despite the name of the site, you can trade hardcover books too, exceptthey usually weigh a little more, so that may cost a little more to ship them.

For charter members, this is free for a year, but if it ends up being successful (which I could see it being), they may have to start charging $30-$40/yr. in membership dues. Get in on this while you can!

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

cheap movies

Not that I have time to really be doing this right now, but it was an interesting idea, so I thought I'd post. I apologize for the people who missed out on the free movie deal from fandango the other night, but that thing caught on like wildfire, and it ran out pretty quickly. While this deal isn't quite nearly as good, I saw this post on another blog about saving money by buying fandango gift certificates on eBay. Check it out here: How to save over 64% on movie tickets!

Also, for those of you interested in earning cashback, you can earn 36% of the seller's fee back when you make a purchase on eBay through BigCrumbs. While these cashback programs probably earn less money than a regular bank savings account (I'll get to this in some future post), every penny adds up!

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Free clothes through Freecycle

For those of you in Augusta, I found this on Freecycle today:
Clothing must go near mall. Hi all. I work at a local charity near the
Augusta mall called HPSO - Helping People Start Over. We are funded by
New Life Christian Church and run by volunteers. But we have lost our
building and need to clear out all of our clothing. We have quite a bit
that needs to go. We will be open on Wednesday the 13th, Friday the
15th, Wednesday the 20th, and maybe Friday the 22nd. After that it is
questionable. We need to clear all the clothing before then. Please
stop by on Wednesdays between 10 and 1 or on Fridays between 4 and 6
and fill out a simple paper and get as many clothes as you need. Please
help us out while getting some clothes you need. Thank you.
I discovered Freecycle last year as I spent hours of my post-graduate life scouring the internet to figure out how to live on a pre-K teacher salary - despite the fact that I was eating the kids' leftovers as my lunch, I still had other bills to pay. It's quite an ingenious concept and is founded on the belief that "one man's trash is another man's treasure." Freecycle is an online community where people living in the same area can post offers for things they don't need, and someone who does need it will pick it up. It also helps keep stuff out of landfills, so you're saving the environment at the same time.

For me, Freecycle has been a great find because I live at the bottom of the trash heap of society, so anything that comes tumbling down seems like a gift from the gods. I've gotten a grill and several books out of it. But even I have given away a few things I didn't need, including a computer monitor and pedometer (it measures how much you walk, not how much you like kids).

Freecycle is all over the place, and almost any place with a population greater than 2 has their own board (sorry to those of you out there in Bumble#$*&). Find your community at, and maybe I'll see some of you out there this week!

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Free movie!

Found this on FWF

Free movie courtesy of HP:

When you go to the order page, enter the promotional code: ticketme

If only I didn't have to study all weekend :-(
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Saturday, December 02, 2006

$25 from Wachovia

If by some unfortunate set of circumstances, you happen to live in Mississippi, Tennessee, or Alabama, things may be looking up. Wachovia is offering you $25 if you open up a free checking account with them. I've been a Wachovia customer for about 4 years now, and I've been very happy with their service, and it started a little something like this:

A long, long time ago, in a city far away, I started my first bank account with SunTrust because they had a $100 promotional offer (yeah, I'm a sucker for deals like that). Well, I signed up, and that money never came. They were also charging me a monthly fee for the checking account, but this was standard practice back in the day. About a year later, I heard about Wachovia's free checking for college students, and I decided to switch ships. Now, free student checking is pretty commonplace, but when it first started, Wachovia was one of the few, and my loyalty stays with them. Just last week, I had a problem with a charge on my account, and after explaining why I felt it was unfair, they gave me the money back! On the other hand, the same thing happened at Bank of America (I fell for another promotion) about a month ago, and they wouldn't even listen. Customer service at Wachovia has been the best out of the three that I've tried, and I have no reservations in recommending them. And really, I don't get anything out of promoting them, really.
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Cold Stone Creamery Free Ice Cream coupon!

Here's a link to a coupon from Cold Stone Creamery for buy one get one free! If you go to the website now, it's only a $1 coupon, but somebody had the foresight to save it on their computer, so you can print out the old coupon here!

Edit: Sorry, link had expired, it's been updated. In addition, here's BOGO on smoothies and $5 off any signature cake
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Friday, December 01, 2006

Xmas shopping 1

Get ready for the Consumerism, I mean, Christmas season. If you need some good stocking stuffers or gifts, here's some stuff I found today. If you like these sorts of deals, let me know! I'm trying to keep these items I would be interested in as a student as well as keeping costs down. has a Kingston 2 GB USB Drive for $51.95. You can use the google checkout offer of $20 off $50, which is advertised on their site, and if you buy through you can get 2.7% cash back, which amounts to $0.73. In addition, there's a $25 rebate, which expires 12/2, so act fast! While these cashback sites don't seem to amount to much, if you use them for purchases you will normally make, you can get a nice chunk of change over the course of a year for little to no work, especially if you take advantage of the referral programs. If you take advantage of all of this, your final cost comes out to $51.95 - $20 - $25 - $0.73 =
$6.22, and it's shipped for free! Hot!

Another one from good ole A Kingston 2 GB SD card (for digital cameras, PDAs, etc.) is selling for $54.86. $54.86 - $20 (google checkout) - $0.91 ( = $12.95!

Lowe's has a nice 2 piece Dremel kit going for $29.97 in some areas (good in Augusta). If you've never heard of Dremel, they make things that spin very fast, and they're quite amazing. Need to sand down a sharp corner? Dremel's got it. Toenails too hard? Leave it to the Dremel. Anyone who likes to watch spinny things or likes to sand down things will love this tool!

40% off* at /w GCO through December 10, 2006.
Use code: TURKEY40 at online checkout.
NO FREE SHIPPING, which is around $7.
Use Fatwallet for 7% cashback!

The coupon: ipod50poff is works on the ipod car charger, portable speakers, and the usb power adapter
ipod car charger: $8.98 - (coupon: ipod50poff) = $4.49 Free Shipping!
USB power adapter: $11.98 - (coupon: ipod50poff) = $5.99 Free Shipping!
3.7% cash back through Jellyfish

25% off at Sports Authority
Additional 5.5% cashback at Mr. Rebates

A Charlie Brown Christmas CD for $4.88 at Amazon! Vince Guaraldi's the man!

US News and World 1 year subscription for $6.50 using the coupon "BSXWR" at Deekins! has some great deals on refurbished iPods. Use Fatwallet for 2% cashback!

Digital photo keychain at for $9.00. Use Ebates for 2% cashback!

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