Save money with holiday LED lights

On November 28, 2011, in Saving money, by Jim Wood

The holiday season is once again upon us. One of my family’s favorite things to do is wandering around our neighborhood admiring all the beautiful lighting displays. All those bulbs can result in a gigantic increase in your December electricity bill if you’re still using the old fashioned incandescent bulbs for your holiday decorations. You […]


Avoiding bank debit card fees

On October 7, 2011, in Saving money, by Jim Wood

I’ve been watching with interest all the media reports about several big banks adding new fees for debit card use. Here’s how I look at it. The banks have every right to charge those fees. They are profit-seeking companies doing what companies do — go after profit. As a customer, I can choose to accept […]


Sears Kidvantage Club

On August 15, 2011, in Saving money, by Jim Wood

If you’re the parent of a young kid, you’ll like this one. I was recently commenting to a friend that my 9-year-old son is always blowing through his shoes well before he outgrows them. Doesn’t matter whether the shoes are national brands or generic store brands. If he gets 8 weeks out of them, he […]


Saving on phone, TV, and Internet

On August 1, 2011, in Discounts, Saving money, by Jim Wood

Telecommunications expenses (phone, Internet, cable TV) can add up over time. In fact, it’s easy to spend over $100/month on this stuff if you’re not careful. That same amount invested in the stock market over 50 years could be worth over $1,000,000. (To find out why, see Chapter 2 of From Ramen to Riches for […]

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Starbucks Discounts, Deals, and More

On February 15, 2011, in Saving money, by Jim Wood

I admit it. I love Starbucks®. (And no, they haven’t paid me to say nice things about them.) At the same time, I discovered long ago that my coffee habit can be potentially expensive. I’ve mostly cut out the cappuccinos in favor of their drip brew coffee. I’ve also reduced the frequency of my visits. […]


Saving Money on Gas

On February 8, 2011, in Saving money, by Jim Wood

If you are a typical driver, a $.15 per gallon reduction in the price of gas will save you about $100 a year. There are many ways to avoid paying top dollar, including: Pay with a credit card that offers a cash rebate. For example, the Costco American Express® card rebates 3% on gasoline purchases. […]


How much does your car really cost?

On January 21, 2011, in Saving money, by Jim Wood

Have you ever wondered what your car is costing you over a driving lifetime? Chapter 7 of “From Ramen to Riches” covers this in detail, but here are some of the highlights: The $6,745,171 automobile collection: Someone who leases a new $20,000 car every 3 years pays out about $600 per month in auto expense when you […]


Saving on airport parking

On December 14, 2010, in Saving money, by Jim Wood

It’s the holidays and many people are getting ready to hop on a plane and go over many rivers to Grandma’s house. (I don’t know about you, but going by horse and sleigh doesn’t sound half bad, unless you have to cross a continent to get there. But I digress.) Frequent travelers know that airport […]


Tips for avoiding a holiday financial hangover

On November 20, 2010, in Saving money, by Jim Wood

With the money-spending madness of the holidays coming up, here are a few tips for avoiding a financial hangover come January, when all the bills start piling up. 1.    Make a list, and check it twice. Write down everyone you have to buy for, from the mailman to your Mom to your best friend. Once you […]


Haircuts for under $1, tip included

On November 12, 2010, in Saving money, by Jim Wood

Those who have read From Ramen to Riches know that I pride myself on getting the things I want for the least possible price. I started on this quest years ago while living in San Francisco. We wanted to figure out a way to get by on one income so that my wife could stay […]

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Love your local credit union

On October 29, 2010, in Managing money, Saving money, by Jim Wood

I’m sure you’ve seen all the ads from Behemoth Bank about how you’re a part of their big happy family, right? Forget all that. The business on the other side of the table is trying to extract as much money as they can. Your goal is to get what you want and pay as little […]

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