Cheap Tips for the Outdoors

With summer nearly half over, your outdoor living areas and accessories probably need some halftime sprucing up. Here are some inexpensive ways to refresh your patio and deck areas so that you can really enjoy the final weeks of summer. Homemade outdoor furniture cleaner: Are your lawn chairs looking a bit begrimed? Plastic and vinyl outdoor furniture can be cleaned by wiping it down with a mixture of ¼ cup dishwashing soap, ½ cup bleach, in one gallon of water, then …

The Ultimate Cheapskate on “How to Retire the Cheapskate Way”

Folks who were lucky enough to be in New Orleans for Life@50+ National Event got a taste of the cheap life from AARP’s savings expert and Ultimate Cheapskate Jeff Yeager. Think living frugally has to be boring? Think again – and Jeff’s session was anything but. Jeff shared some advice from his upcoming book, How to Retire the Cheapskate Way: The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Guide to a Better, Earlier, Happier Retirement (due out in December).  A lot of what he shared is applicable for folks at …

Get Ready for the AARP Savings Challenge

Let the games – and the money saving – begin!  Next Monday, April 2, we’re kicking off a special springtime edition of Savings Challenge, a chance for you to share your penny pinching tips, learn some new ways to save money, and maybe even win some terrific prizes! Every week from April 2 through April 29, we’ll be hosting a week-long challenge, asking for your best tips and stories as they relate to a specific money-saving topic I’ll announce each Monday.  …

When Frugality Goes Wrong

As a professional cheapskate, I have an allergic reaction whenever I pay more for something than I think it’s really worth. But there have been a few times when I’ve attempted to economize and later regretted it. Here’s my Top Six List of Frugality Gone Wrong: Wimpy power tools: As a general rule of thumb, I’ve found that it always pays to buy the best tools you can afford at the time.  This is true not only of power tools, …

Study: Older Workers Spend Less. And You?

I knew it! And now there’s another new study that backs me up. I’ve always suspected that young people – not just today, but in past generations as well – are less likely than their elders to appreciate the value of a dollar. In fact, I contend that increased frugality is a natural, subconscious part of aging.* The latest study to support my theory of aging thriftily was released this month by the recruiting and staffing firm Accounting Principals. Among …

Diary of a Fiscal Fast

Go for a week without spending ANY money?!  It’s spending detox, what I call a “fiscal fast.”  Give it a try a couple of times a year.  You’ll save a few bucks, use up stuff you have around the house, and gain a new understanding of how you spend – and probably waste – money in a normal week.  It’s a challenge, but it’s also kind of fun. My wife and I just did a fiscal fast last week, and …