For me, the scariest thing about Halloween is something I read in the paper the other day. This year, Americans who celebrate Halloween will spend an average of $80 per person on costumes, decorations, treats and such. That makes Halloween an $8 billion a year holiday, second only to Christmas when it comes to consumer spending. For a cheapskate like me, that's truly frightening.
I call it "bill creep." Most of us have experienced it. It starts with the bills you pay automatically, every month, without really taking the time to examine each and every one. Then one month you take a closer look at them, and you realize two things. First, the amount you're paying now is a lot more than you remembered it being. And second, there are all kinds of things on those bills that you don't even understand, let alone remember ever agreeing to pay.
Today's a big day for me and all of my frugal friends in the Savings Challenge group here at AARP.org. In fact, it's even more exciting for a cheapskate like me than triple-coupon day at the supermarket!
Once or twice a year for the past four years I've had the pleasure of hosting an online "Savings Challenge" here on the AARP website. Members of the Savings Challenge group - now more than 5,000 strong - compete in weekly challenges throughout the month-long contest, and then three overall winners are selected at the end of the Challenge.
I'm one of those kind of people who actually enjoys spring cleaning. Sure, part of it is that it's refreshing to change things up around the house, and start to be able to once again make use of outside spaces like decks and patios.
Springtime is gardening time, and here's a clever garden-themed repurposing tip: Bake cute, individual servings of fresh bread in clay flowerpots, like those pictured here.
For my book The Cheapskate Next Door, I surveyed hundreds of proud "cheapskates" about - among other things - the oldest piece of clothing they own and at least occasionally still wear. The answer, on average, was one or more apparel items dating back roughly to the time when Jimmy Carter was President (1977-1981).
Here's a nifty decorating and gift idea just in time for Easter. It's a daily double - or can even be a trifecta - of creative repurposing, since you can reuse not one, but two or even three items you normally throw away!
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