Skip the Gym, Save the Bucks

Our younger son has been going to a gym in town with some friends. He gets in using a guest pass from one of the others. We are a little embarrassed that he’s the only one without his own membership, so I looked into the cost of joining… Unbelievable! Not only is the monthly fee […]


Haggle? Yes, an Amateur Can Do It

I’m not a big fan of haggling. I rarely do it. I’d much rather walk into a transaction knowing the price and making a calm decision based on that price. Plus, being a small business owner, I understand the value of margins and am happy to pay the list price when I can afford it, […]


Nine Cheap Holiday Events that Won’t Tax Your Wallet

A holiday with all the trimmings can seriously trim your bank account.


Five Unusual “Investments” You May Not Have Considered

As the end of the year approaches you may be thinking about your investments. If you’re like the people in the slick TV commercials who talk about “wealth management” while they cast their line in some Montana fly-fishing river, you can stop reading this article. I’m not going to tell you about the latest long-term […]


More Ways for Teens to Make Money

Teenagers like to spend money, but even in the best economy they have a hard time finding work. And teens who are involved in lots of activities have it even harder — you don’t want your son to quit the volleyball team in order to work at McDonalds, do you? Fortunately, there are ways for […]


Six Ways to Save Money and Have More Fun at the Holidays

It’s hard to believe, but I’ve already seen a few holiday ads, and Halloween has barely passed! But with Christmas less than two months away, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. In that spirit, here are a half dozen tips to save money at the holidays. If you think about these things now, you’ll have […]


Killer Gas Prices: Six Ways to Fight Back

The news that gas prices are on the rise again reminded me of the summer of 2007. At the time both of my sons were playing travel baseball, which meant we were driving all over northern Illinois every weekend. We owned a beautiful Chrysler Pacifica at the time — a sporty, comfortable, large car that […]


Common Grocery Promotions and How to Make the Most of Them

When you walk into a grocery store these days, you’ll encounter a bewildering display of promotions. In most cases, these promotions involve some kind of collaboration between the grocery store and the manufacturer. Naturally, both parties — the store and the manufacturer — hope you will spend more money. But the manufacturer and the store […]


Creative Ways Your Kid’s Group Can Raise Money

Do you dread the sight of your daughter lugging home order forms for every imaginable sport and club she belongs to? From cookies to wrapping paper to flower bulbs, it seems like the only way these groups raise money today is by sending out an army of little salespeople. When my oldest son was in […]


Furnish Your Apartment on a Dime

My oldest son moved into an apartment with two roommates a couple of weeks ago, and his budget for furniture was essentially zero (good thing his old man was there, huh?). He lives in another city, and I was returning home two days later, so we had to furnish his new pad in a rush […]