Archive for Save Money

America Saves Week

Every year one of the top financial New Year’s resolutions is to save more money. Sadly, many of our resolutions are broken within the first month. Have you ever broken yours? I know I have (just being honest!).

The good news is that you don’t have to wait until next year to start saving more money. Every day gives you a chance to start anew.

It’s never too late to start saving!

You know what they say- “there’s no time like the present.” And it just so happens America Saves Week is coming up February 24th – March 1st, 2014.


America Saves Week is coordinated by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council. The purpose of this week is to help you get your savings plan in place, so you can start reaching your savings goals. It’s been proven that people with a plan are more successful. (more…)

Categories: Save Money

Money Smart Kid’s Jar System

When it comes to money management having a system helps. Last month, I attended a financial event where Mario Gage (the first Money Smart Week Kid) shared the “three-jar system” his parents taught him.

Here’s how it works.  For every dollar he receives, it’s divided into three categories:

  • 10% for church
  • 30% savings
  • 60% for spending

So he’s only spending 60% of his income. This system taught Mario the valuable lesson of living below your means at a young age. (more…)

Attention Illinois Students and Educators: Scholarships Available

The Illinois Jump$tart Coalition (ILJC) has scholarships available for educators and students. The Mission of the Illinois Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy is to be a catalyst for enhancing the financial capability of young people through advocacy, collaboration and communication among key stakeholders.

According to, the guidelines for these scholarships are as follows: (more…)

A New Way to Save Money on Hotels

Photo by Matthewjs007via Flickr cc

Photo by Matthewjs007via Flickr cc

Most people look online for low priced hotels. There are so many travel websites out there—it can make you dizzy!

Still savvy people are out there online scouring the Web to find rock bottom prices. I don’t know about you, but for me gone are the days of just showing up to pay a high rate.

Are you kidding me? I’m not trying to get robbed.

Do you have to go online to find the lowest priced hotels? You may be surprised to hear this, but they could be a phone call away. And I’m not talking about calling the hotel’s front desk either. Let me explain. (more…)

Save More Money at the Outlet Mall

Photo by oakbrookterracehotels via Flickr cc

Photo by oakbrookterracehotels via Flickr cc

Everybody loves a great deal! That’s why so many people go to outlet malls. If you don’t believe me, try going to the Chicago Premium Outlets on a holiday weekend.

It’s ridiculous! People come from near and far looking for bargains. They pack the parking lots, side streets and neighborhoods with one goal in mind—to go shopping.

Someone even told me he saw shoppers parking on the interstate (I-88) just to get in on the action.

That being said, the first way to save money at the outlet mall is to park legally. No deal is worth you getting your car towed. That puts you back hundreds of dollars in towing costs. Besides, who needs the frustration? (more…)

Categories: Save Money

Women Breadwinners – Are We Still Afraid of Becoming a Bag Lady?

Photo by Alex O'Neal via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by Alex O’Neal via Flickr cc

Everyone has been buzzing about a new Pew survey that finds a record number of women are the breadwinners. The survey results show a shift in the amount of money women are bringing home. In fact, some married women (5.1 million) are earning more than their husbands. On the flip side, there are single mothers (8.6 million) supporting their families alone.

As you can probably imagine the income disparity between the two groups is large. The married women total household income is $80,000 compared to $23,000 for unmarried single mothers. For a thoughtful perspective on this survey, read the article “Pew study: Two different tales of women earners.”

Women Breadwinners, yet Afraid of Becoming Bag Ladies

Despite the fact more women are breadwinners, some of us have this fear of becoming a ‘bag lady’. You know, like the pigeon lady in the movie Home Alone 2. After all, we live longer than men. Will we have enough income to support ourselves during the golden years? (more…)

This Could Save You 50% or More on Parking…

Car GarageTired of paying too much to park? Keep reading this and you’ll find out how I saved over 50% parking in Chicago. And Chicago has the nation’s highest parking metered rates. Metered parking downtown can cost as much as $6.50 an hour. Ouch.

It’s ridiculous! With rates like this, you’d have to shell out 52 quarters to park for a few hours. That’s an awful lot of change to be lugging around to pay a parking meter. This is probably causing people to get parking outrage. No wonder they gladly accept credit cards.

Parking is just too expensive.

That’s why I try to avoid parking downtown. Nothing beats commuting by train into the city. But unfortunately, it’s not always convenient.

The other day I decided to drive downtown. But I refused to pay those high parking rates. Thinking back to #2 in my “7 Surefire Tips to Save on Parking” post.

So I had to find a way to save on parking. That’s when I came across this incredible website with unbelievable parking rates. (more…)

Categories: Save Money

Are You Being Robbed Right Before Your Eyes?

No one wants to get robbed. But it could happen to you anytime and any place.  And the scariest thing about it is—you may not even know it.

Who said you had to be robbed at gunpoint? They don’t have to have a ski mask on to rob you. Or even the intent to do it.

You could have been robbed last night, this morning or even this afternoon.

It almost happened to me at the bank. I went to the bank to make a $507 cash deposit. Before I left I must have counted my money at least three times.

To avoid any problems, I went into the bank to make the deposit. I handed over the cash and deposit slip to the teller. After a couple of minutes, the teller said I was short almost $100.

This couldn’t be happening. After all, the reason why I came in was to avoid any issues. (more…)

7 Ways to Save on Hotels and Rental Cars

This view sure beats the parking lot.

August is just around the corner. And many of us are still planning our summer getaways and family vacations. Yep, we have the time off and the kids are out of school but _____________ (fill in the blank).

Planning a trip can be a challenge. Especially when you have little time to do it.

Just the other day my girlfriend told me she hasn’t planned anything for her family vacation. And it’s two weeks away. They’re going to Busch Gardens, so I shared some great money saving tips. And boy was she happy! ;-)

After all, nothing beats a great vacation for an unbelievable price. Everyone loves a good deal.

Now here are 7 ways to save on hotel stays and car rentals:

  1. Click Around and Save– To find the best deal, you’ve gotta shop around. Use the Internet to save time and money. Start with the travel websites (e.g.,, and compare their prices to the company’s (hotel/rental car) website. You might be surprised by who is the lowest.
  2. Use Travel Points – How does FREE sound to you? Well, check your rewards programs to see if you have enough points to stay or rent for free or less.
  3. Don’t Forget Your Discount – Sometimes we book travel without thinking about discounts we already have. For example, you may qualify for school, employer, wholesale club (e.g. Costco), motor club (e.g. AAA), credit card and other organizations (AARP) discounts.
  4. Last Minute Travel Deals – Look for last minute travel deals online. Believe it or not, they’re out there. And they can save you big money. The only catch is that you normally have to enter the special promotion code/coupon code to get them. That’s easy! (more…)