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Category Archives: Savvy

How to Take Care of Your Family If Something Happens to You

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Mjallhvít from an 1852 Icelandic translation of Snow White via WikimediaI don’t like to think about death. But the fact is that my husband and I will die someday. If we die before my son is grown, I want to know that he is taken care of. For healthy young adults like us, paying an attorney to set up a will or a sending a monthly fee to a life insurance company can seem like a waste of money. We choose to spend the money now because, if our family ever faces a tragedy like a terminal illness or a fatal accident, we want our family to be secure. Read the rest of this entry

How to Choose the Right Charity

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Charity, St. Stephan's Cathedral in the Background by August Heinrich MansfeldEvery year, Americans donate almost $350 billion to charities. But it is difficult to know where that money goes. Some charities are notorious for spending large percentages on donations on operating expenses. Some charities, no matter how well-meaning, simply don’t do much good. And, in the worst cases, some charities actually undermine the causes many of their donors mean to champion.

If we value giving to charity, how can we be sure our money is being well-spent on causes we support?


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Navigating the Ocean of Health Insurance Coverage

Part of taking care of yourself and your family in modern America means providing the best healthcare you can. Guest blogger Donna Fincher is a Georgia resident with 27 years of experience negotiating with insurance companies on behalf of hospitals and physicians’ groups. Today she provides a crash course in navigating the stormy seas of the American health care system. Read the rest of this entry

How to Demand (and Get!) Great Customer Service

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My family recently had our windows replaced. It was an ordeal that turned out to be long and expensive. When the company installed windows that weren’t even the right color, I had to make several angry phone calls to the general manager and owner to get the problem solved. And along the way, I learned a few valuable lessons about customer service.

Gone are the days when airline passengers could expect a warm meal or department store customers knew that managers would go out of their way to make the shopping experience pleasant. Spending money today can be a real chore because most companies have lost an emphasis on customer service. It isn’t just the companies’ fault—it’s our fault, too, for paying more attention to price-tags than the quality of the things we buy and the way we’re treated when we buy them. Read the rest of this entry

Five (Mostly Free!) Date Nights That Make Great Conversations Easy

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In almost nine years together, Adam and I have learned that great conversations depend on time, space, and silence. The best date nights are the ones that make conversations easy by providing the stillness and quiet that make open conversation thrive. These five (mostly free!) dates make great conversations easy, whether you’re just beginning a relationship or you’ve been married for many years. Read the rest of this entry

How to Buy Great Baby Toys

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When I was a baby, my mother’s mother showered me with dozens of toys—so many toys I didn’t know what to do with them. In fact, my second Christmas I absolutely refused to open another present, even with a pile left for me under the tree. While her heart was in the right place, my grandmother was so excited to buy me things that she didn’t take the time to think about what kinds of toys I would really enjoy. Read the rest of this entry

How to Plan Menus with Seasonal Food

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Local, in-season produce can change the way you think about food.

In-season food just tastes better. Chances are, there is some vegetable you grew up loathing. But eat that same asparagus or tomato fresh and in season to taste a world of difference. That difference means your family is more likely to eat the healthful produce you serve up. And their enthusiastic response means you can take more pleasure in cooking a well-loved meal. Read the rest of this entry

5 Simple Ways to Save on Date Night

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My husband and I dated for six years before we got married. We thought we had this relationship thing figured out. But, after only nine months of marriage, things had started to get a little rocky.

My gentle, understanding husband had suddenly become grouchy and irritable. Instead of helping him, all I could think to do was nag him to tell me what was wrong. Because we were saving up for a down payment on a house, we didn’t go out together often.

We worked. We ate. We went to bed.

No wonder our marriage was running into trouble. We barely ever talked to each other!

Read more at Money Saving Mom…

Four Easy Ways to Shop Local

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Students in the small town of Howard, South Dakota noticed that their community was about to disappear. The population was just 3,000 already, and most of their graduating friends left for college to never return. The town was run down, but there just weren’t tax dollars to fix roads and sidewalks. That’s when the students realized that if members of the community spent just 10 percent more of their disposable income at local businesses, they would bring in more than $7 million in tax revenue—enough for a new start for the struggling town. By shopping local, Howard citizens were able to save their community. Read the rest of this entry

How to Shop Like Your Grandmother

Managing your household purchases can be tough. You buy clothes to keep your family warm and proud. The house needs furnishings, appliances, and constant repair. Sometimes it seems the budget can’t keep up.

Some companies are willing to take advantage of your stress, selling you cheap products that won’t last. It takes dedication, intelligence, and, most importantly, practice to make wise and frugal purchases. Here are a few tips from your grandmother knew that kept her family warm and comfortable.

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