Top 10 Money Tips From Around The Web

Top 10 Money Tips from Around the Web – April 2016

Each month we gather the top 10 money tips from bloggers, newspapers, and other online sources. (Okay, this is the first month – But it is a new feature we are adding. We figured that since we spend so much time reading other people’s articles all month, why not share our favorites with our readers!) Besides, utilizing all of our resources always results in a better experience for others. And what better resource than the minds of hundreds if not thousands of others! Our money tips include saving money, financial concepts, life lessons, and more.

Money Tips

Tip #1 – Student Loan Debt Can Be Financially Liberating

Hadley Malcolm, a writer for USA Today recently wrote in her article, The unexpected upside of student loan debt, that having student loan debt actually helped her learn how to be responsible with money.

The unexpected upside of graduating with $25,000 in student loan debt is the financial responsibility it forces on your life. I have to take control of every dollar I spend and know exactly where it’s going.

Hadley Malcolm, USA Today

Who knew? Our parents were right. It really does build character! Hadley brings up a great point. Is it fun to have student loan debt? Of course not. But it does mean you have to actually make the tough decisions about your money and you learn to budget and prioritize right away. She is ahead of the game.

Student Loans - The Money Professors

Tip #2 – Go old-school with checks

Max Wong, in the article 6 Old School Tools to Help You Stay on Budget posted on Wisebread points out that when writing checks we can actually feel the money leaving our account. With plastic, our purchases are more passive. We don’t have to write the amount, just click OK. She points out that there is a psychology behind it.

Coupling is the psychological term for that negative feeling you get when you shell out cold hard cash for purchases.

Max Wong, Wisebread

She also points out a few other reasons for using checks including a paper trail (she uses carbon checks) and there are still some agencies or businesses that don’t take plastic.

Tip #3 – Do the Weekly Dollar Challenge

Donna Freedman, in the article 29 ways to build your emergency fund out of thin air posted several tips on Get Rich Slowly, but the one I focused on was the weekly dollar challenge. In her words,

Set aside $1 the first week of the month, $2 the second week and so on. Bank the resulting $10 to $15 per month.

Donna Freedman, Get Rich Slowly

I like this idea. It’s a fun little way to start saving up money. And as your income grows, you can increase the challenge as well. Save $5 the first week, $10 the next week and before you know it, you have over $50 saved each month.

Tip #4 – Skip Extended Warranties

Michael Lewis, in the article Is an Extended Warranty Worth the Cost? – When to Buy or Avoid posted on Money Crashers points out that there are times when warranties are clearly a bad idea.

Avoid Extended Warranties for the following:

  • New and Used Automobiles
  • Mobile Phones
  • Computers and Consumer Electronics
  • Home Warranties and Appliances

So what does that leave? Well to be fair:

The major benefit of an extended warranty is the customer’s peace of mind.

Michael Lewis, Money Crashers

Sometimes you have to go a little outside of pure math, and determine if an extended warranty will help you relax. It’s your money. Just make sure you are making your decisions with all of the information at your fingertips.

Tip #5 – Stay Home More

Crystal Paine, in the article 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Stay Home More {Week 51} posted on Money Saving Mom that staying home more means fewer expenses, more time, and less clutter.

Crystal is a mom and when she has to run around she spends more on dinners out or buying items on sale, etc. The key is that she has learned to say “no” sometimes so she can be home more. As she put it:

Stay out of the stores and you won’t be tempted to purchase things you didn’t know you needed in the first place!

Crystal Paine, Money Saving Mom

We are all less tempted to spend money when we are at home and that includes gas and wear and tear on the car.

Tip #6 – Get Discounted Gift Cards

Melissa Neiman, in the article 6 Savvy Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home Depot posted on Money Talk News that you can purchase discounted gift cards.

I didn’t realize this was an industry! There are websites available such as and that allow you to purchase gift cards at a discount between 5% and 10% on average. If you are going to spend $100 at Lowe’s anyway, why not buy a $100 gift card for $90 and pocket the difference.

Tip #7 – Write a List Before You Go Shopping

Trent Hamm, in the article Make a Grocery List Before You Go posted on The Simple Dollar the importance of using a grocery list.

A grocery list keeps you from making multiple trips to the store and keeps you from spending money you don’t need to spend.

In his words:

No matter how much self-control you have, the more time you spend staring at the shelves – particularly when you’re not simply searching for a specific item – the more likely you are to buy something unnecessary.

Trent Hamm, The Simple Dollar

List - The Money Professors

Tip #8 – Match Store Coupons With Specials

Erin Chase, writing on the 5 Dollar Dinners blog has made a career out of reducing dinner costs to $5 or less.

Okay, so maybe this is less of a tip and more of a resource. But the tip really is that when you combine special with coupons you can save a lot of money. The 5 Dollar Dinners blog has a weekly article called New! Top Deals & Grocery Coupon Match-Ups where they actually do all the work for you and tell you which deals are out there with the current coupon offers.

Tip #9 – Look For Stores That Allow Double Coupons

Briana Carter, in the article Taking Advantage of Double Coupons posted on Bargain Briana reminds us of the instant savings available with double coupons.

Of course she points out:

Just because a store advertises double coupons doesn’t mean all coupons will be doubled. Take the time to read and understand the individual store policy regarding double coupons.

Briana Carter, Bargain Briana

She mentions that to get the most savings try to use double coupons on items that are also on sale. I have taken advantage of double coupons in the past and there is something exhilarating about seeing how much you can save on your grocery receipt!

Tip #10 – Take All-Inclusive Vacations

Bill Pratt (yes, that’s me), in the article Why I Only Take All-Inclusive Vacations posted on our site, The Money Professors, points out that sometimes it is not always about the cost but about the vacation itself. In my case, it is a vacation from writing about or thinking about money as well.

I couldn’t have said it better than this:

Does it cost more paying for everything up front? Yes, but not when you consider the therapy that I would apparently need with regular vacations!

Bill Pratt, The Money Professors

The point is that with an all-inclusive vacation, all of the spending has taken place up front so as long as I can afford it, I don’t have to worry about sticking to a budget on vacation since there are no additional expenses.

So there you have it. Top 10 money tips from various sources from around the web. Don’t forget to share this post and/or leave a comment with some of your favorite money tips.

If you are a writer and would like to have your tips considered for our monthly top 10 money tips, please email the link to your article and if we find a tip we like, we will include it. Email us: info [at] themoneyprofessors [dotcom].
As part of my blogging journey, I have started to join in on some link parties. Here are some below:

Disease Called Debt
Share the Wealth Sunday
The Blogger's Pit Stop

Note: You can also join the other bloggers on Frugal Friday!

Over the Moon Link Party
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Bill Pratt

Bill is an Assistant Professor of Business at Piedmont Virginia Community College. He speaks on topics related to personal finance on college campuses across the country and is the author of multiple books on personal finance. He left the financial industry to focus on helping people become personally and financially successful. He lives in Charlottesville, VA with his wife and their three pets.

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