Learn how to live the frugal life with our helpful hints and tips.

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A Summer Spending Freeze: One Person’s Plan to Tackle the Challenge

Woman shopping

  Recently Marlena H. embarked on a self-imposed, one-month “personal spending freeze,” announcing her intentions on social media and inviting other to join. Intrigued by what inspired her to take on such a challenge, SafetyNet™ reached out to learn more about the impact of her financially minimal month on her day-to-day life (and, subsequently, her […]

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10 Money Saving Tips for College Kids

10 Money Saving Tips for College Kids Infographic

1) Save on laptops and software Check for sales and student discounts before buying a computer or software. Labor Day and Black Friday are good times to get deep discounts on electronics. Many companies offer reduced prices to students, and campus bookstores often have good deals. Protect your investment with anti-virus software. 2) Shop thrift […]

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Why Your Food is Costing More—And What to Do About It

Couple cooking together - rising cost of food

It’s not your imagination. If you think your food costs have been rising over the past few years, you are right—and not just because you may be leaning a bit too hard on the convenience of eating out. Over the past 20 years, food prices have increased steadily—an average of 2.6% per year. While the […]

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Can You Afford to Be a Stay-At-Home Parent

Woman and daughter learning

If you’re like most parents of young children, you have probably given some thought to the idea of packing up your office to become a stay-at-home parent. After all, for middle-income American families, child care and education is second only to housing when it comes to major expenses. These days, more than one-third of American […]

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Money and Pets: Q&A with Access Veterinary Care

pets and money, man pets dog

Last year, Gregory Frahm-Gilles and his colleagues founded Minneapolis-based Access Veterinary Care to provide “exceptional veterinary care that is approachable, affordable and accessible.” We asked them how all pet owners can take the best care of their pets within their financial constraints.

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The Positive Power of Compound Interest

Often when you think about compound interest, it is in the context of debt, say, a credit card’s annual percentage yield (APY) and the real cost of that loan over time. But compounding is not something that only financial institutions benefit from. In fact, when it comes to your savings strategy, compound interest (essentially lending your money to a financial institution for a period […]

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Can You Afford to Go On Vacation? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Book That Trip

Can you afford a vacation?

According to a new Bankrate survey, 24% of Americans say they don’t have the money to take a summer vacation this year and nearly half of those surveyed say they won’t be taking vacation at all. That’s too bad. After all, there are good reasons to take vacations. Time off from work and routine can […]

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Rethinking Traditional Money Timelines

Nontraditional families and money timelines

Nontraditional Families Need Nontraditional Financial Support American families have changed dramatically over the past several decades—and so have their finances. While growing up in a nuclear family may have once been the norm, today’s children are far more likely to be raised in what researchers call “blended,” “fluid,” or “complex” family structures. As cited by […]

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7 Reasons to Buy Pet Insurance

Dog in cone of shame: Reasons to buy pet insurance

Lots of Americans own pets—more than half of us, in fact. When it comes to dogs and cats alone, 36.5% percent of Americans owned dogs in 2012 and 30.4% owned cats—and for good reason. Beyond being Facebook-worthy adorableness, pets bring indisputable health benefits to their owners, including stress reduction and heart disease prevention. We pay […]

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How to Lend Money without Ruining Your Relationship: 6 Questions to Ask Yourself

Lend money to friends and family

While the labor force continues to grow, Bankrate’s most recent Financial Security Index survey reveals that the savings rate Americans continues to trend downward. In January, only 39% of people surveyed said they had enough in their savings account to cover an unplanned expense of $1,000 (this was especially true for those making less than […]