(Update 3/12/13: There are now TEN ways you can fight back.  Check the value of your FERS Life Insurance (gratis) benefit). 

It’s time for GubMints to stop chirping about furlough news and help you get in fiscal shape.  Here’s 9 ways to help you look like you were chiseled out of a piece of wood!

  1.  Ditch your landline at home.  If you still ‘need’ to have a landline (i.e. you have a commuity gate, monitored alarm, etc), get an OOMA box for your landline.  All that is necessary is a high-speed internet connection (>384Kbps upload speed).  With OOMA, you get unlimited calling, caller ID, call waiting, and voicemail for almost free (You pay only your state’s 911 Tax/Fee each month).  GubMints has been using OOMA service for over 1 year now.   Savings of $10 – $30/month.

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How to Retire the Cheapskate Way: The Ultimate Cheapskates’ Guide to Retirement.


Jeff Yeager has an interesting approach to preparing for retirement- he, like few brave others, purports that reducing spending is more powerful than the generic brokerage house and financial planner/pundit advice to save a $1-$2M retirement nest egg.

Jeff should know, he managed to retire at age 47 from his moderate-salary job running the books for a non-profit in DC.  He is ‘selfishly employed’ (more on this) as an author/authority on frugality and maintains a personal network of hundreds of ‘miser advisers’.

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Time to give some kudos to GovX.com. I ordered a pair of Olukai Shoes on a Wednesday, and they arrived on Friday!

Based on the packing slip, it looks like they are acting as a broker and using a drop-ship business model.

I would compare shopping with them just as I would a major online retailer such as Amazon- I will not hesitate to use them again.

Heck, I might even consider using their website to ‘showroom’ on my smartphone next time I am at my favorite sporting goods retailer!

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It depends.

Our work place is in a high cost-of-living area (San Diego), and nobody lives within 12 miles of the office (mostly due to the high cost of housing).  Mass transit is available but coverage is extremely sparse- there are no direct bus routes and the bus has extensive gaps in coverage (up to 60 min between bus routes, even during rush hour).  As a result, most of us drive a solo car in to the office.  Some of us bike or go multi-modal (car + train/lightrail + bicycle) a few times per week, but in the end we all spend a lot on fuel getting us to and from work.

I have plenty of time on my trips to and from work to contemplate the cost of commuting.  On one of my recent commutes I heard a radio ad claiming, “If your car gets 20 mpg, buy a new Lemona and the gas savings will make your car payment for you!”.   I also went to the local San Diego Auto Show recently to sit in a couple of the new model cars.   Note that the Monroney (window) sticker shown above (upper right hand corner) implies the MPG will save you big bucks over 5 years. (Continue Reading…)