Menu Close

Your Money or Your Roommate: Dealing with Money Problems Before They Get Out of Hand

Why We Make Irrational Money Decisions (And What To Do About It) - DueRenting with a roommate presents a whole new category of issues (legal, social, emotional, and financial). It requires a major shift in habits, relationships, and attitudes for everyone involved, even if it’s long-time buddies. It is not surprising; therefore, that many roommates are afraid to discuss the dreaded “M” word-“money.”

Money is a highly contentious topic in any relationship, so it’s understandable that roommates have a hard time discussing it. Most roommates do engage in some form of the “rent payment” talk with their potential roommates; however they neglect to have any real serious talks about money issues later. This simple mistake can often have serious financial and legal consequences.

What areas am I talking about? Take a look at the three most contentious areas when it comes to money and roommates.

Splitting the Utilities (or other shared bill):

It is safe to assume that you and your roommate have the rent payments figured out. They are usually spelled out in written agreements; however utilities often are left to the roommates to decide. This leaves a lot of wriggle room that can potentially lead to a lot of problems, especially if the bill is variable (like an electric bill)

  • If a roommate gives their contribution to you for the bills, keep a written record of that payment and have them sign it as a record of receipt. This way when you have a disagreement, you have your record of what was paid and when.
  • If a roommate pays their own part of the bill, have them provide a copy to you as proof of payment.
  • If the bill has a variable range (like an electric bill, which goes up and down depending on season), establish a minimum amount that must paid. This may take a little guesswork and negotiation but is worth the effort. One of the most common arguments roommates have is over the payment of a bill, such of an electric or cell phone bill.

Unexpected Expenses

Despite our best efforts, unexpected expenses and changes in income (ranging from plumbing problems that cause major damage to job loss) can happen at any time, especially over the 12 months of a traditional lease. Since you can’t predict the future, the only way you can deal with the chaos is through preparation and communication. The best way to deal any unexpected event is co

  • Communicate issues that can immediately or as soon as possible. The earlier you and roommate can work together to find a solution the better. Delaying communication only leads to potentially losing more money as well as your relationship.
  • Consider getting renter’s insurance. If your budget can afford it, renter’s insurance is a wise, inexpensive investment that will provide coverage for your property in case of fire, and theft.
  • Another option is to create your own kind of “insurance” through an “emergency fund”. Stashing away a couple of bucks in a high-interest checking or savings account for a rainy day may come in handy when the unexpected happens.

Moving On

Sometimes relationships don’t work out and when they don’t friendships and your money get hurt.

  • If you see things are not working out, try all other avenues to resolve the conflict before separation. Moving out has a lot of legal, financial and social complications that many people don’t realize. Taking the time to try to work things out can save a lot of hassle over the alternative.
  • If these avenues don’t work, plan the “exit strategy”. The “exit strategy” is easier when the lease is up (return any deposit usually) ; however if a roommate wants to move out before the end of the lease you will need to discuss how this will impact future rent payments, deposit and any unsettled financial matters.

Discussing items like this can be daunting; especially with someone like a trusted friend; yet it needs to happen. You don’t have to discuss all of the above issues at one time, but you need to be aware of them. Countless roommates have ended up in court because they didn’t take the time to address the issues. Taking a few minutes to have a conversation is surely worth the effort.

Six Ways You’re Wasting Money Without Knowing It

5 ways you're wasting money without even knowing it - Tickled Think

You work hard year round to stay on top of your finances and budget, but there’s always some purchase that puts you over the edge. If you’re not paying attention, chances are you’re also wasting money with fees, overpriced merchandise, and a lost opportunity for rebates on purchases. Need some ways to actually make your budget plan this year? Here are six ways you’re probably wasting your money without knowing it—and what to do about them:

Money Waster #1: Checking account maintenance and ATM fees
There are far too many free checking account offers available, so why settle for a bank that charges a monthly fee? As banks become more competitive, this will slowly start to disappear. In the meantime, make sure you know about your bank’s checking account policy and turn over your accounts to a bank that doesn’t charge maintenance or processing fees. ATM fees can be avoided by using your PIN number at the checkout lane to withdraw cash; at the very least, buy a stick of gum and withdraw any cash amount you need.

Money Waster #2: Leaving your money in your checking account
Transferring your paycheck and other income into a savings or high-yield account will help you earn interest every single day. Don’t leave extra money floating in your checking account; it’s not earning a penny of interest, and you’re much more likely to spend it! Transfer out to a savings, money market, or other interest-bearing account and let it grow with the power of compound interest.

Money Waster #3: Forgetting about rebates
Rebates and cashback discounts are readily available on almost every consumer item; the hard part is keeping track of them and making sure you cash them in on time. Sites such as can make this whole process much easier, helping you earn cashback bonuses on a purchase from your favorite online store, as well as finding the latest rebates on in-store merchandise. Plan to spend at least a week searching for the best price on high-ticket items; the extra work can really pay off.

Money Waster #4: Coffee from the coffeeshop
If you’re a caffeine addict who makes a frequent stop at the coffeeshop, think of ways you can make your own latte or coffee. The average price for a cup of plain black coffee is $1.50, while a fancy espresso drink can reach upwards of $4-$6. Over the course of a week, you can easily blame $45-$150 of your monthly expenses on coffee; find alternatives and save some of that cash!

Money Waster #5: Eating out for breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and starting off the day with the McMuffin sandwich or bakery donut will cost you more than your health. The average breakfast can range from $1.50-$5 per trip, and this equates to $45-$150 per month. Reallocate your eating out expenses for lunch or dinner instead—meals that aren’t eaten on the run—and opt for healthier starts such as oatmeal or breakfast bars at home. You’ll have more energy and save money in the process.

Money Waster #6: Skipping coupons at the grocery store
While you don’t have to become a crazy coupon-clipper, you can make the most of the weekly deals and sales with a little strategy. Pick up your grocery store’s circular on the way into the store and scan it quickly fro coupons and discounts; not every grocery store advertises their specials down the aisles, so you might miss out on a few discounted brands on your next trip.

Make Extra Money with UBidRight or eBizAuctions and Others

Make Extra Money: 38 Creative Side Hustle Ideas For 2020

Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that people are currently trying to sell their prized belongings in order to pay for raising food, gas, and medical expenses. This Associate Press article was interesting to read, but it seemed to ignore actual directions on what you must know before trying to sell your belongs to pay bills; not all sales methods are equal.

eBay Auctions is the global sales place that we have all heard about. In theory, people without any sales experience can take a photo of their item and sell it online through this auction site. What eBay doesn’t tell you is that they will end up with about 25% of your final sales price through fee’s associated with their site and with their banking company PayPal.

eBay also has a high rate of scammers trying to use the site; some will buy something from you and pay. When you ship, they will reverse charges on payment and keep your items free. There are many of these types of scams happening on eBay. If you choose to use the eBay site to make some extra money, always be on guard for problems.

EBizAuctions and places like this are simply people like you selling on eBay who will sell and ship your auctions for an extra fee over and above what eBay requests. You give them your item to look at, they decide what it is, they run the ads, and they ship. Later, you get any money left over from the sale that was not used in fees to eBizAuctions and eBay. (Read below if you need to know how to identify and price your own items.) is one of many smaller non-eBay auction sites online today. At UBidRight when you sign up free, you give them one dollar to verify that your online bank account is properly connected to the site; they give you 25.00 in credits to use on the site. This means that everything is free to sell on this site. This credit money covers the 2% of sales fee’s that you would normally pay to them when an item sells.

What you do with these smaller auctions sites, is to go over to eBay to see how much your item is selling for there, and put that price on it as a “buy now” price. Do not run auctions on the smaller sites, just put down the price that you want for your item.

Tax Rebates are beginning to come in, and most people who are trying to sell their belongings online to pay bills already have this refund money spent. Before actually spending it, you should stop and consider tomorrow. If you can not afford food, gas, or medical bills now, where will you be in one year if everything doubles?

Buy Transportation: You may want to use a part of your tax refund check to buy yourself some gas-free transportation. If you save gas money by using an alternative form of transportation, that money can help to pay the rising food costs. Click on the name to see samples of cheap electric scooters, electric bicycles, and adult trikes.

Buy Food: Here is another idea on where to spend a little of that tax refund check is on food and home supplies. If your home does not have flour, sugar, salt, real rice, dried beans, and popcorn sitting in the kitchen because you do not know how to cook with these traditional foods; now is the time to learn.

Example: My thick tortilla shells cost 8-cents each to make; store bought are 36-cents each in the 2.89 per 8 packages. You pay for people to pre-make your food. If they can make it, so can you. All of the recipes that you need are online.

Craft Shows are interesting ways to make money around the holiday season. Start during the summer months and make handmade items out of things that you have around the house to sell at these shows. A trick that some of us use to make sales, is that we make items that the other sellers can buy from us to make their crafts with. When people can not afford to buy gifts, they are often in the market for craft parts.

Group Food Prices: Buying food for others can make you money. How this works is that one person in the neighborhood offers to use their time, car, and gas to go get food for everybody else. Food is bought by the case so that everybody receives a cheap price on their order. The person shopping gets “x” per order for the delivery; this “x” pays for the gas and your time to go do the grocery shopping for everybody.

Get Paid For Online Writing with HubPages. This online site will give you real money if you write online articles about subjects that appeal to you. Everybody is welcome to try their hand at online writing, your prior job skills or education level is unimportant. If you need a little extra gas money, and enjoy writing, this is a place that you need to go see. Click here to go see the HubPages site, or to ask me further questions about how to sign up for this online writing money.

Pre-Plan Funeral Expenses and Keep Money Out of the Pockets of Greedy Funeral Directors

How to Save Money with Funeral Planning - Funeral Basics

Sad fact of life in a capitalist society: even funeral homes are in the business of making money. Like everything in a free market economic state, the business of dying has more to do with business than with providing the most affordable and emotionally satisfying experience of dealing with the grief that comes with losing a loved one. In the old days you’d buy a pine box and bury it. The funeral business of today comes packed with more options than you’d find walking into the country’s biggest den of evil: the car showroom. There is a way to avoid allowing the bloodsuckers in the mortician business of draining your finances, however.

The best thing you can do is prepare early. Let’s face it, most of us will wait until a death occurs before making decisions about how to bury or otherwise dispose of the mortal coil left behind after the passage of a loved one. Funeral homes thrive on the heightened emotional state that accompanies death, especially when that death is sudden and unexpected. It is entirely likely that you will experience no greater stress in any given year than during those first few days following a death in the family. Stress, as is well documented, can affect the cognitive process in extraordinary ways. You are likely to make decisions during this time that under other circumstances would never occur to you. For that reason, the earlier you plan for funeral services, the better. And the less stressful the time you make those plans, the better.

Every state in the union has specific laws regarding funeral services and they often differ substantially. For instance, not every state requires embalming. Embalming is pretty much a necessity for an open casket service if the viewing does not take place immediately, but can often be avoided otherwise. In addition, you may request a limited embalming process. Of course, the big ticket items are the coffins themselves. It is important to remember above all else that you are buying that coffin for you, not for the lifeless corpse that is going to spend eternity inside. If you believe in Heaven then there is a big possibility, well maybe not big, that your loved one is living in far better conditions in the afterlife than you can afford for them beneath the dirt. In other words, spending a fortune on a coffin is done for only two reasons, neither of which makes much sense. Either you are trying to show off and gain status for something that nobody is going to see, or you are giving into emotional blackmail by a funeral home director who has succeeded in making you feel guilty for not buying the best coffin they think you can barely afford. Here is what it comes down to: do you really want to line the pockets of the funeral home by an extra couple of thousand dollars, or would you rather that money go to your family or yourself? One thing is for certain; that body decomposing in the ground is not going to be benefit since even the most expensive coffins don’t really offer much in the way of protection, aside from keeping water out.

The same thing goes for cremation urns, except that in this case you have the luxury of wasting money for the purposes of status. If by chance you are mature enough not to care what other people think of your possessions, however, be aware that you can easily find beautiful urns in which to keep the ashes of your cremated loved one for under $100, whereas urns that are really no more beautiful are routinely offered by funeral homes for thousands of dollars.

Are You Throwing Money Away? Is it Really Worth Cutting Coupons?

7 Ways Coupons Waste Your Money and Time

You’re sat at the kitchen table, glass of orange juice or cup of coffee in hand, reading the morning paper. It’s hard to concentrate on current events, though, because annoying glossy sheets keep falling out of the paper all over your breakfast. You rip out the horrible stiff sections and bunch up all the ads and throw them straight into the trash.

Or you get your mail. Hidden between the bills and letters are envelopes of junk mail. Fliers for specific stores or products are stuck in with your mail. Without bothering to open anything addressed to ‘the homeowner’ or ‘the resident’, you throw the junk mail into your recylcing bin.

If this is how you respond, you are throwing money away.

Coupons can save you significant amounts of money. Think about it. If someone offered you the opportunity to make ten bucks in twenty minutes, you would probably jump at the chance. Yet most of us throw our coupons away when they could save us that much money! It takes relatively little effort to collect and use coupons, and the savings really does add up.

There are a few things to consider, though, when using coupons.

  1. Don’t buy something just because you have a coupon for it. If it is something that you usually buy or that you will use, then go for it. However, it does not save you money if you buy things you don’t want or need just because you have a coupon.
  2. Pay attention to brand names and relative prices. I know that I have often gotten coupons for maybe 30 cents off of a name brand product. Even with the price cut, it’s still twice the price as the store brand. Now, on some things, it may be worth it to pay the extra money. On other products, the store brand is just as good. It’s something to consider.
  3. Many stores have specific clubs that you can join, for example healthy living or parenting clubs. If you join these, you will receive coupons that are more specific to your needs. For example, because I joined parenting clubs while I was still pregnant with my daughter, I almost never have to buy full-price diapers because we are sent so many coupons.
  4. Pay attention to expiration dates.
  5. It helps if you keep your coupons organized. Consider getting one of those divided envelopes so that you can divide them up into categories like: cleaners, canned food, frozen food, etc. This will make it easier to use them whilst shopping.
  6. Keep them in a convenient place so that you will actually use them when you shop

Flipping Out Premiere: Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

The Notorious B.I.G. – Mo' Money Mo' Problems Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

Looks like Jeff has really severed ties with Ryan. As a result, his business has quadrupled (according to Jenni), and he’s hired another design assistant to the staff.

He’s also sleeping less, not going to the gym, and drinking “enough for nine men.” I don’t know which nine men he means, but I’m guessing they’re lightweights. Come on out to Chicago, Jeff. I’ll show you nine men who will match you martini for martini and leave you passed out in the bathroom as they hop to the next bar. You’re buying, though, so bring plenty of cash.

When we left Casa de Lewis last season, he had a staff of five: Jenni (the CFO), Zoila (the maid), Trace (the design assistant), Sara (the administrative assistant) and Jett (the house assistant). The new design assistant is forgettable, and she’s not listed on the Season 4 Bios site so she’s probably out soon anyway.

Jeff has nothing but harsh words for the long-time team members in his employ. From fighting with Jenni in front of a client to berating and interrogating Zoila whenever she tries to leave the house, it’s nothing but irritation all around.

Sarah, Jett and Trace seem to fall under his good graces, though, despite Sarah’s less-than-stellar performance, Jett bringing his baby to the house, and Trace not putting the company at the top of his list of concerns. To be honest, the three of them are actually trying to do what Jeff asks, while Jenni and Zoila have long since given up on making that man happy.

He’s gotten four projects for this season: remodeling a restaurant, a mansion, a bungalow, and a New York City housing department building. He’s also still remodeling the salon that he started last season, plus running all over town to do consults. He and Jenni are in the car almost all day with nothing to do but fight and eat.

And so, the stress of this increased work load has taken its toll on Jeff. Family lunch has been replaced with fast food in the Mercedes and evening happy hour. While his flipouts are to be expected (and in fact are the basis for the show), he’s lost the humor that he used to throw around as often as his meltdowns.I can only imagine how much longer this will go on before he snaps or his staff starts snapping back. If it were a regular job they’d probably walk, but we all know they aren’t going anywhere unless Jeff cans them.

In previews for next week’s show, he lays it down for Sarah (maybe, or that new designer, I couldn’t tell) and Trace that money needs to start coming in or he won’t be able to keep his staff. He tells them that Jenni is “clueless” and essentially he can’t trust her to get her job done.

I hope this season isn’t as angry and uncomfortable as the premiere episode was. If I wanted to hear people being berated for every conceivable thing they do at work, I would have stuck with my old job.

Do you think Jeff will have a meltdown, or will he learn to take a deep breath and a big boy pill and push through? Is Ryan really gone for good? How come Zoila doesn’t already have TiVo? Let me know in the comments, or give me a shout on Twitter!

Coleman 12-volt Wet/Dry Vac Not Worth Your Money

Coleman 12-Volt Wet/Dry Vacuum #PMV6991 - Shop Wet Dry Vacuums -

Because we have a toddler who spends a great deal of time riding and, more importantly, eating in the back seat of our car, having a good vacuum is a must. That’s why, when we saw the Coleman 12-volt Wet/Dry Vac at Family dollar, we were quick to buy it.
As far as the price goes, we couldn’t complain; only $20. And, we liked the fact the vacuum was designed specifically for your car; including the fact it ran using the car’s cigarette lighter. However, after using the vacuum two times, we have come to the conclusion it was a big waste of money.
I started disliking the 12-volt vacuum almost instantly when I was trying to clean the back seat of the car with it and had a heck of a time maneuvering the hose. It was just too short and had little flexibility to it. Even with the crevice tool, I was having problems reaching dirt in tight places.
This in itself wouldn’t have bothered me but the vacuum also has very little power to it on flat surfaces. I can’t remember exactly what we had in the car before, but the first time we used it, there was lint all over the back seat. We ran the vacuum over top the seat and you couldn’t even tell. The lint stayed right where it was.
The second time we used the vacuum, we had a little better result. That time, it was a pretty easy task; cleaning up spilled cheerios. But, once again, I had problems getting in the harder to reach areas with the vac and had to scoop plenty of the cereal out with my hand before I could vacuum it up.
In addition to the lack of quality when it comes to cleaning, I really am not sold on the whole concept of plugging the vacuum into my car. I don’t even trust leaving my cell phone plugged in over night without running something that obviously is going to put much more strain on the battery. As you can guess, I made sure the car was running when I was using the vacuum; something that I’m sure cost me a bit in terms of gas consumption.
Sadly, we had bought the Coleman 12-volt vac as a way to conveniently clean our car. All it does now is sit in our shed and we now drag our regular vacuum cleaner out to clean the car instead. It works much better.
If you’re out shopping and you see the Coleman 12-volt Wet/Dry Vac on sale, just keep walking. It’s not worth your time or money.


5 Tips to keep your organization safe from employee fraudThere are many different types of con artist crimes that you may encounter, including telephone, identity, internet, insurance, and credit card fraud. Identity theft seems to be the most common of these scams. With identity theft, con artists will wrongfully obtain personal information and will use it for financial gain. Your identity can be stolen from any source that has access to your personal information, such as a credit card number, social security number, address, age, date of birth, or employment history.

There are many ways for individuals to cut down on their chances of being a victim of fraud. Always shred any papers that have personal information, including ATM receipts and credit card receipts. It’s often much more difficult for businesses, because of their large size. Business solutions are much more complex.


Combating Fraud

If you are a victim of identity theft or another type of fraud, you should report your situation to authorities immediately. Authorities will need to see copies of all possible evidence and take a statement from you in order to investigate your case. There are ways that you can prevent identity theft and other crimes from occurring. You should be careful about giving out any personal information and you should check all financial records on a regular basis.

Banks and other financial institutions have taken drastic steps in fighting fraud, money laundering, identity theft, and terrorism. Since September 11, 2001, new mandates for fighting terrorism have been enforced. Financial institutions are now required to screen all applicants for new accounts and compare their names to government watch lists to ensure greater levels of national security. Many institutions use software programs to help them in this process.


Fraud Protection

Fraud Epidemic Costs £3.2 Trillion GloballyFraud protection is an important consideration for businesses, financial institutions, and for individuals. There has been a steady increase of fraudulent activity over the years and many new services are available to help prevent fraud from occurring. These services are primarily designed to help businesses or financial institutions to verify identities of potential clients.


Fraud Protection Options

If you are worried about fraud on an individual basis, there are a few important steps that you can take. First of all, you should make sure to check financial statements on a regular basis. You can look at your bank statements or view a copy of your credit report to search for any suspicious behavior. You should also make sure to be stingy in giving out any personal information such as your social security number or bank account number.

Financial institutions are required to use fraud protection methods by law. The USA PATRIOT Act was established in 2001 to prevent future cases of fraud and terrorism. Sections 314 and 326 specifically pertain to financial institutions and fraud. These sections require that institutions check government watch lists and screen all account applicants before opening any new accounts.

Financial institutions and businesses now have the option of obtaining fraud protection services to aid them in complying with the USA PATRIOT Act. Some of the most valuable services will include background watches and ID verification technology. All of these services make screening applicants an easy and efficient process.

Low Rate Credit Cards

Low rate credit cards - CommBank

When a credit card company loans a cardholder an amount of money, it keeps track of the amount that needs to be paid back. Since a company would make no money by simply lending and collecting, credit cards charge interest on the purchases made with the card.

Different cards have different interest rates, and these are referred to as the APR–Annual Percentage Rate.

The APR on a credit card will depend on a number of factors. The most important is your credit. Since people with good credit can have their choice of creditors, very low APR rates are reserved for those with outstanding credit. A scale increases APR in relation to the credit of the applicant, so that someone with average credit will have a slightly higher APR than someone with good credit, and so forth.


Getting the Best APR You Can

Another important factor in determining the APR on your credit card is the company that is issuing it. Credit card companies are competing against each other for business, and a sure way to draw more clients is to offer competitive interest rates. Even without perfect credit, you can get a good APR from a company that wants your business.

One thing to watch out for is a card with a low “introductory” APR. These cards offer a very low APR for the first few months, but then hike up the rates. Oftentimes, the established APR is hidden in the fine print, so make sure your APR is good for more than a few months before accepting a card.