Plenty of food for thought in the comments on last week’s prize, Mary Hunt’s “The Smart Woman’s Guide to Planning Retirement.” National pundits and rich politicians who think that the economy is going just fine, thanks, should get an eyeful of stories like:
“I am 44. I have no money. No savings. No job.”
“Like others, I have student loans and – in this economy – am earning very little, and struggling to do that.”
“As a 48-year-old whose financial situation has deteriorated drastically due to some serious life changes, I could really use the help.”
I’m 52 and recently lost my job. I have no savings, my husband has been on disability for 20 years and we rely on every penny that I make. … I don’t want to have to work until I die.”
“I have spent more than one sleepless night fretting about this very subject. Divorced, mid-forties, paycheck to paycheck, less than stellar salary, adult kids sometimes need my help, prices up, taxes up…”
Understand: Such comments don’t surprise me, because I’m playing catch-up with my own retirement and also because more than a few people in my life are living fairly close to the bone. Not every pundit and politician has that daily reality check.
If that’s you, or if you’re making ends meet but don’t have much of a safety net and/or retirement plan, Hunt has a couple of other options:
- Everyday Cheapskate. This is her free blog and it’s full of money-saving tips, recipes, frugal hacks and coupon links.
- A free e-book. When you get to the Everyday Cheapskate landing page you’ll be given the option of signing up for e-mail updates. If you do, you’ll get a free e-book called “The Best of Everyday Cheapskate.” If you can’t use at least some of these tips to trim your budget, then you’re probably not trying hard enough.
- Debt-Proof Living. This website features a “boot camp,” tools, planners, information on managing your money, tips, a massive article archive and access to a community forum. This service costs $29 per year, but you can also sign up for $3.99 per month to check it out, or if cash flow is a problem. (And if it is? Use some of the tips in that e-book to carve out $29 for an annual membership if DPL speaks to your needs.)
Can’t afford to join for pay, or to buy her books? Check your local library and if they’re not there, request that they be purchased or obtained through an inter-library loan. Or: Join Swagbucks and cash your points in for Amazon gift cards, then buy for yourself.
Oh, and thanks again to Hunt for donating an additional copy of her book to give away and for providing personal answers in the comments section. Clearly, she rocks.
In other news
Here’s what else has been going on:
A short interview I did with Mary Hunt became a post called “Do something about debt,” over on Consumerism Commentary. The topic is a collaboration between Hunt and Chase Slate, a 15-day program called – you guessed it – “Do something about debt.” That link will get you to the archives of a 15-day program of tips, tactics and personal encouragement.
Think of it as the tools you need and the advice that will get you started, but remember that you’ll be the one doing the work. (Hint: You can do it.)
My latest article on Money Talks News should help you get your frugal on. “How to find thousands of freebies” provides tips on scoring all sorts of gratis goodies, from toiletries to travel. If it’s free, it’s for you and me – and remember, anything you don’t have to pay for means you’re one step closer to solvency.
That post made it into this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance over at the Start Freelancing Now blog. Last week another MTN piece, “How to pay bottom dollar for diapers,” made it into the CoPF hosted at The Broke and Beautiful Life.
Finally, I was asked to contribute to what became an article called “6 ways saving money is like competing in the Olympics” at GoBankingRates.com. This is worth peeking at, if only to see the accompanying image of a bunch of talking heads in a bobsled. And I’m driving! Well, my head is.