• Find the Perfect Holiday Gift Online

    Find the Perfect Holiday Gift Online by Shopping Co-Creation Sites

    How do you find the perfect holiday gift for the person on your list who is absolutely impossible to shop for? It’s an age-old question. But new online businesses are emerging that make it even easier than ever. It’s called co-creation and it means being as much a part of the design process as the purchasing process. Companies like Nike and Starbucks have taken advantage of co-creation as a movement, letting their customers weigh in on what they should be selling or customize what they’re buying at the moment. Sites like Wikipedia even fall under the definition of “co-creative,” because lots of people chip in on the final product that…

  • Credit Card Rewards Trap Consumers

    New Research Confirms: Credit Card Rewards Trap Consumers

    You don’t have to be a Federal Reserve researcher to understand that credit card rewards successfully entice people to spend more than they should. Recently, researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago took the time to report just that — releasing a study explaining exactly how much more people spend and how that increased spending affects personal debt. While the focus of the report, that rewards credit cards lead to more spending and more debt, may seem like a no-brainer, this kind of research is good for demonstrating this truth to naysayers. This kind of work is a breath of fresh air for us at PerkStreet, because we actually find that…

  • Simple Secrets to Saving More at the Grocery Store

    Simple Secrets to Saving More at the Grocery Store

    You wanna know where most people spend most of their money?  The grocery store. It’s why your mom always had a little box or a portfolio of grocery coupons, and frankly, it’s why you probably should, too. If you’re trying to beat back your budget by cutting the latte’s out, take a look at the places where most of your spending happens and you’ll find that you are probably dumping way more on name brand cereal and at the shiny new gas station in your neighborhood than you are at Starbucks. 5 Tips to Save More at the Grocery Store I have a routine I follow that saves me approximately $60 per…

  • Single Income Household

    A Single Income Household: Why and How We Do It

    Last year my wife and I had our first child, our son Carter. The months building up until the day he was born were hectic – buying all the baby gear that we needed, setting up the nursery and just thinking about how life would be once we started living on one income, my wife planning on staying home with our son. I’ve always read that living on one income before you need to is a good way to get a feel for what it’s like, so we decided to do just that a few months before our son was born. We started living on my income alone, banking my wife’s income…

  • 401k Loan Interest: Everything You Need to Know

    401k Loan Interest: Everything You Need to Know

    If you’re considering taking out a 401k loan — borrowing from your 401k — then you’ve probably already heard that there’s interest involved in this loan. So what’s the deal with this 401k loan interest? Let’s take a look. First of all, don’t take borrowing against your 401k lightly. Yes, it’s your money and you’ve already earned it, but you should not think of your 401k the same way that you think of your savings account. First of all, this is the retirement income you’re talking about. If you mess it up, nobody’s going to fix it for you, and you won’t have enough time to refill it through more hard…

  • Blog

    How to Build the Most Basic Budget Possible

    Let’s face it. Budgeting just isn’t easy for some people. They try to budget unsuccessfully time and time again. We’ve written all kinds of things about building budgets, from how to do it with a pencil and paper to how to use technology to make it easier. We’ve written about how to optimize your budget and how to get back on the horse if you fail at budgeting. I figured it was high time we delivered an article about how to boil budgeting down to the bare essentials. Here’s how to budget as simply as possible: The Wants vs. Needs Budget This is a budgeting technique my father taught me when I was about 7 years old, and…

  • Blog

    How to Build a Monthly Budget With a Pencil and Paper

    I’ll admit, I’ve tried all the high tech budgeting software programs out there and failed. Miserably. [Looking for a budget you can stick to? Build it with our free, email-based budgeting course!] I’ve tried to be good and keep my records up to date, stack my receipts and enter them like a good girl to get caught up each week. But it just doesn’t work for me. I’d get behind and then try to catch back up only to realize I was even further behind. It was just one more thing on my to-do list that never ended up getting done. The best and most reliable method I have found…

  • Blog

    Cyber Monday Statistics: What to Expect this Year

    Cyber Monday statistics from the last few years have been good for retailers as well as consumers. This means the upcoming Cyber Monday deals will likely be better than ever, and it also means more consumers will be competing to buy up the limited supplies of goods available on the Monday after Thanksgiving. What is Cyber Monday? The name “Cyber Monday” was created by Shop.org in 2005 to connote the Monday after Black Friday and highlight the various sales available online on the first business day after the big brick-and-mortar consumer rush begins. Since then, Cyber Monday has become a household holiday. As more people discover the deep discounts available on…

  • Blog

    Cancel Your Cable: Why It’s Time to Switch to Internet TV

    The average cable subscriber in the United States is paying $70 a month for hundreds of stations, while they only watch two or three channels most of the time. Why pay all that money for only a handful of stations you really use? You can streamline your television experience and cut out those monthly payments simply by getting rid of that old-fashioned television service. With the large number of television shows and movies available for little or no cost online, there is no reason to keep paying your cable company month after month! Here’s how to dump that expense. Switching to Web TV Doesn’t Mean Losing Your Favorites Online television…

  • Blog

    Bartering for Better Rent

    Because two major life changes (wedding, starting work here) aren’t enough, I’m moving at the end of the month. After growing up an Army brat, I am so over moving. But more than packing, cleaning, and moving 24 boxes of books up a flight of stairs to the new apartment, what I hate most about moving is paying all of those up front costs! Luckily our friends over at The Digerati Life, a personal finance blog, have some negotiating tips to keep those costs low. As a renter, there are certain considerations you must take into account when getting into a new house or apartment. There are a few financial responsibilities such…