Monday, June 30, 2014

'Just a few easy payments!'

Aaron’s is a particularly well-known and successful example of the “just a few easy payments!” method of ownership. You pay the store a monthly payment for a set period of time; say, 12 months--and it’s yours! You take it home, use it, live in it...and, at first blush, this may seem like a good idea--particularly for expensive stuff that you don’t want to purchase up front, like living room sets, TVs, fridges, and so on. You pay a seemingly reasonable rate for a few months, instead of dropping over a thousand dollars all at once. 

But it’s really an insidious way to make more money off of unsuspecting consumers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The 14 best value headphones

Best Value Headphones

*Note: this page is frequently updated to reflect changes in pricing, 
and/or which headphones offer the best value.

As promised in my earlier post, I would feature a post with some Froogal-approved headphones. The criteria? They must represent a good value, they must have good reviews overall, they must be durable, and they must feature good sound quality. It also helps if I have had good experiences with them.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

5 appalling violations of consumer rights

I've found a few links to some appalling examples of rising prices and failures of consumer protection; including one of the only places we're not supposed to worry about money: hospitals. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act will not fix matters.



Friday, June 13, 2014

Example of the Millionaire Mindset

Keira Knightley apparently understands the Millionaire Mindset. According to an article at (of all places) Us Weekly, she only pays herself around $50,000 per year!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Headphones for less

Since the recent acquisition of Beats Audio by Apple (a perfect marriage of too-expensive, overhyped consumer products!), Beats is once again in the public consciousness.

A great Lifehacker article (link at the bottom) suggests some bass-heavy alternatives to the expensive (and not-so-great-quality) Beats headphones that many young people seem to own these days. However, even these alternatives are pretty expensive; there are better-value alternatives that I've listed here.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

What Billionaires Know

What Billionaires Know

Since I spend so much time talking about The Millionaire Mindset, it's only appropriate that I discuss what wealthy people understand about finances--and about life!

Image from a blog post at arlinghaus.typepad.com

Friday, June 6, 2014

About this blog

About me: http://froogalstoodent.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html

Contact info: http://froogalstoodent.blogspot.com/p/contact.html

Privacy policy: http://froogalstoodent.blogspot.com/p/privacy-policy.html

In order to make this abundantly clear: I will, from time to time, make product recommendations, at which point I will provide links to Amazon.com. Because I don't like to work for free, The Froogal Stoodent is now a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Now that the above legal formality is out of the way, I will only recommend products that I believe represent a good value. Additionally, I will tend to recommend products that I have owned, currently own, have experience with, or is by a brand that I trust. Essentially, I refuse to recommend things that I wouldn't buy with my own money. Though it would obviously benefit me financially to recommend expensive stuff, or recommend lots of stuff, I won't do that because I'm promoting--and living!--a frugal lifestyle. 

Why provide links to Amazon? Because I shop there myself, and I frequently (though not always) find the lowest prices on Amazon. Amazon is a company that I trust, which is reputed to have good data security, and provides a popular hub for good deals on a wide variety of merchandise. 

Free laptop-cooling mat!

I present to you an outstanding example of The Millionaire Mindset:

http://lifehacker.com/keep-your-laptop-cool-with-an-egg-carton-1587234841

Being inventive with stuff you already have around is both thrifty and eco-conscious. (Note: this does NOT mean you should be a hoarder and collect everything in case you might possibly use it for something someday. It's merely making use of something that would otherwise be thrown away, to solve a problem you have now. If you don't have an overheating laptop, don't use this trick).

It's a great alternative to purchasing a laptop-cooling mat for $5, $10, or $30 (the prices of some such mats that I've seen).

This is a true "lifehack," in the best spirit. Gawker Media should be proud of this (and similar) posts!

Got any of your own lifehacks that you'd like to share? Leave a comment below--I'd be happy to share any other great ideas!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Helpful links, 6/5/14

I've included a roundup of good articles relating to money management for young people, obviously with a focus on college students--in line with the purpose of this blog.

"How to live on $20,000 per year."
This is a great illustration of living below your means, as I advocate in The Millionaire Mindset, but it doesn't necessarily apply to current college students.
https://thecollegeinvestor.com/12961/live-20000-per-year/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=CollegeInvestin&utm_content=How%20to%20Live%20on%20$20,000%20Per%20Year

"Before I Knew, I Bought It New."
A great post on the virtues of buying used.
http://cashcowcouple.com/life-lessons/bought-it-new/

"Financial Independence and the College Lifestyle"
This is a post on how difficult it can be to establish yourself as an independent (in the government's eyes, for financial aid purposes). Very apropos for a lot of college students wondering how to make ends meet.
http://www.modestmoney.com/financial-independence-college-lifestyle/

"What Americans Don't Know About Student Loans: A Lot"
An article describing what people don't know about student loan debt. What you don't know CAN hurt you! Be informed!
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-06-05/what-americans-dont-know-about-student-loans-a-lot#r=read

"Top 3 Ways to Make Your Money Work for You"
This post describes how rich people approach money. Once you have money, it can be leveraged into various types of investments that earn you more money--so think of money (if and when you have some) as a tool.
http://moneyfor20s.about.com/od/makethemostofyourmoney/tp/3-Ways-to-Manage-Your-Money.htm?utm_source=facebook_sp&utm_medium=sm&utm_campaign=shareurlbuttons

"Life After Graduation--Advice to My Past Self 5 Years Later"
A brief, thoughtful look at what the writer thought she should have done differently after graduating college.
http://momoneymohouses.com/life-after-graduation-advice-past-self-5-years-later/

Any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments below, and it'll make my next "Helpful links" post!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2000 views!

On May 23 (3 weeks after my very first post), I made a post thanking you, my readers, for giving this website 1000 pageviews. Now, 10 days later (June 23), we've hit 2000 pageviews! Keep checking The Froogal Stoodent for more great advice like this--and thanks again!

Food for thought

Here's some food for thought: these are some milestones to shoot for by age 30, according to the folks over at Money After Graduation.

It's important to be debt-free (one of the suggestions here), as the more money you have in loans AND the longer it takes to pay those loans back, the more interest you'll be paying. Obviously, you want to make that number as small as possible, unless you want to make your lender rich.