Festival of Frugality #318 | Magical Penny Edition

by Adam on January 10, 2012

Welcome to the Festival of Frugality #318 Magical Penny edition, brought to you from the UK by Adam from Magical Penny.


It was a lot of fun reading through all the submissions. We’re a diverse crowd but we’re all helping each other save money in this crazy world.

Frugal is Sexy

Let the Festival Commence

Editors Pick #1

Of course, being a single 20 something guy, there could only be one winner for the best of the best post submitted to the Festival of Frugality this week….and it goes to Steve Zussino who wrote: Have you ever seen a frugal celebrity? posted at Canadian Personal Finance.

In the article he explains how actress and celebrity Zooey Deschanel recently showed that she earns an average of $95,000 a month and her expenses average $22,550 per month. This means she saves 76% of her income!

My kind of girl! 🙂

Who said being frugal wasn’t sexy?

OK, now I’ve spent far too long finding the right picture to go with this post so it’s time to move on….

Favourite #2

I loved Roshawn Watson’s  4 Reasons You Should Set Unrealistically High Goals posted at Watson Inc. He don’t believe that all goals should have a strong basis in reality and gives 4 reasons you should set unrealistically high financial goals. I love this – don’t be limited by what you think is possible when it comes to rocking your finances.

Favourite # 3: “Despite appearances, this organic tomato did not taste like ass”

As soon as I read this quote in Centavos’ post: Kitchen Gardening, the Accidental Side Gig posted at 101 Centavos, I knew that it would make the grade for the festival. The article explains that it’s currently wintertime and  cold in most parts of the country  but he experienced a balmy, uncharacteristic 61 deg F yesterday in Tulsa. Read how he created his accidental side gig with kitchen gardening.


Favourite #4 

Connor has written a great article: The basics of charitable contributions posted at Tax on Tax Off. He has been through US tax code, specifically Publication 526, so you don’t have to! Particularly useful at this time of year when charitable giving tends to be highest.

Favourite #5 

Finally, as an Editor’s Pick, Lindy had me stunned with her imagination – she blogged about how she turned  One Piece of Plywood, into Three Pieces of Furniture at Minting Nickels. Specifically this article describes how she turned one $42 sheet of plywood into three pieces of furniture (it’s easier than you might think). This post sums up what being frugal is all about!

Great work Lindy.


Best of the Rest

The personal finance legend that is Philip Taylor presented Improve Your Finances posted at PT Money Personal Finance. Days 1 through 6 in a month-long series aimed at helping readers take small, actionable steps towards overall financial improvement.

It’s so comprehensive it’s definitely worth a read.  Philip also organises the Financial Blogger Conference. Incidentally I’m hoping to attend this year so if you are too, I’d love for you to get in touch and I look forward to seeing you in person in September.


Health and Fitness Frugality

As it’s New Year, it’s no surprise to find some health related articles written.

Fanny presents Before You head to the ER posted at Living Richly on a Budget. Have you ever contemplated whether or not to go to the ER? Could you wait it out until the doctor’s office opens in the morning or do you have to go in just to be safe?

This article provides some tips to help you decide. Reading this made me thankful that I don’t have to worry about the cost of medical bill in the UK. Yes I pay higher taxes but I don’t have to worry about being frugal with my health. Those of you in the US, sometimes do and this article is helpful for outlining your options.


Kennedi presents Diets That Can Lower Your Budget posted at Face and Fitness.Summary: So you’ve made two New Year’s resolutions. One is the ever-popular vow to lose weight and the other is to trim your budget. Those may seem incompatible at first, but guess what? You really can do both at once.


UK based Harri Pierce presents How to get round rip-off gym fees posted at TotallyMoney, an article that reviews low cost gym options in the UK.


Glen Craig presents Alternatives to Joining the Gym posted at Free From Broke . Oh the gym membership! How many sign up with a resolution only to quit a month later, stuck in a membership plan? There are alternatives to joining the gym though. See them here.


Jon the Saver presents Keeping the Doctor Away with Quality Foods posted at Free Money Wisdom.Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and it doesn’t have to be expensive. I am here as a testament to say that I felt better than ever on this healthy lifestyle change and spent less.


Shaun presents New Taxes on Health Insurance Premiums in 2012 and Five Ways to Save on Health Care Expenses posted at Smart Family Finance.The government is levying new taxes on health insurance premiums in 2012. While your health care plan costs will increase, there are ways to lower your bill.


Green Frugality

magical pennies growing?Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey presents Green Energy Makes Green Money posted at My Personal Finance Journey.This post highlights the importance of using green energy, and illustrates how by going green saves you money in home energy costs.

Win, Win for the planet and your wallet.


Miss T. presents How Your House or Business Can Invest in a Greener Planet posted at Prairie Eco Thrifter. Fossil fuels continue to ruin our environment, and as they are also running out it is time for us to understand how we can use renewable energy for all of our business and home needs. Quite possibly the most important thing for us to do to ensure a greener planet in the long run is to educate our children, but you can’t do that if you’ve not educated yourself. Here we will look at how you can start to make a difference.


SB presents How to Keep Heating Bills Low This Winter posted at One Cent at a Time.

Some innovative frugal ways to keep heating bills lower this winter or every winter. Some techniques to consume lower electricity and some to use alternate an cheaper source of energy to keep your heating bills lower.

Property Frugality

Justin presents why to Consider Refinancing Now posted at Money Is the Root.As imperfect of a measurement as 10-year treasury bond yields are, they are the best barometer we have for gauging the movement of mortgage rates. If we follow this methodology then it appears that rates could fall even lower in 2012, however, being adverse to gambling with my personal finances I am happy to take a signifcant rate cut right now, plus the savings begin now rather than later.


John presents How We Plan to Pay Off Our Mortgage Early (Jan 2012) posted at Passive Family Income. Each month I continue to analyze this data, I am more encouraged and motivated to pay down our mortgage – one month at a time. As you can see from the numbers above, there are huge benefits to paying down your mortgage early.


And the Rest

Kay Lynn Akers presents Strategies to Save on Groceries posted at Two Savvy Sisters. Food is a large budget category, but these strategies will keep you from having to subsist on beans and rice. As a lover of food, this is a must read.


Little Miss Moneybags presents The Value of Tracking Things posted at Little Miss Moneybags. I liked this article because tracking things is a powerful way to stay on track. You need to be focused to accomplish goals and tracking is a great way to do just that. What will you track in 2012?


Using credit cardsMarjorie presents How can stay at home parents get credit cards? posted at CardHub.com.Prior to October 1, individuals were able to apply for credit cards using their household income; however, this is no longer the case. If you are a stay-at-home parent, it’s understandable if you’re now concerned about your ability to build credit under your own name. Luckily, this is neither what the new rule regarding individual income was intended to bring about, nor its ultimate effect.


John presents The Best Rewards Credit Cards For You posted at Wallet Blog.Rewards credit cards are a success in marketing. I mean, who wouldn’t want rewards? They sound fun, beneficial and as if you are automatically getting more bang for your buck. However, this surface attractiveness also belies the fact that these cards are not for everyone.


Karen Bryan presents Are You a Miser? posted at Help Me To Save. While being frugal is usually perceived as positive thing, when do you become more of a miser?


KT presents Consider Making New Year’s Goals, Not Resolutions posted at Personal Finance Journey. I enjoyed reading this article because it’s exactly what I do each year. A Goal is for Life, not just for Christmas!

Mike Collins presents How to Work from Home When Caring for Young Children posted at Saving Money Today.Working from home can be a challenge when you have young children running around the house….apparently!

What do I know?!  

Thankfully the writer of this post, does know and presents  some tips for balancing family time and work time.


Kelsey presents Versatile Salt: 10 Household Uses posted at Money Mum.If you think table salt can only be used to season your food, think again; salt is actually an incredibly versatile material to keep around your home for everything from cleaning to home repair. Since it’s also quite natural and inexpensive, learning how to utilize salt in a variety of ways can be great for both convenience and saving money.


Janet presents Start 2012 Off Right: How to Make a Spending Plan posted at Credit, Eh. A spending plan helps you direct your financial resources, providing you with a road map that (hopefully) reflect your priorities and goals.


Dr Dean presents Decisions: How You Can Improve posted at The Millionaire Nurse Blog.Do you make good decisions? The decisions we make impact all areas of our life, including our finances. Join me in a review of the process and ways to improve your method for making good decisions.


Squirrelers presents Spend Wisely: 2 Simple Questions to Ask Before You Buy posted at Squirrelers.If we want to save money and watch our expenses, it helps to have self-control. This post introduces 2 simple questions to ask before making a purchase.


Squeezer presents How to save when shopping for clothes but still dress fashionable posted at Personal Finance Success. Wearing clothing is a fact of life. But that does not mean that you have to spend thousands on your wardrobe to look your best. This article will provide you with tips you can use when shopping for clothes that will save you large sums of money.


Miranda presents 50 Home Business Ideas posted at Financial Highway. Many of us want to earn extra money from home. And, indeed, starting a home business can be a good way to cultivate additional income, and help you reach other financial goals that you might have. From creative business ideas, to the more mundane, here are 50 home business ideas.


FMF presents How Much Do You Actually Save at Outlet Malls? posted at Free Money Finance.The average price discount across all outlet stores was 24% compared to their standard retail equivalents.


Crystal presents Vegas on a Budget posted at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff.I’ve been to Las Vegas a total of 3 times – the town is always changing. My first visit was the least expensive, so I’ll provide some information on where I cut costs, as well as general tips on where you can!


Forest Parks presents In Debt, You Should Stop Donating posted at Boomer & Echo.It’s a great feeling to give money to charity but sometimes, if you’re in debt, it may not be the responsible thing to do.


Lisa presents Living on a Budget and Your Pet’s Last Days posted at Thriftability.No one wants to choose to put their pet to sleep, certainly. No one wants to lose a part of their family. Becoming aware of your pet’s condition can give you both the peace and insight to make such a decision – if it is right for the pet. It may not be: you might have a good treatment option available, or your pet might be best living out his or her final days. In other cases, putting your pet to sleep can put a peaceful and calming end to his or her life, and can be best.


Mr. Money presents Dress for Success: Business Attire for Less posted at Smart on Money. As a recently graduated college student on a budget, here is how I built my professional wardrobe:


Erika presents 2011: A Year in Review posted at Newlyweds on a Budget.January 2011 started off with a bang. We had just paid off our credit cards, I had started my new job and it seemed we were finally getting control of our budget. Then we decided to do a fun money account for Eric. We put separate money into his own account that he could spend…


YFS presents A 6 step plan to dominate your debt posted at Your Finances Simplified. : Do you feel like you’re falling into a pit of debt and it’s almost impossible to claw your way out of that mountain of bills? Instead of sitting on your butt and staring off into space yet again, you may want to try a really simple debt repayment strategy!


Corey presents What to Do When You Are Behind in Debt? posted at 20s Finances. Summary: This article explains what to do when you get overwhelmed by your debt. If you fall behind, is it best to give up?


Amanda L Grossman presents The Big Reveal: Did We Meet our Goal of Saving 50 Percent of Our Take Home Pay in 2011? posted at Frugal Confessions. In a word, no. But what a great experience! I always believe that you should shoot for the heavens because when you miss you will still fall among the stars, and I believe we have, read more to see if you agree!


Paula presents Save Money … By Traveling? posted at Afford Anything. Most people focus on saving money TO travel. But can you save money BY traveling?


Marie presents Save Money on Rental Cars posted at Money Mum. Don’t slack when it comes to looking for rental car deals. If you spend as much time trying to find them as you would on other travel needs, you could save quite a bit of money.


Hank presents Your Finances Simplified posted at Money Q&A.Even if you are not knowledgeable about taking your car to the mechanic, there are several ways that you can save money on car repairs. You can educate yourself on ways to save money on car repairs.


Eddie presents From Homeless To Successful – The Story Of One Entrepreneur posted at Finance Fox.Despite tough obstacles we encounter in life, we must keep pushing forward. Resources exist to us for taking and making something out of our selves. Whatever your life goal or dream, remember, it’s never too late to get started.


Finally, Daniel presents Free ATMs Are Coming! Will You Leave Your Big Bank Now? posted at Sweating the Big Stuff. This story made me smile because in the UK ATMs are almost always free….apparently it’s coming the US and it’s considered a novel idea 🙂



Thanks for reading this Festival of Frugality. I hope you enjoy reading the posts. It would be great if you could stick around on Magical Penny and join the newsletter.

Finally, I’m set on attending the Financial Blogger Conference in September so I can’t wait to meet you if you’re attending! Shoot me an email: adam AT magicalpenny.com


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

SB @ One Cent At A Time

Thanks for including me


Thank you for adding me!

Forest Parks

Thanks for including my article over at Boomer and Echo. Great festival…

Glen Craig

Thanks so much for the great festival this week!


Thanks for hosting the festival and including my article!

Roshawn @ Watson Inc

Thanks so much Adam for hosting the carnival this week and for including my unrealistic goal post as an editor’s pick!!!


You’re very welcome. I really enjoyed your article in particular.

Lindy Mint

Thanks so much for hosting, Adam. And thanks for sharing your take on frugality in the video. I’ve enjoyed defining it for myself as well.

Harri @ TotallyMoney

Big thanks for the TotallyMoney mention! Thanks for hosting.

Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey

Thanks so much for hosting! Love the video! I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do that when hosting a carnival yet!


Thanks Jacob – I wanted to do things a little differently and video definitely gets a different reaction. Any excuse to charm my American readers with my British accent!!

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate

Great job on the carnival-I’ve done them before and they are way more work than folks realize! I also loved the video introduction-it really does make me want to read more of your blog! I’m sure you’ve had plenty of Americans tell you how much we love that accent (I know, no one ever really likes the American accent. Sigh)

Also, props on the little email campaign-not sure how you decided to shoot me an email, but it did make me come on over and check out the Festival when it’s been quite a while since I’ve done so 😉


They definitely take longer than expected but it’s fun to be introduced to new blogs and writers.

I’m glad you enjoyed listening to me. I *love* American girls’ reaction to my accent…always a highlight when travelling to America.


PS I like American accents 😉

Andrew @ 101 Centavos

Thanks for selecting my scribbles as Editor’s Pick. Very honored.

Kay Lynn

Thanks for including our article on saving money on food. It’s our first carnival!

5 htp supplement

I *love* American girls’ reaction to my accent…always a highlight when travelling to America.

{ 30 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: