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High Gas Prices=Increase in Car Break-ins?

Written by Brett McKay

Earlier today our car was broken into. One of the items taken from it was our gas card. When we called to cancel it, the customer service rep at Shell said there has been an increase of cases like ours ever since gas prices have gone up.

According to the Shell rep, they’ve been getting hundreds of calls like ours everyday and that it’s on the rise. Some people have reported that their cars have been torn apart with most valuables left untouched, but their gas card was stolen. She said that criminals, knowing that many people leave their gas card in their car out of convenience, are breaking in to cars specifically looking for gas cards.

I don’t think this was the reason we got our card stolen. We had stuff in our car that probably made us a target. During their rummaging, the crooks probably saw the card and added it to their haul.

I doubt that there is a correlation with increased gas prices and car break-ins. I can’t imagine crooks breaking into cars only to look for gas cards. What if there is no gas card? I don’t think a criminal is going to say, “Fiddlesticks! No gas card! I’ll just leave these CDs and car stereo here and check the next car over for a gas card.” Perhaps the number of car break-ins is staying the same and crooks are just adding gas cards on the list of things to look for while jacking stuff from cars. Thus, the number of gas cards reported stolen from vehicles will increase to match the number of car break-ins. So, maybe high gas prices=increase in gas card heists, not increase in car break-ins. Either way it sucks.

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[tags]crime, cars[/tags]

We’ve Been Burgled!

Written by Brett McKay

My wife and I woke up this morning to our car being broken into. They smashed in one of the back windows. Glass was everywhere and was a pain to clean up. The crooks got away with our radar detector, my wife’s CDs, and a gas card.

What a way to start your day. We’re not going to make a claim with our car insurance on this. It’s not worth our rates going up. The window they smashed wasn’t that big, so it shouldn’t be too expensive to replace it. We had the gas card canceled, so no worries with that. I think the most painful thing to lose was my wife’s CDs. Music is really important to my wife, so having those stolen really hurt. She spent lots of money and several years collecting her CDs and now they’re gone. She had about 40 CDs in her case. At $10-$15 for each CD, it would be too costly to replace them.

broken-window.jpg shattered-glass.jpg

(Notice in the first picture that not only was our window broken, a bird pooped right next to it. Thanks, bird, for rubbing our loss in our faces.)

So now we have the ghetto black plastic bag covering where our window used to be. It will have to do until we can get the window replaced. Thankfully, we have a small emergency fund we can dip into to cover the costs to replace the window. It makes me mad we have to use what little emergency money we have on a stupid thing like this.

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[tags]crime, cars[/tags]

The Frugal Law Student Month in Review- May

Written by Brett McKay

This past month, I had a lot of free time on my hands as I await the U.S. Trustees Office to finish my background check so I can start interning this summer. As a result, I’ve had plenty of time to work on The Frugal Law Student.

The Frugal Law Student saw an influx of traffic during the month of May on account of some popular posts. I had 4,433 visits in May. That’s up from 2,474 in April- an increase of 179%! Thank you to all my readers!

I’ve also made it a goal to increase my RSS subscriptions. I’ve installed the What Would Seth Godin Do plugin to encourage first time readers of my site to subscribe. I’ve also put a slug at the end of each post to remind readers to subscribe. My efforts have paid off. I began May with 25 subscribers and ended with 158- a 632% increase! Wow! Would that every month was like that.

Popular Posts

  1. My top post in May was 225 Ways To Drive Traffic Away From Your Blog. It was my mea culpa for the excessive amount of grammatical errors in my post. It was also a lesson learned on creating a successful blog.
  2. 180 Money Saving Tips to Turn Your Life Around 180 Degrees. This was a fun post to write. I just sat down and wrote every frugal tip I’ve learned during my life. Many tips are common sense stuff; however, I’m sure you can find some new ideas in there as well.
  3. Increase Your Buying Pleasure With Tantric Shopping. Sex sells, even on blogs. I took the idea of tantric sex and applied it to shopping. Delayed gratification always brings more enjoyment!

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[tags]month in review, tantric, money saving tips[/tags]

4 New Ways To Use A Dryer Sheet

Written by Brett McKay

Dryer sheets aren’t just for drying. They can serve double duty in your home in a variety of ways. Instead of using a full dryer sheet to dry you clothes, cut them in half. Use the other half in other parts of your home. It might not save you much money, but every little bit counts. So, for your consideration, I present 4 new ways to use a dryer sheet.

  1. Static Remover. If you put on a piece of clothing and notice you’re having some static cling, just take a dryer sheet and rub the clinging part down a bit.
  2. Air freshener. Throw a dryer sheet in your clothes drawer and closet. It will keep your clothes smelling clean and fresh. You can also keep them by a fan or air conditioner to give your room an odder lift.
  3. Dust cloth. Dryer sheets are dust magnets. I find dryer sheets especially useful for my laptop screen. What’s nice about using a dryer sheet is that the sheet will leave behind a residue that will help prevent future dust build-up.
  4.  Dish rag. If you have some stubborn food build up on your pots and pans, fill them up with water and toss and dryer sheet in. Let the pans soak overnight. In the morning, the baked on junk should come off.

What other ways do you use dryer sheets around the house?

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[tags]fugality, clothing, [/tags]

The Five Absolutely Worst Times To Go Grocery Shopping

Written by Brett McKay

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I’m not a big fan of going to the grocery store, especially when it’s packed with people. Not only do you have to deal with too many carts in the aisles, the waits at the check seem to last an eternity. If you want to avoid the crowd, don’t go shopping at these times:

  • Weekends. It seems like Sunday is the busiest of the two days.
  • Weekday afternoons between 4 and 7PM. This is when the on the way home from work crowd packs it in.
  • During or just before a holiday weekend like Fourth of July and Memorial Day. If you wait this long you’ll have to deal with all the grillers getting ready for the big cookout.
  • The day the weatherman predicts a big winter/rain storm to come in. People will ransack the grocery store to stock up on supplies. Not only will the grocery store be packed, everything will probably be gone
  • The afternoon before a holiday. Make sure to buy your Thanksgiving or Christmas Turkey at least a week in advance. You’ll avoid the crowds.

Are there any other times you try to avoid grocery shopping? Drop me a line and add to the conversation.

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[tags]food, grocery shopping, The Frugal Law Student, frugal[/tags]

Dieting Is Making You Poor

Written by Brett McKay


If you want a heavy wallet, you should stop dieting. That’s right. If you care about your net worth, you’ll gladly eat that Little Debbie Brownie sitting in the pantry. (Mmmm… Little Debbie Brownies….)

According a study done by the University of Michigan, dieting can increase the likelihood that you’ll spend more money impulsively.

Humans only have a limited number of mental resources to allocate towards self control. The scientists theorize that if you’re using these mental resources to resist food cravings, you become more prone to giving in to other temptations, like impulse spending.

Alright, so you shouldn’t just let yourself go. But maybe this is a reason to stop obsessing with whichever Atkins/South Beach/No Carb diet is in vogue. Just eat like a normal person. Your wallet will thank you.

Additionally, dieting itself can get expensive. Diet books, diet programs, and special diet food can all eat away at your bank account.

Source: Men’s Health June 2007

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[tags]diets, personal finance, money[/tags]