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Think You’ll Get Social Security…Think Again

Written by Brett McKay

When most people think of social security, they think of senior citizens collecting a paycheck. That’s just half the story. A lot of people also receive social security checks due to disability. Due to the poor job market, suddenly more and more are seeking this assistance. This is putting additional strain on the social security system.

Between the ponzi-like finance of social security, the aging baby boomers, and now more and more people being disabled, young lawyers can pretty much count that they won’t be getting social security payments until they’re very, very old (if at all).

The Carnival of twenty something finances is here!

Written by Tony Marrone

Welcome to the February 25, 2008 edition of twenty something finances hosted by The Frugal Law Student. There were many great submissions for this edition, and I’d just like to thank all of the authors for their submissions.

Editor’s Picks

Mark Butler presents What Does a Millionaire Sound Like? posted at The Butler Project.

Steve Faber presents – Credit Score Ranges – Getting to the Next One Up Could Pay Off Big Time posted at Debt Free.

f.f. presents The Dratted Engagement Ring posted at Feminist Finance.

Sagar Satapathy presents How To: Manipulate Del.icio.us to Drive Visitors and Dollars to Your Site, 20 Tips and Tricks posted at Smart Shopper: Personal Finance Advisor.

KCLau presents How Recession Happens? 8 Tips to Prepare for it! posted at KCLau’s Money Tips.

Erica Douglass presents The REAL American Dream (Hint: It?s NOT Owning A House!) posted at erica.biz – Erica Douglass challenges you to change your life! What is holding you back from your dreams?.

Theories of Frugaltivity

the simple nickle presents Spending POP QUIZ: Food posted at the simple nickle.

Raymond presents Student Credit Cards – Credit Knowledge Is Power posted at Money Blue Book.

Brooke presents For Gals and Guys: How to Become Low-Maintenance posted at Dollar Frugal.

Tip Diva presents Top Ten Tips – Hitting Holiday Sales posted at Tip Diva.

Personal Finance Claims presents How You Might Soon End Up With A Blocked Credit Card posted at Personal Finance Claims.

Adfecto presents Wedding Season Has Arrived posted at Adfecto Abundantia – Aspire 2 Wealth.

ChristianPF presents Beginner tips on money management posted at Christian PF.com.

the simple nickle presents Does Your Costco Card Really Save You Money? posted at the simple nickle.

KCLau presents Don’t spend the money you don’t have, to buy the thing you don’t need, to please the people you don’t like! posted at KCLau’s Money Tips.


Abdulrasool Sumar presents 5 Mortgage Lessons to Learn from the Rich posted at Mortgage Calculator.

Edith presents How to Get Started Investing in Real Estate posted at Stewart Hsu.

Tejvan Pettinger presents Easiest way to save money for a House posted at UK House Prices.

Boiler Room

Tyler presents 5 Reasons To Buy and Hold posted at Dividend Money.

The Investor presents The secret to investing when stock markets are falling posted at Monevator.com.

Dave presents High Dividend Yield Plus Capital Gain Potential posted at Cheapo Groovo.

Oscar DaGrouch presents Anatomy of a successful options transaction posted at Make me money.

FIRE Finance presents $25 Signup Bonus from Revolution Money Exchange! posted at FIRE Finance.
Aussie Investor presents How To Start Investing In The Stock Market posted at Stock Market Investing For Beginners.

Oscar DaGrouch presents An argument against reinvesting dividends posted at Make me money.

LIVING OFF DIVIDENDS presents Can You Retire On Less Than $3,000 A Month? posted at LIVING OFF DIVIDENDS.


The Happy Rock presents Free 80 Hour Dual Tuner Series 2 SD Tivo Promotion Through Kidzone posted at The Happy Rock.

Kenton Newby presents Focusing on Leverage posted at KentonNewby.com.

Super Saver presents Building Wealth: Just Start Doing It posted at My Wealth Builder.

Wenchypoo presents Working for Perks and Benefits—Revised for 2008 posted at Wisdom From Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket.

Jennifer presents The Freebie Diva: Cash Crate posted at The Freebie Diva.

Nick at BnG presents The Beernut Gallery – 8 Quality Calculators posted at The Beernut Gallery.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
twenty something finances using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page. Be sure to check out the carnival in two weeks, which will be hosted by Her Every Cent Counts.

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Save Time and Money by Working Out Every Other Day

Written by Mrs. FLS

Did you make a New Years Resolution to be fitter in 2008? Are you currently working out 5-6 times a week? Do you want to simplify your workout and save money at the same time?

Working out will keep you healthy and being healthy will save you money in the long term. But it is a big commitment and requires a lot of time and energy. If you are currently working out 5-6 times a week, and especially if you alternate cardio and weightlifting days, I highly recommend switching to a program in which you work out every other day for a longer period of time.

How it works:

Let’s say you currently workout 6 times a week. On MWF, you do 40 minutes of cardio. On TTRS, you do 40 minutes of weightlifting. If you switch to an every other day program, you would do both cardio and weightlifting on MWF for an hour and a half (with stretching) total, and the rest of the days you have off. Do your weightlifting first, and then the cardio, as this burns more fat.

There are several advantages to working out every other day for a longer period of time:

1) It saves you lots of time. Let’s say it take you 15 minutes to get ready for the gym and 10 minutes to drive to the gym. Then it takes you 10 minutes to drive home. If you work out 6 times a week, this means you are spending 3.5 hours every week just getting to the gym! It’s madness to drive 10 minutes to a gym, work out for 30 minutes, and then drive 10 minutes back. By switching to an every other day plan, you can cut this time in half. That could mean an hour and 45 minutes more time a week, or almost 4 full days a year! What would you do with 4 extra days?

2) Save money on gas. See above.

3) Save money on laundry detergent and workout clothes. By working out every other day, you cut your dirty exercise clothes in half. Which means less loads of laundry and less detergent and water costs. Also, depending on how often you do laundry, working out every other day means you only need 1-2 workout outfits. And they’ll last longer because you are washing them fewer times.

4) It keeps you from getting burned out. I love to go to the gym, but even I sometimes get burned out. Going to the gym every other day makes it seem like less of a drag. And on the days you do workout, it motivates you to hit it hard, since you know the next day you get a break.

5) It gives your body a full day of rest. Having your muscles recover is an essential part of building them up.

The only downside of this plan is that getting motivated for your cardio after a tough session of lifting weights is sometimes difficult. But you can push through it. The benefit of extra time and money make it worth the effort.

Why Tip?

Written by Mrs. FLS

Yesterday Brett posted a guide to tipping. To some it may have appeared that Brett and I like to throw our money around and hand out big tips to every Tom, Dick, and Harry. But it is important to note that most of the services listed in that post are services that, because we are frugal, we would never use. We don’t use a sky cap, we wait in line for the ticket counter; we don’t purchase tours, get massages, buy car washes, or use valet parking either. The point is, however, that if you did use those services, then you should tip. And really, if you are well off enough to afford those services, then you could most certainly afford to cough up a few bucks extra for the tip.

Some of the comments expressed negativity towards the whole idea of tipping in general. Several posters mentioned that they did not think it was necessary to pay above and beyond the actual cost of the service. For example CrazyPumpkin said: “My boss doesn’t ‘tip’ me when I finish a project ahead of time or do a task particularly well. He says thank you and I get to keep my job. He expects these things of me, it’s part of my job description.”

So I would like to discuss the point of tipping.

The difference between a regular job and the jobs that require tips is that they are service jobs, and they are called service jobs because they are serving you. They personally and intimately effect you. I agree that you do not need to always tip people like tow truck drivers or baristas, and you do not have to tip people for doing their job per se. But you might think about tipping people for the following reasons:

1) If the person went above and beyond regular service. It is just a way of showing gratitude for a job well done and going the extra mile. While many people work in professions that don’t receive tips per se, companies often offer bonuses after a project is completed successfully. And what is a bonus if not just a very large tip? When bonuses are offered, people do not generally say “There is no need to give me a bonus. I was just doing my job.”

2) To show your gratitude. Another word for tip is “gratuity.” Many people in service jobs are overworked, underpaid, and unthanked. At your job when you do something right, your supervisor says “thank you,” and “job well done!” Who says thank you to the trashmen? Many service jobs are jobs we don’t want to do, and we are grateful people are there day in and day out doing them for us. Our trash gets taken away, our mail gets delivered, our food is served to us. Their pay often does not match their effort. Who thinks that teachers’ pay is commensurate with the work they put in? Tipping is a way to say “thank you” to those who rarely hear it.

3) Tipping ensures great service. This is especially true of people who perform service for you regularly. If you tip a barista at a coffee shop you frequent, or a waiter at your favorite restaurant, they will give you even better service next time. For example, I used to work at a pizza place and when an order came in, if the pizza delivery guy recognized the name, and remembered they were a big tipper, they would bust their butt to get the order out. They would even take the tipper the order BEFORE orders that had come in earlier. If an order came up for a name they recognized as a bad tipper, they would deliver that order later. Similarly, when I worked at Jamba Juice, this one customer would tip us very heavily every time she came in. So during her visits we were practically falling over ourselves to get her order out. We would start making it even before she paid. And we would always throw in extra goodies. So in things you do regularly, tipping is certainly not essential, but can guarantee you better service.

In summation: Tipping is not always necessary. You certainly shouldn’t be throwing your money around. But it can be appropriate in some circumstances. If someone serves you in a way that makes a difference in your day, a few bucks is a nice way to show you are thankful.

Winner of The Chambermaid Giveaway!

Written by Brett McKay

Last week, I ran my first contest on The Frugal Law Student. I offered the chance to win a free copy of Chambermaid by Saira Rao to every person who submitted a post idea for the Frugal Law Student. I ended up having 7 entries and all of them provided great ideas. Thanks to everyone who participated!

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the winner of The Frugal Law Student’s Chambermaid giveaway is….

Joshua Pettigrew! Congratulations, Joshua. I’ll be e-mailing you to ask for your contact info so I can send the book to you.

For those of you interested, I picked the winner by using The Random Number Picker.

Thanks again to everyone who participated.

Could Identity Thieves Be Any Dumber?

Written by Mrs. FLS

I was checking my email tonight and in my inbox I had email purportedly from Paypal.com. The subject line was: User Agreement Violation (ID PP133320) . Since it had not been filtered to my junk mail I thought it might be the real deal. When I opened it, it said that someone from my IP address had tried to change my password 3 times, and thus my account was blocked. I was then instructed to log into my paypal account to unblock it. For a second I thought it was real until I noticed that is said “We apologise for the inconvinience.” The 2 spelling errors had me smelling a scam. And when I clicked on the link to log into my paypal account the website it took me to was not paypal.com but: http://hvttp-www-paypai.com/us/cgi-bin/webscrcmd_profile_credit_card.php

Clearly not the real deal. The page told me to put in my credit card number and pin number and such to unlock my account. Pretty clever of them no? But then again I noticed spelling mistakes…it said that while my account was blocked I couldn’t ” transfer funds electronycaly.” Electronycaly???

What I don’t understand it how the scammers could put so much work into creating a fake website that looks almost identical to paypal (they did a great job with graphics and colors, and reassuring small print, very convincing) and then not bother to do spell check! How dumb can you get!

I have seen this scenario before, and spelling errors can be a great way to detect a fraudalent email. Also check the website they link you to. It is another dead give away.