Holiday Shopping Season: It’s the Best of Times, It’s the Worst of Times

My favorite (and least favorite) time of the year has arrived. I enjoy the holidays because of the extra time with family, the break from work, and the occasion to slow down and give thanks. However, I don’t enjoy the endless stream of Black Friday ads, which now apparently lasts an entire week, and the Cyber Monday ads that follow which also now last a week.

However, Black Friday does provide an opportunity to exercise frugality by scoring a few deals early and retreating home for Thanksgiving left overs. Look for a post on that very subject early next week.

The Frugal Roundup

Need some help with your Christmas shopping list? Peter provides a huge list of 75 frugal gifts to give this Christmas season. Sticking with the frugal theme, here’s 25 Christmas gift ideas under $25.

Now for the hardest part, controlling the impulse to buy yourself a present!

If you decide to venture out next Friday, check out Julia’s post on the best Black Friday 2010 deals.

So much for stocking up on over-the-counter medicine using our medical flex card. According to this article, flexible and health savings account changes for 2011, we’ll no longer be able to buy OTC medicines using FSA money. Nice. (Update: Someone in the HR world corrected me here. Apparently, you will still be able to purchase OTC meds using your FSA funds, but a doctor’s prescription is now required. Still don’t like the change).

Ever wondered what it would take to save a third of your income?

Guess what’s happened to the average food portion sizes over the last twenty years?

Baker shares his thoughts on couples and money and tackles that age-old question: should couples have separate or joint finances. A nice bonus interview with Corey from SimpleMarriage.net included.

I am not keen on the idea of making failure impossible for high school students and issuing an incomplete instead. After all, when students get in the real world they have to meet real deadlines. Bosses don’t generally allow “incompletes.”

Ron is about to release what promises to be a timely read for anyone looking for a job, or looking to switch jobs. The Inner View of Your Interview is a look inside the mind of the job interviewer.

After recently cleaning out my closet I’ve discovered I need to replenish my wardrobe. Fortunately, I ran across Jeremy’s post on maximizing your wardrobe.

It’s that time of year. Time to sell off a few lousy investments to offset gains in other areas (or create a little tax deduction). Beware the wash sale rule for investment losses.

Are Student Loans Good Debt? Student loan debt is out of control. It seems like every day I read a story about someone struggling to repay over $100,000 in student loans, which makes you wonder if college is overrated. After all, there are still a few high paying jobs with no college degree requirement.

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