Monday, August 24, 2015

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I Have a Secret It Is Dirty

I have a secret. There are things that we are not supposed to talk about in mixed company or inappropriate places. We all know that you should not talk about religion or politics. However, there is one subject, one word so dirty that is forbidden. We do not discuss with the neighbors, the coworkers or even the congregation. The dirty word is: Money.

There are things that we just do not discuss. We don't share about our financial health. Money is said to be " the root of all evil"(1 Timothy 6:10, KJV,) The fact is that we all are affected by it. We encounter it on a daily basis. Yet, it is taboo to discuss it. We go to work for it, we spend it, save it, share it, wish for it, gamble for it and so much more. Yet, it is such a taboo subject. It is all good and fine to talk about business. We can talk about stocks. We can talk about many aspects of money. Many of us are slaves to it. We quest it. We want it. We are judged by it. We judge by it. We exchange our time for it.It can open and close doors but we can't talk about it.

Growing up, it was clear that we were a regular family. Regular meaning that we had one or two parents that worked.We went to the grocery store and paid the bills. There was an ebb and flow with money. We were middle class. We were the working class. We were just like most everyone else that we knew. There were the few that we knew that were well off. hey took fancy vacations and lived in big houses. This was not us. Our parents worked and they worked hard. They both worked hard. One became a wife and mother just before completing high school and the other college educated. We learned that you had to work for what you want in life. We had parents that focused on education. Education eventually leads to a good job.

While a student, we did not learn about credit, credit cards, credit ratings, bank accounts or saving money. Money was not really something that was discussed. We knew that everything cost money. Bills had to be paid. It just was what it was. During my senior year of high school, I opened my first checking account. Hello financial freedom. NO, it was closer to hello, a bank account does not work like that. Checks can and do bounce. I learned a hard lesson and fast. Fast forward and debit cards became all the rage. Guess what? You can really rack up some debt with your bank account for going over your balance.

I have been trying really hard to teach my children about finances. The importance of credit. (Fortunately, I do not have credit card debt.)The importance of building and protecting credit. I have armed my children with tools. We have had in depth discussions with our new high school graduate about finances. We have focused on avoiding entering adulthood with a ton of debt from student loans. We have made a college choice based upon the bottom line ( we did account for the important aspects as well that were not financial.) We have stretched the college dollar by matching the price of the school along with room, board and scholarships. Thank goodness she is a great student and earned several scholarships to help to pay for college. We have studied how to build credit and avoid being a target of lenders all too eager to give a teenager a credit card. We hope that these discussions and options will arm her to have a stable and productive future. During a school ceremony for seniors, the principal of the school encouraged parents to give a tip for the future to their child. My tip was the very simple comment: "learn how to save."

While we are discussing this taboo subject of money ( Gasp, I said the dirty word) I would like to share my savings with you. My accounts all added together have a whopping balance of 23 cents. Yes, that is how much I have saved. This is a real issue. That is another discussion entirely. I just wanted to overall say, we do not talk about money but yet it has such a presence in our lives. Why be ashamed of how little that you have or gloat about how much that you have?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Alternative Income Generators and Hustles

I love to learn about the unusual ways that people make money. I am intrigued by the ways that people can make money. Growing up, the future was all about the American Dream. Go to college, get a good job, buy a home and have a family. It all sounds good right? Until you realize that the college degree comes with a hefty price tag, the good job is hard to find, you might as well have immaculate credit to buy that home and well it just goes on and on from there. These days, the internet has opened a whole new world of possibilities. Colleges degrees have evolved and continue to change on a daily basis. What was relevant when you began your freshman college year may be ancient in comparison to the current technology or financial environment. People are evolving too. Families are exploring the country and even the world while completing their education on the road. Advancement in technology and education have changed by leaps and bounds. A degree or career that one may plan to obtain, may be obsolete by the time one is ready for the dream to become true. A high percentage of young children will find that many of today’s jobs will not exist when they are grown. The majority of careers for the younger generation have not even been created yet. I find this all to be very interesting. I am most intrigued by entrepreneurship and small business. I love how the internet has changed business. I believe in supporting small business and ingenuity. I find it interesting to learn how others invest in their futures and create passive income. Entrepreneurship and side jobs have the ability to generate income and to create a flexible lifestyle. It is not easy to conform to the American Dream Job of working 9-5 or a combination of other hours. Unfortunately, life does not fit into the 9-5 style of thinking. A regular schedule at a traditional job is not very flexible. I am fascinated by entrepreneurship and small business. I find it to be captivating to learn about how other people think out-of-the box to create their own stream of income. I have recently read many articles about how a variety of individuals from all walks of life earn extra income or hustle if you will. I have read about anything from dog walking to highly unusual side jobs. For instance, there are several recent articles about a lady that makes a handsome living by streaming an internet show of herself eating large meals. I also read about a college student that would sell dirty socks worn by men on EBay. From the mowing of lawns to freelance writing and everything and apparently anything in-between, side money can be made. I am personally making a little extra money by simply reading email and performing short task through both Inbox Dollars and Send Savings websites. I am freelance writing, writing content for other websites, and providing virtual assistant services. I sell a little on EBay and on Etsy. I have most recently joined to make extra money with items that we are no longer using. I am making extra money but near enough. I would like to learn additional ways that I can make side money. How do you make extra money? What is the strangest way that you have heard about people making money?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Walmart Price Catcher Review and Secret

The Walmart Price Checker App allows shoppers to compare their shopping trip with competitors prices. The App allows you to scan the bar code of your purchase receipt. The app will compare the price of each product with that of area stores. If the app does find that your Walmart purchase was more in price, the app will add the difference to your in-app account. Once you are ready, you may visit the Walmart customer service desk to redeem the money that you have earned for a store gift card. I believe that this is a great way to save money. Every little penny eventually adds up to a dollar and so on.
I have been shopping at Walmart and utilizing the policy in place for  saving money with comparison shopping. I would take my local grocery store sales flyer to Walmart. I would show the cashier my flyer and then Walmart would honor the lower price. I love that this was an option when grocery shopping. Especially when they would honor a bogo product. (BOGO= Buy One get one Free!) I will tell you that Walmart has seen a great deal of my grocery shopping budget simply by honoring this price comparison shopping and when available, BOGO shopping.
I packed up two local store flyers and set out to go to Walmart to do the shopping. I took my time and made sure to take advantage of any sells that I could possibly find including those highly sought after BOGO deals. With a large family, those BOGO deals are valuable! I reached the cash register to check out. I had everything separated for the order. I quickly learned:
·         Walmart is NO longer honoring coupons from my local store- I am not pleased even though I lost only .55 on this transaction. (Hey that’s over half a dollar.)
·         The BOGO deals are no longer being honored as well. In fact, forget the local flyers all together.
·         I was informed that Florida is a state that was used as an experiment with the price match with local competitors. I wonder if that is true?
I shortly learned that the Walmart Price Catcher App would clearly locate the savings in price for both my coupon and my BOGO deals. I asked the cashier several times if he was indeed sure that this would be honored on the app. He informed me himself and verified twice with my question that Yes, the Price Catcher would indeed catch the deals. I went ahead and purchased all of my BOGO and price comparison shopping to the tune of $186.00 and some odd change. I definitely had multiple purchases for items that we often use at the BOGO price match. Well, several days later, I received the deposit into my app account for a whole $10.00.
I must say that I am not pleased. I would not have purchased all of the items that I did had I known that the BOGO would not be honored as the cashier stated. I believe that Walmart needs to get their act together, Inform both their guest and their employees of the policies and when they are changed. I spent more than I would have Because even when asked, I was misinformed. I am not too happy with Walmart or the price catcher. I understand that the company made money and that I happily forked it over believing that I would be rewarded for doing so. I just believe that both customers and employees should be informed with updates.
On a lighter note, I do like the Price Catcher App itself. It is nice to effortlessly collect a little discount in the form of a gift card. I would just prefer clarification, Please and Thank-You!
Please Note: This is my own opinion. I was not compensated in any way to write a review or promotion of the Walmart Price Catcher App. This is merely an expression of my own feelings towards employees without knowledge of their position, the store’s misguidance of the savings that they offer and my being upset that I feel that I was cheated out of savings

Speaking of money, I have been earning a little extra income by simply reading and clicking on email. The best part is that it is free to join!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bank With The Disney Vacation Account

Disney has introduced an exceptional plan to save for a Walt Disney themed vacation. Disney guest may open a complimentary account to help save up for a wonderful vacation. The Disney Vacation account is a new program that allows guest to estimate the cost of a desired Disney vacation and save to turn that dream into a reality. The Disney Vacation Account webpage will allow you to;
·        -  choose your vacation destination. In my family’s case, our dream vacation is a Disney Cruise!
·         - Estimate the cost of your vacation
·        -  Set up a Goal Date for the date that you would like to have saved the proper amount of money for your vacation. Approximately two months prior to
·        - Set up a Goal Date for the date that you would like to have saved the proper amount of money for your vacation. Approximately two months prior to your travel date.
·       -  Learn more about booking your vacation
·       -  Open the free account and the bonus is that it is maintenance and fee free
·         - Make a one-time contribution or create an ongoing payment from you debit/credit card.
·        -  Teach you about how to use your Disney vacation savings
·       -  Show you how to order a gift card with your account balance
·        - You can even earn FREE gift cards!
Read more about the Disney Vacation Account by visiting
You may choose the destination that you would like to save up for including Walt Disney World, Disneyland, a Disney Cruise , vacations to Aulani in Hawaii and even go an on adventure with Adventures by Disney.  There are many vacation packages that you may see and plan for with this Disney account!
This is a really fun and inventive way to prepare for your Disney vacation. I find it a fun way for the family to contribute to save for a vacation. You can even watch your vacation goals become a reality with the Huey, Dewy and Lewey graph that tracks your progress!
Yay! We are $15.00 closer to our dream vacation!
The Disney vacation account is a fun way to celebrate your Disney vacation and see the planning in action! Have fun and grow your Disney vacation account today!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Cutting the Grocery Budget

I would like to learn more ways to save on our food budget while maximizing each dollar. I do not want to sacrifice the quality of the food either. I would like to coupon with each grocery store visit. I would love to learn how to successfully coupon.

Not to long ago, I read about an interesting way to save on the grocery bill. Many people believe that shopping at ethnic stores may save money. I took a look in a local store to compare prices will my normal grocery store. I was visiting the store to purchase a small bag of pinto beans. I did find a one pound bag of dry beans for roughly 30 cents cheaper than the regular grocery store.

This evening, I decided to make chicken soup for dinner tomorrow. Half of our family has been sick. I thought between the illness and the first day back to regular work schedules and school, a pot of soup would be a perfect dinner idea. While running errands, we made a stop at a Dollar Tree. I stumbled upon egg noodles and frozen corn. A family favorite is a Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken, corn and noodle soup. My parents have made the soup since I was a child. It is literally the mentioned ingredients. We add onion, garlic, parsley and so forth. It is a hearty chicken based soup. We normally boil a whole chicken, cool and debone. I decided tonight,  based upon feeling really sick and my work schedule,  I will make the soup in the crock pot and with a chicken breast.

I planned to head over to Walmart with my grocery store flyer to pick up several buy one get one free sales at a lower price. However, on the way, I remembered the ethnic store. I made a stop hoping to find a reasonably priced chicken breast.

To my surprise, I found that chicken breast. I managed to pick up the breast for just over $3.00. I also found a large package of the boneless skinless chicken breast and hamburger. All for $13.00 and change. I found a five pound bag of rice for under  $4.00. I ended up getting all of my shopping trip for $30.71. I was truly surprised and shocked. The grocery store would have charged over $15.00 for the larger package of chicken itself.

I would definitely agree that shopping at an ethnic grocery store can save money. We will get at least four meals out of the meat alone. In all, I purchased:

2 packages boneless skinless chicken breast
1 package of hamburger
5 ibs. Rice
1 package yellow rice
1 ib. Dry pinto beans
2 small packages of noodles
3 packages of spices
Fresh Garlic
1 package of cookies for snack
Dried Herbal tea

This was an excellent shopping trip!

We are a 2015 College Family

We are about to become a College family!  I am the only member of my family to have ever attended college. My Mr. is an educated gentleman. This year we become a family of college students. I am a returning student,  Yay me! I just love school! I am proud to announce that Miss.Z, will begin her college career next week!  Yay Miss.Z! In the fall Miss.J. will become the first of our family to go away to college. She is exploring the possibilities of dorm life. We are proud and excited for our young ladies to start the journey of their college careers!

This spring,  I hope to travel to a college of interest with Miss.J. and Miss.S, our 2016 graduate. I would be ecstatic for the girls to attend the same college. It would be incredible for all three of our older girls to go to college together! 

Today, we received the news of Julia's Third college acceptance! We are three and three!  Oh yeah!

I am so happy that Miss.Z, will be starting school next week. She will have the privilege of attending her first semester classes with her mom. I think it will be an interesting experience for the mother and daughter team! Yay ladies!

I hope that our ladies will be influence and encourage our younger girls to work hard in their new and upcoming high school years. Not to mention our little man! I hope that when he reaches the same time in his life that he five college graduates to be role models for him. For now, let's get through the first grade!

Let's do this ladies!

Congratulations to all of the college families out there!