Category Archives: The Daily Grind

Win $500 in the 2009 Credit Card Chaser Love/Hate Credit Cards Contest

love-hateWould you like to win a $500 American Express gift card just in time for some last minute Christmas shopping?

Joel, over at Credit Card Chasers, is have a ,“Win $500 in the 2009 Credit Card Chaser Love/Hate Credit Cards Contest”

Head on over there to submit your Love/Hate story. In the meantime, I will tell you my Love or Hate Story.

*FYI: I opened this card before my debt free journey started – aka, irresponsible

I HATE my Hawaiian Platinum Visa Card from Bank of America. At that time, I opened it up as an incentive for my Hawaiian trip (this is not the current trip we are saving for, but a past trip we took for a friend’s wedding). When you open this card, you recieve 10,000 points upon opening the card. “Cool” I thought. “That is a one way trip to Hawaii right there.”

Research, people! You have to spend a hell of a lot of money to rack up those points. And if your not like J. Money from Budgets Are Sexy, responsibly using the card for everything and PIFing the card each month, your not going to get those points anytime fast. Not only that, you have to use it on their airline. Yes, JACKED UP FLIGHT PRICES! Well, I hear now that you can use your points on other airlines, but the points lose value that way.

Lets just say, that my husband and I easily found cheaper fares without the silly points on our trip to Hawaii.

And now… Oh, I’m paying for it literally. 11.24% with an $1,800 balance and a $50 annual fee! Doesn’t seem too bad, right? Well, I used Bankrate’s Credit Card Calculator to find it will take 70 months to Pay the stupid thing in full. 70 months!

And last, but not least thing I hate about the card – Bank of America’s customer service is the worst! The card, the bank… they are a curse in my fight for becoming debt free.

So, now that I ranted. What are you waiting for? Try to win some holiday cash by entering Credit Card Chaser’s $500 Love/Hate Contest!

Get $25 Restaurant Gift Certificates for $10

restaurant

I just learned about this site through the blog-o-sphere and thought it was a great one to share with you.

Click on the Restaurant.com link to get your $25 restaurant gift certificates for only $10! I was surprised to find that the certificate can be used at many local restaurants. Whether you need a gift certificate or you plan on eating out during the holidays – do it the Frugal Way and get the best value for your dollar!

Another great site for your holiday shopping needs, RetailMeNot.com and Ebates (Right now, Ebates has doubled a bunch of their cash back percentages).

 

Tales of a Travelling Mum

I’ve had the wonderful pleasure of following Alice Griffin on her travels through her blog. Now she has written a book that is a great addition to her blog and am happy to read & review such a fun book.

Alice Griffin (http://www.alicegriffin.co.uk/index.html) is a delightful writer! I’ve had the pleasure of following Alice & her family in their travels through her blog Fanciful Alice (http://fancifulalice.blogspot.com/). This book is a great addition to her blog!

 

I love how Alice found love with a man who shares her independent spirit for travel and that they both took forth to travel as a family; they didn’t let the hodge podge of daily life keep them down.

When she notes that children do let you see the world with fresh eyes – it’s so true – I can relate as a mother. But, I can also relate to the qualms of being a mother – changing a diaper in an inconvenient spot, the high pitched screams in the face of company, and the need to keep little ones busy. It was a great laugh to revisit these issues in Alice’s book. So no matter whether you are in your home country or out and about traveling you will face the same situations as a mother of a young child. It’s just a matter of choice where you will be doing them. And all these issues lead to some great tips about travelling with baby through out the book.

What I love most about this book – Alice has a beautiful way with words – very descriptive: landscapes, wine, olives, purest blue skies, bliss, front of her apron cradling eggs. It is so descriptive that you almost feel like you are living within its pages. Especially when the family visits Almendra – oh how I want to visit this magical place. Well, without giving too much away…

This is a wonderful book! Especially if you want to be wisked away to beautiful places. A definite must read!

Menu Plan Monday

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I apologize for not wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving but unfortunately we lost my brother-in-law the day before. Even though his battle with emphysema was near it’s end, it never does make it any easier to lose a loved one.

Our Thanksgiving was full of food! I even brought my own plastic containers for left overs (lol – bad, huh?). And then all weekend long I ate those left overs and pumpkin pie with Cool Whip. I feel like I gained a good 50 pounds. If anyone has any room left in their appetite for food and the week ahead, I present this week’s menu plan:

1. Steak, Mashed Potato, and Veggies 2. Turkey Enchilada Casserole and Salad 3. Broccoli Alfredo, salad, and breadsticks 4. Salmon, white rice, and baked sweet potatos with maple butter 5. Tuna Noodle Casserole and green salad 6. Turkey Burgers and fries

For more great ideas, visit Orgjunkie’s Menu Plan Monday.

5 Personal Finance Christmas Gifts

Looking for a gift for the personal finance enthusiast? Here are 5 great personal finance gifts for the holidays:


  1. You Need A Budget Pro (YNAB) – Personal Finance Software Program cuts to the chase with your finances. The software focuses you on the foundation of your finances: the Budget. Experience has shown that when your budget is intact, and functioning correctly, everything else takes care of itself (the bills are paid on time, retirement contributions are made, and unnecessary debt is eliminated). Where other software packages tend to be the products of years of feature creep, YNAB Pro offers you exactly what you need: a simple, straightforward system to manage your money. NOTE: Order YNAB Pro now and receive a FREE digital upgrade to YNAB 3 when it arrives later this year (2009)!

  2. How about a Kindle Wireless with a subscription to Forbes magazine. Amazon Kindle — a convenient, portable reading device with the ability to wirelessly download books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers.

  3. Boiler Room or Wall Street are two great movies to shelve in any financial recipient’s collection. Other great choices are a topseller personal finance book or an audio book.

  4. A Sport Fanatic’s USB Flash Drive – It’s a great way to carry around that budget and other important documents a finance person loves to work on at a whim’s moment. *Picture is not persuaded by writer’s favorite college football team. – Ya, right!

  5. The Texas Instruments BA II Plus Professional Financial Calculator features all the great features of its predecessor while packing in even more time-saving functions to make short work of complex equations. It’s an ideal choice for entry level and advanced finance, accounting, economics, investment, statistics, and other business classes. It’s also a great choice to bring to the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam. Its rugged metal exterior, firm-touch keypad and anti-slip rubber feet make it ideal for anyone in accounting, economics, investing, statistics, and related businesses. It also comes with a black protective case.

Personal finance aficionado’s, please comment to add to this list if there is something else you’d really enjoy in your stocking. 😉

This Week in Review

My Fab Five (plus one extra) this week:

The Sacrifice of Eliminating Debt by Deliveraway Debt. This is a great article. Do you realize the type of lifestyle you need to maintain in order to eliminate debt? And are you ready to make those sacrifices?

Good Debt is for Dumb People by Ninja at Punch Debt in the Face. The Student Loans…The mortgages… perhaps considered “good” debt, but wouldn’t you have done it differently if you could go back?

$5 a day? from Small Steps 4 Big Change. Would you miss $2 a day or even $5 a day? What if you automatically deferred this money into paying down your credit card bill. SS4BC has the numbers worked out. I think it’s a fabulous idea!

You liked my idea? Here is a visual… by Musings of a Midlife Mom. I can totally smell the sugar cookies with the virtuals from this article. A simple, frugal, and delicious Christmas gift idea!

We’re free of consumer debt by Clever Dude. This totally sparks my interest because they kicked off $113,000 of debt in 3 years. Glad I found this through Budgets Are Sexy. Can’t wait to read up on how they did it (cuz the fraction of debt is close to matching theirs).

Last minute addition. 5 Challenges of the Great Exodus by My Money Chat. Thinking of leaving your workplace for the life of self employment? Then check out this post to understand the good, the bad, and how to deal with the issues when you chose to stand on your own two feet.

Enjoy the read!

Store Refund Policies

Receipts by dixieroadrash via Flickr

Buyer beware when purchasing gifts. Be sure to inquire about the store refund policies when purchasing Christmas gifts to avoid disappointment this holiday season.

Stores are not required by law to give a refund or a credit note, even if the consumer provides a receipt. Many Stores are making additional changes this year, too.

  • Consumers buying products online may not be able to return them to the store for exchange or a refund.
  • Some store are shortening the time limit allowed to bring back merchandise. (aka – less than 90 days)
  • Software, DVDs, and electronics may not be returnable if taken out of the original packaging.

 

Refund policies vary from store to store. Although many stores provide a money back guarantee if customers are not satisfied with their purchase, some retail outlets have no refund policy. This means that once a sale is made, consumers will not be able to return the merchandise. In some cases however, stores may offer an exchange or credit note. Consumers should know what their options are at the time of purchase.

Consumers must also remember to keep all sales receipts. Without the bill of sale, a store may accept the return of the merchandise, but may not issue a refund or credit note for the full amount of the purchase. This is especially true if the item is on sale when it is returned. Even though consumers may have paid full price for the merchandise, they may only be entitled to the discount price if they do not have a receipt.

And don’t forget to ask for a gift reciept! Oh ya, make it a Debt Free Christmas this year! pleeaaasssseeee! (I asked nicely).

(Don’t you feel like a manual is needed to make purchases?)

$25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Thank you for sharing all your wonderful thoughts about the holidays. Congratulations to Jackie!

 

Christmas Gift

You didn’t think I was going to talk about Make Money Blogging with out thanking my readers, did you?

Next Week – Friday, November 27 – I’ll be giving away a $25.00 gift card from Amazon.com (this way you’ll have it before Cyber Monday). This contest has ended.

 

What do I have to do to win the giftcard?

 

To be entered to win the $25 Amazon.com Gift Card, you need to follow this 1 step…

  1. Leave a comment below describing your favorite thing about the holidays – is there a great family tradition, something you love to eat, or naming your favorite sweets.

The entries close at midnight (PST) on Turkey Day -Thursday, 26th November and the winner will be contacted the next day via email.

  • I will randomly select a winner using random.org.
  • The winner will be announced Friday, November 27th.

 

Although, not required to be entered, I hope that you’ll retweet or make mention of this post to spread the word around.  Happy entering!

Can you enter if you are located outside of the US? Sure!

You have to order from Amazon.com (not Amazon.uk, Amazon.ca, etc…), but there are shipping facilities around the globe – so you may not need to pay for long distance shipping (as was told by rep). Plus she informed me that more merchandise is available on the Amazon.com site. So, it sounds like you can pretty much enter this drawing from where ever you are located. *Mars excluded. 🙂

 

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