Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Zendure A3 External Battery Charger Review

FTC disclaimer:  I received a complimentary Zendure A3 in order to faciliate a review.  All opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.

It was four years ago today that Hurricane Sandy hit my town.  The superstorm piled a massive amount of snow on my area.   If you think that would be bad enough we lost power.   Plus my mother was on dialysis.  And there was a utility line down in our driveway we needed to make sure it was not a live wire before we attempted to drive under it.

Needless to say we were in a matter of life and death.  If my mother couldn't get to dialysis, she would die.  The only communication we had out of the house was my cell phone.  But we had no power to charge it.  Suffice it to say, I was in an all out panic mode because I knew I had to figure out a solution before my battery died -- or my mother would too.  I was able to, but it was a lot of added stress to an already survival mode situation.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Book Review: RESTORED! God's Salvage Plan for Broken Lives by Dan Schaeffer

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

A while back I  read the book by Dan Schaeffer entitled “Restored! God's Salvage Plan for Broken Lives”.

When I saw it was using the Biblical book of Ruth to make his points, I was a bit skeptical as I had never heard Ruth taught in this way, but I enjoyed his insights and how he wove practical application into this book while providing examples from the Bible.

It is the rare person who hasn't had some major loss or hurt in life, so this is a book for everyone. Each one of us has reason to do as Naomi did and asked to be called Mara. (In the Hebrew this means bitter.) We can take a look at our lives, the broken pieces, the shattered dreams, and the disappointments and say “My life is a mess. Nothing will ever improve.” and eventually become bitter ourselves.

What to Do When You Have Won a Sweepstakes

With so many scams out there, it's difficult for some people to believe they really have won anything.  When I won my first sweepstakes, I had an attorney friend of mine look over the paperwork and I asked questions such as, "How long is the sales presentation I will have to sit through during the trip?"  (Answer, you don't have to sit through one on a real win, you won't be asked to buy anything, and no money will be requested of you to claim the trip.)  One exception is occasionally if a trip is overseas, especially Mexico, there are sometimes airport fees, but they are reasonable, under $100 a person.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Halloween Safety Tips Using Your Smart Phone

FTC disclaimer:  I am part of the U.S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade.  This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links

U.S. Cellular offers a FREE PRINTABLE Parent Child agreement to help you discuss safety of the Internet, cell phone usage, limits, and courtesy with your teen or tween.  You don't even need to be a U.S. Cellular customer to access this, although I have been for 10 years and highly recommend them.

It's almost time for Trick or Treating, and safety is on everyone's mind as little ghosts and goblins -- and even scarier -- little clowns take to the streets in search of treats!  Trick or Treat was so much different when I was growing up.  Mom usually let me go out with a friend and she stayed at home with a bowl of candy. Our usual amount of kids to treat back then was anywhere from 300 to 500.  Last time I gave out candy, there were less than 50 kids show up, and I live on the same street I have my whole life.  So times have certainly changed.

Monday, October 17, 2016

How to Get Free and Cheap Candy at CVS

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

I have been a coupon queen since before it was popular.  The only thing consistent about it over the years is my desire for a good deal.  If I was plunged into the current world of bargain shopping when I was 18, I wouldn't have the first idea where to begin (or even how to use the Internet).  The way I used coupons when I was 18 wouldn't be something I would want to do today because it would take too much time, and I'm all about time saving while saving money!

There is a lot of information in this post, so follow closely and I'll sum it up again at the bottom of the post.

So I try to do as much savings as I can electronically.  I've been recently getting lots of candy deals, and someone on my Facebook page asked for more information as to how I do it.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

How I Learn New Skills for Free

FTC disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

I love to learn.  I always have.  I graduated high school at age 15, and I spent my summers reading books.  I am a non-fiction aficionado, and I have discovered that there are amazing resources out there to learn pretty much anything you want for free (or very inexpensively).  It doesn't come with certification, but there is so much knowledge available you can implement to make your life better, more efficient, saving money, or fun!

About a year ago I decided I wanted to learn more about blogging and what kinds of items sell best on eBay.  Now I'm wanting to learn how to use coupons most effectively at Dollar General and homesteading skills.  Why am I switching?  I feel like I have the knowledge I want to cut back on the time I invest in learning the first two topics.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Saving so you Can Give to Others

FTC disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

When I was a teenager, there was about a year that my mother and I had nothing to eat but potatoes because we were trying to make ends meet.  That is when I decided I was going to do what I could to figure out a way we could afford a bit more variety in our food as well as being able to have the heat set above 58 degrees in winter.

That's when I started reading books like The Complete Tightwad.  Although this book has advice from 20+ years ago, much of it is still quite useful, and one I would recommend to be in any penny pincher's library.  I still read my copy from time to time, usually getting it out every two years or so for a refresher course to see if I'm still doing everything I can -- or even if I can implement something new.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Book Review: The Recovering Spender

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review.  This post contains affiliate links.

I was excited when I had the chance to review The Recovering Spender:  How to Live a Happy, Fulfilled, Debt-Free Life by Lauren Greutman.  As is common in today's world, another financial book by a financial blogger.  I find nothing wrong with that.  I am a financial blogger myself, but I can't read every blog, and I love hearing others' stories of how they got into -- and out of -- debt.

The one thing I found very different about Greutman's story is she was a shopaholic.  I often think of people who get in trouble financially as ones that lose a job, incur a large amount of medical bills, or something similar, it was her shopping that got her family into trouble.

There were different times reading this book, I thought, "That's a terrible idea" -- such as the impulse buy of a house in another state!  Honestly, that's something I would LOVE to do because I admit I'm unhappy where I live now, but I know it's not financially feasible for us to move for a while.  The Greutman family just up and bought a house a few states away.  I feel this was even a bigger problem to their finances than her shopaholic tendencies.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Should You Keep The News of a Sweepstakes or Contest Win Quiet?

I have been entering sweepstakes since 1998. My first win was a trip to Arizona with $2,000 cash.  I didn't think it was real because I figured that companies would give away small prizes like keychains and t-shirts, but I doubted if they really gave away anything that was actually valuable.

I didn't have a lot of choice in keeping that quiet. The company contacted my local paper, and the paper did an interview about me and the sweepstakes trip.  Since then I have been in the newspaper a few times for wins -- once for a win for a local school and when I won a contest with the story about how my dad's class ring was found after a devastating flood.  That was published at the anniversary of the flood, and was actually a heart-warming story of that tragedy.