Friday, August 12, 2016

Don't Be Average -- Reduce Your Debt

I read last night the average American household has over $130,000 in debt, $48,000 of that in student loans, and $15,000 owed to credit card companies.

I have to wonder when this became acceptable.  I got my college degree when it was less expensive to do so, and I graduated "only" owing $16,000.  I paid that off slowly but surely, and it was a very exciting day when I called my student loan company and asked about not receiving my last bill.  I owed three dollars and some change, and I was looking forward to making that final payment.  (This was in the days before online banking.)  I was told that it wasn't worth it to them to even send a bill for that amount, and it was marked paid in full.  I can still remember where I was sitting when I was on the phone, where the Christmas tree was located in the room (we tend to have it in different spots), and even which phone I was on (a landline.)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

My Easily Repeatable CVS deal August 11, 2016

FTC disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links.

Having a prescription to pick up, I made my way into CVS today.  I had nothing planned, but I did well anyway, and you can do even better than me.

What I bought:

2 packages of Bounty extra large Select A Size
2 packages Charmin 12 count
1 Hershey's Candy Bar
1 Box Lucky Charms
1 Colgate Max Fresh toothpaste
1 Black Forrest Organic Gummy Bears

Monday, August 8, 2016

How to win #AmazonGiveaway Sweepstakes

In 2015, Amazon started a service called "Amazon Giveaways" In it, an author or company or blogger can give away an item that Amazon sells. Amazon fulfills everything that needs done from picking the winner to shipping the prize.  The sponsor just pays for the item!

While this can be a way for people to increase their twitter following, the majority of giveaways happen to advertise the product.  The author of a self published or small press published book may use this to promote their work.  I've seen a few companies turn to Amazon because it's just easier for them to have Amazon do all the work than themselves.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Book Review: Spiritual Sobriety by Elizabeth Esther

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  I received a copy of this book for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.

When I was offered the opportunity to review Spiritual Sobriety:  Stumbling Bak to Faith When Good Religion Goes Bad by Elizabeth Esther, I was excited.  I reviewed her book Girl at the Edge of the World when it was released, and I was looking forward to reading her second book.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Christmas Without Debt -- August Challenge

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Christmas always seems to be a time when people struggle.  Either there isn't enough time or money -- or both -- to go around.  This series is an attempt to get control over that so that when Christmas (or the holidays if you celebrate something else) arrives you will be able to look at it, and say, "I'm ready,"  then you can sit back and enjoy all the festivities without the stress of last minute preparations.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Practicing Common Cell Phone Courtesy

This is a sponsored post from U.S. Cellular.  All opinions are my own.

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. 

Back in 2002 Jacqueline Whitmore declared for July to be Cell Phone Courtesy month.  Can you believe that's been 14 years ago we have been dealing with "mobile manners"!  There are many ways that you can be courteous to others with your cell phone.  Answering texts and phone calls in a reasonable amount of time is one of the best ways to be polite to others.  Another is not sending group texts.  I have somehow gotten in group texts of people I don't even know and having to receive so many texts where someone is ranting about their ex-husband, it's not fun!

I am a firm believer in people should interact with others and not a screen.  My husband and I want to foster / adopt and we have starting making some house rules, as it's easier to enforce rules with children if they are already in place.  One of our rules is that people are more important than electronics.

Monday, July 11, 2016

5 of My Favorite Things Birthday Edition

FTC disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links.

It's my birthday month, and I'm starting to have freebies come in from all over the Internet.  To celebrate, I wanted to give one of my readers a gift of one of my favorite things -- an Amazon gift card!  There's so many wonderful things on Amazon.  A few of my favorite things lately are:

Kindle Unlimited.  I call this "The Netflix for Books".  Seriously, what can be more fun than to download a new book every time you finish one for one monthly price?  Only certain ones are available on this service, but I'm finding no lack of stuff to read!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

How to win a Blog Giveaway

If you have been reading blogs for any amount of time, I'm sure you have come upon what is called a blog giveaway.  These are individuals hosting a giveaway and because it's on a smaller platform than a national sweepstakes, often your chances are better of winning.  How do you increase your chances even more?

First, as with any giveaway or sweepstakes, read the rules.  Make sure you are eligible.  Sometimes these are open worldwide, sometimes only to a certain country (usually the USA, Canada, or Australia.)  I even have seen one where the marketing agency the blogger is working with was
willing to accept winners from Canada, but the service they were giving the code away for was not able to be used in Canada.  That would be disappointing if you spent time entering that only to find out you couldn't use it.  Otherwise bookmark their blog.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

8 Tips for Listing Your Items on eBay

FTC disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links.

I've been an eBay member since 1998 and have been selling most of that time.  That's a long time, and I'd like to share a few basic tips for anyone who would like to sell a few things.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Book Review: The Life We Never Expected - Parenting Children with Special Needs

FTC disclaimer:  This post does contain affiliate links.

In The Life We Never Expected, Andrew and Rachel Wilson write the book they wish they could have read at the beginning of their journey of raising two children with special needs.  Their son and daughter both have severe autism, and this book is both hope to the special needs parent as well as the story of how they have learned to cope, find joy, and keep their faith through this unexpected part of their life.

I don't have children, but am related to both an adult and child with autism so this was an interesting book for me to read.  I really enjoyed the layout of the book.  There were five sections, which they called "cycles".  Within each cycle, there were five sections relating to thing that special needs parents can relate to -- weeping, waiting, worshiping, witnessing, "and breathe".