Friday, December 17, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I found it very interesting, as I am the one that does that majority of my family's taxes. I do take all of my paperwork to our wonderful tax preparer for him to input it all and make sure that I have done my homework correctly, so around this time of year, while everybody is fa-la-la-ing and ho-ho-ho-ing, I am also getting my receipts in order, tallying up columns, and crunching numbers. I don't know if I'd ever want to work for a firm that does taxes and audits again, but I do enjoy the work. It keeps my mind sharp and alert...errr...if that's even a possibility seeing that I am a parent of teens!! LOL
The ending of the article states,
"As you can probably imagine, the government has tinkered with the tax rules quite a bit more than this article describes. To see what other potentially beneficial changes have been made, check out a list called "Tax Changes for Individuals" at the IRS website. Who knows what other sorts of breaks you might unearth?"
**don't forget, there is still time to enter my EcoSMART giveaway!!!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Click the link to read more about this:
I did this for my kids a few years back, and it is a totally legitimate offer!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
From practicing good gas conservation habits to learning to love leftovers, this practical guide helps you pinch pennies to live large!"
--Blog about this little giveaway on your blog (3 entries)
I Hope you all are having a terrific Thursday!
I am also going to hold a little giveaway for all of you faithful My Money Mission readers at this blog. So, stay tuned! I hope to have that up and running by tomorrow!
Have a super day everyone!
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
My Money Mission Online. This one if for a pack of notecards (approx. value up to $21.00) of your choice from Sincerely Yours by Tracy. Be sure and hop on over and check it out!!
Hope you are all having a terrific October so far. I am way behind in posting my savings from last month; I hope to calculate it today and post it on this blog very soon!
How are all of you doing in your savings department?
Thursday, October 7, 2010
With this giveaway you could win a brilliant lenses cleaner/protector and micro-fiber cloth w/carrying bag included. As stated on the package, this cleaner is good for all types of lenses and it adds scratch resistance to them. That is what I need...definitely!
So, hop on over there get your giveaway entry in. The contest closes on Oct. 17 at 11:59pm CT.
Hope you all are enjoying some lovely fall weather at your little corner of the world! :)
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Hop on over there and check it out!!
- Put chops in slow cooker
- Combine remaining ingredients. Pour over chops.
- Cover. Cook on High 3-4 hours, or Low 8-10 hours.
- Mix together baking mix, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon in greased slow cooker.
- Stir in peaches and peach juice or water
- Cook on Low for at least 5 hours. (If you like a drier cobbler, remove lid for last 15-30 minutes of cooking.)
- Serve with frozen yogurt or ice cream or just hide it and eat it all yourself (that last suggestion was mine! HAHAHAHA!! :)
This giveaway runs through Sept. 17 at 11:59 CT.
Hope you are all having a Fantastic Friday!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
My little Ms. Piggy Bank keeps getting thinner and thinner. So, I have decided that she needs to be fattened up. I already have some money in our savings account, but I tend to view that as "untouchable unless absolute necessary." The type of savings that I am trying to accumulate is what I am going to view as "liquid savings.
Liquid savings is important for every family to have. This is money you have stashed away, but can still access in case you need it. There are a number of ways for you to build liquid savings for your family but I just can't seem to "find" money in our budget to allocate to Ms. Piggy. So, I going to do these 2 steps during the month of September and report back, on October 1, what I have "fed" the pig:
I found these ideas over at www.ehow.com:
- During a recession, use cash to pay for items and then save your change. Every time you make a purchase use a paper bill. At the end of the day, put all the coins you've collected into a piggy bank. At the end of each month count, roll and deposit the change into your savings account. You maybe surprised just how much money you can save this way.
- If you still can't find money to put into a savings account look at your expenses and figure out ways to save money on them...then put the money you saved into a savings account. This is a good practice to follow anytime, but especially when you're trying to survive a recession. For example, you have to buy groceries. Why not clip a few coupon (from online and in your newspaper), use a club card, buy what's on sale and switch to the less expensive store brand. At the bottom of your receipt it will most likely list your savings. Write that amount into your check book as a secondary grocery bill, then when you get home transfer the money you saved into a savings account.
**A.Marie**"It can be difficult to give up things that we might consider "vices." For you, that might be the daily latte. For me, it's always been comic books. (Sad, but true.) These are constant money drains, but they also bring joy to our lives. Instead of giving these things up, I encourage folks to find ways to reduce them, or to save on them.
But to really save money, look for ways to reduce recurring monthly expenses. These are constant drags to your budget, and if you can reduce them, it's a great way to improve your cash flow. " Excerpt from, "Your Money: The Missing Manual," by J.D. Roth
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Hop on over to my other blog at My Money Mission Online and get your entry in! AND, if you blog about this giveaway at your blog, and leave me a comment that you did so, you get another entry!
Hope all of you are having a wonderfully blessed Sunday!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Everybody's gotta pinch their pennies at some point in their lives. Here's a collection of things to try, if you haven't already, to try and make the most out of the little that you got.
- Pack simple lunches like sandwiches and buying bulk snack items at Costco -- observe your grocery bills to see what foods or other items (i.e. toilet paper, toothpaste) you buy a lot of and save big while at the same time reducing trips to the grocery, and thereby saving some gas money as well!
- Try cheaper, healthier alternative snack items at stores like Trader Joe's.
- Make coffee at home just the way you like it, and take it to the office or school in a thermos, rather than spending $5 for a cup at Starbucks.
- When possible, try walking or biking and get some exercise, or take the bus or train and get to know your area better, and let your precious gas tank relax for a little bit, as well as your wallet!
- Embrace bargain clothes shopping destinations such as Nordstrom Rack, Ross, or simply make it a point to check out the sale area of a store first before falling in love with the higher priced items located in the front of the store.
- Even better yet, hit some thrift stores! There are some great deals to be made, if only you check them out. A lot of thrift stores have $1 Sundays! You just have to take the time to do a little research, a little patience to drive a bit out of your way, and some determination to go through unorganized piles to find what you’re looking for.
- Try to strategize your shopping. For example, holiday items go on sale immediately after Christmas is over – buy cards, decorations, perhaps even some generic gift items for next year!
- For little trinkets for your house, apartment, room, and great deals on a variety of other items, shop at low-priced stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, IKEA.
- Check out Craigslist for free giveaway items (often times, large pieces of furniture that simply needs to be picked up, but with no other charge or fee) or cheap deals.
- Don’t be skeptical of yard sales – be adventurous! You might find some hidden gems!
- If you’re making a rather major purchase, particularly electronic items, be sure to do your research! Utilize comparison shopping sites such as NexTag.com, Smarter.com, PriceGrabber.com, CNET.com, NetMarket.com, edeals.com to get a list of the best deals out there. Don’t settle for the price tags you see in Best Buy or similar major retailers.
- When it comes to phones, wait for new models to come out, and by that time, the one you want will probably go down in price.
- Always check for group discounts, promotions, etc. at theme parks or for large events
- Borrow books and movies from and read the paper and magazines at the library
- Hang out at bookstores to read
- Watch matinee showings
- Look out for free events in local newspaper
- Sneak a little snack and some water into the movies, to at least tide you over, and keep you from blowing $8 on popcorn and soda, also known as "liquid candy."
- Invite friends over for game night or hit the beach and split cost of gas vs. eating out and watching a movie, etc.
- Search for coupon websites, like eDeals.com
- Make a day of it, and hit the outlets! You can even benefit from outlet prices online! Check out Overstock.com
- Conserve energy (fan vs. A/C)
- Always ask if there is a student discount (i.e. movie tickets, sometimes electronic devices such as laptops)
- Make long distance calls for free with the computer application, Skype
- Apply for scholarships on FastWeb.com
- Shop online for discount textbooks at places like half.com
- Try to sign up for credit cards that offer rewards such as an airline mileage program (i.e. United Airlines and Chase Cards)
- Don’t spend money on a gym membership! Go running and exercise with a buddy.
- Ask yourself "Do I need it? Will I really use it? How long before I get sick of it? Can I find it cheaper? Can I make it myself?"
- If you're on the fence about buying an item, hold off. If you really want it, you won’t mind waiting.
- Remember that you are consumer and you have the power. Do not feel like you have to buy an item at a certain place for certain price. Take control!
- Be crafty, independent, scrappy, resourceful! It builds character, creativity, shows you can be resourceful with strong will and a good head on your shoulders.
- Gain an DIY attitude with clothes! Fade your shirts, rip your jeans, add buttons, decorate your Vans, etc. Learn to knit scarves, gloves, etc.
- Be grateful for what you have, realize how lucky you are, and just maybe try being satisfied with how good your life is.
- You may miss fine dining, fine wining, and fine clothes.
Things You'll Need
- How to Become Rich Someday
- How to Budget Your Money
- How to Save Money
- How to Fill Out a Money Order
- How to Earn Money (For Kids)
Sources and Citations
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make the Most of Your Money. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.
I LOVED THIS ARTICLE....I HOPE YOU FIND IT AS INTERESTING AS I DID!! :)
Sunday, August 8, 2010
The Almost Millionaire.com top financial tips for 2010
1.) Save as much of your income as you UNCOMFORTABLY can!
2.) Place a bet on US stocks.
3.) Study IRS tax laws!
4.) Work Harder!
5.) Strive to become debt free!
6.) Be Generous and Be Thankful!
7.)“Have fun, love people, and drink great coffee!”
What is your favorite tip??!! Share!!! :)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Things have been a bit hectic around here lately: Hubby's younger brother passed away from brain cancer Friday morning, and ever since then, my days have been a blur.....a whirlwind.....unstructured-unplanned-go-with-the-flow moments that seem to just go on and on and on. Today (Monday) is his funeral, and while it is sad to have to lay him to rest at such a young age, God has a plan...a purpose for everything that He does....and He does not make mistakes.
He leaves behind a wonderful wife and 7 amazing children who range in ages from 17 yrs. down to 2 yrs. The little one likes to run up to me and say, "Daddy's Dead! But, he's in Heaven!" My sister-in-law had to laugh when she heard that. She said, "maybe I shouldn't have used the word 'dead' when explaining things to him!" :)
Anyway, please forgive my lack of posting and I hope to return to the blogging world soon.
May you all have a Blessed day!
**This is the link to my brother-in-law's site on CaringBridge if anyone of you would like to read it: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/brianricketts/journal?jid=5773154
Monday, July 5, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Well, maybe not THAT horrible, but it was traumatic, that's for sure!
For more on this, click on for love of squirrels. It explains the whole, sad story.....UGH!!
Anybody else out there who is an animal lover? Ever get yourself into situations like this?? Share!! Please!!
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
April 15th is fast approaching...do you have your taxes done yet? Whether you have a tax preparer do your returns, or you do them yourself, this tax article, "How to Not Get Audited by the IRS," is priceless. Read about the not-so-smart ways to attract an audit or other unwanted scrutiny.
There are also 7 new tax laws to know about this year as well as old tax laws with new amounts adjusted for inflation. A little preparation now can potentially save you time and money in the future! I can definitely use more of both!!
Friday, March 26, 2010
"I am somewhat of a pro in the re-fi area. If there was a way to save money, I found it. I also found ways to get settlement costs down and often negotiated with banks by using whatever hardship was going on in the country at the time. NOW is a good time to negotiate with banks.
My latest re-fi was in April 2009. Up until then, I typically re-fi every 4 to 5 years or so depending on the rates. We bought in 1994. My objective is to keep my payment down to a manageable level so that if only one of us has income we can pay the mortgage. I believe this last re-fi will be our last because it was a success to meet our objectives. I will explain.
We started out 1994 with the high interest rates at the time with 8%/and 3 points at $1200/mo divided into two payments of $600 every two weeks for 15 year mortgage. It was great. Three years into it, I ended up having to go p/t at work - from $50,000/yr down to $20,000/yr. We still had 11 1/2 yrs left on mtg - give or take six months because of bi-weekly payments.
So we re-fi'd for 30 years (it didn't go over big with hubby after getting used to the idea that 15 years the house would have been paid off). We nixed the bi-weekly payments because of our/my drastic income changes. The 30 year mtg was 6.50%/2 pts (not great but better than 8%) and payment was down to $975/per month (one payment, a good savings) but the bank wanted to escrow our insurances and taxes.
I hate when I have had to do that because in the past Bank of America pays nothing on time, if they remember to pay them at all. It is good in that you don't have to think about it - it is paid each month. Every year BOA would say there wasn't enough escrowed and balloon us somewhere around $2000 usually at Christmas time. I was sick of that. But I kept that mtg until the rates came down last April.
I re-fi'd again and got 4.25% (a great rate with NO points)for 30 years and took $30,000 cash out of equity so they had to give us the cash at settlement. We are still under what we originally paid for the house but prices have gone up considerably here - $100,000 houses now run between $350,000-$400,000. So our equity is humongous - $30,000 cash out was not a hardship.
Check out if you have enough equity to get some cash out because the rates are so good now it is almost like free money to do whatever you want - home repairs, vacation, bonds, tuition, etc.
Settlement is just as if you are buying a house again....which you are!!! -- you are re-buying your house at a better (hopefully) interest rate at a better price (hopefully less than or equal to what you paid for it).
Of course, the objective is to get your payment and interest rate down. Nowadays, you have to think so far ahead as to whether you can manage a mortgage if only one had income. I was told the rule of thumb is two week's pay = to one mortgage payment. But I don't know anyone who can manage that when they have high mortgage payments in the first place. Re-fi should make that easier - so I am told the rule of thumb for re-fi should be 60 work hours = to one mortgage payment. (They must be talking about a CEO salary!!! LOL)
If you cannot save at least $100 a month and bring your interest down at least one whole point, a lot of banks won't touch you. And the rates are negotiable.
I negotiated our 4.25% down from 4.75% by telling them the results of other banks/companies I had contacted. They wanted names, numbers and contact numbers - which I was glad to give them - anything to get the rate I wanted. So shopping around does pay off.
I am proud to say we are solvent again. Hubby is 62 but can't retire until 66. I am on disability and only work one day a month now at the hospital. I have to keep my income down because of SS.
The $30,000 cash out at 4.25% was a good move because we have liquid assets again. We stretched to a 30 year mtg. and now our payment equals what I get on Social Security. So if hubby retires or dies or has an illness that forces him to go on disability, we can still pay the mortgage. Which is why we re-fi'd.
We are also not escrowing taxes and insurances and if you are comfortable paying your own, on a re-fi, you do not HAVE to do it. We have been paying our own for the last two re-fi's and it has helped us tremendously.
Check your closing cost sheet -- there are some items you can negotiate on it. If you have a friend who is in real estate - they can be a great benefit to you giving advice on it.
Good luck with the re-fi.....The paperwork submission process, appraisals, and documentations are the worst part. And remember this process is only a headache until the final papers are signed." LOL
**Thank you, Anne, for taking the time to respond to my re-fi post! I really appreciate it!**
If any of you have re-fi experiences that you would like to have guest-posted on this blog, feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email! I'd love to hear from you! :)
**UPDATE: I was just over at Anne's blog, and she really needs some positive words sent her way. She has been a victim of identity theft and if that has ever happened to you, I am sure you can understand what she is going through!!**
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
We are in the processing of refinancing our mortgage and *Whew*! What a job this is!! I had no idea that refinancing a mortgage is almost as time-consuming as taking out the original mortgage.Our current interest rate is 5.625% and I am wanting to lower that to 4.something %. I found some awesome information at:
- Refinancing Right.com (allows you to see rates based on your state or zip code)
- Walletpop.com which offers simple-tips-for-when-to-refinance-your-mortgage-in-2010 and,
- Guide to lenders.com which lists top ten refinancing tips
It is also important to take into consideration that the actual cost of any refinance would end up chipping away at any savings you may get from the lowered rate. You'll need at least a 1 percent difference in rate to truly come out ahead. I had always thought that you needed at least a 2 percent difference, so this was eye-opening to me to read this!Any thoughts, words of wisdom on this subject? Are any of you thinking about doing a re-fi yourself?
Monday, February 22, 2010
Okay, so I had the button and the proper coding but the button was too small. So, I started over from scratch and this time, the button was the right size but the coding was wrong.
SOOOO, I am now on Round Three. I am going to try this again. Eventually, my beautiful button will be the right size AND the coding will be right. Don't give up on me! I'll get it! HA!
If you have time and want to meet some new bloggers, check out my other blog at my money mission online. and click on the button, on the left hand side of the blog, that says "BC Bloggers." I am participating in it and I have met some really awesome bloggers! :)
Friday, January 29, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
My new address is: www.my-money-mission.com. All of the changes made should take effect in about 24 hours, but until then, some of my blog can't be viewed (like adgitize ads). Thanks for your patience!! :)
Thursday, January 7, 2010
"I remember reading that once you have an emergency fund in place, things are no longer "emergencies", they're simply inconveniences."
I have thought alot about that phrase ever since I read it.
Then today, I read this blog post of her's, and asked for her permission to put it on this blog. It makes alot of sense and really explains the above comment. Read it and let me know your thoughts on the subject!
Here is her blog post exactly as she wrote it:
"The title of Dave Ramsey's program is "Financial Peace University." You essentially go to class for 13 weeks (1 night each week) and learn how to manage your finances.
The name never really meant a whole lot to me.
Yesterday, if you didn't already read, Michael was stranded on the side of the road because our car would not go. It would start, but it would not accelerate. We called our buddy Phil who in my book, is a genius when it comes to cars. He diagnosed it as a fuel pump almost immediately. There was an AAMCO right around the corner so he towed it (he drives a Hummer) there for us to have them do a diagnostic just to be safe. Sure enough, it was the fuel pump. AAMCO wanted to charge us almost $500 for the part. Next door was an Auto Zone so Phil and Michael walked over and saw that the fuel pump is actually half that. They asked AAMCO if they could buy the part from Auto Zone since it's half the price and still pay them to install it. AAMCO said no.
So, Michael and Phil paid AAMCO for the diagnostic, bought the part from Auto Zone, then they towed the car back to Phil's house where he replaced the fuel pump for us. We gave him $150 to thank him. All in all, we spent around $500 for parts, labor (Phil), and the diagnostic. (We also bought them dinner and we're buying their IMAX theater tickets this weekend).
It's almost embarrasing to think about how I would have reacted to this situation if it had happened 2 years ago. I would have thought, "Where are we going to get $500?" or "I guess put it on the card and we'll pay it off next month." or "Ugh, we don't have $500." Not only that, but I know 2 years ago I would not have been able to give Phil, our friend who helped us, any money...and especially not cash on the spot. I would have wanted to, but probably would have been so worried about how much it was already costing us, that I would have given him very little if any.
Yes, I have to admit, I probably would have freaked out over an unexpected $500 expense.
And now, my reaction is simply a shrug of the shoulders. It was slightly inconvenient initially but the end result was that we spent the day with some good friends. Repairing the car and dropping $500 was simply a side note. We are able to cash flow this as if we were out buying a soda from a vending machine. And even if we weren't able to cash flow it, we have an emergency fund!
To me, this is what Dave had in mind when he created his program. He wanted people to feel what I'm feeling right now. A sense of relief, serenity, and peace that we have the means to tackle anything that arises so there's no need to worry about it today or even tomorrow. He always says that your income is your best tool and when you're not sending it all out in debt payments and you have an emergency fund, very few emergencies actually arise and all you face are small inconveniences.
That Dave, he's one smart cookie."
Comments anyone?? You know I welcome them!! :)
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
FREE Book Download: Start Over, Finish Rich!
Check out this FREE book download offer–perfect to help us start out 2010!
Just go here to download David Bach’s new book: Start Over, Finish Rich: 10 Steps to Get You Back on Track in 2010!
The website states that this is only available thru yesterday, but I was able to download it this morning (6:15 am), so hopefully, you'll be able to get in on this FREE copy!
**Thanks, hip 2 save**