Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Gift Cards Galore
During the month of February, I switched to a bank that had a rewards program for debit card users. Since we are striving to get out of debt, we are not using credit cards anymore! Chase offers a "Leisure Rewards" debit card which gives you points that you can redeem for gift cards or other cool stuff. I have used the points that I've earned to purchase $75 in Applebee's gift cards. They have lots of other restaurants too, but since I live in a small town that doesn't have a lot of restaurants, Applebee's gift cards make the most sense. This is a great way to splurge and go out to eat without spending any money out of your pocket!
Last, but not least, is my Walgreen's Easy Saver Rebate gift card. I hate to even bring this up since Walgreen's cancelled their Easy Saver Reward program, but I also have an $11 Walgreens gift card on the way. The best part is that I used coupons to purchase the product for which I got the rebate, so my out of pocket was only $4 and I needed the product anyway...Plus, I'll get an $11 gift card.
There are so many ways out there to make the most of your money. I encourage you to take advantage of a few of them!!!
Friends and Family Time at Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Magazine Subscriptions for Pennies
Do you use Cashbaq? Right now if you sign up for Cashbaq, you get a $5 bonus. Right now, Barnes and Noble is having a super duper sale on magazines and if you go through Cashbaq, you get an additional 3% back! You can get Redbook for $.99, Country Living for $5, and other great magazines for great deals. Click here to sign up for Cashbaq and once you're signed up, go through their website to Barnes and Nobles to pick up some smoking magazine deals!!!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Full Size Scissors for only $.88 plus FREE SHIPPING!!!
Great coupon alert!!! $10 off Coupon good on any purchase at Dots!!!
Free Movie Monday
Never underestimate a rummage sale!
Free Kids Book from Barnes and Noble
1. Kids read any eight (8) books of their own choosing.
2. Kids use the Summer Reading Journal to tell their favorite part of each book. A parent/guardian signs the journal when it's complete. You can also get a Spanish-language Reading Journal.
3. Children bring their completed Reading Journal to a Barnes & Noble store between May 26th & September 7th, 2009.
4.Barnes and Noble will give them a coupon for a FREE book! They choose from a list of exceptional paperback titles.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Town Hall for Hope is Tonight!!!
I am a huge fan of Dave Ramsey and he has been incredibly helpful as my husband and I have been working on our finances. Tonight during Town Hall for Hope, Dave will be addressing the current state of our economy and taking your questions! I'm sure this will be an incredible resource! For more information or to find a location near you, click here!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Earth Day Special at Walgreens! 15-20% Off
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Earth Day Freebie at the Disney Store!
Monday, April 20, 2009
Free Movie from Redbox
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Super Double Coupons at K-Mart
Limit 1 coupon for each item purchased.
Only 1 coupon will be doubled per item.
You may only purchase 4 of the same item using double coupons.
Buy One, Get One offers, Kmart Savings coupons and Kmart Store coupons are excluded from this promotion.
oupons do not apply to sales tax.
Limit 25 coupons per customer per day.
Click here for the rest of the details! Also, Mercedes over at Common Sense with Money has a great list of deals available! You can check them out here!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
FREE CFL Bulb from Home Depot: April 19th only!!!
|Home Depot is giving away 1 million CFL Bulbs in support of Earth Day 2009. Limit one per customer and quantities may vary by store. Find out more here!|
Free Amethyst Earrings
|Darcus Tori is offering a pair of FREE heart shaped amethyst earrings (Regularly $59.95). These would make a great birthday or graduation gift. You will have to pay shipping, but my total cost for shipping and insurance was only $7.05. Not too shabby for a pair of amethyst earrings. Use promo code 0801 during checkout. Click here to order your earrings. Thanks Money Savin' Momma at Engineer A Debt Free Life!|
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Free Cinnabon Bites on Tax Day
Cinnabon is offering free Cinnabon Bites on April 15th between 5 and 8 pm! Click here for more details!
Monday, April 13, 2009
Free Movie Monday from Redbox
Saturday, April 11, 2009
No Coupons on Easter Sunday!!!
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!!!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Around the blogosphere...Lots of great freebies and good deals!
Free Stephen Covey audiobook "Achieving Your Highest Priorities"- Thanks Freebie Blogger!
Free Chick Fil A Breakfast Sandwich through May 13th - Thanks Moms Need To Know!
(This is only good in certain parts of the country, but it's worth checking to see if you're included)
Free 2 year Subscription to Shape magazine - Thanks Moms By Heart!
Wal-mart Current Deals and Freebies - Thanks Money Saving Mom!
How To Make a Vase Out of A Coke Bottle (this is quite cool) - Thanks Thrifty Mama!
Taco Bell Instant Win Game (and More) - Thanks Hip 2 Save!
Free Rascal Flats Download: Still Feels Good - Thanks Deal Seeking Mom!
ALL YOU Magazine Special - 75 cents per issue!!! Thanks Keeping The Kingdom First!
Free Audiobook and Gavin DeGraw dowload (and other free stuff!) - Thanks Bargain Briana!
Enjoy your freebies!!!
Monday, April 6, 2009
Saving Money on Bread and Baked Goods
Each Monday, our bakery does Monday Madness. Almost everything in the store is under 59 cents on that day. Today I stopped in and got 3 loaves of bread, 3 bags of bagels, 2 bags of hot dog buns, and 4 bags of mini bagels...all for a grand total of under $5! All of the items I purchased had at least 3 days left before the sell by date. I will toss everything we're not currently using into the freezer and we'll pull it out when we're ready to use it! This has saved us a ton of money! Some months I go twice a month, sometimes only once, but the money I save is totally worth it! It's a great way to save without having to use coupons!!!
Free Movie from Redbox
|The following code is good for a Free One Night Movie Rental from Redbox.|
This code expires 4/6/09 at Midnight CST.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Making Financial Progress and Dealing with Setbacks!
At the beginning of February, after nearly a month of work and trying to stick to our budget, some of our credit cards had gone up! We were shocked since we hadn't used them at all and had made the minimum payments, but we found that we had various subscription items that were automatically being deducted from these accounts. We quickly cancelled these subscription items and began looking for ways to come up with extra money for our emergency fund. We also revised our budget and started talking about Babystep 2...the Debt Snowball! In mid February, our church began Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. This has been a major help for us. By the end of February, we had a $1000 emergency fund in the bank and were chipping away at our debt snowball.
When March approached, we felt like we were starting to get the hang of things. Our budget didn't need much revising and we had made some progress on our debt. Somehow, things went haywire in mid March. To backtrack a little, on Christmas eve, a guy that has done some handyman work for us in the past (I'll call him D), showed up at our door with his wife and three kids (one of which is an infant). D told us that he had lost his apartment and didn't have anywhere to live. He asked if he could live in one of our rental properties. He told us he was starting a new job the first week of January and would be able to pay, but that he didn't have money to pay up front. He told us he would be happy to do work for us in exchange for the inital cost of moving in. Fred and I wanted to be generous and we felt bad for this family with no home on Christmas Eve. We had him sign a lease agreeing that he would begin paying rent in January and that he would pay us back for the utilites in January and put the utilities in his name in February. January came and went and D didn't pay us. We got his utility bills and they totalled $1000 for the month. We called and he promised to pay that week. The next month was more of the same...no rent, no utility money, and lots of money out of pocket for us. When March rolled around, my husband sat down and had a talk with D. During the previous months, Fred had told D where to go to get assistance with housing and with utility costs, but D wasn't willing to put forth the effort. Fred told him that we didn't have the money to continue paying their utility bills and that we needed to get money from him or he would have to move out. D told us he totally understood if we needed to evict him. We began the eviction process (I'm not sure why D didn't just leave), but told D that if he paid us some of the back rent and utilities, we'd be happy to keep him as a tenant. He promised to get us money that week...and again it didn't happen. It was now mid March and our hearing was scheduled for the 13th.
On March 11th, I awoke at 1 am to loud sounds coming from the basement... I've blogged quite a bit about this, so by now I'm sure you now what the sounds were. Our basement was flooding! After 5 hours of baling (and the addition of 2 more sump pumps, it seemed like things were under control. At 1 pm, Fred called to tell me that our basement had flooded. In one hour, the waters rose almost 4 feet! We ended up moving into a hotel for the remainder of the week. When I finished itemizing what had been destroyed in our basement, the total cost of goods exceeded our insurance by almost $20,000.
On March 13th, (while we still staying in the hotel) Fred headed to court for eviction proceedings. D didn't show up, even though he'd been served and knew when the court hearing was and our eviction was approved. When Fred called to tell D that he needed to move out, he promised he would be out within a week and that he would leave the place spotless. He apologized profusely for not paying and told us that leaving the place spotless was the least he could do!
It's taken nearly three weeks to start feeling like things were back under control after the flood and this week Fred headed to our rental property to make sure everything was in good working order before we began looking for another tenant. What he found was completely disturbing. The house was filled with trash...so much trash that we had to rent a UHaul trailer for the weekend to haul stuff to the dump. It took multiple trips with a 5 x 8 trailer and another 10-12 lawn and leaf bags full of trash that was put on the curb. There were also tons of beer cans in the basement and it smelled like a bar down there! When all is said and done, our act of kindness will have cost us over $3,000...definitely not what you want to do when you're trying to make progress in your finances.
With all that has happened in the last month, I was scared out of my mind to sit down and revise our budget and review our finances. Amazingly enough, looking back at everything that has gone on, we still have made progress in the last 3 months. This past month, we ended up using our emergency fund in it's entirety, but it could have been soooo much worse. We are so thankful that we had principles in place to help ensure that this disaster didn't totally derail us. By the end of April, we hope to have our emergency fund back in place and be working on our debt snowball again.
I know this has been a rambling and long post, but I wanted to remind you that life will happen and that there will be things that happen to you that will set you back financially. Do not give up! Keep plugging away! You may not be able to make the progress you have been making, but if you can make it through without going further in debt, good for you! That's a huge victory! If you're struggling with your finances and you don't know where to start, I highly recommend reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover book or enrolling in Financial Peace University! For more information on Dave Ramsey, click here!
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Two Days Left
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Lemonade Stand Award
Julie at Kingdom Klipper nominated me for this award. Julie has a great blog and I really appreciate her nomination!!!
1) Put the Lemonade Award logo on your blog or post
2) Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude
3) Link to your nominees within your post
4) Let the nominees know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog
5) Share the love and link to the person from who you received your award
My Nominees: (drumroll please...)
2. Hip 2 Save
3. Bargain Briana
4. Kiki's Korner
5. Keeping The Kingdom First
6. Moms By Heart
7. The Happy Housewife
8. Money Saving Methods
9. Deal Seeking Mom
10. Common Sense With Money
11. Get Rich Slowly