Archive for the Category ◊ money ◊

01 May 2011 Trusting God
 |  Category: family, money  | Comments off

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I was talking to my sister-in-law last week about how my faith in God has really grown over the last 9 months. One of the biggest areas I have grown in is my trust that God will provide the needs of my family. Its one thing to know in your head that God keeps his promises and will take care of us, but when you live through a situation when all you can do is trust, a whole new aspect of your beliefs come in to play.

My nervousness about how our family will make it financially surprised me. God totally blessed Tim and I while getting out of debt. And over the last few years I would’ve said my security is not in money. But when Tim lost his job I quickly learned that I had a tight grip on our money, trying to find security in it. I immediately worried about how we would pay for bills and groceries. And God immediately started providing for us.

Luckily we had our finances set up to where the money Tim made in the current month would pay for the next, the denomination we were in helped us out some, and God worked through people in the church to send us anonymous gift cards to walmart and target. Every time we got a gift card in the mail I cried thankful tears and was amazed with how amazing God is to provide just when we need it. And he provided again this morning at church from someone I don’t know.

I am thankful for this time of trials, and know we aren’t near the end. God has humbled me many times in the last several months and is teaching me a lot about myself.

12 May 2009 Hey, It’s Free!
 |  Category: money  | 4 Comments

freemealMy Aunt Karyn told me about a great website last week called Hey, It’s Free! This could potentially be my favorite website from here on out. Tim and I tightened up our budget this month and didn’t put any money aside for eating out, but last week we got to eat out for free! Last Wednesday Arby’s was giving away free fruit tea, and then we got the coupons for a free grilled 2 piece meal from KFC. So we got our drinks, and took them over to KFC for our free meal. It was so fun to be out to eat and even more fun to know that it was completely free! Hey, It’s Free! is constantly updating with free stuff and great coupons. Keep your eye on it and it could be a great tool for you too!

09 May 2009 Garage Sales
 |  Category: money, Random Thoughts  | Comments off

I have come to realize how much I really dislike garage sales. For the past couple weeks I have looked at our local newspaper to see when and where garage sales are and what kind of stuff people are selling. I would love to find a great deal on a crib and bassinet, so figured dealing with garage sales would be worth it. But now I’m starting to change my mind. I have gone to a few in the past couple weeks, but only come home frustrated feeling like I’m wasting my time.

Here’s why I don’t like garage sales in no certain order:

1. I think I am spoiled by freecycle.org and craigslist where I can ask questions about items, get pictures, and know what I am getting before I have to leave my house to get it, and I know what price I will be paying ahead of time too.

2. I like to sleep in on the weekends, and trying to wake up to get to a sale is a struggle.

3. I showed up 5 minutes after a garage sale supposedly opened, and what I was looking for was already sold, and I’m left wondering if it was a piece of junk, or if it would’ve been worth it to stake out their house early in the morning to be the first one there.

4. I don’t like driving around looking for a deal, I feel like it’s a waste of time and waste of gas money.

5. If I don’t need something I’m not going to buy it, even if it’s a great deal I’m not saving money by buying unnecessary items. And for some reason I feel awkward walking away from a garage sale empty handed, although I started to get use to it.

6. I don’t like showing up to a place to find out the item I would’ve potentially been interested in is completely dirty, not the color/style I want, and I don’t know what kind of home it’s been in. No one has a nice smelling garage to make me think it’s coming from a great place.

7. I am turned off by someone having so many things in their house that they can fill an entire garage of junk that has been sitting around collecting dust. I don’t like clutter, which is probably why I like freecycle so much. I get excited when I have something in the house that I can give away!

Obviously I’m not an expert at shopping garage sales. I know a lot of people who put time and effort into it, I would just rather sit on the computer, find a deal, and know where to get it and for what price, and not have to drive from place to place hoping to find what I’m looking for. Plus I don’t think I want to start my day off by stressing myself out trying to find something at a garage sale. I’d rather enjoy my Saturday, so this is possibly my last day of doing that…hopefully! 🙂

08 May 2009 Babies R Us Coupons
 |  Category: family, money  | Comments off

I got an email from slickdeals.net for some great coupons at Babies R Us. They can be used in store or online. Tim got a text message this morning from his brother letting him know that later today or tomorrow we’ll have another niece. These coupons are good starting today through May 28th. Take advantage of them while you can! Click on the link down below to see the coupons. If you have a problem viewing them let me know and I’ll see if Tim can help. 🙂

Babies R Us Coupons

19 Apr 2009 My New Treadmill
 |  Category: health, money  | One Comment

treadmillI have been wanting a treadmill for about a year now since we canceled our gym memberships to get out of debt. I figured right now would be the best time to find a good deal since it’s finally starting to get nice outside again and this is when people are more likely to get rid of their treadmill. I was able to find someone selling a treadmill with everything I was looking for and in my price range! I wanted an incline, up to 10mph, programs, calorie and mile counter, and the one I ended up with even has a heart rate monitor! All of this for a brand with good reviews online and sold to me for only $100. The owner had originally paid $1,100 for it, nothing wrong with the treadmill, just hadn’t been used in a while and they wanted their space back in the house. We were both thanking each other over and over for helping each other out! 🙂 I found the treadmill on craigslist, and was pretty nervous about getting it ’cause this was my first purchase using craigslist, but it worked out great! We were able to borrow a truck from a youth’s family and go pick up the treadmill Friday night. We also brought another youth with us to help with the heavy lifting, since I’m not supposed to be doing any of that with Baby inside. So we had a good evening getting my treadmill and investing some good time in to one of the youth. We were able to get the treadmill because Tim hadn’t taken any money as profit from his online ministry, and we finally paid ourselves this week with getting fitness equipment for me for in the winter, and a new bike for Tim this summer.

We were blessed to find this treadmill and to get such a great deal on Tim’s bike, and in perfect timing. The day we went in to purchase Tim’s bike, his old one that he had for almost 16 years finally bit the dust. Luckily it held up for him as he rode it to and from work, and then it gave out after getting home. It was pretty foreign to spend so much money this week, but I think it’s important to invest in our health. With Tim’s records on bikes we’ll have this bike for a really long time, and my treadmill will over and beyond save us on what paying a monthly membership at a gym would cost, plus with Baby Schmoyer coming, it would be pretty hard to get up and go to the gym to work out, and we like to go together, which wouldn’t happen because one of us would have to stay home and watch Baby. I even had my first work out on it yesterday ’cause the temp outside got cold again.

15 Apr 2009 God is so Good!
 |  Category: family, money  | 3 Comments

I haven’t been working much lately, and I’m doing okay with that now. Last weekend I was really worn out, and Baby Schmoyer was really hyper on Monday, moving on and off for an hour straight in the morning, and still moving quite a bit throughout the day. Tuesday I decided not to work ’cause I wanted to rest, and I think Baby needed it too because he or she did not move too much. Today we both had some energy back, but I didn’t get a job. I am lined up to sub for one teacher twice a week for the next 2 weeks and mainly only half days. I figured I would take them because it’s better than chancing a job and not getting one, and it’ll be a good rest if I’m able to get full days the rest of the weeks. I’m leaving my work up to God ’cause He knows better than I do when I need to rest and when I can handle the work.

With less work comes less money, which was starting to worry me, but I kept on wanting to buy something from our baby registries every day. (I haven’t though.) I just want to have everything ready, but God helped me realize I really do need to be patient, and now I’m better. Tim and I have 3 months of expenses saved up, which Dave Ramsey recommends saving 3-6 months of expenses. We still need to save up the rest of my deductible that we’ll be paying when Baby Schmoyer gets here, and we would like to put money in savings for a car when Tim’s finally goes. I’m sure we have at least 2 more years on it, but ya never know.

So now even though I love looking at everything on our baby registries, I am doing better with refraining from wanting to buy something. Also, this week someone has bought us things from our Target registry and Babies R Us registry! That helps put me at ease and makes me excited. Tonight my co-teacher for confirmation offered us a free dining room table and 6 chairs that go with it that we’ll be getting soon. I’ve been wanting a new table and chairs for over a year now, but we haven’t had the money to get one. I am so excited! Also, I am wanting a treadmill for the next winter because when Baby Schmoyer is here it’ll be hard to get to the gym to work out, plus that costs money. So I’ve been looking on craigslist for a treadmill in good condition and for $150 or less, ’cause that’s what I have saved up in my blow money. I have found a treadmill that hopefully we’ll be able to pick up on Friday. We have to drive an hour down and an hour back to get it, but it’s only $100 and in good condition, and has everything I’m looking for on a nice treadmill, which has been hard to find for this price.

Last week I was stressed and worried about our finances, and this week God has totally been showing faithful and putting me at ease with our situation, showing us that we will be okay. God is so good!

07 Apr 2009 Phone Scam
 |  Category: money  |  Tags: ,  | 2 Comments

We just received a phone call from 1-305-836-7371. I normally don’t answer calls that show up “Out of Area” because 9 out of 10 times it is nothing that has to do with us. When I answered this call it was a recording saying that we were called about our credit card acount, “Press 1 to speak to a representative, Press 2 to …” So I pressed one and less than a minute later someone answered the phone saying they were with Visa/Mastercard. I asked who they were trying to get ahold of and the lady said, “The primary card holder on your account.” Then I started to ask, “And what is the name on that…” And I was hung up on! I so wish the lady would’ve stayed on the phone, I would’ve loved to talk to her about the scam they were trying to pull because Tim and I don’t own any credit cards and we have the papers to prove that our accounts were paid off and closed. We have gotten calls from people looking for a name of someone that we don’t know, so my first goal was to make sure they know that they have the wrong number, but apparently they weren’t interested in that. I am assuming that they were trying to pull a scam like the ones Dateline showed a week or two ago. These scam artists use scare tactics to get people to wire money to someone’s personal account and that’s how they make their living. I tried calling the number back and it came up as a disconnected number. Total scam. Too bad the lady was more scared of me asking her for the name of the person they were looking for and didn’t bother to go any further. I think I could’ve had some fun with that!

I looked up online to see what other people have experienced with this phone number. It appears that they have many different facades that they try to play to scam people over on. And one person’s note I saw said that they got a call from the number and the only thing the person that called did was cuss them out! Terrible. I emailed our local FBI about this info to see if they can do anything. I’m not sure who is the best to contact to put an end to these scam artists.

29 Mar 2009 Town Hall For Hope with Dave Ramsey

I am laying in bed this Sunday afternoon resting and watching NBC’s Dateline special on “Inside the Financial Fiasco.” The one I am watching is part 2 of a 3 part series. The 3rd part of the series is playing tonight at 7pm EST.  It’s disturbing to watch and see all  the scare tactics made to get people to pay their debt, which debt collectors get sued over. It makes me very thankful that Tim and I are out of debt and don’t have to worry about what these people on tv are dealing with.

Tomorrow Tim and I are speaking at a Total Money Makeover class that is being lead by the man in our church that introduced us to Dave Ramsey’s plan to become debt free. We’ve been told that there are about 400 people meeting at this class, which totally makes me nervous, but with watching Dateline I am just getting frustrated and can’t wait to tell people that if they take what they are learning from the Total Money Makeover seriously, it works. It takes discipline, but it is totally worth it to not be slave to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7) And it is possible to be debt free, we’re a living example of that! I love walking to my car in a parking lot because I admire my debt free sticker on my back window. It makes me proud to see that and know that all our hard work was totally worth it!

Tim and I are planning on being at the entire class tomorrow, and I really hope our story touches some people and that we’re able to talk to others tomorrow night and be an encouragement. These stories on dateline of people living okay until loosing a job because of the economy and then depending on credit cards to pay for groceries and essentials is just sad. Tim and I are currently building up a 6 month emergency fund so we don’t get caught up in that trap. We don’t have any credit cards and it is so comforting that when we have a medical bill or car problem that surprises us, we have the money to pay for it. We might have to cut eating out or put aside less for gifts for people that month, but we’re able to get by, and so far without having to dip into our emergency fund.

I want to encourage everyone to attend a Town Hall for Hope on April 23rd. You can go to the website and find somewhere locally hosting the live broadcast of Dave Ramsey speaking about the economy and lots more. And on top of that you can surround yourself by others in your community and be a support for each other. I don’t understand why people wont talk about money. I hear from so many people that it is a personal issue, but if it stays personal who does it help? Who do you learn from and who do you teach if you don’t share about your financial situations? There have been lots of people in our church who have gone through the class, Total Money Makeover. Some people go full speed through the process, some are slow at making progress, and some listen to the advice and that’s it, no actions are taken. You can guess how each of those situations end up. The huge topic on the news these days is how the economy is hurting greatly, and that’s not going to change until people get an understanding of money and realize that debt is dumb. Stop using credit cards and don’t buy something unless you have the money ahead of time to purchase it. If you don’t have the money to go out and get Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey right away, then start listening to his podcasts. You’ll learn a lot from other’s stories and what advice Dave Ramsey gives them.

29 Jan 2009 Maternity Bargains!
 |  Category: money  | 4 Comments

maternity bargainsI have been looking at Target, Wal-Mart and K-Mart for maternity clothes and if there was anything cute and that fit that was less than $5 I would get it. I figured I’d rather buy stuff on sale little by little as I find it instead of needing to go out and buy whatever is out there when I really need the clothes. Today I made an exception and went out to purposefully find things.

My belly started to stick out a little this week. Tuesday I took an afternoon subbing job and was told to dress warm because I would be outside for about 30 minutes of the day. I wore my corduroys and leggings underneath, and man was it tight! I was so uncomfortable and decided for Wednesday when I subbed that I would wear something loose. So I wore a long sleeve maternity shirt I got from a friend and my jeans (with leggings again) and I was totally uncomfortable all day long!

I was exhausted after a long day yesterday and didn’t get a substitute teaching job for today so I took advantage of enjoying the morning around the house and spent the afternoon shopping for maternity clothes. Some people at school told me that I should check out the Klothes Kloset, a second hand store in town, to see what kind of maternity clothes I could find, and I’m glad I did!

Klothes Kloset

This is what I got from the Klothes Kloset. A pair of black dress slacks for $1, a blue sweater for $4, a blue dress shirt for $3.50 and the red dress shirt for $4. A total of $12.50 for 4 articles of clothing!

After this I decided to check out the department store in town, Herbergers, to see if they had any good sales, and yes they did! They have a yellow dot sale, which any items with a yellow dot (on the price tag) were ridiculously marked down, their summer items to $2.99! Here’s my great buys from Herbergers!

HerbergersThe red and black shirt was $8, Green shirt below $2.99, blue and yellow dress $2.99, purple sleeveless $2.99, denim skirt $8 and blue flower shirt $2.99. A total of $27.96.

When I got home I checked out the original prices on the items I bought at Herbergers, and it totaled $233! Wow I was shocked! That means I saved 88% on the clothes I bought at Herbergers! Total over all today I spent $39.46 for 10 pieces of clothing, averaging less than $4 each piece. Even though I did splurge and spent $8 on 2 items I really didn’t want to leave at the store.

So now I have 17 maternity items in my closet. One from a friend in a bag of clothes she let me dig through and she also found me $1 capris from Target. My parents got me 2 shirts when Tim and I were down in Texas, one for a Christmas gift and one I found for $4 at JCPenny in their town. I found a cute black dress at Target for less than $5 and at K-Mart I found some comfy shorts for $5 and a t-shirt for $3. I will still need to buy some jeans and other pants later on and maybe a couple more tshirts. One of my small group girls said she would see if her Mom has anything she can give me, so I’ll wait and see if anyone has something to donate to me, and then just wait until I really need anything else before making any  purchases.

What a great day!

22 Nov 2008 Saving Money
 |  Category: money  | 2 Comments

I couldn’t justify paying for a full bag for my laptop, and loved a tip I got from one of our former youth group girls. While contemplating which of the two bags I posted about earlier she messaged me on facebook letting me know that a lot of people at her college just use a sleeve for their laptop, and that way they can put their laptop in whatever bag they’re using at the time. The sleeve is half the price of a whole bag, and I get bored pretty easily and like to use different bags, so this is a great idea for me! I found a sleeve that is the same blue color that Tim and I had for our wedding color, that I just love, and it came in the mail today! I’m really excited to have it, and now I feel more comfortable about protecting my laptop. I’ll probably still use my brown YS bag for it too ’cause it has a pocket for a laptop, now I feel better having more cushin around my macbook.

This month with starting to use coupons and watching the sales around town I neglected to go grocery shopping, causing Tim and I to get creative with our meals, especially making sandwiches for lunch without a loaf of bread. We had all sorts of rolls and bagels in our freezer from past dinners and such, so we survived, it just wasn’t what we were use to. So today we finally went grocery shopping, and I am so grateful for Tim going with me and being willing to be sent on missions to compare prices with and without coupons to find the best deals.

I decided that Wal-Mart has the overall cheapest prices, but then I’ve gotta keep my eyes on the local grocery stores because they can have some great deals. We are done with shopping except for me going and getting some more fresh fruit and veggies on Wednesday, but still with that we are way under our grocery budget for this month. We are paying for the majority of Thanksgiving dinner, and figured we’d only need $50 for it, well, we aren’t even touching that money. With paying for our regular groceries and a Thanksgiving dinner we’re under our grocery budget for a normal month! We saved $13 today with coupons, but our biggest save is from looking at adds and finding who has the cheapest price for what we needed. For instance, green bean casserole is my favorite holiday meal, and Wal-Mart had the cream of mushroom soup for only .60 cents, and a different store had the green beans for only .40 cents! Our town is pretty small, so we still saved money with driving to another store.

These saving might not seem big to someone who is an avid coupon shopper, but I am very proud of us with what we are saving.