Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Little More Money AND the Healthy Living Fair

I am trying to find $5,294 (see Jan 2, 2011 post)

Still to go $5,191.61

Last week's CVS extra care bucks $9.50
coupon on salsa 1.00
Free chips coupon 2.00
Earth Fare Coupon from Healthy Living 5.00
Free Coke 12 pack 2.50
CVS gift certificate from MyPoints 25.00
total 45.00

Still to go $5,146.61

(I forgot to track the week before's coupons. oops.)

The Healthy Living Fair was held at the Knoxville Convention Center January 21 and 22. This is probably the fourth or fifth year they have held it. 2010's event was plagued with icy weather. There also seemed to be fewer vendors. 2011 was a great event. The weather was cooperative, so there were a lot more people checking out what seemed to be a lot more vendors. They were very fortunate because a couple of the Biggest Losers stars happen to be from Knoxville, and they were there.

I got in free because my health club, CourtSouth, was a sponsor; so they had free tickets at the club. However, I figure they were giving out a lot of tickets because I didn't see anyone buying tickets when I arrived.

The Convention Center is about a half mile from where I live, so I walked.

There was a $5 coupon to Earth Fare in the magazine they gave away as well. It has no expiration date on it. I'm wondering how long they will honor them.

The most impressive occurrence was the demonstrators on the main stage. There were a number of health-focused outfits, such as dance clubs,represented. The "performers" weren't professionals by any means. In fact, many of them would be considered on the heavy side. But their willingness to show the public that exercise can be fun and beneficial was inspiring.

Remember: the number one way, America, to save money is to keep well. Exercise supports good physical and mental health!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

a little more money

Got the $40 reward Home Depot card from our credit card

still to go:


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Find More Money through Your Tax Return

Families who make less than $50K can get their taxes done and likely get other good financial advice at VITA sites. They only have to wait no more than a couple of weeks for their refund. Call 2-1-1 for the nearest site

Tax Preparers Feed on Immediate Gratification.

We have gotten flyers in the past two days or tax preparations. BEWARE!!! For fast money through commercial tax preparers, the filer is technically taking out a high interest loan against their anticipated refund. Also, there is a system of adding on additional fees.

Please, please encourage those who make $50K or less to go to a VITA site. There is a good chance they'll get back more than if they do their tax returns themselves.

Call 2-1-1 for a location convenient for you. They will start to open up in temporary sites in community centers, etc. next week.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cmon, Couponers, Keep It Balanced

Recently TLC launched "Extreme Couponing." Unfortunately they are using their tried-and-true genre of exposing the unusual behavior of those profiled. The subtitle of the show could be "A Special Subgroup--Close To Becoming Hoarders."

The general perception of active couponers might be negative; but about a year ago a local coupon blogger, Coupon Katie, laid out the truth. Fortunately when I read it, I was in a teachable mood. She stressed that "It's all about BALANCE." At that moment I pledged to, indeed, keep it balanced.

After you have been couponing, you understand that there are cycles of sales. You'll get your chance at that super-duper toilet paper sale in a couple of months, so a couple months stockpile is probably going to hold you until the next great opportunity to buy cheap.

I am a business school graduate. One important thing I learned in school was "money now is worth more than money in the future." So, even a dollar or two applied to get a sale isn't worth it if you are not going to use the product until months later. Those dollars could be used TODAY to reduce your debt load or put into your retirement plan. That is why I don't understand people who save coins--make those pennies work for you!!!

If you DO get big into couponing, don't let the missed opportunities obsess you. Couponing is much like a sport. If you get news of a deal that, with a coupon, will actually MAKE you money, for example, and somehow you don't have that coupon in your file: show some character and take the loss gracefully. Think of yourself as a golfer who constantly looks at ways to take a few strokes off. Sometimes you get the shot, sometimes you don't.

I'd like to add that you need to look at the big picture--your entire life--and make sure that there is balance. For example, my husband is not a big fan of my couponing; so when he suggests doing something on a Sunday afternoon (that traditional time when couponers all around the nation are at their kitchen tables, gleefully mutilating the Sunday newspaper inserts), I would never say "nope, gotta get caught up on coupon clipping." Husband comes first and way before couponing. (We've been married 36 years). Another note: whatever he suggests, however, better be cheap or free. Last Sunday we went to the East Tennessee History Center--it's free on Sundays ($5 other days).

Finally, a tip on how to respond when you are at the store and someone makes some "funny" comment about your notebook or your big stack of coupons that you pull out. I tell them it's my hobby, and "if you have a hobby, does it MAKE you money?" They can't respond. end of conversation. Cha-ching!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Perception is Reality

Oh, how true this article is:

(on front page of Perspective in the News Sentinel today.)

another littler trickle in aim to find $5,294

Got a shampoo sample. I am going to value it at $.10.

Currently still to go:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Finally! Found some money!

Working on my $5,294.00
Rebate on a purchase 50.00
Found quarter in a parking lot this a.m. .25

Now, I am going to use creative math. I bought four boxes of Kashi cereal today. I love Kashi cereal, but it usually costs more. For this exercise, I am going to say that Kashi costs $4 a box.

Bought four boxes of Kashi at
Kroger's for $1.99 each, PLUS
used four $1.00 off each coupons 12.04

Monday, January 3, 2011

Summer Vacation Planning Time!! is our favorite place to choose a vacation spot (ok, ok, full disclosure. We have a house listed on VRBO). Was I so THRILLED when I pulled up our site to check our rentals and my system first directed me to upromise, which I have preloaded on my computer.

If you don't shop through one of these pass through services and you are an active online shopper, you are losing out on significant $$$$. The ones that I use are upromise and mypoints. There are lots more others.

Upromise was originally set up to save for college, but you can periodically cash out your accumulated earnings for yourself. For example, if you go to upromise and then to vrbo, you'll get 8 percent deposited in your upromise account on a paid for vacation. Can you imagine 8 percent of a week's vacation? real money!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Trying To Find the $5,000, again

Some time ago in my blogging I tried to identify an extra $5,000 in my life in one year. ANY extra money would apply. I did not stick with the goal. I am going to try it again, but I am going to tie to it a specific milestone in my life.

In 1975 when I graduated from college, I was working as a student assistant in the Vocational-Technical Education Department. They were kind enough to put me on full-time in the official University of Tennessee category of "secretary" as I looked for a better job. My starting salary was $5,294, annually.

Very soon I got a much better position as principal secretary in the UT system with a posted starting salary almost twice what I was making. There was only one problem. We were in a recession, and Governor Ray Blanton had frozen all state employee salaries. Therefore, I was stuck with the $5,294, annually. Technically I supervised four other secretaries in my division. Every single one made more than I did. I was not happy in this position and stayed for a brief eight months before I went to work in the private sector. There were a lot of factors, but I cannot believe that there was some underlying resentment of my salary situation.

In 2011 I am going to recoup that $5,294.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolution: Being Intentional with Words

"Ephesians 4:29

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

A great waste in our society is using negative words. My 2011 resolution is to use my words wisely, as in this scripture.