Ashley's December Debt Update

Wow! That is all I can say. Check this out... [table id=17 /] I'm glad you all urged me to include beginning balances, because otherwise I never would have noticed that this month (December) marks a big milestone! We've officially paid off over $20,000 in debt since I started blogging (back in March 2014). I remember that when I hit the $10,000 mark it felt monumental. If that was monu [...]

Strange Things Found in Salvation Army Red Kettles in 2014

It's the time of year again when red kettles from the Salvation Army stand outside many stores with a bell ringer trying to capture your attention to deposit a few coins and dollar bills into the pot. While that's what ends up in them the vast majority of the time, regular coins and bills aren't the only things that ends up being left behind. Below you'll find some of the other items the Salva [...]

Teacher Gifts

I swear this will be the LAST post I write about teacher gifts (well....at least for this year, lol). I just wanted to show you the final product of what I gave to our kids' teachers this year for Christmas (or Hanukkah, being as our girls go to the Jewish Community Center for preschool). Each teacher received 3 things: 1. A "card" (i.e., construction paper) that said "Thank you Miss [Teach [...]

CFPB Fines Sprint $105 Million for Mobile Phone Bill Cramming Fees

Can you read your cell phone bill? There are a lot of people who can't, and it has nothing to do with their ability to read. It's because some phone bills are intentionally confusing. Why would phone companies want you to be confused about your bill? So they can hide fees you may not have agreed to so you wouldn't notice. Apparently, that is exactly what has been going on with many phone co [...]

National Parks Free Entrance Days 2015

For those who love to visit US national parks, there are always a few days a year where you can gain access to them at no charge. Each year these free entrance days change a bit, and the list of days you can enter all national parks for free has been announced for 2015. The following nine days have been designated free entrance days, which will allow you to enter any park within the national park [...]

So Grateful - Short Term Loss of Income

There has been a change in my expected income for the foreseeable future. I certainly hope it's for the short term, but to be honest, all it's led to is a flooding of gratefulness. Yesterday afternoon, my ex-husband called me and simply asked..."Will you be able to get my babies (our two kids) something for Christmas?" I knew where he was coming from, I knew he was struggling financially. And [...]

Does Costco Offer a Free One-Day Guest Pass?

There are a lot of people who wonder if Costco offers a one-day guest pass for those people who would like to check out the store to decide whether or not they want to purchase a membership. The answer? No, Costco doesn't offer guest passes to their warehouse stores, but that doesn't mean you can't go. While Costco doesn't offer a one-day guest pass, there's a work around that basically gives you [...]

The Car

So I'm here for your advice today. We've had our van listed for sale for almost 4 months now, I believe, minus that month it was in the shop was being rear-ended. And while I've gotten a few inquiries, but nothing really solid. Then this week, I had a super low ball offer...like 33% less then what I'm asking...no thank you! Being a commercial vehicle, it's harder to place a value on it so I w [...]

Low Glycemic Diet Not Important Unless You're Diabetic

It has been out there for years - the glycemic index. We've been told the glycemic index is important, but how important is it in reality? We're told we should keep an eye on it because it affects the blood sugar levels of every human. A new study suggests that people with diabetes are the only ones who should be worried about the glycemic index of foods, and simply being overweight or obese isn't [...]

So much to do, so little time....

Story of our lives, am I right? But especially during the holidays + with pending trip to prepare for. There are so many "to do's" that I'm trying to get taken care of! I have several posts planned in my head that I haven't been able to get down on paper yet: Discussing our emergency fund, how its been impacted by recent overages, and plans for the future Assessing 2014 spending and pr [...]

Are Credit Karma, Credit Sesame and Quizzle Free Credit Scores Really Free?

For those searching for their credit score, there are a number of ways to obtain it. There are many companies such as Credit Karma, Credit Sesame and Quizzle which advertise they'll give you your credit score for free. The question many people have when they hear this is, "Is the free credit score really free?" Are Free Credit Scores Really Free? The first thing to understand is that not all [...]

Airline Baggage Fees Gave Carriers Nearly $1 Billion in Extra Income Last Quarter

You may hate them, but airlines love them. There's now only one US carrier not charging baggage fees. This took place earlier this month when Jet Blue announced it would begin charging baggage fees to consumers using their airline, leaving Southwest as the only airline still letting customers check their bags at no cost. The reason so many airlines have made the move is simple. It's a huge [...]

More States Seeing Gas Prices Under $2 a Gallon

As many people traveled this past weekend, they may have noticed how much cheaper it is to fill up their car's tank. With thirteen states reporting gas at below two dollars per gallon at some gas stations, it should not be long before other stations follow suit as the price of crude oil continues to drop. It wasn't that long ago that the average price of gas fell below $3 a gallon. With the [...]

Cheap Christmas Cards

Even though I'd resolved not to pay for professional family photos this year (see post here) I still wanted to send out Christmas cards to friends and family, but I wanted to do it in the most economic way possible. First, I had to decide what to do for the photo(s). We haven't had any decent full family photos taken in awhile and I'd considered asking a friend to come take some photos of us (s [...]

An Early Christmas

Christmas came early this year! Look what hubs surprised me with.... Yay!!! A kitchen table!!! Wahoo!!!! For those of you following along, I've been wanting a new/new-to-us kitchen table for a long time now (I first mentioned it on the blog way back in August - see here) Things just weren't working out to make that happen though. First, our income dropped right around that time. Secon [...]

Genetics May Hold the Key to Why Birds Don't Have Teeth

Birds are fascinating creatures, and because of this there's been a great amount of study devoted to them. Some of the latest news on birds may surprise you. As researchers attempt to find the reason why birds have no teeth, it may boil down to genetics. It seems their lack of teeth comes down to evolution of their genetics. Birds, at present, have curved beaks and a fantastic digestive sys [...]

Why There's Never a Good Gossip Magazine at Your Doctor's Office

There is no argument that a doctor's waiting room is one of the most boring places on the planet, especially if they are busy and you're waiting for what seems like forever. Even if the waiting room is equipped with a television, it's likely showing kid's shows, or in most cases, promos and health videos. YAWN! There is also a new trend in waiting rooms - no clocks. The strategy there is to hide h [...]

Toddler Possibly the First Victim of a Liquid Nicotine Overdose

One of the main ideas behind the creation of e-cigarettes was to decrease children's exposure to second-hand smoke, but it has created another deadly risk most people never considered. In New York, a toddler died from ingesting liquid nicotine, the substance found in many e-cigarettes. Police stated as much when a one-year old boy was rushed to the hospital Tuesday night in New York, and he [...]

When Is the Last Day to Send Christmas Cards and Packages 2014?

If you are planning to send out Christmas cards and packages this year, it's important to know the last day you have to send those items so they reach the recipient before Christmas Day. Your final day to send out these items depends on the way you decide to send them out. The United States Post Office (USPS) offers a number of different types of services, but the longer you wait to send out your [...]

The Embarrassing Position of Being a High Risk Driver

By Dana Rather Here is the sad truth that nobody ever talks about: when you are in debt (or other disastrous financial straights) it isn't just the decisions you make about your money that affect your life. Every decision you make, even the seemingly small ones, is incredibly important and can have a huge impact on your life. Here's an example from my life: I was running late for a job inter [...]