Buy versus Rent

Has anyone seen this awesome calculator from the NY Times that tells you whether its better (financially) to buy or rent? I love all the different variables it takes into consideration when making the determination! Check it out HERE. I've been playing with it, inserting different figures to see how it impacts the outcome. It's crazy how detailed it is - including many variables I've never [...]

Owner Financing - Worth a Shot

I need to preface this post.  This all happened before the housing decision was finalized, but I am anxious to hear this esteemed audiences perspective on this proposal I sent in so I can learn for the future if this opportunity every presents itself again.  We are staying in our apartment until April 30th.  After that, the world is our oyster! With that preface, a few weeks back as I was se [...]

Weekly Debt Update #23- Retirement Contributions Past, Present and Future

Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a great start to your week. After I posted last week of my after debt plans (here), there was some outcry, confusion and wonder over my retirement plan. Here's the statement in it's entirety: "I’m going to decrease my 401K contribution to the minimum (4%) to get the company match. I’ll use a fairly good portion of my after tax income to fund an inv [...]

Cheap(ish) Birthday Day-Date

It feels like months have already passed, but hubs' turned the big 33 the first week of August. I don't talk a lot about our relationship on the old bloggy, but given the celebration over his birth I just want to brag on him a minute. First, he's a worker. Always has been. When, in this day and age, it seems like everyone is trying to avoid work in favor of the next big "get rich quick" sche [...]

Buying Clothes

I started my new job in the middle of July. Until then, I haven’t had a job where I’ve needed to have a professional wardrobe since my kids were infants. My last in-person job was when I taught at the community college two days a week the semester after my daughters were born. I taught starting approximately 1.5 months post-partum through 6ish months post-partum. Then I moved to teaching all o [...]

Back to School Savings in September

Back to school shopping is traditionally a big event, but more families are saying, "Meh," to it. According to a Deloitte study, 38 percent of K-12 parents say they don't care so much about back-to-school shopping because they get what they need throughout the year. And 31 percent would rather wait until after school starts to shop. That's a smart move in my book. Here's why. The Teacher [...]

Is Citi Price Rewind Worth the Effort?

Wouldn't it be nice to know you're always getting the best price? What if you could just go out and buy the things you need without worrying about price? Citi Price Rewind attempts to make that a reality. But does it work? Here's what you need to know about this service offered to Citi Card holders. How Citi Price Rewind Works Citi Card members can enroll their purchases in the Citi [...]

Happy Friday

Hi, friends! It's been a busy week (first week of classes and all)! It's been crazy juggling everything but I really LOVE my job! I have so missed being in the classroom and am enjoying every second of it (though.....not so much with enjoying our faculty "retreat" which is being held at the STUDENT UNION on a SATURDAY AFTERNOON!!!! What the heck? In comparison, my last department always had the [...]

Reasons to Use Costco Checks

Most people don't realize they can get cheap checks by using a check printing service outside of the bank. Costco checks are known for being affordable and easy to order. They save you money while giving you more design options that you'll find at most banks. For those who aren't Costco members, other check printing services may be a better choice. Costco membership costs at least $55. Follo [...]

How to Use the Chase Freedom Calendar

The Chase Freedom card offers users a revolving calendar, allowing users to earn cash back on different shopping categories throughout the year. The calendar changes categories every three months on this no-annual-fee cash back credit card. The card stands out for its generous $100 sign-on bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months of carrying the card. You also earn five times the cash [...]

Verizon FiOS Promotion Codes Don’t Exist – Here’s How to Get the Best Deals

Verizon is always offering some sort of deal on FiOS service, but you don't need promotion codes to get them. You can save on bundles or get introductory rates if you're new to FiOS. Sites like and can help you find specials and deals, but they are often out of date or only available in select areas. If you want to get the best deal, follow this advice instead. [...]

HMO vs PPO and Why the Difference Matters

Choosing between a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) is not always an easy decision. One may save you money but limit your options or add inconvenient steps to getting health care for you or your family. Understand these important differences before you choose. HMO vs PPO An HMO is essentially a group of doctors who charge a reduced rate to t [...]

Floundering a Bit on a Plan - Too Much Going On

I am typically pretty decisive on my plan, but I'm really floundering this time around.  We just have alot going on at the same time.  And I'm struggling with my priority list.  So here I am asking for some feedback from you.  In a nutshell, here are the  things going on in my head that I'm trying to balance along with my debt payoff (these are listed in no particular order other than how the [...]

Weekly Debt Update #22- Life After Debt

This past week, I've done some thinking on what life after debt will be like once all my student loans are paid for. It's actually something I think about quite often, well not really think per se, more like daydream. So this past week I started formulating plans of what I'm hoping to accomplish. I know a couple things I want to do for sure: Take a vacation. Not entirely sure where, yet, but I [...]

Toys R Us Rewards Rules

Toys R Us has a rewards program for frequent shoppers. It's popular with parents, collectors and collectible resellers. Those who use the program can tell you that it has many pitfalls that can lead to disappointment. Know the rules of Rewards R Us if you want to get all the rewards you are due. How Toys R Us Rewards Work The Toys R Us rewards program offers $5 in 'R' Us Rewards for ever [...]

7 Inventive Ways to Save on Back to School Shopping

It's that time of year again! The kids are exchanging their baseball bats for number 2 pencils. College students are setting up their dorm rooms. With these transitions comes added costs. Everyone needs the proper gear for getting started for a new school year. This post will explain the 7 ways to save on back to school shopping. 1. Sell Last Year's Items Alternatively, do you have any [...]

Halloween 2015

I know we’re still in August and just doing the back-to-school thing, but I want to skip ahead a bit and talk about Halloween! Last year we didn’t really “do” Halloween as a family because my friend got married, so I was busy with wedding festivities. As a result,  I’m extra excited about Halloween this year. It will be the girls’ first year to actually trick-or-treat door-to-door [...]

Women’s Equality Day - Earning, Saving, and Investing Challenges for Women

Money and success - just how far have women come? Women's Equality Day is celebrated every August 26th. Starting in 1971, it's meant to observe the certification of the 19th Amendment, passed on August 26, 1920. The Amendment gave women the right to vote. It's a great day to celebrate the great strides made in women's rights since the passage of the law. Wages Then: Low Wages - Prio [...]

$250 Bonus from Chase for Opening a Checking and Savings Account

Act fast because this offer is only valid through October 14, 2015. Right now, when you open a Chase Total Checking account, you receive a $150 bonus. Direct deposit is necessary. This is Chase's most basic checking account. That means there aren't too many hoops to jump through in order to qualify. It's available to all US residents. There is no direct deposit dollar amount you mu [...]

Ashley's August 2015 Debt Update

Happy Monday, all! It's officially the first day of the Fall semester for both of my jobs (the full-time in-person position & part-time online teaching position. If you didn't hear - I recently posted the good news about keeping my online job!). I'm teaching two classes for each this semester (4 classes total), but only one is in-person, so I'll be able to do most of my work online. I'm very [...]