What's Open and Closed on Memorial Day 2015

The weekend of May 23 through May 25, 2015 is Memorial Day weekend. As with many federal holidays, it can get confusing as to what will and won't be open on Memorial Day. The United States doesn't have national holidays, so while federal employees will have Memorial Day off, people working in other sectors may or may not have the day off depending on what the company they work for decides. Sin [...]

Is Target Open or Closed on Memorial Day 2015?

There's nothing worse than going to a store to find out that it is closed for a particular holiday. This is often the case when federal holidays come around in the United States because these holidays are not national holidays. That is, only federal employees are guaranteed the day off work. Retail stores such as Target get to decide on an individual basis whether they will observe the [...]

Retail Stores Open and Closed on Memorial Day 2015

Even though Memorial Day has nothing to do with shopping, it has become a major sales event for retail outlets. Stores are blanketing the TV with ads promoting their Memorial Day sales in an attempt to drive traffic to their stores for the beginning of the summer shopping season. The confusion of whether or not stores are open or closed occurs because even though Memorial Day is a federal holi [...]

Is the Post Office Open on Memorial Day 2015?

It often gets confusing as to what is and isn't open when federal holidays (often confused with national holidays) come around each year. One of the main reasons for this is that many retail outlets have the choice of whether to remain open or closed for each holiday, so it's never black or white when it comes to what is and isn't open. Since there is often confusion with holidays such as Memo [...]

Are Banks Open or Closed for Memorial Day 2015?

It can get quite confusing as to what is and isn't open when the different federal holidays roll about each year. This is because just because a federal holidayis being celebrated doesn't necessarily mean banks and credit unions will be open or closed on that day. Each financial institution chooses for themselves whether they will be opened or closed for each holiday, and this varies from holi [...]

Simple Ways to Help Observe Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a federal holiday put in place to honor those who gave their lives in battle for their country. While it's often confused with Veterans Day (a day to honor all those who honorably served in the military), in actuality it's a more somber event giving thanks to or nation's war dead. There are many ways you can help to observe the holiday depending on how much effort you w [...]

Is Costco Open on Memorial Day 2015?

If you go solely by the advertisements on TV, you would think Memorial Day was an occasion to celebrate shopping and consumerism. While the vast majority of retailers are on TV shouting about all the great bargains they have as part of their the Memorial Day sales, Costco is one of only a few major retailers which keeps its doors closed on the holiday. As part of the Costco holiday schedule, a [...]

Cheap Mother-in-law Birthday Gift

In keeping with the cheap gift ideas of late, here's another one to add to the mix. My mother-in-law's birthday was last Thursday. She's actually flying into town today for the long weekend (yay!), so we'll be taking her out to dinner one night while she's here. But we also wanted to do something on her actual birthday, so I had the girls make another super cheap craft that we mailed to her la [...]

10 Major Memorial Day Events in 2015

For those who are planning to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend, there are a number of major events across the country for those who would like to be part of the day. While the TV is full of commercials shouting about Memorial Day sales, it's important to remember the meaning of Memorial Day is to acknowledge those who gave their lives for their country during battle. Although it's sometimes conf [...]

An Update on our School Plan

My homeschooling seems to rub lots of people the wrong way, especially those that have no personal experience with it.  And earlier this year, I wrote about how the cost of our co op really had me re-thinking my plans.  So I wanted to give everyone an update from both a schooling and financial update on this topic. First, as I have kind of mentioned around, I am happy to announce that I will [...]

What's the Difference Between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?

When it comes to federally holidays celebrated in the US, people often get confused between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The confusion isn't all that difficult to understand since they both have to do with the military, and the way the holidays are portrayed by stores with sales make them seem almost identical. While both holidays celebrate the military, they celebrate very different aspects [...]

Starting to Review the Next Step

Within 8 weeks of this post, I will be consumer debt free.  I will also have saved approximately $5,000 from new jobs, odd jobs and selling a few odds and ends here and there over the last few months.  Now I have to plan the next step. If I kept going at the rate I'm going with no other changes, paying $2,400 per month towards debt, my student loan debt would be wiped out by the fall of next [...]

Weekly Debt Update #15- One More Paid Off and Support Groups

Sorry for the late posting today, but it's been a very busy couple of days at home- lots to do now that the weather has turned for good! I'll start this post with a debt update because I have some wonderful news to share- I paid off Sallie Mae 05!! That's right- gone!! Another one bites the dust, lol. So here's what the numbers look like now: [table id=43 /] I'm also super close to ano [...]

"Free" Swim Lessons & A Preschool Update

Remember when I put out the question of whether it would be a worthwhile expense to pay for swim lessons for my girls this summer? As a reminder, they have never been in any paid activity (ballet, soccer, swim, etc.) in their entire lives with the exception of childcare. Well we just got letters sent home from our girls’ preschool (they attend the Jewish Community Center). We signed permissio [...]

The Unemployment Rate Drops to Seven Year Low

The Goldilocks principle posits that “something must fall within certain margins, as opposed to reaching extremes” and a recent report from the U.S. Labor Department suggests that the U.S. economy is sticking strictly to this tenet. According to Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Advantage Funds who spoke to Bloomberg Business, “It’s not a bad report for the econ [...]

Ashley's May 2015 Debt Update

It's that time again. Time for another debt update. Here you go: [table id=38 /] I've rearranged my debts (compare to last month) to be in order of APR (highest-to-lowest). From this re-ordering, it's interesting to see that the highest APR debt is also currently my lowest balance. Certainly provides a bit of a "hmmmmmmm" experience. Though at the moment I remain steadfast with my current r [...]

A Small Setback - Property Taxes

A tiny set back that I just realized that I forgot to plan for in my Hardcore Budget : Personal Property Taxes (essentially car ownership tax.)  They will be due in June and while I haven't received the bill yet, but I anticipate it will be somewhere around $300.  I didn't account for them in my budget for these tighter months.  So how to deal... I have decided that since I have brought in s [...]


That was my immediate thought when I opened my email inbox to discover THIS message waiting for me inside. So there’s that. ACS (with whom I’ve never ever had a single issue) has sold my loans to Navient (with whom I’ve had multiple and ongoing issues). So that’s good. I’ve got a couple months until the transition is complete, but I’m really contemplating what to do regarding my [...]

A Reward for Us

Over the years that I was a reader of this blog prior to becoming a writer, I always found the "reward" posts interesting.  And as I have been facing down this "consumer loan debt free" date, after months of extreme budget living, I started thinking about giving ourselves a reward for all we've done this year to get to this point. For those newer readers, we have done the following (some by ch [...]

Insurance Companies Save Money with Free Blood Pressure-Monitoring Kits

There may be a day when insurance companies pay for people to have their own home blood pressure monitoring kits, something they rarely do now. The reason this may change? A new decision-analytic model study published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association shows that giving patients a home blood pressure monitor would be a financial benefit to the insurance company, saving them [...]