Archive for Money & Finances

Back to College with the Lowest Priced Unlimited Plans

Collective Bias

I have mentioned before that our oldest daughter heads off to college in less than a year. #Phones4School #CollectiveBias. One of the things on our to-do list is to research cheap wireless plans. We desire to get her set up with a technological life line a.k.a a cell phone when she is away from home. A cell phone will enable her to communicate when she’s out, give her a life line if she gets stranded or if, God forbid, she runs into trouble. We also want her to have a phone for when she starts driving by herself in a few months.

#Shop

My daughter was away at her cousin’s house all weekend. It was fun to surprise her with a trip to the store to buy her an early college present. We purchased Alcatel One Touch Fierce ($99.88) for $34.88/month, an unlimited talk text and data/web plan with Walmart’s Family Mobile (T-Mobile is the carrier), plus $25 for the starter kit. We love the unlimited aspect of this plan. It is also affordable for a college student on a limited budget. Bobbie is already figuring on paying for her phone herself. Of course, we are not complaining!

FFR Walmart Best Plans #shop_1

FFR Walmart Best Plans #shop_2

On the way home in the car she was setting up her calendar, which she is going to need to keep track of classes, assignments, exams and activities while she is away in college. She is obviously very excited to have her own smart phone! Other features she likes are the graphics. She is also looking for apps for homework, budgeting and exercising. She is having fun learning her way around her new phone.

FFR Walmart Best Plans #shop_3

FFR Walmart Best Plans #shop collage

The Alcatel One Touch Phone is perfect for college students because it is not only portable but it is a smart phone with all the bells an whistles – talk, text, web/data, 4G capability, camera and a 4.5″ touch screen. The monthly plans are budget friendly for both students and families.

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Back to School with CampusBookRentals.com

CampusBookRentalsogo

Back to School with CampusBookRentals.com

Are you headed back to college or know of someone who is? College students should know about the perks of renting textbooks from CampusBookRentals.com I am sure my daughter will want to look into this for next year when she goes off to college.

Here are some perks:

-Save 40-90% off of bookstore prices

-Free shipping both ways

-Can highlight in the textbooks

-Flexible renting periods

-They donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rented

-Live customer support

….and so much more.

CampusBookRentals.com RentBack Program

CampusBookRentals.com started a new program, RentBack. RentBack is new initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they own – to other students… which is an awesome opportunity for them to make 2-4x more money compared to what they’d make through buyback options! Buyback is selling their books back at the end of the semester.

Isn’t that a great idea?! Check out this CampusBookRentals.com RentBack video:


This is a featured post.

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Financial Literacy Guide for Women

“This is a sponsored campaign with Mums the Word Network and David Lerner Associates. All opinions are my own.”

I have always been a part of our finances from budgeting, saving, spending and investing (what little investing we’ve done). Yet I wouldn’t say that I was completely confidence in my financial literacy. Strange isn’t it? It was really interesting reading through the guide Financial Literacy and the Gender Gap.

Financial Literacy for Women graphic


Financial Literacy Guide for Women

In this financial literacy guide it states that women on average will live five years longer then men, which I knew because I have a mother, mother-in-law, an aunt, an aunt by marriage who are all widows. At one point in my life (around 2010) I had seven widows in my life and knew I’d probably end up in the same position later in life. That’s when I started talking to my husband about how we’d survive if anything happened to him now that we are getting older. I’m entering my mid-40′s and he’ll be 50 in less than two years. We are still working on our financial health… since things don’t always go as planned and unemployment threw us for a loop twice in the last six years.

Three Tips from the Financial Literacy Guide for Women

It made me feel good that the three tips given in the guide are things we are doing and working towards. Here are those tips:

1. Organize your financial paper work.

2. Track your income and spending.

3. Create a savings and investment plan.

At the end of the four page guide it tells you how to create a budget. I use to live by a budget pretty strictly, now not so much. I know we need to get back to budgeting as we work towards stabilizing our finances and I learn to become more confident in my own financial literacy.

You can download this guide too by liking David Lerner Associates Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DavidLernerAssociates/app_128572423924639

If you are a woman, what are you doing to become financially literate?

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Best Colleges 2014 Book

This is a sponsored post.

Best Colleges

 

I am entering a new phase of parenting in that I have a child looking at colleges! Very weird for me! Bobbie is doing all the research for college requirements, SATs, applications, etc. U.S. News & World Report provides college rankings every year. I thought their new Best Colleges 2014 book would be helpful to my daughter as she narrows down her college choices.

About Best Colleges 2014

Here are four things Bobbie took from the book and the rest of the post is basically written by her, not me:

• It provides information on colleges all across the United States for students of all backgrounds and interests.

• Gives advice for students who don’t have straight A’s and encouragement and support for getting into college.

• Provides a checklist for preparing for college, which she thought was really helpful.

• It offers information on everything from the application process, getting financial aid, to finding the right school.

Best Colleges 2014 was very helpful and gives you a good idea of what you need to do to prepare for college, as well as offering encouragement and advice from high school students who have already gone through the college process.

The checklist provides a detailed step-by-step list of everything you need to do starting at 9th grade and ending with acceptance into college.

They didn’t limit the advice to students seeking to gain entrance to an Ivy League college; they had several sections dedicated to helping B- students get into a great college.

The sections on gaining financial aid were incredibly helpful and something we definitely need help with in knowing how to apply for the different financial help available to us.

If you would like to pick up a copy of Best Colleges 2014 , use the following code SCHOOL25 to receive a discount!

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DIY Goat Stall from Wood Pallets

You all know we are on this farming journey. Well, it is not yet a profitable venture, so we try to conserve, save and reuse. Someone suggested a DIY goat stall from wood pallets. Usually wood pallets are easy enough to find and many times are even free. Gotta love free stuff! There’s a subdivision not far from us on a busy road, which we pass all the time. One house has had a pile of wood pallets there for what seems like years. My husband decided to drop buy and ask if he could have some….just a few days before the goats were due to arrive home! To our delight the man said yes and gave them to us for free! I don’t remember how many pallets my husband and son brought home but they’ve built two stalls so far and have a couple more yet to build. These photos are not the greatest since our barn is so dark but it gives you and idea of how hubby did it. It was our oldest son’s idea to have the goat stall gate swing two ways to save on building another gate.

DIY Goat Stall Gate with Wood Pallets

We just found another source for free wood pallets and we are hoping they still have some left! With the warmer weather coming this weekend (we hope!) it would be nice to get a little pasture fenced off for the goats, another stall done for the sheep and ?????

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Kmart Layaway Dance Video

This is a sponsored post. I am a Kmart blogger, though all opinions are my own.

You’ll have fun watching this mash-up of customers doing the Kmart Layaway Dance! Dare we say it’s the latest dance craze? I know it caught my sons’ attention as they headed to bed! If you’re wondering what it is about Kmart Layaway that makes people spontaneously breakout in catchy dance moves, you should probably keep reading this. At Kmart, Layaway doesn’t start and end with the holidays. You can use Kmart Layaway all year round for celebrations such as birthdays, re-decorating or baby gifts. In addition, Kmart Layaway is available online and in stores. It’s simple: pick out the times you want, start with a down payment, make payments every two weeks (online or in store) and take your items home with you after your final payment (cue: Layaway dance)! Pro tip: Remember to give yourself plenty of time before you need the item, most Layaway contracts last about 8 weeks, so planning ahead is key! Plus, Shop Your Way Members get points on every Layaway purchase and exclusive Layaway offers.

Kmart Layaway Dance Video

Have an item in mind you’d like to put on Layaway? You know it’s about that time to start thinking grills and patio furniture! Get ready to practice your dance moves because you’re going to want to break out in a Layaway dance too! http://bit.ly/1hqSlD8

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Sears Shop Your Way #PersonalShopper

Sears personal Shopper Logo-e1344746902345

“This is a sponsored post. I am a Sears blogger, though all opinions are my own.”

Sears Shop Your Way Personal Shopper

Do you wish you had a bigger Christmas budget? I think we all do, right? Sears and Kmart have created some interesting reasons to become a Personal Shopper. What’s great about it is you can earn commission to put towards your holiday budget on every qualifying purchase your family and friends make, plus you will the satisfaction of helping others with your shopping expertise. Since the season for giving is now, Shop Your Way is awarding its Personal Shoppers with more chances for a bigger commission. You can earn up to 5% in commission just by gaining more clients, reaching sales numbers, following new brands on Shop Your Way, sending client invitees and more. If you think you don’t have what it takes to become a Personal Shopper, you’re probably wrong. If you find yourself giving advice often, enjoy making connections and have an entrepreneurial spirit, Personal Shopper would be a great fit for your lifestyle. Your success awaits: http://syw.co/1cwBkCu. Follow @ShopYourWay and hashtag #PersonalShopper on Twitter.

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Farming is Hazardous

This is a featured post.

I have a farmer friend who gets after me each time she comes to our farm. You see, I tend to wear crocs around the farm. Yep, even around our hooved animals who weigh 1200-1500 lbs. Not ideal to say the least but my feet really like to breathe in the summer months and rubber boots or steel toed boots just haven’t seemed necessary or appealing to wear. And no, that’s not my fashion sense speaking, it’s my comfort level doing the talking.

Loony Acres Fencing_

When my friend was here to help with fencing over a month ago a t-post nearly fell on my foot. :( Not a good thing. A couple of years ago while working on another farm I had a t-post go through the bottom of my croc giving me a pretty good cut all because I tried to put the t-post into the ground with my foot, seriously of all things to do, but I did it as an automatic reaction. Farming is hazardous if you are not careful. A lot can go wrong on a farm. Thankfully we do not own any heavy equipment yet, but the large animals pose a risk because you never know what they can or will do. It’s not like we have medical insurance or life insurance that covers accidents, for that matter. We don’t even have a retirement fund come to think of it. It’s not like we view these things as unimportant, we just haven’t had the budget for them in the past five years, not with two lay offs under our belt. However, it is a goal of ours to get these things in place as soon as our income increases to the point of making it possible.

We do have farm insurance, which is helpful and provides some kind of coverage. Nevertheless, it’s a tad bit worrisome at times thinking of all the things that can go wrong when we lack other insurance coverage or funds to cover extra expenses that could occur.

Do you have life insurance? What about medical insurance in light of Obamacare? Are you preparing for retirement?

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My Husband Lost His Job….Again

Five and a half years ago my husband came home through our front door at about 9am, which was uncharacteristically early considering he left work at 5:30-6:00AM and usually returned at 3:30-4:00PM. When I asked him what he was doing home so early, he replied, “I was laid off.” It was such a shock. Robert had worked at the store since he was in junior high. We worked for the first owner from 1981-2005. Then when the second owner bought the shop in 2005, Robert at times felt he had less job security. But seriously, we never saw the lay off coming.

Robert was out of work for about 20 months. I cleaned houses for a couple of months and started our virtual assistant business. Then his original boss, whom he had worked for over 20 years called him saying he had a new buyer for the store. You see, the second owner still owed the original owner money so when he went out of business in 2009, the store reverted back to the original owner. Clear as mud, eh?

My husband lost his job
He’s trying hard not to crack a smile in this photo in case you didn’t notice. ;)


My Husband Lost His Job….Again

We accepted the job because we had high hopes of the store succeeding under new ownership.

This current lay off was better in the fact we knew it was coming. Robert’s job allowed him to see the numbers in the reports he ran and I’d say early in the summer he called it by saying he gave the shop until mid-August. He was a little off in that he had a job until about the end of August, as he was officially done a week and a half ago.

It’s was a topsy, curvy ride waiting for the axe to fall, so to speak. It is a bittersweet end to a job Robert enjoyed. He really liked this last owner and we thought the store would make it but alas, the industry has changed so much with the advent of the internet. Mom and Pop stores cannot compete with their distributors or online competition. Just look at your home town’s main street. If you have empty store fronts like we do, you’ll see what we are living.

We are not sure what God’s plan is in all of this. It is definitely stretching us.

Robert is applying to jobs. I’m working more. I just learned that I have a job as a hostess of a new moms forum, which will help bring in a little extra money. We are trying to get caught up around the farm while Robert is home…but that is a never ending task because there is always something to do!

Have you ever been unemployed or faced a lay off? How did you survive?

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