Dec 24 2010

twas the night before Christmas… the culturally correct version [day 211]

Let me me be perfectly honest here.  I really hate holidays.  And, I’m an equal opportunity holiday hater, I don’t like any of them.  I love Christmas, that is the true meaning of Christmas, but I hate the cultural crap that comes along with it.  I just want to skip all this and move on to the new year.  I don’t want to spend a bunch of money I don’t have, I don’t want to eat a bunch of sweets, I don’t want to do the holiday dog and pony show, I don’t want to go to holiday parties alone, I don’t want to go to them with a spouse I don’t have, I do not like it in a box, I do not like it with a fox. I do not like green trees, this sham or culture’s Christmas, mad I am.

Some people think the Grinch stole Christmas, nobody cared, so he gave it back and everyone lived happily ever after.  That’s the fictional version of the story, because you and I know darn well, that if someone stole all of the things in our house and all the gifts from under the tree, we would not all be in the street holding hands and singing.   The story would be a little different…  Here it is, in the form of “Twas the night before Christmas.” Enjoy…

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the town

Many creatures were stirring, using credit around;

The plasma tv was unloaded with care,

In hopes that the credit bill was lost in the mail;

My kids wanting toys, finances in red,

While visions of electronics danced in their heads;

Me on my laptop, looking for deals,

Wondering where I will get the next meal;  Continue reading


Dec 17 2010

what frugal geeks do with a spare 15 minutes [day 205]

In a creative-type job, if you have an extra 15 minutes, that’s just play time.  It’s not enough time to start a project, because in 14 minutes, you would just be getting into your creative zone, then have to stop.  Frustrating!  While Jerod and I were waiting for a meeting start, he was shopping for an HDMI coupler and I was doing my social media stuff.  I heard Jerod laugh and say he was going to finance an HDMI coupler for 36 months.  Honestly, I didn’t heard a thing he said after, “…I’m going to finance…”  Jerod wouldn’t finance anything if his life depended on it.  Then I understood why he was laughing.  This thing he needs costs $16.99 and they offer financing plans.  Check it out.

So, with the other 13 minutes, he researched the financing terms.  He only has to pay 1% of the balance per month with an annual percentage rate of 25.24%.  This is a church item, so it would have no tax on it and the monthly payment would be $.17.  If you chose this plan, you would never be able to pay it off, as you would be accruing debt for the rest of your life.   Continue reading


Sep 9 2010

flashback [day 106]

Flashback.

As a child I was taught to buy a lot of stuff we didn’t need and saving money was not mentioned at all.  My parents always had new cars, with car payments, and the justification?  Buying a used car was buying someone else’s problems, although I don’t understand why they needed a new one every year, or less.  Christmas was always way overdone, almost all of the gifts were mine, as I was an only child.

As a teenager, we didn’t have a lot of money, however we lived in a tiny house in an affluent area.  I didn’t have the huge wardrobe of name-brand clothing with Izod alligators chomping at Gloria Vanderbilt jeans.  Yeah, I know,  I’m old.  When I turned 18, I got my first credit card from Dillard’s department store.  I’m pretty sure it was less than a month before I had it up to the limit.

As a young adult, I wasted lots of money of stuff I didn’t need.  I was just going along with the rest of society.  Not that I was ever great at maintaining finances or my credit ratings, my ex-husband was a con artist and really messed up my credit.  I think it was then that I learned quickly to live within my means.  Progressively I decided to shop differently and live differently.

Fast forward.

I ended up being a financial analyst for many years, yes, I said financial analyst.  Go ahead, laugh, it is kind of funny.  :)  I guess I have an ambidextrous brain?  If I had debt, I always had a plan to pay it off quickly.  Large purchases were never made without really thinking about them a lot before the actual purchase.  I spend money more like a guy.  I have a huge problem buying a sweater for $32, but it’s no problem to spend $600 on a large plasma television.  I do struggle now with those large purchases, always wondering what better things I could have done with the money.  Again, I progressively started changing from some debt to no debt and from no saving to saving.

Now.

Anyway, this whole thing has been a process of going from spoiled only child to responsible adult, maybe a bit overboard as some think.  I don’t miss shopping much at all.  There are a few times when I want to go buy something, but mostly now it’s things I need.  All in all, I’m glad I’m doing the challenge.  I hope to learn a lot more and come out of this with better ways to live.


Jul 22 2010

grocery store gives $1 million [day 55]

Grocery shopping is the only shopping I’ve done lately, and really the only shopping I’ve had any desire for.   I went to Sprouts last night, as I have a few select things I like to get there.  Tuna steaks and kabobs mostly.  Their seafood is not smelly.  😉  Also, they give a $.05 credit for each green bag you use and they replaced my broken freezer bag for free.

I mostly shop at Kroger now, as it’s reasonably priced and almost walking distance from my house.  Here’s another good reason to shop there.  Kroger donates a lot of money to food pantries through their Neighbor to Neighbor program.  Our local funds go to Frisco Family services.  Here’s a link to the form, all you have to do is print it and have them scan it every time you shop there.

http://www.friscocenter.org/clientuploads/FFS_Kroger_Letter.pdf

If you’re not in the Frisco area, there’s a URL to Kroger’s site on here to find the participating Kroger’s in your area.  This is great, as they will donate $1 million dollars annually.  Also, their Plus card give great gas discounts.

I just started this, is there anyone out there already doing this?  Are there any similar programs in other stores?  If so, please share them!  :)