Home > Author Archives: Kim Parr

Author Archives: Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

Black Friday Shopping Checklist

shopping on Black Friday

Although hard to believe, another Black Friday is almost here. Shopping the day after Thanksgiving can save conscious consumers all kinds of money but also has the power to derail a holiday budget or even worse, send people into debt. In order to avoid that latter, it’s important to have a Black Friday shopping checklist in place before spending a dime. Missing Black Friday Isn’t the End of the World Black Friday is not the end all be all when it comes to bargains. In fact, many door busters have very limited quantities. Unless you’re willing stay up late or get up obscenely early to fight the crowds, you could miss out on some of the bigger advertised deals. Don’t fret. There are usually other deals available. Being able to shop on your own terms is sometimes worth more than saving a few bucks. Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping have gotten kind of crazy over the past few years. I’m kind of happy that some stores are bucking the trend and staying closed with REI even shunning Black Friday altogether. If you do decide to venture out on Friday, it’s important to be prepared. Make a List Lists aren’t just for ...

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A Holiday Hidden Stash of Reward Points

holiday travel with points

With all the gloom and craziness going on in the world right now, I believe it helps to focus on the positive. For a Friday treat, I though I would share a story about my Mom’s hidden stash of reward points. As you may recall, my Dad retired recently and is still figuring out his place in a world without 12 hour work days. My Mom has been retired for some time and enjoys small town life. I guess you could say they never exactly caught the travel bug. You Can Take a Vacation When I’m Dead In fact, aside from a couple of road trip vacations when we were kids and two or three trips to visit us, my parents have never traveled. Their last trip to Colorado was over five years ago. Health problems have cropped up since then. Their chances of making it West of the Mississippi again seemed pretty unlikely. Instead, we try to visit them. Jim and I have spent the holidays with my family in Kentucky for 15 out of the past 16 years. The one year we missed was right after getting married in 2002. We chose to take a honeymoon to Jamaica ...

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How to Function When You’re Sick

cold remedies

It’s really difficult to function when you’re sick. I know because over the past three weeks, our home has been a revolving door of illness. Even if you are lucky enough to have paid time off at work, there is no way to take off that much time without a loss of income. Is there a best way to get things done when you’re under the weather? I’m not sure, but here’s how we’ve been surviving. Get the Most Important Things Done Early This might not apply if you have to spend 8 hours a day in the office, but if you have flexibility at work, try getting the most important or most difficult things done early. That way if you have to leave early or are down for the count in the afternoon, at least you will have accomplished something. Put off Unnecessary Commitments Although I know it did nothing for my popularity, I had to back out of school and social commitments over the past couple of weeks. I’m not naturally social so I usually do make an effort to avoid becoming a hermit. However, there is no need to spend extra energy on school spirit or socializing ...

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Ways to Save for Retirement When You Don’t Have an Employer Plan

choices for retirement plans

Last week we talked about having a retirement savings wake up call, which is a very important first step in preparing for the future. It’s pretty easy to save for retirement when you have access to an employer sponsored plan, but what about those who are self employed or work for a company that doesn’t offer retirement? Luckily, there are several smart and simple choices for setting up a retirement plan on your own. Can’t I Just Save Money Without a Plan? Of course, if you’re willing to save lots and lots of money. The beauty of having a tax deferred or tax advantaged retirement plan is the ability to save on taxes, now or in the future, plus growing money through the wonderful benefit of compound interest. Without those two things, you’ll need to save much more money to have enough for retirement after paying Uncle Sam up front and from later earnings. To see how much you’ll need to save, try out the free retirement calculator from Personal Capital. Traditional IRA Anyone can open a traditional IRA. If you or your spouse aren’t covered by a retirement plan at work, your entire contribution is tax deductible. If an ...

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Visiting Amsterdam With Children

canal ride in amsterdam

Amsterdam was the last stop on our summer European vacation. I’ve always been told that this is the city where one can legally consume or participate in all sorts of debauchery, but I also know that most cities wear far more than one hat. Heck, if you think all Coloradans sit around smoking weed all day, you aren’t really paying attention. I would advise parents not to worry about visiting Amsterdam with children. Despite some awful weather, we had a great time. If you missed other stops on our tour, feel free to catch up. Dublin Edinburgh and St. Andrews London Paris Double Tree Amsterdam Above and Beyond We arrived at Centraal Station by train from Paris. I thought it was strange how security was non-existent as we boarded the train. Sadly, an alleged terrorist attempted an attack on this very same train shortly after we arrived back home. I hope they have since put some stronger measures in place. Our train ride was thankfully uneventful. We chose the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station for our first two days because it was bookable at 60,000 Hilton Honors points per night, and it is right beside the train station. ...

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