Don’t you hate it when you read a post asking for advice, but never learn how the story turned out? Well, because I don’t want to leave you hanging, this is a follow up to Monday’s post about some things I could save money on but choose not to. I was having a dilemma about whether to hire a maid with our new infusion of cash now that we have no student loan payments. You readers made me think about what was really important and how best to apply my values toward making this decision. I won’t keep you in suspense. I hired a maid!
Let me say that this person came highly qualified, has lots of experience cleaning houses like mine, and agreed to the price I offered. I have no doubt she will clean my house to the standards I’ve come to expect. I also know she’ll be on time and won’t give me a crap load of excuses about why she can’t do a particular task. Where did I find this amazing person? I didn’t have to look far, as I’ve hired myself.
What? How can you hire yourself? Before you start throwing virtual tomatoes at me, let me explain. I’ve always hated house cleaning because it seemed like work that had to be done but brought little gratification. Sometimes my husband notices and makes a remark about the house looking nice, but we often forget to compliment the ones we love for tasks we take for granted. I’ve never not cleaned the house, so there really wasn’t any other standard to compare to. I just hated doing it. Continue reading
If you’re a Mom or if you have a Mom, you probably know that we will like whatever you give us for Mother’s Day (unless it’s a mop). I do love handmade gifts from my daughter or a dinner cooked by someone else. However, it might be a good idea to get Mom or Grandma engaged in the 21st century by giving an electronic gift this year.
I recently used some of my credit card reward points to get a Kindle Fire. Let me say that I am not very tech savvy, but it’s about the easiest thing I’ve ever used. I love to multitask, so I can watch shows or read books while I’m using the exercise bike or waiting for my daughter to finish dance class. Yes, you can spend a fortune on buying things from Amazon, but you can also sync it up to your local library to check books, and Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime are pretty affordable for watching shows or movies.
E readers are also great for senior citizens because you can change the font to a larger type. We have several patients with macular degeneration who have trouble with standard print, but are able to read on a Kindle or similar device. Yes, you can get big print books, but everything isn’t always readily available in this format. Plus, large print books are heavy to carry around. The other nice benefit is that it’s easy to use services like Skype. If your Mom or Grandma lives far away, that can be a great way to see the grandkids.
If Mom loves to watch movies, you can hook up her cool new device to a sweet TV, like the Samsung UN50EH600 50 inch LED HDTV. She’ll feel like she’s in the movie theater. Lucky for you, we’re giving one away this month. The contest is brought to you by QuoteMeaPrice.com, the best company for selling a structured settlement and runs until May 31st. Anyone can enter, but only $50 is available for shipping costs. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Mom would love this!
We recently received a bill for our annual post office box rental. We actually have a nice, secure mailbox at our house with a lock and key. All of our important mail comes there. We set up that post office box ten years ago when we were living in a temporary rental while building our house. The only thing that comes to the PO box is junk mail, and for some strange reason, a copy of Ebony magazine every month. Why on earth do we still have this PO box? It’s because of habit. Are there things you do out of habit that waste money?
Are You On Autopilot?
It’s very convenient to set up automatic payments. It actually saves money because you don’t have to worry about late fees or interest if you forget to pay a bill. However, there might be some things that you need to review and decide you’re getting your money’s worth before auto allowing that payment.
Subscriptions-We subscribe to two publications, Money and a mountain biking magazine my husband enjoys (never paid a penny for Ebony). Between the two, they cost $20 per year, which I think is worth it. However, some people (my parents) have been on subscriptions to a newspaper and magazine for decades. Weekly magazines and daily newspapers can cost hundreds of dollars a year. If you have a stack of unread magazines from 12 months ago, it might be time to cancel the subscription. You can find most information online or at the library anyway.
Car and Homeowner’s Insurance- Every year, I’ve shopped my policies only to find the cost of homeowner’s going up every time, even though we’ve never filed a claim. Last year I finally went with a more expensive car insurance company that offered an umbrella policy, which also gave better rates on the homeowner’s policy. It was kind of a wash, higher auto but lower homeowner’s plus the extra liability coverage. Recently, I got a flyer in the mail from Geico and thought, why not? I’ve seen the little lizard on the commercials, but never called for a quote. Continue reading
Since turning over a new financial leaf a couple of years ago, I am always looking for ways to save or earn money. However, there are some things that I just can’t bring myself to do even if it could put some more coin in my wallet. I’d like your opinion on whether I’m wasteful or smart. Let me know if I’m crazy to refuse to save money in these ways. .
Waiting in Line For Gas
In our town, the Kroger chain grocery store is always the cheapest place to buy gas. I shop there, so I usually have a discount on top of the pump price because of my customer points. That being said, there is always a line at the pump if you try to buy gas at the end of the work day. I try to go in the morning, but sometimes I can’t make it. I refuse to park my car behind someone pumping gas. I always choose the person has to go write a check at the window. Instead, I pay 3-5 cents more per gallon down the street, where there is never a line. Approximate cost per year: $10 Wasteful or Smart?
Since buying a rental property last year, we’ve been enjoying some extra income each month. We could have 10% more if we managed the property ourselves instead of using a property manager. Why don’t we do that? We’re lazy. The property manager does a quarterly inspection, and we just got our spring report. We needed to replace a broken window pane, tighten the dishwasher mounting, fix some cabinet handles, and figure out why the tenants have a sheet across the kitchen doorway (what?). It was so easy to just let the property manager go in and fix this stuff instead of finding a time when we might coordinate with the tenants to get it done. I hate being bothered with nit picky, little things. Approximate cost per year: $1080 Wasteful or Smart?
Shopping at Wal Mart
As I’ve mentioned before, one downside to living in a small town is the lack of stores. We have Wal Mart, a couple of chain grocery stores, and some dollar stores. Wal Mart is usually the best price on household products unless I can find the things we use on sale. While I often stock up when things are on sale, if I need something and it’s not discounted, I’ll pay more to buy it at the grocery instead of Wal Mart. I maybe go there every couple of months if I absolutely can’t find an item anywhere else, but I get in and out quickly. I have been using the pharmacy there because it’s cheaper, but I’m thinking about switching because I just can’t stand the lines and the apathy every time I go in. Heaven forbid I ask an associate for help. Continue reading
We’ll miss you, Ralph
I’m so grateful for the weekend. As I mentioned last week, I’m on a soft food diet because of my gum surgery last week. I’m so sick of soup that I might have ruined my love of it for life. Time will tell. I thought this might be a good way to lose some weight, but the ice cream I ate probably negated all the other things I was unable to chew.
On a very sad note, we had to say good-bye to our dear dog, Ralph, this week. He’s been with us for ten years, and while every dog I’ve had has been my favorite in some way, Ralph was just a good boy. Everyone who spent more then two minutes in his company loved him. My neighbor broke into tears when I told her the news. He was that special. While his body failed him, his spirit was there to the very end, and it was rewarding and heartbreaking to be there while he crossed over to the other side. While I try to remind myself every day how lucky I am, I can’t seem to shake a general feeling of melancholy that has been hanging around this week. Hopefully, it will get better over the next few days. Continue reading