Friday, January 30, 2009

How to Get the Coupons You Want

You can get just the grocery, beauty, personal care, and cleaning coupons you want on Ebay - instead of buying Sunday papers.

For example, you can buy:
  • 10 coupons ($1 off any 2) Suave Shampoo - for $1.18 plus $.50 shipping
  • 20 coupons ($75 off 2) Suave Deodorant - for $1.00 plus $.99 shipping flat fee
Here are some Ebay Coupon Stores to get you started:

The Taylortown Coupon Preview site lists the coupons that are coming out in the upcoming Sunday paper.

Previous Post:
Tips for Doing CashCrate - Earning Money and Free Gift Cards

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Latest Code to Get a Free Swagbuck

If you're doing Swagbucks, then here is the latest free Code:


The codes usually expire fast. If you haven't heard of Swagbucks, then check it out. Swag Bucks are periodically awarded as you search the Internet. They add up fast and then you can redeem them for free gift cards or prizes. It's free to join and free to do.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Start Early and Retire with $1,500,000

I'm determined to teach my kids from my mistakes. Hopefully they won't have some of the same financial struggles, because I'm honest about what I've done wrong. I didn't start saving when I was young and now I'm trying to play catch up. Saving is so easy to do if you get started early. But, it's a big burden if you start saving late. If young people determine not to take on any debt and to not spend all of their income each month, they will have money to save.

At 22, start saving $238 a month (at 10% interest) - Total: $1,500,000 at 62.

That's more than enough to use for retirement and to give generously to God's work.

Or - At 30, start saving $539 a month (at 10% interest) - Total: $1,500,000 at 62.

That's twice the amount you'll have to save each month just by waiting an additional 8 years to start saving (used the Savings Goal Calculator).

Or - If you wait until 40, you'll have to save $1574 a month to have $1,500,000 at 62.

Here are some of my ways to Lower Your Expenses, so you have more to save.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Million Dollars - for God's Work

What would you do if you had a million dollars - to give to God's work? Would you start a ministry? Would you give some to missionaries, your church, Christian organizations?

Yes. You would pray about it before actually giving the money away. I'd like to know what types of ministries are dear to your heart. Which ones would you be interested in supporting? (but pray about first)

Well, I'd really like to get your answers and add them to this post. You can include links, too.

Tara said: I would really pray before making specific donations but off the top of my head, I would sponsor missionaries, make a donation to an organization that translates and distributes the Bible worldwide, start a women's ministry that has been on my heart for years, donate money to a local women's ministry that I believe in, donate to my church's building project....for a start! hehehe

Debbie said:
Wow! That is a thought provoking question. I agree with the others-you would need to spend a great deal of time in prayer first! I really know so many missionaries and mission projects around the globe that it would be easy to spend a million dollars. I think I would have to donate a hefty sum to Piedmont Baptist College. They do a great job of training Christian leaders. I would also pray about giving funds to the Baptist Mid-Missions camp outside Lima, Peru. It has never been funded enough. After that I would give a massive sum to national pastors and missionaries. Your dollar goes a long way with these dear servants. I know dozens here in Peru that live off so little.

I don't suppose I will ever have the chance to distribute a million dollars for the Lord's work. But, if anyone wants me to try, just let me know! Sounds like a blessed job to me.

Joyce said: Personally....I would probably "break up the money" and distribute it to various missionaries and missions organizations that need it badly. I wouldn't probably give it to so many of the "well known" or big agencies, but maybe a few that I trust. My heart goes out to the people/missionaries who are doing the work but haven't much $$$ support. Right before I read your comment on my blog...I had just wrote a check out to a little "Girls" home in Mexico that my friends are involved in. Because they haven't any heat and it's gotten cold there and their heaters were dangerous. Not working, expelling toxic gases, of us have all pitched in to help buy them a new furnace...because they couldn't afford it. That's the kind of things I want to help out with.....and of course other things as well. Orphans, AIDS, clean water, child prostitution, and human trafficking is a huge issue I am dealing with in my heart. I can't stand it. Those last ones put me over the edge. Child prostitution and Human Trafficking. We have some friends that are now working in that realm I would pour money to that cause big time. I don't think I would start a new missions situation only because there are so many working ones out there. I would check them out though and make sure they are reputable before I gave to them. I've seen and known of financial abuse even in missions areas...and I don't go for people living high off of missions funds.

Christina said:
I would pray, pray and pray some more. A million dollars is not chump change. I pray before I spend my last twenty so I would surely pray. Where the Lord led me I would follow.

Shari said: I would - support many Gospel for Asia Missionaries (only takes $1800 a year to fully support one), financially support orphan ministries and orphanages, go back to school to study Christian counseling, send each of my kids on a short term mission trip, contribute to my church's various fund raising projects, adopt or help other Christians adopt, give freely as the Lord leads.

Jen said:
If have a million dollars just to spend on God's work, He would have it spent before He gave it to me. God gives His grace in measure. :D I would think He would do the same with the money....just as he did with the fish and bread....

Karan said: I'd start with first, researching people or families and organizations who were in need of help and decide on who I would give some of the wealth to.

One activity my husband and I already do is, if we have read a thoroughly inspirational book that helps us to grow and think in our own lives, we recommend it to others by purchasing many copies and mailing them to friends and family to read.

I'd probably add more names to our missionary list to help support their work for the Lord. At 65 I'm too old and too tired to go to a foreign field, but I'd like to help send others to forward the name of Jesus.

I'd also like to help serious Bible College students to get through college. When I was a young woman in Bible College, my dream was to have a youth ranch for troubled youth. I most likely would consider making this dream a reality even now, by financing something similar to this.

There are so many small ways to help those in need, if you choose to give away little by little and you can include your children, grandchildren or students by teaching them how to give. Some examples I'd choose would be food, medicines, seeds, rice and shoes. You can organize a shoe drive for orphans or needy kids. I took my grandsons to a shoe dept. and we picked out shoes to send to the orphans - it was fun. I've even seen needy people or disabled people shopping and not have enough money to buy a pair of shoes or some needed item. What a look of surprise and joy on their face when I told them I'd like to buy the shoes for them. Actually, I think my own heart was more elated. There are so many ways we can be an example to our children and younger generations regarding giving. And we can always give to hunger in America. I'd like to gradually give out my wealth and not do it all at once. Spread the blessings over time!

This is an acceptable start on what I would do with a million dollars. It would go quickly, and I would need to make a good advantageous plan before I started. I would also encourage my grandchildren to join in learning how to give to others in need.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Benefits of Giving Generously

Most of us are probably familiar with the Bible verse - It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35) But, how can that be? Many modern day Christians are displaying evidence that they enjoy getting and having. According to How to Manage Your Money there are 3 main benefits for the giver:
  • When we give to the Lord, our hearts will grow closer to Him. Mathew 6:21
  • We are investing in our eternal account, treasures that we will enjoy later on. Matthew 6:20
  • When we give to the Lord, He gives us more resources - for our own needs and for others. 2 Corinthians 9:6
And there are other benefits, too - not necessarily just for the giver:

It feels good when we obey and give Him our "first fruits".
It gives us an opportunity to help others and to feel blessed through giving.
It helps churches and Christian ministries grow and reach more people.
When we give we prove that we trust God.
We reflect God's generous love.
We are actively participating in God's will for a person or ministry.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Help Fund the Great Commission

I've listened to Money Life on the Christian radio station for about 7 years. The show gives biblically based personal finance advice.

Money Life teaches:

  • Biblical financial principles
  • how to get out of debt
  • how to save
  • how to help fund the Great Commission.
When you have no more debt and interest to pay, God can show you how to help fund His Work.

The Money Life Radio Show is also online.

Their website, Crown Financial Ministries, is filled with - helpful financial articles, budgeting and saving calculators, and free financial tools.

Scripture References about budgeting, saving, investing, debt, giving, greed, and riches.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cheap Baby Stuff

I had all the basics and more for my first 3 babies. But, when #4 and #5 came along, all my baby stuff was in storage - 3000 miles away. I didn't want to spend the money to replace everything, so we got by with hardly anything. I only had a car seat, a few outfits, a couple of blankets, a portable crib, and a walker for baby #4. Yet she made it through those early years just fine.

Baby items I did appreciate having:
  • bouncy seat with vibrator (to keep the baby near by while I showered, and used for feeding baby food)
  • walker (helped the non-walkers get around, and used this in place of a high chair)
  • portable crib (put next to my bed)
  • zip up sleepers with shirts underneath and one piece sleep and play outfits
  • mechanical swing (to hold and entertain the baby while I made meals)

Baby items I didn't need:

  • a changing table ( I used a blanket and a changing pad from a diaper bag)
  • big stroller (I carried the babies in a Snugli until they were big enough for an inexpensive umbrella stroller)
  • big diaper bag (I used a small one or just stuck the baby's things in my big purse)
  • lots of fancy baby outfits
  • baby toys (just needed a few favorites)
  • a bassinet
  • potty chair (just put them right on the toilet)

I loved disposable diapers and used them on 4 of my babies. But when I had baby #3, we were hardly getting by financially. So, I used cloth diapers on that baby. I didn't like how wet the diapers got and having to rinse them and wash them. But, it did save money.

This is what I bought to diaper her cheaply:
For disposable diapers, visit Baby Cheapskate for the Top Diaper and Formula Deals for the Week

Baby Food:
I fed my first 2 babies real baby food from jars. But then I learned how to make my own. Some of their favorites were: mashed banana, instant mashed potatoes, canned applesauce, pureed pears, scrambled egg, yogurt, and pudding made with formula.

Here's two helpful posts I found - How to Make Baby Food at Home and The Only 2 Recipes You Need.

WIC is a program that will give you formula, juice, and food for your baby and children up to 5. (A family of 4 can make $39,000 a year and still receive WIC.)

Friday, January 2, 2009

What I Got for Free - in December

A Free Couch
I recently joined a online group for my local area. Within a few days, I noticed an email that someone was giving away a free couch. Wow. Since our couches are in storage (3000 miles away), we've been without a couch for a few years. We responded to the ad and picked up our "new" couch. What a blessing. Now, I've got some giving away to do on Freecycle too.

A Free Calendar

No one gave me a calendar for Christmas- not even one from the Dollar store. The free calendar offers from Betty Crocker and Pillsbury are no longer available either. But today, a free one came in the mail. What a surprise that was. My girls thought it looked ugly though. So I took the pictures from last year's free calendar and glued them onto the new one.

I may sound really cheap. But if I buy a new calendar for the next 50 years at the Dollar Store, I will end up paying $50 total (plus sales tax). It all ads up. That's more than enough money to take care of an orphan for one month.

Free Online Movies and Shows
How exciting it was to discover It' s a way to watch movies and shows online for free. Hulu is legal and paid for by advertising. It was founded by NBC. My husband and I are currently watching season 1 of Miami Vice. (It's important to him.) Tonight, I'm planning to watch a movie - The Family Man with Nicolas Cage.

Free things can be such a blessing. I feel that it's important to give away also and not just for us to be on the receiving end. What can you give? Used household items, food and baked goods, your time, lessons?

My Other Posts About Free Stuff

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Free Online Bible Study Materials

Thru the Bible with Dr. J. Vernon McGee
This is a complete 5-year audio Bible study. You can join in any time. He usually rotates between an Old Testament book and a New Testament book.

Searchable Online Bibles at Bible Gateway
There are over 50 versions and 35 languages available to use. Search by keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

Online Audio Bibles at Bible Gateway
Listen to the entire Bible online. Choose from 7 translations and 4 languages. Pick the book and chapter you want to listen to.

Classic Bible Commentaries at Bible Gateway
Choose from famous commentary writers: Calvin, Darby, Geneva, Gill, Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown, Lightfoot, Johnson, Luther, Mathew Henry, Spurgeon, McGarvey and Pendleton, McGee, and Wesley

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Keeping Your Job During a Recession

It seems like no area of the country is safe from job cuts right now.

Today, I read some articles about how to keep your job during a recession. Check out the articles for the details.

Here are the main points of How to Recession-Proof Your Career:
  • become indispensable
  • take on more work
  • network
  • have a great attitude
Here are the main points of Four Ways to Keep Your Job in a Slowing Job Market:
  • become indispensable
  • don't be high-maintenance
  • stay busy
  • do damage control
Here are the main points of How to Keep Your Job in Uncertain Times:
  • be committed and unattached
  • create a plan
  • become valuable to your company
  • enhance your personal development
  • take care of yourself
  • avoid company gossip
  • get some perspective
Here are the main points of How to Keep Your Job in a Recession:
  • be prepared and helpful
  • be valuable
  • be visible at the right times
  • pitch in and pull together
  • control what you can and keep your skills up to date

Here are the main points of 5 Tips for Keeping Your Job:
  • be visible
  • don't be a maverick
  • manage yourself
  • network
  • don't blow off the Christmas party

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tips for Doing Cash Crate - Earn Money and Gift Cards

CashCrate is exciting for many people. I've joined in, too. But, I've found it confusing. On my first day, I earned $5.30 and 103 gift card points. The remainder of my completed surveys went on a pending status and have been pending ever since. I guess that maybe I didn't do all of the "surveys" correctly.

My First Day Doing CashCrate:
Here are the first surveys that I did. They worked and confirmed for me quickly and paid me either money or gift card points:

Recipe Rewards $0.20
Paid Marketing Panel $0.50
Group Lotto $0.30
Advertisers Clearinghouse $0.25
I Credit Experts $0.50
USA Prizes $0.45
Win Your Cruise $0.50
Opinion Outpost $0.55

Cheesecake Factory 10 pts.
Free Blackberry Phone 10 pts.
Black Macbook Air 10 pts.
American Apparel 10 pts.
iPod Giveaway 10 pts.
Hawaiian Vacation Giveaway 10 pts.
Choose a Laptop 10 pts.
Blackberry Storm Survey 10 pts.
$1000 Target 10 pts.
Dell XPS M1530 10 pts.

I did more "surveys" on my first day, but they went on a pending status and I didn't get credit for them.

Here are some things I've heard about doing
  • Get an email address just for doing CashCrate. Don't use your personal email address, because some of the surveys will send out tons of emails.
  • Don't do any that require that you give out your credit card number or real phone number, or that you sign up for a free trial membership. You might get billed or advertised to over the phone.
  • Sometimes you'll just need to provide some basic information and click a "confirm" button in your email. (However, it is still confusing to me as to how far I need to actually do the "survey".)
  • I've read that you should pace yourself and not do too many "surveys" in one day, because it will effect your pending status. (I have no idea if this is true, but I'm pacing myself now.)
  • Do the "surveys" that earn points for gift cards, too. They're easy to do and my points accrued faster than the paid ones.
  • Skip the 2 "daily surveys" unless you have the time to do them. I choose not to do them because they take way too long and I usually ended up finding out that I didn't even qualify to take the survey. (However, they do pay $.80 each and there are people who want the additional $1.60 every day.)
  • Take a picture of your checks to show others that CashCrate really pays. Then encourage others to sign up using your referral number. You get paid 20% of what your direct referrals make and 10% of what their referrals make.

4 Sites for Free Gift Cards
In addition to CashCrate, I do 4 sites where I earn gift cards. These ones are even simpler and more enjoyable for me. As with CashCrate, I don't do everything at these sites - just the things that are free and easy. (I never buy anything to earn points.) I stick with: answering emails, doing Internet searches, filling out my account profile, and doing the simple advertising quiz (at My Points), and clicking on the "cabs" at Free Ride.

The sites that I do for free gift cards are: Swagbucks, iRazoo, My Points, and Free Ride

I get a kick out of Swagbucks. You never know when you're going to win a Swagbuck while doing an Internet search or how much it will be worth. You also earn Swagbucks when your referrals earn them. Swagbucks is one that I actually enjoy doing and it only takes a few minutes a day.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cheap Cleaning Products

This is what I use to clean my house:

Kitchen counter tops and cupboard doors:
  • liquid dish soap and warm water on a dish cloth
  • for stains - baking soda or cleanser on a wet sponge
Bathroom counter tops and toilet:
  • 50% white vinegar and 50% water or a little ammonia in water
Inside toilet:
  • a little bleach
Windows and mirrors:
  • 50% white vinegar and 50% water
  • newspapers or old washcloth to wipe
  • baking soda or cleanser and a sponge
Shower walls:
  • 50% white vinegar and 50% water or a little ammonia in water
  • ammonia in water
If you need more ideas, check out Naturally Frugal Cleaning

Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Ways to Save for the New Year

Just when I think I can't possible cut our spending even more, I discover even more ways.

Here are things that I'm going to do this year to get our expenses down even more:
  • shrink our toiletry and personal care expenses by finding coupons for the cheap products that we already use
  • save receipts and return any unnecessary items that we shouldn't have bought
  • earn free Wal-Mart gift cards from (to get toiletries, clearance clothes, and Christmas gifts)
  • wait for the things I want to go on clearance even if I don't want to wait
  • buy the foods that are on sale and then figure out ways to serve them
  • participate in
You can find new ways to save in the post 168 Frugal Tips to Make Your Dollar Stretch.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Personal Finance Resolutions

One of my goals for the new year is to work even harder at getting my personal finances in order and living frugally.

This next year, I am vowing to:
  • record everything that our family buys in a notebook
  • get that first $1000 saved in my emergency account
  • be consistent about donating 10% to our church even if it appears that we can't cover our necessary expenses
  • earn more money
Last year:
  • paid cash for a used van (no monthly payments)
  • had a frugal Christmas
  • started a blog about frugal living and personal finance

Here are some personal finance resolutions that you may be interested in pursuing:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Free Family Entertainment

This is what our family (2 adults and 5 kids) does for free entertainment:
  • invite friends over for slumber parties
  • church activities (youth group, Christmas musical, New Year's Eve party, Vacation Bible School, family potlucks, Children's Church, Wednesday night Kids Club)
  • go to another family's house after church
  • borrow movies on DVD from the library
  • go out for ice cream sundaes at McDonald's (using gift cards we received at Christmas)
  • have picnics and play in park playgrounds
  • wade in the lake
  • summer parade and Christmas parade
Related Posts
Free Summer Entertainment
Watch Movies and TV Shows for Free

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Online Financial Calculators

It amazes me how many useful things are available to us through the Internet. I just love online calculators that make personal finance so much easier.

Here are some of my favorite calculators:

More Financial Calculators

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Reasons to Be Frugal

I read a post at called 32 Reasons to Be Frugal Besides Saving Money. It got me thinking about my own reasons.

Here are the reasons why I live frugally:
  • It's a good example for my children.
  • I have less stuff to clean, store, and move.
  • It makes me appreciate what I do have.
  • It's encouraging me to be more generous in giving.
  • It's fun and challenging to play the "Money Game".
  • It's brought out the creativity in us.
  • We've learned new skills like - hair cutting, mechanics, remodeling, repairing, crafting, country living.
  • The emphasis is not on materialism.
  • I have the freedom to stay home with my kids.
  • We're establishing a habit of frugality that will keep our monthly expenses low and spending down even when we have more income.
  • It gives us a concern for less fortunate people.
  • I know that I'm pleasing God by spending money wisely.
  • We'll be better prepared for financial hardships like a recession or job loss.
  • I have more time to spend with people instead of stuff.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

25 High Paying Jobs for Associate Degrees

I read an article called the 25 Highest-Paying Jobs Requiring an Associates Degree.

We're not all cut out for 4 or more years of college. Those making career changes later on in life may want to limit their years in college, too. I was happy to learn that there are many good career choices available that require only 2 years of college.

Here are the top paying 25 and links to their descriptions:

1 Computer Specialists
2 Radiation Therapists
3 Nuclear Technicians
4 Dental Hygienists $62,800
5 Fashion Designers
6 Nuclear Medicine Technologists
7 Commercial Pilots
8 Electrical and Electronics Repairers,
Powerhouse and Relay
9 Registered Nurses $57,300
10 Diagnostic Medical Sonographers $57,200
11 Ship Engineers
12 Engineering Technicians, Except Drafters
13 Aerospace Engineering and Operations Techs $53,300
14 Electrical and Electronic Engineering Techs $50,600
15 Funeral Directors $49,600
16 Radiologic Technologists and Technicians $48,200
17 Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians $47,700
18 Respiratory Therapists $47,400
19 Avionics Technicians $46,900
20 Electrical and Electronics Drafter $46,800
21 Industrial Engineering Technicians $46,800
22 Geological and Petroleum Technicians $46,200
23 Mechanical Engineering Technicians
24 Court Reporters $45,600
25 Forensic Science Technicians $45,300

Great Careers in 2 Years: The Associate Degree Option

Monday, December 22, 2008

Watch Movies and TV Shows for Free

We don't have cable, or rent DVDs, or go out to movies. But we do watch movies and TV shows.

This is what we watch for free:
  • local channels with a roof top antenna
  • movies and shows at (It's legal and paid for by advertising. Hulu was founded by NBC.)
  • kids shows at Disney Channel and Nickelodeon Channel
  • borrow DVDs from our public library
  • ask for DVD TV series for Christmas presents from Grandparents (received Little House on the Prairie, The Walton's, I Love Lucy, Gomer Pyle, and Andy Griffith)
  • share DVDs with our neighbors and friends
  • watch classic shows at,,, and

Sunday, December 21, 2008