Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Walgreen's Christmas Items 75% now!

Out of curiosity, I went in Walgreen's (because it is a new one near us) and ran across their 75% off Christmas items. There was quite a bit of "good" stuff left considering how many days after Christmas it is now. I know it is because many people this year are saying no to after Christmas sales and hanging on to their money and holding out for deeper discounts. It was just by chance walking through the aisle. I couldn't resist the little M&M's Elvis Ornaments! Regular $5.99 each...got each for $1.29 (Yes, I bought about 10)! I also bought an Elvis singing dog for $5...regular $20! I know those seem like silly purchases but our neighborhood's road names are named after Elvis and I just have fun with it. They also had tons of good candy and chocolates among many other decoration type of items. It is worth a look. I had to splurge as the entire Christmas Season...I was VERY miserly. This was a treat for myself and some sort of relief.

Oh yeah! I can't believe I didn't mention it...we closed our Refinance Yesterday successfully! I am excited about that as well! We locked in for 5.5% 30 Year Fixed! Very awesome! I hear the rates are supposed to lower more, but we didn't care, we weren't going to take any chances!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Maximize those Gift Cards and Cash!

That is what we do when we receive gift cards and cash. We don't look at these types of gifts as something that we need to spend right away. We hold on to them (as long is there isn't some kind of limit or penalty) until we really want to buy something or need something. We don't rush to spend them. This way, when you use your gift card or gift cash...it really feels like a bonus.

If you don't have to concern yourself with finances...well treat yourself to something you really wanted that you didn't get because we all deserve that handbag or pair of shoes or movie tickets once in a while. By treating yourself, it helps to curve the itch to spend for no reason at times. It feels like a breath of fresh air.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and Holiday Week!

Now the Countdown to the New Year is on! Then TAX TIME!!! Whooo Hoo!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve and Prep for the New Year!


Here are some updates on us:
  • My husband is doing fairly well at his new job, this is his second week. I am hoping he will get to leave early on this Christmas Eve because we have a two hour drive to my Mom's house as we all go to our family Christmas Eve Party. I don't expect him to ask to leave early since he is the "new guy," but it sure would be nice not to miss the family party. It is the only time our family gets together all year long, just like many of you. But it will be alright...what happens...happens.
  • We will close our home refinance on Monday the 29th! What a great way to end 2008 and roll into 2009 with! I'm excited!
  • I did finish all my Christmas shopping...LAST NIGHT! :-) Hey, at least it is before Christmas Eve...I was sure I would be out there today! :-)
  • I'm ready to get started on TAXES!
  • We need to make our last of the year Donations to our local Guardian Angel! Everyone out there...you can do the same and make it to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc... You are doing a good deed and will benefit on your taxes. It is a great way to make room for your new goodies and your children's new toys by making a donation! You are being "Green," Generous, and benefiting on your taxes for 2008! Hurry! You have one week left to make your 08 donations!


Monday, December 22, 2008

Gear up for Travel by taking advantage of after Christmas Online Specials!

Oh yeah!

If this were a year we were going to travel out of the country...I would totally be taking advantage of Christmas gift cash or gift cards at the following stores!

They are already running sales as big as 75% off!

My favorite purchase ever for travel online was from Magellan's for the PacSafe CitySafe 200 Handbag! Check it out! It is an AWESOME gift for yourself! :-)

My other favorite online travel store for Travel Clothing (made for travel...you just have to read the descriptions to see what I mean...wow!) is Travel Smith!

Travel Smith

They both have catalogs that you can have sent to your home! I do! :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Final Christmas Countdown! Yikes!

Christmas countdown banner
I can't believe it! It's almost here!
As much as I wanted to NOT be one of the last ones out there shopping...guess what? I am!
Well, I will just laugh about it because my mom has always said
"Laughing is better than Crying!"
This year I started out early and then my husband's work took a dive and then as you know eventually laid off. He started his new job Monday but of course there is a holding week on the first check...so this year's Christmas is going to be a little on the less expensive side and all of our friends and family do understand. I consider us blessed people no matter what.
As we all know, it isn't about the gifts anyways; however, it does stink a little to not get out and shop in the hustle and bustle throughout the season.
I do intend to get out in the next few days to get my son's yearly picture with Santa and do some final shopping and only shopping that does need to be done.
Most people will be getting gift cards or cash.
These types of gifts can be acquired in the last seconds and that is where we are right now.
I am wishing everyone out there a very Happy and Cheerful Holiday Season as well as a
Very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Things are looking up!

Just thought I would write a post to say thank you to all of your well wishes and prayers. I wanted you to know that things are turning around already!

My husband received a job and will start on Monday. He will make more than his last job and little chance for a layoff there. Downside is he will not ever get any Saturdays off. Oh well. It will be okay. I still consider us lucky and blessed people.

We are also in the process of refinancing our house at 5.5%! Several people recommended us to refinance our house because my husband was laid off. Apparently there is something to it and it is looking good thus far on the refinance. I will keep you posted and let you know for sure if it went through by the end of the month. I am pretty excited about everything again; however, a bit exhausted. It has been a tiresome week. Today, I didn't have a sitter because her son had strep throat and pink eye and to be honest, my son and myself have a cold as well. We were better off to stay home as we also have the house appraisal today. Also, I have a ton of paperwork dealing with the refinance I have to take care of...so I keep moving forward.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

And so our family starts a New Chapter...

With every big event of life, we all turn to a "new chapter!"

As you read in the post before this one...my husband was laid off last Monday. This was a huge shock for us as we had no warning and no anticipation it could happen even though, yes, he did work for one of the Auto companies having trouble. It is just one of those things where you just don't think it will be you.

It is okay though...we have all accepted it (including my husband...whom believes in working). We don't worry, we know all will be okay. We see it as a blessing and an exciting "opportunity" for what is yet to come. I know, sounds "lame" but it is true and how we feel. No room to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves.

As the old saying goes "when one door shuts, another door opens!" (or something like that)

Thanks to our "penny-pinching" ways...I believe we will survive just fine until my husband finds a new job.

I wanted to make this post so all would understand the lack of posts I have made over the past week. Life is currently a roller-coaster but is slowing down momentarily.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gift Cards: Careful

By now, I would bet most of you have received these emails about being Careful this Holiday Season with Gift Cards from certain stores as they may be closing at the beginning of the upcoming year. That is very sad. I thought I would share that email here (just in case there is any validity to it) so you will also see the stores that it is a possibility to buy gift cards and then all the sudden may no longer be honored.

I know all about "all the sudden" surprises as my husband was just laid off on Monday (he worked for Ford for 7 years). My mom is going to be laid off this Friday (update: she actually ended up being laid off that Tuesday a few days earlier than originally told)(she worked in Furniture for 37 years). So, from personal experience...I believe this email has some truths to it and I will also add links to snopes.com with their spin on these emails. Without further adieu: here is the email:

Stores that will be closing after Christmas
and are still selling Gift Cards that will not
be good on January 1, 2009.
There is no Law preventing them from
selling these cards, so please beware.

Circuit City (Filed Chapter 11)
Ann Taylor- (117 Stores Nationwide Closing)
Lane Bryant,
Fashion Bug and Catherine's (to Close 150 Stores)
Eddie Bauer (to close 27 stores and more after January)
Cache (Closing all stores)
Talbots ( closing down specialty Stores)
J.Jill (Closing all Stores)
Pacific Sunwear (Owned by Talbots)
GAP-(Closing 85 Stores)
Footlocker (closing 140 stores)
Wickes Furniture (Closing all Stores)
Levitz (All Stores)
Bombay (closing all Stores)
Zales (closing 82 stores & 105 after January)
Whitehall (closing all Stores)
Piercing Pagoda (closing all stores)
Disney (closing 98 stores)
Home Depot (Closing 15 stores in NJ)
Macy's (closing 9 stores after January)
Linens & Things (closing all stores)
Movie Galley (closing all stores)
Pep Boys (closing 33 stores)
Sprint/Nextel (closing 133 stores)
JC Penny (closing a number of stores after January)
Ethan Allen (closing down 12 stores)
Wilson Leather ( Closing all stores)
Sharper Image (closing all stores)
KB Toys (closing 356 Stores)
Dillard's (closing some stores)

Now, if you intended to get a gift card for someone from one of these stores, I would recommend you do some of your own research before you say oh, no...I'm not getting one now. Seriously...you could contact stores and such to be sure of which stores are closing and that sort of thing. It is worth at least looking into it.

Here are the Snopes.com links to these emails and their research about them (all worth looking into...they are not totally false as stated on snopes.com):
This link says the email is a "mix" of truths:
This link says the email is "Partly true":
Both of the snopes emails are very similar to the one above...so it does make you scratch your head and be more alert when purchasing a gift card for a loved one.

Have a good Thursday!