Free Coffee: How I’m Getting It Free for Nine Months

They say that a good day starts with a good cup of coffee. Well, at least I’m saying so today because for me it’s part of my morning ritual, every day. I am not alone here. When I used to commute to work for years and years, I’d always have a cup at home before I left for the office and then of course just had to have another one when I arrived and settled into my routine each morning at the office, too.

Most of us like our coffee to start us off on a productive day. But it doesn't have to be expensive. I'm getting free coffee for 9 months and here's how.

There are a lot of “golden rules” when it comes to saving money that tipsters often cite in personal finance blogs. I am guilty here too of stressing that skipping your morning coffee and bagel as you drive into work every day will save you some big bucks. It does. Simply said, if you don’t make your coffee at home, you are probably wasting a lot of hard earned money that you can easily save and put toward a far better use. Like maybe buying that small island in the Caribbean you sometimes dream about? OK, it’s good to dream anyway. But free coffee…it tastes so much better, I promise you.

Continue reading“Free Coffee: How I’m Getting It Free for Nine Months”

Conquer Holiday Stress and Make It Safely Into 2019

Now that the holidays are here, you are right in the middle of experiencing the “rush” of a lot of fun and happy celebrations. But as we all painfully do know, sometimes the holidays can also bring difficult emotional triggers, such as painful memories, grief for family members who can’t be with us, or challenging dynamics with family members who are with us. Holiday stress can also involve long to-do lists and financial strain to make things even worse.

We're all susceptible to holiday stress, so pay attention to these 6 ways of managing stress to insure you have a happy holiday season!

By no means am I trying to bum out the holiday season. Quite the opposite. Whether you have specific and unique reasons or not that can interfere with a happy holiday, we all go through some kind of stress during the month of December. The reasons can be simple or complex. Time pressures, money pressures, and family pressures seem to come together into a “perfect storm” and sometimes it’s really important to take some caution so that you can enjoy and yet keep your health and sanity too. That’s why I am suggesting some self–care precautions to get us through the holiday season and make it safely to 2019!Continue reading“Conquer Holiday Stress and Make It Safely Into 2019”

These Retailers Offer Free Gift Wrapping on Holiday Gifts

(Or for a small fee!)

Picture it, you and your beautifully wrapped holiday gifts, the family Christmas tree all trimmed, and your fireplace glowing with holiday cheer and warmth as you sit in your favorite easy chair sipping a cup of hot cocoa. Sounds like such a great way to enjoy an evening as you get ready to enjoy special family traditions.

If wrapping gifts is just another holiday chore for you, check out these retailers that offer free gift wrapping (or gift wrapping for a small fee)!

Ok, that’s really cool, isn’t it? But for others, wrapping those gifts is just another obligation on a long holiday to-do list. Luckily, plenty of stores still offer gift wrapping, even online, and your gifts arrive ready to put right under the tree. Here’s an even more pleasant surprise, sometimes it’s even free!Continue reading“These Retailers Offer Free Gift Wrapping on Holiday Gifts”

Will It Be a Happy New Year or Wallet War 2019?

If you are anything like me, you are probably wondering if you might be paying more for things in 2019. Experts predict that the answer is yes you will and one of the biggest reasons, although not the only one, is because increases in tariffs can cause it. With our recent trade controversies and disputes with foreign governments like China and Mexico, there has been a claim that price increases will go unnoticed, but that is starting to prove untrue as some economists and government officials had predicted. More and more now say they expect the impact on consumers to be pretty significant.

Will 2019 be a joyful new year, or will price increases cause a "wallet war" that may leave you broke? Here are 12 areas where price increases are likely.

“Things are going to become more expensive because of these added taxes,” best-selling author and personal finance expert Chris Hogan told CNBC. “This has the potential to impact a lot of areas that people need day to day to survive or to run their business.”Continue reading“Will It Be a Happy New Year or Wallet War 2019?”

Missed Black Friday Deals…Is It Too Late for Great Bargains?

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Congratulations, you just survived another Thanksgiving holiday with all of the trimmings. It probably included not only a wonderful family get-together with turkey and pies, but also enough sports to cause a major overload even for a diehard football fan. It seems every year gets even more and more like that for us, and if you were among the many this past weekend you probably also included some form of traditional shopping frenzy too! Black Friday deals, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday…holy cow does it ever let up for even a second?

So you've missed the Black Friday deals and you're worried the great bargains are gone. There's still time to get great prices on your holiday gifts!

Can You Say “Shop ‘til you drop?”

Smartphones, online shopping, and “sneak peek” discounting have changed Black Friday deals from the door-busting shopping brawl of just a day or weekend into an even more bombastic event. They’ve reshaped how retailers appeal to consumers on these “special” days which serve as the annual kick-off for the holiday shopping season. But wait, there’s more to it than that!Continue reading“Missed Black Friday Deals…Is It Too Late for Great Bargains?”

Emergency Planning – Are You Insured and Storm Ready?

We are not yet through November and some of us have already experienced a fall snowstorm. Storms of all kinds can hit with little notice no matter where you live and even if it’s not weather related, many scary problems strike and can be very dangerous, costly, and life threatening. We have seen that just in the last two weeks with the worst California wildfires ever (and now potential mudslides) that have taken dozens of lives and destroyed so much property. For these reasons and more, it pays to have an emergency plan.

Emergencies happen, but are you prepared? You need an emergency plan in case of a storm, fire, or other disaster. Here's what you need to plan in advance.

What Can You Do About Any of This?

If storms, fires, or other disasters strike, the very least you can do is be prepared with a plan and adequate emergency supplies. Even if you need to eventually evacuate, and I hope you never have to consider it, you need a plan of action.Continue reading“Emergency Planning – Are You Insured and Storm Ready?”

Retail Tricks That Make You Spend More Money, Part 2

Last time, I began reminding you of the common yet tricky retailer strategies that you will be facing now that the holiday season is actually here. Trick or treat doesn’t just apply to Halloween now that it’s in the rearview mirror for a while. The retailers like to extend that into the entire November-December shopping time frame and that translates into what is the only and/or most profitable time of the year for 99% of them. The war they wage and win is no accident. Don’t be fooled into thinking it starts on Black Friday and ends on Christmas day. Thinking that November doesn’t really matter when it comes to wheeling and dealing is wrong. November has many promotions waiting to tempt you from Veterans Day promos to “pre-Thanksgiving” and even more yet to be named.

It may be difficult to go out shopping and not spend a lot of money, but these retail tricks are making it even harder. Here's what to look out for.

We covered five ways they fight to get your money on Tuesday. Here are five more that you will be up against so you should be ready to deal with them before you shop the 2018 holiday season! Continued…
Continue reading“Retail Tricks That Make You Spend More Money, Part 2”

Retail Tricks That Make You Spend More Money, Part I

Happy Halloween! My wife and I just returned from our annual candy shopping to prepare for the trick-or-treaters who’ll be knocking on our door tomorrow. Yes of course we have waited until the last possible moment, couponed, loyalty clubbed and sale’d our way into the event as per usual! Ok, we’re a little bit obsessed with savings and that’s because we normally don’t stock up on Milky Ways and Snickers bars. Not that we don’t love our candy bars and treats. It’s just that between the two of us we’ve probably reached our quota allowed of them, and shamefully I reached my lifetime allowance of them in 1997. Thank goodness that the number of kids are growing in our neighborhood and we will be generous so hopefully no leftovers to tempt us. Suzanne won’t even let me open the bags until at least noon on October 31st!

It may be difficult to go out shopping and not spend a lot of money, but these retail tricks are making it even harder. Here's what to look out for.

But, truth be told, Halloween shopping is just the first of the many battles you will face over the next 60 days! The real shopping war is on right now and retailers are preparing to get every penny they can from you and here’s how!Continue reading“Retail Tricks That Make You Spend More Money, Part I”