Monday, February 28, 2011

Gasoline Prices: How High Will They Go?

It should be no surprise to anyone that gas prices are up. In fact one news site even said they were up 26.7 cents per gallon over last week. Now that is a significant jump. One that will truly effect prices of everything that we buy. GasBuddy.com says that the average price of a gallon of gas today is $3.211 here in Austin, TX and $3.352 nationally. Compared to a year ago when gas was $2.545 here in Austin, TX and $2.695 nationally. This weekend I have seen some stations as high as $3.35 here in Austin. However, we will focus on the current average price rather then the highest. That is roughly a 67 cent jump over last year and 26 cents of that was just in the past week.
The problem is the unrest in the middle east. With riots in Libya and several of the other oil producing countries in the area. Dictators have fallen or are fighting to remain in control. Even killing (murdering) protesters in order to do so. In the case of Libya the dictator even blamed the protests on Al Quida and Ben Laden. While there may be some truth to that claim, we can't forget that he was the one that President Reagan bombed twice because Libya was considered a terrorist state at the time. Libya was tied to the bombing of the Pan Am plane over Lockerbie, Scotland. However, that is another story. Back to the gas prices. Many people wonder how high the prices will rise this time. Some have even suggested $4 maybe even $5 per gallon. However, most experts really don't expect gas to get above $4, but that's with one very big assumption. That being that the unrest ends soon in Libya and doesn't spread to some of the other oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia.

There is good news that the experts optimism may be on the right track. According to ABC News,
Oil prices fell Monday amid signs the disruption to crude exports from Libya is easing.


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Thank you

I would like to say a great big Thank you to MightyPromos for sponsoring this blog. They're on a mission "to help businesses be different, get noticed, and stand out from the competition." They offer more than 100,000 products such as promotional footballs that can be printed with a logo or message.




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The 'Envelope System' In a Cashless Society

A few years ago Gary Foreman over at Better Budgeting tried to answer a question on this topic. Unfortunately I don't believe he gave it an worthy answer. I will try to fill in that gap, with what I do. Something I have mentioned before and an idea he never raised, while at the same time looking at his suggestion. First we will look at the question.
Q - My family has been trying to work with a budget for the past several months, but the "envelope" system is just not practical with our primarily cashless lifestyle. How can I track our cashless expenditures for gas, groceries, personal items etc. and still know how much is left in each category as the month goes on?
- Lisa

Like him I agree that Lisa is right. Some of the old budgeting tools don't work so very well in today's society. Especially since more of purchases are made by debit cards or electronic means.
Now lets look at what he told Lisa.
The envelope system worked well when we used cash for all of our purchases. You immediately knew if you could afford a purchase. Moving money from one envelope to another was a warning sign that you could be getting into trouble.

Unfortunately, very few of us use much cash anymore. We're much more likely to pull out a credit/debit card or write a check. And an envelope system doesn't handle credit cards very well.

One way to modify the envelope system is to add an additional envelope for your checking account. When you charge something move cash to the 'checking account' envelope. If you charge $20 worth of groceries, move $82 from the 'grocery' to 'checking account' envelope. Then when the credit card bill comes you'll have the money available to pay the bill.

Or Lisa could use a 'pretend envelope' system. She would set it up just as if she were going to use an envelope system. But she wouldn't actually put cash into the envelopes. Instead on the front of the envelope she'll list how much money is assigned to it. As she writes checks or makes charges, she'd subtract that money from the balance listed on the front of the envelope. When the running balance on the front of the envelope got to zero she'd have to quit spending in that category or 'move' money from another envelope.

Another way would be to use one or more sheets to keep a running balance for each category. She could have one sheet represent each envelope. Or she could have one sheet per month that contained the balances for all of the envelopes. The sheets, or perhaps a small spiral notebook, could be kept in her pocket or purse.

The danger in any virtual envelope plan is that you'll forget to make the entry and your balance will appear bigger than it is. One way to avoid that is to put any receipt into your pocket or purse. When you get home you can deduct the expense from the proper envelope and place the receipt inside.

There are also products that Lisa can buy that will help. One is the Budget Map which offers a specialized check register that allows you to keep track of different budget categories and another is Mvelopes, which features an online approach.
- Better Budgeting
Now let's take another look. Here is what I do when I am doing the virtual envelope system. The idea is a simple one and is very much like a true envelope system. That being to set up separate accounts, making sure the financial institution won't charge you for low amounts in those accounts. Let me explain. I have a separate account for housing. Another for auto, travel, insurance etc. At this time with me just being in the process of rebuilding my savings each account only has like $5 or $10. In time as I build my savings back up each account will have the minimum $1,000 emergency fund. As time goes on, my one year of income that I highly recommend that you save in your emergency fund will be divided between these accounts. Meaning each account will have a reserve of about $5,000 to $6,000 so that each of those funds can continue in the event I were to lose my job or during some other kind of emergency.

I know some balk at this idea. But it truly is the most like the old fashioned envelope system. So once the money is gone, you have to stop spending in that category.

I hope I didn't confuse anyone, and was able to clearly point out my thoughts on this idea. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

False Advertising Angers This Consumer

About a month ago, I received a packet of coupons and ads in the mail for businesses in my area. The packet was distributed by a company called ValPak.com. One business in particular was especially interesting to me. That being for a free "Touchless Automatic Wash" at a place calling itself "Sparkling Car Wash". Especially considering how dirty my car was. According to the coupon it is a $6 value being given for free. What a deal right? That's what I thought. Just drive through and get your car washed without getting out of your car and washing it with the hose. Which I normally would do.
There was one catch according to the coupon. That being:
Present Coupon

To Attendant

Sat-Sun ONLY 10 AM-6 PM

Expires 2/28/11


Well I arrived this weekend only to find no attendant. I could not find an attendant anywhere. I called the number listed on the coupon. Only to get the voice-mail. So I left a message and decided to drive to another location. Thinking will maybe this guy was sick. I arrived at the 2nd of the three locations listed on the coupon, (although their signs says there are 6) and again found no attendant around. I again called the number which was the same number posted on the sign at this location. This time getting an answer. The guy who answered told me that the only location with an attendant was the one on Jolleyville Road. Which is also one road I am not familiar with. I also was fed up and wasn't driving all over the city to find a free car wash. I told him that he lost my business and he said "Okay, no problem." I had intended to be back to that first location I went to wash my car when I needed it, but not now. I will not being doing business with someone that puts out false advertising. If the free car wash was for only one location, it should say that. It should not list three locations with mini maps of those three areas.
You can bet I will let ValPak know. In addition I will contact the Better Business Bureau about this unscrupulous business.

One final thought, when I lived in Topeka there was a car wash that I won free car washes from the radio station on a couple of occasions. The owner was a friend of mine and I made a point of going to that car wash for all my car wash needs while in Topeka. Well anyway, he didn't have an attendant on duty either. In fact the (black and white) coupon was designed in a way to be read by the dollar bill slot and the one presenting it would just insert it into the slot like they would a $1 or $5 bill. In my opinion that was a much better system.

This "Sparkling Car Wash" here in Austin will never see a single dime of my money after this stunt.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Freebies Saturday - 2/26/10

It is time once again for this weeks Freebie Saturday. This makes the 11th weekly edition of this feature. I make every effort to make sure that the freebies I list are real free offers. If you have to answer a survey and then go through 50 pages of ads to get the so called free item, I consider that spam. That is why I make every effort to make sure that those websites are never included in my list.


  • Dr. Seuss - Target - Dr Seuss Read Across America Event Target Stores today Saturday, February 26,2011 9:00-11:00 AM. On February 26, bring the kids to your local Target store to enjoy giveaways, coupons and hear Dr. Seuss favorites.


  • Get a free Soy Joy bar from Facebook right now. Just “like” then and click on one of the dares.


  • Do you have American Airline AAdvantage miles? Just “like” American Airlines on Facebook and enter your AAdvantage Card Number. You can win anywhere from 100 to 100,000 miles Free American Airlines Miles. I personally won 100 miles this week. Sure could use the 100,000, but I'm not choosy.

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  • Thursday, February 24, 2011

    The new Job

    Good morning everyone. I hope you all are doing well. I started working at the new job this past Monday. It is a a 16 mile one way trip to the job site. With current gas prices that would be an estimated $100/month in gas just to get to and from work. The job is challenging and rewarding. So glad to be back to work, still I still feel the Lord wants me full time working for him. However, until I can build an income and/or support level large enough to meet our needs (and get insurance) I must continue to go to work for someone else. I look forward to the many challenges that this new job will bring.
    This past week, I have come home at 2 pm and taken a nap for a couple of hours before continuing on with my day. Saturday, I will return to the part-time job to put in a few hours there. As I try to replenish my emergency savings. So glad to finally be earning some some cash.

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    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Austin 6 months Later

    Six months ago I moved to Austin with my wife. We came here in search of a better life, warmer winters and to be closer to my wife's son. Recently HS asked,
    tell us how you are liking Austin and how job search is going etc!

    We are loving Austin, although part of coming here was to escape the cold temps and snow/ice in Kansas. That for the most part has happened, although last Friday we did get an inch of snow. Which down here was enough to close the City and County governments down. Not to mention all the schools and several private businesses. That snow ended a cold streak that lasted an 70 hours. Seventy hours that never got above freezing. Then last night/this morning the low dipped into the teens (of course today's high is to be 65). It can go several winters and never get that cold, and this month it has already dipped into the teens 3 times. Still overall Austin is absolutely wonderful. A fantastic place to live.








    Book and Speaking

    Since arriving here I have actually got started on the budgeting workbook, that I have wanted to get started so many times before, but never did. Part of the reason, is because I have been speaking at church and teaching some Biblical principles to budgeting and getting out of debt. I even created my own version of the "Baby Steps" that Dave Ramsey teaches. Mine however, are even smaller steps that I call Wisdom steps. Eleven steps in total, each have scripture verses tied with it to help bring about that Biblical backing that I want to have in my budgeting guide. Look foor the "Wisdom Steps" to be posted on PrinceOfThrift.com this weekend or early next week.







    Current Part Time Job

    I love my part-time job. It is the best company to work for ever. Despite it having no affordable insurance. On the last paycheck though I only worked about 15 hours per week. This past week (end tomorrow) I had 28 hours on the schedule. I really need at least 20 hours each week just to pay the rent out of my paycheck. I need more then that to pay for insurance, savings and such.







    Career Search

    It is still going. If my current part-time job would give me the 35+ hours I would be happy there I think. I really can't say much else, for obvious reasons. When I have something more to report, I will be happy to let all the readers know.







    Schooling

    Schooling is another thing I have considered. I believe education to be very important. I have considered becoming a solicitor, accountant or perhaps a financial counselor. The biggest problem is I am still new to Texas and I need to live here a year before I can get instate tuition rates.





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    My name is Kevin, and that's what I think. What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

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    Frugal Tip 31: Water

    Earlier this year, I started posting a more in depth look at each of the frugal tips. Over the next few weeks I will publish the frugal tips that I have collected. Please note that not every tip will work for everyone. Chose as many of the tips that will work with you and your family and start implementing them. Today we will proceed with Tip #31 Only drink water.

    This one I don't do as much as I should. In fact I was even taken to task for drinking one can of soda by some of my readers. One of whom actually suggested this tip. So I thought I would include it. Yes, it would be healthier (then soda) and yes if you use tap water it would be cheaper then bottled or any other beverage you would buy. However, NPR found some myths associated with the whole drink more water thing. Let's take a look.

    Myth No. 1: Drink Eight Glasses Each Day
    Scientists say there's no clear health benefit to chugging or even sipping water all day. So where does the standard advice of drinking eight glasses each day come from? "Nobody really knows," says Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a kidney expert at the University of Pennsylvania.
    - National Public Radio


    Myth No. 2: Drinking Lots of Water Helps Clear Out Toxins
    The kidneys filter toxins from our bloodstreams. Then the toxins clear through the urine. The question is, does drinking extra water each day improve the function of the kidneys?

    "No," says Goldfarb. "In fact, drinking large amounts of water surprisingly tends to reduce the kidney's ability to function as a filter. It's a subtle decline, but definite."
    - National Public Radio

    Myth No. 3: Lots of Water Equals Healthier Skin
    Myth No. 4: Drinking Extra Water Leads to Weight Loss
    Fact it's more helpful but it is not the magical fix-all.
    Myth No. 5: It's Easy to Get Dehydrated During a Workout
    Dehydration sets in when a person has lost 2 percent of his or her body weight. So for a 200-pound man, this means losing 4 pounds of water.

    Marathon runners, bikers and hikers all need to recognize the signs of dehydration. "It is also obvious that individuals in hot, dry climates have increased need for water," says Goldfarb.

    The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that athletes drink 16 ounces of fluids a couple of hours before starting sports practice.

    But for a stroll in the park, no water bottle is necessary. Goldfarb's advice: Just drink when you're thirsty.
    - National Public Radio
    Okay so there you have it. What do you think? You have now heard from the experts. Can we all do a better job with water consumption? Sure we could. We just need to do so in balance.


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    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Frugal Tip 30:- Credit Cards

    Earlier this year, I started posting a more in depth look at each of the frugal tips. Over the next few weeks I will publish the frugal tips that I have collected. Please note that not every tip will work for everyone. Chose as many of the tips that will work with you and your family and start implementing them. Today we will proceed with Tip #30 get rid of your credit card with annual fee.

    If you are paying annual fees on your credit cards; you are wasting money. Stop it. Get rid of any cards that charges an annual fee. In fact why not do one better. Get rid of all the credit cards all together. The interest charged on credit cards are horrible. So just get rid of them all. Why would you pa twice, maybe even three times the asking price for that bag of new clothes (or whatever). Yet that is exactly what you are doing when you buy on credit. You buy lets say $100 in new clothes then you pay the minimum payment on that credit card. By the time you pay it off the interest has combined to charge you an additional $100-$200. What a waste. Instead plan ahead. Save a little bit of cash each month in a savings account and pay cash from this savings when you need to buy clothes. You will save money, plus you will earn any interest yourself because you are keeping the money in a savings account. Isn't that better then paying interest?


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    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Frugal Tip 29: Extreme Bathing

    Earlier this year, I started posting a more in depth look at each of the frugal tips. Over the next few weeks I will publish the frugal tips that I have collected. Please note that not every tip will work for everyone. Chose as many of the tips that will work with you and your family and start implementing them. Today we will proceed with Tip #29 extreme bathing.



    Only bathe every other day


    I know, I know that sounds pretty extreme doesn't it. But these really are extreme tips to save you money. If you think about it, if you only bathed every other day, you would cut your water use in about half. Which ideally would save you about half on your monthly water bill. If you are one of the lucky ones that have a job that doesn't require a lot of physical excretion, this might be a perfect way to say some money on the water bill, plus the heating to heat the water up.




    Take a shorter shower


    The Frugalista actually suggests this option. Showers use less water then baths and are better for the environment she told me via twitter.
    If you already take showers over baths, are you taking to long in the shower? This tip will recommend that you cut your time in the shower. This idea isn't new, in fact a number of frugal blogs have discussed it. But, it is true you can save money by limiting yourself to a 5 minute shower. You could just get a inexpensive kitchen timer and let the ding tell you when it is time to get out or you can buy a timer specifically made for the shower for $4.95. However you do it; I highly encourage you to consider cutting your shower time.
    Here is what Crunchy Domestic Goddess said in 2008 about the topic.
    My first timed shower, I rushed like a crazy woman to make sure I could do it in under 5 minutes. I got done in about 3 1/2. The next day I took a somewhat more leisurely approach and took the full 5 minutes. You definitely can’t dilly-dally, but 5 minutes is longer than I thought it would be and totally attainable.

    So, what do you think? Can you commit to taking 5-minute showers (or shorter) for three months?
    - Crunchy Domestic Goddess


    Wash your hair only twice a week


    Another great way to help reduce water use (not to mention the cost of cleaning products) is to only wash your hair twice a week. If you do this I suggest once on the weekend (Saturday night or Sunday morning before you go to church) and the middle of the week (perhaps Tuesday night or Wednesday morning).
    Someone on yahoo answers answered someone asking about this topic with this answer;
    I noticed that if i washed it everyday that i would have some serious issues with breakage and other things. I started just washing some days and conditioning everyday. That helped tremendously.
    Perhaps the best answer on this topic comes from NPR.

    Americans love to shampoo. We lather up an average of 4.59 times a week, twice as much as Italians and Spaniards, according to shampoo-maker Procter & Gamble.

    But that's way too often, say hair stylists and dermatologists. Daily washing, they say, strips the hair of beneficial oil (called sebum) and can damage our locks.

    The current trend of frequent shampoos may have started on May 10, 1908, when the New York Times published a column advising women that it was OK to wash their hair every two weeks. At that time, once a month was the norm.

    Decades later, TV marketing campaigns began to convince us that daily washing was the thing to do. A 1970s Faberge ad for Farrah Fawcett shampoo is one example.
    - National Public Radio
    If we were to look at other countries we would see that they don't shampoo as often as us Americans. So what do the experts say about this un-American trend? Again we return to the folks at NPR for the answer.
    Experts say Haegele's observations are not flaky. As she washed less, her sebaceous glands began producing less sebum oil.

    "If you wash your hair every day, you're removing the sebum," explains Michelle Hanjani, a dermatologist at Columbia University. "Then the oil glands compensate by producing more oil," she says.

    She recommends that patients wash their hair no more than two or three times a week.

    There's also a lot of variation among hair types. African-Americans and people with curly hair can go even longer between washes compared to folks with straight hair.

    So, it seems, less is more. And maybe our grandmothers were on to something after all.
    - National Public Radio
    So what do say, can we cut the washing of our hair to twice a week? Perhaps even once a week? Think of the money saved. Could you do this? Could you do any of these three ideas?

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    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    Frugal Tip 28: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

    Earlier this year, I started posting a more in depth look at each of the frugal tips. Over the next few weeks I will publish the frugal tips that I have collected. Please note that not every tip will work for everyone. Chose as many of the tips that will work with you and your family and start implementing them. Today we will proceed with Tip #28 is keep your house clean and in order, less likely to misplace or forgot thing

    Okay, so this is one area that I have trouble. In fact it is probably the most problematic for me. That being keeping my home office organized and clutter free. The problem is if your home is cluttered then probably so is your finances. We all must become more organized in all facets of our lives. To help us get a handle on this, lets take a look at some ideas that could help us become more organized. Again, as I have said in previous posts, the key is to actually apply these things to your lives.
    1. Assign: When fixing up your room, you have to keep everything in the place where it belongs. This place should be known to you and others we occupy the place. When everything has a particular place, you can easily start moving your things.
      - Ezine Articles

      This is the first step. The Ezine Article that I referenced above is hard hitting and is clear that giving everything a home is the first step to get your home clutter free.

    2. Along the same lines the same article suggests writing out a plan.
      Outline and plan: You will run into problems early on, if you do not take some time to think about how the room should look. If you start moving things, you may not know where to put certain things that occupy similar spaces. If you have a paper, quickly draw an outline of the things you want and where. This will allow you to fix up according to what you have planned.
      - Ezine Articles
      Much like a budget is our written plan for our finances. A written plan or outline can help us determine a place for everything in our homes. In this case each room would be the different categories of the plan. With closets and cabinets being the sub categories.
    3. The next step is Time. Consumer Reports put it best when it said it this way:
      Many people find that a schedule lets them take control over housework, rather than the other way around. Start by making a list of cleaning tasks in your home. Then note how often each chore needs to be done--daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonally. Devise a schedule that spaces your daily chores evenly over the course of a week and your weekly chores evenly over the course of a month. Happily, few chores need to be done on a daily basis.
      - Consumer Reports
    4. Throw It Away (or sell it)
      If you don't need or like something in your house, give it away, throw it away, or recycle it rather than clean it. The fewer things you have, the less clutter you have. And, of course, the less you have, the less there is to dust, polish, shine, vacuum, and otherwise take care of.
      - Consumer Reports
      Great advise. In fact I like what Dave Ramsey says. "Sell so much stuff the kids think they are next." The idea is to fold really. First you re decluttering and getting rid of things you don't need, second you are getting a handle on your finances. So why not start getting your house organized today?
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    Saturday, February 19, 2011

    Freebies Saturday --2/19/11

    It is time once again for this weeks Freebie Saturday. This makes the 11th weekly edition of this feature. I make every effort to make sure that the freebies I list are real free offers. If you have to answer a survey and then go through 50 pages of ads to get the so called free item, I consider that spam. That is why I make every effort to make sure that those websites are never included in my list.

  • Dr. Seuss - Target - Dr Seuss Read Across America Event Target Stores next Saturday, February 26,2011 9:00-11:00 AM. On February 26, bring the kids to your local Target store to enjoy giveaways, coupons and hear Dr. Seuss favorites.

  • FREE Sample of Creme of Nature Shampoo and Conditioner. To get the FREE Sample of Creme of Nature Shampoo and Conditioner You have to post your comment on their Facebook Wall, not in the comments.

  • Free three year Living the Country Life magazine subscription.


  • Free Travel Guides and Brochures. Summer vacation time will be here before you know it. Start planning your perfect getaway now.

  • Free Sample Worx Energy Shot. Discover the next generation of energy to power you through your day.


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  • Friday, February 18, 2011

    Faith

    Anyone who might read this post might say to themselves what does Faith (Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. - Heb. 11:1 NIV)have to do with a financial blog. Faith has everything to do with our finances.
    We must have faith that God will take care of us and help us meet our financial obligations. So you might need a job to make some money to help meet those obligations.
    I thought after getting married and moving to Austin Kevin would find a full-time job right away with all his work experience and based on the fact that Austin has been said to be the #1 place in the U.S. to find a job, but many months went by and that did not happen. I prayed and just gave it to God - He did finally get a part-time job - we must have faith that God knows what our needs are.
    We must also follow everything that God commands of us. When we have financial struggles we don't believe we have enough money to tithe, but let me tell you this is not true because when you truly give everything to God and follow what he commands of us then and only then will we receive all the blessings he has for us.


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    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    Frugal Tip 27: Grow Your Own

    Earlier this year, I started posting a more in depth look at each of the frugal tips. Over the next few weeks I will publish the frugal tips that I have collected. Please note that not every tip will work for everyone. Chose as many of the tips that will work with you and your family and start implementing them. Today we will proceed with Tip #27 grow your own food. Grow some fresh herb in your kitchen, only takes a little sun and some tin cans.


    Whats more if you have a small patch of ground where you can grow a small garden you should do so. If you are tired of high produce prices but you like eating fresh veggies and fruits, a backyard garden is the perfect answer. Find a space for your garden that receives 6 or more hours of sun per day. Prep the soil by tilling it with a borrowed or rented tiller. Mixing the grass in with the soil adds organic material. You will need to determine what soil type you have so you know what soil amendments (topsoil, gypsum, lime, fertilizer, organic material) to add. Bring a sample of your soil to your local agricultural extension office to receive a pH and soil analysis. If you only have a small area available, consider container gardening. Many varieties of different vegetables grow well in large pots. A raised bed is also a good option.






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    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Career Search

    Last Friday I had an interview after I taught my Friday morning men class at church. I alluded to it, but for obvious reasons didn't get into much detail. Well I can now say I was officially offered the job today. The highers up in the Randall's (Safeway) Corporation approved my wage and now I will be going in on Monday morning to do my drug screen, fill out the paperwork and do my orientation.

    So looks like I will be returning to the grocery game.

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    frugal Tip 26: Mend Old Clothes

    Earlier this year, I started posting a more in depth look at each of the frugal tips. Over the next few weeks I will publish the frugal tips that I have collected. Please note that not every tip will work for everyone. Chose as many of the tips that will work with you and your family and start implementing them. Today we will proceed with Tip #26 Have your clothes/shoes repaired instead of buying new.
    This is something that our grandparents and their grandparents before them did all the time. (I remember as a kid having jeans with patches over 2 or 3 holes) There is no need to throw clothing away simply because it has a hole in it. I currently have a sweat-jacket where one of the pockets is coming off at the seam. So it is in the sewing pile so my wife can fix it. Most of the rest of my coats and jackets are to warm to wear as regularly as I do that one, so it is a real benefit to keep that jacket around.

    This item could save you hundreds each year on your clothing budget. Simply by patching holes, mending seams, sewing lost buttons back on or resoling those shoes.


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    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Thanks For becoming a Fan of JMC Ministries



    JMC Ministries
    Christian/Gospel / Christian / Instrumental
    Members: Jeremy and Miranda Caverley
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    Dear Friend,
    Thank you for joining and becoming a fan of JMC Ministires.  Now that you are a fan you will receive updates every month on what JMC Ministries is doing as well as exclusive free music downloads for just being a fan.  If you would like to promote JMC Ministries click on the Street Team link and become a promoter for JMC. 
    We hope you enjoy being a part of JMC. God Bless
    JMC Ministries
    Jeremy and Miranda Caverley

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    PRESS CLIPPINGS

    "Radio Station WAWK AM1140 "The Hawk" In Indiana Interviews Jeremy Caverley Live On Air about his testimony and how he and his wife came to form JMC Ministries" — WAWK AM 1140 "The Hawk", WAWK AM1140 "The Hawk" Interviews Jeremy Caverley

    "Ways to Reach the Lost with Internet Evangelist - Jeremy Caverley" Today Stacy talks to the founder of JMC Ministries, Jeremy Caverley about what he is doing for the kingdom of God online with his ministry.  — Stacy Lynn Harp, Active Christian Media

    "Miranda Caverley interviewed On NBC 4 News out of Columbus Ohio about A suspicious U.S Census Worker that Came to her home on May 3rd 2010 wanting information on previous neighbors that had moved out of 2 of the homes on her road. As well as information on her landlord." — NBC4i, Miranda Caverley Interview on NBC4i About Suspicous Census Worker

    "Community comes through for Salvation Army" Volunteers Miranda Caverley, left, and Melissa Kepler, right, look for a Dora the Explorer doll for a client Monday during the annual Salvation Army Christmas Giveaway.  —  LOREN GENSON , Chillicothe Gazette

    "Online PR News – 30-November-2009 – CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – radio show host Jeremy Caverley of JMC LIVE knows how to work a room … especially when it comes to the Internet chat room during his weekly shows on Tuesday nights at 8 pm EST." — Alex Murashko, Social-minded JMC LIVE show stays current, chatty


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    Dreams Can Come True

    There is no better evidence that the title is correct then last nights basketball game in Kansas. Three years have passed since K-State (Kansas State) beat KU (Kansas) in basketball. In fact KU usually dominates the series between the arch rivals. So much so that KU has won 50 of the last 54 meetings between the two schools. Perhaps even more amazing, they have won 42 of 44.

    So to see and hear what happened last night is truly amazing, no matter if you are a fan of Kansas State, Kansas University or some other team.
    Kevin Haskin of the Topeka Capital Journal wrote it this way,
    MANHATTAN — A sense of dread hovered throughout Bramlage Coliseum before tipoff Monday.

    Whether dressed in home gray tank tops as players or partisan purple as fans, everyone connected with Kansas State lacked confidence.

    So tame was the sellout for archrival Kansas that a prominent sign held aloft by a student with a center-court seat read, “Never Say Never.’’
    - Topeka Capital Journal

    The win was even more remarkable, the 16 point win was the widest for K-State in the series since a 17-point win at Ahearn Fieldhouse 29 years ago. When the buzzer sounded in Bramlage Coliseum the final score was Kansas State 84, Kansas 68.

    So what now? Will the unranked Kansas State be ranked now? How far will the top ranked Kansas, who was number 1 in the country before last night fall, after losing to an unranked team? I truly believe K-State could get a championship if they remain focused for the rest of the season. Drams do come true, and last nights win over Kansas is one of the biggest. Still though come February 28 when Kansas State comes here to Austin, this former Kansas State fan will be rooting for the Longhorns. Since arriving here last August I have immersed myself in Longhorns. My step sons fiance attends UT, where she is going for her Masters. My wife and I have hoodies that we bought shortly before our move down here. There is no getting around it, our allegiance is with our new team when it comes time for the two teams to play. An other time I will still be rooting for Kansas State to win.

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    My name is Kevin, and that's what I think. What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

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    Frugal Tip 25: Never Buy Books or Movies

    Earlier this year, I started posting a more in depth look at each of the frugal tips. Over the next few weeks I will publish the frugal tips that I have collected. Please note that not every tip will work for everyone. Chose as many of the tips that will work with you and your family and start implementing them. Today we will proceed with Tip #25 Use your library, never buy books/movies.
    Books
    Why spend money on books, when most of us only read a book once? I highly suggest that you always use a library and borrow those books rather then buying your own.
    Movies/DVD's
    Most libraries don't charge to borrow DVD's so they are the cheapest place to "rent" your movies from. If you must rent movies use Netflix, cut out the cable and save tons of money. My wife and I canceled most all of our cable. No more $50-$80 cable bills. We no only pay for the local channels (about $20)and pay $9.99 for Netflix. We get an endless stream of movies we can watch instantly plus we can also get DVD's placed into Que and sent to us one at a time. As soon as one is sent back, we get the next one in the Que. Still, though borrowing DVD's from you library is the cheapest way to go. Besides, you need to go to the library to borrow your books anyway. So why not borrow those DVD's from there also?





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    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Since today is Valentine's Day I thought I would look for some frugal ideas for celebrating the day with the one you love. These first ideas come from the Today Show, which last updated the page with these ideas on Dec. 30, 2009. Even though the list is a couple of years old, the ideas are still interesting. You can still do something special for the one you love with out going back (or deeper) into debt.

    1. Get creative when it comes to dinner. You really don’t have to spend $85 to $250 on a romantic dinner at a restaurant. Why not have a nice candlelit dinner at home? You could even get all dressed up for it. If you know you’re going to be too tired to cook after work on Valentine’s Day, which falls on a Thursday this year, order a special meal ahead of time and pick it up on your way home.
    - Today Show

    I would never have spent $85 anyway....but the idea is the same. You can spend much less by cooking a nice candlelit dinner at home. By the way, in case you didn't know today is Monday (not Thursday) and is Valentine's Day.

    2. Enjoy a little ambiance. If you both really want to go out on the town together, you could have coffee or a drink and dessert at an expensive cafĂ©, restaurant or romantic bistro. This is a way to savor the atmosphere — and your date — without emptying your wallet.
    - Today Show

    An expensive cafe? Why not an inexpensive cafe? I mean as the Prince of Thrift, I realize that even the average inexpensive cafe is still to much to be sending. However, if you have it your budget I believe it is acceptable. The thing is it needs to be in your written monthly budget.

    OK, do NOT follow this tip if your job or your partner’s job is hanging in the balance. But if you’ve racked up some vacation time, or if your employer allows you to take personal days from time to time, why not see if you can take Friday... or Monday, ... off and turn Valentine's Day weekend into a three-day weekend for the two of you?
    - Today Show
    I really like this idea. Although I have never worked anywhere that allowed personal days, but this idea really is a great idea.

    4. See some live music. Check to see whether a university or college in your area is offering any potentially enjoyable concerts on Feb. 14. Performances by the college music department would likely be free or cost a fraction of the price charged by professional orchestras and opera houses.
    - Today Show

    Another interesting idea. In the interest of time I will share the rest of the ideas below (without comment). All the ideas are just as they appeared on the Today Show website.

    5. Seek out some silence. Here’s a potential date idea if you’ve both been stressed out lately: You could wander through libraries and bookstores with coffee shops that encourage browsing. Rediscover passages you love from your favorite books, and enjoy the quiet. (Cautionary note: Be careful not to go nuts buying $25 paperbacks! That could defeat the whole purpose of this tip!)

    6. Have low-cost fun with food on Feb. 14. You can pull out the cookie cutters and make heart-shaped cookies and even cut your lunch sandwiches into hearts. You also can make heart-shaped cupcakes by placing a marble inside each muffin tin on the outside of the paper cupcake cup.

    7. Give thoughtful gifts. Most people stick to the same general gift themes on Valentine’s Day: flowers, chocolates, cards, maybe a piece of jewelry. Can you think of something different that might mean a whole lot more — and maybe even cost a whole lot less? This past "10 Tips" column about how to avoid overspending during the holiday season includes a tip about making your own gifts. Such gifts could include cakes, cookies or gift certificates for your services. The gift certificate idea might be just the ticket for you if you’re short on cash but high on love this Valentine’s Day. You could offer to run errands for your loved one, make a nice dinner, clean the house, repair the car or give a massage.

    8. Reflect on that flower purchase. If you’re sure your special someone will be devastated without the gift of flowers, then you probably should get some. But once again, you don’t have to follow the herd. Everyone opts for roses at this time of year, but there are plenty of other gorgeous and neglected (i.e., less expensive) flower varieties to choose from. And red isn’t your only option, either. You also could choose peach, pink or yellow. What’s more, if you place your flower order early, you stand to save as much as 15 percent on your purchase. And here’s another detail to consider: Does your partner love to garden and work in the yard? If so, a beautiful outdoor plant that will keep on living might be more appropriate than cut flowers that will quickly fade.

    9. Write down how you feel. Using a package of inexpensive Valentines from the drug store or grocery store — or, for that matter, any kind of paper — you could write out dozens of reasons why you love your mate. Leave the messages all over the house, in both noticeable and hidden-away places. This is a gift that could keep on giving for weeks or months to come.

    10. Plan ahead for next year. If Valentine’s Day is a holiday that matters to you and your significant other, make a mental note of how quickly it can sneak up on you after the big winter holidays in December. Think about realistic ways you can cut back on your spending so you’ll be able to use cash to cover all of the 2008-09 holidays without relying on credit cards and going into debt. Can you cut back on costly coffee drinks, snacks and sodas during your work day? Or maybe put off some discretionary purchases you’ve been thinking about making?
    - Today Show

    What do I have planned for the day. Well that will be a surprise for my wife. A surprise I don't want to spoil by publishing that here before it all goes down.


    Happy Valentines Day!
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    go ahead share your thoughts with me now, my ears are open. I'm always eager to hear what you think.


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    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Frugal Tip: Bring Your Own Drink to Work

    Earlier this year, I started posting a more in depth look at each of the frugal tips. Over the next few weeks I will publish the frugal tips that I have collected. Please note that not every tip will work for everyone. Chose as many of the tips that will work with you and your family and start implementing them. Today we will proceed with Tip #24 Buy sodas from the supermarket when they’re on sale instead of from the office vending machine. (I have also started trying to limit myself to one soda a day).

    Another idea in this same line of thinking is to get a water bottle, and fill it with water. It's healthier as well as cheaper. If you do buy water, refill that water bottle from the water fountain at work.

    Where I work, I can't have anything that doesn't have a lid on it (health regulations) so the water bottle idea is the best idea for me.


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    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    Freebies Saturday -- Valentines Weekend Edition

    It is time once again for this weeks Freebie Saturday. This makes the 11th weekly edition of this feature. I make every effort to make sure that the freebies I list are real free offers. If you have to answer a survey and then go through 50 pages of ads to get the so called free item, I consider that spam. That is why I make every effort to make sure that those websites are never included in my list.

  • How about having a cereal which contains extremely delicious taste of the cream of wheat and sweet aroma of cinnabon? I am sure many amongst you must have guessed it right, yes indeed I am talking about your favorite hot cereal, Cream of Wheat Cinnabon. Catch the free sample of this product by clicking this link


  • Free Gentleman Jack Calling Card. Gentleman Jack is offering a free calling card with up to 30 characters.


  • CafeMom is a fun community where moms come together every day to chat, share photos, make friends, play games & more. It's free and lots of fun! Or so I am told.



    Happy Valentines!

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    go ahead share your thoughts with me now, my ears are open. I'm always eager to hear what you think.


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  • Friday, February 11, 2011

    Austin 6 Months Later

    Six months ago I moved to Austin with my wife. We came here in search of a better life, warmer winters and to be closer to my wife's son. Recently HS asked,
    tell us how you are liking Austin and how job search is going etc!

    We are loving Austin, although part of coming here was to escape the cold temps and snow/ice in Kansas. That for the most part has happened, although last Friday we did get an inch of snow. Which down here was enough to close the City and County governments down. Not to mention all the schools and several private businesses. That snow ended a cold streak that lasted an 70 hours. Seventy hours that never got above freezing. Then last night/this morning the low dipped into the teens (of course today's high is to be 65). It can go several winters and never get that cold, and this month it has already dipped into the teens 3 times. Still overall Austin is absolutely wonderful. A fantastic place to live.








    Book and Speaking

    Since arriving here I have actually got started on the budgeting workbook, that I have wanted to get started so many times before, but never did. Part of the reason, is because I have been speaking at church and teaching some Biblical principles to budgeting and getting out of debt. I even created my own version of the "Baby Steps" that Dave Ramsey teaches. Mine however, are even smaller steps that I call Wisdom steps. Eleven steps in total, each have scripture verses tied with it to help bring about that Biblical backing that I want to have in my budgeting guide. Look foor the "Wisdom Steps" to be posted on PrinceOfThrift.com this weekend or early next week.







    Current Part Time Job

    I love my part-time job. It is the best company to work for ever. Despite it having no affordable insurance. On the last paycheck though I only worked about 15 hours per week. This past week (end tomorrow) I had 28 hours on the schedule. I really need at least 20 hours each week just to pay the rent out of my paycheck. I need more then that to pay for insurance, savings and such.







    Career Search

    It is still going. If my current part-time job would give me the 35+ hours I would be happy there I think. I really can't say much else, for obvious reasons. When I have something more to report, I will be happy to let all the readers know.







    Schooling

    Schooling is another thing I have considered. I believe education to be very important. I have considered becoming a solicitor, accountant or perhaps a financial counselor. The biggest problem is I am still new to Texas and I need to live here a year before I can get instate tuition rates.

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    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Frugal Tip: Avoid Movie Theaters

    Earlier this year, I started posting a more in depth look at each of the frugal tips. Over the next few weeks I will publish the frugal tips that I have collected. Please note that not every tip will work for everyone. Chose as many of the tips that will work with you and your family and start implementing them. Today we will proceed with Tip #23 Don't go to movie theaters.
    I truly can't remember the last time I paid to visit a movie theater. Last month my wife and I went and seen the movie "Country Strong," thanks to the free tickets that we won from a call in radio contest. We didn't purchase any snacks or beverages. In fact we ate dinner right before we left the apartment to go to the theater. We even were able to obtain the Mylar for that movie as we happened to be in the very last showing of that movie.

    Other then that we wait till movies come out on DVD or TV. In fact, we now have Netflix and have several movies saved awaiting when Netflix will get them on DVD so that they can send them to us.

    You can enjoy a good movie without the expense of the overpriced theaters.
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    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Frugal Tip 22: Avoid Microwave Popcorn Bags

    Earlier this year, I started posting a more in depth look at each of the frugal tips. Over the next few weeks I will publish the frugal tips that I have collected. Please note that not every tip will work for everyone. Chose as many of the tips that will work with you and your family and start implementing them. Today we will proceed with Tip #22 I pop my own popcorn, rather then buying microwave popcorn. I think it tastes better anyway.
    Here is why you should avoid microwave Popcorn to:
    1. It’s Cheaper (#1 reasons on a budget/frugal blog like this one)
    2. It’s Healthier (You know exactly what is on it. - no preservatives - it's all natural -except the butter/margarine and salt you may or may not put on it)
    3. Flavor the way you like it (heck if you want to use coconut oil from the health food store, go for it....your own cocking, means your own flavors)
    4. Make as little or as much as you want
    5. It’s fun to watch the popping
    --- go ahead share your thoughts with me now, my ears are open. I'm always eager to hear what you think. follow me on Twitter and facebook

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    AOL Buying Yet Another News Provider

    The New York Times and other media sources are reporting to AOL is purchasing the liberal political news provider Huffington Post.


    SAN FRANCISCO — AOL is trying to remake itself, yet again.
    The new strategy in many ways resembles the old strategy: make acquisitions to attract traffic and reverse a continuing decline in advertising and revenue from its dial-up Internet service. In the latest iteration of its do-over, it is paying $315 million to buy the liberal news commentary site The Huffington Post, not long after paying $25 million to buy TechCrunch, the Silicon Valley technology news blog.
    - The New York Times
    What are they doing? Why are they doing this? Those are the questions everyone seems to be asking. I mean they bought a technology news blog recently, as the excerpt above says. Reports are the this latest acquisition will bring news content to AOL pages. Still one has to wonder why? Will AOL become a content provider? Attempting to go against Google? If so, will they get out of the access business altogether?
    Finally, who will be bought next?



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    My name is Kevin, and that's what I think. What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

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