Thursday, March 31, 2011

Learning to Fly Sculpture


Location: Milwood Branch Library
12500 Amhurst Drive Austin, TX 78727

5 painted steel sculptures on limestone boulders. A group of children at play, their arms stretched out to catch the wind, their faces turned to the sun, evoke the sense of community, learning and hope for the future that is symbolized by a library. The sculptures are gestural and graceful, and not intended to be portraiture.



Background information from the city of Austin Art in Public Places

April Fools Day Pranks

April Fools Day! That dreaded day of the year that news editors and the gullible public love to hate is upon us. While we can't wait to see what amusing pranks the likes of Google are cooking up, you can plot your own fun in the meantime.

Here is a list of 10 ideas we have come up found.
  1. Speech Recognition
    Create an official looking notice informing fellow co-workers that an item of office equipment is now equipped with speech recognition technology. Add a few suggested commands. Stick the notice to the equipment. Sit back and watch as your co-workers shout at an at an inanimate object.
    - Mashable.com

  2. President calling
    The Fake-A-Call smartphone app for Android and the Apple iPhone lets you schedule an incoming call that behaves the same as a real call would.

    Leave your phone behind as you head out of the room and a phone call could come in from the White House, Oprah Winfrey or any other name you type in.

    If you're doing this to someone else, you can pre-record the voice on the incoming call or use one from the app that will interact with your friend just like a real call.

    This app is also good year-round for getting out of a meeting or an unfortunate date.

    - Freep.com

  3. Crossed Wires
    Simple, yet effective. Just switch the telephone plugs of your colleagues' phone lines (leaving their phones in exactly the same place) and enjoy the confusion as they repeatedly receive calls for each other. Works best with coworkers that aren't on the best terms to start with.
    - Mashable.com

  4. Hamburgers for Left Handed People
    In 1998 Burger King ran an ad in USA Today promoting a new menu addition; the “Left-Handed Whopper” developed so lefties could enjoy their whopper as much as their right-handed counterparts. The ad claimed that all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees.

    - Newsmax.com: Best April Fool's Day Pranks

  5. End World Hunger
    n 1878, the New York Graphic announced that Thomas Edison had invented a machine that would convert dirt into cereal and water into wine. Newspapers throughout America fell for the hoax and republished the article by the end of the day.

    - Newsmax.com: Best April Fool's Day Pranks
  6. You Spilled What?!?

    Find an old bottle of nail polish that you don't want anymore. Unscrew the cap and set it sideways on a piece of waxed paper, letting the contents flow out into a puddle. When it dries completely, peel it off of the paper. Now you can put it anywhere and trick someone into thinking there is spilled nail polish. Works best on something your victim cherishes or on one of their important documents!
    - April Fool Zone

  7. Forgotten Coffee Cup
    Tape magnets to the bottom of an empty coffee cup, and attach it to the top of your car. Laugh at all the people who frantically try to get your attention as you drive by.
    - April Fool Zone

  8. The Splits

    Find a scrap of cloth. Place a dollar on the floor and stay nearby. When the victim comes by and bends down to pick up the dollar, rip the cloth loudly. Most people will reach back to see if they ripped their pants. One of the original classic April Fool's pranks of all time!
    - April Fool Zone


  9. Stop the Calls

    If the victim has a phone with a hook that presses down when the handset is in the cradle, tape it down. When he or she answers a call it will keep ringing.
    - April Fool Zone

  10. Tests
    Tell your kids that you just got the test scores from the proficiency tests and then go down stairs and say to your kids your going to go and make copies and then come running / walking and make your face look like you just saw a ghost and say to your kids that whatever your principals name is just spilled coffee on the proficiency tests and they will have to take it again.
    - Fun Munch

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Your Annual Credit Report Is Important

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 gave citizens the right to one free credit report per year from the major reporting bureaus. Experts say to get a report from Experian, Transunion, Equifax. Those are the three major credit reporting agencies.

Even though I don't recommend using credit, I still believe in todays world it is important to know what is in your credit report so that you can detect any fraud quickly.

Rather than requesting a report from each agency individually, one website can handle them all. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports can be acquired from annualcreditreport.com. This service is still free. However, if you are one that doesn't like to give out personal information online you can download a printable form to request your reports from their website or by click here.

Help keep yourself protected and check each of your three reports at least once a year. I personally print out the form and mail it in three times a year getting a report from a different agency each time.



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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Five People Who Should Inspire You to Get Out of Debt

It's understandable that getting out of debt is a hard thing to accomplish. For many of those in debt, taking care of daily expenses can be a struggle by themselves, so making payments towards their debt can be even tougher. But, if you do struggle with debt, remember that you're not alone. In fact, there are many people out there who can serve to inspire you to get out of debt as quickly as possible. Getting out of debt is a way to show that you directly care about these people. In a way, your debt negatively affects them as well, so it's only sensible to try to help them as you help yourself.

Yourself

Of course, you are the most obvious person who can benefit from getting out of debt, so naturally, you can serve as an inspiration to yourself. By striving to get out of debt, you can free yourself of a whole host of worries. This will allow you to take care of your physical, mental, and spiritual health much easier than when you were distracted and worried by your looming debt problems. You can become more 'you' and less a statistic in the list of faceless people who have become consumed by debt.

Your Spouse

Your spouse is another source of inspiration for your struggles to become free of debt. In many marriages, financial issues can create problems between husband and wife; you should understand that your debt can lead to marriage problems if left unchecked. By seeking to free yourself of debt, you can remove a source of tension in your marriage. Furthermore, you can limit the influence of outside sources on your marriage. If marriage is a union between man and woman, a partnership if you will, then going into marriage with debt unfortunately brings into the marriage other unwanted business partners. Purify your marriage by becoming debt free.

Your Children

You children should be another source of inspiration. After all, they rely upon you for guidance in life. You take care of them. You feed them and teach them how to be wise. In order to be fully responsible for them, you have to be free of any other responsibilities, including responsibilities to your lenders. By becoming free of debt, you can take full responsibility for you children's welfare. Their youth should inspire you to prepare them to safely navigate the wide world once they grow older; this means their current world must be free of debt.



Your Parents

Your parents should definitely serve as inspiration for you to free yourself of debt. They raised you. They gave you a start in the world. They sacrificed often so that you might have greater opportunities than they. What better way to honor their lives and the time they spent to bring you up than to make sure that your own life is debt-free? By becoming debt-free, you can show your parents that you answer to no moneylenders, that you control your finances just as they taught you to.

God

Finally, very simply, God is an inspiration to your debt-free strategies, whether you realize it or not. Readers of this blog will understand exactly what I mean.

By-line:
Alvina Lopez is a freelance writer and blog junkie, who blogs about accredited online colleges.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez @gmail.com.






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Monday, March 28, 2011

Frugal Tip 36: Clean The Fridge

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 #36 Keep your fridge clean, use up all your leftovers. Oh no! I said the "L" word; leftovers. That's because it is important. You bought and paid for food. You cooked it. It was to much for the meal you cooked it for, so you had leftovers. What are you going to do with those leftovers?
Throw them out? Let them set in the fridge until they go bad? What a waste of money! That is destroying your food budget. Your food budget can be stretched further and you can get more for your money if you would actually eat those leftovers. It seems so simple yet so many people have a hard time actually doing it. However, it is important that we get passed the leftover stigma and actually heat those things up and finish eating them.

There are several ways to reuse the leftovers without simply reheating them. Here are some suggestions I found.

One thing you can do is make a casserole, they are very easy and it's not hard to incorporate all your scraps of previous meals into one last dinner. If you have pasta and/or rice, combine it with all your left over vegetables and some cream of chicken, celery, or mushroom soup (or gravy if you have some leftover from another meal) with some cheese, put it in a baking dish and top it with leftover mashed potatoes, stuffing and or crackers/chips then pop it in the oven until the cheese melts and the top crust is browned.
- Associated Content by Yahoo

another idea is:
Have a "Check the Fridge" night each week. My wife insists on having one dinner each week where we simply pull all remnants of all leftover foods out of the fridge, open each, and put together a customized leftover dinner. This has multi-purposes; not only does it use up a lot of bits and scraps, but it's a check on whether something is over-the-top, and ready to be pitched. We always do this on Wednesday nights, because garbage day is Thursday. On a positive note, once you've done this for awhile, your throwaways are minimal, but the process is a great way to know if your master plan is being successful - remember, the goal is to have nothing to throwaway.


- How to Make Maximum Use of All Your Refrigerator Leftovers | eHow.com
Or how about soup?
Every week or two, plan to have a Soup Night. We love soups and sometimes we make soup from scratch - it really is one of the most cost effective meals you can make, and leftover soup can easily stretch for another three or four meals, and it freezes beautifully. But how about making soup right from your leftovers? Believe me folks, your refrigerator leftovers can make some of the best soup you'll ever have - and it's right there begging for you to put together. How? Check what you have first - almost anything you have can be chopped up and added - that roast chicken, cooked vegetables of any kind, leftover rice or pasta - there is almost nothing in your fridge that can't be used to make soup! And if you have some leftover gravy or tomato sauce, really any kind of sauce, you have a head start - it's perfect. Of course you'll need a liquid - usually water - to make it soupy, but I caution you against using too much of a broth concentrate or bullion cubes, because they have SO much sodium. But it's your taste that matters, so try it and see.

- How to Make Maximum Use of All Your Refrigerator Leftovers | eHow.com

Finally the Recipe Lion Blog has an interesting recipe for Pot Pie using left over turkey. However you could use leftover ham or chicken to. Easter is coming up soon what are you going to do with your left over ham? Ham sandwiches? Homemade ham salad? How about giving this pot pie idea a look see?
Filling:

  • Pot Pie filling tends to have chicken or vegetable stock, butter, flour, and milk or cream. There are many variations on pot pie filling and many different methods to making it, but my favorite method is creating a roux with the flour and butter, mixing in hot stock (homemade turkey is best in this case – but the store bought stuff is good too), seasoning it, adding a hint of cream and throwing the veggies and poultry right in.
  • You can use chicken, turkey, seafood or any protein you like in a pot pie. If you’re looking for a quick fix, grab a rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked turkey breast at the grocery store prepared foods counter. You can also roast chicken or turkey the day of, but the best flavor comes from leftovers. This is a great way to use up all that delicious turkey meat leftover from Thanksgiving.
  • When you are making a roux, make sure you continually stir it until cooked to prevent it from burning.
  • For a quick weeknight pot pie, you can use your favorite canned cream soup, milk and frozen veggies to create a filling in a flash.

Crust:

  • A simple crust goes a long way. Use your favorite pie crust recipe to top your pot pie. Remember to keep your fats cold when blending pie dough, and make sure just to blend the dough enough to bring the ingredients together. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Pie dough needs to rest in the refrigerator after it’s made, so use this time to get started on your filling.
  • Roll out your cold pie dough onto a well-floured surface. You can use a cutters or ring molds to cut individual tops or roll one large pie crust, depending on what type of pan/s you want to use.

Assembly:

  • Depending on your preference, you can create individual pot pies or a large pie. I like to make my pot pie in one large 9 x 13 casserole pan, but the pies look beautiful in individual baking dishes as well.
  • After you top your pie/s, brush your crust with an egg wash. Mix an egg with a small amount of water or milk and brush evenly on to the crust. This will help achieve the beautiful golden brown crust color.
  • Cut slits into the top of your crust before baking to allow for air circulation.

There you have it. Some simple ideas to use your leftovers. Changing your mindset and actually using those leftovers will help save you money and allow you to eat better as well.
- Recipe Lion Blog


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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tips for Solving the Store or Sell Dilemma

At one point or another, most of us have struggled with deciding what to keep, what to store, what to sell, and what to toss. We all have our own justifiable reasons, such as "I’ll need it someday" or "It still works". When relocating, it becomes especially important to master the art of efficiently deciding what to store and what to give up. Because both moving and storing some items can cost a great deal, mitigating these costs can significantly reduce expenses.

  1. Create three categories: To approach this dilemma, it is important to first prepare a strategy. The best way to begin organizing your belongings is to group them into three different categories: Keep, Store, and Toss.
  2. Set reasonable goals: With a whole house full of items to organize, it is impossible to do everything in one sitting. Set up reasonable goals that will keep you motivated and not wear you out. For example, aim to get one room organized each day or to work as hard as you can for an hour. If you have excessive clutter, aim to toss away two items for every item that you keep.
  3. Ask yourself questions: We could all probably justify keeping every single item we owned if we wanted to, but that would get us nowhere. It is important to ask yourself the following questions:
    • When was the last time I used this?
    • When is the last time I’ve thought about this?
    • When is the next time I will need to use this?
    • Is this something that I could just buy brand new if I needed it? If it is too expensive, could I borrow it from a friend or a neighbor?
    If your answers to these questions lean towards tossing that item away, just do it. Do not dwell on single items or ask yourself What-Ifs. Chances are a few years down the road you will forget you ever owned it.
  4. Have a garage sale: Often, it is hard to get rid of items that we have held on to for so long. That is why is can be easier to develop the mindset that there is someone out there who needs this item more than you do and can actually use it instead of having it lie around in the back of your garage. Having a garage sale is a great way to both get rid of items you no longer need and get some extra money in your pocket! Remember, one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure. Once you’re ready, set up a date and start advertising! Put up signs around the neighborhood. Call up friends and family and spread the word.
  5. Donate to charity: If you have items left over from your garage sale, donate them to your nearest Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other charity. There is bound to be somewhere out there who needs those things more than you do.
  6. Tip: For items that you donate, obtain a receipt and decide on a reasonable monetary value for each item. This can then be used as a deduction on your income taxes.

Storage-Bound

Now that you have tossed out what you no longer need, it is time to attack the keep-versus-store mess. It is important to organize these items so that it will be easy to find them in the future. Purchase some boxes and assign labels to each of them, such as "clothes", "Christmas", or "toys".


  • Keep the clothes and shoes that you wear regularly and are in season. For everything else, box it up until needed.
  • Choose a few photos, candles, trophies, and other things for decorating your house. Remember, too much can make your house look messy. For everything you don’t use, keep it in storage.
  • Keep the toys that your child plays with on a regular basis, but put everything else in storage. This way, when your child is tired of his current toys, you can switch it up instead of going out and buying more toys.
  • Keep towels, eating utensils, bed sheets, and any other household items that you use daily in the house. For everything else, such as heavier blankets for the wintertime or kitchenware used only for holidays, keep it stored away.
  • Store important documents that are rarely used but need to be kept. Keep documents that you use often in the house, such as social security cards or bank account information.


Choosing a Storage Unit

Choosing a self-storage unit that is most suitable for you involves many factors. It is important to prioritize these factors in order to find the best option.

  1. Space - Now that you have boxed up all the items you plan to keep in storage, you have a relatively good idea of what size storage unit you will need. Common storage unit sizes are five feet by ten feet and ten feet by ten feet.
  2. Location - With the price of gas nowadays, it is important to choose a storage unit whose distance is cost-friendly. Ask yourself how often you will be going to this storage unit. If you plan on going often, it is best to choose a facility that is relatively close to your home.
  3. Amenities - Each storage unit facility offers different types of services. If you have many valuable items to store, it is best to choose a facility that is climate-controlled. Furthermore, some facilities offer security systems to help protect your belongings.

It is important to take the contracts for these facilities home and read them carefully. Many facilities offer enticing rates to lure customers in, but go back to regular rates after a few months. Now that you have prioritized what factors are most important for you, there are many services available online that can help you find the best facility for your needs.


In his role in the self storage industry, Tim Eyre helps customers care for their cherished belongings that must be put in storage. Tim regularly visits his facilities including a Birmingham Self Storage center. He also was recently meeting customers and staff at the Denver Self Storage Center.



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Aother Bank Closed By the FDIC

On Friday March 25 the FDIC seized another bank. This time it was The Bank of Commerce, Wood Dale, IL was closed by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation-Division of Banking, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named Receiver. No advance notice is given to the public when a financial institution is closed. Friday's seizure makes the 25th bank in 2011 to be closed by the federal agency.

All deposit accounts, including brokered deposits, have been transferred to Advantage National Bank Group, Elk Grove Village, IL and will be available immediately. The former Bank of Commerce location will reopen as a branch of Advantage National Bank Group during regular business hours on Monday March 28.




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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Freebies Saturday - March 26

It is time once again for this weeks Freebie Saturday. This makes the 19th 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.

  • Join the Dry Skin Rescue Mission! Banish skin that itches, flakes or feels rough with Vaseline® Intensive Rescue®. Complete the form below to receive a free sample* of Vaseline® Intensive Rescue®.

  • For a super limited time, Natural Nutrition is offering a free sample of their new gourmet all-natural high-nutrition cat food lineup! Just fill in the form by clicking here. Includes three one-ounce samples, one of each of our new Gourmet Entrées flavors!

  • Get a Free Sample of Purex Complete with Zout. Sample packets will be sent by mail in about 12 weeks. Sample is only available in Fresh Morning Burst fragrance. US households only. Limit one per household per 12 months. While supplies last.


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  • Friday, March 25, 2011

    Blogoversary: 5 Years and Still Loving It

    Today is my Blogoversary. Five Years ago today, I started this blog. When I started I was single and had $19,591.80 in debt (plus a $3,460.23 IRS debt). I was only making about about $15,000, struggling just to pay the household bills.

    Get your own free Blogoversary button!

    Today I am debt free, married and living in a new state and city.

    Last year on this date I announced that I had launched a sister site PrinceOfThrift.com, which contains various budget and money management forms (most designed by me). Over the past year I have added more forms that I have created (most recently a 7-day menu planner). With more forms to come. In addition I am working on some educational material to teach my own debt-free (financial freedom) classes. The courses I have written and taught have been well received with one participant (out of a class of 5) saying that he has never seen it put together in such a concise manner before. I have written four lessons and expect there to be one more, before I am finished. Although I will need to go back and write review questions for each of the lessons.

    I am in it for the long hall. All the way. So you keep reading and I'll keep giving you the real story. Thank you. God bless everyone of you.
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    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Another day, another dime

    Another day, another dime as I often say. Today is a busy day as I work both my full and part-time jobs. I continue to work towards only one job. Better yet, I would love to see this and other blog activities to become a bulk of my annual income revenue. Along with other whitings, teaching and ministry related activities. I will keep this post short as I don't want to be late to work. Tomorrow is my 5th blogoversary of this bog. So off to work I go to support my loving wife and our future together.



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    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Stevie Ray Vaughn Statue




    Location: 700 block of west Riverside Drive in Austin, TX
    Admission: Free

    In Austin, Texas, an 8 foot statue of guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan stands on the shore of Town Lake, near Riverside Drive & South First Street (Auditorium Shores). Vaughan's fans often leave floral tributes at the base of the statue in honor of the late musician.


    Background information provided by Yahoo Travel

    Bicentennial Memorial Sculpture and Fountain


    Location: 700 block of west Riverside Drive in Austin, Texas
    Admission: Free

    A mixed media sculpture and fountain commemorating America's Bicentennial celebration in Auditorium Shores Park, Austin, Texas. Made of steel, stone and brick. The inscription on the front of it reads:



    BICENTENNIAL MEMORIAL SCULPTURE AND FOUNTAIN
    "HERITAGE - FESTIVALS - HORIZONS"
    THE SCULPTURE AND FOUNTAIN SYMBOLIZE THE THREE-WORD THEME OF AMERICA'S BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. "HERITAGE" IS RECALLED BY THE GRANITE BOULDER BASE CONNOTATING STABILITY AND DEPENDABILITY. IT IS A LINK WITH OUR PAST. WATER SYMBOLIZES "FESTIVALS" AS IT IS AN EXUBERANT MATERIAL, CREATING VISUAL EXCITEMENT. THE FORM OF THE SCULPTURE IS AN ABSTRACTION OF THE FLAG - A UNIVERSAL SYMBOL OF CELEBRATION. THE SWEEPING ARCS OF THE STEEL, WHILE RECALLING THE FLAG, SYMBOLIZE "HORIZONS" - OUR SOARING EXPECTATIONS FOR THE FUTURE. THE DEEP RED-BROWN COLOR ECHOES THE SACRIFICES OF AMERICANS IN DEFENSE OF OUR IDEALS.
    PRESENTED TO THE CITY OF AUSTIN
    BY THE AUSTIN BOARD OF REALTORS
    JULY 4, 1976

    Angelina Eberly Statue






    Location: 600 block of south Congress Ave. in Austin, Texas
    Admission: Free

    In 1842, six years after Texas won its independence from Mexico, the capitol of the young republic was an isolated village on the western frontier whose name had recently been changed from Waterloo to Austin. Sam Houston (then President of the independent Republic) thought Austin was an inappropriate location for the capitol of Texas, and campaigned to have it moved to a city he found more to his taste--Houston. However, the citizens of Austin resisted his attempts to move the capitol. To get his way Houston sent a delegation of Texas Rangers to steal the government archives. They would have succeeded if it had not been for a fiery local innkeeper named Angelina Eberly, who heard the rangers loading their wagons in the middle of the night. She hurried down to the the corner of what is now Sixth and Congress and fired off the town cannon, missing the rangers but blowing a hole in the General Land Office building. The cannon fire roused the populace, who chased down the rangers and recovered the archives near Brushy Creek. Had it not been for Angelina’s impulsive gesture, Houston would now be the capitol of Texas. In a very real sense, Angelina Eberly (July 2, 1798 – August 15, 1860) was the savior of Austin.

    Historical information credit: Capital Area Statues (of Austin, TX

    2011- Best Cities To Find Work

    Forbes has released their best cities to find a job. Last year as you may remember, Austin, TX topped that list. Helping seal the plan to move here from Topeka, KS. This year there is no plans on moving even as Austin drops to number 2 on the list. My wife and I are both loving it here. However, here is the top 10 list, according to Forbes Magazine as reported by MSNBC.


    1. Minneapolis, Minnesota
    2. Austin, Texas
    3. Salt Lake City, Utah
    4. Boston, Massachusetts
    5. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    6. Richmond, Virginia
    7. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
    8. Baltimore, Maryland
    9. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    10. Dallas, Texas
    When it's all said and done looks like Texas again comes out on top with 2 out of 10 of the best cities to find a job in. The one that surprises me is Boston. With it's high taxes and high costs of being the only state in the nation to have socialized medicine. So what is the draw to Boston? According to the MSNBC report the answer may be within the question. Socialized medicine may be the answer as well as the question.
    Businesses in college towns often recruit locally, knowing that there are plenty of educated, talented candidates in the area. Another college town with a high level of educated workers is No. 4, Boston. “There are a lot of start-ups,” Chavez says of the city and its emerging entrepreneurial scene. Boston’s unemployment level dropped from 8.3 percent in 2009 to 7.1 percent in 2010, thanks to growth at nonprofits, financial services firms, and health care companies. “Health care is one of the most job-healthy industries across the board,” says Chavez. Information technology and software engineering are also strong fields throughout most major U.S. metro areas. - MSNBC
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    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Volunteering

    Volunteering is wonderful use of your free time. I spend part of my time at North Austin Christian Church. Helping with the food pantry and men's ministry.  Do you volunteer? Where?

    Frugal Tip 35: Breakfast

    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 #35 Do not eat cold cereals, eat oatmeal instead.
    I know, I know I don't like the idea myself either. However, it is a tip some frualists push. The idea is based on some simple facts. Cold cereal as well as bacon, eggs, sausage, etc cost more then a box of oatmeal. Therefore, the most frugal breakfast is to eat hot oatmeal everyday.
    Now when we say oatmeal we aren't talking a box of packets of oatmeal. That would be a convenience item is more expensive. We are talking about a real box of oatmeal. Where you would have to measure out the amount of oatmeal you want to cook.
    Cut out all prepared, cold breakfast cereals. Instead use Oatmeal, grits or other hot cereals. These are better for us and are really easy to fix. Your family can "decorate" them to their tastes and your family's budget. My family loves oatmeal with butter and jelly or grits with butter and a bit of grated cheese.
    - Frugal Village

    Other ideas could include:
    1. Use frozen concentrates, rather then expensive juices
    2. Plan a menu with the same few breakfasts repeated through out the week
    3. Buy some chickens and have some homegrown eggs!
    4. Grow a garden, plant fruit trees,


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    Sunday, March 20, 2011

    Breaking News: Number 4 Cellphone Company to Merge With Number 2 Company

    The one thing I have disliked about my current cellphone plan with T-Mobile is that it doesn't have roll over minutes. Now that my be changing, although not for 12 months. That is because today it was announced that Deutsche Telekom has agreed to sell it's USA division (better known as T-mobile) to the one company that has roll over minutes; AT&T.
    NEW YORK — AT&T Inc. said Sunday it will buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $39 billion that would make it the largest cellphone company in the U.S.

    The deal would reduce the number of wireless carriers with national coverage from four to three, and is sure to face close regulatory scrutiny. It also removes a potential partner for Sprint Nextel Corp., the struggling No. 3 carrier, which had been in talks to combine with T-Mobile USA, according to Wall Street Journal reports.
    - MSNBC
    This deal when completed would make AT&T the number one cell phone carrier in the nation. Ahead of Verizon (currently number 1) and Sprint (currently number 3).

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    Saturday, March 19, 2011

    Freebies Saturday -- 3/19/11

    It is time once again for this weeks Freebie Saturday. This makes the 18th 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.



  • Here is a chance to win a Free Netbook. This one is a contest, so you aren't guaranteed to get the computer, but I really need a new one for my blogging activities, so I am entering and get additional entries by spreading the word to my readers like you. Do you want a chance to win? Here is what you have to do.
    A. Follow @Elle_CM on Twitter and send this tweet “@Elle_CM is giving away a netbook and more for Couple Money readers! http://su.pr/40RItx #couplemoney” (1 entry)

    B. Become a Couple Money Fan on Facebook (1 entry)
    While there you should become a fan of the Prince of Thrift as well.

    C. Write a blog post promoting the contest with a link to this post (5 entries)

    According to the instructions you can have a total of 7 entries (as outlined above). You must enter by March 31, 2011 and the winner will be notified by email on April 1, 2011. So what are you waiting for? Enter for your chance to win this Netbook.






  • Get a FREE Dove Ultimate Clear Deodorant Sample from Univision. The form is in Spanish. Here is the link to Google Translate also. When you fill out the form it will say “Gracias por participar” That means “Thanks for participating”.

    Here is some help to help you fill out the form.


    Nombre = Name

    Apellido = Surname

    Dirección = Address

    Ciudad = City

    Estado = State

    Código Postal = Postal Code

    Teléfono = Phone

    Correo electrónico = Email

    Fecha de Nacimiento = Date of Birth

    Estado Civil = Marital Status

    Sexo = Sex


  • Get a free International Delight Breve coffee creamer. It’s only available in certain areas, so enter you zip code and hope for the best. You also have to be a member of VocalPoint. Joining is simple, nut you have to be female only (which personally I think is sexist) but if you can hide the fact you aren't female you probably can join to.



    ---
    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, March 18, 2011

    Rebuilding the Emergency Fund

    Now that I am back to work full-time it is time to rebuild the emergency fund. A task that is much easier now that I don't have debts demanding payment. Still using my trusted calculator and figuring the estimated weekly paycheck, I am estimating that the percentage I am instructing to be directly deposited into the emergency fund account will take right at a year to equal the $1,000.
    This of course doesn't take into account in money that I may get from other sources, my 2nd job or my wife's monthly check. When you figure these other sources one would expect the $1,000 emergency fund will be gathered together sooner.
    However, I wish to build that emergency fund in each of my primary budget categories. After that I want to gather together 3-6 months of income in each of those categories as outlined in my Wisdom Steps which can be found here.

    There is a way to get out of debt without feeling overwhelmed. It takes time; it won't happen overnight. Doing so will take wisdom. That is why I would like to show you the “Wisdom Steps” to help guide you through this process:
    Wisdom Step 1: Tithe!
    “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings.” - Malachi 3:8 (NIV) Don't Rob God! If you don't already, start giving to God.
    Wisdom Step 2: Pay-off at least one of your credit cards.
    The poor are ruled by the rich, and those who borrow are slaves of moneylenders. - Proverbs 22:7 (CEV)
    Wisdom Step 3: Establish a $1,000 Emergency Fund ($500 if your income is under $20,000 per year)
    Give them the power to collect the grain during those good years and to store it in your cities. It can be stored until it is needed during the seven years when there won't be enough grain in Egypt. This will keep the country from being destroyed because of the lack of food. - Gen 41:35-36
    Wisdom Step 4: Pay-off all debt using the debt demolition system.
    Let love be your only debt! If you love others, you have done all that the Law demands.
    - Romans 13:8 (CEV)
    Wisdom Step 5: Build your emergency fund to equal 3-6 months of your household income.
    Give them the power to collect the grain during those good years and to store it in your cities. It can be stored until it is needed during the seven years when there won't be enough grain in Egypt. This will keep the country from being destroyed because of the lack of food. - Gen 41:35-36 (CEV)
    Wisdom Step 6: Invest 10-15% of your household income into pretax retirement savings.
    The Lord said to Moses, “This command is for the Levites. Everyone twenty-five years old and older must come to the Meeting Tent. Because they all have jobs to do there. At the age of fifty, they must retire from their jobs and not work again. They may help their fellow Levites with their work at the Meeting Tent, but must not do the work themselves. This is the way way you are to give the Levites their jobs.” - Numbers 8:23-26 (NCV)
    You must completely obey the Lord your God, and you must carefully follow his commands I am giving you today. Then the Lord your God will make you greater than any other nation on earth. Obey the Lord your God so that all blessings will come and stay with you: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. Your children will be blessed, as well as your crops; your herds will be blessed with calves and your flocks with lambs. Your basket and your kitchen will be blessed. - Deuteronomy 28:1-5 (NCV)
    Wisdom Step 7: Start saving for your kids College Fund.
    Train children to live the right way, and when they are old, they will not stray from it.
    - Proverbs 22:6 (NCV)
    Wisdom Step 8: Pay-off your home early
    An evil person borrows and never pays back; a good person is generous and never stops giving. - Psalms 37:21 (CEV)
    Wisdom Step 9: Increase your Emergency Fund to 6-12 months of your household income.
    Give them the power to collect the grain during those good years and to store it in your cities. It can be stored until it is needed during the seven years when there won't be enough grain in Egypt. This will keep the country from being destroyed because of the lack of food. - Gen 41:35-36 (CEV)
    Wisdom Step 10: Start building wealth.
    Give them the power to collect the grain during those good years and to store it in your cities. It can be stored until it is needed during the seven years when there won't be enough grain in Egypt. This will keep the country from being destroyed because of the lack of food. - Gen 41:35-36 (CEV)
    Wisdom Step 11: Give like no one else!
    Honor the Lord with your wealth and the firstfruits from all your crops. - Proverbs 3:9 (NCV)
    Each of you should give as you have decided in your heart to give. You should not be sad when you give, and you should not give because you feel forced to give. God loves the person who gives happily – 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NCV)


    ---
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    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Happy St. Patrick's Day

    Today is the greatest holiday in March. Saint Patrick's Day! St. Patrick’s Day has largely devolved into a day that means little more than going out to bars and getting drunk as a mistaken way of celebrating “Irishness.”

    So how can you celebrate the day on the cheap?


    1. Go to a Parade
      Everyone loves a parade right?
    2. Avoid the alcohol
      I know it seems like heresy, but you really can celebrate without getting drunk. If you do drink do do in moderation (but moderation I mean 1 drink).
    3. Color your food green
      Whether its green jello or (God forbid) green mashed potatoes - you make everything seem part of this special day by using a little green food coloring.
    4. Irish Cooking
      Cook up some great Irish food food for you and your family. An Irish breakfast of sausages, toast, eggs, roasted tomatoes and tea does sound good to me. But you can opt for lunch or dinner with corned beef, cabbage and potatoes if you like to.


    --- 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, March 15, 2011

    Who Am I Inspired By

    I am often times asked what financial authors and gurus I have been inspired by. Today I thought I would take a moment and list them.
    1. Studied John Cummuta's Debt To Wealth System
    2. Graduated from Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University

      (went back through with his fiance right before getting married)
    3. Attended 2 Dave Ramsey live events

    4. Read The Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey)
    5. Read Financial Peace (Dave Ramsey)
    6. Read The Money Answer Book (Dave Ramsey)
    7. The Problem With Money? It's Not About The Money! (Jane Honeck)
    8. God Owns My Business (Stanley Tam)
    9. Miserly Moms (Jonni McCoy)
    10. How To Get Out of Debt (Harrine Freeman)
    11. You're Broke Because You Want To Be (Larry Winget)
    12. Read Debt Elimination 101 (John Cummuta)
    13. Learning To Invest (Beatson Wallace)
    14. Time is Money (Frances Leonard)
    15. Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes (Gary Belesky & Thomas Gilovich)
    16. Flow of Time and Money (Lloyd Watts)
    17. The Richest Man in Town (W. Randall Jones)
    18. Personal Capital (J. L. Eaton)
    19. Living Financially Free (James L. Paris)
    20. The Holy Bible
    21. Good Debt, Bad Debt (Jon Hanson)
    22. Mortgage Free For Life: Secrets Banks and Lenders Don't Want You to Know (Richard Weathington & Beth M. Ley)
    23. Rich Dad Poor Dad (Robert Kiyosaki)
    24. Buying Stocks Without a Broker (Charles B. Carson)
    25. How to Think Like Benjamin Graham and Invest Like Warren Buffett (Lawrence A. Cunningham)
    26. Passion Saving (Rob Bennett)
    27. The Essential Buffett (Robert G. Hagstrom)
    28. Die Broke (Stephen M. Pollan)
    29. Getting Rich in America: 8 Simple Rules for Building a Fortune and a Satisfying Life (Dwight R. Lee & Richard B. McKenzie)
    30. The World's Easiest Guide to Finances (Larry Burkett with Randy Southern)




    31. How To Start an Answering Service (Specialty Answering Service Website)



    In addition I have listened to Clark Howard, Suze Orman and Gail Vaz-Oxlade (Till Do Debt Do Us Part) on their respective TV shows. Over all I love this kind of stuff and watch, listen or read as much of it as I can. One other person I used to listen to on the radio all the time was Larry Burkett, as I was growing up and into my mid 20's or so. There you have it. Those are all the financial experts that have influenced me in one way or another. --- 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

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Frugal Tip 34: Cook Yourself

    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 #34 Eat less convenience food, cook from scratch.

    It should be commonsense that preparing meals at home yourself from scratch is cheaper. Yet millions of people eat out 2 or more times a week. Folks if you are to build wealth you cannot be paying someone else to fix your meals. If you eat out, limit it to no more then once or twice a month. It should be treat not a regular thing in your lives.

    Eat out less. One of the biggest expenses in our daily lives is eating out — the average person spends well over $2,000 a year on eating out. Restaurants are expensive, including fast-food (not to mention the health hazards). It’s much cheaper to cook your own food. Our family creates a weekly menu, then we buy the groceries, and cook dinner (and lunch) each evening. Lately I’ve even been prepping it in the morning, so it’s a snap when we get home.
    - (Zen Habits)The Cheapskate Guide: 50 Tips for Frugal Living by Leo Babauta
    If you do eat out here are some frugal tips to do so more economically.
    1. Don't order two dinners (Order one meal for 2 of you to share)
    2. Make a second dinner on leftovers.
    3. Get a discount.
    4. Just order side items
    5. Drink water.
    6. Skip dessert.
    However, we were talking about fix meals yourself and saving the money you would spend eating out to help build your wealth and get out of debt. Another idea to cooking your own meals, especially when time is hard to come by in cooking the daily meal is cooking ahead of time. It is something I have heard many times and have even done on occasion myself. Let us go back to Zen Habits for a look at this concept.
    Cook ahead. If you have one free day a week (or even a month), cook food in big batches and freeze in dinner-sized portions. I don’t do this all the time, but I have done it and it saves money (buying big can often save) as well as time. You have to plan it out a bit, coming up with a menu and shopping, cooking enough meals for a week or a month. But once you’re done, your meals each night (and for lunch if you like) are quick and easy. This saves you from eating out or eating convenience food when you’re hungry but too tired to cook. - (Zen Habits)The Cheapskate Guide: 50 Tips for Frugal Living by Leo Babauta
    There you have it. Do you eat out more then once a month? Is it something you can change? Will you after reading this post? What do you do to make meals quick and save the expense of eating out? --- 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

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    Freebie Saturday Hiatus

    We are taking a hiatus from Freebie Saturday this week to relax. Lets face it, working 2 jobs takes a lot out of you. So since this could be considered a 3rd job we are taking today off. Rest assured we will be back next week with more great freebies for you to enjoy.

    ---
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    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Five Principle Steps of Debt Relief

    There are plenty of concrete how-to guides out there that seek to help us with getting out of debt; however, I believe it's important that behind these concrete guides there exist a set of principles and values that guide our steps. Below I've listed five principle steps for getting out of debt; these seem to be the most common principles I see out there when I look at personal finance sites' how-to guides. I believe that applying these principles to your financial situation could greatly increase your chances of getting free of your debt.

    Accept Your Situation

    The first principle of freeing yourself from debt is that you must first accept that you are in debt. This means that you have to become aware of your situation, and you must become aware that your past actions created greater debt for yourself. Only once you have become aware and accept that you are in debt can you begin to become free of debt.

    Establish a Routine

    Next you should establish a new routine for yourself, one that is different from your old routine. By following a new routine, you can reboot your financial mind. Also, a new routine will help you only spend money on things within that routine. So if you used to always eat lunch out, then replace that routine with one of preparing a bagged lunch the night before.

    Sacrifice Your Treats

    Sacrifice is a huge part of becoming free of debt. You have to sacrifice a lot of the things you once valued, as often these things are expensive. Sacrifice things that are unnecessary or only considered of short-term need. Your sacrifice will free up money to go towards paying off your debts, thus allowing you to enjoy what you want to enjoy in the long term.

    Give to Charity

    One way to remind yourself to strive for a debt-free life is by giving to charity a small portion of your income. This act will serve to remind you that others are less fortunate than you, which will encourage you to remain debt-free so that you may take full advantage of the opportunities you have that others missed out on.




    Return to Your Roots

    Finally, return to your roots. By this, I mean that you should return to the values that you learned from your family and your parents. For example, if you were given an allowance, try to think of the lessons you learned by earning that allowance. If your parents were frugal, try to think of ways they would have handled your current situation. If at all possible, visit them and seek out their advice.

    About the Author:
    This guest contribution was submitted by Katheryn Rivas, who regularly writes for online universities.  She can be reached via email at: katherynrivas87@gmail.com.




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    Negotiating A Debt Settlement

    Have you ever thought about debt negotiation? This is one possible way to reduce your debt if you are having financial difficulties.

    For you to get your lender to negotiate debt, you must have a valid reason. The only reason a lender will consider debt negotiations is because you're having a financial hardship. Then they will request proof of the changes in your financial condition.

    Once it is established that you are really in need of financial relief, your lender will look over your loan. Here are a few things that a lender can help with:

    1. Interest Rates - This is the first thing a lender will review. Many times there is room to lower interest rates to a point where it will lower your payment. Even though you are not reducing the actual principal, you are indirectly reducing debt by not paying as much interest. In the debt negotiation process this is one of the easiest areas to get concessions on from your lender.

    2. Principal - This is one area that is a little harder to get reduced. For a lender to reduce the principal owed, they must feel your situation is critical. By this we mean you are on the verge of bankruptcy. Serious debt negotiations in this area take place when your lender sees you are in serious financial trouble. At this point there thought is "a little is better than nothing".

    There is one other way to negotiate principal, it's called a "lump sum settlement". If you have cash, or access to some, your lender will be more willing to talk principal reduction. It is realistic to enter debt negotiations with your lender thinking fifty per cent reduction. You can start even deeper and work your way back to the figure you have in mind.

    3. Contract Assurance - Something that has cropped up recently is debt verification. With all the shuffling of original loan documents and the buying and selling of loans, lenders voluntarily negotiate debt. You might even be approached, to your surprise, by your lender with a more favorable offer. This is happening mostly with mortgages since these are the loans lenders have mishandled.

    Outside Help

    To some people debt negotiation is awkward, especially when it's their debt. If your situation is complicated you should consider a lawyer. If you are like most people and over extended, then you can negotiate debt yourself or hire a debt settlement company.


    About the Author:

    Angela Tyler has good experience in the finance field, who has been writing on various related topics such as debt settlement & bankruptcy attorneys to help people understand the Debt Settlement process and help them get out of debt and remain debt free.
    ---
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    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    TIPS ON PUMPING GAS

    I recently received an email about ways to save money with gas. I have heard these tips before and thought they were worth sharing with all of you especially with the recent spike in gas.
    With gas expected to reach $5 per gallon by summer, these tips that I received from a friend might come in handy.





    TIPS ON PUMPING GAS

    I don't know what you guys are paying for gasoline.... but here in California we are paying up to $3.75 to $4.10 per gallon. My line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth for every gallon:



    Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in San Jose , CA we deliver about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline.. One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.



    Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening.....your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role.



    A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.



    When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.



    One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.



    Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.


    Hope this helps you get the most out of your gasoline purchases.

    ---
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    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    An Interview With Apprentice Runner-Up Clint Robertson

    I recently had an opportunity to ask the runner-up from 2010's The Apprentice a few question. Below are the are the answers Clint Robertson provided to my questions. Clint Robertson is Age: 41. He is married to his wife of 18 years; Sandy. They have 3 children. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas Christian University and he Studied Law at Southern Methodist University. He currently lives in the Fort Worth (Texas) area.

    Before being on the Apprentice he was a successful certified public accountant, real estate attorney and developer who had to have an estate sale where he was forced to sell a large amount of his family's possessions due to the economy.

    POT:  What is the process to actually get on the Apprentice?

    C. R.:
    I showed-up at one of the five open calls and waited in line to be seen with thousands of other folks. We went in groups of ten. A topic was thrown-out and discussed/argued by the group. Then there were several call-backs until finally a group of 160 contestants were flown to LA where sixteen emerged to actually be on the show.

    POT:  Are there any aspect of the show that are staged for the cameras?

    C. R.:
    The show is not contrived. You never do re-takes. The only time that we approached staged was when we had to cut two endings -- one with me winning and one with Brandy winning. This is done in case someone dies, gets arrested, etc. But this was only for the final 30 seconds or so.

    POT:  What did you learn while on The Apprentice?

    C. R.:
    The process re-affirmed to me how important people skills and people-reading skills are in every aspect of life. If you don't know people, you wont get far in life because that is all life is about. The Golden Rule still rules.

    POT:  What have you been doing since leaving The Apprentice?

    C. R.:
    I have had so many opportunities that I have had to be extremely selective and choose true fits. You can find some of the companies that I am endorsing on my website: www.ClintRobertson.com

    I am also working with an affiliate of Mr. Trump's in West Palm Beach, Florida.
    POT:  What is your opinion of Donald trump, since meeting him?

    C. R.:
    He is "what you see is what you get." But, something that might not come through the television screen is his sense of humor. I played sports, and there are some guys who use wry humor to improve the on-field rapport. He is one of those guys. He is someone who expects a lot of himself and of you; and, everyone is better because of it.

    POT:  You talk a lot about your faith. When did you become a Christian? What is your testimony?

    C. R.:
    I grew up the son of a Baptist deacon. I had a very rigid and Pharisaical understanding of the Lord. My "god" was my father with whom I had an incredible relationship. My father died at the age of 54 when I was 29 years old. My world collapsed; but, out of the ashes arose an amazing relationship with my true Father, God. I finally understood what it meant to have a real loving relationship with Him. He didn't want anything from me other than my love. What does a small child have to offer their parent other than an innocent love that says "help me Daddy," "I love you Daddy," and "thank you Daddy." I realized that He doesn't need me. He allows me to participate in His work just like a loving Father trains his small son in the family business. This understanding of Him allowed me to have the real relationship that had always eluded me. For anyone else desiring this relationship, I would recommend the classic book by Andrew Murray -- Abide in Christ.

    POT:  Can you describe what led up to you families estate sale?

    C. R.:
    2008 happened! I fed my family on real estate; but, lending dried up and everything came to an abrupt stop.

    POT:  After the estate sale do you still believe you can borrow?

    I was fortunate to come out of this with my credit in tact. The Lord has enabled me to stay current on my loans. I am an aberration. I don't know of anyone else who was doing what I was doing who is not bankrupt today.

    POT:  Since my blog is financial related and encourages people to live a debt-free lifestyle, do you have any thoughts to share with the readers?

    C. R.:
    You can manage debt or it can manage you. Debt is a tool. A toolbox full of slotted screwdrivers will leave you on the side of the road if you need a ratchet set to fix your car. The same holds true to debt. Over-leveraging your business is the kiss of death. Consider all debt carefully before you sign you name to the loan. Ultimately, make sure that you have peace with the Lord before you acquire debt.

    Finally, remember everyone falls down. If you do find yourself in more debt than you can handle, don't beat yourself up over it. Anyone who succeeds has had failures. Learn from your mistakes and try to avoid them in the future. The Lord is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of your business. Learn what He will teach you and fall on Him when you fall down. Nothing happens without His purpose.


    POT:  In addition, with recent news stories in mind, what do think about the prospects of Trump running for President? Do you think he really will? Or is it just a ploy to grab media attention? If he does do you think he will win?

    C. R.:
    All of the above. He might be using this election cycle to grab media attention. He is very good at marketing his brand. Even so, I wouldn't be surprised to see him cross the line from marketing to running if there is a groundswell of support. This election likely will be the most polar in current history; so, I am not sure if his politics will allow him to accumulate the votes necessary to make it through the primaries. But, I've been wrong about Mr. Trump before. I (and the rest of the cast for that matter) spent the six months after the filming of my season of the Apprentice presuming that I would be showing-up for my coronation at the finale. He can be unpredictable.



    ---
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    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    My Vision

    I believe I have been given a vision from God. A vision that has become more clear over the course of the past 7 months. Something I wouldn't of even considered seven months ago when I moved here to Austin has become a burning desire in my heart. That being leading financial education classes. Not sure how this all came about, since I am so scared/nervous to speak publicly but it is a real in my life. Perhaps it started when an associate pastor at church encouraged me to start speaking to a group of men in the church. Which forced me to start writing the book that I had been planning over the last couple of years.
    While it is not completed the book became a series of lessons. Once I am finished writing each of the lesson I will go back and add study questions to each of them. Then I will be ready for the Lord to open whatever doors he might for what I believe is from Him. Of course since it is from Him everything I would teach would be taken from His word and contain commonsense items.
    Some of the men I have been teaching have already stated that they have never seen any study that puts it all together like that in such a concise way. Keep watching, I believe God is truly guiding me. If you are a believer I ask that you pray for God's guidance in this matter and that He shows me exactly what he would like me to do.
    ---- Announcement of New Form -----

    Finally, I would like to unveil a new form listed with the growing list of budget forms. This form is a meal planner and includes a mini shopping list to purchase groceries you will need to prepare the items on your weekly menu. Check it out by clicking on the link here, then on the appropriate link from that page.


    coming tomorrow: An Interview with Apprentice 2010 runner-up Clint Robertson.
    ---
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    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Frugal Tip 33: Eat Seasonally

    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 #33 eat vegetables that are in season.

    An important part of buying local is making an effort to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season in your area. Although today's global marketplace allows us to buy foods grown virtually anywhere in the world all year round, these options are not the most sustainable.

    By purchasing local foods in-season, you eliminate the environmental damage caused by shipping foods thousands of miles, your food dollar goes directly to the farmer, and your family will be able to enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Buying seasonal produce also provides an exciting opportunity to try new foods and to experiment with seasonal recipes. And it simply tastes better!
    - Sustainable Table

    Some very good points, but this is a finance blog. What does that have to do with finances? Glad you asked. Perhaps Gaiam Life says it best when they say,
    Let’s begin with cost. When produce is in season locally, the relative abundance of the crop usually makes it less expensive. Think of the packaged herbs you see in a grocery store during the winter - a few (usually limp) sprigs of basil, all too frequently with black speckles and moldy leaves, cost about $3 per half ounce. In contrast, the gorgeous, bright green, crisp basil you see in both grocery stores and at farmer's markets in the summer when basil is in season often sells for as little as $1-2 for an enormous bunch. It’s the basic law of supply and demand, and when crops are in season you’ll be rewarded financially by purchasing what’s growing now.
    - Gaiam Life
    There you have it. That is what it has to do with a financial blog and that is why it is frugal tip number 33.

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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, March 6, 2011

    Going Mobile

    For those of you who read this blog via your mobile phones, you will be happy to know that as of Saturday (3/5/11) the blog is now available in a friendlier format for mobile phones. If you haven't already seen it and have some kind of smart phone; you should check it out. It will be the same address as you have already become accustomed to. Of course at the bottom of the mobile version you can click to see the full web version. Now to figure out how to get PrinceOfThrift.com into the mobile phone age.
    Have you seen the new mobile version? Are you using it now? What do you think?
    ---
    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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    Saturday, March 5, 2011

    Freebies Saturday -- week 17 - 3/5/11

    It is time once again for this weeks Freebie Saturday. This makes the 17th 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.

  • Receive a Free Oxy Clinical Sample.

  • This Great Land is full of wonders. But it would take a lifetime to explore them all! Click here for FREE* official Alaska travel information- wee -- chosen just for you! Don't wait another year -- or even another minute. Take a first step toward Alaska right now!

  • Sign up to receive news, promotions, special offers, and a complimentary dessert on your birthday and anniversary. All new and existing email subscribers will automatically be entered into a monthly drawing to win a $50 Ted's Montana Grill gift card. (wish there was one in my area. If you have this restaurant in your area you should jump on this deal.)



    ---
    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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  • JMC Ministries Newsletter "Update On Fundraiser To Save Fellow Christians Home"

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    JMC Ministries
    Christian/Gospel / Christian / Instrumental
    Members: Jeremy and Miranda Caverley
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    Dear Friends,

    We have some amazing news to share with you.  As many of you know we have been doing a fundraiser to help a fellow christian from losing her home to foreclosure and today through generous donations from The Christian community we have raised all the funds needed.  Click the link below to read the full story and updates

    Yesterday we did a special JMC LIVE interview with Former CFO Alan Davis of Chillicothe Ohio. Mr. Davis shared his insights on our Governments out of control spending and just how this is going to affect our future generations of America and also what he sees needs to happen to have a budget for 2012.  click the link below to watch the full interview

    At our Eternal Flame News Editorial site we have been keeping up with what is happening in our world today and also the Crisis in Lybia and the MIddle East www.eternalflamenews.blogspot.com

    So there has been much ministy work to do in the past week to keep us busy.

    Monday night Miranda's mom called to tell us that she had injured her knee and couldn't walk, had gone to Urgent Care and was going to have to see a Specialist.  Miranda went over and stayed from Monday night until Wednesday evening to take care of her mom.  The good news is her Mom didn't severely injure her knee and won't need surgery to repair it.  What she does have is bad artheritis in her knee so the Specialist gave her Mom a cordizone shot and some excercises to do to help strengthen the muscles around her knee.  So in Miranda's absence much of the ministry work was left to me and I didn't realize just how much Miranda does to keep JMC Ministries going every day.  I was happy that her Mom recovered enough for Miranda to come back home as soon as she did.  Please keep Miranda's Mom Becky in prayer as she continues to recover. 

    We've also got a new Vlog "Helping Those In Need" up and ready for viewing if you would like to get a little more insight on what we have been up to and what our plans are for the next few months.

    We are just 2 little people just trying to help 1 person and 1 family at a time through the Love Of Christ With.  God Bless you Friends

    JMC Ministries
    Jeremy and Miranda Caverley





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