Zero Balance Checking – Why I’m Okay With It


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Zero Balance Checking Account Do you have a zero balance checking account? I will admit, there was a time in my life when the checkbook was a scary place because I never knew whether it would have a positive or negative balance. When I think about how much money I have donated to banks in the form of overdraft fees, it makes me sick, but I know there's nothing I can do about the past but I can definitely work my backside off to make sure it doesn't happen in the future. Some would think … [Read more...]

Propane Exchange, Are You Being Cheated at Your Location?


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Are You Being Ripped Off at the Propane Exchange? Is your Propane Exchange place ripping you off? Grilling has been an American past time for generations. So has the debate over cooking with charcoal or propane. To be honest, I own one of each and they both have their own place in my heart. Even though it gets cold where I live, the grill stays on the porch all year long. You just simply can't replicate the taste of the grill in a frying pan. Getting your money's worth out of your … [Read more...]

Shopping On A Budget- What I Learned From Mom


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Shopping On a Budget Mom Lessons I know the principles of couponing is a fairly new thing for most of us, but my Mom has been shopping on a budget by doing some couponing for years. My Mom was a single mother of 4 kids. I must say she did an amazing job. I grew up knowing we didn't have a lot of money, but I never realized how poor we were until I was much older. Mom knew how to stretch a dollar and live on a budget. I'm grateful that she taught us along the way. Shopping On a Budget By … [Read more...]

Limited Freezer Space for Shopping Perishables?


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xx When I ask people what their single largest grocery expense is, aside from diapers and formula the answer is usually meat. I agree, it's my largest expense too. If you are not in a position to stockpile meat due to your finances or limited freezer space, then this little article may be very helpful to you. I used to shop for everything this way. There is just not enough room in a side by side, right? The only reason I can stockpile meat is because I do have a freezer now and I am … [Read more...]

Stockpiling Large Shopping Trips vs Small Shopping Trips


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Stockpiling - Go Large or Go Small? Note for beginners: When just starting out stockpiling, start small. Choose 3-4 items to add to your stockpile at a time. When you're first starting out, less is more. Take into consideration that you will also be adding items like milk, meat or produce because you need them that week which means you have more items to keep track of. If there are several items in your ad that you can stockpile and your budget allows for it, plan on making 2 trips instead of … [Read more...]

Pay Your Kids a Commission


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Do You Pay Your Kids? Do you pay your kids? Well for me, no more handouts!  It seems like society is riddled with a ridiculous sense of entitlement. I don't understand why in the world people feel like the world owes them something when we all have the ability to go out, work hard (or think creatively) and pave our own way (with some exceptions, of course). That said, I have traced the root of the problem and guess who it is? It's us! It's the parents! Honestly, we are so worried about … [Read more...]

Sacrificing to Succeed the Wizard Valerie Way


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cc Are you sacrificing to succeed? Getting out of debt is just like losing weight. It's much more fun and faster to gain it than it is to get rid of it. While my husband and I have made sacrifices for the betterment of our home, I have personally taken it a few steps further from the foods I buy to the personal products I became accustomed to. The less I spend and the more I sacrifice now, the better off  we will be in a very short time.  These sacrifices are only temporary. In two years my … [Read more...]

What is Credit and How Important Is It?


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What is Credit Anyhow? What is Credit Exactly? Credit is a contractual agreement that you enter into with a company or person for money or goods with the intention of paying for it later. You agree to pay them based on their contract. If you default on that debt then you are looking at high fees, increases in interest rate and in many cases, financial legal obligations as well. Our credit is looked at to determine if we are financially trustworthy and dependable. Our borrowing capacity … [Read more...]

Myth Busting – Budgets Don’t Work For Me


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Budgets Don't Work for You? I hear this from friends a lot when we start talking about finances and budgets. Usually it is not a case of budgeting not working, but more of a matter of the person not setting up the budget correctly. How Do I Make Budgets Work with an Irregular Income? My husband has an irregular income and we have found a way to budget even in this case. I’m a firm believer that it is best to work your budget based on the worst case scenario. This way you know you at least … [Read more...]

Trimming the Fat: Cut Yard Maintenance Costs by 70%!


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Trimming the Fat with the Lawn How am I trimming the fat? First off, I cut my own grass. Many of my neighbors aren't willing to get out in the yard and sweat, but I am. I made a decision a long time ago that I actually like maintaining my yard. Yes, I have the money to hire a service. I just don't know that they could satisfy me.  At one point in my life, I actually owned a fairly successful landscape maintenance and installation company. I have high standards and I love cutting grass that … [Read more...]

Why Tax Refunds are Stupid


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Do You Try to Get Big Tax Refunds? Yeah, that's right, I said it. Tax refunds are STUPID! It is amazing how many people I talk with that "can't wait to get my tax check." Highly educated people that are both friends and family. Why? Why are they so excited? Why are they enamored with the fact that they just gave the Federal Government an interest free loan for the last 12 months? If you get big tax refunds (with the exception of EIC, and some special circumstances) STOP! If anyone needs an … [Read more...]

Financial Health – February’s Focus Is Start Preparing Now


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February's Financial Health Focus February's focus is going to be financial health. We have already started giving you information on budgeting and getting out of debt, but we will be stepping it up in February. Quite a few of the Wizards are working the Dave Ramsey plan.  We are in various stages so we will be able to give you different points of views from the different stages.  One thing that is recommended for the upcoming month is to read one of his books.  While Dave Ramsey has a few … [Read more...]

Financial Records – Keep them to Help Get out of Debt


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Keep Good Financial Records As many people are fighting the valiant fight to get out of debt, one thing that they tend to skimp on is keeping good financial records. Let's face it, a lot of us that have had debt issues aren't the most organized people in the world, me included. I have had to put conscious measures in place to assure that I do everything in my power to have accurate records on hand in the event I am questioned or accused of "not paying something". As we scratch and claw … [Read more...]

Budgeting Tips for Newbies: The Mid-Month Review


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Newest Budgeting Tips Session Ready for more budgeting tips? Writing a budget is a chore.  It doesn't matter if you are a proven veteran or a 2012 New Year's resolution baby.  The fact is that it takes work, it takes tenacity and it takes discipline.  I have learned a lot about budgeting throughout the years.  Most of it has been trial and error.  One thing that I do every month is the mid-month review.  Today is January 14.  If you started budgeting at the first of the year, there have … [Read more...]

Saving Money? Yes, Real MEN Coupon!


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Real Men Couponing, Saving Money All the single ladies... THIS should be a trait you are looking for.  If a man is open to saving money in this way, MARRY HIM. :) And if he's not, marry him anyway, and lovingly show him :)  Eric helping me separate coupon inserts Real men saving money? When I first started this journey, my husband was involved from the get go.  Maybe not because he wanted to be, but because I was slightly obsessed.  How could he NOT be involved when our dining room table, … [Read more...]

The Ten Traits of EXTREMEly Effective Couponers Trait Two: They Stick to a Rigid Budget!


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Extremely Effective Couponers If you read the first installment of this series, you know that EXTREMEly effective couponers have defined goals.  Interestingly enough, the goals are not isolated to couponing.  When talking to these people, you will know where they are planning on taking their next vacation, which car they plan on purchasing to replace their current ride, where their children are going to school and the list goes on.  The fact is that they plan.  Part of that goal setting and … [Read more...]

Financial Bumps in the Road & How I Handle Them


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Handling Financial Bumps How do I handle financial bumps in my road? Well, I recently wrote a post on what we are doing to get out from under  the mountain debt we've buried ourselves under. Sadly, December decided to throw a wrench into our plans. While we were able to pay cash for Christmas, we had some unexpected expenses hit us as well as 'not paying attention to the budget' expenses. Oops! What happened? Vehicle repair $562.00 Root canal $545.00 (that's not done yet) Restocking … [Read more...]

The Ten Traits of EXTREMEly Effective Couponers Trait 1: They Have Defined Goals


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Effective Couponers As we embark on the 4th quarter of 2011, I feel it is important to focus on fiscal responsibility & being effective couponers.  Certainly this means the EXTREMEly effective use of coupons, but there is much more involved with fiscal responsibility.  After all, what is the point of couponing if you don't know how to manage the money you are saving?  Most people that have only been couponing for a short while become enamored with the idea of getting huge amounts of … [Read more...]

Postal Rate Increase Effective January 22, 2012


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Postal Rate Increase The Coupon Wizards do our best to let you know about things that are going to affect your wallet.  This postal rate increase is going to affect all of our wallets so I wanted to do a quick post to let you know about the increase in postage rates that is going into effect on January 22, 2012.  I am not reporting all of them, just those rates that will affect our insert service,Insert Insanity. Priority Flat Rate Envelope    Was $4.95  New Rate $5.15 Priority Flat … [Read more...]

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