Archive for June, 2008
Now that I have gotten school supplies at a good buy… I need to get the kids new school clothes.
My daughter will be heading off to first grade in a few weeks. Although she is barely four feet tall, she has developed her sense of flair. She is a real girly, girl… very stylish. She loves to dress up and every thing has to be perfectly coordinated… hair bow has to match the belt… belt has to match the purse… purse has to match the socks and it all must blend in with the outfit. She’s only 6 people!!! *sigh*
It amazes me that she has this keen sense of style at such an early age. Most people would probably think that she learned it from me. But anyone who knows me can tell you that that just ain’t so. I am the farthest thing from a fashion savant.
Hell, half the time my socks don’t even match. And I have no qualms about walking around in lime green shorts, a blue and purple plaid shirt and yellows socks (or maybe a yellow and a red sock)… seriously! It drives my DH crazy. Though he’ll probably never admit it, I know sometimes he is embarrassed to walk around with me.
Though I will give myself some credit… I don’t look too goofy when I go to work. I try to give the appearance of possessing a tad bit of fashion sense. But I tell… it takes much effort. Style does not come naturally for me as it does for others (i.e. my daughter)
Ok, so hey… style isn’t my middle name… but bargain is! (And with a 6 year old fashion model on my hands, it had better be! She hadn’t even made it to middle school yet.) I have found ways to allow my fashion-model-in-the-making express her girly panache… without breaking my bank account. This is why I’d like to send a huge THANK YOU! to JCPenney. I do all my back to school clothes shopping at JCPenney. They have the styles my daughter loves at prices I love.
But before I venture out to JCPenney in my yellow and pink socks… I’ll tell you how you can get a deal at JCPenney too.
JC Penney Printable Coupons and Codes
- $10 off $30 salon purchase
- 10% off with your new JC Penney Credit Card
- $75 off Acuvue contact lenses
- Buy one get on free frames and lenses for kids
- 70% off frames or 25% off lenses
- Portrait Studio Coupons
- Coupon Codes and Coupon Codes
JC Penney Sales
- Over 200 items for $9.99 or less
- Wednesday’s Deals at the JC Penny Outlet
- Current sales at your local JC Penney
- Recent Markdowns
- Summer Sale items 30-60% off
- Take a swing by the outlet store
Earn Rewards by Shopping at JC Penney
Redeem Points for JC Penney Gift Cards
Get Cash Back on your JC Penney Purchases
Or take part in a little philanthropy – Buy Gift Cards to Give Away
Right now, the kind of mortgage that is right for you is one you can get, which is to say, maybe no kind of mortgage. Credit is so tight right now you couldn’t get a needle past it with a sledgehammer.
In fact, I was just reading today on MSNBC that things are so bad right now, realtors are getting up at the crack of dawn just to call the mortgage companies before their answering machines fill up for the day. Mortgage companies are laying employees off so fast that often no one is available to answer their phones in person, and by the time normal business hours start, the machines are completely full.
Happy house hunting! Rots-a-ruck!
However, let’s assume that eventually (and we hope sooner not later) things do get back to something resembling normal in the world of home finance. Once that happens, you will find that home mortgages tend to fall into one of a few basic categories:
Fixed Rate Mortgages
Fixed rate mortgages are just what they sound like they are: mortgages in which the interest rate stays the same for the life of the loan. In general, the longer the mortgage term, the higher the interest rate. The standard term for a fixed rate mortgage is 30 years, but 15 year mortgages are also very popular, especially for homeowners looking to refinance. Five and ten years terms are also available, and many lenders now offer 45-year fixed rate loans, which is generally an expensive way to go, but if you need to get your payment down a 45-year term can be one way to get into a home you can afford without a lot of tricky special conditions and hidden clauses.
Variable Rate Mortgages
Variable rate mortgages come in many different forms, but the general idea is that the initial interest rate is fixed for a short period (typically two to five years) after which the interest rate can go up or down with fluctuations in the prime lending rate.
Variable rate mortgages are often sold to young people who want to get the most house they can with the money they have right now, and who can count on their incomes rising over time. Sometimes this is a good idea; sometimes it is a disaster. When considering a variable rate mortgage, it is important to understand how often the interest rate can be reset (at what intervals?–six months? two years? five years?) and whether a cap is placed on how much the interest can increase at each interval, and how much it can increase over the life of the loan. You should be confident you can handle both best and worst case scenarios.
Another feature to watch out for on a variable rate mortgage is a balloon payment clause. If, after a certain amount of time, the entire amount of the mortgage is due in full, that’s a balloon payment clause. Many people who are losing their homes today took out variable rate mortgages with balloon payment clauses at the peak of the housing bubble, because they were told the value of their homes would only increase, and interest rates would only continue to fall, making refinancing to a 30-year fixed rate before the balloon payment came due an easy task. We all know how that worked out: Not so well.
Just because your lender says something will happen in the future doesn’t mean it will unless it’s in the contract. They’re lenders, not fortunetellers. They are there to sell you a mortgage; you are there to look out for yourself and make sure you understand what you are signing.
Interest Only Mortgages
Believe it or not, you can get a mortgage in which you never pay on the principle for five years, sometimes longer. These kinds of mortgages were popular in hot housing markets where, to get into the market at all, you had to buy way beyond your means and do it fast. The likelihood that anyone will write one of these mortgages for you now is not good, the credit crunch being what it is.
In general, this kind of mortgage is an awful idea anyway. You are betting that your home will only increase in value and also that you will be able to afford the actual payments when you start owing on the principle. Don’t bet with your house, bet in Vegas. Buy a house you can actually afford, and if you can’t afford a house, save your money until you can.
How to Choose?
I’m going to be very opinionated and frank here: Choose the shortest-term fixed-rate mortgage you can get, if you can get one at all. If it has to be a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, get the best rate you can and pay extra each month on the principal, even if its only $20 extra. This will build equity in your home and give you peace of mind. Don’t even consider a variable rate loan until the housing market gets done having the biggest nervous breakdown in its recorded history. That may take some time.
If you have to wait, because you can’t get a conventional loan, save.
Some people can qualify for special loan programs under the Veteran’s Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the Federal Housing Administration. We’ll go over those options next Tuesday.
In the meantime, don’t give up! Be smart, be hopeful, be ready to grab that dream house when it appears; but on your terms, good ones.
This weeks carnival is the Vampire Slaying Edition.
There are many entertaining and informative articles at the carnival so be sure to head on over and check them out!
On the first day of school, most children are sent home with a list of school supplies that they need. I never use that list. That probably annoys the teachers, but I don’t do it maliciously. It’s just that by the first day of school, I have already purchased all the supplies my children could ever need. I don’t feel too bad about not following the school issued supply list. I have a general idea what’s on it because the list rarely changes from year to year. And besides, the basic essentials never change. They need pens, pencils and paper.
I like to begin school shopping early so that I can beat the rush. Preparing early allows me to also take advantage of special sales and rebates. My school supply store of choice is Office Max. They bring together every school supply you need (as well as those you never knew you needed until you see it on the store shelf) all in one place.
Both my children and I enjoy shopping at Office Max. Rummaging through the stores makes us feel as if we were dropped in the middle of a giant toy store… one that both parents and kids can enjoy.
In addition to the ole’ trusty traditional items, they also carry all kinds of cool gizmos. I mean really… how many ways can you correct a typo? Let’s see… well… you gotcha correction fluid, tape, film, pen, wheel… geesh, give me a break. But really, my kids and I have a good time discovering the latest in school supply inventions. Hey, this might not be your definition of a good time… but it works for us. (Ok… you might be right… maybe I do need to get out more!) *sigh*
It seems like the last day of school was only a week ago. The summer is passing by quickly. So as the beginning of the upcoming school year approaches, I am keeping an eye out for ways to save at Office Max.
Here are some of the Office Max deals I’ve found so far:
Save $20 off of a $100 in store purchase with this coupon
Save $30 off of a $150 online purchase by entering coupon code 76902528. This code expires on 9/30/08.
Free shipping for orders over $50
Get 4% cash back from Shop at Home
Get a free Brother label maker with a $250 purchase
The Office Max homepage has a list of current sales
Earn 2 Marriott points for every $1 spent
Looking to earn free miles? Then shop Office Max and…
- Get 1 Delta mile for every $1 spent
- Get 2 American Airline miles for every $1 spent
- Get 3 United Airline miles for every $2 spent
- Get 3 US Airways miles for every $1 spent
Use the Office Max credit card to earn MaxPerks and to receive special offers
Or sign up to earn MaxPerks without an Office Max credit card
By the way, Office Max sells much more than school supplies. As the name hints, Office Max sells everything that you could imagine for your office…furniture, electronics, supplies and more. They offer a wide selection of brands and styles to choose from… for example, you gotcha correction fluid, tape, film, pen, wheel… in jumbo, regular or mini … made by Bic, Liquid Paper or Tombow. Whatever your vice, they’ve got something to fit your need!
Yesterday I went to the supermarket for the first time in two weeks, and let me tell you, I just about fell over from sticker shock. Meat was especially expensive, showing significant increases in only a couple of week’s time. The cheapest package of chicken breasts cost $3.99 per pound, and that was the kind I’ve come to call ‘nuclear chicken’ because it’s grown at a corporate farm and irradiated, shot full of god knows what, and sent to market before it even had half a chance to know it even was a chicken.
Normally I don’t buy nuclear chicken. I don’t want to eat a chicken that I know has been raised in a pen the size of a tennis ball can and pumped up with enough hormones to give it three beaks. I can’t feel good about myself if I eat something like that, plus, it scares me.
I’ve known since the 1970s that meat production is wasteful and expensive. Consider the following nugget from the British group VegFarm: A ten-acre farm can support 60 people growing soybeans, 24 people growing wheat, ten people growing corn, and only two people producing cattle. 90% of the grain consumption of a person who eats meat goes into the meat itself, that is, it is feed for the animal. Harvard nutritionist Jean Mayer estimates that if the US alone reduced meat consumption by only 10%, it would free up enough grain to feed 60 million people.
And consider this all of you Southwestern Americans: According to authors Anne and Paul Erlich, a pound of wheat takes 60 pounds of water to bring to market. A pound of meat takes between 2,500 and 6,000 pounds of water. So quit eyeing Lake Michigan and order a salad.
I’ve known meat is resource intensive and bad for the environment (more than a third of all fossil fuels used in America are used for meat production, making that cheeseburger you crave more polluting than the Hummer you drove to MacDonald’s to get it) for many years, but I’ve kept buying it and eating it because, well, I like it. Lots of people like it. Lots of people would eat meat if they could get their hands on it. But standing there in the supermarket holding a $7.62 package of nuclear chicken that I normally would not have purchased at one quarter of that price, I had a mini-epiphany.
Or maybe I just got a little nauseous. Epiphanies, nausea, it’s so hard to tell them apart.
Does it matter? The bald fact is that meat is going to get more expensive. A LOT more expensive. With corn and soybeans suffering badly already due to the severe flooding in the Iowa and other parts of the Midwest, look for meat prices to steadily increase, and then spike right off the chart in anywhere from six months to a year. I’m thinking, that would not be such a bad thing. Bill and I went to breakfast yesterday and he ordered a side of bacon. It was about the size of a couple of postage stamps. We laughed, but it isn’t really funny. And yes, it is changing our outlook.
Over the past couple of years, we have cut our meat consumption dramatically, not out of any sense of virtue or spiritual evolution or even environmental concern but simply because 1) we can’t afford it anymore, and 2) it’s disgusting. One of the many alarming practices in the selling of meat right now (and there are so, so many) involves pumping carbon dioxide into the plastic packages to keep the meat eternally bright red, even after it has spoiled. Turns out people are less likely to purchase spoiled meat.
Go figure. Picky ass people.
At present, about half of the weekly meals in this household contain no meat, and that is likely to increase dramatically as the cost of grain to feed the meat and diesel fuel to transport the meat rises. This is not a bad thing. As Americans we know that we eat way too much meat, much of it consumed at fast food restaurants that we drive to in cars that waste lots of gas. We know that it is very bad for us. We know that it is making us fat and sick. We know that it is hurting the rest of the world.
Reducing meat consumption is not that hard, and you don’t have to run out and buy a Yurt and start wearing hemp sandals or anything like that unless you want to; all you really have to do is stop eating meat everyday. It definitely will save you money.
Here are some meals we eat regularly that even most kids like, and contain no meat: baked macaroni and cheese (I make it from scratch), spaghetti with marinara or pesto and cheese, cheese pizza, refried beans (I buy the no-fat variety) and rice, sauteed mushrooms over jasmine rice (you can sautee any veggie you happen to like and put it over rice, and it makes a light, satisfying meal), stuffed baked potatoes, winter squash with baked apples and greens, cheese quesadillas, and bread pudding with raisins.
Socialist author Upton Sinclair wrote the The Jungle in 1906. The Jungle is an expose of the horrifying practices at meat-packing plants across the US at the turn of the 20th century. Sinclair wrote it not so much to encourage people to stop eating meat, as to show the need for labor unions and humane workplace conditions. One hundred years later, as if it were Groundhog’s Day, we are right back to the same place, same dangerous exploitive workplace conditions, same filth and squalor and poor oversight. Those poison tomatoes? Almost certainly a result of run-off fecal matter from meat-packing plants.
So, do vegetarians save more money? Well, yeah. And so much more.
What would such a life be like?
I do remember, early in my own life, a time when most businesses were owned by local people, even the big ones. All the major retail shops like clothing stores, department stores, shoe stores, jewelry stores, and so forth were downtown, and everyone rode the bus to go downtown because there was no parking there except for very limited on-street metered parking.
Women dressed up to go shopping and men who worked downtown wore suits and still rode the bus. As late as the mid-1960s, there was no shame in riding the bus to town, and everyone dressed up to do it. I remember our local TV weatherman lived about six blocks from me and so, often, on my way to town to waste time window shopping and goofing off with my friends, he would be sitting on the same bus. Later the same day, I’d see him on TV on the local news, talking about the weather.
In those days, working in a department store was a real career, and the women and men who worked there were dressed up and deadly serious. Some department store clerks were so serious, they’d shoo adolescents like me and my best friend right out of the store. One department store, ‘The Frances Shop’, was frequented only by the most well off people in town. I never saw the inside of that department store, ever. I recall feeling both awe and shame when girls at my school showed up in Bobbie Brooks skirts and sweaters their mothers had purchased for them at back-to-school days at the Frances Shop.
Obviously, it wasn’t all good, those old days, but it was very different, and what strikes me today is how much more variety there was, even though stores were locally owned, smaller, and more class conscious. Today, anyone can go into Kohl’s or Penney’s or Macy’s and buy the same cheap crap available anywhere else in the country. Even big box stores like Meijer and Target and WalMart; same, same, same.
What we have today is the illusion of variety and the illusion of culture. We can go buy ourselves whatever persona we want up to what our wallets and credit cards will bear, but we will have to wait in line for our UPCs to be scanned by minimum wage employees whether we are buying Versace or Daisy Fuentes or mystery-wear from Taiwan, doesn’t matter, same, same, same. Ask a clerk a question (if you are able to make eye contact—no easy feat) and you will not get an answer. No one knows anything. Next week it will be all new crap, that is somehow nearly identical to the crap in the store right now.
The old way was painful and discriminatory. People knew and cared whose dad worked at a factory and whose dad worked in a suit, whose mom was in the PTA and whose mom belonged to a country club, who was black and who might as well be black by virtue of living too close to the projects or the wrong neighborhood. At the largest downtown department store in the northern city where I grew up, black women were not allowed to try on hats until well after Martin Luther King marched on Atlanta.
Now we can all get in our cars and drive to the mall and drop hundreds of dollars on clothes made by third world people paid pennies a day, and we can spend this money regardless of our race or our class, but how good does it make any of us feel? Not that good. And now, with the economy tanking, we don’t have the money for even this kind of empty, if equal, retail therapy.
So I’ve been letting myself imagine a post-corporate retail world populated by small shops run by blacks, and Latinos, and Mexicans, and aging hippies, and evangelical green living kids, and pagans, and Indians, and every kind of person who has a special skill, or a craft, or makes good cheese, or knows how to knit or sew. Shops run once more by real individual people, but without the societal division and hurt.
In some parts of the country, such retail communities are already forming and doing well. How wonderful would it be to know the man who made your shoes, or the woman who makes your tamales, and know them personally and say hi when you stop and buy? What if you could do what you do best and sell your goods or services to others and be fairly compensated and valued for your special talents and gifts?
Wouldn’t that be awesome?
It’s Summer Solstice today, the day when the sun pauses directly above us for the briefest moment, and the day is as long as it will ever be in the cycle of the year. Today is a very long day. And afterwards, after today, the days will grow shorter, the nights longer, it will get colder and colder by and by, until before we know what hit us winter is back and the only thing anyone is dreaming about is the sun. Where’d it go?
But today, Sunday June 22, Summer Solstice, I’m dreaming about nicer places to shop.
Once we get done falling apart completely, of course.
PFA is happily participating in the Carnival of Financial Goals hosted by Cash Money Life, a sort of internet-wide blogger party taking on a variety of themes revolving around various topics related to goal setting. This month’s topic is Declare Your Financial Independence.
But how do you declare your financial independence when you are afraid of losing your job, prices on everything are skyrocketing, and you can’t even afford to drive your SUV anywhere anymore?
Actually, I’ve been thinking lately that the tough economic times we are going through right now do have another side, a silver lining of sorts. That silver lining is the opportunity to make yourself over completely. Part of that make-over is out of necessity. You can’t afford to drive so you walk now and take the bus. You can’t afford your favorite supermarket anymore so now you shop at Sam’s Club and the Dollar Store and Aldi’s. The mall? Forget it. When you need new pants it’s Goodwill or K-Mart for you.
Why not take it to the next level?
Ask yourself, “If I could do anything I wanted, what would it be?” Once you have the answer to that question, ask yourself if you might be able to actually do that thing if you were free of the debt and constant purchasing your old, pre-recession lifestyle involved. Sometimes it takes a crisis to force us to look at ourselves and our world a different way.
It is possible to pay off debt, but you have to be willing to cut up your credit cards and never use them first. If you can make yourself do that, you’re halfway there. Once they are all cut up, start paying as much as you can on the one with the highest interest rate, and pay the minimum on each of the others until that first one is paid off. So say the minimum on your highest rate card is $90 and you can pay $200. You pay $200 until your balance is paid off, then you close that card and apply that same $200 on top of the minimum payment on whatever card has the second highest interest rate. You do that until they are all gone.
You can find a great list of calculators, including a calculator that shows what it will take to pay off your credit card, at Bankrate.com. Calculators are a great tool for helping you to see what is possible, and also what the true cost of credit is. For example if you carry a $15,000 credit card balance at 21% (which, sad to say, is about average in the US), and you make the minimum payment each month of $375, you will pay $34,360.87 in interest on that original $15,000 in purchases, and it will only take you 554 months (or, a little over 46 years) to pay it off. Ouch.
Now, what if throw just $15 extra a month at that debt? Couldn’t help much, right? Wrong! If you pay $390 on that same card, just $15 extra each month, you will pay the card off in 65 months, or about five and a half years, and pay $10,134.33 in interest. That’s a savings of over 40 years and over $24,000!
What else could you lose right now that would open up a world of choices? What if you didn’t have a $2000 mortgage payment? If two of you are living in a 3000 square foot newer home in the suburbs, and if you don’t plan on children soon or have already had your children, you might want to dump the mini-mansion (if you can). A modest ranch in a decent city neighborhood, or an older home with all the charm and fireplaces, will save you money on transportation and save you money on your mortgage.
If you live in the midwest, a nice older home closer in can be had for around 100K, give or take ten thousand dollars; even less if it’s a repo and you can negotiate a short sale. Even with no down payment, that’s only about $730 a month at 7% interest. If you can put $20K down on it, you’re looking at a house payment of $531!
What kind of life could you chose to lead if you had no unsecured debt and a house payment if $500 or so?
That may not be what you want at all. Maybe financial independence to you means lots of money coming in, not small amounts going out. If that’s the case, this is your moment.
When Billy Vasquez, the blogger who writes and maintains The 99 Cent Chef first started his blog on cooking with dollar store ingredients, he was getting five or six hits a day. Now he’s averaging 5 or 6 thousand hits a day, and like they say, the hits just keep right on comin’. In times of crisis, the person with the bright idea gets the cash, and it doesn’t have to be a bright idea that costs a lot of money to start up.
I’ll be honest with you. I took some of my own advice last year in late October, early November. I wanted my unsecured debt to be gone, I wanted to do something I cared about more than my depressing day job. Specifically, I wanted to write for a living, something I equated to wanting to be a Ballerina or Space Barbie. That was my general sense of how possible my goals were.
As of today, I’ve paid off my car and two credit cards, and have two cards left to pay off. In March, I cut back my day job to 20 hours instead of 40, because I was so deluged with writing work I could not keep up, and what’s more, it paid better. Last September, if someone had told me that was even possible, let alone that it would actually happen, I’d have laughed myself silly. Yeah right! And yet, here I am. Currently I’m looking for a way to ditch the day job altogether (hint: health insurance is the stickler), because I have a couple of book ideas I’m pitching and my freelance work continues to grow.
None of this would have happened for me though if I hadn’t taken some time to 1) figure out what it was I really wanted in my life (I’m 55–midlife crisis time, dontchaknow), and 2) DECLARE MY FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE, which is known less dramatically as goal setting.
Knowing what you want isn’t half the battle: It’s 99% of the battle.
What do you really want? It might just be that the world is waiting to give it to you.
Will Michelle Obama do for White House Black Market what Oprah does for her book club inductees? I am not sure… but one thing I do know is that the there are no more Tank Leaf Print Dresses to be found.
Wednesday, Mrs. Obama appeared as a co-host on the View. She touted about the $148 White House Black Market dress that she was wearing. By midnight, the dress was sold out at every White House Black Market store. The online store advises customers that there is a two month back log for the dress.
White House Black Market has been around since 1985. They carry sassy yet sophisticated lines in woman’s fashion. The styles all have a simple chromatic scheme… black, white and an occasional splash of tan thrown in for color.
White House Black Market apparel has a signature style. And since Mrs. Obama gave them a free plug on the View, they now have tons of new customers clamoring to sport that style.
But don’t run out and get that cute, little White House Black Market dress just yet. There is a way that you can be fashionably chic in your new White House Black Market garbs for a discounted price.
Most of the clothes at White House Black Market are reasonably priced. A nice get-up may set you back about $150. But when you take advantage of sale prices and coupons, you won’t spend nearly as much.
Check out their sale page. There are many garments that are selling for less than half off the original price.
The Little Black Buckle Dress, originally listed for $128, is now only $49.99.
The Rosewilde Chiffon Skirt was $88, but you can get it now for $29.99.
The Diamond Print Dress, down from $90, is selling for only $39.99.
I can go on forever about the great sale prices. But go there and see it for yourself. The deals are never ending.
If you sign up to be in their little black book, you’ll get free shipping and a extra 5% off of your purchases.
You can also register for a free store account here for a 10% off coupon.
Retail Me Not has a list of active White House Black Market coupon codes.
Use your American Express card, you can get 20% off a purchase of $125 or more.
Through July 6th you can use this coupon to save either $50 or $25 off.
If your shop through Mr. Rebates, you can get 3% cash back.
It’s possible that you can pile on the savings by combining these offers.
White House Black Market is customer certified and Michelle Obama approved. And now that you know how to get the best deals on all of your White House Black Market purchases, you too can be strutting in your sexy black dress for a fraction of the retail price.
I have never been to a White House Black Market store. There are none in my area, but there are plenty locations in Texas. While we’re on our road trip, I’ll get the DH to stop at the mall so I can get in on the new White House Black Market wave.
Each day for the past two weeks, temperatures in my city have reached at least 95 degrees. Translation … Hot as H-E-Double Hockey Sticks! I have decided I will not sizzle in the sun this weekend. As soon as I get off of work today, I am packing the family up and heading to Schlitterbahn Waterpark.
Since this decision was made only an hour ago, hopefully I will be able to find some last minute deals on transportation. I prefer to fly. I searched for deals on plane tickets. But with all of the recently added surcharges, $2000 was the best deal I find. It is not feasible for us to spend $2,000 on transportation for a weekend gateway.
So I guess we’ll have to make it a road trip. Road trips are not too bad. We get to see the country side. We can let the top down, take in the breeze and titillate our olfactory senses with the unique aromas of the open road. I am trying to be optimistic here. But I know two kids, a husband and two dogs all on a road trip will make this an interesting drive.
Schlitterbahn is about an 8 hour drive from where I live. In order for us to have a comfortable ride, we’ll need a bigger vehicle. So we’ll have to rent one.
There are some many rental car companies around. How did I choose one? Well there was no rational reason behind my selection process. I looked in the phone book under rental car, wrote down the company name of the first 5 ads I saw, put the names in a cup and pulled one out. And so, Alamo it is.
Even though I’m putting this trip together willy-nilly, the inner discount diva in me won’t let me rest until I have found at least one good deal. I have decided to pick apart Alamo’s prices to calm the diva since my process in choosing a car rental company was so whimsical.
We’ll be leaving in about 6 hours. So before that time gets here, I have to find a good Alamo deal. I start my savings search the way that I normally do. I peruse the internet to see what other folks are saying. And believe it or not, folks are saying a lot about Alamo.
So give me a few minutes PFA… I need to work out a deal.
Ok, I am back. By blog-land calculation, I was gone for only a millisecond. But in real time, it took about 30 minutes and I saved a lot of money.
Here is what I found:
If I use my VISA card, I can save up to 20% plus get $25 off a mini-van rental.
If I use my American Express card, I can get the 5th day free on a 5 day rental.
If I prepay online, I’ll save 10%.
Here are 3 printable coupons that will surely save me.
And signing up for Alamo’s Quick Silver program allows me additional perks.
So if you don’t hear from me this weekend, it is because I am in my Alamo rental, heading to Schlitterbahn’s so I can cool off on the Dragon Blaster.
This week PFA took part in the Carnival of Personal Finance #157 hosted by Consumerism Commentary and our post, Jobs For 16-Year-Olds: Recession-Proof Summer Work, was kindly included by Flexo.
The following are the Editors Picks from this weeks edition:
- What’s Your Financial IQ? Here’s a Test
- Politics and Your Money
- My Top 5 Personal Finance Blunders
- Too Much Debt Can Ruin Your Health
- Become Rich By Helping Others
- Financial Super Powers Series: Time Control and Super Speed
- How to Teach Your Kids About Money
- The Four Pariahs
There are many more great articles at the carnival so be sure to head on over and check them out!
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