Archive | December, 2009

Recovering From My Christmas Sugar Coma…

30 Dec

Hello lovelies!  So sorry to leave you stranded for almost a week, I seem to just now be coming out of my Christmas-food-induced-coma.  Oh my gosh!  I ate WAY too much to be detailed on my blog. 😉

Instead of a personal finance post, I’d like to leave you with a visual diary of some of my Christmas presents…I must have been good this year. 😉

I finally got that computer that I’ve been wanting

Pretty, huh?  The case is sort of a midnight blue color.  I love it!

(P.S. It has Windows Live Writer on it!  OMG, I wish I would have picked up on Live Writer a loooong time ago!)

A locket from Lloyd…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Perfume from Lloyd…

149I have been wanting this perfume for SO long!  It is DKNY and I love it!

Plus, clothes, gift cards, smelly-good-girl stuff, computer accessories, and lots of other random things!

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas!  What did you get?

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Merry Christmas!

25 Dec

I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas with your families!

See you next week with some new posts!

-Carrie

Guest Post: Fight Breast Cancer With Pink Prepaid Debit Card From ACE Cash Express

22 Dec

*Guest Post*

Some people have difficulty controlling their spending. Paychecks are spent down to the penny, often on the same day as they are received. And the countless opportunities to spend, spend, spend brings out the worst in those who can’t control themselves. 

Paying for items in cash is wonderful, but cash is easily lost, mishandled, or forgotten. Likewise, it is so easy to use one’s debit card or pull cash out of an ATM, using more money than should be used in the first place. Overdraft fees and ATM fees seem to pop up out of nowhere, causing unnecessary financial burdens. Paying with a credit card is worse, thanks to skyrocketing interest rates. 

If paying for items with cash, debit, or credit cards come with unwanted consequences, is there another logical solution? Instead of using these items, consumers should consider carrying a prepaid debit card. These cards help consumers to take control of their spending. It is impossible to spend more money than you have, while interest charges and overdraft fees are a fear of the past. It provides a sense of security, since deposits are insured by the FDIC. Likewise, government checks, wages from work, or any other financial transaction can be direct deposited to the card. In short, a prepaid debit card is essentially a miniature bank, without traditional banking headaches. 

Prepaid debit cards seem to grace the aisles of every retail establishment from coast to coast. Anyone could read the fine print of every single debt card and hosting financial institution, take careful notes, then spend hours comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of each. But who actually has that much time or patience?

Pink Prepaid Debit Card 

Individuals who would like to take advantage of prepaid debit cards should consider the Pink Prepaid Debit Card, which is offered through ACE Cash Express. This card is designed to give consumers all of the traditional debit card benefits while also helping a worthy cause. Over the last four years, a portion of all transaction and sales fees have been donated to cancer research, and specifically, for breast cancer research. Last year alone, the Pink Prepaid Debit Card donated more than $350,000 to the worthy cause. 

Customers who use the card love the fact that there are no commitments or incurred debt. They know that every time they use their cards, breast cancer research facilities receive financial support. The well-respected Visa logo is easily recognized and accepted worldwide. Each deposit is FDIC insured, protected from unauthorized activity, and available 24/7. Finally, Pink Prepaid customers can have their checks directly deposited to the card, without ever stepping foot into a bank or other financial institution. Add to these benefits the freedom from unexpected charges, overdrafts, or credit card debt, and the result is an amazing debit card which provides all of the financial services one could ever need, not to mention allowing the consumer to do their part in the fight against cancer!

*Guest Post*

The Plutus Awards: The Best In Personal Finance

21 Dec

Nominations for The Plutus Awards are now being accepted!

Head on over to the website to nominate your favorite personal finance software, bank, or discount brokerage company.  Even more importantly: you can nominate your favorite personal finance blogs (like your favorite NEW personal finance blog, wink wink 😉 ).

I already put my nominations in for my FAVORITE blogs (so many to choose from!).  Nominations are being taken through January.

You don’t have to vote in every category – in fact, you can vote for one blog/finance item in any number of categories you like!

Have fun!  Merry Christmas!

Making Retirement Decisions Over Pizza & Beer

20 Dec

 

Tonight, Lloyd and I enjoyed a low-key date of pizza and beer (with a coupon, of course – who do you think I am?).  Pizza and beer is one of my favorite dates – I’m a low-maintenance kinda gal and there’s something so refreshing about an ice cold brew and a steaming slice of pie on a Saturday night.  It really gets you to thinking about…retirement?

Over slices of pepperoni, Lloyd and I got on the subject of our retirement accounts and saving for the future.  Truth be told, we’ve been talking about this subject quite a lot lately.  I’ve been toying with the idea of…not maxing out my retirement account next year. *shocked gasps from readers*

Yes, that’s right, I might stray from the biggest personal finance rule of them all:  Thou shall max out thy retirement accounts each and every year.

The fact of the matter is that we have a lot to save for right now.  We want to pay off a good chunk of our future house before we have kids, we want to build our home gym, we want to buy a dog when we have a house, we want to get married.  On top of that, while my car is close to brand-new, Lloyd’s car is almost 10 years old and we’d be naive to think it won’t need maintenance or even need to be traded in in the near future.

What’s more important:  not getting into debt again or maxing out my retirement account?

The obvious answer is avoiding going back in debt.  I made a one-time stop in Debtsville and I don’t intend to ever go back.  I don’t mind working for even 5 more years if it means that I never have to be in debt ever again.

I’m happy I maxed out my 401k this year.  If I was going to do it any year, this was the year to do it.  I now have a huge amount of shares under my belt that I bought for a really cheap price.  Who knows when the market will provide that opportunity again?

So, next year, I won’t be maxing out my retirement accounts.  Instead of saving almost 24% for retirement, I’ll be backing my contributions down to the Dave Ramsey recommended percentage of 15%.  Next year, I will contribute $5,000 to a Roth IRA and $5-6,000 to my 401k (plus about $3,000 in matching from my employer).

Our ultimate goal is to reach max-out again and stay there, but for now, we’re content with contributing just 15%.

I’m happy with my decision.  My taxable income will go up and I’ll pay a couple thousand dollars more in federal taxes, but I think it’s worth it in the end.

We had some great personal finance discussion flowing over our dinner tonight.  It makes me think: is it possible that the best financial decisions are made over pizza and beer?

(photo source)

Add Me On Facebook!

19 Dec

First it was twitter, now I’m joining the facebook cult.

So…add me as a friend!  Write messages on my wall!  I can’t wait to “meet” all my lovely readers!

Carrie Oncheap

Earn Free Cash Using SWAGBUCKS (Plus A Referral Code!)

17 Dec

If you guys aren’t using swagbucks, now is the time to start!

Swagbucks.com is a search engine powered by Google that allows you to search the web the way you normally would, but you earn “swagbucks” that get you free prizes (including cash and gift cards!) in the process.

I’m also very excited to offer ALL Carrie…On The Cheap readers a temporary Swagbucks referral code worth 5 swagbucks!

To get started, use the following link to sign up at Swagbucks.  Normally, you would get 3 swagbucks credited to your account to start, but with my referral code, your account will be credited with FIVE swagbucks.

Sign up for Swagbucks.com HERE!

When you sign up, be sure to enter referral code “carriecheap” in the Swag Code box to earn your 5 bonus swagbucks!  (The referral code is case-sensitive and good only through December 24, 2009.)

I’ve been using Swagbucks for only a couple months to search the interwebs, and I’ve already earned about $50 in cash or gift cards.  It’s super easy and really fun!  They also offer fun “swag codes” from time to time as freebies that you enter on their homepage for extra swagbucks.

Be sure and send your referral link (something you’ll get when you sign up) to all your friends – you’ll get the same swagbucks they receive when they search, too!

Sign up for Swagbucks.com HERE!

So, what are you waiting for?!  Head over to swagbucks and start earning some free prizes!

Search & Win