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Saving Money with Gift Cards

There are times when it pays to buy a “gift card” for yourself. The other day our family was shopping at Burlington Coat Factory for clothes for the girls – dresses, boots, and coats. There was a sign on the way in that advertised that if you bought a $50 gift card they would give you a $5 off coupon to be used on a future purchase. So after we finished shopping, I added up the damage in my head (over $150 dollars!). Then before we checked out, I went on ahead and bought three $50 gift cards and received my three $5 off coupons. I then used the gift cards to pay for our purchases that day. I now have three $5 off coupons to use on our next visit – which will probably be in January. Fifteen dollars off for just buying three gifts cards and using them the same day – not a bad deal.

Other stores let you do this also. Another example I have seen (but have not done yet) is at Turkey Hill (a regional gas and convenience store). If you buy certain gift cards for $25 or more (things like itunes, etc.), you get $1 off per gallon of gas on that visit. So you could do the same thing – buy a gift card they you would use anyway, then save on gas. read more

Sold the Silverware!

Well we finally did it. As you may recall from an earlier post my wife and I were deciding whether to sell our silverware that had been given to us by my parents. And surprisingly, they did not care if we sold it or not – they did not have any emotional attachment to it. We have had it for a year or two and only used it once or twice. Frankly, it was a pain to have to hand wash everything.

So we sold it. I looked online, even got a quote from a national company that deals in buying silverware (and reselling it). In the end, we went local. The quotes I got from various places were pretty similar, but we settled on the store that we had used before for some other jewelry items. The net result? We received $1,145 for the silver. Not bad.

So what will we do with the money? Part of it we used to buy a gift for a friend, we also used a little to buy some new “silverware”. We were using 3 partial sets that we had acquired over the years from friends and family. So we gave all that away and now have one nice set (five piece set for 20 people) for everyday use (that we can use the dishwasher on!). After those expenditures we have about $700 that we have set aside—we are thinking about getting a laptop to replace our 5 year old desktop that is starting to show its age. We will do some research and keep thinking – we don’t want to rush into anything. read more

Spring Cleaning

I have a love/hate relationship with spring cleaning. I hate the work and the time it takes, but I love the results -getting the house organized and removing the junk. Another thing I like is that I can make a little money off of it! Sometimes we have items to sell (yard sale, etc.); sometimes we have items for local charities (think tax deduction); sometimes we have things we barter or trade with others. Of course sometimes we just give the items away to someone who needs it (always a good feeling).

I also like when others do spring cleaning. For example the girls have gotten a lot of clothing from friends and family. And right now I just got a rotor tiller from a family member – they are getting ready to downsizing their house and are doing some serious spring cleaning. And of course there are the bargains at yards sales which I can benefit from.

All in all spring cleaning is a way to save money and make money, and have your home looking better! Not a bad deal.

First Quarter Extra Income

In the first three months we have been able to make an extra $1,185. I’m pretty happy with that. We have to make money in unconventional ways since my work hours are too variable to get a regular part time job and my wife needs to be able to stay home with the children (i.e. daughter number one has missed 17 days of school because of sickness). So to be able to make that kind of money through a couple of substitute teaching days, surveys, blogging, and a few funerals (not a fun way for a Pastor to make money for sure) that is great.

Unfortunately most of the money has gone for medical and car expenses, but hey, at least we had it to pay those bills! Maybe this next quarter we can put aside some money in our emergency fund.

How do you make extra money, and where have you spent it (or saved it)?

Sell our Silverware?

The other day I was talking to my Mom and out of the blue she said “Do you know that silverware set we gave to you last year – it is real silver, you might want to think about selling it.” You could have knocked me over with a feather!

Mom and Dad gave it to us because they rarely used it and are trying to downsize. We only use it ourselves once or twice a year. So my wife and I are thinking about whether it would be advantageous to sell the silverware.

Silver is selling for about $34.25 (as of last Friday). In March of 2010 the average price for silver was $17.10 an ounce – 2012 March average price for silver is $34.07 – just a little less than double!

I found only one site on the internet that would tell me how much they pay per ounce for silver and that was www.silverandgoldexchange.com (they melt it down). They currently are paying $15.87 an ounce (postage meter ounce). Since our silver is 92.5% pure (sterling silver) and we have about 60 ounces worth of silverware, that would come out to $880. Not bad. read more

Money and Marriage

Many of A Penny Saved’s readers are married, I’m sure – I for one am happily married.  At some point in a marriage ( hopefully before you say I do ), the issue of finances will come up.  The question that a lot of people are asking these days is “Should my spouse and I combine our finances, or maintain separate accounts?”

If the answer to this question is anything other than “We’re getting married, so our accounts should be combined”, then I think the couple in question really needs to reconsider their marriage plans.  Marriage is a team effort, if you will.  Both partners need to be on the same page financially, working toward the same goals.  Having split accounts, and splitting the expenses will just cause problems in 99% of cases.  It will become a constant argument of ” I’m not spending my money on that” and ridiculous things like that.  When one spouse makes significantly more than another, things can get even hairier.

My opinion may not win me any awards, and I know it’s not universally popular.  But I will remain stubborn in this regard – if you cannot trust your fiance 100% with your finances, and agree to combine your finances & accounts, then you have absolutely no business getting married.  Money will become an issue, and it could easily end your marriage.  Trust is the most important thing in a marriage, and without it, there’s no point. read more

No Financial Situation is Hopeless

No matter how deeply in debt you are, and how impossible it might seem to get out of debt, no financial situation is hopeless.  After all, you got yourself in debt –  you can get yourself out of debt.  And no, I’m not referring to filing for bankruptcy.  There is always fat to be cut from your budget, no matter how minimal it may seem.  Once you’ve cut all the fat, there are always ways to make more money.

Perhaps you can pick up an extra shift at work, or maybe get a second job, or even make money online.  The truth is, there are endless ways to make more money, provided that you’re dedicated enough to stick to them.  No matter how hopeless your situation may look, some planning and a lot of hard work can help you get through to a better place.

Saving Money with Gift Cards

There are times when it pays to buy a “gift card” for yourself. The other day our family was shopping at Burlington Coat Factory for clothes for the girls – dresses, boots, and coats. There was a sign on the way in that advertised that if you bought a $50 gift card they would give you a $5 off coupon to be used on a future purchase. So after we finished shopping, I added up the damage in my head (over $150 dollars!). Then before we checked out, I went on ahead and bought three $50 gift cards and received my three $5 off coupons. I then used the gift cards to pay for our purchases that day. I now have three $5 off coupons to use on our next visit – which will probably be in January. Fifteen dollars off for just buying three gifts cards and using them the same day – not a bad deal.

Other stores let you do this also. Another example I have seen (but have not done yet) is at Turkey Hill (a regional gas and convenience store). If you buy certain gift cards for $25 or more (things like itunes, etc.), you get $1 off per gallon of gas on that visit. So you could do the same thing – buy a gift card they you would use anyway, then save on gas. read more

Sold the Silverware!

Well we finally did it. As you may recall from an earlier post my wife and I were deciding whether to sell our silverware that had been given to us by my parents. And surprisingly, they did not care if we sold it or not – they did not have any emotional attachment to it. We have had it for a year or two and only used it once or twice. Frankly, it was a pain to have to hand wash everything.

So we sold it. I looked online, even got a quote from a national company that deals in buying silverware (and reselling it). In the end, we went local. The quotes I got from various places were pretty similar, but we settled on the store that we had used before for some other jewelry items. The net result? We received $1,145 for the silver. Not bad.

So what will we do with the money? Part of it we used to buy a gift for a friend, we also used a little to buy some new “silverware”. We were using 3 partial sets that we had acquired over the years from friends and family. So we gave all that away and now have one nice set (five piece set for 20 people) for everyday use (that we can use the dishwasher on!). After those expenditures we have about $700 that we have set aside—we are thinking about getting a laptop to replace our 5 year old desktop that is starting to show its age. We will do some research and keep thinking – we don’t want to rush into anything. read more

Spring Cleaning

I have a love/hate relationship with spring cleaning. I hate the work and the time it takes, but I love the results -getting the house organized and removing the junk. Another thing I like is that I can make a little money off of it! Sometimes we have items to sell (yard sale, etc.); sometimes we have items for local charities (think tax deduction); sometimes we have things we barter or trade with others. Of course sometimes we just give the items away to someone who needs it (always a good feeling).

I also like when others do spring cleaning. For example the girls have gotten a lot of clothing from friends and family. And right now I just got a rotor tiller from a family member – they are getting ready to downsizing their house and are doing some serious spring cleaning. And of course there are the bargains at yards sales which I can benefit from.

All in all spring cleaning is a way to save money and make money, and have your home looking better! Not a bad deal.

First Quarter Extra Income

In the first three months we have been able to make an extra $1,185. I’m pretty happy with that. We have to make money in unconventional ways since my work hours are too variable to get a regular part time job and my wife needs to be able to stay home with the children (i.e. daughter number one has missed 17 days of school because of sickness). So to be able to make that kind of money through a couple of substitute teaching days, surveys, blogging, and a few funerals (not a fun way for a Pastor to make money for sure) that is great.

Unfortunately most of the money has gone for medical and car expenses, but hey, at least we had it to pay those bills! Maybe this next quarter we can put aside some money in our emergency fund.

How do you make extra money, and where have you spent it (or saved it)?

Sell our Silverware?

The other day I was talking to my Mom and out of the blue she said “Do you know that silverware set we gave to you last year – it is real silver, you might want to think about selling it.” You could have knocked me over with a feather!

Mom and Dad gave it to us because they rarely used it and are trying to downsize. We only use it ourselves once or twice a year. So my wife and I are thinking about whether it would be advantageous to sell the silverware.

Silver is selling for about $34.25 (as of last Friday). In March of 2010 the average price for silver was $17.10 an ounce – 2012 March average price for silver is $34.07 – just a little less than double!

I found only one site on the internet that would tell me how much they pay per ounce for silver and that was www.silverandgoldexchange.com (they melt it down). They currently are paying $15.87 an ounce (postage meter ounce). Since our silver is 92.5% pure (sterling silver) and we have about 60 ounces worth of silverware, that would come out to $880. Not bad. read more

Money and Marriage

Many of A Penny Saved’s readers are married, I’m sure – I for one am happily married.  At some point in a marriage ( hopefully before you say I do ), the issue of finances will come up.  The question that a lot of people are asking these days is “Should my spouse and I combine our finances, or maintain separate accounts?”

If the answer to this question is anything other than “We’re getting married, so our accounts should be combined”, then I think the couple in question really needs to reconsider their marriage plans.  Marriage is a team effort, if you will.  Both partners need to be on the same page financially, working toward the same goals.  Having split accounts, and splitting the expenses will just cause problems in 99% of cases.  It will become a constant argument of ” I’m not spending my money on that” and ridiculous things like that.  When one spouse makes significantly more than another, things can get even hairier.

My opinion may not win me any awards, and I know it’s not universally popular.  But I will remain stubborn in this regard – if you cannot trust your fiance 100% with your finances, and agree to combine your finances & accounts, then you have absolutely no business getting married.  Money will become an issue, and it could easily end your marriage.  Trust is the most important thing in a marriage, and without it, there’s no point. read more

No Financial Situation is Hopeless

No matter how deeply in debt you are, and how impossible it might seem to get out of debt, no financial situation is hopeless.  After all, you got yourself in debt –  you can get yourself out of debt.  And no, I’m not referring to filing for bankruptcy.  There is always fat to be cut from your budget, no matter how minimal it may seem.  Once you’ve cut all the fat, there are always ways to make more money.

Perhaps you can pick up an extra shift at work, or maybe get a second job, or even make money online.  The truth is, there are endless ways to make more money, provided that you’re dedicated enough to stick to them.  No matter how hopeless your situation may look, some planning and a lot of hard work can help you get through to a better place.

Who is
Penny Saved?

From the basics of financial management to ways to be debt-free, Penny Saved explores how to achieve financial freedom.

We cover topics such as personal finance, income streams, loans; and offer practical tips on managing your finances.

We also analyze financial products from banks, licensed money lenders, to assist you in making wiser decisions for yourself!

lady holding Free Government Phone
lady holding Free Government Phone

Who is
Penny Saved?

From the basics of financial management to ways to be debt-free, Penny Saved explores how to achieve financial freedom.

We cover topics such as personal finance, income streams, loans; and offer practical tips on managing your finances.

We also analyze financial products from banks, licensed money lenders, to assist you in making wiser decisions for yourself!

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