This year is flying by so fast.  I remember just thinking the other day that the year seemed like it just started.  I guess staying busy has been a good thing in 2009 with work & travel. 

I was looking at my calander today and noticed that we are only 7 weeks away from Christmas.  It is going to creep up even quicker.  It is time to put a few bucks away each week so when the times comes to go shopping you will have some money for gifts.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for the holidays.

– Do not spend more than you can afford.
– Set a budget for gifts and stick to it.
– Shop around to find the best deal. (Online & Offline)
– Help someone in need. (Homeless, Angel Tree Gift)
– Be creative

It will be a great holiday season this year with family and friends.  Remember you do not have to spend alot of money for it to be a ton of fun.


Loose Coins

The other day I noticed that all my loose coins were filling up in my glass jar.  I usually take them to Coinstar in a local grocery store.  I know I hate rolling coins and the fact that coin places charge a fee for cash.  Usually it is like 9%. 

My friend who manages a local MidFirst Bank was telling me to come in and use his coin machine.  You do not even need to be a bank customer and they do not charge a fee.  From now on I will be using them.  I know that MidFirst is not nationwide but I am sure there are some local banks in your town that offer the same thing.

So what did I do with my loose change? I bought a couple new Fitted Hats from Hat Club website. Let me know what you decide to buy with your loose change?

The Internet Age

Do you remember the days when we hardly ever used the internet?  It really was not until 2000 that I started using it.  Wow!  Things have changed. 

Anyway, I was thinking today how the internet saves me money all the time.  Whenever I get ready to go out to eat, I will go to the restaurants site and see if they have any coupons.  It only takes me a few minutes but most of the time there is an email club you can sign up. 

I know what you are thinking.  “I get plenty of snail mail.  I get plenty of junk mail in my inbox, why do I need more?”  Well, here is what I did.  I set up a separate free email account that is for coupons only.  That way I can sign up for all my favorite places to eat and manage the stuff they send me from one inbox.  Most places will send you coupons regularly.  It is easy and saves me money. The internet is great.

If you know of any good email clubs please post away so others know where to sign up at.

The power to bargain

Most of the time people think the only time they can bargain is when they are at a garage sale or car dealerships.  For me that could not be anymore false.  When I am going to buy some more expensive ticket items not only do I research for the best price, but I try even harder for a better deal directly with the seller.

I really do not want to waste my time with someone who can’t give discounts.  I want to talk directly with the decision makers at stores.   Most of the time it is the manager and the commissioned sales people who can authorize those discounts.  If you are dealing with someone who can’t do it ask to speak to a manager.   It never hurts to ask if they can mark it down for a better price.

Arizona Restaurant Week

Last year I wrote an article about fancy dining.  Well this year again Arizona Restaurant Week is offering great meals for only $58 a couple.  They are all 3-course meals.  These meals would usually be quite a bit more.  Some of the featured resturaunts that I saw on the list were Bloom. Firebirds’s. Fleming’s, Ruth’s Chris, and many more.  The deal is September 19th-26th.  Plan a fun date night and treat yourself to a great meal.