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AdSense Questions

May 29th, 2007 at 06:47 pm

I know very little about AdSense but decided to add it to one of my blogs since that site gets thousands of hits per month. It is basically my hobby site but it seems that many bloggers have this type of advertising on their sites and some seem to make money with it. Does anyone here have any experience with AdSense? Do you really make money with it?

Top 10 Financial Rip Offs

May 23rd, 2007 at 08:32 pm

Entering the contest and venting at the same time...here's my list:

1) Payday lenders.

2) Time shares.

3) Leasing cars, furniture, etc.

4) Multi-level marketing programs.

5) Lotteries.

6) Rent-to-own (furniture, appliances, etc)

7) Credit cards in general, especially those with double digit interest rates.

8) Adjustable rate mortgages (in many cases).

9) Gambling.

10) Co signing for a loan for someone who doesn't have the financial ability to get the loan on their own.

Did I forget anything?

I'm Baaaacckkkk

May 15th, 2007 at 09:54 pm

Holy Cow! Haven't blogged in a while so thought I would check in and saw that it has been more than three MONTHS since I posted.

It's been a really busy few months. My non profit has been successfully launched and is doing pretty well (the great part is we are busier than we ever dreamed the not so great part is that I am financing it until the grants come in...).

Anyway, now that things have settled down to a dull roar, it's time to get my finances back in order. My goal between now and September is to pay off two credit cards, two personal loans and my back taxes (my tax lady was having a crisis when she was doing my last years' taxes, made a pretty significant mistake, and I got a surprise bill from the IRS a month ago). Frown

This should be quite a challenge since in addition to these debts, I am still waiting for the aforementioned grants to come in, am too busy to get a side job, and generally feel pretty scattered (have a lot of family stuff in addition to the non profit as well as my regular business to take care of). And, like everyone, prices for the basics--gas, food, even postage stamps--seem to be increasing on a daily basis!

I'm glad to be back and have no doubt that all of the great ideas that people come up with here will be really helpful. Thanks to everyone here for all of the positive inspiration!

A Secret About "The Secret"

February 11th, 2007 at 10:31 pm

Wanna know a secret about "The Secret"? I saw the show on Oprah about "The Secret" and then checked out the website and thought "what a sham". The concept presented in "The Secret" is not new and for those people to make money off of something that is available in its orgininal format for free is a rip off! The components of the Secret have been regurgitated so many times there really isn't a secret any more. Most recently Wayne Dyer wrote about this theory. Prior to him Catherine Ponder wrote a series of books on this. Napoleon Hill and Wallace Wattles also wrote on this topic in the early 1900s. Anyway, if you go to www.scienceofgettingrich.net you can get a free copy of Wallace Wattles book (the copyright has long since expired) as well as many other interesting articles which focus on gratitude, visualizing, etc.

A Small Suze Orman Rant

January 31st, 2007 at 07:37 pm

I just read somewhere that Suze Orman, the financial guru, is single with no kids. Nothing against people who are single or childless, but if you are lecturing families about money, shouldn't you at least have one? If I had no husband and no kids I'm certain my financial situation would be different. Things just aren't as cut and dried when you have to take a half dozen other people into consideration every time you earn, spend or save money.

It's Raining Credit Card Checks

January 15th, 2007 at 07:37 pm

A few months back I paid off all of my credit cards (except one which I am working on now). Anyway, I went to the post office today and what did I find in my box? Not one, not two, but envelopes from FOUR of the credit cards I had paid off each with a a half dozen "checks" that I could use to easily withdraw funds from my credit cards.

Apparently paying off credit card debt and no longer being at the mercy of these companies sends them into a tail spin and they immediatly try to woo you back into indebtedness. Are they INSANE? Do they think I WANT to be up to my ears in debt? I realize that their CEOs may not get to remodel their decks this year or trade up to the newest Mercedes because I won't be paying all of that interest and the occassional overlimit or late fee but they will just have to get over it. I know I am over being in debt.

Giving on Christmas Eve

December 24th, 2006 at 09:25 am

I just watched a story on the news about a lady who got on a couple of buses in the Spokane (I think) area and handed out $50 bills to all of the passengers. They didn't even get her name she was in and out so fast but how cool is that to randomly give money to people who probably could really use it, especially at Christmas? They estimate she gave away about $1,000. Some people spend that much at Starbucks in in the space of a few months.

I think I will update my 2007 financial goals to add a section in savings for money to randomly give away next Crhistmas.

Merry Christmas everyone!

2007 Financial Goals

December 23rd, 2006 at 06:49 pm

After much contemplation (on an aforementioned quiet beach) I've come up with the following financial goals for myself for the coming year:

--Have $500 on hand in my home.
--Have $5,000 in savings in the bank.
--Pay off Macys CC ($270)
--Pay off Mastercard ($1,000)
--Make double payments on home equity loan each month.
--Pay cash for every single purchase this year (except for bills which will be paid by check or online). No debit card, no credit card--CASH ONLY!
--Increase income from my business to $10,000 a month.
--Travel near or far once a month.
--Develop a plan to be able to live in a tropical locale (preferably Asia) at least four months out of the year (the older I get the less I like the colder months here) without going into debt to do it.

That's it. Actually meeting even half of these goals will be quite a challenge. I think the most difficult goal will be paying cash for everything--something I have never done for longer than a week or so.

Praying for a Miracle

December 5th, 2006 at 09:32 pm

It's been over ten days since a family left Seattle to head back home to San Fransicso. The husband, wife and their two children were stranded in their car along a snowy road for nine days. Fortunately the wife and two children were found with the car yesterday but the husband had left the car to try to find help two days previously and still has not been found. I don't know why this has impacted me so much. I dont know the family although I often read the husband's columns (he is an editor at cnet.com). Anyway, I am praying for a miracle...hopefully the searchers will find him alive soon.

To read all of the info and updates about this story, click on the link at www.cnet.com.

Vacation Booked--Looking Forward to the Warm Weather

November 27th, 2006 at 05:45 pm

Finally got our December vacation booked...of course at the last minute but that seems to always be how it ends up.

We will be heading to Hawaii for an 11 Day cruise in a week and a half. This has got to be the best deal that we have ever got on a cruise...$399 for 11 days!! Thats equals $37 a day per person for hotel (room on the ship), all of the food you can possibly eat (ie: the cost for all food is included whether you go the the restaurants, buffets or have room service deliver), all of the entertainment (movies, shows, etc), plus every morning that you wake up you are in a different port. Airfare was reasonable ($400 per person from Seattle) as well. The only problem is that I booked the cruise first then the airfare (thinking it would be nice to sightsee for a couple of days before the cruise leaves), then got to the hotel booking part and found that every room on the island appears to be booked! There was a couple of rooms available--at $785 and $825 PER NIGHT so I'm thinking we may be sleeping on the beach... At least it is 85 degrees there.

Overall we are pretty much sold on cruise vacations because when you figure the per day cost you really can't beat it (lodging, food, entertainment, activities included) compared to vacations in most major cities.

Snowed In and Loving It

November 26th, 2006 at 06:48 pm

Today has been great. We are literally snowed in (only about 5 inches of snow but for here that equates to two feet of snow in the Northeast, everything grinds to a halt here with any accumulation of snow since we are so unused to it). So besides being a quiet Sunday the snow gave me a reason to keep huddled up next to my computer instead of out at the malls. The result--lots of work done Smile Hoping to be snowed in tomorrow and, if requests are being taken, snowed in on Tuesday as well so I can skip a couple of meetings and finish even more projects.

Going on day three of Thanksgiving leftovers. 'Nuff said...

Hubby bought me a scanner for our anniversary (I'm not sure if I blogged about it but after deciding to get divorced, we decided to work things out--things are going fine and we will have our 20 year anniversary on Friday). Anyway, I guess, for the same reason I like reading peoples blogs, I like listening to the scanner...not to be nosy but to see what's happening in other people's lives (my life is pretty boring in comparison to everyone elses!). I have a whole new respect for police officers...many calls that I have heard include the dispatcher coming back on the line telling the officer the person that they are pulling over has felony warrants, suspended licenses, etc. Not a situation I would want to walk into ever. Scary!

Happy Thanksgiving To All!

November 23rd, 2006 at 02:38 pm

I wish you all a great Thanksgiving. Knowing how frugal we all are I'm sure we will be sharing our leftover stories for a week. Anyway, back to the turkey...just wanted to stop by and wish you a great holiday!

Tis the Season to Spend Money

November 21st, 2006 at 09:01 pm

Actually the season starts around Halloween ($30 for candy this year!) and ends right after New Years. So after all of my diligent saving and cost cutting measures throughout the year it comes to about this spot on the calendar when I want to throw in the towel. Everything is set for Thanksgiving (that was about $80 at the grocery store today but I intend to have leftovers for a couple of weeks thereafter) and now Im looking at my Christmas list, checking it twice and feeling faint.

Hands Down Coolest People on the Web!

November 16th, 2006 at 07:12 pm

Wow! Love this list stuff! Never knew there were so many interesting people in the world. Which got me to thinking...
If everyone we saw was wearing a sandwich board with their list prominently displayed I think the whole world would get along much better. People tend to judge others in a glance not realizing how many interesting, courageous, funny, amazing people they walk by every day. Every list I read today had something that made me say wow, something that I could relate to and something that amazed me. Thanx to all for sharing...you are all amazing people!!

And on a financial note...if everyone had their financial status on their sandwich board, Im sure many would be suprised/amazed/shocked. Like if the guy in the Armani suit driving the BWM had "NET WORTH -$285,000" on his board people wouldn't be so quick to judge him as a success while they look disparagingly at the "average" looking elderly woman who reuses baggies but has a net worth of +$1,500,000.

My "20 Things"

November 15th, 2006 at 08:24 pm

I read our illustrious blogmaster’s “50 Things” and thought that was such a great idea. What better way for people to get to know you (I bet even his friends didn’t even know all of that about him!)? Anyway, since I am not nearly as interesting, here is my list of 20 things…

1) I hate tags. Tags on clothes, tags on bedding, tags on towels…they all get removed as soon as I purchase the item.
2) Flying scares me. I love to travel but on the way there I am in a state of sheer panic!
3) I met my husband when I delivered a pizza to him. I was 19 and worked for Dominos at the time.
4) I’ve met a few famous people in my life: Wayne Brady, Olga Korbut and Jaya ( a famous singer in the Philippines).
5) Speaking of singing and the Philippines, I can sing fluently in Tagalog (I’ve even sang on stage at a couple of big venues in Manila) but I can’t speak the language at all.
6) I’m anemic. I’ve been anemic for as long as I can remember. Iron pills don’t really work. I chew ice like a fiend.
7) I detest being an employee. I always need to be running the show. Fortunately I’ve been self employed most of my life.
8) I admire people who do well in math and science even though I’m lousy at both.
9) Chocolate makes my face break out. Always. I ate two chocolate truffles a couple of days ago and am suffering the consequences now Frown.
10) My purpose in life is to help people. I’ve always been drawn to people who need help and vice versa.
11) I’m known to carry a concealed weapon (Sig 9mm).
12) I have a wide range of friends…from extreme conservatives to illegal immigrants to gun-toting rednecks.
13) I like old people. I find them interesting. Hearing about how things were sixty, seventy, eighty years ago is fascinating.
14) I love music. In my car you will find equal amounts of English, Spanish, Tagalog, Japanese and French music.
15) Sometimes I need to be more tactful. You know the main character on “Bones”? I’m like that. If something doesn’t make sense I want to know why. Unfortunately I (occasionally) say what I am thinking. One time a guy was going on and on to a group of people about how he served in Vietnam. I said “aren’t you 35?’ he said yes. I said, “well that would make you 12 years old when Saigon fell.” The conversation ended rather abruptly.
16) Psychic ability runs in my family for at least the last three generations that I know of. It comes in handy sometimes.
17) I can bake anything. I’m a lousy cook but I can bake!
18) The best compliment I ever received was from a group of guys in an Atlanta hip hop club. They said I danced “like a sister”. That’s a pretty big compliment for a red-headed white girl!
19) I like to see how people live. When we travel overseas, I would much rather walk through a neighborhood, visit someone in the hospital, or babysit a friend’s kid then hit the tourist spots.
20) I’ve read one fiction book in the last decade (Memoirs of a Geisha). All of the books I buy/check out from the library are non-fiction.

Well that’s me. I hope others will make similar lists. I love reading everyone’s blogs and this kind of “behind the scenes” info would make for even more interesting reading!

Bird Feeder

November 11th, 2006 at 10:14 pm

This was the strangest thing...I looked out the window today and noticed that the seeds in my bird feeder had sprouted(!) Guess either a. the birds arent eating very fast, b. i'm putting out too much seed, or c. this is what happens when you get 9" of rain in one day.

Long Time No Post

October 26th, 2006 at 03:10 pm

I haven't posted in ages but when I get into a financial funk, my first stop is these blogs.

A lot has happened it the past month. I went back to college because I thought I wanted to go to medical school. Found out I dont like chemistry and biology isn't all that interesting to me either so I'm thinking medical school is out of the question. Am exceling in Spanish so I guess my liberal arts education from 20 years ago was the right thing to do after all.

Also talking divorce with the hubby. Things haven't been working out for quite a while so it isn't a suprise to either of us that this is happening.
I need to get my financial house in order...fast! I need $8000 to pay off a couple of debts and my regular bills this month and a whopping $50,000 to pay hubby off for his share of the equity in our house within the next couple of months. I definitely want to keep the house. I work from home, my office is here, and basically I just love the house and the location is great.

Task for today is to list an armload of old purses (Coach, Dooney, etc) on EBay. I just checked and there are 17,450 Coach listings on Ebay right now (!) I guess everyone is offloading their extraneous stuff at the same time. :I

I think Im done venting now and actually feel a little better. I'm going to make chocolate chip cookies this afternoon. I've sworn off the mall and Starbucks (and spending any money for ANYTHING except actual needs) for the time being. I figured out my "latte factor" is about $10 a day that I spend on non necessary stuff. That's $300 a month, $3,650 a year.

Day Two of My Do Nothing Weekend

September 3rd, 2006 at 02:26 pm

I just realized I'm not good at doing nothing. I thought "wow...three whole days, work is done and I can really sit around and do nothing". I can't remember the last time I had a day off so I had big plans to do nothing this weekend.

After a day and a half, I've come the conclusion that
a. I dont like being bored
b. I can only sit still for so long
c. The reason that Im always busy is because I like it that way.

So far this weekend I've learned how to make granola (if I knew it was that easy to make I wouldn't have been buying it all along!), wrote an article, worked on a new website Im building, brushed up on biology (at least I was sitting on the porch swing while I was reading the book...I think that counts for relaxation...kind of), cleaned out the pantry and called a dozen friends I havent heard from in a while.
So much for doing nothing...

Almost Finished With Today's Goals

September 1st, 2006 at 01:36 pm

Today I wrote a list of "must do" tasks that had to get done today and (yipee) Im almost done. Actually I have a task list every day but I decided to take this weekend totally off (no work at all) so I needed to get some things finished so I wouldn't worry about not doing them over the weekend. Anyway, only one small task to complete and I will be FINISHED.

This weekend I am going to totally lounge around and do what I want when I want. I literally never get a day off (I am self employed and run a non-profit on the side, attend college and Im also a freelance writer so there are ALWAY things to do). Even on vacation the laptop goes with me (the person you see typing furiously on her laptop on the cruise ship, internet cafe in third world country or on the Beach in the Caribbean is probabaly me). Yikes...I need to get a life.

So here's to doing nothing for three days and (hopefully) spending that much as well!

The Value of Asking

August 30th, 2006 at 07:16 pm

These last three days have been pretty hectic but Ive learned a few lessons on the value of asking.
--I wanted a book from the library that they did not own, so I asked them if they could order it...and they did.
--I usually need to find out what office my investment guy will be at then run across town to drop off my Roth IRA payment. This time I called him, he was at, as usual, the bank branch furthest from my house, then I got the bright idea to ask if he could somehow just take the money out of my bank account...and he said sure (and I though thanks for telling me this a couple of years ago--duh).
--This is my third no spend day in a row. Yesterday I needed a booklet for school (only $5.95) but didnt have any money on me so I asked hubby to buy it for me...and he did (we keep our money seperate so this didn't come out of our money, it came out of his).

Anyway, I am always the one people come to for help and I really don't like asking for anything from anyone, but I think I am getting the hang of this. Smile

Wants versus Needs

August 27th, 2006 at 09:01 pm

I was at a high end outlet mall today (didn't buy a thing, just looked while hubby played poker) and a realization hit me. There was a little girl maybe six years old shopping with her mom, she was dressed head to toe in name brand clothes, carried a fashionable purse and had a real cell phone. She was like six years old! Anyway, that got me to thinking about how I was raised. I could say I want something all day and mom or the grandparents would say 'you dont NEED that' but then we would go school shopping and they would say you NEED one pair of shoes, five peechees and a pack of pencils. Being raised this way, the difference between "needs" and "wants" was clearly delineated. Im wondering if many kids these days have a hard time telling the difference between needs and wants since they get most of the things kids couldnt even imagine having years ago.

County Fair

August 26th, 2006 at 07:49 pm

Worked at the county fair yesterday and today. Since I was manning a booth for an organization I volunteer with I got free entry and free parking at the Fair. I was pretty suprised to see how much the fair costs these days...
$5 parking
$7 entry
$22 bracelets so you can ride as many rides as you want
$?? food

Overall that makes for a pretty expensive day, especially if you bring a lot of kids with you. I remember when these events used to be free (!)

Pondering Home Refi

August 24th, 2006 at 03:23 pm

When we bought this house it was on a 30 year loan. After paying for two years we refinanced it to a 20 year loan. Now we have been paying on the 20 year loan for two years and Im considering refinancing it to a 10 year loan. The payments would increase by $500 a month but the savings on the interest would be HUGE. Anyway...just pondering...

College Update

August 21st, 2006 at 08:00 pm

Paid for my fall tuition today. Even though it was offset by a $750 scholarship, I still had to pay $225. Then I went to the book store and paid $495 for books for three classes (used books no less!). The cost would have been over $600 for all new books Frown Luckily I am taking Spanish 101, 102, 103, Biology 201, 202, 203, and Chemistry 140, 150, 160. Since all of the classes are in a series I will be able to use these books for the whole year so I am really saving money over changing courses each quarter.
The books weight about 50 pounds...Im glad I got the backpack with wheels on it!

I Can't Believe the Money These People Have!

August 17th, 2006 at 09:24 pm

By "these people" I mean many of the refugees I work with. One family came to me a few months ago needing help purchasing airline tickets online (they wanted to return to Turkey and visit family). I showed them how to buy tickets online and put the charge on my credit card since they don't have one. They gave me $8500 CASH for the tickets. Today I just did the same thing for three other family members who want to visit family in Europe (another $2500 CASH).
Anyway, I started thinking about how they do this...they have 9 kids and only the dad works (full time and makes maybe $35,000 a year) yet they can still save incredible amounts of money. From what I can tell here are the things they don't do...
--they don't eat out. Ever. No Starbucks, no McDonalds, no restaurants at all.
--they don't have credit cards or purchase anything on credit.
--they don't buy new cars. Only used cars and of course they pay for them with cash.
--they don't have cable TV, cell phones, internet, computers, digital cameras, et al.
--they don't go to the mall. Ever.
--they don't go to movies, amusement parks, or any other pay-to-be entertained place.
--they don't buy "stuff", only necessities. Can you imagine a house with nine kids and absolutely no clutter? Pretty amazing.
--they don't have dozens of pairs of expensive jeans, shoes, jackets, purses, etc.

With the amount of money I've made over the last 25 years, if I had spent like they do, I would be a millionaire and retired by now!!!

Hubby's Back to Work

August 6th, 2006 at 09:46 pm

Hubby has been retired for more than ten years. Usually he will work at something that interests him for a couple of years then quit and hang around the house for a couple of years then get bored and go back to work, etc. Just last week he decided to work part time and I can see the (negative) impact on our finances already.

The money he makes is good but when you off-set that by the cost of uniforms, gas to get back and forth to work, "lunch" food (sandwich makings, etc), and services (I don't have the heart to ask him to do the yard when he has been working all day so I pay the neighbor kid to do it), I'm not at all sure it's worth it. I'm also pretty sure we will be in a higher tax bracket at the end of the year.

There's been some chat around the boards about a spouse choosing not to work. It really seems that in a lot of cases, it may make sense for only one spouse to work if the family can swing it. The value of a stay at home spouse is often discounted but when you add up the costs of both spouses working versus the cost savings of only one spouse working (ie: savings on day care, meals out, extra costs for food, clothing, gas and taxes not to mention the emotional/social factors that are involved) it may pay in the long run for one spouse to stay home!

Health, Finances, College, Business...

August 4th, 2006 at 08:40 pm

Those are my top four goals. Today I worked a bit on all of them.
--Health. Finally made an appointment with my doctor for six weeks from now. Havent had a physical in a few years so figured it was about time. Gave myself six weeks to exercise, eat better and generally get more "healthy" before I go see the doc. Also, hubby and I played racquetball today...a first in ages...we usually don't exert ourselves so much. For a moment had to wonder who would find us if we both collapsed from over exertion. Luckly we both survived Smile Going on a 10k Volksmarch tomorrow.
--Finances. Paid some bills today. Have stopped using my credit cards all together. My goal is to pay off an $890 credit card this month. How? I have no idea...
--College. The final for chemistry class is next Wednesday. I've been studying two hours a day, set up a four hour study group for tomorrow, did some chemistry quizes online...basically everything I can think of to get a good grade in this class. Checked out a book on scholarships and will apply for more after school is out. I want my entire education to be paid for by scholarships!!! No student loans!!!
--Business. I have been keeping up with client work pretty well. It's kind of a lull before everything gets busy again in September. Everyone seems to be on vacation this month so I have been able to concentrate on other things. My clients are great...I sooo appreciate them Smile

College 101

August 2nd, 2006 at 09:26 pm

Well, I'm wrapping up my first quarter of college and I've learned a few things...
--apply for all of the scholarships you can. I applied for a scholarship on a whim (and one day before it was due) and I got it. That scholarship will pay my next quarter's tuition. Smile
--take advantage of the free services you can get at the college (free tutoring, free use of the gym, discounts with your student ID, etc).
--get organized! Not only does it help in keeping you on top of your school work, being organized also saves you money if you plan ahead and bring your drinks/meals from home, can take the city bus to school instead of driving, etc.
--books are expensive! I think I'm in the wrong business. Books for three classes will cost me almost $500 for next quarter!! Frown
--when you go back to school as an adult you have a whole different outlook on things. School can be fun! The professors are the same age as your kids! The mid term isn't a challenge...taking care of three sick kids at one, making the house payment when you didnt think you had a snowballs chance in Hell to do it, standing up to your boss and getting what you deserve...those are challenges!
...now back to studying for my final....

A Week Without Spending

July 25th, 2006 at 08:06 pm

I was just reading Jody's blog about a week without spending. Don't think I have ever done that but what a great idea! Maybe we could make it a challenge for all of us here on the blog site. We pick a week then everyone vow not to spend for that week. Im sure we would get lots of creative ideas on how to get things without spending money over the course of a week. Anyone up for a challenge?


July 25th, 2006 at 08:57 am

I haven't posted for ages, mainly because my life has been really crazy for the past couple of months. I have been trying to juggle a dozen quite seperate and quite demanding projects and I'm not doing really well with any of them.

Today I decided to sort out and prioritize what's important and drop or put aside the rest in the interest of doing my best on a few projects instead of doing so so (and bringing myself to the point of exhaustion) on everything.

Here's my list...

1) My health. This is my top priority so I will sleep eight hours a night, exercise every day and eat as healthy as possible (with an occasional splurge on coffee ice cream).

2) My finances. This is my second priority. I need to get my debts (credit cards) paid off, then my car then my house. I really need to concentrate on both increasing my income and decreasing my spending.

3) College. I've decided to go back to college in the hopes of becoming a naturopathic physician. I took one chemistry course this summer just to get my feet wet (it's been 20 years since I was in college) and I'm realizing that this learning stuff takes ALOT of effort. Since I'm paying for it, I need to do as well as I can. Good news...I got a scholarship that will pay for my next quarter of college Smile

4) My business. This is where my income comes from so I need to give my clients the best possible work that I can. I plan on selling this business when I attend medical school so I can use the money to support myself while I'm in school so I won't have to work.

The things I will need to cut down or cut out include travel (costs a lot of money and directly conflicts with priority #2), volunteering (I volunteer about 20 hours a week with various causes; this time would be better spent on priority 1, 2, 3, and 4), writing and websites (my hobbies that, while they bring in some income, are very time/labor intensive).

Well now that I've vented I better get back to studying for my chemistry final

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