Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fees Paid for Making Partial Payments

Does anyone have any issues with paying in installments for insurance and then getting charged a fee for paying in installments?
For example
Life insurance could be $150 per year but if you chose to pay monthly, quarterly or semi-annually you are penalized. The life insurance invoice does not state the obvious. There is a fee if you pay in installments.

Our auto insurance has a similar fee if you pay monthly rather than every six months. You are charged a set dollar amount with every installment payment that you make.

I would prefer that the extra charges were obvious. Always pays to do the math.
So if I am willing to pay for a full year of life insurance I could save up to 8%. 8% penalty or fee for monthly payments; 6% for quarterly payments and 4% for semi-annual payments.

Overdraft Protection

If you decide to use your debit card; make sure you set up overdraft protection. There might still be a fee for the use but it should be less than without the overdraft protection. Normally you would need the bank to link the account or accounts for the overdraft protection. If you have multiple accounts; you should be able to designate which account can be used first.
You make a debit transaction and then have the debit transaction reversed for an error and the transaction is re rung. If you are carrying a low balance you will actually need enough money in the account to cover both debit transactions before the credit is applied. If this is the case it would be better to use a different account or a credit card (without a balance) to re ring the transaction then to risk getting a non sufficient funds charge or to use overdraft protection if there is a fee associated with the overdraft protection use.
My hunch is this is the same with hotels. They put a hold on more money then will be needed. This might give you a negative balance also.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Mantra

I think it is time to revisit my mantra.

mission statement

If you teach a child to fish he will become a fisherman.
If you teach a child to read he will become a reader.
If you teach a child to be potty trained you save on diapers.
If you teach a child to tie shoes you can stop buying velcro.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Winter is upon us

Last weekend I spotted some hats and gloves in the center aisle. I thought I might as well get them now. Next I was hit by Christmas decorations. That makes sense but what I was surprised about was that the Thanksgiving merchandise was already priced at half off.
How do you prepare for winter? Do you buy hot chocolate, hats and gloves ahead of time or to you wait for the first snow flake to hit to find the boots?
Thinking about winter. One of the challenges is always to find snow worthy gloves. One of my friends said that only the first set of gloves need to match. After that you can have mismatched gloves. Wonder if that is the same for boots. (Just kidding.) Now back to planning for winter.
With five children, we are going to need to be prepared. Snow suits, snow gear oh boy.
What items are on your to buy list for winter?
Hats, gloves (multiple), coats, boots, rock salt, socks, slippers, pjs, sweaters, long sleeve shirts, winter stockings, dress shoes.
Things I bought this weekend were
Boys hats and gloves, pjs
Twins full body coats
Girls pjs

These were all impulse buys. Kudos to the store for actually having worth while impulse buys.
I enjoy seeing impulse buys but I realize that just because the item is on the end cap does not mean it is on sale.

Now I mentioned the to buy list. What about the find in your house list? If you start looking now, you might be able to cross one or two items off of your to buy list.

Now where do you store all of this stuff?
I was thinking about putting the items in reusable grocery bags. One for each child and adult. That could work for all the winter accessories.
Any winter thoughts?

How about books? Now is the time to start looking for the snowy type books. What is your favorite? The first Christmas or silent night?
That brings us to music. Do you have any Christmas / winter type music stored away? I am sure the stores will be willing to sell you some.

Christmas outfits. I was thinking that the zero to three Christmas outfits won't fit b/c they are already starting to wear 3-6 clothes. Then I got a brain storm. Take some Christmas pictures now.

After the Halloween party one year, I noticed the teacher took out a bin with her Thanksgiving items. It would be good to have one bin year after year just designed for the winter accessories. Books, music and winter coloring books could even squeeze in.

I guess we need lots of things for the winter season. But most of all we need to remember the spirit of the season.
Happy winterizing!! (Oh does that bring up getting the car ready?) Ice scrapers etc.