The Oscar for Best Film

I don’t have time, nor the inclination, to spend money seeing all the films nominated for Oscars.  Too many other activities occupy my time.  But I have a “secret weapon” for identifying the film that will likely win the Oscar for best movie, and spending money for that film only.  What’s the “secret weapon”?  My brother.

My brother is a huge Hollywood and film making enthusiast.  I never got around to seeing any movies last year (even forgot that The King’s Speech won the Oscar for best film).  But two years ago, I asked my brother – what one film should I see?  He recommended The Hurt Locker.  You may recall The Hurt Locker beat out Avatar.

Three years ago I asked my brother –  what one film should I see?  He recommended Slumdog Millionaire which one multiple Oscars including best movie.

For this year, same question.  My brother recommended The Artist.  And the rest is history.

The Money Heifer appreciates her brother helping to “maximize my dollars” by spending money only on the film that will win.   Hmmm, too bad my brother doesn’t have a similar eye for the lotto  🙂

Rice Snax

Another day, another recommendation from the Money Heifer.

Eating right and exercising regularly should, in general, keep healthy expenses low.  But there are so many temptations when it comes to food.  How many food commercials are shown during an hour television program or a three-hour football game?  Tons or at least too many to keep count.  If you eat all the tacos, chips, burgers, pizzas, etc., your waistline will quickly reveal your passion for such food.

The key of course is moderation.

Do you have a “salty tooth”?  Do you like to munch?  Instead of potato chips, consider a healthy alternative.

A company called Edward&Sons offers RICE SNAX (deliciously crisp brown rice crackers).  The side of the box states,

Got the munchies? Want something crisp and delicious that’s good for you too?

Rice Snax to the rescue!  Baked – not fried – and topped with great natural seasonings, these bite-size whole grain crackers are thin, crisp and absolutely scrumptious!  Available in 4 yummy flavors, all feature simple, wholesome ingredients you feel great about eating . . . and sharing.  Keep plenty on hand for guests and pack them in lunch boxes as tasty natural treats.  Enjoy!

For more information, check out the link below

http://www.edwardandsons.com/es_shop_snax.itml

The box for the lightly salted Rice Snax contains 2.5 servings.  120 calories, only 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat per serving.  Can’t be that (okay, you can if you drink water, but that doesn’t satisfy the munching sensation).

The cost for the 2.80z box is about $2.00.  Not bad if you want a salty snack but want to be a healthy snacker.  🙂

metromint

$1.65 for 16.9 fluid ounces, consider buying a bottle of metromint.  What is metromint?

http://www.metromint.com/

In short:  100% pure water, 100% pure mint, 100% ahhh (per the website).

So, why is the Money Heifer recommending this product?  Just a suggestion.

If you are Roman Catholic and have fasted for today, Ash Wednesday, and will fast every Friday during Lent, metromint is a triple treat because (a) it provides a sensation of ahhh and you aren’t cheating by eating food, (b) others won’t know you are fasting (hint: your breath) because it is 100% mint and (c) ladies, 0 calories.  Need the Money Heifer say more?

metromint comes in multiple flavors.  I purchased goodberrymint.  Liked it so much, during the “lunch” break, went to the local natural food store and purchased four more bottles (I may need to purchase another one to ensure I have one for each Friday during Lent).

And again, at just $1.65 per bottle, a bargain.  How much do you spend for lunch during the other days of the work week?

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I’m getting a refund!!

Yes, I know, technically, I shouldn’t be celebrating about getting a refund because that means the government has held onto my money interest free.  Hello, have you seen interest rates?  Like less than 1%.  How much interest did I lose?  Pennies.

Yes, I’m getting a refund and I’ve already planned how I will spend it.  Less than $400 on frivolous stuff.  The bulk – paying off a bill and savings.   Yes, I’m being nice, and not naughty with the “windfall” I’m receiving.

It feels great!  And will be even better once the money is deposited into my account  🙂

Gas prices going up & up

Have you noticed the price of gasoline creeping upward during the past couple of weeks?  It wasn’t that long ago that I was paying $3.30/gallon for regular gasoline.  Today, I noticed the price is now $3.55/gallon for regular gasoline.  Yikes!   Spring has not even arrived yet here in the Mid-Atlantic.

Will we see $4.00/gallon gasoline?  I hope not.  But, if this creeping upward trend continues, I will keep the car parked in front of the house and resume taking public transportation.

To elect Roth TSP or not to elect Roth TSP, that is the question

TSP stands for Thrift Savings Plan, the federal government’s version of a 401k.  Starting as early as this Spring, federal employers will have the opportunity to elect to contribute some or all of their retirement funds into the Roth TSP.

The traditional TSP is pre-tax contributions.  Like a Roth IRA, the Roth TSP will be after tax contributions.

There are factors which may weigh in favor of or against the Roth TSP.  When I read the news that the Roth TSP will be available soon, I was excited and told a friend I plan to divide my retirement contributions equally between the traditional TSP and the Roth TSP.

Yesterday evening I received in the mail a brochure about the new Roth TSP.  One factor caught my attention

Agency contributions will always be part of your traditional (non-Roth) balance.

What a minute.  If I read this correctly, for the Roth TSP there will be no agency contributions.  But for the traditional TSP  agency contributions shall continue.  If my interpretation of the bullet above is correct, the decision is simple: continue to contribute to the traditional TSP.  I need all the contributions I can get (presently contributing 10% of pay).  Even though retirement is more than 20 years away, the way the economy is, I’ll need as much money as possible .

I await additional information.  For the moment, the future of no payment of taxes upon distributions from Roth TSP is not enticing enough for me to elect to contribute retirement funds to the Roth TSP [especially, since there is no guarantee that politicians won’t change the rules in the future] if there are no agency contributions.

I can see again

No, I’m not talking about my eyesight (thankfully).  But something else that felt so vital when I didn’t have it – a smartphone.

I have become so dependent on my iPhone for the past 1.5 years; it’s like an addiction to a drug.  I could do almost anything with my iPhone.  But last Wednesday, my iPhone screen “froze” and I couldn’t get it to budge.

In frustration, I decided to chart a new course and ordered a refurbished Android operating system phone through AT&T.  The phone arrived Friday night.  I took the Samsung Infuse 4G to the AT&T store today.  And, now, I can see again.

Funny, how lost I was without my smartphone.  The smartphone has become so indispensable to us as consumers.  And I learned that the hard way.   🙂

Hasta la vista, iPhone!!

Today, towards the end of my lunch hour, I pulled out my iPhone and swiped my finger across it to log in my password.  The iPhone screen never shifted for me to type in my password.  It is frozen. It has been frozen since 1:56 this afternoon on Wednesday, February 8th with 84%  power.  I attempted to turn off the iPhone, to no avail.

Upon arriving home, I plugged in my iPhone hoping that action would “unfreeze” the phone.  Nothing.

I’ve had it up to here with the iPhone.  This is my second iPhone in less than 2 years.

I have a contract with AT&T that expires this August.  I decided to call AT&T.

Long story short, I am receiving a refurbished 4G Samsung Infuse Droid phone (my “frozen” iPhone is a 3G).  Under the “exception upgrade” of my 2 year contract, the refurbished phone cost $18.00.  Priority shipping plus tax is $15.85.  Because I have had such HORRIBLE LUCK with the iPhone, I opted for mobile insurance at $6.99/month.  The worst part?  Yes, the “deal with the devil” is a new two-year contract upon activation of the refurbished phone.

Some may say – not the smartest move.  But, hey, I’ve paid enough money to Apple for two iPhones.

Funny, my first cell phone was a Qualcomm (remember that company?).  That cell phone lasted for years, despite losing the antenna.  And then the subsequent phone I purchased (though I discontinued my service with Sprint two years ago), I still use as my alarm clock.  Yet, in the space of less than two years, two iPhones go bust.

You know the expression – Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.  I have been Apple’s fool twice.  Not taking it any more.  Hasta la vista, iPhone!!

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