Yikes, the deal is about to expire!

Almost a year ago my sister purchased a deal (three actually)  for afternoon tea at a bed & breakfast in Virginia.

A few weeks ago I began to pester my sister.  Hey,  what about that deal you purchased?  Doesn’t it expire soon?

The deal expires March 31st. My sister made reservations for March 24th (afternoon tea is on Sundays only). Whew, she made reservations just in the nick of time. Otherwise she would have wasted $150.

This is why I’ve stopped purchasing deals.  You become busy for one reason or another and, before you know it, the year has flown by.

I hate to lose money. And since sequestration begins tomorrow and I will face a reduced paycheck in the foreseeable future,  forget purchasing deals.

$.16 in less than 10 minutes

Haven’t you heard that you can get your 30 minute workout through incremental exercise during the day?  One of my favorite exercises is stretching for change (coins).

Today, at CVS, I grabbed a birthday card.  Approaching the cash register, I noticed a nickel on the floor.  Using my glutes, knees, thighs and arms, I lowered myself to the ground to retrieve that nickel.

I then drove to Staples.  I took advantage of 20% off everything I could fit into a reusable bag [great time to purchase ink cartridge].  At the cash register, on the counter, was a penny.  My fingers enjoyed the stretch.  After my purchase, as I walked toward the exit, I noticed a dime on the floor, which I stooped down to retrieve.

Yes, picking up change has two benefits: (a) stretching muscles and maintaining a flexible body and (b) adding coins to piggy bank for a deposit at the end of the year.   🙂

Staples Easy Rebate

HELLO Staples.  The fact that you do not give me the rebate at the time of purchase means it is not easy.

If Staples really wanted to ensure its customers got the rebate easily and quickly, one would not have to go through the process of logging onto a website or filling out and mailing a rebate redemption form (of course, I log onto the website).  Staples knows some customers will totally forget to request the rebate within 60 days of the date of purchase and that’s money saved for Staples.

To ensure I wouldn’t forget, after purchasing items last Sunday, I kept the bulky receipt in my wallet.  On Saturday, as I cleaned out my wallet, I realized I had claimed my rebate.  Took care of it that day.

Today, I visited Staples during lunch and purchased two more items that qualified for the rebate.  I logged onto the website and requested my rebate this evening.

So, in about six weeks or so, I will receive one check for $3 and another check for $6.

Yeah, easy rebate, Staples.  Not!

Outside the DMV, no one concerned about sequestration

Okay that may be a slight exaggeration but in essence it is true.

Oh, btw, the DMV stands for the District (of Columbia),  (the State of)  Maryland and (the Commonwealth of)  Virginia.

According to a recent article in The Washington Post,  federal employees, especially in the DMV, are anxious about possible furloughs. And what does the rest of the country think? Been there, done that. The DMV has been relatively insulated from the recession because of the federal government. Individuals in the DMV have not lost jobs or experienced furloughs like other parts of the country.

So, federal employees in the DMV, deal with it (and yes, I work for the federal government also but not for the executive branch). No one wants to be furloughed. But, hey, that’s better than losing your job.

Remember the song from Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian ” – Always look on the bright side of life.

Car wash? Just want cheaper gasoline

Maybe this incentive would mean more if it was 70 degrees and not 30 degrees.

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Also, have you noticed the spike in gasoline prices?

Since I didn’t purchase a car wash, I paid $3.73 for regular. 😦

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When will it stop?

I’m not talking about gun violence. That’s a serious issue. As gun advocates and gun opponents battle over the right to bear arms vs gun control,  it seems virtually every week there are innocent individuals slain by guns. The media focuses on the latest tragedy, we watch thanking God it is not us and then we move on.

But what also needs to stop are politicians stealing money. The latest example is Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. I have not read any accounts but have heard some details second hand.

Why are people infatuated with having things, especially expensive things?  If you want a very expensive Rolex Watch, work hard & save your money and pay for it. But why does one need a very expensive Rolex Watch? Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses!

How many constituents did Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. represent who live paycheck to paycheck,  who are just keeping their heads above water but are doing so honestly?  The answer: many. So it’s really sad that constituents voted for someone who they believed shared the same values and  understood their circumstances,  who likely campaigned on issues such as income and wealth disparity, and yet this politician’s actions speak louder than his words.

Speaking of words,  Michelle Singletary of The Washington Post mentioned in her column today that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his father co-authored a book on personal finance. I forgot about that.  Never read the book. I guess Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. didn’t either.

Why QVC is scary

There are people who fear the government, “Big Brother.” But individuals should be equally as concerned with private companies,  “Big Sister.”  Take QVC for instance. On Saturday I called QVC to order one item (Cottage Farms 12pc Strawberry Collection 3-tier Deco Tower) .  After waiting about 10 minutes,  a representative answered the call. He greeted me by name and asked for the item number.  After I provided him the number, he stated your current address is . . . He asked if I would be paying by Master Card,  which has expired. Whoa!

I could not recall when I last ordered from QVC but it was at least 3-4 years previous. QVC stores and maintains this information for quite some time.

It’s just scary and a bit eerie how much information on individuals is maintained in the databases of private companies.

Follow-up: Smells like an attempted identity theft

In my previous post I mentioned receiving a letter from Experian.  The next day I called the number listed in the letter. I never had an opportunity to speak with a human being.  I was given the option to receive my credit report for review.  I thus requested my credit report.

I received the credit report yesterday.  I anxiously reviewed each page.  What a relief!  No evidence of any attempt to open an account (yeah, baby, that security freeze works!).  The apparent discrepancy is my address.  Apparently a creditor recently reported my address as street, instead of place.  And I have no one to blame but myself.

On Monday morning I made a purchase at a store.  When asked if I wanted a catalog, I replied yes and provided my address.  After departing the store, my mother, who was with me, told me I identified my address as street, not place.  Really?  Boy, did I have a senior moment. 😦

I am really impressed with the speed at which Experian responded to this discrepancy.  And, I still can’t believe I misspoke.  But, I am so relieved (not an attempted identity theft).

So maybe you think it’s worth purchasing Life Lock for peace of mind.  I prefer the security freeze.  It’s just as effective (credit is extended to no one unless you have the pin or password).  And it’s much cheaper 🙂

 

Smells like an attempted identity theft

Yesterday I noted instead of paying a monthly fee for Life Lock, that I have placed a security freeze on my credit.

Upon arriving home this evening I found two letters from Experian.  I opened the letters immediately. They are identical. The news is not comforting. The first two paragraphs state,

“In accordance with state legislation and pursuant to your request to have a Security Freeze placed on your Experian Credit Report, we are required to notify you that within the last 30 days, changes to your name, address  or Social  Security Freeze Number have been reported to us by a creditor.

If there was an address change, letters have been sent to both your address at the time your report was frozen and to any newly reported address.”

I smell an identity theft rat.

Needless to say, will call Experian tomorrow morning.

Life Lock

Have you seen the infomercial with Montel Williams on behalf of Life Lock?  It is very persuasive. Identity theft is no joke; your financial life can be ruined. Avoiding the disruption to your life and the damage to your credit is well worth the price.

Maybe or maybe not.

I know I won’t get text messages if someone attempts to obtain credit under my name if I don’t have Life Lock. And I won’t have a cadre of people aggressively counteracting activities by would be identity thieves. I choose not to sign up for Life Lock because I have a security freeze on my credit reports. No credit will be extended (if a creditor attempts to check my credit history) unless I provide a password.

I believe a security freeze is more cost effective than Life Lock.

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