recommending Heartsy

Okay, those of you who love all things Etsy… have you found Heartsy yet? Big discounts on Etsy stuff. I’d say that it has become dangerous, but the things that I’ve bought so far are only things that I was going to buy anyway… like cards and whatever… so it’s actually been a pretty good bargain thus far.

I try not to recommend things that give me money back unless I would recommend them anyway. If you sign up through my link, I get $5 credit, but really… I would recommend it anyway. Paying about a third of the price for cute handmade stuff? Yep, that’s a good deal!!

Published in: on June 26, 2011 at 11:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

money myths

Get Rich Slowly is one of my two favorite finance blogs. It has innovative ideas as well as a balanced perspective toward money, and I have found far more relevant tips here than elsewhere.

Every now and then, as you’ve probably noticed, I find a post that I like so much that I can’t help sharing it. Today, that includes this one: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2010/04/27/money-myths-and-the-importance-of-thinking-for-yourself/

I particularly appreciate the section on money myths. I think there are several included which are worthy of separate blog posts all of their own, but I doubt I’ll actually get to doing that, so let me just point out my favorites:

  • It’s not wrong to be rich.
  • The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
  • It’s important to budget on what you actually earn, not on what you hope to earn.
  • Just because you can’t take it with you when you die doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t save money responsibly while you’re alive.
  • A person’s standard of living is not based on how much they spend and consume.
  • Buying a home isn’t always better than renting one. (Especially if you are like us and move at least once a year. It simply wouldn’t be worth it at this point in our lives.)
  • Having to pay for something yourself doesn’t have to mean it’s worth more to you.

I think that each of these points are things that Keith and I have learned to some extent during our marriage. The last one is one that I’m not sure I’ve heard anyone else say before, but I have certainly seen the truth of it in at least one area of our life together: our car! We just hit 200,000 miles on the 1997 Camry that Keith’s parents gifted to him more than six years and 110,000 miles ago. The blessing of a continually reliable vehicle and not having to make car payments has been something for which we have truly been thankful.

I’ve just now begun to chew this over, but I think that when people have helped me financially – whether with college scholarships or with gas money – I have appreciated it and remembered it long after I have remembered the so-called satisfaction of earning my own way the rest of the time. I’m not suggesting that it would be a good idea to always receive without having to work for it, but I do disagree with the idea that helping someone will cause them not to appreciate it – whatever the “it” might be – as much. If done right, I think generous assistance can not only be a blessing that cultivates a heart of thankfulness, but also a catalyst for the one who has received to continue giving to others.

Published in: on April 29, 2010 at 3:55 pm  Comments (2)  

on buying presents

As our nation sinks deeper into this recession, I hear more and more talk about people not spending much money on Christmas presents. Frankly, I think that is a good thing. I might even go out on a limb here and say that the recession in general is a good thing. It is beautiful to see people take more responsibility for their financial actions and for our society to begin to esteem frugality again.

The personal issue I have with not spending money on Christmas presents, though, is that gifts are my love language. I absolutely love to give gifts to the people I care about! I have toned down the spending in recent years, but we still feel it is worthwhile to give gifts to those we love. Thus, gift-giving is a small but important part of our monthly budget.

Our budget for family birthdays and Christmas presents is $10 per person. Looking at both my birthday gift list and my just-finished Christmas list from this year, that means we’ve spent about $150 on birthday gifts and $120 on Christmas gifts (not including the amounts I spent on Keith and Rilla). Some people might think that is a lot; personally, I don’t think it is all that much for a lasting expression of endearment, and I think the cost is totally worth it. Maybe it would not be worth it for something lame that a person would toss aside and never use, but I think I usually manage to find gifts that are suited to the person, will last a while, and will be worth more to them than what I spent on it.

I view finding the right present for the right price like a never-ending treasure hunt. My grandma taught me to look for birthday and Christmas presents all year long at retail store sales and yard sales, and I have learned to do that especially with online sales. It is so satisfying to find gifts ahead of time this way! One treasure that I enjoyed finding and giving this year was a neat old picture frame purchased at a garage sale for $2. I outfitted it with pictures of my dad, myself, and my baby for less than fifty cents and presented it to my father for his birthday. Having the whole thing planned out months in advance just made the anticipation that much sweeter. When we only buy one or two birthday gifts a month, it is fun to think about them ahead of time. And there is something especially satisfying about getting a great deal on a fantastic gift.

Because I do most of my shopping online, let me just share these sites that tend to have the best deals. There are others which I have referenced now and then, but these are my favorites and have proven to be the most useful to me over time. In particular, I check Cool Mom Picks and Slick Deals almost every day. I may go a month between finding relevant deals, but the ones I do find are so worth the thirty-second daily time investment.

For finding gift ideas…

For finding a good deal…

Do you have any other favorites?

Published in: on December 5, 2009 at 1:45 pm  Comments (6)