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Archive for the ‘Your World’ Category

Make Open Enrollment Work For You

In Our Guest Appearances, Your Health, Your World on November 28, 2010 at 1:41 PM

 

Image Credit Kurhan

 

 

Are you happy with your health insurance plan?  Or, are premium amounts, deductibles and copays draining your bank account? Are you paying for services you don’t need or want, like smoking cessation classes or a life coach?  And do you really know the differences between  PPOs, HMOs and POS plans?

This is the time of year when many folks are selecting  new insurance plans and reevaluating existing ones. Recent changes to health care laws make it important that you understand new policies and existing ones.

Read my full article here at Inexpensively.com.

 

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America’s National Parks – FREE on Veterans Day!

In budget, coupons, Your World on November 5, 2010 at 10:56 AM

 

Yosemite Park Image Credit: JDrmar

 

 

Take a hike.  Literally!  In honor of Veterans Day, that’s  11 November this year, the entrance fee at all national parks (there are over 100) is  FREE.

To sweeten the deal many outfitters, shops and hotels in our natural treasures offer discounts like buy-one-get-one half off, or for free deals and other  money-saving specials. Check out these sweet deals  at:  Park Partners .

Remember, prior military service isn’t required to take advantage of these offers.  But if you’re a veteran, savings at some locations are even better.

Sample Savings:

Death Valley National National Park, CA

Furnace Creek Resort
Earth-friendly organic t-shirts 2/$20, regularly $14.99 each

Everglades National Park, FL – Shark Valley Tram Tours

Shark Valley Tram Tours honors veterans by offering 50% discounts to veterans and their dependents on all tours.  Call Shark Valley Tram Tours at 305-221-8455.  Or visit them  at www.sharkvalleytramtours.com to receive  more information or to make reservations.

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ — Buy one West Rim Sunset Tour and get one free.  You’ll also receive 20% off any retail purchase in all Xanterra operated gift shops.

 

Click here to find a national park near you.  Or visit http://www.nps.gov .

Happy Trails!

Rock Your VOTE!

In You, Your World on November 2, 2010 at 9:02 AM

The US Federal Government is a Representative Democracy; we elect officials to represent us.

It is important to remember that America’s success as a nation did not occur by chance.  We are successful because of our strengths.

Whether conservative or liberal in our beliefs, the one cause we have in common is our defense against oppression – foreign or domestic, that attempts to tear us down  by destroying our ability to self-govern.

Make sure your voice is heard today.

Cell Phone Insurance: Hero or Villian?

In budget, Our Guest Appearances, Your World on October 28, 2010 at 2:19 PM

 

Image Credit Richard Lai

 

 

Picture this…

You just purchased the latest android powered 4G cell phone and you’re thinking, “Life is good!” Just as your sale rep finishes activating your phone she mentions that smart shoppers protect their investments by adding insurance to their plans.  A moment of indecision sweeps over you. You know the replacement cost for your new toy is just over $500 bucks.

What would you do?

Read the rest of our post, and get  the inside scope (and money saving tips) about cell phone insurance at Inexpensively.com

Some People Are Offended By Anything

In Your World on October 22, 2010 at 10:27 AM

With mid-terms elections a mere 10 days away, today’s post is political … and controversial.  I hope you’ll  weigh-in, whether you agree or not.  And come November 2, you’ll vote.  The election outcomes will decide if you Live Well For Less … or not.

Political correctness is stifling America. 

Case in point … the Juan Williams’ controversy. He was fired by NPR for making the following statement, I’m not a bigot… But when I get on a plane, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Vivian Schiller, President and CEO of NPR fired Williams saying his statement violated journalistic standards.   NPR should be ashamed. Juan didn’t break journalistic standards.  Right or wrong, he expressed his feelings.

In response to Juan’s firing, Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, chastised those who wear the cloak of “feel-good sensitivity”. “This is the truth, we should be speaking the truth rather than what people expect us to say.”

Another recent example of social tyranny is the collective temper tantrum thrown by hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar on The View.   

Guest, Bill O’Reilly got into a shouting match with Goldberg and Behar over opposing views on the merits of a Mosque being built near the World Trade Center. O’Reilly argued that it was “inappropriate” to build a Mosque there because “… Muslims killed us on 9/11.”

Are O’Reilly’s remarks offensive to you? Should he have qualified them by tacking on the word “extremist”?   I don’t think so.  To most folks, that point is understood. Common sense tells us that the vast majority of  Muslims are not extremist.

Where do you stand on the issue of political correctness? Are you on board?  Or fed up?

“It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought … should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words.” – George Orwell, 1984.

Family Friendly Travel Destinations

In Your Guest Writers, Your World on October 6, 2010 at 9:14 PM

Image Credit Chrissi Nerantzi

 

With a bit of creativity you can likely make any travel destination into a fun and safe trip for your children. Finding a place to go on vacation that will offer benefits to kids without a lot of effort or stress for you is slightly harder.  

Your entire family should have an enjoyable vacation, no matter what age they are, so we’ve compiled a list of family friendly travel destinations. If you have any additions please feel free to let us know in the comments section.  

Jellystone Park Campgrounds  

This might seem like one for the kids but Jellystone Park Campgrounds are fun for the entire family. These parks are located all across the US in places like Cooperstown, New York and Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. There are also 5 locations in Canada if you’re in need of northern road trip. Each of the Jellystone locations include all kinds of fun activities for kids, including water slides, swimming, playgrounds, and mini golf. There are also activities for adults like fishing, dances with manned DJs, hiking, camping, games rooms, and arts & crafts. The best part if that most of these activities can be enjoyed by both adults and kids.  

Williamsburg  

Williamsburg, Virginia combines the educational fun of Colonial Williamsburg with the just-plain-fun of the nearby Busch Gardens theme park. In the summer there is also the massive Water Country USA water park if you’re in need of a cool down.  

American history comes to life in Colonial Williamsburg. Volunteers and actors portray people from over 200 years ago; bringing to life pre-American Revolution life in the United States. There are other nearby historical areas that can be visited such as Yorktown – all within a short drive of Williamsburg.  

Mardi Gras in New Orleans  

This is one that you might think would only be for the adults (or maybe even just for college students). Mardi Gras may be infamous for its party culture but it’s actually quite family friendly if you get past those initial thoughts about the festival.  

Most of the hard partying during Mardi Gras takes place on Burbon Street, which means most of the rest of the festivities are focused on families. The festival is an amazing spectacle with it’s parade, music, and culture. It’s important to educate your children on how to travel safely before and even during your trip. This is important whether you’re visiting Mardi Gras, Disneyland, or even the in-law’s house one state over.  

San Diego 

This Californian city has everything you’re looking for – whether you’re a kid or an adult. Children can enjoy building sandcastles on the beach while their parents relax. 

The San Diego Zoo is one of the largest and most progressive zoos in the world and a must-visit if you’re visiting the city. The zoo, which is owned by the City of San Diego, has an impressive 4,000+ animals of more than 800 species including many endangered species. It is also one of the only zoos in the world to house a giant panda. 

Another great spot for kids in San Diego is Legoland. I’m sure a few parents have grown up enjoying Lego too! 

This was post was contributed by Ryan Embly from the rental car comparison website CRX. If you’re seeking car rentals in New York or any other city in the US visit their website today.

Express Your Style!

In Your Product Reviews, Your World on September 24, 2010 at 9:07 AM

I’m in love …

with personalized stationery!  Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved seeing my name in print.  I guess the writer in me was evident even then.  🙂

Enter,   Expressionery.com .     A chic personal stationery shop I recently discovered. From address labels and social calling cards to embossed napkins and seasonal stampers,  you’ll find everything you need to express your unique style.  

They’re  offering  40% off all Halloween designs.  Simply enter the code “SPOOKY” at checkout. The Halloween-themed items include a variety of personalized stationery, including party invitations, photo cards, note cards, stamps and more.  The deal is only good through Friday, October 8.

Check ’em out.  You’ll be glad you did.

How Frugal Are You?

In budget, Our Guest Appearances, Your Home, Your World on September 20, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Lots of folks think they’re frugal because they clip coupons, use customer reward cards and frequently buy items on sale.  We all should be proud when we do these things. But—isn’t frugal living a lifestyle?

Take this quiz  (our latest article :)) at Inexpensively.com to see how thrifty you really are!

Learn How to Live Below Your Means

In budget, Your World on September 14, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Image Credit David Siqueira

 

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I’d easily spend $300 on a Coco Chanel wallet or Tiffany card case.  And that evening, it was nothing to drop another hundred on dinner with friends.  Sears, Kmart, Target and “the Walmart” were definitely off my shopping radar.  After all, only poor people shopped those places.      

When I look back at all the money I wasted buying status symbols that only served to make other folks rich, it makes me ill.  The genius who said, “Youth is wasted on the young,” sure got that one right!       

Thankfully, when I turned 24, I married a man who can make a $20 last six months!  He showed me how to manage our money so that it wouldn’t end up managing us.       

These days when I climb into my 11 year-old Honda (156,000 miles and counting) – I smile.  And the folks at my local Walmart, well, they know me by name. 🙂  I’m ecstatic when I find scream’n deals on toothpaste, or save cash by dining in.  And paying extra on my mortgage makes me downright giddy!      

Being frugal doesn’t mean you have to live like Ebenezer Scrooge.  It simply means living below your means – comfortably.        

Here are five tips to get you started.     

 Invest in yourself.  I believe in stimulating my economy.  And don’t count on Uncle Sam or anyone else to take care of my needs.  Dedicate a portion of every paycheck to savings. Whether you invest in the stock market, deposit money in a credit union savings account, a tin can or under your mattress – pay yourself.  Even if it’s just fifty cents a week.     

 *Backyard, Sauna and Room for a Pony.  Your mortgage or rent shouldn’t consume more than 28% of your monthly gross income.  But remember – just because you qualify for a loan or have 28% to spend on rent, doesn’t mean you can afford to make the payments.  Owning a home involves much more than paying the banknote.  Home maintenance, property tax, and home owner’s insurance are just a few of many, expenses.     

Note:  Your total debts, (rent, car payments, student loans, credit cards, etc.) should equal 36% or less of your gross monthly income.      

 Paying Retail is for Suckers.  It’s silly to pay full price unless you have to.  Shop around on and offline before making purchases.  And be sure to clip coupons and take them with you.  Check out, My Simon, Fat Wallet, Retail Me Not, Deal Hunting, and Ebates, to find mind-blowing savings.     

 Budgets Rock.  Whether you’re making a six figure salary or living off tips, the only way to see where you spend (and hopefully save) money is with a budget.  Mint and Money Strands are two good and FREE budgeting tools.   YNAB 3 is also a great choice, but the price is $60 bucks.     

 Got a Raise? Great!  Good for you.  Save at least 50% and put the rest towards paying off debts.     

Don’t let a sense of entitlement make you poor.  Instead, practice a little self-control and spend carefully.      

*Keeping Up Appearances – British Situation Comedy.

Find Out The Secrets To Saving $$$ On Your Prescription Drug Costs

In Our Guest Appearances, Your Health, Your World on September 1, 2010 at 11:09 PM

Are your prescription drug costs taking a huge bite out of the family budget?  Click here to find out how to save big bucks on your drug “habit”.

Tired of rejection letters? Then check out my post, “The Secrets to Making Your E-Query Standout Amid the Clutter” at Coffeehouse for Writers.