Financial Friday: A Look At The Past & A Look to the Future

>> Friday, December 25, 2009

Financial Friday: A Look At The Past & A Look to the Future
by Alice Shaffer

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas and end of the holiday season. I wanted to share four favorite blog posts with you all as well as something new for the future. Of course, it will involve budgeting, but it does including shopping!

Four Blasts from the Past:
Thursday Sept 17: Financial Friday: Step 1: Getting ready to start a budget
Friday Sept. 25:Part 2: Setting up a Monthly Budget
Friday Oct. 9:Part 3: Putting everything in your Spreadsheet
Thursday Oct 22: Where Do I Put My Money?

A Look To The Future:
As you are putting away those Christmas gifts and holiday gifts, you notice who gave you what and remember who you gave to this year. Pull out a small notebook and write down those recipients/givers. This helps you decide on the 2010 gift giving list. Yes I did say 2010 gift giving list!

Many retailers will be marking their Christmas/Holiday items down to 50 & 75% and more starting on Saturday December 26. This is the time to gather the wrapping paper, tissue paper, gift bags, Christmas tree lights, lawn ornaments, and other stocking stuffer type items. It is also a great time to purchase winter clothing for the kids in your life for next winter season. Look for Baby's First Christmas items for those friends and family who are expecting a child in 2010. Holiday shirts, sweaters and other festive wear is on sale for next year.

Last year on December 26th, I went to Target and purchased holiday ornaments that were originally 15 dollars a piece for 75% off. I purchased 6 Mr. Potato Head Santas for about 89 cents each(regularly$6.99) and 12 mini Christmas tree Magna Doodles for 37 cents each (regularly $4.99). I spent $9.78 on items that I gave to National Center for Children & Families for their homeless shelter Santa Shop. This Shop allows parents to get Christmas gifts for their kids. I purchased one of the 60 gallon totes from Sterilite at Target and put all my charity donations in it for this. This year I will be looking for hats, gloves, scarves, books for older kids, board games, among the stocking stuffer type items. Give yourself $20 to purchase Charity items for 2010.

Next week look for 10 Things for 2010!


Financial Friday: Do you have your gifts for your employers and donations for 2009 done?

>> Friday, December 18, 2009

As 2009 winds down we have a few things left to deal with. Have you made your final purchases for your holiday gifts for your employers? Have you made your final donations for 2009 to your charities?

Make sure you get receipts for those items you donated. Do a quick sweep of your closet for any winter items you don't need that someone at a shelter could use this winter. Many places are still taking items for holiday gifts. Check your local listings for the Salvation Army and Goodwill openings for donations.

Gifts for Employers
As nannies, we are sometimes in a bind on what to get our employers if anything at all. NannyMall LLC posted a blog post on this very thing a week or so ago.

I recently had a NannyMall Nanny email to say she was giving gifts to the children of the family in which she was placed and she asked a really great question:
Is it appropriate to gift the parents and if so, what do you give them?
Etiquette dictates you don't truly need to gift the parents because after all, it's the children you are there for.....however.....if you'd like to give to the parents, here are a few easy, inexpensive ideas.
to read the rest of the article please visit:
Gifting your families this holiday season


Financial Friday: Gifts That Last A Year!

>> Friday, December 11, 2009

Financial Friday: Gifts That Last A Year!
by Alice Shaffer

As a professional nanny, I sometimes struggle with what to get my nanny friends for the holidays and their birthdays. Some of them are live in and others are live out. Either way we all are downsizing in some capacity of what we need or want for the holidays or our birthdays. Our employers, our siblings, our parents and friends all ask us what we want for the holidays and even for our birthdays.

I have come up with a solution to this question. My Grandmother kept asking me what I want for Christmas. I told my Grandmother this year that I wanted an INA Membership. The fee has been reduced from $95 to $35 for a nanny membership. This is an awesome gift, that will help enrich my life as a professional nanny. This is a great gift from her, because she values my career as a professional nanny. I also told her I wanted some homemade Chicken Corn Soup, Red Beet Eggs and chocolate covered pretzels :) She lives in Pennsylvania, so she makes lots of yummy foods.

Do you have friends who are not members of INA, your local nanny support group or don't receive The Be The Best Nanny Newsletter? Why not consider giving them a gift of membership that lasts till next year? If their employeers or family ask you want to give them for the holidays, send them this email or share the websites with them.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season!


Financial Friday: A Membership For A Year

>> Friday, December 4, 2009

Financial Friday: A Membership For A Year
by Alice Shaffer

This week I was watching the news and they had a segment on Warehouse Store Shopping Secrets. I didn't know some of the secrets they shared. I knew of one they didn't share.

What they shared:
-At Costco, you do not need to be a member to use their pharmacy
-At Sam's Club you can take advantage of 100s of $4 prescriptions
-the items ending in .97 are clearance items-non restocked at Costco
-the items ending in .01 are clearance items-non restocked at Sam's Club
-free electronics phone support 24/7 even if you didn't purchase there at Sam's Club & Costco

For further details make sure you read the article and read the website of the warehouse clubs.

What I have learned/been told:
-you can take advantage of the Optical shop at BJ's without a membership, it is a state law in most states.
-you can use coupons from the newspaper/clipper magazines at BJ's.

As we all strive to save money, why not explore sharing a membership with a friend or family member. This would make an excellent gift to someone for their birthday or holidays. Saving money year round! You can have a joint account with someone.

Membership Fees (basic):
Sam's Club is $40 a year
Costco is $50 a year
BJS Wholesale Club is $45 a year

There are other membership levels with various rewards/benefits. They all offer different things. You can get a day pass for the majority of them and check them out. You might have to pay a slightly higher surcharge for the products but for some of the items you are still getting an awesome deal.

What have been some of the awesome deals you have gotten at a Warehouse Club?



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