Monday, August 23, 2010

Book Review-Love Charleston

“Love, Charleston” is the first of Beth Webb Hart’s books that I have read and I am anxious to read her other books. It was an easy read and very compelling story. It was hard to put down, I kept wanting to see what would happen next.
The book contains stories of two separate families whose stories end up winding together. Roy Summerall is a widowed father of a young girl who has been called from his position at a small close knit church to a larger church in Charleston. He is apprehensive at first but ends up turning around the larger church.
Some of the other topics covered in the book are Post partum depression and infidelity. Beth found a way to turn these topics into a very moving story.
I would highly recommend this book as a uplifting story.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson publishers as part of their blogger review program. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use and Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

To rent or buy

This post is about renting or buying college textbooks, not houses. There was an article in Sunday’s Forum about renting textbooks instead of purchasing them. One of the largest expenses for college students is textbooks and in some cases they don’t use them a lot for some classes. With the price of books getting so high some are turning to renting.
If you search online for renting textbooks, a number of sites come up. One the sites I have heard of before is Chegg. Now locally NDSU and MSU have launched textbook rental programs. Students can rent certain title for the semester at roughly half the price they would pay for a new book. At the end of the semester, students bring the rental book back, or they are charged for it.
NDSU has 30 titles available this year and plans to offer more in the future. If all 1,595 books are rented this fall, students will save about $90,000.
One example in the article was a freshman English book at NDSU costs $36 to rent, $48.60 to purchase used and $86.50 to purchase new.
So if you are attending college or know someone who is, renting textbooks may be something to look into to save some money.

Friday, August 20, 2010

How to Save up to 51% on grocery bill

The article Supermarket Smarts by Consumer Reports discusses ways to save at the grocery store. One way to save up to 51% on your grocery bill is to pass up the pre cut and pre sliced products (such as vegetables, cheese, bagels, etc). A rule from Stephanie Nelson, The Coupon Mom is that if you can do a task in less than 5 minutes it’s not worth paying for convenience packaging. Another example is to buy a bigger bag of snacks, chips, etc and divvy into smaller snack size bags instead of buying the prepackaged snack size items. I know it may seem handy to purchase these items but if you look at how much more you pay for a few minutes of work, it may deter some purchases of the pre packaged items.
Also, watching for items on sale. Sale cycles seem to run about 12 weeks. If you see an item you use regularly on sale, try to buy enough to last a few months. A few dollars may not seem like a lot here and there, but it does add up over time.
Shop with a list. If you have a menu plan for the week and make a list of items you need.
Like other habits you are learning, it takes time and discipline. Small steps will get you closer to your goal.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What is Groupon

Groupon is a website where they have a different deal each day. Most of the deals are for restaurant and other retailers certificates at a great discount. The nearest location is Minneapolis/St. Paul, but there are some deals that are online deals. It is also useful to check other locations if you are planning on traveling, to find deals to try to cut some of your travel expenses. Today is the first time I have taken advantage of one of their deals. The deal today is for $25 get a certificate good for $50 worth of merchandise at GAP stores (sale items included). This is one deal that is good at any GAP store in the US. Another deal they have today is for an online nut store.
You sign up for an account and can register to receive notice of the deals each day. This is one way to try different merchants at a reduced price or get a deal on places you usually frequent.
There have been stories of people trying to live a year or so by only using Groupon coupons.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nickel and Dimed

Barbara Ehrenreich, author of “Nickel and Dimed, On (Not) Getting By in America” will discuss sex, poverty and the workplace at NDSU on Sept 2nd at 7:00. Barbara will discuss her work as a journalist, historian and social critic. She is an author of 20 non-fiction books which often explore the American workplace and social justice. In 2001 ’s Nickel and Dimed On not Getting by in America she worked blue-collar jobs to see what life was like for those working at $6 -$7 an hour jobs. She moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting jobs from working at a Minneapolis Wal Mart, to a waitress, hotel maid, nursing home aide and other jobs. She discovered that even the “lowliest” occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough, you need at least two if you want to live indoors.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dave Ramsey's EntreLeadership event

I have mentioned Dave Ramsey’s courses in a previous post.
On November 5th, Dave’s EntreLeadership 1-day course will be simulcast LIVE to hundred of locations across the country. The local host site is Bethel church at 2702 30th Ave S, Fargo from 8 am – 2:30. The tickets are $39 and they are having a Buy one Get one Free offer. It is good today and I am not sure if it is only for today or for longer. If you are interested you can try to see if it is still BOGOF. When you go to the register site, select 2 seats and if it is still BOGOF it will come up with a total of $39. Even if the deal is only for today, they may be having more promotions in the future.
During the conference, Dave will present practical ways that owners and leaders can take their business to the next level. Throughout the event, attendees will learn directly from Dave as he teaches critical business lessons about growing a business and leading a team.
I have followed Dave Ramsey on television but have not attended one of his events before. I have registered for this one, so I hope to see you there.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect review

John C. Maxwell’s book, “Everyone Communicates Few Connect” is not only for people who want to be public speakers. While it does include information for public speakers to connect better with their audiences it also includes ways to connect with others in all kinds of occasions. He utilizes both stories from his many years as a pastor and stories from others to explain tips on ways to connect with others better.
Communicating involved more than just talking. As he states in the book, “Connecting is the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them.”
The book includes John’s proven method – Five Principles and Five Practices, so you can connect one-on-one, in a group or with an audience. Each chapter of the book ends with a recap of the information included in that chapter.
I would recommend “Everyone Communicates Few Connect” to people who currently do public speaking or are aspiring to become public speakers. It would also be helpful to others, even if they do not plan on being public speakers.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I write impartial reviews for the program. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”