Thursday, December 22, 2011

Review of The Harvest of Grace

The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall is the third book in the Ada’s House series. I have not read the first two books but there is a recap of characters in the beginning of the book. After reading it for awhile you catch on who the characters are and how they are connected.

It is a series about the Amish. Sylvia Fisher is a character new to the series in this book. After a shocking experience and betrayal she decides to leave her family farm to work for another farm in a different area. The son of her boss left home a couple years ago after the death of his sister. He returns in hopes of his parents selling the farm to move to town and help him purchase a business.

I would recommend the Ada’s House series and other Cindy Woodsmall books. I am looking forward to going back and reading the first two books in the series.

I received this book free from Waterbrook Press. I was 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 of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Having Second Thoughts

Stores are usually busy with return of items after the holidays but this year there has been an increase in the number of pre holiday returns. Some speculations for the pre holiday returns are finding a better price, realizing they don’t have the money and buyer’s remorse.

Some people have purchased items and once they get home or once they start receiving the credit card bills, they decide to return the items. Others have made purchases for themselves when buying for others and then realize they did not need the personal items enough to keep them.

I realize it is important to get your family and friends gifts, but I am sure they do not want you to go into debt to buy the gifts. If your financial situation has changed you need to change your spending habits to match them before you get into considerable debt.

Monday, December 5, 2011

What's Really Important

Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Webb Hart is a story of learning what is really important to you. Mary Lynn and Jackson Scoville put there energy towards succeeding in business and the local social scene. They also pressured their children to achieve high standards in academics. One of their daughters was so stressed about getting a high SAT score that she was using drugs to get through the stress.

During 20 years of marriage and raising a family Mary Lynn wanted the family to attend church but Jackson was against it. Mary Lynn prayed for Jackson to find God. After a turn of events he begins to read the Bible to prove that it is not true but ends up believing in it. But he goes totally the other way and almost loses his family because of the total change he made.

Finally, they learn what is really important in life.

It was an interesting book. I read it in one day because it was hard to put down.

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers for this review.

Money Workout in 60 minutes at a time

The 60 Minute Money Workout by Ellie Kay shows you how you can change your financial life in as little as an hour at a time. Each chapter begins with a pre-workout text pertaining to the area to get an idea of what information you have and what you need to find out. In most of the chapters you will get suggestions of what to do depending on how you scored on the pre-workout test. Each chapter ends with a Workout Tip Sheet with key points from that chapter.

You can either read the entire book in order or skip to the chapters that pertain to you. Some of the chapters pertain to achieving financial freedom, setting a spending plan, retirement savings, travel and fun and allowances.

It is a great resource for either people just starting to get a handle on their finances or for those that need a refresher course.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pay What You Can Promotion

I want to share my financial knowledge with those who are in need. With the start of the new year, many people consider it a time to make a new start with certain areas of their lives.

I am offering a "Pay What You Can" promotion for appointments scheduled for the month of January (one appointment per person and subject to appointment availability). With the current economic conditions I realize there are some people that are in need of assistance in getting their financial lives under control and may not afford to pay regular fees. This is a chance to get assistance for what you can afford to pay.

If you want help in setting up a budget/living within a budget, ideas to pay off holiday debt, ideas for talking to your kids about money and many other topics contact me at or (701) 293-8808 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Save With Rebates

One way to save on purchasing items is mail-in rebates. There are many stores and companies that offer rebates for certain items. Even some online companies offer rebates.

Some things to keep in mind with rebates are to print out and fill in the rebate form right away. Read the rebate form to see what needs to be sent in with it. In most cases you may need to send in proof of purchase such as the receipt and either the UPC code from the package or the UPC code written on the form.

In many cases it is suggested to get it filled out and mailed soon after purchase before you forget about it or lose the receipt. In some cases it may be wise to wait a couple of weeks to send it in. If it is something that you think you may return, wait a couple of weeks before you cut the UPC code from the package.

My parents got new cell phones last weekend and the salesperson suggested to wait a couple of weeks to send in the rebate, since there is a 14 day return policy on them.

I have purchased a couple of things recently online that came with rebates to reduce the final cost significantly. With holiday sales many retailers have reduced prices on items and also offer mail-in rebates.

As with any type of shopping, consider if you really need the item, even if it is a great price. If you purchase something mainly because if you think it is a good price and don't really need it, you are not necessarily saving money.

Menards is one retailer that offers rebates throughout the year. In some cases, after the rebate the item may be free or almost free. The rebate forms are in front of the customer service desk and the rebate number will be printed on the receipt that is printed to go along with the rebate form.