Category Archives: money

Groupon Coupons & Ebates- a better way to shop

Recently, because I do more on-line shopping, I have signed up to get notifications from sites like groupon, and ebates and use all the sites together.  I have found that if I am going to buy something anyway, if I check on-line sites like groupon and coupon sites, and use them in conjunction with Ebates, I get money back and discounts for things I am going to buy anyway.

But, I did not know that groupon had a coupon site to sites or stores where you are shopping anyway like Target, Walgreens, and so many other stores.  Even your cell phone carrier may have a coupon on groupon coupons.  I have promoted AT&T wireless before, and groupon has a coupon site for AT&T and other carriers as well!  Go here and you can search for your favorite stores on Groupon Coupons.

So, if you are going to shop for things anyway or buy new mobile devices, you might as well use groupon and groupon coupons.  I also double my benefits by making sure my laptop and phone has Ebates active (learn more and sign up here for Ebates), for all purchases I make at groupon, and the stores/sites that groupon provides coupons and deals for.  What a great way to save some money while shopping for the things you need.  Sign up for Groupon here and check out all of Groupon’s coupons and if you want to sign up for Ebates, use this link and we both get money back.

Disclaimer: I was compensated for posting about Groupon Coupons and providing this information.  I was not compensated by Ebates or other corporations for the information contained herein.  The opinions expressed her are my own and not attributed to Groupon, US Family Guide, or any other company.

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Why you should buy a Toll Transponder in Florida, Colorado, California, etc.

If you are a frequent traveler like I am and renting cars everywhere you go, you are probably heading to places that have toll roads, and if your extended family lives in a state that has tolls galore, be sure to look into toll transponders and buy one.  California has a monthly fee – I used to travel there a lot and got one, but the $2.00 a month minimum charge is a turn off, if you are traveling infrequently.

Regarding transponders, I can speak for Colorado, California, and Florida.   If you go more than once a year to a place that has toll roads, and there are no fees (Colorado and Florida have no minimums or fees), it’s wise to get a transponder or look into the rules for the toll roads where you go.  Here is what I discovered:

For the past few years we travel to and from central Florida a lot and each time e went, the rental care companies got super rich off of us-  even if we used the toll roads for 2 out of our 5 day rental, we got charged $3.95 per day no matter what IF we used even one toll road – this is maxed at like $20.00 generally but that adds up.  Plus you pay all your tolls too!  So, at $20 per trip (convenience charge), it is better to just buy your own transponder at Walgreens, Turnpike Service Centers, or Publix stores.  You reload them, add your rental vehicles as you rent them, and you can also share the transponder among family members and friends.  So, it can go in any vehicle in the state.  In Florida and Colorado, there are no monthly minimums or service charges, making the transponder a must have!   And, in Colorado, your toll rates are discounted if you have the E-470 pass, so it is certainly worth having, just get the one that you can move from vehicle to vehicle, unless you live there, of course.

Happy traveling!

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Paper Planes movie review

paperplanes2We reviewed the movie, Paper Planes, and it was a treat!  This uplifting family film, starring Sam Worthington (Avatar, Wrath of the Titans) and Ed Oxenbould (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day), just received the Common Sense “Great for Families” Seal of Approval for kids 10+ and called it “an inspired look at what creativity really means, and what winning ought to be about”. You can read another review for the movie here and see others’ reviews. You can read all about the movie, what it is about, and based on below (see more).

The movie is set in Australia, produced by Entertainment one, and on the review version we received, we could not turn captions on, so if you watch this movie, I highly recommend captions for the kids.  Sometimes it is hard to make out words even when it’s English – British and Australian accents are tough for kiddos to make out at times.  The recommended age for kids watching this movie is 10 and older, but I think 7 and up (based on maturity) is fine too.

paperplanesMy girls were just making paper planes and flying them today to see how high theirs would go.  Inspired by the movie, they love making creations and seeing how high and how far theirs can go. They both liked the movie, but the kids under age 7 were getting distracted easily – the movie is inspiring, but if your attention span is short, you may not stay engaged.  I would definitely recommend this for kids, ages 7 and up.  Our 5 and 6 year-old kids in attendance started running off and playing 30 minutes into the film.  We had 5 kids in attendance at our screening of differing ages.

Great movie, inspirational, and only 96 minutes long. I loved the actors, even the child antagonist. It is a good movie,with many lessons to be learned – it will make your eyes water, and it’s a unique concept – paper planes, you can get it on DVD now.

*Disclaimer: I was given a review copy of the movie for an honest review of this film.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

Continue reading Paper Planes movie review

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Saving for kids’ college is easy with Capital One 360 #FinancialPeace


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It’s hard to save for the small ticket items, much less for college tuition, but Capital One makes it easy.  On-line banking or investing has never been so easy, so convenient, and so rewarding.  And if you act now, you can take advantage of all the Black Friday deals that Capital One offers.

If you save as little as $50 a month per kid when they are young, by the time they are even applying for colleges, you should have enough for them to pay tuition, or supplement financial aid if necessary.  Saving for college does not have to be hard or overwhelming, and you can earn various interest rates depending on the products you choose.  Capital One has various products, and they reward you just for opening an account.  If you think that $199 TV is a good deal for Black Friday, ask yourself, who will give you money just for opening an account and saving money?  Yes, Capital One will.

Right now, with Capital One 360’s Black Friday Sale, the rewards are even sweeter.  This is the time to sign up, get a bonus, and start thinking about financial peace of mind.  Whether your needs are for college savings, savings accounts for kids, a checking account, or investing, check out all tat Capital One 360 has to offer.  Capital One 360 products are designed to save consumers time and money. From online to an easy to use mobile app, Capital One 360 is with customers 24/7. Capital One 360 Checking and 360 Savings are fee-free and earn interest (varies based on product). Capital One 360 offers remote deposit capture with Capital One 360’s CheckMate tool and make savings a snap with the Automatic Savings Plan.  Here are some deals for Black Friday (ends 12/1/2014) at Capital One 360- check it out until 12/1/2014 (see below).  New accounts receive bonus money – who just gives you money so you can save money?  Capital One.   All accounts include a bonus, and if you refer friends and family, you earn $40, and they earn rewards for just signing up too!  Here are the bonus offers for Black Friday:

Product Offer Details
ShareBuilder Up to $1,250 bonus (tiered offer)
  • Must be a new ShareBuilder customer
Home Loans $1,250 off closing costs
  • Must sign up for the loan during the sale period
360 Checking $100 bonus
  • Must make a $500 minimum initial deposit and make five transactions
  • Must be new to 360 Checking
360 Savings $100 bonus
  • Must make a $1,000 minimum initial deposit
  • Must be new to 360 Savings
Refer a Friend $40 bonus per successful referral
  • For someone to receive the referral bonus, they must be a current customer
  • Their friend must meet the minimum initial deposit requirements
  • Applies to all accounts

This holiday season, save a little or a lot, and start the road to financial peace of mind.  Saving money for college, for whatever your needs are has never been so easy, convenient, and most of all, rewarding.  We have savings accounts for all of us and our kids at Capital One 360, and we also have a checking account which is convenient to use.  I deposit checks from my mobile device while I am on the go.  Their rates of interest on savings and checkings accounts are competitive.  And through Sharebuilder, you can also trade and invest in stocks, funds, and other products.  You can even open a kids’ brokerage account and trade for them – all before they are even in high school!  Happy saving, and happy holidays to you all!

Disclaimer: I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and compensated for this post.  The content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Frontier Airlines Changes effective April 28, 2014

Thanks for the notice, Frontier… or not!  Here we go again.  The discount airline is now skimping and turning European on us.  But, I am not so sure the European airline model works in a country like ours that is so widespread from coast to coast.

I wrote about FRONTIER a couple of years back when Frontier first sent out some mass changes including charging for sodas, and bags.  Now, take it a step further.  All seats are either $3 or $5, but the last row is free.  Oh, thanks!  I also wrote another FRONTIER post a long time ago when they were previously owned by another company and were not assigning seats to us lowly Economy travelers.  Well, all that is out the airplane window now.  Now, you have to join some club and still pay $20 per carry on bag.  This would be for bags that go into the overhead compartment.  Otherwise, it is $25.  Even if you book on frontier.com, it is still $25!  You are still allowed one personal item.  Gee, thanks, Frontier.  No judgment on how big that “personal item” should be, right?  Wait for it… wait for it… there is.  The guidelines are on their website.  Make sure you measure before you go!  Also, you still pay for checked bags.  Annoyed yet?  It gets better.

Their entire program is overhauled and now, you do not even get a calendar when you try to book to use up those pesky miles/points you have built up over the years.  Yep!  You just get an error message that there is nothing available.  Try again and again, but their website is more frustrating than ever.  If flying the “friendly” skies wasn’t bad enough, another airline bites the dust.  The sad part for me is that they are still Denver-based and I live in Denver, so my choices are down to SOUTHWEST, SOUTHWEST, and SOUTHWEST.  That about sums it up for me.

Some more information for you to consider is in-flight meal/beverages.  They charge for everything and the TV isn’t free either.  Southwest has teamed up with Direct TV to give you some limited free TV  – super nice when you have kids in tow.  Buckle up folks, and enjoy the wild ride as you turn over your money with all the hidden charges and fees.  Sure, you may able to get a cheap flight to Omaha or a destination you can drive to, but be prepared to pay for everything – every single thing including choosing a seat.  Since normal seats are $3 per seat and some up front are $5, calculate that per person and then double it for a round trip.  And remember, deregulation of the Airline industry in the 70s permitted you, the consumer, one very important thing- CHOICE!  It’s time to exercise that choice.  In a free economy, all we have is our voice.  Exercise it and take your business elsewhere if you do not like this.  You are not tied to travel with them. Of course, I can’t say that I like very many airlines anyway.  Don’t even get me started on United – they are the worst airline I have ever flown and hope to never fly again.

In tough economy times, it is equally tough to find good deals on travel, and traveling shouldn’t have to be this hard or miserable.  While the discount model may work overseas where flights cross-country are 2 hours long, and cost 20 Euros round trip, it is tougher here in a country where we are so spread out we have no choice but to fly from city to city (often in the same state).   Good luck finding what works for you, and just say no to airlines that mistreat you, or that do not fit that mold.

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