Category Archives: money

Are You feeling the squeeze?

You don’t have to look far to find middle aged Americans or even those in their 60s caring for parents and their kids at the same time. It is estimated that many baby boomers are supporting their adult children, or children in college while at the same time flying all over the country or driving across the State they live in to care for their parents. And, in some instances, baby boomers are caring for aging parents, kids, grand kids, each other, and all while trying to support everyone financially. It was bound to happen. For better or worse, technology is better, modern medicine is better and people are living longer but living longer means they may need assisted or skilled care, or worse, around the clock care. Meanwhile, our generation (Generation X) generally waited to marry and may still have very young kids at home, and we are facing the same situations with our parents in their 60s or 70s. Baby boomers refer to us as the selfish generation – generation “me”. Sure, we are notorious for trying to find balance whereas our parents’ generation the lines were a little more clear- mom stayed home most likely, cooked, cleaned, and took care of the home. Mom may have even sacrificed a lot to raise us and save money. Dad went out and earned the dough and saved it all for our college. And good or bad, the lines are blurred for Generation X or Generation “Me” – mom and dad are both taking care of the kids, sometimes dad is doing it more and better than mom. Dads are cooking, cleaning, working, changing diapers, and so are moms. We save a bit here and there, we do our best but we also don’t sacrifice ourselves or deprive ourselves of things we need so our kids can go to college. If we are a selfish generation then good for us I say because we as women and moms are in better shape, eating healthier or trying to, and we have our work and careers, social lives plus our families and I think we are lucky because we get our cake and get to eat it too! We may be spread a little thin, but we do the best we can do with all facets of our lives and that is okay. And, we do not hoard our money for things to come or things that may never be- we have not lived through the depression so we try to live within our means, save, set up accounts for our kids and our retirement, we try to look for good deals but we spend when it is needed and do so willingly and generously.

So, who says our generation is selfish? Who says we don’t care about others? We may not be taking care of multiple generations of family but we could be on our way! Recently, I felt the squeeze and in a big way and I am sure my brother (my only sibling) felt it too. In effect, when something happens to our parents or our children, there is a ripple effect and it is felt by us all – it can even have an effect our extended family too- aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws especially if they are trying to help. With smaller families these days, you almost need a village to raise not just your children but also help with care of our elders. Certainly, our generation may not be as sandwiched as the Baby Boomers have been in this decade but we are well on our way and with medicare dwindling and social programs in general, who will take care of us?

Since April, my brother and I have responded in some way to help our folks. Sure, they didn’t ask – they didn’t have to. My brother is a newlywed and his honeymoon was cut short by the first incident 2 months ago. I have young kids at home, ages 5 and 3, and that is also rather tough to balance. I wrote about it here and you can read more about what happened. But, I write this post now because just when we thought my dad was on the mend and recovering and we all settled back into our routine, just like that! Mom was in the hospital with a fractured femur. And, almost three weeks after that incident (exactly 2 months after dad’s incident), they are still not out of the woods yet. Broken bones take time to heal – surgeries of that magnitude take time to heal and even then, there is about a year or more that you have to watch that injury and take care of it. All in all, just like I want to do with my kids on most days, I felt like I wanted to wrap my parents up in this protective bubble and move them closer to me for my own selfish reasons, so I can see them daily, take over their lives, and help them and of course, my ulterior motive: make it easier on me too! Because remember, we are also the generation who thinks anything is possible and so what if we have to spend money on it – we can do it! We are also the generation who thinks money is not important but life is. So, why can’t I just wrap my parents up, bring them closer to me, and then I can have my cake and eat it too? Because, simply put, it’s just not that easy. Like our kids who will need to make their own decisions one day despite how much we want them to just stay in the little protective bubble-wrapped world we have created for them, our parents have been independent since we all left for college and they want to do their own thing too. After all, they have made the decisions for all these years and we have to be respectful and mindful of that, all the while feeling frustrated that we have NO CONTROL – absolutely NONE over them and the situations that will fold no matter what we do or say.

Anyway, after all the work missed and money spent on travel – flying 1800+ miles away to help my folks is not an easy task. It is also hard to leave the little ones because they miss momma. But, we in Generation X (the Me generation), well, we are used to being spread thin so what is taking on another set of issues or problems? It’s cake walk, right? Ummm… nah, it is hard and takes it toll on your health, on your family, and it effects relationships too. I am sure other Americans are feeling this squeeze and struggle too especially if their parents, like mine, did not really take care of themselves or seek medical care all these years. After all, they were taking care of all of us at the sacrifice of their own health and single family income only went so far as well just decided to sacrifice it all for the sake of the family. My advice for you if you are feeling the squeeze as well is to (1) first, take care of yourself and if that means scheduling a massage or some time out for yourself, do it; (2) help your folks as much as you can but remember to honor boundaries because in the end, especially if you live geographically separated, you have to honor that they are independent people who taught you the value of being independent as well and you have to (even if you cuss with frustration on the inside) honor their wishes and choices however poor you believe those choices to be; (3) be supportive but try not to appear to be taking over their affairs and unless they are medically incapable of making their own health and financial decisions, do not jump the gun because if they come around, recover, and find out you took over, that can be really bad for your relationship. I say all of this now, but I was a wreck two months ago when my dad was in the hospital and I failed to obey all of the above so I am writing this as a lesson to myself I guess as well.

The only other advice I can give you from my own experience is to make sure that you encourage them to get their financial and other affairs in order – a must do kit for all adults with or without children in our country includes: (1) Durable Power of Attorney (POA) for Healthcare that names someone or alternate agents you trust to make health care decisions in case of incapacitation. (2) Living Will that sets out the desires of life-saving and life-extending measures, and other special instructions in case of coma or other conditions. (3) Estate planning including a Will that disposes of your estate (the items that will not pass by contract or agreement) and sets out wishes to the appointed executor(s) on how to distribute funds and property. Also, a will is a must have for those who have children under 18 because in it, guardians you trust are appointed. As far as bank accounts, accounts with companies including 401K, IRAs, etc. should all have a designated Payable on Death (POD) beneficiary. That POD beneficiary should have alternates so the money does not go into your probate which gets taxed heavily. If you have a safe deposit box, make sure it is joint with someone else and have even a third person on it to prevent the contents of that going into probate. (4) Finally, as I recently learned, another important document to have is a Special Durable POA that names individuals (primary and/or alternate) to take care of financial affairs, obtain medical records and medical information on their behalf, and for any other purposes you want to set forth. This “Special or limited” durable power of attorney should list all the special powers that your agent has and for what period of time (it must have a start and stop date to be valid). Another item I recently learned is that this durable POA should also contain a HIPAA release in it so that you are in the clear with the medical community releasing items to your agent(s). This last item I discussed is very important in case you are NOT incapacitated but need your help in assembling documents or getting the financial house or property matters in order. If you have to renew it every 2 years or yearly, do it- it is worth it because it is so important to have, and for kids who live far away, this last Special Power of Attorney is a must because they will be making phone calls on your behalf and most hospitals, doctor’s offices, or banks will not honor a general POA.

I have learned a lot from this recent squeeze. A lot! I have shared some of my thoughts before in a a few posts I wrote: Because of the Sacrifices They Made and In an Instant and I have to say I am trying my best to not live in daily fear of what may happen next but it is so hard not to. It is so hard to not freak out every time the phone rings, or just at the thought of what is coming next. I try to not let it consume me but in the back of my mind, I am trying to prepare myself as well. These last two months have set the foundation but does anything really prepare you for the inevitable? ‘Til then, I suppose I welcome whatever “squeeze” God throws at me because I’d rather be squeezed in the middle and I’d rather juggle a lot than take on losing a very important ball or two in this juggling act I call life.

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The 4-1-1 on Wireless & Data Plans

photo courtesy of East Chapel Hill Observer (ECHO) Click here to view article

So, here’s the scoop.  “Like, OMG” you will not want to miss this post and will want to bookmark it before you head out to change phones, or plans.  The different plans and services out there will make your head spin and what I went through may make you think twice about ever switching your wireless service but read on… you will not regret it.

This is your 4-1-1 – everything you ever wanted to know about the following three companies when it comes to mobile, wireless service:  AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.  So, I ventured out in April, as if I needed another distraction in my life – at a time when I didn’t have time and things were not going well is when I decided to add more to my plate and took on changing of my wireless service.  Huge mistake!  Huge! GIANT!  It ends well, but the road was rocky and entailed some restocking fees.  All in all, it was okay and an experiment but alas, a bit inconvenient at a time when I really didn’t have extra time to throw around.

I have had AT&T since March 4, 2010- before then, I was a loyal T-mobile customer since my days with Deutsch Telekom (yes, I was stationed abroad in Germany) and when I returned state-side I went to T-mobile for my cell phone.  I had an old antiquated cell phone but I loved T-mobile and the price was right.  I had what I needed for the time in question- cell phone calling, very limited to NO texting (who texted back then? HELLO!), and some data but not really – who had the nerve to call it data back then anyway.  Before my Germany days, I was a loyal Sprint customer for several years – remember when cell phones were first introduced? Yowsers— we’ve come a long way folks since 1997, huh? In 2010, I wanted to try the new Iphone 3GS so, I took the huge leap and decided to try out Apple products even though I despised Apple and kinda still do – a little.  Okay, Okay, I was a computer science undergrad major and Mac products were not on the top of my faves list.   In any case, I did it- I switched from T-mobile to AT&T after 8 years of loyalty just for the stinking IPhone.  I have to say, I was hooked to the Iphone despite its poor battery life, expensive accessories, piss poor software known as Itunes, and general bulkiness of said phone.  Ah well — there are pros and cons but I love having the Internet and the world at my fingertips.

Despite what plan or company you choose mentioned here, keep in mind that almost all of the companies require 2-year contracts and I don’t know about you but that pisses me off a bit because contracts drive me nuts and they are binding, blah blah blah and yeah, they lock you down.  That makes me mad because I am a mind-changer (ha) but in any case, unless you want to do pay-as-you-go (my husband does it and is fine with it), you will want to know some of these features and facts before you run out and change plans.  Keep in mind as I learned, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and all the companies have pros and cons that come attached to their contracts as well.

AT&T prices for data, messages, and voice- almost looks identical to Verizon's offering

Data- AT&T had some great plans back in 2010 when I got the Iphone 3GS and I was “grandfathered in” when AT&T decided to change all its data plans and screw new customers last year.  So while I had unlimited data, (and trust me when I say 3G on the AT&T network with the Iphone is UBER FAST because I have compared it to other the networks I mention above), new AT&T customers are paying about as much as they would on Verizon – of course, both Verizon and AT&T have limited their data plans and Sprint is the only one that offers unlimited data and 4G on some pretty awesome droids which can be FREE after you enter into the 2-year agreement.  All companies including T-mobile offer the 4G network which I hear is super cool but alas, the IPhone only operates on 3G on Sprint, and Verizon.  AT&T is the only one that offers the 4G network for Iphones 4 and higher but I really do not see much of a difference for the iphone on the 4G network versus the 3G.  If you have Iphone 3GS, then you are stuck with the 3G network but trust me, when I say, I have compared all three- Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T on the 3G network and AT&T is the fastest.  You can stream movies, shows, and videos on the Iphone with no issues.  Sprint 3G works just as fast but you have to all 5 bars.  If you have less than 5 bars or try to stream movies and shows at peak hours, it will not work!  Not even a little.  In any case, as far as data goes, the cheapest is Sprint with their 100% unlimited data plans and they are reasonably priced.  Below are some snapshot of prices for data and voice plans with all three.  Keep in mind that these prices do not take into account, corporate, government, or military discounts.  Please call business care for each company to find out what the specific discounts are.  I found the most expensive service to be Verizon and no unlimited plans.  Of course, the new AT&T is comparable to Verizon in that there are no unlimited data plans any longer.  So, looking at the AT&T chart above, Verizon’s 450 minute voice plan is $39.99 and add to that either of the following data plans for Verizon’s network:  5G for $50, 2G for $30 and you could do the 75 MB plan but that is only for basic phones (not smart phones) and that runs $10.  The truth is all you really need 300 MB unless you are streaming video, etc., then you should consider 2-3Gs but anything 5G and over is a lot.  The best thing is to get a 2-3G data plan and check your usage for a couple of months to help you decide what is best for you. If you are under the old AT&T and were “grandfathered in” I would recommend not leaving AT&T because their data speeds in some instances are faster than Verizon’s even.  I would do the same for voice and messaging.

Sprint plans which are bundled with voice, data, and messaging

Voice- Of course, with any positives come some cons… for me, with AT&T while data is very fast and reliable, I do drop a lot of calls at random times and even when I report dead zones or dropped calls, it seems very predictable where the calls are dropped and I can almost tell someone on the phone with me.. “hey I am about to lose you… so I will call you back.”  I know, that is just not good but it’s Colorado.  Sprint and Verizon seem more reliable for the calls and no dropped calls but then again, the cons are higher prices (Verizon) and possibly low data speeds if you have the Iphone or Ipad.  For voice on AT&T, 450 minutes rollover + unlimited mobile to mobile and 5000 nights and weekend minutes are $39.99.  Verizon offers the same 450 mins but nights start at 9pm and there are no rollover minutes.  Messaging-wise, I have an old plan that AT&T no longer offers at 200 minutes for $5.00 and overage text messages are only 10 cents.  Unlimited text messaging like Verizon on AT&T is $20 which I find a bit steep especially if the usage by month does not reach 200 generally.  Verizon does offer 1000 text messages (which is a lot) for $10 which I think is a great deal.  I remember at one time AT&T offered 500 for $10 but all their plans have changed now.  As far as messaging, I love that Sprint offers unlimited text messaging with all their bundled plans – see below.  For $79.99 (which includes the $10 fee for smartphones) you get it all!  450 mins but anytime mobile-to-mobile minutes, plus unlimited data and messaging.  That is the best deal I have seen!  So if you are not using an Iphone or don’t care about your download speeds, Sprint’s your best value!

source: fightback.com

Overall Customer Service– I am very happy with AT&T and was sad to leave it for even a few days but Sprint had some great customer service when I dealt with them  too!  If I had more bars for Data, 3G in my office, I have no doubt Sprint would have worked out for me and my needs and their prices are just right for what they give you.  Verizon’s customer stores are always busy too but they seem more guarded with their information.  For example, when I called them and asked about corporate discounts, I got transferred like 3 times and no one could tell me what the discount was then they disconnected me “by accident”.  In the store, the Verizon guy looked up the discounts for me but then didn’t give me a brochure with all the information on it like AT&T and Sprint did.  It was all hidden and weird.  They may be the most reliable 4G network but I did not get the same touchy, feely feeling there that I got with both AT&T and Sprint.  No one explained the accessories and the discounts or all the features of the phones and droids that were on display.  Since I do not have a brochure, I could not even share it here so I am just comparing where I can and trying to point out the differences but mainly the plans for Verizon are almost identical to the new AT&T plans and just as pricey.  I know many Coloradans love Verizon because of its reliability and coverage.  That being said, the east coast friends love either Sprint or T-mobile’s coverage better, and then I have friends on the west coast who swear by AT&T so again, it depends… but once you find something right for you, don’t think the grass is greener on the other side – it isn’t and everyone doesn’t have the like the same thing and what may work for one person may not work another.

Bottom Line: When it comes to cell phones, wireless devices and smart phones and PLANS, it’s important for you to love the one you’re with!

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Freebies and Discounts for Tax Day 2012

Taxes stink but you can drown your sorrows or your refund in these great deals, discounts, and freebies for Tax Day. Some are right on the big day, April 17, and others are through April 15. So check below, click the links, print the coupons (if necessary), and then, enjoy! When I did a Google search for Tax Day 2012 Freebies and Discounts, this website popped up. So I want to give credit and thanks to “Pocket Your Dollars” as well. But ,there are additional Denver-specific ones too. If I learn about more discounts I will add them and in the meantime, if you know of any great tax day deals or for the week of TAX DAY, April 16 – please post them and share here. THANKS!

FOOD & DRINK

AMC Theaters is giving away free small popcorn with this coupon from April 13-15. Not bad considering you know how I feel about AMC theaters 🙂

Arby’s
Just like last year, Arby’s will have a coupon for free value curly fries on April 17 – check their Facebook page starting Friday, April 13, for the coupon. Print it and voila! Free fries!

Boston Market BOGO
Buy 1 individual meal and a fountain drink and get another individual meal free at Boston Market with coupon.

Bruegger’s Discount
Bruegger’s is offering a great discount for a BAGEL BUNDLE which is their dozen bagels and two cream cheeses for $10.40 when you present their coupon available on their Facebook page. The offer is valid April 13-17.

Chili’s Discount
Get a free appetizer or dessert with the purchase of an adult entrée when you present this Chili’s coupon in printed version or on your smartphone. Coupon is valid from April 16 through April 18. And, if you are active on social media, check-in to Chili’s on four square every time you go for specials like free chips and salsa. So, you can have it all when you combine your coupons which Chili’s graciously lets you do.

Cinnabon Bites
Get your two free bites on Tax Day from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (includes their mall locations).

Ernie’s Bar & Pizza (Denver): buy two ten-inch pizzas for the price of one, or get half-off a twenty-inch pizza on tax day only.

Qdoba Get a $5 chicken or vegetarian entree with this coupon from their Facebook page. Valid now through Tax Day, April 17th.

Papa Murphy’s Pizza
Get a large pepperoni pizza for $5 at Papa Murphy’s on April 17 or upgrade to family size for only $2 more.

P.F. Chang’s Discount
Save 15% on most everything on its menu* (excluding alcohol and happy hour items) on April 17. No coupon needed. *good on carryout orders too. Make sure that you ask for the discount because it may not be automatic.

Red Robin HOT ends April 15 Kids eat free between April 10-15, with every adult entree purchased but you need a coupon. Click here for the coupon and thanks to “Saving with Brandi” for the coupon on this great deal! This great deal ends April 15 so act this weekend!

Sonic Happy Hour
Happy Hour is going on all day on Tax Day with half-priced drinks and slushies. Yum!

OTHER DISCOUNTS (FREEBIES):

BabyLegs.com – 50% off Sitewide, when you use coupon code TAX50 at checkout

Office Depot
Office Depot is letting customers make 25 single-sided black and white copies and offering up to 5 pounds of shredding for free through April 16. No coupon is necessary, and the offer is valid in stores nationwide. I learned about this offer from Pocker your Dollars so thanks to them!

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Just Between Friends Semi-Annual Sale in Denver, April 19-22 & FREE admission

Print this coupon out for free admission

Have you heard the news?  Just Between Friends (JBF) is having its semi-annual sale in Denver, at the National Western Complex (I-70 and Brighton Blvd) from April 19-22, 2012.

SELL, SHOP AND SAVE at Denver’s Largest Kids’ Consignment Sale.
Want to make money selling the great items your kids no longer need? Love saving money on everything for kids ages newborn through pre teen?  Then you need to get to Just Between Friends of Denver April 19-22!
Consignor, Volunteer and Barter registration is open NOW.
• Sell your items: set your own prices, and get a great check 2 weeks later!
• Volunteer and be one of the first to shop, and make 70% on what you sell.
The event is now upstairs in the Expo Hall at the National Western Complex.

JBF is a great organization and you can read more about it here but it was started by moms for moms and over the years has evolved in a nationwide phenom.

Below is a schedule of events and don’t forget to print out the coupon above and get in for free on April 19-22!  Act now if you are going to consign, or wish to volunteer, get in touch with the organizers, but definitely, this is a not to miss event if you have babies, are expecting or having kids of all ages. Click here to read more about Denver-specific dates and information on consignment and purchase.

SCHEDULE:  *Private Presales: 4/18  for Consignors, Volunteers, First time Parents, Military and Teachers.  Must qualify and register in advance to attend.  Register here.
*Prime-Time Shopping Presale:  4/18 at 6p.  $15 admission per adult

SALE SCHEDULE:  OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
THURSDAY, APRIL 19    10A-7P     $2 ADMISSION
FRIDAY, APRIL 20          10A-5P     NEW MERCHANDISE
SATURDAY, APRIL 21    10A-3P     25% OFF MOST ITEMS
SUNDAY, APRIL 22         9A-3P       50% OFF MOST ITEMS*
*FREE PARKING FOR HALF-PRICE SALE: Compliments of Colorado Parent Magazine

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It’s your Birthday…it’s your day! I mean, YOUR MONTH!

That’s right, you read me correctly… nowadays and as you get older, birthdays are no longer a birthDAY but rather a celebration for a month, starting on the 1st day of the month and culminating into some real fun on your actual day and then through out the month – but, make sure you time everything out because the amount of birthday deals out there can get plain overwhelming.  For me, birthdays (now that I am broaching 40) are not about getting things from the people you love per se or feeling the love from all your facebook, twitter, and social networking buds, it is also about the deals you can score from merchants and retailers all over town.  Boo yah!

I am reminded I wrote another article on birthday deals so make sure you check it out and then compare notes with this one.  Here are some of the things you simply must do to get these deals but don’t wait til your birthday month to sign up – do it well in advance.  And once the deals come in categorize by them expiration date.  After all, you do not want to miss a free $7 meal or a free scoop of ice cream, or 80z of yogurt but what would really hurt is missing the $15 gift card at a merchant or $10 off your purchase ANYTHING as well.  So, are you ready to party like it’s your birthday?  Well, cool – here are some birthday-friendly merchants and I am sure there are more.

Food and Drink

These days, its expensive to eat out so when a merchant throws coupons and freebies your way, you are not going to pass them up right?   I have mentioned some of these before in my article written last year but here they are again.  Sign up for their birthday club and you will get an email or a coupon in the mail for free stuff:

(1) Rubio’s–  I think they have the best deal – free meal up to $7 for the birthday gal but you generally only get 2 weeks to use it so rush in and use it.  Rubio’s has some amazing meals and fresh and healthy too!

(2) Smart Cow Yogurt Bar– This one is not a chain and not franchised yet.  They are local to Westminster, CO but a free 8oz yogurt coupon is so sweet!  And if you only get 30z, fret not, put your kid’s and your hubby’s yogurt on the scale and they will discount you the entire 80z!  Sign up at Smart Cow.

(3) Baskin-Robbins – you simply should sign your kiddos up for this and yourself too!  The birthday club at BR offers a free scoop to the birthday star and it can be used in the month of your birthday.

(4) Starbucks- just sign up on-line and register your card.  The reward comes in the mail though in your birthday month and I always a order a VENTI with extra shots- yum!  $4.75 never tasted so good as a Venti Salted Caramel Mocha NON FAT of course 🙂

(5) Dunkin Donuts– you have to sign up on-line for their Club and register a DD PERKS Card and boom!  Your free coffee will arrive in the mail in your month.  I think it expires at the end of the month but many DDs will take it afterwards too because there are so few of them.

(6) Red Robin– this place is tradition for us- we go here every birthday every year and the kiddos adore the balloons and the singing.  So how could we not make this a family affair.  So, get the Red Royalty Reward Card- not only do rewards add up but you get a free birthday burger.  Register your entire family on it so the burger loads on there automatically.  This can be a $10 value and soooo yummylicious even for us vegetarians who get the veggie patty.

(7) Panera–  Get their Panera loyalty card- it’s free and register it and then for your birthday they load a special treat on it.  You never know what it is til you log on and check so check before you go and enjoy a free bagel, a free pastry, or free breakfast item– again, it varies but I can guarantee it will be yummy!

(8) Buffalo Wild Wings- does a great deal for your birthday for free dessert…. yum!

(9) Melting Pot–  Melting Pot used to be better in year’s past when I got a free chocolate fondue worth almost $16.00 and nowadays they are a little cheaper but they give you free chocolate-covered strawberries for dining there during your birthday month.  I love fondue so this is a good deal but the free fondue was so much better.

(10) Egg & I- My friend in the comment below indicated a free meal at the EGG & I for your birthday- sign up for them too – I investigated this a bit and you can do at their locations.

(11) Sweet Tomatoes– we love this place and you can sign up on-line for their birthday club.  They will send you great coupons too!

(12) AMC Theaters- my least favorite theater also just sent me an email on my actual birthday for a free large soda when I drop $50 to see one of their movies.  I guess it’s because I had a movie watcher card.  So you too can have a giant soda at AMC for your birthday for free.  It’s good for the whole month.  Of course, unbeknownst to AMC, I have given up soda for lent so I will not be using my coupon but will pass it on to someone in the office I know will.

Stores & Retailers

(1) Macy’s– If you are a red card member at Macy’s and update your profile online and make sure to include your birthday, you will get a $10 coupon in the mail or online (via email) to use if you use your Macy’s Card

(2) Kohl’s – if you have a Kohl’s card, you will get a $10 off any purchase (and you can use this with your discounts coupons too) – what a great deal!

(3) Ann Taylor– if you have the Ann Taylor MasterCard or regular card you get $15— yup! $15 off your purchase and you can use this at the outlets too – wow! Momma is going shopping.

(4) Blue Jeans Bar- this is local to Cherry Creek in the Denver metro area but you can use it online and if you know Blue Jeans Bar, wow!  you get $35 off your jeans and Blue Jeans Bar has an amazing customer service policy and if there are problems you can head into the store and they fix it for you.  These are amazing jeans and while expensive, so worth it and $35 is amazing but it is NOT usable on sale items (boo! hoo!)

(5) Anthropologie-I do not get this deal because I do not shop there but my sister in law does- make sure you sign up to get this deal at the store.  I hear it is $10 off.

(6) Eddie Bauer– I do not have an Eddie Bauer but hubby shops here a lot and we have an outlet very close to us and they send a birthday reward too of $10 off your purchase so we generally go use that for his birthday as well.

(7) Victoria’s Secret– get the Angel Card and every year for your birthday you will get $10 off your purchase made with said card.  It’s a good deal if you need stuff.  I go in and just get $10 worth of sale underwear and it is so worth it!

(8) Aveda– Aveda used to be better about this and sent cards in the mails but now they send you an email with a free product on your birthday – it is generally travel size but this year I did not get it – check your junk filters just in case.

(9) Gap– If you have a GAP Card, they also send you a $10 reward to use in the stores.  There are no restrictions but there is an expiration date so check yours.

(10) DSW– again, you need to be a DSW Card member and you give them your birthday when you sign up for it.  You will get a $10 off reward card to use in your birth month and you can take $10 off anything include clearance items.  I got my tennis shoes for free on my husband’s reward on year.  It’s a great deal.

Lots of other merchants give deals if you sign up for their club, e-mail list, or subscribe to their newsletters and rewards cards.  It is a good idea to inquire at the store you frequent and especially if you really love their products, never hurts to get on an e-mail or mail list to get some great rewards!   Happy Birthday and enjoy your …. MONTH!

Am I missing some great birthday deal? Please add to the list with your comments here and help our readers out- where should we all be signing up.  Your input is valued.

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