CalendarBudget Blog

Personal finance matters as they pertain to saving money, living within your means and using CalendarBudget to solve your personal finance problems and to manage your money online.

So How Do You Ask for a Pay Raise?

So How Do You Ask for a Pay Raise?

Our family just recently watched "Bee Movie". We liked it and found it had a good moral to the story behind it (I won't give it away). The push behind the "Bee Movie" was the payment being stolen from the bees, thus putting their long hard labor to waste.

One of my first jobs was working for a fast food restaurant. I began there wondering if I was good enough for the job and would be able handle everything asked of me. I quickly realized that, although the tasks were many, the job really wasn't that difficult. I was working the closing shift finishing very late and then had to get up a few hours later to go to college. 

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Can You Laugh In the Face of a "Money Pit"?

Can You Laugh In the Face of a "Money Pit"?

I'm happy to be back writing to you from almost a full week silent in bed sick.

I found this funny clip of a classic movie "The Money Pit".

Tom Hanks had a great attitude to just laugh at the list of mishaps that could have otherwise put him in a fit of rage. He could have been more aware from the beginning and avoided the stress/hard long work hours/money pit (seemingly endless expenses).

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How Much Is Your Time Worth to Get a Deal?

How Much Is Your Time Worth to Get a Deal?

While reading through the Money magazine an article stuck out to me, "When Getting a Deal Just Isn't Worth It".  The author gives some great examples through her experience and another friends experience when trying to purchase the perfect car.  The author spent a great many hours searching for the best deal on a big screen TV for her family.  She questioned if she spent her time wisely.

I've debated this very same thing.  When I do my grocery shopping each week I try to plan where I need to go.  I save up a number of purchases for the same store to minimize the amount of time I'm actually out driving and shopping.  I've passed up some deals in the past because the money saved on purchasing the sale item wasn't as great as the value of my time spent getting it.

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Foreign Travel Payback Entitlement

Foreign Travel Payback Entitlement

Money magazine had a very short note called "Refunds for Globetrotters". Have you traveled between the dates February 1, 1996 and November 8, 2006? You may find yourself entitled to some money returned to you for Foreign Currency Conversion Fees that were overcharged.

The Money magazine article said to go to this site, http://ccfsettlement.com/ to answer any questions you might have. There are a few different links on the site for forms needed to file your claim. The number mentioned to phone for any questions is (800)945-9890.

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Should I Buy Lotto Tickets or Holiday Tickets?

Should I Buy Lotto Tickets or Holiday Tickets?

I was at my local convenience store on the weekend. The lady behind the counter was telling me of all the different winning tickets that were bought from her store (winning amounts various including some quite large amounts). She was very proud and thought her store must be bringing good luck to a lot of her customers.

I wondered how much people annually spend on such tickets of chance like Lotto tickets and so I looked up some statistics on the internet.

Here's a link showing some household statistics for Canada and other information like what the Lotto proceeds are spent on.

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Do It Yourself Tax Return

Do It Yourself Tax Return

I was reading through the March issue of Money magazine this morning. A short article asked the question "Should you fire your accountant?" and then do your tax return yourself.

I've wondered in the past if I should do my tax return myself. I thought I had a very uncomplicated return and should be able to figure it out no problem.So for the first two years of marriage my husband and I did our tax returns ourself. We got some money back and were satisfied until just before our third year of filing, we received a notice from the government that we were being audited and that we owed some money to them.

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I Can Freeze Perishables to Store Longer?

I Can Freeze Perishables to Store Longer?

I watch for sales and love to buy bulk when I think the sale is good enough. It becomes difficult to buy bulk for certain products that are non-perishables (expire quickly). Products like milk, eggs and cheese. My husband directed me to this link (I Can Freeze That?) for a way to store these products longer.

Here are some other useful links about freezing food:

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Cheap or Thoughtful Gift Giving

Cheap or Thoughtful Gift Giving

My girls just did valentine card exchanges at school. They gave the only homemade cards. The rest were store bought including one from their teacher. I thought it was pretty amazing that my girls gave the only homemade cards. I can also imagine thoughts from the other parents. "Poor things. I guess they don't have any money to buy cards or their family is cheap."

From my point of view, my girls love to be creative and this gives them the perfect opportunity to be creative and crafty (and for a couple of them, get to practice their newly acquired writing skills). We had the supplies needed already, so they cut shapes out from construction paper, folded more in half to make cards, pasted things together, wrote names and "Happy Valentines" on them, doodled pictures and stuck a sticker on here and there. They were very cute. 

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Credit Card Alternatives

Credit Card Alternatives

In my search for credit card alternatives I came across this site for Credit Card Tips. It has some good tips about getting/using a credit card. If you are finding it hard to pay your debts down, using alternative payment methods could help you avoid further debt.

I called around to a few hotels and a vacation package company to see what alternatives were available to using my credit card to book things.

Here's what I discovered:

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Credit Rating vs. Avoid Using Credit

Credit Rating vs. Avoid Using Credit

I came across this column on the internet (Everyday Cheapskate - click here to see the column) where the author was talking about the negative affect that canceling your credit card has on your credit rating. It is important to know what things do affect your credit rating, so the article is a good read for that cause, but I feel you have to be on guard for handling your credit much earlier than this.

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Jumping the Roadblocks to Re-employment

Jumping the Roadblocks to Re-employment

I turned on my computer this morning to find a popup from Monsters (an online job search company). It asked me "What are you born to be?"

Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a Mom and I have succeeded in this goal. Our children are still young, but that won't always be the case. In a few years I'll face the same question a lot of stay home mom's do, "Now what do I do?"

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Ads Getting You Hook, Line, and Sinker?

Ads Getting You Hook, Line, and Sinker?

Ads on television, magazines, newspapers, billboards, etc, even the internet, are so cleverly designed to lure us in to buy almost anything. It's often a product unrelated to the lure that is being sold.

This was cleverly put in Money magazine's February issue. They had a seducing image of supermodel,Petra Nemcova, and next to it was the question, "Does she make you want to buy junk bonds?" The source for the section was "Are People More Risk-Taking in the presence of the Opposite Sex?" by Patrick McAlvanah. He had done a study finding that pictures of the opposite sex (attractive/unattractive) increased a person's risk tolerance level.

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Is it Worth the Drive?

Is it Worth the Drive?

I plan on doing some bulk shopping today. Our toilet paper is running low and I live about 30 minutes from a Costco where I can buy toilet paper for about half the price of the cheap brand of toilet paper from my local low price grocery store. To make it worth my while I have to buy enough of the larger/bulk quantity of items to make up for the gas I'm spending. Plus I have to preparemy budget for a larger hit in the grocery area, reducing my grocery budget for as many weeks as it takes to make up for today's increased purchase.

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How do you Handle Wastefulness of your Children?

How do you Handle Wastefulness of your Children?

The opportunity came up today to teach my kids about not wasting what we have.

This morning I came into the bathroom to find about 5 clean, unused baby diapers with our kids bright red toothpaste smeared all over 1 side of them and a few others with white, medicated rash cream smeared on them.  I angrily called them up to interrogate them.  I asked what they were doing..... "We were making sandwiches.", they said. 

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Making a Career Out of Cutting Out Coupons

Making a Career Out of Cutting Out Coupons

I just came across a site called http://www.thegrocerygame.com/. It takes the drudgery out of cutting your grocery bill through coupons.

To quote the site The Grocery Game "reveals the 'rock bottom' prices on hundreds of products each week and matches them up with manufacturers' coupons for the best possible savings at your local supermarket".

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Should I really pay for someone else to do my household jobs?

Should I really pay for someone else to do my household jobs?

There's a long list of daily household chores that usually requires more time than we have to dedicate to them. I've debated for a long time if it's worth my money to hire someone for the different chore areas. The hugest chores for me are trying to keep up with the laundry for seven people, and trying to prepare healthy meals while catering to the seven different people's eating likes/dislikes.

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Lending My Hard Earned Money to a Friend... AGAIN!

Lending My Hard Earned Money to a Friend... AGAIN!

On occasion I've lent a few dollars to different friends. At one point before I got married, one of my friends and myself had low incomes and would bail each other out when money got a little tight for the small expenses we had in our lives at that time. We had an open understanding that we would not leave the debt unpaid to each other.

It can be very stressful on a relationship to lend money. Make sure all details are clear for both parties when lending the money. How much is being lent, on what day, the day it is due again, is it a straight lump sum payback or periodic small payments, will interest be charged or just the original amount paid back, what will happen if the money is not paid back on the day agreed upon.

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Reports/Charts to See Spending Trends with CalendarBudget

Reports/Charts to See Spending Trends with CalendarBudget

The first round of reports/charts are available in CalendarBudget.

These reports will give you a deeper understanding of your spending habits and help you plan where you can make improvements or celebrate successes.

There are 3 different reports to choose from:

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Avoiding Buying Your Grocery Bags

Avoiding Buying Your Grocery Bags

I find it annoying to have to pay for the grocery bag after I've just spent a large sum on the groceries already. This is a pet peeve I've learned to deal with or find a way around.

Here's a few ways I try to save/avoid on paying for my grocery bags:

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Debt Consolidation

Debt Consolidation

What is debt consolidation? When you get a loan to pay off all other debts (eg. a number of visa/credit cards, student loans, overdraft, etc). In doing this, you are hoping to avoid the higher interest rates, get a smaller total monthly payment and have just one payment to make each month.

Some things to watch for when considering debt consolidation:

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