Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 20 2008

So we got the kids DVD's and watched the sesame street one. Not bad, Kaleb was entertained and it wasn't too cheesy. We haven't watched Mr. Poe yet but it looks pretty tacky so I guess we'll see.

Wanted to let everyone know there's a new book called 'Military Spouse Finance Guide: Financial Advice for the Homefront'. An Army program has some free copies so hurry and request one at familyprograms@ausa.org, if they're gone you can purchase copies from Amazon. I've read a lot of these types of books in the past and they're a quick, easy read, and have some very valuable ($$) information in them! I highly recommend them even if you just skim the few chapters that you think will benefit your family. I requested the book this morning and they already responded to say that it would be shipped today.

You can get a free blue star flag (to represent a deployed family member) here http://www.grantham.edu/promo/freebluestar.php

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Solar System

I thought that was was pretty cool, and what a fun thing to do with your kids, and a great reason to teach them abou the solar system! You can have your name sent to the moon by NASA! Just submit it on this site http://lro.jhuapl.edu/NameToMoon/ . Additionally you can name a star after your child (or anyone for that matter) for free on this site http://www.freenameastar.com/ . Very cool!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Money Saving Tips For Military Families

I just wanted to pass along this information and some resources that I found useful to other military families!

1. Free DVDs for military children to help cope with and better understand deployments. Go to http://www.msplinks.com/MDFodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1pbGl0YXJ5b25lc291cmNlLmNvbQ== the dvd's are titled Mr. Poe and Friends Discuss Reunion After Deployment and Sesame Streets Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployment, Homecomings, Changes.

2. Free amusement park admission http://www.msplinks.com/MDFodHRwOi8vd3d3Lmhlcm9zYWx1dGUuY29tLw== if these parks are in your area it's worth it!

3. 250 Free Business Cards--http://www.vistaprint.com/vp/ns/EnterprisePartner.aspx?sr=no&GP=5%2F6%2F2008+6%3A42%3A52+AM-- They offer you tons of things to add but if you just keep clicking no to the extras you'll get 250 cards for free!

4. Space available military flights. I took one from Germany to Boston for $17 a couple of years ago. There used to be tons of restrictions but now while our boys are deployed we can pretty much fly anywhere! Let's take advantage. http://www.msplinks.com/MDFodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1pbGl0YXJ5c3BvdC5jb20vc3BhY2VhdHJhdmVsLmh0bQ==
5. Then here are a bunch of sites that I found to get people to send our deployed members packages. One guy I signed up got a $400 Suunto watch from someone! Plus no one's going to complain about any extra mail they get!

6. The United States Postal Service is finally offering us a more cost efficient way to send out soldiers mail! It's a flat rate box just for APO/FPO address's. They'll send a free case of boxes right to your house! http://www.msplinks.com/MDFodHRwOi8vc2hvcC51c3BzLmNvbS93ZWJhcHAvd2NzL3N0b3Jlcy9zZXJ2bGV0L1Byb2R1Y3REaXNwbGF5P2NhdGFsb2dJZD0xMDE1MiZzdG9yZUlkPTEwMDAxJmNhdGVnb3J5SWQ9MTMzNTQmcHJvZHVjdElkPTM2NjA0JmxhbmdJZD0tMQ== -- you can also do you customs forms and print a shipping label from http://www.msplinks.com/MDFodHRwOi8vd3d3LnVzcHMuY29t and the best part, schedule your post man to come pick it up right from your house, you can just leave it outside your front door. Yay for convenience!

7. While your spouse is deployed suggest to your church that they adopt your husband's squad, platoon, or even company. That way you can ask for donations and both your contributions and theirs are tax deductible, as long as your church is a non profit organization. Stores are more inclined to make donations when they know it's non profit, some will ask for an official letter from your church requesting the donation for the stores records.

Money Saving Tips!

1. Here's a site where you find your local area and when people looking to get rid of things for free they make a post with the items they have. Most of the time I've found that they don't post pictures but hey, it's free, can't complain! I've goten a ton of outdoor little tikes toys for my kids. www.freecycle.org
a. For the little tikes toys and other outdoor toys that are sun faded you can get a $5 can of paint at walmart called Krylon Fusion, it's made for plastics and will make your items look brand new again! Or the best site to order from online is www.orientaltrading.com.

2. Also most people know about craigslist, it's a great place to buy and sell in your local area. They also have a 'free' section, I recently got a mahogany tv armoire in excellent condition! www.craigslist.com

3. Another big one that I use is ebay. Which everyone knows about! However, the trick that I use is to go in the section I want something from, and sort it by distance. It will bring up the listings that are closest to you and show you the distance. A lot of sellers will allow you local pickup, if you ask, at no charge. I've been getting my boys brand new gymboree, the childrens place, polo, gap etc. clothes for about $1 per item. www.ebay.com

4. Here's one for college savings for our kids, which as we know tuition prices are on the rise and we should all start saving now. Online shopping is such a huge convenience, and a lot of times a big money saver. www.upromise.com is a site that you shop through, it sends you to online stores but tracks your purchase to give you a percentage directly into your childrens college savings account. This is the best site if you're preparing to buy a house because you can automatically get up to $3000 into your kids 529!

5. Although upromise is great you can typically get back a higher percentage by using www.ebates.com , plus they seem to have more stores to choose from than upromise. So we usually use ebates and then when we get the check we deposit it into our kids college accounts. When you sign up it will ask you for a referral (not necessary but if you're signing up anyway it will give our kids a bonus), our email address is daunfamily@yahoo.com .

6. For diapers www.babyage.com seems to be the cheapest I can find, I've found it to be cheaper than the more well known diapers.com site.

7. For online shopping make sure to always look for coupon codes, just go to your search engine and type in the name of the store and 'coupon code'. Nine times out of ten you'll find something, typically free shipping!

8. Buy realestate. Especially multi-family foreclosures. Places to rent are in high demand because so many are losing their homes to foreclosures. Plus interest rates are so low right now! www.bankofamerica.com has no closing costs and offers competitive interest rates.

9. Here's the best one yet. Get a financial investor! Have them invest both your childs college savings as well are your retirement. Start saving a little bit now and you'll be rich by the time you retire. Edward Jones is a very reputible company and we have LOVED our financial investor and want to reccommend him to everyone! His website is http://www.edwardjones.com/cgi/getHTML.cgi?page=/USA/IR/market/index.html&CIRN=505463 . US economists are saying that this is a GREAT year to invest because prices are so low. Contact him and prepare for you and your families financial future!

Hope that some of these things we've found beneficial help you too!