Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Good Idea

Ok, so I know that this picture has nothing to do with this post, but isn't that just the CUTEST little flower girl, ever?!? (I'm surely not biased).

Anyway, today I was brave. 

For months now I have been debating on whether or not to charge for my weekly email I send out.  

I just can't decide.  So, I decided to request input from the same people that would be getting charged- I asked everyone on my comp list to voice their opinions.  (Even though it literally made me sick to my stomach! I didn't want people thinking I was money hungry or something!)

For the most part the response has been very positive.  Most people feel I should charge for this service (which is a relief for me, I probably spend about 10 hours a week, if not more, doing things for this email I send out.

I do know the amount I would charge- $1.00 per month.  People save more than that by not having to buy the newspaper to look through the ads! Not to mention time saved.  I actually save over $20 per week using my comp list. But still I wasn't quite sure.

Then, one of the people on my list told me they would pay IF I donated part of it to charity.  What a great idea!!  

Here is my plan:

I am thinking in the near future I will start charging.  10% of what I get will go to a LOCAL charity (I hope 10% is enough, what do you think?).  But I think I want to donate it to a food bank.  So what I could do is take that money each month and comp non-perishable items that could be donated.  Just think! That could be 100 cans of veggies or something donated EACH MONTH! I think that is a way to make us all feel good about it. 

Are you on my list? What do YOU think?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

I need a vacation.

The beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Our first trip as a family! (We never go anywhere!)

I put that I need a vacation.  In all actuality, I just had a mini one but it doesn't count because when I got back I got the stomach flu and had to go have an IV and get re-hydrated.  That cancels out the vacation! :)

Anyway, we are a family that never goes anywhere.  Not because we don't WANT to, but because who can really afford it?

But there is one tip I would really like to share if you are even thinking about a vacation (or if you aren't but WISH you could).

2 words: Travel Agent.

I had never thought about contacting one before- I felt like I would do better choosing my own places to stay, eat, etc.  But we are planning a trip in November to Mexico (just Darek and I) and I was a bit out of my league.  So I contacted one.

I had an idea of where I wanted to stay, but didn't want to book the flight and everything myself.  Chelsi helped me out with that (and gave me other price quotes to compare hotels!).  It was perfect.  I booked our honeymoon (7 years late).

The best part about using a travel agent?  Well, besides the fact that it is free.  But you can make PAYMENTS!! I hated the idea of charging a vacation on our credit card, one that we had just FINALLY finished paying off after a million years.  I thought it would be a big step back.

With a travel agent it works differently, though.  You make payments directly to them.  Your payments can be however big or small you want, as long as you paid your trip off like one month before you go.  I started planning ours very late last year and just finished paying it off! So when we go in November we will have no worries about making payments on it when we get back!

I emailed her the other day to ask if they book for smaller vacations, too.  She said "of course!"  So, if you are planning to go for a weekend to Omaha to the zoo or St. Louis or wherever, contact your travel agent in advance.  They can give you price quotes for hotels, or if you know the one you want to stay at just let them know.  They will book it and then you can make payments directly to them and have it paid off before you go.  (And they might know of some cool places to visit when you go!)

(You don't have to meet them in person- I have talked to mine mostly through email and once on the phone!)

Looking for a travel agent? Mine was really nice- her name is Chelsi Mannebach.  Shoot her an email at  She will help you out with anything!

Now get to thinking about your next vacation! (Everyone needs one!)