120610 – Daily Worries, Weekend with Grandchild, Stretch Your Dollar, Movie Results

Power Thoughts

  1. “He that scatters thorns, let him not go barefoot.” Ben Franklin
  2. “The greatest wealth is contentment with little.”
  3. “Be nice to people on your way up because you might meet ’em on your way down.” Jimmy Durante

Do you ever feel trapped by daily worries? Instead of worrying, remember God’s promise to always provide for your needs. Then refocus your worry into acting for the good of God’s kingdom.

He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. Matthew 6:33 NLT

A Weekend with Your Grandchildren… A Day in the life of Al & Michelle this weekend included fun with our middle grandson!

These 3 days including, a new bbgun and huntin trip with PawPaw, Making Christmas candy with Grammie Chelle & 2 trips to Redbox since we dropped off the wrong movie the first time.  It’s amazing what you can learn on a 30 minute car trip. Like did you know the God shrinks the angels done so small you can’t see them when they come to earth but when they are in heaven they are full size?

What are some of your favorite memories as a grandparents or a childhood memory of staying with your grandparents?

How to stretch your dollar at the mall: Do your homework, learn to haggle and don’t forget to get a gift receipt… For most of us, there’s still a lot of holiday gift buying left to do in the next three weeks. With all the rushing around at this time of year, it takes a little extra effort to be a smart shopper. (msnbc)

  • Do your homework… A cheap price on lousy merchandise is no deal. You can find product evaluations at a number of sites, including Consumer Reports, Good Housekeeping and CNET (for electronics). You should also check customer reviews on Amazon.com and other shopping sites.
  • Keep looking because prices change… “We’re seeing a lot of fast price-cutting online by both big retailers and small,” says Daniel de Grandpre, Editor-in-Chief at dealnews.com. “It’s a lot of fun to watch and it’s certainly something you should take advantage of.” There are a number of ways to keep up with these ever-changing prices. Sign up for deal alerts at dealnews.com, dealalerter.com and pricegrabber.com. You can also “friend” your favorite stores on Facebook and monitor their Twitter feeds for special deals. Some retail sites now offer their own price alerts, so be sure to check for that.
  • Haggle for a better deal… Most people won’t do it. Surveys by Consumer Reports show that about half the people who haggle are successful. Those who negotiated the price of a TV saved an average of $165. Haggling over the price of a computer saved about $105.  Even if you don’t get a better price, you may get something extra. The store may give you free delivery, free installation or bonus software. You’ve got nothing to lose by asking.
  • Look for free shipping… Free doesn’t same thing at every site. You need to check the rules. Is it limited to certain items? Are you required to make a minimum purchase? Are there any other strings attached?  Also, watch out for sites that lure you in with low prices on the merchandise and then clobber you with a huge shipping fee. 
  • Get a price guarantee… See if the store has a low-price guarantee that entitles you to a refund if the item goes on sale after you buy it or if you find it somewhere else for less. “Many chains will offer you a 30 day price match,” says Edgar Dworsky, founder of ConsumerWorld.org. “But I think more realistically you’ll need to get that price match within 7 to 15 days, which seems to be the new norm for price adjustments.”
  • Skip the extended warranty… Consumer Reports says there are two cases where an extra warranty may be worth considering: if it extends tech support and repair coverage for a computer beyond the factory warranty, or it provides accidental damage coverage for a laptop, netbook or tablet that will be used on the go.
  • Use the right card… Most platinum and gold credit cards double the manufacturer’s warranty for up to an extra year. Check with your credit card companies to see if any of your cards provide an extended warranty benefit.
    Be wary of instant store credit cards… You’re at the register and the salesperson offers you a great deal – you can save 10 to 20 percent on that purchase by opening a store charge card on the spot. If you’re about to make a sizeable purchase, the instant savings can be mighty tempting. But consider this: most retail cards have an interest rate of 20 percent or more; some are as high as 28.99 percent.
  • Know return policies… Many chain stores give you 90 days to take back holiday purchases. But that return period can be much shorter. That’s especially true when you buy electronics. In some cases, you only have 14 days. Also, once you open the box, you might have to pay a restocking fee of 15 percent or more to take it back. So the rule is simple: if you don’t want it, don’t open it.
  • Get a gift receipt... A gift receipt doesn’t have the price on it, but the store will know exactly how much you paid for that item.

Box Office Report: This week’s results … 1. Tangled, 2. Harry Potter … So, where are the family friendly movies? Go to (Plugged In) or listen to this review from Plugged In.

  • What is your favorite movie for this time of year?
  • 120110, Sacrifice or Become, The Lord’s Timing, Avoid Scams, Holiday Mail for Heroes

    Power Thoughts

    1. “Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.”
    2. “The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are; For what we could become” – Charles Dubois
    3. “Make peace with your past so it won’t mess up the present.”

    The Lord’s timing is perfect, so if you’re having to wait on Him for something, be reminded that He’s allowing you to go through each and every moment in order to prepare for the ride of your life!

    “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” — Isaiah 40:31

    Avoid In-Store and Online Holiday Shopping Scams: Get Tips for Protecting Your Financial Information – The federal government is cracking down on illegal shopping websites — just in time for the holiday season. The government announced Monday it had seized and blocked 82 Websites that had been accused of selling counterfeit and pirated goods. That’s one thing you should watch out for. ShopSmart magazine has an article describing the sneakiest new shopping scams.   (ABC News)  Here are the scams you should watch out for, along with solutions to keep your finances safe.  Tomorrow we will share online shopping tips.

    • Stripped gift cards. Thieves look for gift cards displayed on grab-and-go racks at stores. They can then read the code on the back of the card — underneath the scratch-off strip — using a handheld scanner.
    • The Solution: Buy cards that are behind the customer service desk.
    • Unwanted membership programs. You’re shopping online and just before you hit “confirm,” there’s a pop-up ad with an offer of money back on your next purchase if you join. If you get confused and hit the wrong confirm button, you’re automatically enrolled in a pricey membership program.
    • The Solution: Beware of pop-up windows as you complete your transactions.
    • Tiny unauthorized charges. These are charges of a few cents that show up on your credit card bill. If you try to call the 800 number next to the charge, nobody answers. The Federal Trade Commission broke up a crime ring in June that racked up more than $10 million this way.
    • The Solution: Scrutinize every item on your bill.
    • Skimmers that text. You’ve heard of skimmers, which capture your credit or debit card information. Well, the thief used to have to go back to the ATM or gas pump to retrieve the skimming device. But now they can rig the device to send your information to them via text message.
    • The Solution: Pay by credit card rather than debit card so you’re not risking your own money. Debit cards offer protection, too, but it can take a couple of days to straighten it out.
    • Smishing. This is phishing, only via text message. You get a text saying there’s a problem with your bank account and you need to call to clear it up. If you use the number provided, thieves try to trick you into giving up your account number and password.
    • The Solution: Call your bank directly to see if there really is a problem. Don’t use the number provided.

    Send Some Love: Amy Grant Urges American Citizens to Send “Holiday Mail for Heroes” – “If you just take a minute to think what, how you really feel. It’s hard to not be emotional.”  You may think receiving a letter or card from someone you don’t know, when you’re thousands of miles away from home, would not mean that much. However, as Brig. Gen. Richard L. Simcock, II told CBN News, recently; it can be what keeps a service member going.  “Why do the people join the military and go through the hard times and risk life and limb?” Gen. Simcock asked in the CBN article. “The answer to that question is to defend Americans and defend our way of life. And, the only way that we can be stopped is if we think or doubt that the American public is not behind us.”

    Well known and loved recording artist, Amy Grant, is a spokesperson for the Red Cross’ Holiday Mail for Heroes program, which distributes holiday letters and cards to troops and wounded veterans all over the world. Says Grant, “I think some people hear about this program and might go ‘Ohhhh, a letter! What would I say to a disabled veteran, a young man, he’s 25 and he’s a double amputee and he served for me?'””I tell you what,” she added, “if you just take a minute to think what, how you really feel. It’s hard to not be emotional.”

    If you would like to send cards or letters to brighten the Christmas season for US Troops overseas, address them to the address below, or CLICK HERE for the Red Cross’ Holiday Mail for Heroes website.  (BCN)  The deadline to send mail is December 10th.

    Holiday Mail for Heroes
    P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD  20791-5456

    Your Life & Water Cooler Stories

    MAILING DEADLINES Without Paying Extra(USPS)

    Packaging Guidelines General packaging guidelines that will help you prepare your package for shipping. (UPS)

    Steps to worry-free holiday shopping online If you are worried about an online snooper peering at your keystrokes and stealing your credit-card number, Follow these guidelines… (KTRE-TV)

    Spirit of giving: 5-year-old Lufkin boy donates toys to Salvation Army. (Lufkin Daily News)

    Credit Cards Getting New Rules? The new rules will be a challenge to the business.” (Yahoo News!-Reuters)

    As Christmas Nears, Expect More Discounts Toy stores, electronic outlets and clothing shops under pressure to get people to loosen their purse strings offer steep discounts. (FOX NEWS-The Associated Press)

    GREAT IDEA: A car ignition key that prevents teenagers from talking on their cell phones or texting while driving. (University of Utah)