Sunday, February 15, 2009

Miami Seaquarium Free Annual Pass

Whatever you do, don't pass on this one:

Miami Seaquarium is offering a FREE annual pass with every purchased entrance ticket from now until Marach 1st!!

Now that's a sweetheart of a deal!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Frugal Tax Filing--new free service!

This year for the first time, you can file your taxes electronicaly for free, regardless of income! It's not the same as using a tax filing software program,
but you can access electronically fillable tax forms (only federal, not state) via FreeFile.

This is a great way to get your refund in a timely manner. I've been too cheap to file electronically since we exceeded the income requirements in the past. I'm glad to see this new service!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Free Miami!

Looking for something to do for free in Miami?

Check out Free Miami. They list free events in the Miami area on a regular basis.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gather your rewards while you may...

I'm totally ignoring all the bad financial news (which is out of my control) and focusing on the small tidbits of good news that are.

For example, participating in FreeFromBroke's blog cash contest paid off nicely:
I won first prize, a $75 Amazon gift card!

Participating in the e-rewards system also paid off: I obtained six coupons from Blockbuster and $15 in Borders Bucks, which I then combined with a 40% coupon and ended up paying only $1.26 for a $26.00 book! (El Juego del Angel by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.)

My main problem now is trying to find a financial book worth reviewing that would still be relevant amidst all this turmoil. A lot of the old advice is sounding naive and stale right now! Like someone in the Miami Herald said, none of us are happy losing all that money from our 401ks, money that we could have used to pay off our mortgages! I calculated it and what we personally have contributed in the last four years to our various retirement programs would have almost exactly paid off our remaining mortgage! But since none of us are prescient, that's money under the bridge now!

Phrases like "never in my lifetime" "first time ever" and "unprecedented" are being thrown around--words that you never want to hear in connection with your finances!

Ok, so maybe I'm not ignoring things very effectively! But really, is it worth any further comment?

Like someone on CNBC or MSNBC said, "We're all screwed!" That sufficiently and succinctly summarizes the situation, I think! (Pardon the tendency toward alliteration!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Free From Broke's Financial Plan for the Year Ahead Contest--win up to $300

As the government tries to sort out the financial bailout, this is a good time to take stock of our personal financial plans, something that we at least have some control over!

Free From Broke is celebrating his blog's first year by hosting a contest What We're Looking to Do With Our Finances in the Next Year where you can win up to $300 in cash by participating in various ways.

My short term financial goals are simple:

1. Add to my ING emergency savings account

2. Save for a car

3. Continue to contribute to my IRA

4. Continue to prepay my mortgage*
(with the long-term goal of paying it off completely within the next five years)

5. Save even more on groceries (currently only saving between 10-15%)

6. Shop around for cheaper car insurance (already have my deductibles at max and already cancelled collision and comprehensive on both cars--they're old!)

7. Try to cut back on medical expenses


I'm hoping all these boring frugal activities pay off with more available fun money for future trips!

* I just read a chilling story in the Miami Herald that made me re-think this idea, about a woman who is losing her house despite having it paid off (in a condo association where most people are defaulting and abandoning their homes because they had little equity in them anyway). I live in a single family home but we do have a home association! More on this later...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Last chance for forgiveness--return your overdue books by Sept 30th!

The Miami-Dade public library system has designated August and September 2008 as "amnesty months"
--any overdue materials you return during this time will not accrue a fine and all old fines accumulated will be forgiven.

Of course I don't speak from experience because, I, as a librarian, NEVER return things overdue! And if you believe that, I have some swampland for sale....

But if you want to save some moolah, bring back those books before Sept. 30th!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Free Admission on Museum Day, this Saturday!

The Smithsonian is sponsoring Museum Day 2008 this Saturday, Sept. 27.
Many of your local museums are participating and offering one free admission per household.

Many thanks to GetRichSlowly.org for the heads up on this frugal and fun activity!

You can find venues in Florida and download an admission ticket.

Participating museums in the Miami area are:

The Vizcaya Museum

The Frost Art Museum at Florida International University

The Historical Museum of South Florida

Miami Metrozoo

Miami Science Museum

Miami Art Museum

and The Lowe Art Museum in the University of Miami, Coral Gables.