Sunday, August 5, 2018

12 things we pay for but don't need to...

A note from SJ Francis: Here's an article I found  that I knew I needed to share with others. For a lot of us, money is tight. And who doesn't like to save money? And anyone who knows me that when it comes to spending, I'm a frugal (not cheap) person. I love spending money on others and my pets. On groceries. On vacations. Not on me. Hope these tips help you save some money. And if you have some tips to share, please do. And don't hesitate to share this article with others if you found it helpful. Thank you.....

Originally from MSN.com:





 
Most of us spend money on things we could get for free. And in 
many cases, it’s not as if we are consciously paying for greater 
convenience or  some other intangible. We’re just throwing 
money down the toilet. So even if you have tightened your budget
and eliminated unnecessary expenditures, we’re betting you can 
wring out more savings by reviewing this list. It includes a dozen 
dumb things we all pay for that we really shouldn’t.
Check it out, then put the savings in the bank, pay off some 
debt or spend it on something you really need.

1. Bottled water

Tarr Pichet / Shutterstock.com
© Tarr Pichet / Shutterstock.com Tarr Pichet / Shutterstock.com

2. Books

a group of people looking at a book: Yuriy Rudyy / Shutterstock.com
© Yuriy Rudyy / Shutterstock.com Yuriy Rudyy / Shutterstock.com

It’s fun to buy new books. But let’s face it: They are expensive, and 
most of us read them exactly once. There are a few books that 
it’s nice to own — maybe a cookbook or other reference book, 
or a classic that you read and reread. But most books just fill 
shelves and collect dust.
So, try this: Borrow the book from the nearest public library. 
After all, you’ve already paid for it with your tax dollars. 
Many older books also can be downloaded for free because 
they are now in the public domain. Project Gutenberg 
more than 50,000 e-books. Or you can opt for free audiobooks
through sites such as LibriVox https://librivox.org/
You can also buy books used on Amazon.com or any number 
of more specialized book websites for a fraction of the cost of 
a new book. For more, check out “Five Easy Ways to Get Free Books"
3. Brand names
a person standing in front of a building: Tyler Olson / Shutterstock.com
© Tyler Olson / Shutterstock.com Tyler Olson / Shutterstock.com

It really makes no sense to pony up for an expensive brand-name bottle of pain reliever. Right next to that medicine, you will find 
the store brand — same product, different label — for less. For many products, the brand has nothing extra to offer. So, 
don’t pay for the brand. Use generics or store brands, especially for things like over-the-counter medications, 
cleaning supplies and baking supplies. Just read the labels. If they’re the same item, why the heck would you ever pay more?

4. Credit reports

a person sitting on a table: Sebastian Gauert / Shutterstock.com

© Sebastian Gauert / Shutterstock.com Sebastian Gauert / Shutterstock.com

You do not need to pay for your credit report. Instead, pull the report — for free — at least once a year. 
Doing so will help you spot mistakes that could damage your credit. You also can find possible fraudulent activity 
in your name. There is no charge for one annual report from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies when you go 
to AnnualCreditReport.com. For all the details, check out: “How to Get Your Full Credit Report in 

5. Pets

a close up of a dog face with fence and looking at the camera
© Oliveshadow / Shutterstock.com  

Do you really need a pet with a pedigree? Or are you just looking for a creature to love? There are so many dogs, cats, 
bunnies and birds waiting for a home at shelters — and often the cost of spaying/neutering and shots is 
included in a small fee charged to those who adopt them. Check out the lovable animals at your local shelter 
before you plunk down money on a “new” pet. SJ Francis adds, Adopt. Don't Shop. Always make adoption your first option.
     FYI: To find an animal in need of a home; to find an animal shelter near you, check out  

Remember, all types, ages, breeds, even purebreds are waiting to be adopted. 

6. Bank fees

a person holding a cup
© Liudmila Pleshkun / Shutterstock.com 

You put money in the bank, then the bank lends out money for a profit. So, how is it that you need to pay the bank 
so many fees? It’s crazy. There are monthly maintenance fees for checking accounts, overdraft fees, ATM fees for
 using an out-of-network ATM and many more. You can avoid many of these charges by switching to
 a smaller bank or local credit union. For more tricks, read “14 Ways to Avoid Paying Irritating Bank Fees

7. Low insurance deductibles

a person holding a piece of paper
© nito / Shutterstock.com 

If you insure yourself so you’ll never lose a penny, you’ll never have a penny to lose! That’s the observation of Money Talks News founder 
Stacy Johnson, who goes on to say: “$250 deductibles are common on many car and home insurance policies. Why? Because insurance is normally sold, not bought. 
In other words, the companies who sell you insurance make more money if you pay more, and you pay more with low-deductible policies.”
By raising your deductibles — the amount you pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in — you can save hundreds  or even thousands of dollars a year on your policy premiums.

8. Credit card interest

a close up of a person using a laptop
© d8nn / Shutterstock.com
Let’s say you have a credit card balance with a 20 percent interest rate. If that is the case, yet you also have a bunch of money 
in a savings account earning peanuts, you need to rethink things. Use your savings to pay off the debt. An emergency fund 
makes sense. But if you’re paying high interest while earning low interest, you’re on the road to creating an emergency, 
not solving one.
There are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you’re unsure about your job security, you certainly want to have a stash of 
cash available. But if you’re about to celebrate the 20th anniversary of your government job, use low-earning savings to 
pay off high-cost debt.

9. Basic tax preparation

a group of people sitting at a table looking at a laptop
© Andy Dean Photography / Shutterstock.com  

If your tax situation isn’t that complicated, you should probably be preparing your own tax return using one of the many free 
online services. It’s now common for e-filing to be free as well with many services. You won’t even need a stamp.
We like H&R Block and TaxAct, but there are many other services.

10. Shipping

© Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com

If you’re buying something online and it’s not an emergency purchase, you can probably benefit by waiting 
for a shipping discount.

11. Life insurance for your children

a little boy holding a teddy bear
© Madhourses / Shutterstock.com

It’s hard to make a case for child life insurance in financial terms. The point of life insurance is to replace lost income, and unless your child is the next Justin Bieber, I’m guessing the kid isn’t pulling in much of a salary.
You might want to buy a policy if your child has a pre-existing medical condition that likely will make it difficult for her or him to buy coverage as an adult. Otherwise, take a pass.

12. Lots of other stuff

a person standing in front of a box
© Ken Tannenbaum / Shutterstock.com  

Before you set out to buy building materials, dance or sports gear, a sewing machine, a chicken coop, a television — pretty much anything — take a quick look at Craigslist and Freecycle. Both sites list a huge range of stuff that people are getting rid of for cheap or free. Amazing deals can be found.
Stacy Johnson and Maryalene LaPonsie contributed to this post.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.
That’s it for this time. Thank you all for visiting with us. Until next month, every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey.  One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book. Review it. Share it. Pass it along.


Make adoption your first option when seeking a pet. Adopt. Don’t shop. Can’t adopt. Please consider fostering one. The animal will have the taste of home and the shelter will cover the expenses. Can’t foster? Make a donation or volunteer at your local shelter. Please, don’t hunt. Unless you’re starving down in a ditch somewhere, there is no logical reason to do so. Whatever you do, however you do it, please be a voice for the animals large and small. All it takes is one to make a difference, good or bad. 
 
                                    Together, you and I can make a difference. If you like what you see here, please consider signing up to become a follower. Please feel free to share this post with others.
Regards,
S.J. Francis Writing is my passion, but animals are my world.
    In Shattered Lies: "Good and bad, it's All About Family."  Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at on-line retailers and independent booksellers. 
    “Some secrets should remain that way.” 
    My web page: http://www.sjfranciswriter.com  
                                     Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjfrancis419 

                               
 Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/SJ-Francis/480058115420325 
                  My writing Blog: http://sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com    
                          A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com  
                  A Consumer's View: http://aconsumersview.blogspot.com
                           


                 Google Plus:https://plus.google.com/u/0/104831238907682620486/about 
Good Reads:       https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33550975-s-j 
                                     
And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2018 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.                           
Remember: Animals don't have voices. We must be their voice. Always. Forever. Wherever. whenever. I'm one for the animals. Are you?


Sunday, July 1, 2018

Thieves empty bank account of oldest living US veteran

A Note from SJ Francis: Here's an article I found  that I knew I needed to share with others. Identity theft is rampant and no one is safe. This article is proof of that and it's very sad. Check your credit reports. Freeze your credit, if necessary. Keep an eye on your elderly family member and their finances. Keep an eye on your finances. Question any amount that isn't one you or your loved one made. Thieves like to make small charges to test your account.

Originally from MSN:
 June 29, 2018



Richard Overton, the oldest living U.S. Veteran at the age of 111, is back in the east Austin home he has owned since 1948 after a renovation provided by Meals on Wheels of Central Texas and the Home Depot Foundation. He greets guests as he enjoys a cigar in the back living room, his favorite room in the house. (Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
© Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman via AP Richard Overton, the oldest living U.S. Veteran at the age 
of 111, is back in the east Austin home he has owned since 1948 after a renovation provided by Meals on Wheels
 of Central Texas and the Home Depot Foundation. He greets guests as he enjoys a cigar in the back living room,
 his favorite room in the house. (Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Someone has stolen the identity of the oldest living veteran in America
and emptied his bank account. The family of 112-year-old Richard 
Overton said they don't know how a thief got Overton's social
 security and personal checking account numbers.
They discovered the issue on Thursday when one of the World War
II veteran's cousins made a deposit into his account. 
"I looked at it -- what the hell are these debits?" Overton's cousin 
Volma Overton Jr. told CNN affiliate KXAN.
Several purchases of saving bonds with Treasury Direct were 
made in recent months and by Thursday there was nothing 
left in the account.
"It's a shock, it hurts, it hurts tremendously," Overton Jr. said.
While the family doesn't know who may have stolen Overton's money, 
his cousin said "it'd be terrible to know somebody who's been that
 close to him has used him like that."
His family would not discuss the amount of money that was taken
but said it was a "considerable amount."
Overton, who now lives in Austin, Texas, volunteered for service 
in 1942. He became a member of the Army's 188th Aviation 
Engineer Battalion, an all-black unit that served on various islands
 in the Pacific.
In 2013, he was honored by then-President Barack Obama during
 a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony.
He is the oldest man in America, according to the 
In 2016, his family launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds to help 
pay for Overton's round-the-clock home care. People have donated 
more than $330,000 since then.
His family said the money from the online fundraising page is 
intact in a separate bank account.
Police are investigating the incident.

UPDATE on July 5, 2018:

Bank restores stolen funds to 112-year-old Texas man


That's it for this time. Thank you all for visiting with us. Until next month,
every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. 
Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. 
Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, 
elephant or monkey.  One person, one voice can make a difference. 
Read a book. Review it. Share it. Pass it along.

Make adoption your first option when seeking a pet. Adopt. Don’t shop. Can’t adopt. Please consider 
fostering one. The animal will have the taste of home and the shelter will cover the expenses. 
Can’t foster? Make a donation or volunteer at your local shelter. Please, don’t hunt. 
Unless you’re starving down in a ditch somewhere, there is no logical reason to do so. 
Whatever you do, however you do it, please be a voice for the animals large and small. 
All it takes is one to make a difference, good or bad. 
 
                                    Together, you and I can make a difference. If you like 
what you see here, please consider signing up to become a follower. 
Please feel free to share this post with others.
Regards,
S.J. Francis Writing is my passion, but animals are my world.
    In Shattered Lies: "Good and bad, it's All About Family."  
Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at on-line 
retailers and independent booksellers. 
    “Some secrets should remain that way.” 
    My web page: http://www.sjfranciswriter.com  
                                     Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjfrancis419 

                               
 Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/SJ-Francis/480058115420325 
                  My writing Blog: http://sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com    
                          A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com  
                  A Consumer's View: http://aconsumersview.blogspot.com
                           


                 Google Plus:https://plus.google.com/u/0/104831238907682620486/about 
Good Reads:       https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33550975-s-j 
                                     
And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2018 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.                           
Remember: Animals don't have voices. We must be their voice. Always. Forever. Wherever. whenever. I'm one for the animals. Are you?