September – October 2021

What's in this issue

Don't Get Sick

The weather will begin cooling down soon and the cold and flu season will be sneaking upon us. Being sick can cost you a lot of money in medicine, doctor’s visits, and missed work. Here are some tips to prevent yourself from getting sick and how to recover quickly if you do get sick.


Make sure you are eating well and drinking plenty of fluids. A strong body will be able to fight off colds and flu’s better. Vitamins and natural herbs can help boost your immune system making it harder for you to get sick.


Exercise, even 20 minutes a day can help you avoid catching a cold. If you are sick take a break from the exercise as you don’t want to drain your body of the energy it will need to fight off the cold.


Take quick action if you begin feeling ill. Start by drinking plenty of fluids and getting plenty of sleep. You are more susceptible to illness when your body is run down because you are stressed out or overworked. If you have a low-grade fever it is a good idea to let the fever work for you. A fever is your body’s attempt to kill off the illness. If the fever is high (over 102) and uncomfortable then you may want to try and reduce it.


If your child has a high fever you should contact your pediatrician to ask them for advice. They may ask you some additional questions and have you either monitor the fever closely or bring the child in for further investigation.


Make sure you wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading or inviting germs to your body. If you recently got over a cold, make sure you wash all of your bedding to make sure you don’t spread the sickness or re-expose yourself to the germs.


If you start feeling sick or have a fever it is probably best to take the time to get better. By going to work or school you may run your body down and make your situation worse. You may also be contagious and everyone else will probably appreciate the fact that you are not spreading your illness throughout the office.


Nobody likes getting sick and there isn’t a cure to the common cold. By taking a few extra precautions you just may save yourself from missing any important time and avoid the dread of the cold and flu season.

Budget Boosters

Healthcare costs are on the rise and despite what each presidential candidate has promised you need to find ways to have more affordable healthcare. Here are some quick tips that may help you save.


When you visit the doctor or dentist, pay with cash. Some offices give a discount if you pay for your visit with cash. This saves the office money because credit card companies charge processing fees for running your card.

Set up a flex spending account. This is pre-taxed money that you can put into an account that will cover any costs that are not covered by your insurance. At the beginning of the year, you decide how much you want for that year. Then an amount is taken out of each paycheck and can be used on predetermined expenses.


Thoroughly examine your medical bills. A large percentage of hospital bills contain errors that cost you money. If you have a hospital visit keep track of all tests and medications given to you. If you find errors, contact the billing department and request it be corrected and provide them with documentation.


Use generic drugs whenever possible. They are considerably cheaper and contain the same active ingredients. This goes for all of your over-the-counter products and prescription medications. You also will want to ask your doctor for any free samples. Physicians receive many samples and can give them to you to help you save money. Many times they come in single servings and are the same thing you were going to be prescribed anyways.

People spend hundreds of dollars each year on flu shots and over-the-counter medicines to fight the cold and flu. Not to mention the cost of lost wages from missing work. Instead of battling a cold or flu when you have it, try and prevent yourself from ever getting one. It can be as simple as washing your hands more often.


You can never wash your hands too often, so make sure that you are scrubbing before and after you eat, or after visiting the restroom. If you work in an environment with a lot of people or you handle money it is a good idea to have an anti-bacterial rinse-free hand wash.


Listen to your doctors. Ignoring your doctor’s orders can lead to extra visits or procedures. It’s pretty simple; if you have the flu and your doctor says you should stay in bed, don’t fight it, by going to work. All you are doing is taking the chance of it getting worse, as well as passing it on to your co-workers. The same thing goes with a strained or broken bone. Stay off of it and allow it to heal. It’s not worth the chance of doing permanent damage.


Shop around for better coverage. Many people think the coverage plan they receive through work is the best option. You may be able to find cheaper coverage on your own. You’ll never know without looking.


Medical expenses can quickly drain even the best savings accounts. Save money where you can and it can help you in the long run.

Penny Pinchers Club

Are you the type of person that comes up with terrific ways to Pinch Pennies? If so please email us and share your ideas.


Instead of buying expensive frames from the eye doctor I buy a pair of cheap frames and have the optometrist install my lenses into the frames I bought. I save a ton and my frames still last.


-Steve P. LI

New or Used

Helpful Tips

When it comes to car buying there are many questions you need to ask yourself that will help make your decision an easier one. One of the major things to consider is if you should consider buying either a new or used vehicle. There are plenty of ways for you to save money when it comes to buying either a new or used car. There are reasons you can determine that may help you choose if a new or used car is the right choice for you.


The first thing you will want to figure out is how much you can spend on a vehicle. Finding a price range and sticking to it will help you narrow down your options when it comes to finding a car.


Some people worry about safety and want a vehicle that they know is safe. When you buy used you may not have the latest in safety features. Unless the vehicle is really old it probably has sufficient safety features. Don’t be afraid to ask the dealership or private seller what safety features the car has. If they can’t answer your questions search online or look at a different option.


For some people, a car is a status symbol and they want to have a new car to complement that status. Though it is a good feeling driving a brand new car off the lot, this should not be the first reason for buying a new car and you should leave the option open for buying a used car. You can always buy a “new car smell” air freshener.


You will most likely save more money by purchasing a used vehicle over a new one. Of course, you will be buying a car with more wear and tear on it and if you don’t take your time to thoroughly investigate the vehicle you may actually spend more on numerous and costly repairs.


Many dealerships that sell used cars are dedicated to showcasing used cars that are in good condition and have been inspected. They don’t even call them used cars anymore but many are called Certified Pre-Owed (CPO) vehicles. This means the vehicle was subjected to intensive inspection and repairs. They also may come with a warranty where the car is covered for any repairs for a specified amount of miles, much like a new car would come with.


However, many new car dealerships have been hit hard by the economy and are having a difficult time moving new cars off their lots. So in return, many new car dealerships are offering many incentives and price breaks in order to sell new cars. This may be a good opportunity for you to buy a new car for a better price.


There are more precautions that need to be taken when you are shopping for a used car. Sometimes you will be negotiating with a dealership and other times you will be dealing with a private seller. Here are some things to consider when looking for a used car:

How old is the car?
What is the mileage?
Has the vehicle been maintained well?
Is the paint in good condition and avoid of rust?
Is all the paperwork available?
Has the vehicle ever been in a wreck?


Some of this information may be hard to obtain but the Internet has become a car buyer’s best friend. When it comes to buying a used car you can look up the vehicle’s history to ensure that everything the salesman is or isn’t telling you will show up. By going to you can look up a used car by its VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and for a fee, you can print off a report that will show you if it has been in an accident, how many owners it has had, if the airbags have ever been deployed, or if there have been any odometer problems just to name a few of the features included.


When you buy a new car you will have the comfort of knowing that most problems that you have for a while will probably be covered under a warranty. This can save you from out-of-pocket repairs that may come with a used vehicle. However, when you buy a new car it loses value almost immediately after you drive it off the lot. When you buy a used car there won’t be as much depreciation.


Once you find a car you like, you will want to check with your insurance company to get a quote and find out what rates you will get with the car. If you buy a new or used car and make monthly payments you will need to have full coverage on the vehicle. If you buy a used car outright you may only be required to carry liability insurance.


Car buying is a long process; take your time and look into all your options before you buy a vehicle. Set your price range and go from there. Figure out what is most important to you and use your choices and price range to find the vehicle that is best for you.

Compolsive Gambiling

Danger Signs

The football season is off and kicking which brings a lot of joy to many people around the country. It also brings a lot of pain and money problems to those who bet large sums of money on the games. Sports betting is just one form of gambling that can get you into a large financial problem and put a mammoth strain on your family. We’ll examine some of the warning signs of gambling and some ways for you to get help or find help for someone you know.


Compulsive gambling is a type of impulse-control disorder. The urge to gamble is so strong that oftentimes the gambler will continue making bets regardless of the fact that they know their gambling is affecting them and their family. They keep gambling whether they are winning or losing.

Whether you think you might have a problem or know someone who may have a problem look for these warning signs:

Secrecy over money and finances
New desire to control household finances
Overdue or unpaid bills
Unexplained loans or cash advances
Lack of money, despite the same income and expenses
Unusual increase in credit card activity
Asking friends and family for money
Missing jewelry, cash, or valuables
Dwindling savings or assets
Missing bank or credit card statements
Calls or letters from bill collectors
Unexplained cash, especially when there are unpaid bills
Neglect work or family to gamble
Gamble in secret
Lie about how much time is spent gambling
Compelled to keep upping bets
Feel remorse after gambling
Gamble until the last dollar is spent
Gamble with money needed to pay bills
Steal, borrow, or sell things to get more gambling money
Dreaming or talking of the “big win” and how it will solve money problems
Celebrate by gambling
Gamble to chase loses


One’s gambling can have an effect on a lot of people and if you are not paying attention to your finances you may be in for a rude awakening if you find out your money has been gambled away. Here are some things you can do for a family member who has a gambling problem.


Take over the family finances – This way you can monitor any discrepancies with your accounts.


Review bank and credit card statements – Another way for you to be on top of your finances and notice any changes.


Request credit reports from the three main credit bureaus – This is the best way to fix any problems that problem gambling may have caused with your finances.


Monitor Internet use to see if the person is gambling online – There are thousands of sites where you can gamble online so it’s important to curb any action before it gets out of control.


Be honest about how the gambler’s behavior makes you feel – They may not know the effects they are having on you untilyou tell them how it makes you feel.


Get counseling or join a support group such as Gam-Anon – There are support groups for family members that will help you relate to your situation.


Encourage the person to go to Gambler’s Anonymous – It may not be the easiest thing to do but try and convince them that this is the best way for them to get better.


There are a lot of resources where help is available. Here is some information that will help you get started and may help you find support locally.National Council on Problem Gambling – or call 1-800-522-4700


Gamblers Anonymous –

Gam-Anon –


Gambling has been a form of entertainment for many years, and many people can enjoy themselves without any problems. However, it’s important to identify any problems early before they get out of control and cause many financial problems. Hopefully some of this information was useful for you or someone close to you.

It's Back!

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My Financial Journal

Things may be actually starting to slow down for the year; we have had a couple of free weekends to get some things done around the house. Of course, this will be short-lived as believe it or not the holiday season is slowly sneaking up on us but we’ll start worrying about that next month.


We featured a couple of articles about shopping this month and cars and furniture are major purchases for most of us. It’s been a while since my wife or I have had t buy either a car or a major furniture piece. Furniture is always an adventure. I know there has been a time or two when we have bought a cheaper piece of furniture that has required us to assemble it ourselves. I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t cause a couple of arguments and a lot of headaches. It seems that more often than not there would be a missing piece or something wouldn’t line up right.

My point is, when it comes to furniture quality is important. We would have been better off spending a little more on a quality piece that was fully assembled than gambling on a do-it-yourself piece that didn’t quite assemble the way it should have.


Speaking of gambling, I have gambled a few times but have never gambled when I didn’t have the money. I am an avid poker fan and enjoy playing every now and then with friends for a few bucks at a time. I’m also a devoted fantasy football fan and have spent money playing the game. I also live in an area where gambling and the gaming industry are a large source of income for people and the state. Many people can and do enjoy gambling responsibly and realize it’s a form of entertainment.


The fall season is coming with the change in temperature so I can soon expect to hear some coughing and sniffles around the house. Having a two-year-old and a wife who spends her days with pre-teens our house is pretty susceptible to germs and the potential of catching a cold or two.


I have been trying to make a conscious effort to drink more fluids and stay healthy. I need to do a better job of getting more sleep however as I can run myself down and that’s when I usually get sick. I don’t get sick often but when I do, I’m a wuss about it. I try to quarantine myself and get rid of it by sleeping as much as I can and bury myself under a stack of blankets.

Did I mention I am stubborn as well? I’m not much for going to the doctor when I get sick, usually cause it doesn’t last too long and I try to cure it myself before spending money at the doctor.


The same doesn’t go for our daughter, as we are usually ready to take her in at any sign of sickness. We are lucky that our doctor gives us tips over the phone to avoid us from coming into the office too often. We have just about paid off all the doctors visits from last winter which probably means we are due for another visit cause I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have to make a payment to the doctor next month.


You know I usually have a lot more to say but as I said earlier it has kind of slowed down for once, but I have a feeling that things are going to get exciting again really soon. So until then, good luck and have fun.

Furniture Shopping

You may be looking around your house and realize that the furniture in your home has seen its fair share of wear and tear. It may be time to consider upgrading. Educate yourself before you go shopping and you may be able to save some money.


Furniture is the type of thing that you may be better off spending a little more for quality than having to frequently replace cheaper furniture. You may want to educate yourself on what fabrics and materials are the best. Look for pieces that are made from hardwoods like oak, walnut, or cherry.


Assess the situation in which the furniture will be used. For example, if you have young children you may want to look for furniture that’s fabric is made from a material that is easy to clean and resists stains. If you have pets you may want to pick a fabric or color that will not pick up pet hair. Is the piece of furniture going to be something that is used everyday or is it something that is only occasionally used.

Make sure you measure the area where you want to put the furniture and bring a tape measure along with you. The size of furniture can be deceiving when you are looking at it in the store. There aren’t many walls and high ceilings can make you think the piece will fit just fine then you bring it home and it doesn’t fit. So again, make sure you measure a few times and also measure your entryway and any tight spaces that lead to the intended destination.

Look at other stores for some of your furniture. You may want to look at department stores for items like coffee tables, lamps, rugs, and nightstands for example. Many stores feature very good-looking and good-quality pieces that are a lot more affordable than buying similar pieces at a furniture store.


Shopping at the right time will always help. Many furniture stores have clearance and inventory clear-out sales to make room for the new models. Their biggest sales are usually in the fall when they are trying to get ready for new inventory so they need to sell as many of the old pieces. Also in late winter or early spring when they are trying to push the new models and get rid of everything else. Some stores may have a different schedule so don’t be afraid to ask when their big sales will be.


Look at consignment shops or into used furniture. You may need to refinish or reupholster the piece but it may save you money as compared to buying something completely new.


Many furniture stores try and sell their furniture in sets. As in having one sale price for a couch, love seat, coffee table, and end tables. If you were planning on buying a complete set you may save money but if you are only looking for a single piece of furniture it may be harder to get sale prices, not that they won’t sell the furniture individually. That’s when you need to start negotiating.

When it comes to furniture buying, the situation can feel a lot like buying a car. So don’t be afraid to negotiate with the salesperson. They want to sell furniture and will be willing to discuss reasonable options with you. There is usually a cushion (pun intended) when it comes to the final selling price. Shop and compare with a variety of local furniture stores and even online. Use your information to better negotiate the price. If you feel that you are not getting a fair deal or a piece is overpriced move on to the next store. Chances are they may be more willing to work with you in order to keep you in the store and earn your business.


Make sure you know ahead of time how you are going to transport and get your furniture to and into your house. Do you have a crew of in-laws or neighbors willing to loan you their manpower and truck for the afternoon? Are you going to have the store deliver it? If so, what does it cost, and are you protected from any damage caused during transportation? If it is free and you are covered you may want the furniture store to deliver it for you. That way there is less of a chance you might damage your new piece of furniture.


Hopefully, you can find some furniture that completes or gives new life to your house, and hopefully, some of these tips can help you save along the way.