Happy Leap Day To You

I had a teacher in junior high who took great pleasure out of telling us that we were actually older than him, as he was only twelve. He’s the only person I’ve ever known who had Leap Day as their birthday.

I remember as a kid feeling sorry for anyone born February 29th, as they only got to really celebrate their birthday once every four years. Sure, they may have had parties and cakes and celebrations, but they didn’t have that special birthday day experience that only a child can feel, and only on their actual birthday.

In my house the birthday person ate off of the good china while everyone else used paper plates. Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus were at the behest of the birthday girl. Activities were planned based on what the birthday girl wanted to do. It was fun and special and we always felt blessed. My sister and I have birthdays only twelve days apart, so it made for a fun month.

Now that I’m an adult birthdays don’t revolve around me any longer (how did that happen?). I do still usually make sure I get a special treat of some kind on my birthday, and Husband knows I’d better get a homemade white cake with chocolate frosting (this is your reminder, honey).

And since time seems to speed up so much the older I get, an only-once-every-four-years birthday is looking much more attractive.

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Leap Day Deal of the Day February 29, 2008

If your birthday is February 29th, you’re in luck.

Not only are you much younger than everyone else born the same year as you, but Papa John’s will give you a free large 1 topping pizza today, February 29, 2008. To get yours, login or register, select carry out for order type, then enter coupon code LEAPDAY and add to your cart. Make sure to have a valid I.D. when picking up your pizza, your birthday will be verified at that time. Valid 02/29/2008, and only to those born on Leap Day.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Down But Not Out

We’ve got the flu.

It is the least amount of fun I’ve had since I got dehydrated preparing for a colonoscopy.

At least the colonoscopy was over in a day.  And Husband was healthy so he could care for our son.

Get the flu shot next year.  I am.

Fun post, huh?

Deal of the Day February 28, 2008

JC Penney is trying to look fresh to the under 30 set. That’s why they’re calling their current sale the Xtreme Sale.

During the JCPenney Xtreme Sale, you can save $10 on on $50 orders, $15 on $75, and $20 on $100. Apply coupon code XBMSM at checkout, or print the coupon to shop in-store. Other savings include a Spring Sale with up to 50% off select home and apparel, and the Ambrielle Half-Yearly Sale with savings of 40-50% on entire selections of Ambrielle bras, panties and shapewear.  Coupon expires 03/04/2008.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Waking Up Is Hard To Do

Gather Little By Little has invited bloggers to share their moment of financial epiphany. I hope you enjoy it much more than I enjoyed living it.

I’ve never been in serious debt. It’s always scared me waaaaaaaaaay too much.

My parents divorced when I was six, and while my Dad went on to make a very comfortable living my mother…didn’t. My Dad was very good at paying his alimony and child support, but my mother couldn’t hold onto money if it was glued and duct taped to her hands. That’s not unusual when you’re bipolar, as she is.

She gave away literally tens of thousands of dollars over the years, and there were times when our electricity and water were turned off. Eventually she did make a good living, but her debts mounted until she was forced to seek bankruptcy. Today she has about two nickels, and her golden years are lived on Social Security and the love of my sister and me.

Just because I didn’t have debt doesn’t mean I was good with money. I had credit cards because college students are always inundated with offers. I was even pretty responsible with them, never keeping a balance of more than a couple of hundred dollars. I had a car and my first ever loan, and things were okay.

Then I got my first well-paying job, and it was in New York City, no less! I left my car with my Mom with the agreement that she would make the loan payments ( is that you smacking me upside the head?). I worked sixty hour weeks and got lazy about paying my bills. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the money, I just kept procrastinating paying them.

By the time I quit that job I was exhausted, emotionally shattered (due to a different-yet-related family emotional blow), unemployed and had racked up a large number of late payments. My credit was a mess. My credit card companies no longer wanted me, but I did manage to pay off my car. I went through a year of really rough times, working an icky job and watching my mother sink into the mother of all depressions while fighting my first ever real one myself.

My financial plan during that time and the following couple of years was to simply pay cash for everything. It’s not like I had much of a choice.

Then, about a month before my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up and thought to myself, “Holy s&*t!! I’m about to turn twenty-nine and I have nothing to show for it! Where did my twenties go???”  No boyfriend, no home of my own (I was renting a room), no non-college furniture (papasan, anyone?), and no good credit.

I was still waiting for my real life to happen, but it had been happening without me.

It was time to grow up.

So I did. I got responsible. I opened a secured credit card and paid the balance every month, faithfully. The only time I carried a balance was if I had a major purchase (airline tickets, tires), and that balance needed to be paid within three months or the purchase did not get made.

JC Penney had not abandoned me (then again I think they’d give a credit card to a corpse), and I rewarded them by shopping there and using their card. And paying the balance, faithfully.

Within a year I had improved my credit, gotten several raises, rented my own place, furnished it with new, adult furniture and found a boyfriend. Eventually the secured credit card offered to un-secure itself, and at that point I applied for a standard card and got it.

I’ve not carried a balance on a credit card in over ten years now. My credit score is in the highest range. I own my own home, have a wonderful husband and son (with whom I stay home) and no debt other than my mortgage.

Life is good.

What a Deal! Just Not for YOU, Florida…

I ran across an article titled Publix Penny Products at Pennies to Nickels today (part of the Festival of Frugality) . I was immediately intrigued because Publix is my local grocery store, I already take advantage of many of their coupons and other savings strategies.  If they have some penny products I certainly want to get me some!

Apparently Publix offers these special products on Sundays and Mondays, and if you spend $10 or more you can get the item for a penny. PTN’s article focused on the fact that you don’t usually need the coupon, included in the Sunday newspaper Publix flier, in order to get the deal.

Those of you who are regular readers know that frugality is not just a hobby for me, it’s what feels right. So to miss a special like this, on my home court, is just so very wrong. My first emotion was a little bit like panic. WHAT? Publix has a penny mystery item, and I don’t know about it??????????

Is Hell actually freezing over???

Upon further research, I found out that like double coupons, Publix doesn’t offer the mystery item in Florida. Just…doesn’t.

My near-panic changed to extreme irked-ness.

Why the heck not?

I want to know.

I’ve got my theories about the whole double coupons thing – an obvious conspiracy between Publix and Winn Dixie to keep that savings windfall from Floridians (Oh, no. I’m sounding like Husband now…). I’ve long been unhappy about that.

This new blow to my frugalability has spurred me to action. So, I am going to write an itty bitty e-mail to Publix and see what generic, not-really-addressing-the-question response I’ll get.

I’ll keep you posted.

Deal of the Day February 27, 2008

Here’s a shout out to my oldest nephew. This is one of his favorite stores.

American Eagle cuts 15% off all purchases via coupon code 29118414. It’s a great way to save from this retailer that rarely offers sales. Expires 03/25/2008. They are currently also offering free shipping on total order if you purchase a swimsuit. The free shipping offer ends 03/11/2008.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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