Showing posts with label list. Show all posts
Showing posts with label list. Show all posts

Great Books I've Read This Year


Summer is a great time to read and if you love to devour books like I do, you're always on the lookout for a new list of great reads. My goal this year is to read 100 books and I'm well on my way with 64 completed. I usually have a hardcover I read at lunch, an audiobook I listen to as I work, and a different ebook or hardcover for the evening reading hours - so I usually have 3 going at once! I should easily reach my goal of 100 in the remaining four months of the year 2016. Not all the books I've read have been great so I filtered out my favorites that I would rate a 5 star.

Here you go!


Title
Author
The Guilty (Will Robie, #4)
David Baldacci
James Baldwin
Far From True (Promise Falls Trilogy,  #2)
Linwood Barclay
Julian Barnes
Off The Grid (Joe Pickett, #16)
C.J. Box
Night School (Jack Reacher, #21)
Lee Child
Among Thieves: A Novel
John Clarkson
Michael Connelly
Susan H. Crawford
The Gangster (Isaac Bell, #9)
Clive Cussler
Matthew Desmond
Allen Eskens
Janet Fitch
Mary Gaitskill
Robert Galbraith
Justin Halpern
Kent Haruf
Ethan Hawke
Noah Hawley
Ken Ilgunas
Tetsuko Kuroyanagi
David Lagercrantz
Kate Clifford Larson
Brad Meltzer
Vladimir Nabokov
Thomas Perry
Eleanor H. Porter
Judgement Cometh (Joe Dillard, #8)
Scott Pratt
Crimson Shore (Agent Pendergast, #15)
Douglas Preston
Extreme Prey (Lucas Davenport, #26)
John Sandford
Ruta Sepetys
The Black Widow (Gabriel Allon, #16)
Daniel Silva
Rebecca Skloot
Colm Tóibín
John Vaillant

 Bookmark this page until you've read them all!

List of States with Tax Free School Shopping Days

 
School is starting just around the corner, and its time for the annual tax free shopping weekend all over the nation. Some states even include Hurricane preparation items too! Here is a chart from Fed Tax Administrators that lists all the states participating. This year in Florida you can get the discount on laptops and computers too.


State
Days

Items Included

Maximum Cost
1st Year

2013
Dates

Information Links *
Alabama3hurricane preparedness
generators - $1,000
supplies - $60
2012February 22-24http://www.revenue.alabama.gov/
Alabama3clothing - $100
computers - $750
school supplies - $50
books - $30
2006August 2-4http://www.revenue.alabama.gov/
Arkansas2clothing - $100
school supplies
2011August 3-4http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/
Connecticut
7
clothing and footwear - $300
2001
August 18-24http://www.ct.gov/
Florida3school supplies - $15
clothing - $75
computer - $750
2010+August 2-4http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/
Georgia2school supplies - $20
clothing - $100
computer - $1,000
2012+August 9-10https://etax.dor.ga.gov/
Georgia3energy and water efficient products - $1,5002012+October 4-6https://etax.dor.ga.gov/
Iowa
2
clothing - $100
2000
August 2-3http://www.iowaccess.org/tax/
Louisiana
2
all TPP - $2,500
2007
August 2-3http://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/
Louisiana
2
hurricane preparedness items - $1,500
2008
May 25-26http://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/
Louisiana
3
firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies
2009
September 6-8http://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/
Maryland3energy star products2011February 16-18http://www.comp.state.md.us/
Maryland7clothing & footwear-$1002010August 11-17http://www.marylandtaxes.com/
Mississippi
2
clothing & footwear - $100
2009
July 26-27http://www.dor.ms.gov/
Missouri7energy star products - $1,500 2009April 19-25http://dor.mo.gov/
Missouri3clothing - $100
computers - $3,500
school supplies - $50
2004August 2-4http://dor.mo.gov/
New Mexico3clothing - $100
computers - $1,000
computer equip. - $500
school supplies - $30
2005August 2-4http://www.tax.newmexico.gov
North Carolina
3
clothing - $100
school supplies - $100
instructional material - $300
computers - $3,500
other comp. - $250
sports equip - $50
2001
August 2-4http://www.dornc.com/
North Carolina
3
energy star products2009November 1-3http://www.dornc.com/
Oklahoma
3
clothing - $100
2007
August 2-4http://www.tax.ok.gov/
South Carolina
3
clothing
school supplies
computers
other
2000
August 2-4http://www.sctax.org/
Tennessee
3
clothing - $100
school supplies - $100
computers - $1,500
2006
August 2-4http://tn.gov/revenue/
Texas
3
energy star products
air conditioners - $6,000; other - $2,000
2008
May 25-27http://www.window.state.tx.us/
Texas
3
clothing, backpacks and school supplies- $100
1999
August 9-11http://www.window.state.tx.us/
Virginia7hurricane preparedness items - $60
generators - $1,000
2008May 25-31http://www.tax.virginia.gov/
Virginia3clothing - $100
school supplies - $20
2006August 2-4http://www.tax.virginia.gov/
Virginia4energy star products - $2,5002006October 11-14http://www.tax.virginia.gov/

Frugal Indoor Projects For When It Rains and Rains

It rained all night, and more rain is expected all day. Actually rain is expected for a week. No bike riding in this kind of weather. Usually my criteria to ride is a prediction of less than 40% chance of rain. I just need a half hour window of clear skies at exactly the right time, two times a day and I will ride. It's pretty obvious that summer time in Florida it rains, but I'm determined to not let it side track my plans if I can. So I plan on getting wet.
What about you? Are you going to pout and whine about it raining, or being too hot? Shit happens like this in the summer. Everyday actually. It's either hot or rainy. Both are good things, in their own way. So you have to just live with it. This is NORMAL. Get over it.
Do what you would do anyway. If you can't do anything outdoors, guess what - I bet you could do some indoor projects. There are lots of times during the year when we know we need to do a job but put if off saying "It's too nice out, let's do that some rainy afternoon". Well, here's my list -
  • clean the bathrooms - sink, vanity, mirror, toilet, shower, tub.
  • vacuum the carpets, mop the floors, even get out the attachments 
  • wash laundry
  • change the bed sheets
  • polish and dust the furniture, table tops, vents
  • clean and organize my desk - get rid of the piles of old mail and papers
  • paint touch up spots we missed from our remodel, plus other walls needing it
  • toss expired coupons, booklets and flyers. Label and organize the valid ones. 
  • clean up the pantry and toss old food and spices 
  • bake some cookies like chocolate chip
  • have sex with your partner, or by yourself
  • make some salads - like corn salsa, pea salad or broccoli salad
  • go through closets and clean out those clothes you haven't worn in two years
  • organize your spare room whatever you use it for, there is stuff in there that needs to be tossed out or donated.
The point is there are a lot of productive things you can do when the weather is not cooperative. Just make a "Honey Do" list and post it on the refrigerator. And cross things off as they are accomplished.

Ride Your Bike Week May 13 - 17, 2013

This week is ride your bike to work week, and this coming Friday May 17, 2013 is Ride Your Bike to Work Day. So far, I've ridden my bike every day and plan to ride the rest of the week as well. The weather here in FL is beautiful, so there is no excuse not to ride. Even if you can't ride to work, you can probably ride a bike to the grocery store or the bank or the library.

Five Steps to Riding Better

1. Follow the Rules of the Road
• Ride with traffic and obey the same laws as motorists.
• Use the rightmost lane that heads in the direction that you are traveling.
• Obey all traffic control devices, such as stop signs, lights, and lane markings.
• Always look back and use hand and arm signals to indicate your intention to stop, merge or turn.
2. Be Visible
• Ride where drivers can see you.
• Wear brightly colored clothing at all times.
• At night, use a white front light and red rear light or reflector. Wear reflective tape or clothing.

3. Be Predictable
• Ride in a straight line and don't swerve between parked cars.
• Make eye contact with motorists to let them know you are there.
• Do not ride on the sidewalk.
4. Anticipate Conflicts
• Be aware of traffic around you and be prepared to take evasive action.
• Learn braking and turning techniques to avoid crashes.
• Be extra alert at intersections.
5. Wear a Helmet
• Make sure that the helmet fits on top of your head, not tipped back or forward.
• After a crash or any impact that affects your helmet, visible or not, replace it immediately.
Follow the links to the right for a wealth of information for cyclist of all types and level of experience. If you don't find what you need under the main headings, visit the miscellaneous link for information on mountain biking, riding with kids, tandem bicycles, emergency maneuvers, and more!
If you are looking for courses to learn more, visit the Bike Education page and sign up for a League class!
 
Via Bike League

5 Tips for Staying Out of Debt This Year

Saving money is a must in today's economy and with the Internet’s fast, reliable connections to deals – you have to take a closer look to see what's available for you. Use the internet in your favour, consider how much money you can save on life cover comparison and other important financial aspects of your life. With the right information at hand, you can save money.

1. Price comparison sites online.Price comparison sites have all of the information you need from the best companies. You do not have to look far or spend too much time evaluating services on these sites. A few items you should consider using price comparison sites for is credit card deals, 
life cover comparison, health insurance, and car purchases. By using the sites effectively, you will save money to manage other responsibilities in your life.

2. Track sales offered in retail stores.Use the internet to find sales online. You may find opportunities to use coupon codes, printable coupons, and/or retail circulars with additional savings. By tracking the sales offered in-stores, you can plan your spending wisely to avoid compulsive buying that leads to debt.

3. Cook at home instead of dining out.Cooking at home saves time, money and effort in earning enough money to pay for high tabs in restaurants. Imagine spending extra pounds on family dinners when you can purchase the goods from the store. You can save money by buying enough food for seconds, left over food for lunches, and removing the aspect of travel to get to your dinner. Recent studies show that cooking at home is good for building relationships with your family, too.

4. Monitor your spending habits to eliminate unnecessary spending.How much money do you spend in a month? Include the basics of utilities, car maintenance, fuel, food and clothing then add all of the little extras you enjoy on a daily basis. You begin to see a pattern of overspending and/or extra funds you can use for other purposes in your life. Test yourself over the next 30 days by working hard in monitoring every pound you spend during your day. You may notice additional expenses you can avoid including coffees, restaurant tabs, and other daily activities draining your wallet.

5. Use cash instead of credit for purchases.Overspending behaviours kick in when you assume you have extra money on your credit card. Soon, the balances begin to trap you in further debt than expected. Remain cautious and buy all of your items in cash if you can help it. Try to change the way you view money then apply the skills necessary to avoid overspending in the future.

Guest Post by Daniel Kidd. Comparethemarket is a UK price comparison site that can help you save money on a range of financial products.

You're Wasting Your Money

If you go to the grocery store with out a list, you're wasting your money. This is what I discovered in the last month, after a very frugal year. We had several holiday parties to attend and some holiday meals to bring food to. If we were able to plan for the event we used our overage. We made a list and were able to get a spiral sliced ham with overage. On another trip we were able to get a cocktail shrimp ring with our overage.
 
But earlier in the month, when we were on vacation at the condo it was a total bust. We spent $48 (I know shocker!) on a bag of food and some beer. I almost died spending that much and with only a few coupons. It was while I was away from a printer or my coupon stash at home, and the moneymaker deals were scarce. It was so discouraging and depressing. I didn't even want to use up my gift cards to pay that much. I'm used to getting three or four shops on a $10 gift card, so to use over 4 on a trip was unheard of.
 
One thing that has proven to be my best tip of the year, is to remember that if buying something makes money, you have to get it - even if you have no use for it. I buy lots of phazyme, vitamins, CWS and donate or sell at garage sales. You also need to plan to get free things (alka seltzer, theraflu) just to bring up your total so you can use a $5 off $25 coupon, and use the $5 savings for the things you need and want, that aren't on sale.
 
But the most important thing is to have a plan for your shop.

Seven Ways To Chop Down Your Phone Bill

Telephone service is a requirement for most people. It is one of those necessary evils in life. However, just because it necessary does not mean that it has to bog your wallet down. There are ways you can have a significant amount of phone service and not have to spend every penny. The following tips will help you to save on telephone service.

1.   Choose Mobile Phone Service Over Landline Service
Even if you are a work at home mom who hardly ever leaves your home, it will still be cheaper for you to use a cell phone as your home phone unit. The reason is the long distance charges. Landline companies usually charge extra for long distance calls. Just about every cellular phone provider offers nationwide calls as a part of the monthly allotment. This one change can save you a huge amount of money and you can speak to your friends and family members as much as you like.
2.   Choose Plans with Free Minutes
The best mobile phone plan is one that offers unlimited minutes. If that's too expensive, the alternative option is to choose a plan that offers free night and weekend minutes. The hours may vary between providers. You just need to investigate and choose the option that best fits your situation.
3.   Try Prepaid Service
Many prepaid service providers offer excellent monthly packages. The great thing about prepaid plans is that you can stop paying for them whenever you like. With a post-paid plan, you have to pay the bill every month whether you use the phone or not. Prepaid plans give you the freedom to cut your expenses any month that you see fit to do such. Some providers will allow you to skip three months before they release your phone number.
4.   Make it Basic
You can cut down your monthly telephone bill significantly by passing on  the extra features. If you do not absolutely positively need text messaging and data, cut them from the bill. The reason you have a phone is to make calls. Downgrading to a cheaper plan will not prevent you from doing so.
5.   Ask About Discounts
Some cellular phone providers reward their faithful customers with discounts. They give special V.I.P. privileges to people who maintain service and pay on time. In addition, customers who work at specific companies may be eligible for a discount on their monthly bills. Check with your provider and inquire about all eligible discounts. If some of them pertain to you, opt to take them.
6.   Perform Frequent Price Plan Checks
If you do not have an unlimited plan, check your usage each month to see if you can possibly move to a cheaper price plan. You might find that you have not been using nearly enough minutes as your current plan allows. If it looks like you can save money by downgrading your plan, tell the customer service representative to cut you down.
7.   Make Referrals
Not all cell phone companies offer discounts to customers who refer other people, but some do. Make a phone call to your provider and ask about referral rewards. If you are persuasive enough, you just might be able to maintain a free cellular phone account.

There are many tips and tricks to lowering your telephone bill. Test these out individually or in any combination. Your next bill should be a lot lower than your previous statements.


Talia Martinez likes to shop, write about personal finance, and writes for travelinsurance.org.

How Ready Are You For A Hurricane?

The weather news is starting to feature Tropical Updates since we've turned the corner into a busier time for storms. Emily is stirring down in the Caribbean now and has Florida solidly in the forecast cone. While this system has not been declared a tropical storm or hurricane, it is still a good time to get ready for what ever the rest of the season brings us. Are you ready for a hurricane to happen now? Here are some checklist items to help you prepare for a storm -
 
  • Do you have plenty of cash in small bills stashed in the event there is no power, or you need to barter to get things you need during a disaster? Most ATM's will run out of cash, businesses may not be open and your best bet to buy stuff will be from people hawking stuff on the corner - for cash.
  • Do you have plenty of dry food (cans, dry mixes, dry milk, beverage mixes, pet food), enough for a weeks worth of meals? Make sure you have an old fashioned manual can opener too, or be sure all your cans are pop tops.
  • Do you have water or drinks enough for 3 days (at least a gallon a day per person)? This doesn't include bathing or cooking water, so a clean source of water for that is important too - fill your tub or sink for cleaning.
  • Do you have a bug out bag in case you need to leave your home - a change of clothes, cash, medications, sturdy shoes (not just sandals), silverware,etc.
  • Do you have a weapon to protect your life and/or property in the event of a disaster and there are no police services?
  • Do you have your automobile's full of gasoline, a spare 5 gallon can of gas, a full canister of propane for your grill?
  • Do you have flashlights and batteries that work? First Aid kit?
  • Do you have some basica tools, keys, portable Radio and Telephones?
  • Are your important documents secured in a waterproof safe or in a safety deposit box at the bank? Can you scan them and take the data device with you?
HERE is an excellent article outlining more detailed preparedness for a disaster.
 
I sure hope we manage to avoid the big one this year, and as I write this list I realize I'm not quite prepared. But I will be. Will you?