Late Fee Gone

I had to pay my electric bill late this month and was assessed a $11 late fee. Once Friday came and I got paid I paid then called. I explained my situation and the rep immediately offered me a refund because I hadn’t had a late fee in forever and hadn’t had a refund. Praise God!


Radiator Down

Vacation was supposed to start that night – a nice trip to Myrtle Beach. To get ready I got the tires rotated and went to get the oil changed. At the oil place the guy said to me, “Looks like we won’t be changing the oil today… come check this out.” My radiator was destroyed!

Thank God I have a friend from church who owns a mechanic shop (and who we have to visit far too often!) who assured me he could get it taken care of before we were supposed to leave. The cost? $560.

If you’ve followed this blog you know that we had to scramble to raise even the money for gas for this trip – yard sales, online sales, eBay, Craigslist, selling to friends. How on earth could we pay for this? Another blessing: my friend told me I could pay him when I got paid in nearly two weeks!

But how will I pay it? Here’s the deal: there is no way we should have had enough money to pay for this. But when I got paid there was. Yeah, things are very, very tight. But I was able to pay the mechanic and I was able to take the family on vacation (most frugal vacation ever!) How? I really don’t know. Seriously. I did the accounts again and again and when I try to tally up the math I don’t know how the ends are meeting but they are.

Thank God for making things work even when I don’t understand and even when I didn’t think He could (or would.)

Reviewing My Blessings

One of the ways God has blessed me and my family over the several years is with an expansion of out receiving free items in exchange for reviews. In 2009, I was reading a review and saw that the author noted that the publisher had given the book to them for free one exchange for a review. Over the net several hours I found several Christian book publishers who would provide books for reviews and I signed up.

Over the next couple years, I got better and more influential and by the end of 2011 I was able to request many books and audio books from most publishers. By the beginning of 2012, I was invited to join Amazon Vine.

Vine got me started reviewing non-book products. Through that program I’ve received for free anything from the phone I am writing this on to vacuums to electronics to trash bags or food. It’s been an incredible blessing.

This last year I’ve seen an additional boost as I’ve joined several other review programs to receive goods. Combine that with secret shopping and now I get all my books for free, get to eat out for free a couple times a month, and get toys for the kids for free. All for review and all free.

I know that some would say that these “blessings” are really my hard work or knowing how to get signed up or whatever. But who gave me my ability to find these programs? Who made me he kinda of person who makes time for reviews? (The main reason friends reject becoming a reviewer even though they will get free ruff is that they aren’t willing to work for the goods. They’d rather just buy them.) God made me like this and gave me my skills and put me in positions to accept and thrive in this industry. So God gets the glory!

Thank God for productive ideas, goods and services I couldn’t afford, and for putting me in the right place with the right abilities at the right time!

Garage Sale Success

Over the last two days we’ve had a yard sale trying to raise funds for a budget short fall due to our upcoming vacation. God blessed our effort with over $300 in sales! We then donated at least that value in goods to the Goodwill spreading the love. Our home is less cluttered, we are closer to our budget goal, we got to hang out with family and we donated a bunch… blessings all around!

Importantly, my stress is a little down. I’ll be honest: I didn’t see any way we are going to make the budget. But here we are only a couple hundred from making it and having a vacation! Thank you God! And I’m sorry I’m such a doubter.

Free Fridays

Something I found out about this summer is Kroger’s Free Friday program. (Via BzzAgent.) I’ve never been a big digital coupon, or real coupon, guy. But when I found out I could load a coupon for a free product each week through Kroger I started loading digital coupons on my Kroger card each week. I have benefitted immensely!

Each week Kroger gives something away. Most of the time it isn’t something I use, like an energy drink or soda as two examples, but sometimes it is, like salsa, shampoo and toothpaste. I’ve also found the regular coupons are great too and I can usually build my shopping lost around the coupons I have digitally loaded. Because I have a tight budget this is really helpful.

So thank you to Kroger for the free products and thank you to friends who told me about it. And of course thank you to God for orchestrating everything.

Bank Fee Refund

Yesterday we ended up spending a few dollars more than we had – not on purpose. Fortunately we got paid today so we never did go negative. But we were charged a $25 because it was authorized without enough money. I called the bank to ask about it and they offered to credit it! I didn’t even have to ask!

Thank God!

Online Sales

I’ve been listing a bunch of stuff on eBay this last couple weeks and finally some are selling! So far I’ve had an audio book sell and just now someone bought a wireless router (for the Buy It Now price!) I have about 30 listings as I try to raise funds for our family too next week and so far 6 more are selling for over a hundred dollars!

Thank you God!

Coffee Maker Sale & Blessing

I have a trip coming up but dont really have the money for it. I mentioned to a friend art work that I have a Krueger coffee maker during in my cabinet art home that I dont use. She immediately offered $25. My first thought was, “no way! This is an expensive machine!” Then I remembered that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. $25 I’d better than nothing. So I sold it to her.

She promptly set it up in our common area and my co-workers bought coffee for it and creamer and purified water and all the sudden the culture of the area changed. People are brewing coffee and cheerful. And now I know how God worked this out (so far) for mine and my friend’s good. Blessings all around!

Thank you God for helping us put and for helping me release a little this hesitancy to sell when the value doesn’t seem right to me. I’ve got to accept that the bake I place on things ifs not the the value because I can’t see the whole picture.

I hope this coffee maker is a blessing to this department long after I’m gone!