Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This just IRRITATES me!

I came across Jill Cataldo's blog today and it irritated the you know what out of me!

Again, we have people committing coupon fraud and nobody is doing anything about it....and they sit and BRAG about it! The woman POSTED exactly how she committed fraud. It was brought to the attention of P & G so who knows what will happen. If I worked for P & G I'd ASK to be on the project to research all of this! Why should P & G pay for these stores helping people commit fraud? At first, I gave the woman the benefit of the doubt and thought maybe she was doing an expose on it (Hmmmmmm, maybe I should do that!!!!!!) and show how the stores LET people commit fraud...but oh no, she was TEACHING people EXACTLY how to do it! THIS right here is why the prices in the stores go up. Has anyone noticed that in the past year or so that the prices on stuff has gone up? Do you think it's a coincidence that it happened around the same time Extreme Couponing got popular? NO, it's not coincidence, it's WHY the prices are raising.

At my old job at the Army, I had a big big big boss who I did not like, care for or respect in the least (yea, I know that's bad to say, but really, if you worked for him, you'd know why). But he did teach me one thing that I will always remember. I came in as an intern, and he taught me that if there is an issue, don't just come to the table with the issue. Come prepared with at least two solutions to the problem. That way it shows you put some effort into it. So now, anytime I have an issue at work, before going to a co-worker or boss, I think of at least two solutions. Here are mine:
1. Stores should have in place some kind of checks and balances, whether it's mandatory coupon training or someone hired just for coupons. Heck, I wouldn't mind working at my local Shop Rite and being the 'coupon girl'. Anytime there is an issue when the coupon doesn't scan, instead of a manager just blatently over-riding it without checking the coupon or the bag to see if they did in fact buy the product (let's get real, the kids in there have friends/parents from school that they would help out anytime and say 'oh yea, they bought them') they would call the coupon person over to do the over-ride. Or something of that nature. The coupon person can teach coupon classes on how to read them, check the date quick, scan the coupon for fraud, etc. Yes, it's an added expense of the store to hire 1-4 of these coupon experts, but it may cost less then having to pay for fraudulent use.

2. The coupon manufacture's need to audit EVERY single coupon. Again, another expense, but it will give people a job and it will keep stores honest. Nobody wants to pay for fraud. The manufacturer's don't want to, neither does the store. There needs to be some sort of fine or something placed on stores that mis-use this. Okay, I can see maybe one or two sliding by, fine, nobody is perfect. But with this particular chain of stores, it looks like MANY are going through each day fraudulently.

We need to hold people accountable as well. The people that brag and post ONLINE about it need to be taught a lesson. This one woman posted her receipts, and told what coupons she mis-used, on purpose. Some auditors just need to look at her receipts and what she said she used, double check and fine her for the money she 'stole' from the store/manufacturer. In this day in age, everything is online and all you need to do is a little research to catch the coupon criminals!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Just Another Reason I Love Suze Orman!

I just LOVE Suze Orman! Anyone that knows me, knows that she is my idol, and I watch her all the time, and even managed to score tickets to see and meet her a few months back. I even have a pic of her and I as my twitter photo!

I've been watching America's Money Class on OWN and been taking notes. I'm a little behind and only finished episode 2 last night and I just love the song 'She's gonna teach you how to be RICH!' So while watching the second episode last night, she was talking about families and children etc. And she had a FABULOUS idea about college savings for children. A couple in their early 30s asked about saving for college for their children. They both paid off their student loan debt after taking out loans, they have their EF, they are funding their retirement and have no debt other then a car loan. So, Suze said to just sock some money aside each month or however they want, but NOT to tell their children. Suze said that when the kids go off to college, let them take out student loans (subsidized and unsub) and if they really took college seriously and had a good head on their shoulders that as a graduation present, pay off those loans for them with the money you saved! WOW, what a GREAT idea! And if they weren't serious, took forever to graduate, slacked off, etc they don't get the money, and there's more money for YOU to have in retirement or what not.

DH and I don't have kids yet but we do plan on having them in the future. I'm a planner by nature so I'm planning this stuff BEFORE I'm even pregnant! I went to college, got a Bachelor's and Master's Degree. DH did not attend college, he went right into the workforce. His parents instilled that if he wanted to live at home rent free, he needed a job. So he got a part time job at Shop Rite, one at a local sub shop and one for UPS. He did party with his friends that were in college in those years, and worked his way through the part time stuff at UPS and put in to become a full time driver when the opportunity arose. Once he became a full time driver, he left his other part time work and has been a driver since (over 10 years). His pay was and is higher then mine and he has no college education. We both believe that schooling is important, but it's not the only option. So when we have kids, we decided we will not force them to go to college if it's not their thing...but if they want to go we will support them 110% and do what Suze says and not tell them we have some money saved for them.

Add this to the list of reasons why I LOVE SUZE!

Organizing Challenge!

I'm in!!!!!! Not sure if I'm going to do the spare room, my closet, or even my kitchen! Originally I was thinking one of the first two, but my kitchen can sure use some organization!

Wanna join in?

Update on the House

My mother comments on a Facebook post of mine where I posted a photo from Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords showing a 2013 Cobra Jet (Mustangs are my favorite cars). My mom says 'call me' and with the issues with my dog, I call her immediately. She said my dad's aunt called the night before to talk about the house.

So apparently, she wants 320k for the house. Now, I wasn't in on the phone call, so I don't know all the facts, and since my aunt called late, I don't think my mom got a chance to really speak with her about it. Now, as I stated in the first post, this house is really run down. It's very old, the outside is old looking as well. Nothing was ever done inside to 'keep up' and modernize it. All the original appliances, etc are still there. 320k is VERY high for that house. It's a 2 bed, 1 bath ranch. My condo is a 2 bed, 2 bath condo, and it just got appraised around 200k, and that's with everything brand new and everything in tip top shape. So I don't know if she's totally out for money, or just doesn't know the market since she is in her 70s, or if maybe way back when they had it appraised back in the 90s maybe that's what it appraised for? I don't really now.

So, my mom suggested getting an appraisal, as did my best friend. He's the one that's going to be doing a lot of the work in the house if we get it, so he knows that end of it, but I'm more the negotiator and getting things done on paper person. So I emailed the guy that did our appraisal a few weeks back and he emailed me back this morning with the price, etc. My friend said after or even now, to get the software that you build your own house, so we can get his contractor contacts out to price us on what it will cost to build up the house (2nd level since my friend and husband can pretty much do the downstairs work). That way, we can go back with an offer with the paperwork in hand. We were looking to buy it for 100k TOPS. I know a similar house sold for about 120k down the street, but since we're family, you would think they would give us a deal or something. But 100k is pretty much our top offer at this point. It's what I think we can afford, and still afford our condo now that's underwater. Then down the pike, we can either sell or rent out the condo. I don't want to walk away since our credit is so good, I don't want to tarnish it, but that's a ways down the pike.

I don't know what to think of this all. My mind is a blur. She's family, and my father has done so much to help them with this house. Upkeep the outside, fixing things inside, chasing someone that tried to rob the house (another family issue, they were looking for 'hidden' money, that wasn't there), etc. And now, a price of that caliber when a nicer house (not by much, but a little bigger) sold for 120k? I just don't get it. I'm not sure how to take it, like is it a slap in the face b/c they just want money or they just don't realize that that house will NEVER sell for that amount? They pay the taxes on it, they pay the utilities, etc so it's money wasted each month that goes by. I don't know. The appraisal will cost $385, so that's not just a couple of bucks. My best friend said if I really want the house to do it that way it's on paper, then start the negotiating. I'm just unsure what to think at this point.