Why Every College Student NEEDS Amazon Prime

My oldest son will be a senior in high school this year. We are getting ready to book our first college visit. All of this just seems too real. Two years after that it will be my middle son. I feel so lost when trying to wade through all the new experiences with SATs, ACTs, driving, college applications, etc. So I really appreciate it when there is a one stop shop to make some things easier.

Amazon launches their Off To College Store for 2019. It will have everything you need to make the transition to college a little easier. This includes discounts like 50% off select Levi’s styles, 30% off Tommy Hilfiger adaptive clothing, save on dorm furniture, and more. There’s even a whole, college deals section so you can get the best prices on pencils, pens, dorm decor, water bottles, post-its, and much more.

Don’t forget as a college student you qualify for Amazon Prime Student where you can get 6 months of Amazon Prime for 50% off!

Did you know that Amazon also offers a way to rent, buy, and sell textbooks? It’s true. With your Amazon Prime Student membership that can be big savings on those way-to-expensive textbooks in the student bookstore!

With Alexa Skills Blueprint you can create and share personalized Alexa skills in minutes including custom flash cards, create and access personalized list of facts on any subject, listening quizzes to listen and recall, all perfect for study for test, quizzes, and reminders.

From needing last minute materials for a project to helping college students study, Amazon Prime has become a college essential.

This post does contain affiliate links. I will get a small commission from sales made through my links.


Free Summer Reading Program With Prizes for Kids + a Great Deal Offer

Club Eimmie is offering a free summer reading program for kids called Club Eimmie’s Imagination Vacation. They can win some amazing prizes if they do! Some of the prizes include a water slide, 1 year club Eimmie subscription, doll accessories, and more. Just log your child’s reading time each day that they read, like Club Eimmie on facebook, and watch for the live drawings on facebook each Wednesday at 12 pm EST to see that weeks winners!

My kids love to read and rewarding them for reading is ok in my book.

Club Eimmie is an affordable way to get clothes and other accessories or your child’s or grandchild’s 18 inch dolls. I discovered it after buying an 18 inch doll for my daughter and realizing just how expensive the clothes and accessories were for the dolls. Club Eimmie let’s your child get new clothes and accessories for their doll each month for only $20 and you can cancel any time.

They still have the deal going that I took advantage of. Get your first month of Club Eimmie for FREE just pay $5. That’s $5 for 2 doll outfits and accessories. This is what we got! You just can’t beat that price on new 18 inch doll clothes!

Club Eimmie is still an awesome deal even after your free month. For just $20 a month you’ll get packages like this for your child’s 18 inch doll. If you want to know the truth I got the 18 inch doll to put away for my daughter for Christmas. I plan on giving her all the outfits we get the club for Christmas too.

Plus Club Eimmie members have access to the Club Members only section with activity sheets, coloring pages and other activities.

This post does contain affiliate links. I will get a small commission from sales made through my links.


Free Resources To Help Keep Your Finances On Track with August Funding

During my first marriage, my financial life was falling apart. There were times when I honestly didn’t know how we were going to buy groceries or put gas in the car. When we got divorced I had a new set of challenges. Paying off debts from that marriage and getting my finances back on track. With the help of August Funding, I’m sharing my experience with you.

It’s no secret that I had creditors calling. If my parents hadn’t let my boys and I stay with them I don’t know what i would have done. I was determined to work on getting myself financially independent and into a place of our own. It felt hopeless to me and I honestly looked into things like being a surrogate and donating plasma just to keep my head above water. But I didn’t end up having to do any of that. Here’s some free resources that helped me along the way.

Turn To The Money Gurus

It was obvious that I needed help so I started looking at the finance and debt gurus like Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman. I liked what they had to say. I remember one of Dave Ramsey’s books. It started off with, something along the lines of, him pulling up to a gas station in his vehicle and not knowing if his credit card was going to be decline to put gas in his card. That really resonated with me. Like, he knows what I’m going through. While you can buy the books you don’t have to. Dave Ramsey has free resources on his website, you can check out his books at local libraries, or ask to borrow from a friend.

You Can Get a Free Credit Report

I did pull a credit report when trying to get my finances in order. You are allowed to get 1 free credit report every 12 months. This helped me see exactly where I was at with creditors, amount owed, what might be coming down the pipes, and fix errors that might have showed up. Seriously check it. My husband’s parents had declared bankruptcy at one point. My husband’s name is very similar to his dad’s he ended up having to call because his dad’s bankruptcy info was showing up on his credit report! Obviously that would effect his credit if he hadn’t gotten it fixed! Sites like annual credit report help you to get your free credit report you’re entitled to.

Keep Tabs On Your Credit Score and More in One Place

I discovered Credit Sesame all those years ago. At first I ignored it thinking there was a catch but it’s still one of my favorite tools to use to keep me on track even after repairing a lot of damage. Here are just some of the FREE benefits of Credit Sesame:

  • free credit score
  • tips to increase your credit score
  • Up to $50K in aggregate identity theft insurance
  • credit monitoring
  • payment history
  • credit usage grade

Read Financial Blogs and Sites Like August Funding

I’ve found that there are a lot of helpful financial blogs, websites, and debt sites that have very helpful information on repairing your credit after a divorce, consolidating debt, and avoiding bankruptcy. AARP has great info for retirement finances as well.

Believe it or not, the debt collectors themselves can even be good sources. One recommended a debt consolidator to me. Another one called me and I basically poured my heart out to them. The “Hey I’m a single mom paying off all the joint debt from my failed marriage. I’m not getting any child support, I’m trying” I really didn’t expect much feedback. I honestly expected nothing but I was caught on a stressful day. But this debt collector actually told me just to keep paying what I could afford to pay like I was doing. Tell other debt collectors what I told her and most of them would work with me. You know what?! Most of them did. I might have paid $10 a month a first but once I started paying those off I started snowballing as Dave Ramsey might suggest paying $20 a month, then $50 a month. So on. I paid off $30K in joint marriage debt.

If you feel the need to you can even consult with financial professionals like August Funding to see how hey can help you. Or speak with a local financial consultant.

What I want you to understand is that it didn’t happen overnight. It it didn’t even happen over a year. It took me a number of years to do it but I did it. My credit still isn’t perfect but it’s a heck of a lot better than it was after my divorce. You can do this!

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links


My Time as a Server and What Everyone Should Know

I was 17 years old. I wanted a job.  My parents gave me $20 allowance every 2 weeks. Many of my friends had jobs by then so they always had more money than me.  Those that didn’t have jobs were handed money every time they walked out the door. My parents couldn’t do that.  I was the oldest of 4 kids.  My parents were on a tight budget. I wanted the stylish clothes my friends and peers had but my parents couldn’t buy it.  My solution: get a job. Start buying my own stuff and save for college.

I got my work permit approved by the school. I applied to a few places.  My first job ever was a server for Perkins restaurant.  Used to be called waiter/waitress but I guess server is more PC. I could only work part-time being in school full-time and involved in volleyball and track.  Normally I’d work an evening shift 1 or 2 days a week for 4 hours then I’d work at least one 8 hour shift on the weekends, sometimes two.

As a high school kid I could make decent money as a server. Other nights I didn’t even make minimum wage.  Why? In 1997 servers only got paid $2.15/hr.  They expected you would get tips however tips are not mandatory.  On a really busy night I might make $10/hr with my hourly wage and tips.  Other nights I might only make $3/hr.  The sad part is, it’s still like that today.  At least in Pennsylvania.

Since I was only 17 and didn’t have any bills to speak of I was able to save over $2300 toward college in the year I worked there. I bought my own school clothes that year, bought my parents nice Christmas gifts, and more.

For some reason, when you work in a service job some people tend to think they can treat you bad and you’re supposed to just smile and bend over backward for them anyway.  I’ve worked a lot of jobs in my life but I’ve told many people, I’d have to be on dire straits to go back to being a server again.

 

One time a guy came in with his wife.  I wasn’t familiar with him yet but the rest of the staff knew him. They warned me before I even went out to greet him that he was a jerk. Always trying to get something for free. I just went out there friendly as I could be and tried to do my job.  Not knowing him from Adam I figured they were exaggerating.  They weren’t.

They ordered drinks, complained there was too much ice (but didn’t say anything to me about no ice or only a little bit of ice).  Brought their soup out he yelled at me because there weren’t enough vegetables in the soup.  I had to go back and  get more veggies of his soup.  The rule of the house was to bring out one bread stick per person plus 1 for the table … as they would say.  So if there were two people, like in this situation, I’d bring out three. He yelled at me and told me he didn’t get enough bread sticks.  I tried to tell him why I did that. He swore at me and told me they ALWAYS give him more breadsticks.  I went back and got him more.  Then I brought their meals out and he didn’t like something about his meal.  I offered to take it back.  He grabbed me by the arm pulled me into the booth with him and started screaming in my face.  I was 17 years old, it was my first job, I thought I had done everything the way I was supposed to.  I started crying.  I couldn’t cover the table anymore. I didn’t want to. Someone else took over the table.  When I walked past to help another table he called me a cry baby.

Another time, the restaurant was dead. Dead, for hours.  So they sent some staff home.  It was just me, another server, 1 hostess, 1 cooks, 1 manager.  A bus came in. The restaurant filled up. why they kept seating people I’ll never know.  Of course people had to wait for food, there was only 1 person cooking and 2 servers for the ENTIRE restaurant.  People were yelling, complaining that the wait was too long.  Brought out a check for a table and a woman proceeded to lecture me that “When you see 4 ladies at a table you should bring out 4 separate checks not one” (They never told me they wanted separate checks.  I was too overwhelmed to ask.)

Those are just a couple of the stories.  Honestly, I work in a trauma hospital now.  I deal with the public every day. People in pain, in bad situations.  I still say being a server was the worst job I ever had.  I love my job now.

Many times I had guys make disgusting comments to me.  Some guys want to hit on you and it’s pretty uncomfortable.

I had been called stupid usually because I forgot to bring a dip out for the chicken fingers or something silly like that.  I’ve been talked to like I was beneath them.

So with that in mind I just wanted to put these little tips out there:

  1.  For any job, put yourself in their shoes.  Is it really worth getting bent out of shape over not having enough vegetables in your soup?
  2.   Your server is not a mind reader.  Sure some with more experience might be able to anticipate some things more than others but if you want separate checks tell them.  If you want extra breadsticks tell them.  If you don’t want ice in your drink tell them.
  3.   Unless your server is a real so and so consider leaving a tip. I can speak for Pennsylvania, in that if you don’t tip your server, your server is only making $2.15 to serve you and try to make your experience the best they can.
  4.   Your server does not cook the food.  They only bring it out.  It’s not your servers fault if it’s too salty, the steak isn’t done to your liking, or the restaurant no longer has that dessert you used to like.  If you have an issue, tell them, don’t yell at them.  Can’t fix it if they don’t know and they’re more likely to go the extra mile for you if you don’t call them stupid, or berate them in other ways

Were you ever a server?  Tell me your server stories in the comments below

 


I Often Wonder What Happened To Holly

I lived in Elgin, SC years ago.  I think it would have been around 2004 when we moved into our home. We had just built a new house in a little subdivision called Tall Pines.  My 2nd son was just a baby. In fact, we celebrated his 1st birthday in that house.  Our life wasn’t what I had hoped though. My youngest son was in and out of the hospital, we were having money problems, and marital problems.

We had  neighbors across the cul-de-sac,  The Mullins.  My first real meeting with Holly Mullins was when my oldest son (about 2 yrs old at the time) fell off my bed. He had bumped his head on something and was bleeding.  I was trying desperately to get a hold of my husband of the time because he had the car seats in his truck.  I needed to get our son to the urgent care center. Holly comes running over, told me she was a nurse and asked if she could help. She came into our house, cleaned him up. She old me she worked at the urgent care center and told me to bring him down. He ended up only needing some medical glue not stitches. We became fast friends after that.

She was one of the most genuine people I had met in a long time.  As we talked I found out that she had two boys about the same age as my two boys.  I also found out that she was dealing with a lot of the same problems I was.  We talked often and sort of leaned on each other. Neither one of us had any other family in the area.  Eventually Holly found out she was pregnant again, with another boy. But her situation was different from mine but it’s not my business to post it here.

As my marriage and financial situation deteriorated more my soon-to-be ex and I separated. All our family was in PA so we all moved back to PA for family support. Holly and I kept in touch for a while after. The last time I remember talking to her, I was in my car and got a call from a strange number on my cell phone. It was Holly.  She told me she had also separated from her husband and got herself and her boys an apartment.  She gave me her new number. I found out after that, coverage with my cell phone from SC was, at best, spotty in Pennsylvania. I ended up switching phone companies and phones and lost almost all my contacts, including Holly’s.

I’ve often regretted losing touch with Holly.  I feel like she was the first true friend I’d had in a long time. I felt like we had a connection.  Sometimes I wonder if she wasn’t put there to be my neighbor on purpose.

I’ve tried searching for her on Facebook but I don’t even know what her last name might be now or where she may even live.  I knew she was originally from Missouri, somewhere near St. Louis.  I knew her two oldest boys names were Ethan and Evan.  I feel bad I can’t remember what the baby’s name was. I feel like it might be something like Braden.

I guess I’m writing this post in the hopes that some day she searches her names online, for fun just to see what pops up.  I hope she sees my post and remembers me too.  I hope she knows that I still think about her and what a great friend she was.  She helped me through a very hard time in my life and I hope I helped her in some way.

***UPDATE**** I FOUND HER!!!! I’d looked pretty earnestly a number of times and was never able to find her.  I searched everything I new about her and nothing. After writing this post I found a link with a break.  A name linked to the other names I searched. I ended up finding her on facebook!! We had a nice chat over PM and are not friends on facebook. It made me so happy to find her and see that she was doing ok!