MM’s Money

September 13, 2008

Generic Vs. Name-Brand?

Filed under: Frugality,Lifestyle,Saving — mmsmoney @ 12:00 pm
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I’m not the only one in the world who struggles with the choice between buying the generic and the store brand! I know there are also many others who never even make it a choice – “Coke, It’s the Real Thing” is firmly engrained in their consciousness. So I feel a little virtuous when I buy generic – although that should be the rule, not the exception. And it is the rule EXCEPT for the following:

  • Peanut Butter: have you tasted Jif? Is it not like heaven? How can you even compare store brand?
  • Charmin: my body is kinda sacred to me, and seriously – that store brand will not touch me. I mean it.
  • Light Bulbs: every store-brand CFC that I have bought has lasted less than 2 months. What is up with that? They are supposed to last a year! So we went back to GE/Westinghouse/Sylvania when it came time to replace these duds.
  • Charcoal: not that we buy a lot of it (well, compared to some, we do), but store brand is just harder to light & manage the fire
  • Shampoo: both DH and I have difficult to manage unruly wave & curl. So we buy the salon stuff and don’t struggle to manage. But I do wait for the buy-one-get-one, which halves our expenditure
  • Beer: I haven’t bought Beer Beer (remember the white cans with the UPI scan logo?) in years. We are a make-our-own or buy microbrew family
  • Toothpaste: I was a Crest Kid and am now a Crest Adult.
  • Gasoline: I will not purchase from no-name-brands or CITGO. Citgo for political reasons, no-names for watered down gas that caused an engine failure when I was in college
  • (confession. and I know you’ll be upset) Cigarettes: I know! I know! I’ll quit! I swear! Another post will detail how stupid and reckless this habit is, but I do and now you know and now you think I’m an idiot, and now I know that you know and that I know that you’re right! *ducking*. Again with the minor virtuousness, mine are a major retailed brand that often has the ‘keep them smoking’ buy-one-get-one promotions or major coupons, while DH smokes an ORGANIC brand that is like $2 more per pack and NEVER gets couponed or on sale or promotionally buy-one-get-one

But that’s about it. I might have left something off, but pretty much everything else is store-brand or not-major branded.

How about you?

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September 12, 2008

Small Victories!

Filed under: Family Financial Makeover,Lil One,Planning,Saving — mmsmoney @ 12:00 pm
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So based on the FFM (Family Financial Makeover -I’m gonna copyright/trademark that if I can) I went to the credit union and set up three new savings accounts, in addition to the one I already had:

Share Savings 01:  Primary savings – for holding the buffer. Balance: $230 (it was $260, but I transferred $10 to each of the new accounts). It’s still pitiful and sad though!

Share Savings 02: Major Emergency Fund – for building up 6 mos of expenses – which is at this point (including our slash & burn of the budget) roughly $18,000. This would cover us in terms of that major disaster deductible on DH’s business insurance or in the event of my losing my job. Not both – so we’ll have to re-address this goal as money starts piling up. Balance: $10

Share Savings 03: Car Replacement Fund – for the eventual replacement of my vehicle. My 13-year-old rattletrap which I love and cherish and whisper sweet “do not die on me” nothings to every single day. Balance: $10

Share Savings 04: Baby College Fund. With a grand total of $20 in it. Wait! What’s that you say? My numbers don’t add up? You’re right! My branch manager, who knows my name you know!, let me know that for college savings accounts, the credit union puts in their own $10. So free $10 for Lil One! Woot!

Now I know some of you would say, why local Credit Union with its measly 1.5% interest on savings accounts? Why not ING or HSBC or some other bank? Well, I plan on converting each of the values in these accounts to other accounts when they get built-up. A combo of 3, 6, 9, 12 mo. CDs (see below) and for baby-girl, an educational investment instrument of some sort that I haven’t yet researched. So for now, until we’re dough-rolling, I’m happy to have these monies socked away closer to home.

Oh, and I opened another account too – the credit union version of a Certificate of Deposite is a Share Certificate. Normally, the minimum initial deposit is $1000 and earns 4.1% (12 month – I think the 6 month ones earn slightly less). But right now, they are running a promotion to attract members who might not be able to affort the minimum deposit. SO I bought a share certificate that can be augmented with additional funds throughout the term for $10. And it earns 6%!!! Upon thinking about it, I should have put baby’s CF amount in that, but they wouldn’t have matched it. And I can always earmark the Share Cert for Baby Girl when we are wealthy and almost debt free next September. I just can’t exceed the 1000 or the entire thing becomes a normal Share Cert – which is weird. What if it had 990 and earned interest to top 1000? Would the whole thing then lose the special rate? I am so uneducated and Sometimes don’t ask enough questions!

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