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The Lowery Blog

Yard Sale Challenge Results

I am happy to announce that we won the yard sale challenge!! We chose 4 more tickets to Holiday World. We plan to take a short vacation with friends for a couple of days and have a little fun before school starts back.

Breanna's 13th Birthday

I can't believe that my mini me is turning 13.  This is going to be a very special day.  She is going to have 5 of her friends come over.  They will go to the mall in a limo and shop for summer clothes.  After leaving the mall, they will go to Atlantis Waterpark for a little fun in the sun. 

The girls will bring money for shopping and Atlantis Waterpark and I will provide the Limo (got a great deal) and pizza.

Yard Sale #2 and #3 

We had the yard sale three Saturdays in a row. It was a blast!! We had people stop by as they were walking, a couple stopped by while riding bikes and a couple on a golf cart as well. Too funny!! We even had a guy come by and ask if I had a "junk lawnmower". I didn't even have a lawn mower out but I did have an old lawn mower in my shed- SOLD!!   The part that I enjoyed the most was meeting people and seeing how excited they were to get a good deal. 

Stay tuned to see if we win this challenge!

Yard Sale

Okay, we were ready for this.  We had everything out by 7:30 am.  I had my little notebook ready to record what was sold and what we made……..Oh and I had my little change purse with quarters, nickles and dimes.  We ran into a problem- it began raining.

Plan B Bring everything in the house and line it up against the walls until next week.

We did however, have a few people stop by.  One customer filled up the backseat of her car purchasing Items from the playroom.  We made offers that they couldn't refuse.  We had a good time and are hoping for better weather next weekend. 

Preparing for the next challenge

I am so excited about having a few yard sales.  The program definitely gives you the incentive to do things that aren't at the top of your "To Do" list.  After cleaning out Breanna's play room, we realized how many items we found that have never been opened.  I can't even remember the last time Breanna went in the playroom.  Our game plan is to send out an e-mail to family and friends with the date, have items very organized, post a few signs, and have fun!!

April 22, 2011 

Hey Friends and Family!

I wanted to give you an update- Breanna and I tied with another family for the last challenge :) We won 4 tickets to Holiday World!! Thank you so much for posting comments and helping us with the challenge.

Here's the challenge for April, May and June: We have to have a yard sale during this timeframe. The family that makes the most money will win the challenge. So I will keep you posted as to when this will take place and be sending out a list of items that will be sold. Here's a sneak peak: I will sell a futon, plenty of Breanna's clothes, toys (Bratz dolls, clothes stuffed animals).

More to come.....

April 20, 2011

Hey Friends and Family,

Breanna and I are participating in a program/contest with Park Community Federal Credit Union called "Saving Families".  The program/contest reminds me of the Biggest Loser, but instead of losing weight, our goal is to eliminate debt.  We are competing with three other families to win the contest.  The criteria for winning is based off of a point system.  You get points for meeting with your advisor, credit score increasing, paying off debt, participating in monthly challenges etc.

The program provides a financial advisor/coach that works with each family to review financial stability along with providing tools to make better decisions.  The program is sponsored by Fox 41 which will show commercials featuring the families. 

Now, here's where I need your help.  We have a monthly challenge where the families compete for prizes and points towards winning the contest overall. The challenge for January/February is to send blogs weekly and see which family can get the most comments posted during this timeframe. Help!!! I need you to comment on each blog weekly ( I will send a weekly reminder when it's posted). This will allow Breanna and I to win points and gain momentum in the contest.  And of course, forward to anyone that you think may want to participate with us J

To get to the blogs, follow the instructions below:

 

  • Go to www.parkcommunity.com
  • Click on the Savings Families Challenge 2 link in the upper right hand corner
  • Scroll down and click on the Family Blog under Team Lowery
  • Click Ok on the disclaimer
  • Review the weekly blog and post a comment

Oh, by the way, we won the challenge for December!!  Read the Blog and you'll find out how J

Thanks,

Trina

 

March 3, 2011

Yes! We're making progress 

We are now halfway through the Saving Families Program/Contest and we have made progress.  One trend that Dee (my coach) identified was that I transfer funds online frequently. To ensure that I did not move funds online, my accounts are set up as "inquiry only".  I have to go to the bank branch if I need to move funds.  Breanna now has a savings account with funds deposited automatically twice a month.  My savings account is actually building versus withdrawing the funds as quickly as they are deposited.  

A really big win- My credit score has increased over 100 points since the program began (six months ago).  The new credit score put me in the position to refinance my car and include one credit card.  My APR was reduced by 4% .  Then it was time to get on the phone to find out if any other bills could be reduced.  I contacted my car insurance provider and they could not reduce my car insurance at this time however, they decreased my home insurance by $200.  What a blessing this program has been to us!!!



February 7, 2011

Just Say No!!

One of the things that has been a major challenge for me is staying away from the ATM machine.  The temptation is greater because there is one conveniently placed in the building I work in.  I would normally "bump into it" on my way out and get a $20 or two, but this quickly adds up without realizing it.  Okay, so I make a deal with my advisor to stop "bumping into it". Then here comes the next challenge……the cash back option at stores.  This has been a MAJOR struggle, but when I get to Wal-Mart, Target, and Meijer and pay for the items purchased, when the cash back option appears……I need to take a deep breath and JUST SAY NO!!!

 

January 26, 2011

A message that changed my thought process 

Breanna and I belong to Canaan Christian Church.  Pastor Malone has preached to the congregation many times about the importance of Stewardship.  I knew that I had not been tithing the way that I should and didn't think that I could after looking at the balance in my account (on a daily basis).  Excuses, right?  On one particular Sunday Pastor Malone's message changed my thought process.  While preaching and teaching about Stewardship, he said "If you want to know who you worship, look at your bank statement".  He said, "Do you worship Dillard's, Macy's, restaurants, etc"?  Wow!!  That hit home for me.

My advisor (Dee) has a spreadsheet that she sends to me monthly, that basically tells me where I am spending.  It's broken down by: restaurants, shopping, ATM withdrawals, checks, etc.  I did not realize how much money I was wasting until this was put right in front of my face.  I'm not there yet, but I am aware and working towards my bank statement telling me that I am worshiping GOD.

Trina Lowery

 

January 19, 2011 

Team Lowery won the December Challenge

For December, the challenge was to come up with the most ideas on how we made it through the holidays without adding debt.  We came up with many creative ways to buy gifts without adding debt.  Here are a few examples:  No credit card charges- cash/debit only, I started selling Avon- Extra earnings, bought gifts from Avon at a discounted price, Sold a desktop computer for $50 etc.  The list went on and on- but it worked. 

For winning the December challenge we received tickets to see the Harlem Globe Trotters along with a gift card to Wicks.  We had the opportunity to see the Yum Center and the Harlem Globe Trotters for the first time and it was amazing.  We are ready for the January/February challenge…..

 

Dec. 21, 2010

Becoming organized, you might find a nice surprise…..

In the past I would normally change purses to match what I was wearing for the day, but I had not changed purses in quite a while. I have been carrying the same gray purse for months.  This morning, I picked out an orange sweater which matched this orange purse that I have.  Finally, I took the time to change purses.  I had to clean out the orange purse first.  To my surprise, I found a gift card to Justice for $25 AND a gift card to Victoria Secrets for $15.  There were plenty of items that I needed to just throw away, but the two gift cards were definitely a pleasant and nice surprise.  Not to mention perfect timing!!

 

Dec. 14, 2010 Online Yard Sale 

During the colder months you don't find many people having the traditional outdoor yard sale.  After taking a glance at the playroom, I thought it would be a great idea to have an online yard sale to sale some of the items that have been sitting and not being used.  Now, I want this to be really simple.  Breanna and I will clean out the playroom and make a list of items along with the dollar amount we would sale the item for.  Next, create a word document with this information and e-mail it to an audience that would be interested.  

Small problem- convincing my daughter to go along with the plan. Here's what we agreed on:  She will get 1/3 rd of the money made.  I gave her an example:  If we make $30, you will get $10 and I will get $20.  SOLD!!!  Breanna was happy with our agreement and more than willing to depart with many items in the play room now.  She is planning to buy Christmas gifts with her earnings.  I will keep you updated with the outcome.

Trina

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