Netflix: A Year & a Half Later

I was perusing (word of the day!) some financial articles this morning, and came across this one from July, 2011.  (Click here to read the entire article.)  I’m interested to hear your opinion about Netflix a year and a half after their controversial decisions. My interest in the subject is mostly to see how the market will react to a company’s decision-making process.  2 million plus people were outraged with price increases, but it doesn’t seem to have effected them negatively too much.


Thank You, Netflix. And No, That’s Not Sarcasm. | Control Your Cash: Making Money Make SensePeople are never satisfied. 2-year old Netflix replaced standard movie rentals by mail with its famed subscription model in 1999. The model worked almost the same way that it does now: you paid $ x a month to rent as many movies as you wanted, but no more than three simultaneously.

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If you’re interested in further reading…

Here is Netflix’s 3rd quarter earnings report, which touts “more than 29 million streaming members in the United States, Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Nordics…”


Here is a synopsis of that report.

So, let me know – are you a Netflix subscriber? Physical DVDs or streaming only?

Best Way to Save Money on Medical Expenses?


Don’t get sick!


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Ever Thought of Fasting From Spending?

$ Fasting


I’ve been sick this week, so haven’t been able to post about my sweet kiddos’ birthday party (and my frugal and fun cake win!!), but I did want to share with you guys an interesting link I came across about financial fasting.

The author and her husband, once a year, go on a financial fast. They don’t stop ALL spending (food, bills, etc. are still taken care of), but they commit to not spending anything extra: using up excess food in the pantry & fridge, fixing or doing without broken items, that sort of thing.

I hope you’ll head over to Money Saving Mom and read the article.

Final Halloween Roundup


Halloween2012, a set on Flickr.

Here’s what my kids finally decided on for Halloween. And the best part? We only spent $3!

Donate to Help Hurricane Sandy Victims – with iTunes

CBBC on Sandy


TUAW has a post this morning letting people know how to donate to the Red Cross for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Here’s the link that will open the iTunes Store and let you donate:

Open in iTunes


Finance Can Be Fun

…or at least it can be FUNNY!

Bridget at Money After Graduation says this is how she feels when she stops buying Starbucks in an effort to be more frugal. (For me, it’s Dr. Pepper.)


Or, how about when you have to say “No” to going shopping or out to eat with friends because you have no money?

Check out Money After Graduation and see some more personal finance funnies.

Scary Savings on Halloween Costumes

These guys are the reason this blog exists, the reason we struggle with debt, the purpose of our priorities and hard work.


In the scheme of our financial plan, Halloween costumes are on the bottom of the list. In the bigger picture of our kids’ happiness and enjoyment of their childhood, though, it plays an important part. So how do we reconcile these different priorities?

I’ve spent a lot of time listening to my kids over the last few weeks as they planned what they wanted to be. I’ve heard a lot of interesting ideas. Sunday was our church’s Fall Festival, and I got to see other families’ creativity on display as well. It’s so much fun to see all the different ideas that people have, and the way they express themselves.

I wanted to share an example of the costumes I saw last night, and the ones my children chose. Maybe you can get some ideas, but most of all I hope it will remind you that a little bit of creativity can go a long way in ANY situation!

 Lesson 1: Accessorize

This little beauty was at our Fall Festival on Sunday. Her mom said they bought her dress on Etsy, added a lei and Stitch, and – viola – it’s Lilo! It’s the perfect example of creativity – and it worked out so beautifully!

There are several things I love about this one: the dress can be worn for much more than just a Halloween costume, and all it took to make it effective was adding a prop.

Another example of this is my son’s “Spiderman” costume. We already had the mask lying around the house, but didn’t have an actual Spiderman costume. I added sweatpants and a t-shirt, but he still wasn’t impressed – until I handed him a bottle of silly string for Spiderman’s web! Once he had that, he felt like Spiderman, and was completely content.

What do you have lying around the house that you can upcycle into a costume?

Lesson 2: Reuse

My little miss 2yo

My mom bought this costume 3 years ago for $4. My older son wore it two years in a row, and now my daughter is wearing it. They’ve also used it for dress-up in the time between. A dab of face paint (that we already had) on her nose was all she needed.

Total cost: $4 (3 years ago…but for our purposes today, we’ll count it)

Lesson 3: Be What You Are

Our older (much-too-old-looking) daughter

My daughter’s costume is always easy: she wants to be a ballerina. Since she IS a ballerina, we already have everything we need. This was a recital costume from two years ago. She was so excited to get to wear makeup with her costume; that was all the “extra” she needed to make it special.

Total cost: $0.00

Do you wear a uniform to work? Can you take what you already ARE and make it fun?

Lesson 4: Craft it

My middle son’s idea for a costume was simple: he wanted to be an Indian. He even said, “I know how to make a headband and feathers for it!” He’s not a “crafty” kind of kid, so I was excited about the chance to sit down with him and be creative. We used face paint to accessorize. I also had an old brown t-shirt I didn’t need anymore, so I fringed the bottom of the shirt and he wore it over blue jeans. The feathers didn’t turn out exactly like he pictured it “in his mind” (his words), but he was happy with it and we had fun together.

Lesson 5: Paint it

Kids (and adults, for that matter) love face paint. Take normal clothes, add a little (or a LOT) of paint, and you’ve got something eye-catching.  My oldest son has decided he wants to be a tree. (I know, I know…a TREE?) We decided on brown clothes, and we’ll cover his arms and face with brown face paint. We borrowed a green wig from grandma, and he plans to carry around some sort of stick or acorns to complete the effect.


Takeaway: Being creative and thinking outside the box can leave you with a unique and special result. Everyone can have a great time, and your kids will definitely not look like anyone else!

What ideas do you have for creative and unique costumes? Share in the comments or on Facebook!



Halloween Reading

Here are a few interesting links for this “holiday.”

(My kids, by the way, don’t understand why it’s a “holiday” if you don’t get out of school for it.)

Why You Should Do Things You’re Bad At
Despite the horrible grammar in the title, it’s an interesting article on why we should continually challenge ourselves in areas where we’re not as strong.  One result: It makes the days seem longer. Even if it doesn’t add years to your life (which is might), it at least makes the time SEEM like years longer!

Things You’re Wasting Your Money On
Not a whole lot new here, but it might be worth a look if you need to be reminded not to spend money on more cable channels than you really need.

7 Tips for Storing Children’s Clothes
Mama’s Laundry Talk is one of my favorite blogs – probably since laundry is the one area with which I struggle the most around this household full of 7 people, a dog and a cat. These are some great tips, and I’m going to start storing my kids’ off-season clothes in XL Ziploc Bags in order to save space!

Killer Gas Prices and Six Ways to Fight Back
I’m actually only including this link because it irritates me (the concept, not the article or writer themselves). Don’t warm up your car? Don’t leave the engine running? These are neither new nor effective tips, in my opinion.  We might as well call this category “done” and just label it “Gas Prices Suck and There’s Nothing You Can Do About It.”

iPad Mini Fills the Void

Because it’s funny…

Free Kindle Books 10/25/2012

Check out this list of free Kindle books!

(Remember you can read this on your iDevice – iPhone, iPod, iPad) – with the Kindle app.)

This may not last long, so check them out and comment with which ones you downloaded!

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