Tuesday, January 31, 2012

500 Fans Appreciation #Giveaway!! CLOSED

Thank you all so much for liking my Facebook page, I now have over 500 fans!!  That's not nearly as many as other bloggers but that's pretty good for only having the blog for a month now.  I truly appreciate each one of you.  Superpoints is an invite only website that rewards you for opening an email they send you or clicking a "Super Lucky Button" on their website and you get some great prizes.  The Superpoints sign up is optional but the invite links only work for one person each so you have to fill out the form in the Rafflecopter in order to get an invite.  The only mandatory entries are to read and agree to the Terms and Conditions and to leave a comment but the more tasks you complete the more entries you will have in the giveaway.  If you have any problems with the Rafflecopter form please email me at adventuresofsasha@gmail.com.  Thanks again!!

Now if you want me to double the prize to $10 make sure you like this status.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Giveaway!! Win $100 and a Visalus Balance Kit!! CLOSED

This event is sponsored by Drink Yourself Skinny, an Independent Distributor of the Body By Vi 90 Day Challenge. The 90 Day Challenge is not just a weight loss program, it is a health and wellness program that can help you lose weight, tone up, or build muscle. Visalus offers those looking to become healthy the ability to refer 3 of their friends or family to the program and get their monthly kit for free. Plus everyone who joins the Challenge is eligible for the prizes, trips, and rewards offered by the company. Every 90 days new winners are chosen in several categories for the biggest overall transformation to win prizes like Hollywood make-overs and Tropical Cruises.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 20, 2012

Shop online? Check out this great site!

If you are like me you like things to be simple, quick, and easy.  If you want to save time and headaches looking for the right product at the right price you have to check out become.com.  Become.com has so many great items to choose from.  Compare prices from many different marketplaces all from one location.  Become.com has Affinity Index Rating technology that sets it apart from all other search engine websites.  What this technology does is reduce the amount of irrelevant content from showing up in your search so you don't have to waste time going through a lot of non-related items.

Need a new soup bowl because your son or daughter (or you) dropped your good one and it shattered?  Take a look at these high quality small soup bowls. Hosting a party but don't have any nice dinnerware? Check out the contemporary square dinnerware sets.  Having the in-laws or maybe your boss over and you want to make a great impression? Check out the different Wallace Vaughn stainless hostess sets available.  You can search by brand or price range, making it super easy to narrow down your choices and find what's just right for you.  You can also search by store if you want to.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bloggers, signup for a giveaway for free!!

ViSalus is committed to championing Life, Health and Prosperity around the world – supporting people to achieve whatever personal victories they set their mind to.
Bloggers who would you like to participate in a Giveaway for $100 and a Visalus Balance Kit to gain fans for your Facebook page for FREE can participate by promoting this event and then posting the Giveaway and will then receive one Facebook Rafflecopter entry per blog you participate with. All you need to do in order to participate is promote the FREE event letting your fellow bloggers know about it so they will sign up. All bloggers are welcome to participate. There is no minimum stats or maximum amount of bloggers allowed.
Please fill in this form to let them know you would like to participate. All information about the Giveaway including information about the post itself and the Rafflecopter code will be posted in the Facebook group. Giveaway will go live on 1/24 at 12:01am and posts should be live no later then 10am that day. You will be asked to include a short paragraph of information in your Giveaway post with a link back to the sponsors site (can be follow or no follow).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Newbie Quickie Giveaway #2 Lots of Great Prizes To Win!! CLOSED

  Ready for Round Two?!!
Last week, a group of Newbie Bloggers joined together to give you all some great prizes. The winners are announced on the Quickie Giveaway post, but we're back and ready to offer some more prizes!!
When you're a Newbie Blogger, one of the most important things you can do is connect with other great bloggers who want to help and are willing to share their tips and tricks. The Newbie Blog Hop started so that we could connect with other Newbies and learn together!!
The Newbie Blog Hop, hosted by GoingCrazy!!WannaGo??!! and Life's Cheap Thrills, opens every Tuesday at 9pm CST and closes at midnight on Friday. We have a Facebook Group where we share with each other as we learn together.
If you are a Newbie Blogger - or you "feel" new - come join us!!

Thing that I refuse to go cheap on

Anyone who knows me would say that I am a frugal person.  I will get a lemon water with my meal when eating out, I look for the best deals and use coupons in order to maximize my savings, I will wait for a movie to make it to the "dollar theater" so that I don't pay 10 times as much to see the same movie (it usually hits the dollar theater a few weeks later) and I even sneak snacks into the movie theater since they make their profit by jacking up the price on snacks. That said there are some things that I absolutely refuse to be frugal about.

  • A bed - I have back problems from a mixture of scoliosis and a bad car accident back in March 2010.  I will admit that I tried to save money by sleeping on an air mattress and my back was killing me.  My then boyfriend (now fiance) said that I needed to buy a quality mattress or else my back would get worse and I am so thankful that he made me go buy it.  It ended up costing me $750 (it was a queen-sized Serta) but I don't regret the decision at all!  It was heaven!!  
  • A car - My first 3 cars were junkers and although I didn't spend much to buy them I spent a lot in repairs.  After my second gas leak on my car (the gas line had rusted out) I decided to buy a more reliable, newer, used car.  I ended up buying a '02 Honda Civic that was in great condition.  No rust (which is rare to find on an older car in Upstate NY) and I paid cash for it :)  I had been saving up money because I knew my car would have a problem sooner or later since it was so old and since I didn't have much of a credit history I knew I would get stuck in a loan with a high interest rate and get taken advantage of.
  • A house - I have not bought a house yet but I know when that time comes that I will not just buy the cheapest house because this is a huge investment and I will be living in the house for years and I don't want to regret my decision.
  • Home improvements - Again, I have not had to make decisions or pay for this type of thing but when that time comes I will not skimp on quality because that will just cause problems down the road with either something breaking or it will bring down the value of the house because it "looks cheap".
  • Insurance - I don't want to be in a predicament where I skimped on health insurance, or any insurance for that reason, and then when I really needed it I end up paying more out of pocket because something is not covered under the cheaper plan.  I made this mistake with the Honda because I never increased the car insurance from Liability to Full Coverage when I bought the Honda.  My earlier cars were so old and devalued that there was no point in paying more than liability on the car.  I ended up sliding on black ice on my way to work one morning and slamming into the guardrail and because I only had Liability coverage none of the repairs were covered by my insurance company.  My mechanic said that I should just try to sell it as is and I took his advice and sold it for $2800, which was less than half of what it was worth.  I ended up losing a lot of money and learned a valuable lesson. 
What is something that you refuse to be "cheap" about?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Heat Up Your Valentine’s Day Giveaway, Win a Kindle Fire!!! CLOSED

Enter to win a Kindle Fire from BeeSavy!!  The first three entries (signing up for BeeSavy, liking my FB page, and following me on Twitter) are mandatory, these will be verified and if these are not done you will be disqualified and all of your entries will be void.  If you already have a BeeSavy account but still wish to enter you will have to set up a new account with a different email address.  This giveaway will run from January 16th at 12:01am until February 15th at 12:01am so come back on Monday to enter and return everyday for extra entries.  Good luck to everyone!  CLICK ON READ MORE TO SEE THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Stay a Stay At Home Mom's Couponing: The Extreme Video Course {Review}

I was asked by Rayven at Stay a Stay At Home Mom to review her video course on Extreme Couponing.  If you are looking to learn the ins and outs of couponing or expand your knowledge this is the course for you!  Check out this video explaining what you can get out of the course:

This video course is over 90 minutes long but is broken up into smaller segments so that you can go through it at your own pace. There are 14 parts and 2 bonus videos. You will also get a couponing workbook as well as access to a members only resource website.  I use coupons quite frequently but I learned a lot from the course and I plan to incorporate the tips and tricks I have learned into my weekly shopping trips.  I highly suggest this video course as it has a ton of great information, has a great pace to it, and uses easy to understand language and vocabulary.

If you are interested in more information about this video course go here.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dissecting Retirement Accounts

As promised I am going to explain the pros and cons of different retirement accounts.  Feel free to ask questions in the comments if you want to know anything that I didn't cover or if something is unclear.


A 401k account is a retirement account that is set up through your job that encourages you to save for retirement.  Don't worry about the name, it is just the tax code.  Most employers will "match" your contributions up to a certain amount.  For example, my old job would match 50 cents to every $1 I contributed up to 6% so as long as I contributed at least 6% of my paycheck before taxes I would get a full match.  This is free money so if your job offers this and you are not participating I encourage you to get this set up, the more time you put it off the more money you are missing out on.

Traditional IRA

A Traditional IRA is an Individual Retirement Account in which you contribute a certain amount, whatever you choose up to the yearly limit, and reduce your taxes for that year.  Here's an example, say you made $20,000 at your job and you decided to put $3,000 into a Traditional IRA that same year.  When filing you taxes you would list your income as $17,000 instead of $20,000 and only pay taxes on the $17,000.  Instead of paying $1,355 in taxes you would pay $905 and cut your tax bill by $450.


  • Receive a tax break when filing your taxes for the year you contributed.
  • While the money is in the account you will not pay taxes, you will pay taxes when you retire.
  • You can take the money out penalty free to pay for a house or college for yourself or your child but you will have to pay taxes when you withdraw the money.
  • Every time you take money out in retirement you will have to pay taxes at your current tax rate, which keep in mind might be higher than your tax rate now.
  • Once you turn 70 1/2, even if you don't need the money, you will be forced to start withdrawing money because the government wants their money, in taxes, since you got the tax break when you contributed to the account.
Roth IRA

A Roth IRA is a little different from a Traditional IRA, you don't get the initial tax break when you contribute to the account. 

  • Just as with a Traditional IRA you don't pay taxes on any of the money while it is in the account but you also don't pay taxes in retirement either.  Whether you withdraw $5,000 or $5 million you will not pay any taxes in retirement.
  • Because you didn't get a tax break on the money contributed you can take any amount that you have contributed, but not your earnings, at any time for ANY reason because you already paid taxes on that money.  This means that you can take everything that you have contributed out for a vacation penalty and tax free.  I do not recommend this, of course.
  • As soon as you turn 59 1/2 you can begin to withdraw you earnings if you wish to do so.
  • If you pass away and the money that goes to your spouse, children, or any heir, they will not have to pay taxes on the money either.
  • You do not get a tax break when you contribute the money but this is the only con that I can think of
(My opinion is that the Roth IRA is a better investment)

*With any retirement account you can only contribute up to a certain amount, $5,000 for 2011 (or $6,000 if you are 50 or older) for both IRAs discussed earlier (not $5,000 for each account, only $5,000 for either account) and $16,500 (or $22,000 if 50 or older) for a 401k account but only if you have earned that amount or more during that year.  If you only earned $15,000 in 2011 you can only contribute $15,000 to a 401k account even if you have some money in a savings account.

**If your spouse is not working you can still contribute to that account, up to the yearly limit as long as you have earned that much.  For example, if you made at least $10,000 in 2011 you could contribute the maximum in each account. 

If a person in their early 20s puts $25/week into an IRA by the time they retire they will have over $1.1 million if their return is 10% (the average historical return in the stock market).  Check it out on moneychimp.com if you don't believe me.

Sources: irs.gov/publications/P590/index.html
MarksJarvis, Gail. Saving For Retirement Without Living Like a Pauper or Winning the Lottery. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc., 2007. Print.

Concrete posts to come later today, I promise!!

The reason I haven't been writing much on here is because I haven't written about anything that I am passionate about so I promise that later today I will write some concrete posts.  I will cover some retirement tips and explain the pros and cons of different accounts as well as other financial advice.  I want this blog to be about a ton of different topics, not just one.  So until later...


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Earthquake!! While the bed was shaking I was...sleeping!

There was a 5.3 earthquake last night and guess what?!?!  My fiance and I slept right through it!!  Crazy right?

Have you ever slept through an earthquake or other major storm?

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Eve Celebration

Here are some pictures of our New Year's Eve celebration.  What did you do on New Year's Eve?

Can you guess which one is me?? Clue:  I stick out like a sore thumb! This is only a small portion of his family...

Beverages for the evening :)
Toasting with Mamá (My fiancé's grandmother)
Tia (Aunt) Mayra chasing away bad luck so we could have a good 2012
She set the garbage on fire, lol!
The Midnight Kiss :)
Eating 12 grapes (one for each month of the year)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The First Sunrise of 2012

This was the first sunrise of 2012 and the first sunrise I have ever seen.  We stayed up all night and then headed to the beach to watch it rise.  We didn't get home and in bed until 9:30am but it was definitely worth it, it was so much fun!!

What did you do for New Year's Eve?

(The people in the background were just people in the way of the shot)

New Year's Resolution

This year my New Year's Resolution is to take a few words that I don't already know and learn the meaning of them as well as all the conjugations of them.  I want to do this every day in order to use the language every day.  Some of my fiance's family know English (not fluently but they know enough) but his mother, father, and grandmother do not so it forces me to use it.

What are your New Year's Resolutions or Goals for 2012?