You can win something cool every week on the MOM Blog!
Check here daily and see what the next great thing just might be.
The Oberto outlet store in Albany is having a parking lot sale for Independence Day. I love to stock up on snacks for summer fireworks, camping and roadtrips. I usually have jerkey in the car. When you're on the run, it's easy to curb the appetite with a healthier snack than a drive-thru. And the kids still feel like they're getting a fun snack.
June 29th - July 3rd. FREE BBQ hot dogs with any purchase. Oberto Factory Store is at 3009 Pacific Blvd. SW, Albany. 541-926-2081
Another week, and another chance to win Corvallis Knights baseball tickets courtesy of OSU Federal, Your Community Credit Union. The July 3rd game will feature one of the best fireworks displays in the valley and be a big bang for you and your family.
The game is this week so please post your financial questions by Thursday, at which time I will reveal the final two winners. For full details please check out the original post here.
Enjoy the great summer week and get the questions in.
I just love the questions. It is amazing how many people are wondering the same thing. By posting these questions, you not only help yourself, but others. Thank you for doing this.
Today I will answer the winning questions, then next week I will answer the remaining.
EmmyG was wondering how much you should have in savings. Emmy, it is best to have at least three to six months of expenses in an emergency savings account. However, this should not limit you. You can also have set-aside savings for things such as property taxes, vacations, or holidays.
Hosersgirl asked about the first time home buyer credit of $8,000 and how do you get it. I had to do some digging on that one. The first time home buyer credit is a tax credit that you will receive when you file 2009's tax return or if you are using the FHA program the credit will go to your down payment.
Thank you so much for these great questions. Stay tuned for the answers on the remaining questions next week. We will be contacting EmmyG and Hosersgirl to distribute their Corvallis Knights Baseball tickets for July 3.
Last week we awarded two moms with a set of four tickets each. I need more questions this week. Questions can range from credit to dealing with emergency expenses. See if your financial questions can get you four tickets to the July 3 Corvallis Knights baseball game.
When I was growing up in Umpqua Valley, my parents frequently took our family to Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon. My siblings and I loved seeing all the animals that Wildlife Safari had to offer - from apes to zebras. Now that I am a MOM, it's a no brainer that I want to pass this family tradition onto my boys.
Recently, my boys and I took a day trip to Winston specifically for the purpose of enjoying all that Wildlife Safari had to offer. We packed a picnic lunch, drinks, and snacks for the drive and set out on our adventure! We arrived around 11 am and was greeted by a very informative guide at the information booth. One of the coolest parts of Wildlife Safari is that there is a whole Safari Village with many animals to see and it's FREE! My boys love watching the pink flamingos and even tried to name each of them! In the Village there is also a train to ride (for a small fee), petting zoo, and playground for kids.
Wildlife Safari also has a drive through park where you can pay per person to drive through and look at animals from all over the world - the Americas, Africa, Asia, etc. During our drive through the park, my boys marveled as two brown bears played in muddy water. They watched amazingly as a very tall giraffe came within about 10 feet of our van. My youngest exclaimed, "I think that giraffe is even taller than YOU, Mom!" I laughed because I am only 5'3" and MOST things are taller than me. I was touched that he compared my "tall" hieghth to the giraffe.
The absolute highlight of the trip for my two boys was when we paid to have two elephants wash our van. You read that right...we paid to have elephants wash our car! The boys roared with laughter when, time after time, the elephants dipped their trunks in the water and then squirted it all over our van! Then one of the elepants picked up a sponge and actually wiped our car a couple of times. And, just like any good car-washer...they rinsed the van after washing it!
My boys and I go to Wildlife Safari several times per year and it seems like there is always something new to see or do each time. I encourage all MOM Magazine readers to hop in the car and take their families to this wonderful Oregon destination!
Help me out
Comment below with favorite Oregon places to visit on your road trip. And check out our Road trip photo contest, for a chance to win a gas card.
We're getting ready to take a road trip to Utah. People think I'm crazy when I say I'm looking forward to the 13.5 hour drive, but it's true. Part of preparing for the road trip means getting our travel journals ready. I'm a big journaler & scrapbooker, so this is something I try to do everywhere we go. I LOVE that my daughter shares this passion and is old enough to actually do it...several times today I've heard "mommy, can we work on our journals a little more?" I got her journal in the $1 bin at Michael's...mine was a blank one I had on hand that I decorated with scrapbook stuff.
I printed out a map of our route, and Mia pasted it in the front of her journal. Every time we make a stop, she can put a sticker on our location so she can track our progress. We packed a small stash of craft supplies that we'll take with us, and we'll work on them (hopefully) every night before bed. I usually write down what we did, the weather, funny things that happened, etc. We can paste memorabilia in there and leave space for pictures. Mia can't really write, but she'll tell me what she wants to say and I'll write it, or I'll encourage her to draw pictures of things that she thought was interesting or fun.
Mia has some pre-trip thoughts she's already had me record: "It's going to be a long trip, I hope I can make it. I don't think I'll fall asleep."
Help me out!
Comment below with favorite places to stop on your road trip.
All the questions this week were great. The questions touched on many topics that I am frequently asked.
#21's Mom! - I am afraid your friend is correct. Credit limits are being decreased with or without customer notification. This is a change in the current economic times. Previously credit card companies were more than happy to increase your credit limits with the same notification.
hosersgirl – hosersgirl asked if credit scores have dropped since the decreased available credit. Your credit score is still calculated the same way based on your payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit in use. The decrease in the available credit can have a negative effect on your credit score since it will increase your debt utilization ratio. This is the percent of the used available balance. It is preferred that a consumer use no more than 30% to 40% of the available credit.
Kristin Smith - The ability to purchase a house is based on many factors, your credit score is one. That is where a foreclosure or short-sale will affect a person. A foreclosure will be reflected on the credit report for seven years. The impact of that action will diminish as time progress. If a short-sale was done prior to the foreclosure and all debts paid, whether it be through a loan or forgiven by the creditor, there should be no impact on your score. However, if the short-sale was done in conjunction to a foreclosure, then the impact on the credit score will be the same as the foreclosure.
Georgia – How many credit cards are too many to have open at one time? I believe an adult does not need more than one or two credit cards. This is due to the fact that the spending temptation increases with each piece of plastic in our wallets. Closing out extra credit cards will temporarily lower your score. However, the long-term and personal benefits can exceed the impact to your score.
Nikki - As the economy continues to retract, creditors are looking for the least risky customers. That is shown through high credit scores. Credit scores range from 300 to 850. The scores that are considered best are climbing. So if a person with a 710 credit score was “A” quality at one time, the score may have now increased to 720 to qualify for “A” rates.
Krista - I struggle with that same issue of explaining the value of money and that it does not just appear to my kids . To help my kids, I have them do basic chores in the house just because we all need out to help to make the house work. Extra chores are there if they want something special such as a baseball bat or a game. I also hold them accountable for the quality of the chores based on age. Once they start making money, you will find it interesting on how they actually do spend their money. My son wanted a quarter for popcorn at school. I asked him about money in his piggy bank. He said he did not want to spend it:-) Be careful they will learn what you teach them.
kimberlr - Credit card companies raise rates on anything they may perceive makes the consumer more risky. Higher interest rates are given to higher risk consumers. However, one late payment does not mean you are riskier. It means you are human. Recently a new law was signed stopping this from happening without due notification from the credit card company. I always believe we can ask for anything. Call the credit card company and ask for your rate to be lowered. This works for asking for fees to be refunded, if you have a legitimate reason. If the credit card company is unresponsive, contact your financial institution and see about what they will offer you. It may be a lower rate since you have a relationship with them. Then transfer your balance.
It was a hard choice this week, but I can only award two winners. So, CONGRATULATIONS Kristin Smith and kimberlr. We will be contacting you with instructions on picking up your Corvallis Knights tickets for the July 3 Fireworks Night. Please keep the questions coming. We have two more weeks remaining to win tickets for simply throwing your financial questions my way---thanks!
Take dad to the Allstate Festival of Balloons in Tigard.
Watching the balloons launch is an unforgettable event for the whole family!
The Day Light
Weather permitting, the balloon ascension will be from 5:45 AM - 6:15 AM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. Come early, enjoy the All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast from Hayden's Lakefront Grill, and watch the teams assemble and inflate their crafts. Stay afterwards to experience some of the other events throughout the day, like a carnival and car show.
The Night Glow
Friday and Saturday evenings offer a chance to experience the wonder of the NW Natural Night Glow and great live music on the Comcast stage.
Did you get some great photos of the kids and balloons? Send them to us so we can share them with our readers! Email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goss Stadium is the best place in the valley to watch fireworks! Great game, great seats, great food...And we've saved a seat for you! Six moms will win a set of 4 tickets to the game and fireworks show for July 3rd.
Win family tickets:
I'm here to answer your financial questions. Just ask me a question in the comments for this blog post. I'll enter you into a drawing to win four Corvallis Knights baseball tickets to the July 3rd game and fireworks show.
Ever wonder how your credit report impacts your life? Now's your chance to ask. For example:
- Has the economy changed the credit report system?
- What is a good credit score now?
- Can you help me get a copy of my credit report?
Be sure to log in so we can contact winners. Post your question as a comment on this post. Each week, I will announce two winners and answer their questions. If you don't win at first, come back and post another question next week.
Good luck ~ Money MOM, Anissa
Comment now for a chance to win!
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