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thThe last movie-based giveaway drew 135 entries. That shouldn’t have surprised me, because relatively few people would turn down a free movie ticket. I’d like to win a free movie ticket myself.

But this week it’s your turn, not mine. The giveaway prize is a $10 card to AMC Theatres.

Think of it: At least one (and maybe more than one) movie you don’t have to pay to see. Just swipe that card and enter your local palace of dreams.


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thRegular readers already know about my daughter’s blog, I Pick Up Pennies. They probably also know about her 19th year, when she nearly died from a rare neurological disease.

Since then Abby has gone through a lot of physical and psychological torment. She spent a couple of years on disability due to a lack of jobs that meshed with the residual effects of Guillain-Barre syndrome. (The fact that she found not her “dream” job but the World’s Best Boss is miraculous.) Post-traumatic stress disorder and a mental health issue that’s finally been diagnosed as Bipolar II have made it hard to get through some days.

Her husband lost his job shortly before the wedding, and his own health issues have worsened to the point where he is now on disability. The two of them bought a house before they were really ready (i.e., before they had a big enough down payment) in order to take in his bankrupt parents.

A careless driver hit them and totaled the car that was supposed to have lasted them another four or five years. Home, car and other issues have continued to pop up (almost $17,000 in 2014 alone). In the past few years she has endured five miscarriages and is considering whether or not to try again.

So how’s she handling all this? With an astonishing perspective, if her current blog post is any indication.


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thWhat were you spending on gasoline six months ago? Nationwide, the cost of gasoline dropped for more than three months in a row starting in late September 2014.

According to the American Automobile Association, we’re paying an average $1.11 per gallon less than this time last year.

A question for long-haul commuters and casual drivers alike: Where’s that money now?

How to save money from falling gas prices,” my recent post on Get Rich Slowly, suggests that you don’t let this opportunity slip away.


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th-1Recently at the recycling center I found a few Box Tops For Education coupons in the mixed-paper bin. As I walked back toward my vehicle a woman rolled down her window and said, “Why are you going through the garbage?”

I told her I was looking for Box Tops For Education for my nephews’ schools. Also that I prefer to think of it as mixed paper.

The woman frowned. “Well, I don’t like it. Some of the stuff we throw in there is kind of sensitive. Private.”

Um. What?

It took me a couple of seconds to form a coherent response. “You should be shredding that stuff! If you throw personal information away without cutting it up you could have your identity stolen.”

She sniffed audibly, then drove off.

Readers: Do you ever throw away things like bank or credit card statements or health insurance info? If so, please stop it. Right now.


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Screen_Shot_2015-01-06_at_4.54.26_PM_t670In 2002 Kelly Sangree got fired. She was eight months pregnant, her (now-ex) husband earned only a quarter of what she did – and they’d already been having trouble paying the bills.

The couple struggled financially and ultimately broke up. Due to health issues (hers and a daughter’s) Sangree moved in with her parents and scrambled to contribute to the household while paying off debt accumulated during her marriage.

Sangree wrote a book about her experiences. If you’re facing reduced income for any reason – job loss, rapid debt repayment, an entrepreneurial dream – then “Hard Core Poor: A Book On Serious Thrift” can help.


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