SmartyPig Drops Check Fee and Vonage offers 20% off for Prepayment

Photo by: swanksalot

I’ve been out of town for the past few days on a business trip. That coupled with working on the Carnival of Personal Finance, I haven’t had a chance to complete/write more “normal” types of Gather Little by Little articles. The good news is I’m learning a great deal and I got the pleasure of having dinner with Green Panda and her husband (Blue Panda) which was awesome.

In lieu of having any major articles to share with you, I’ll share a couple of noteworthy news items that have arrived in my inbox over the past few days. I’ll return to my regularly scheduled programming tomorrow!

Winner of the $50.00 SmartyPig Gift of Savings!


Two weeks ago, I wrote a review of SmartyPig and discussed the features, capabilities, and summarized it by saying I really liked it and would be using it for my own savings. I also announced that I would be giving away a $50.00 gift card and the only catch was that you had to either be a current subscriber to Gather Little by Little or become a new subscriber and send me the secret phrase embedded at the bottom of each article in my RSS feed (which was Oink Oink by the way).

148th Edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance!

North Carolina

Welcome to the 148th edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance! I am beyond honored to be your host and had a great time reading through all of the excellent articles submitted. Let me tell you, being this is the first carnival I’ve ever posted, I had no idea how hard it was to pick the “editor’s picks”! All the articles were so great!

Without further rambling from me, here are all of the carnival entries organized by category. As you read through the carnivals, you’ll also receive a photo tour of my home state, North Carolina. I hope you enjoy it!

Sunday Lyrics: Washed in the water


Came across a new group this week, or at least new to me, while surfing the internet: NeedToBreathe and the song,  Washed in the water. The group has a really unique sound that’s a bit bluesy, which I really like. They are even good old southern boys from Greensboro, NC.

The song is a great reminder that when the world turns it’s back on you, God will never let you fall. For if you know Him, you are washed by the water.

Below are the lyrics to Washed in the Water, and you can watch the video here courtesy of YouTube.

A Good Example of A Bad Debt Collector

Coming for you
Photo by: mugley

The following is a guest post by Cindy from Oh My Aching Debts, where she blogs about surviving the tough times, getting out of debt, and saving money. If you like this post, consider subscribing to her RSS feed.

Having written a great deal on dealing with debt collectors and negotiating debt settlements, this story by Fox in Philadelphia caught my eye. “Debt Collector Says She Is Coming For You” is an interview with a six figure salary collection agent who loves her job and a look at what these calls do to the lives of the people who receive them.In the interview the woman gloats about insulting people to their wives, neighbors, employers as well as to themselves. She is good at what she does because she is good at intimidating people and scaring them. It works because people like you and I don’t know our rights.

The Friday Gathering: Japanese Maple Edition

Japanese Maple
Photo by: titanium22

This week has actually been a fairly normal week for us for a change. One of the highlights of this week for me has been our Japanese maples blooming. We have 6 in our yard total, and they are absolutely beautiful this time of year, especially my prized red lace maple.

The house we’ve been looking at received an offer the day before the inspector was supposed to take a look at it. Fannie Mae counter offered and we’re waiting to here how that turns out (and for the counter offer amount!). I put the inspector on hold until we see how the offer turns out. I didn’t want to spend $400.00 for nothing.

Why do I still have to carry cash?

Cash Only
Photo by: Andrew Ciscel

I’m trying really hard to stop using cash. But it seems no matter how hard I try, I run into some situation that requires cash. Some weeks back, we decided to take a ride on the new light rail system our city recently built. I did all the research online on where the stations were located, how to get there, and even how much it would cost. On the price page, both the Visa and Mastercard logos were prominently featured. Great, I can just use my debit card.

Coming soon: The 148th Carnival of Personal Finance

Photo by: rbrwr

Gather Little by Little will be hosting the 148th Carnival of Personal Finance next week. The carnival will be published on Monday, April 14th.

If you haven’t already done so, here’s your reminder to get those articles submitted and please, please, please read through and understand the submission rules before you submit.

This is the “mac-daddy” of carnivals in the personal finance world and it’s an extreme honor for Gather Little by Little to host it and I can’t wait to read all of your articles! What? Can’t wait until Monday? Head over to MoneyNing who hosted this weeks edition, #148!

10 Things not to do during an interview

Photo by: Antonio Bonanno

I’m an IT manager in the “real world” and as result, a pretty large portion of my time is spent interviewing potential candidates for both contract and full time IT positions. I interview for positions on my team and also assist other managers when they are interviewing. Lately, I’ve been interviewing far more than usual due to the high workload we currently have. I enjoy the interview process, as it provides me an opportunity to meet new people and expand my interpersonal and oral communication skills. I’m a bit of an introvert, so having to walk into a room and talk to a complete stranger is definitely out of my comfort zone, but interviewing has really helped.

What would you do? The house is a little rougher than we expected

Photo by: fabbio

On Friday, I wrote about a foreclosed home we found on the internet and were going to visit over the weekend. The house is on 16.5 acres of land, is approximately 4,200 square foot including the basement, has 5 bedrooms, a huge external shop and a large shed behind the shop. The land is surrounded by horse and cattle farms and is bordered on the back side by a large creek. This house on the surface seems to be exactly what we’ve been looking for. The price is right, it has plenty of room, and our children would love the land. The land is beautiful, the house? Well it’s another story…

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