Savvy Chic

tidbits, thoughts, and ramblings. . .with a Mormon twist

CheckMyFees.com–Loan Tool To Compare Your Rate September 18, 2008

I just learned of a new website (www.checkmyfees.com) that will help homeowners and prospective home buyers.  It allows those who are looking for a new loan or a purchase loan to compare either their current rate or the rate they have been quoted by others to people in their area.

There is a very short survey (about 30 seconds long) for people who have recently gotten a home loan, or have recently looked into it and have been given a quote for one.  If that description fits you–you should take the survey! (This is a new website, so getting this information will help the site to be an even better tool.)

The site doesn’t require any confidential information, no addresses, or personal information required at all. The only required information someone would need to know is:

* Approximate credit score (or you can assume it is the highest available)
* The approximate value of the property
* The desired loan amount
* The rate quoted
* The APR quoted (annual percentage rate will typically be higher than the actual interest rate)
* The fixed term of the loan – most loans today are 30 year fixed but some are adjustable rate loans

P.S.  This is a perfect tool for those of us who are always wondering if we are getting a good deal.  This helps us to make sure we are getting the best rate possible.  Also, this site is in both English and Spanish! (In the top right hand corner it says, “Translate to: Espanol.”)

Check it out!

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Getting your Political Facts Straight September 11, 2008

Filed under: savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 12:49 pm

I wish people would just be honest and nice to each other. The world would be a much better place if that were so! Unfortunately, that is not how it always is, and during an election year, it seems to bring out the worst. Actually, the opponents try to bring out the worst in each other, and when the facts don’t do the damage they want, the candidates tend to make things up. But this is nothing you didn’t know already.

So, how do you separate the facts from the outlandish lies? In this day and age it isn’t so hard. We are blessed with some great resources. One of my favorites is Snopes for all those chain letters and downright mean emails that are passed along. Snopes sets the record straight on these rumors stated as facts. (I believe that is also called gossip!) Please check your emails through Snopes before passing them on.

Another favorite fact source is FactCheck.org. I receive email updates from them (you can also RSS feed) and find the information particularly useful when trying to decide on a national candidate. I am amazed, or rather appalled, by the outlandish lies that some of these politicians come up with. Also, I find it hard to believe some of the things I thought had to be wrong were actually right.

FactCheck.org was recently named one of the 20 best political websites by PC Magazine. They praised FactCheck’s extensive research team. I have also been very impressed by their impartial view on all candidates. They really are just checking the facts and getting them straight.

Another helpful news source for all things political is Politico. This news source started while our family lived near Washington DC. (Not that that has anything at all to do with their validity, it’s just a little tidbit of info.) They have some of the best people working on their staff, those that wanted the truth out rather than being so influenced by the agendas of those in control of their paychecks.

There is so much riding on this election and we are all obligated to truly make a valiant effort to decide who would be the best leaders for our country. And then, GET OUT AND VOTE! I won’t endorse a candidate here because I still need to know more. I am very grateful for the work of those who are diligently trying to get the real truth out, rather than hearsay or outright lies.

Again, here are those links:
FactCheck

http://www.factcheck.org/

Politico
http://www.politico.com/

Snopes
http://www.snopes.com/

 

Teach Me Mommy Preschool curriculum book September 8, 2008

A few years ago, when my first child was three, I started thinking about preschool. As a stay-at-home mom with a graduate student husband, a commercial preschool was out of the question. Besides, I wasn’t ready to send my little one away from home for the day. Some friends were starting one of the paid curriculum programs and I thought about it until I saw how much it was and realized that I could easily do that myself without the cost. However, it would have been time consuming to gather all the materials and to create all the lesson plans.

Fortunately, I came across a great book called Teach Me Mommy. It was put together by a mom for moms who wanted to teach their little ones. The lessons plans are simple to follow, the supplies needed are things you would have around the house anyway, and there is no need to pay monthly fees–just buy the book and use it for all your kids! There is minimal preparation for the lessons plans since everything is laid out in the book. I also use the lesson topics as ideas for lesson plans of my own.

A friend and I both bought the book and created our own preschool. First we went through the book and marked which lessons we would teach and who would teach them. We met two times a week and took field trips too. Our kids loved the interaction with each other and the special time with their moms.

One very memorable field trip we went to a dairy farm while learning about farm animals. We actually milked some cows, drank fresh milk, and watched the whole process of cow-to-milk pumps-to-pasteurization tank-to-collection in the big milk truck that took it to the factory. The farmers gave us some dairy memorabilia and we were off with a memory that we still laugh about.

I’m now starting preschool with my second child and excited to have this book with everything ready to go. I noticed that there are new resources on the Teach Me Mommy website and a new blog with ideas of activities to do with your child.

Check it out. I think you will like what you see.

 

Unique baby gift

Filed under: baby,frugal,fun,kids,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 9:32 am

Looking for a unique baby gift to give a friend? Want something fun for your scrapbook? How about a letter from the President of the United States of America welcoming your new baby!

This is for real! I received a letter after my second baby and just requested a letter for my third. The only requirements are that you make the congratulatory request AFTER the baby is born and that the baby was born in the past 12 months. (There may be more rules, but these are probably the only ones you need to be aware of.)

To receive a congratulatory letter from the President for your baby, you will need to submit the following information:

1.Name and home address of baby
2.Baby’s birth date
3.Your name, daytime phone number, and your email address

Just go to this website:
https://app1.whitehouse.gov/greetings/baby

Notes:
*Let your husband know that you’ll be receiving a letter from the White House so he doesn’t get overly excited and rip open the letter in a non-scrapbook-friendly way.

*It takes about 6 weeks to get the letter after you have requested it.

*You can only submit one request per day, so don’t go too crazy!