Sunday, December 30, 2012


Congressional members took the unusual step of working on Sunday to try and work out some sort of compromise deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff".  Failure to come to resolve the problem will lead to higher prices, lower paychecks (mostly due to tax increases) and severe cutbacks in government programs.  While none of this sounds too appealing, it does sound like a step towards reducing government spending and the federal deficit.  While I'm not convinced this is the way to go about it, there is always more than one road to take to where you want to go.  

If it should happen that the politicians in Washington can't hammer out a deal, then it may not be quite the doomsday scenario mainstream media would have you believe.  Whatever way it goes, it's sure to mean depressed stock prices for most of the coming year.  So being on the buying side, I'm all for low priced stocks for the time being.  As for the rest of the economy, I don't hold out a lot of hope for any major changes at least within the next 4 years or so.  We've got an obstinate, my way or the highway leader in the Whitehouse, who doesn't have to worry about being re-elected and an ineffectual and confused GOP, so I don't see much of any real value coming from the political arena.  It's going to be up to the U.S. citizens to look out for themselves and each other as best we can and maybe that's the way it should be.  The more you depend on government and the less self reliance you have, the more you become indebted to and enslaved by government.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


To compensate for extra spending on Christmas this year, I've made it my goal to save as much as possible on household spending through extreme couponing.  I managed to walk away with a 50% savings on my weekly grocery shopping at Schnuck's this past Friday.  They had a special from Wednesday through Friday, doubling all coupons up to $1.  So I picked out all my $1 coupons and did my shopping for the week.  I purchased $80 worth of food, including meat and dairy products, for $40!  50% off is not as good as the people on TLC's hit show, "Extreme Couponing", but it still made it possible for me to buy twice the amount of groceries I would have bought normally.  

All the money I save by using coupons is money that can be better spent paying off debt and rebuilding my investment portfolio.  So the more I save the better.  With that in mind, I'm also planning to rebuild my stockpile, so I'm gearing up to take full advantage of all lupcoming coupon specials.  Wouldn't mind doing one of the $700 shopping trips for $10 or $15 like they do on TLC.  I'm working on that too.


It's time once again to revise my investment plan for the new year.  After setbacks from out sized medical expenses in 2012, I'm taking an entirely new approach for 2013.  There are many roads to wealth and this time around I'm going for quality instead of quantity.  While my attempt to build a portfolio paying a dividend for every day of the year was quite doable and not entirely unsound, it was a great deal to manage.  So as I begin rebuilding my investments, I'll be targeting quality dividend stocks for the long term.  

My plan in a nutshell:  To pick a dream portfolio of no more than 12 stocks and build large holdings in each stock through monthly investments and dividend re-investment.  I plan to re-invest all dividends in my IRA account and collect all dividends from my taxable account in cash.

As for the looming "financial cliff", if the politicians can't get their heads out of their asses long enough to come up with a solution, so be it.  We've lived through major social, political and economic upheavals in the past and we'll survive this one as well.  One thing I've learned in the past 52 years is that a person can deal with anything, you just have to figure out how.  As for new taxes on stock dividends, if they're taxed like regular income, I'm O.K. with that.  Just got to roll with the punches.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Completed purchase of CNP shares for my taxable investment account this past Tuesday.  I've scheduled an order to purchase more shares of UVE for my IRA account this coming Tuesday.  With so much uncertainty in Washington and the stock market, I'm playing it safe with utilities and insurance company shares. We'll see what the new year brings and decide where to go from there.

On a brighter note, I managed to save a great deal on my shopping at Walgreens today.  I needed laundry soap and fabric softener, so I matched up coupons, register rewards and sales and managed to save 91% on laundry supplies.  On my other purchases I saved 37%, which is not nearly as good as 91% but it's still a fantastic savings.  Using coupons is making it much easier to rebuild my investment accounts.  Looking forward to 2013.  It's sure to be a challenge to maneuver changes in the tax code and new health care regulations, so it will be more important than ever to save in every way you can.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Finished my Christmas shopping in one day, actually in less than one hour.  I went through one of my shopping rewards programs online and bought everything from one store.  Didn't really get any outstanding deals, so I'm hoping the cash back rewards are good because I spent more than I'd planned on spending. 

With that in mind, I decided the best way to make up for the extra spending was to save on everything else with extreme couponing.  I hit Walgreens Sunday and picked up Colgate Total toothpaste, a Colgate Optic White toothbrush and 5 bottles of Dawn dish liquid for less than $6.  Today I stopped by Gerbes and picked up 2 boxes of Jimmy Dean's fully cooked sausage and a dozen eggs for $4, for a savings of 63% off the regular prices.  The sausage was on sale 2 for $6 and if you bought 2 boxes you got a dozen large eggs free.  I used two coupons for 55 cents off per box on the sausage, both coupons double up to $1 each bringing my total cost down to just over $4 with tax.  I'll be watching for more great deals in the weeks to come and should be able to save enough to cover everything I've spent on Christmas this year. 

Nothing special to report on my investments.  With the looming "financial cliff"  and all the dawdling in Washington, I'm not expecting much to happen with the stock market until after the first of the year.  Since I'm in a buying phase, to replace stocks I sold to pay off medical bills this year, I'm kind of hoping for the market to stay low.  Whatever the case may be, I'll go with the flow and add some great dividend paying shares each month until I've replaced everything I had to sell.