I saw this post on Facebook this morning from a radio station broadcasting from a car dealership. It is November so when it says no payments until 2015, you are without payments for a month or two.

0 down, 0% interest and 0 payments until 2015! Plus you get a free Ipad when you buy a new vehicle!

Many people think car payments are just a way of life. As soon as they get a car paid off, they may think they need to upgrade to a better and newer car.

It may mean to make some sacrifices but you may be able to free yourself from car payments.

Suze Orman suggests not financing a car that you cannot pay off in three years.

If you are currently making car payments, when you get the loan paid off, put that amount of money in a savings account each month until you NEED to buy a new car. Even if you don’t have enough to pay for the entire amount, at least you will have some saved and won’t have to finance the entire amount.

When considering how much to spend on a car, other things to consider are interest, taxes, license and registration, insurance, gas & oil changes and other maintenance. The newer the car, the more likely it will cost more to insure and license your car.

If you are need of a vehicle, one method Dave Ramsey recommends is buying the least expensive you can afford. He calls it a “beater car”. Then continue saving money and upgrading as you can afford to.

I have personally paid cash for the last two cars I purchased. When I get extra money or bonus at work, most goes into account for a car or other items I am saving for.

It may not be easy but may be worth the sacrifice without the pressures and stress of car payments and when you consider what you are saving on interest charges.

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Nancy Kvamme

I recently came across a recipe for Crazy Cake. A cake without butter, eggs or milk. This recipe is for a chocolate cake.

I had some pumpkin to use up so searched to see if there was a recipe using pumpkin. I found this recipe.

Here is a recipe for a single size cake using a mug.

I made the pumpkin cake and it tasted great. Instead of frosting, I sprinkled powdered sugar over it while it was still warm.

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Nancy Kvamme

I posted last month about a series that Jessica was doing at Good Cheap Eats on ways to save on grocery expenses. Here is a recap of the 31 posts.

You should be able to save some money by just implementing one or two of these ideas. Some include ways to make you meal preparation more efficient to allow time for other things.

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Nancy Kvamme

My sister gave me some extra apples they had and I tried some new recipes with them. I have made the following recipes today.

Apple Cinnamon muffins. I didn’t have apple sauce so I added a little more oil and water to make the batter a little moister.

Apple Cocoa Snack Cake

Apple Crisp

Apple Raisin Quick Bread. I left the raisins out of the bread and added some granola I had instead.

I am planning on trying these recipes yet today with the apples I have left.

Apple Doodles

Apple Peanut Butter Cookies

Crockpot Apple Butter

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Nancy Kvamme

A big part of Halloween for many children is the candy. I wrote a previous post about non candy treats. The post was written last year so the date for the candy trade in is incorrect.

You may have heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project. The campaign encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies by providing non-food treats for trick-or-treaters and painting a pumpkin teal – the color of food allergy awareness – to place in front of their house along with a free printable sign from FARE to indicate they have non-food treats available.

There are many events planned throughout the area such as Trunk and Treat events at local churches and other sites.

One of the local events is the Haunted mall at Moorhead Center Mall in Moorhead on Fri, October 31, 4pm – 10pm.

This is a description from the website about the event.

Come out for a spooktacular time. Great activities for the entire family including a haunted mall, costume contest & pumpkin carving.

I will have a table at the event and will be handing out Moonjar savings banks while supplies last.

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Nancy Kvamme

While I was looking for a recipe to use the cauliflower and broccoli from a recent CSA box I came upon this Broccoli Corn Salad. I used both broccoli and cauliflower. You can add any ingredients you have on hand. I left out the cranberries and sliced the carrots instead of shredding them.

The dressing is only mayo and ranch dressing. You could add spices if you wanted to. I had Cucumber Ranch dressing so I used that to give it a different flavor.

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Nancy Kvamme

Shredding any personal papers that have your account numbers and other information is an important step to take in order to protect your identity.

Here is information on how long it is recommended to keep certain documents. Some items such as bank statements and credit card statements may be accessed online.

Secure Your ID Day is an opportunity to have some of your documents shredded for free.

The events will be held Saturday, October 11 from 8am to 1 pm at the ND events.

Locations are:
Bismarck: Wells Fargo, 1050 E. Interstate Avenue

Fargo: Wells Fargo, 2501 13th Avenue South

The public and business community is invited to bring up to two boxes or bags of documents to be shredded. Documents to be shredded should be removed from binders, but staples, paper clips and CDs are okay as is.

Click here for participating locations around the United States.

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Nancy Kvamme

I did some baking over the weekend to have snacks for the week and warm up the house some. One of the recipes I made was Cinnamon Raisin Quick Bread. I left out the raisins and added some granola instead.

I used a DIY Muffin Mix to make blueberry muffins. This recipe is to make up a larger mix of muffin mix so you have it on hand and just need to add the wet ingredients and any add ins when you are ready to make muffins. I used blueberries that I had purchased earlier and froze.

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Nancy Kvamme

I recently tried a recipe for Vegetable Pot Pie. I used a store bought crust instead of making one. I used potatoes, carrots, corn and broccoli, since that’s what I had on hand.

It is a great way to use up vegetables you may have. You could also use canned or frozen if you don’t have fresh vegetables.

It turned out great and tasted wonderful on the cold day.

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Nancy Kvamme

One of the personal finance authors I have followed for years and recommended to others is David Bach. He has authored several books including Smart Women Finish Rich, Smart Couples Finish Rich, Start Late Finish Rich, The Automatic Millionaire and others.

A large part of his writing focuses on the small expenses and making saving automatic. The phrase, “The Latte Factor” which he uses refers to the small expenses that can add up quickly such as coffee, bottled water and other expenses.

He also suggests to make your savings automatic out of your paycheck or bank account so there is less temptation to skip a month or two.

He has a new seminar geared towards women that is being presented in some cities. In it he will discuss 9 Steps to help you plan for your financial future and retirement. The cost of the seminar is $15.

If you can’t attend the seminar, I would suggest his books as a great start or refresher to getting your finances in order.

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Nancy Kvamme