Category Archives: Finance

Taking Advantage of Others for Personal Gain

I don’t know what it says about human nature, but every time a tragedy occurs, multitudes of bottom feeders emerge, eager to take advantage of the situation for personal gain.

One of the worst cases, as many of you probably know, involved Pastor Joel Osteen. Not only did he refuse to shelter Hurricane victims in his megachurch that holds 16,000, he was also soliciting donations that went directly to that church, instead of a reputable charity. Mind you, this is someone who lives in a 10 million dollar home and pays no income tax on earnings from his very lucrative book deals, sheltering it under religious exemption. Absolutely shameful! 

In the blogging world, I have witnessed—and been asked to participate—in activity that’s definitely unethical. Some very well known bloggers have been encouraging their readers to buy items on Amazon that will be mailed to those in need. That would seem to be fine, except they’re not disclosing the use of affiliate links and earning money off of every single sale. To make the situation even more ridiculous, they are pushing useless items like frilly underwear and cashmere socks. I’m sure if I had no food to eat, no where to sleep, no diapers for my baby, and no gas in my car, the last thing on my mind would be dressing up…

All of this activity has caused many folks to wonder if they should donate. Last week, I posted about how to help hurricane victims, linking to a Texas Monthly article. To the best of my knowledge, their recommendations are completely legitimate and I feel secure donating to the charities on that list.

It’s generally safer to donate goods rather than cash. Money and gift cards can unfortunately be abused, but most scammers won’t bother to steal boxes of food and hygiene items. While we need to avoid fake charities, we shouldn’t become so jaded that we stop giving altogether. The damage created by Hurricane Harvey is massive and those who were effected need help now and will continue to need it in the near future. So long as we’re careful about how we offer that help, there’s no reason to withhold it.


Have you witnessed any hurricane relief fraud?

Need a Vehicle That Fits 3 Car Seats? This List is Awesome.

Adding a third child to the family can be a huge adjustment in many ways, some of which are space related. That may mean moving to a larger home that has more bedrooms or upgrading to a bigger vehicle that can fit more car seats.

Obviously, if you drive a compact car, it’s not possible to squish in another. For those who have something mid-size or above, it may be an option. Currently, we are a two SUV family, but a minivan may be on the horizon. Before making a major purchase like a new car, I like to do a lot of research.

One article I found very helpful is called “Cars That Fit 3 Seats” from Tons of different models were checked and the list is divided into these categories, making it super quick and easy to find something that will suit your individual needs:

  • Sedans
  • Mini and Full Size Vans
  • Coupes
  • SUV
  • Trucks

After driving a Nissan for so many years, I’m a bit hesitant to switch, but the Honda Odyssey looks good and has excellent safety reviews. Also in the market for a new car? Visitors can browse the massive database of new and used cars for sale nationwide, plus find tips and tools at


Any advice on picking a newer, roomier vehicle is welcome!

Free 8×10 Photo Collage

For a limited time, CVS Photo is offering a free 8×10 collage print ($4.49 value) when you choose same day in-store pickup and enter promo code SUMMERCOLLAGE at checkout. There is a limit of one collage per customer.

If you have a little one that’s headed back-to-school, this would be a wonderful way to preserve the memory.

Starbucks: Free Teavana on 7/14/17

On 7/14/17, Starbucks is hosting a “Free Tea Friday” event. Between 1:00-2:00 pm, they will be giving out samples of Teavana Shaken Iced Tea Infusions.

According to their website, the Infusion is “freshly steeped fruit and botanical blends, slightly sweetened, then shaken with the finest teas.” (Sounds pretty good, right?)