Friday Freebie: CheckFree tops my list of favorite free services and I have been using their site to pay my bills for the past three years.

I was excited when I saw that our bank was offering automatic set-up to pay your bills. What a great service! Then, of course, I read the fine-print and realized that THE MAN (you know who the man is, right?) was going to get $10 each month for paying my bills. In case you didn’t know it, I despise “the man” and was looking for a way around these fees.

Guess who comes knocking to my virtual door?! This is a great website where I can pay and manage all of my bills online for free! I have never had a payment go out late, never had a single problem with them yanking money when they shouldn’t, and I can set the bills up when I want to without them automatically doing it each month (unless you enjoy that feature, which I do not!) They email me to let me know when I have received a bill and send out a reminder to me to pay it. I just don’t know of an easier way to go about paying your bills.

The best part too is that they archive all of your bills for you. When doing your taxes, this turns out to be a wonderful feature. You can look at the past year’s statements online or print them for your records.

Oh, did I mention you save on stamps too? Gotta love that!

Money Spent Today: $.75 (I rented a movie from the library last night. And in case you were wondering, the answer is yes- our library charges for movies! I was surprised until I saw that it looks like Blockbuster over there. It is definitely worth every quarter compared to a movie rental place)

One Way I Save Money: I don’t buy paper plates…like, EVER! Paper plates are a waste of money and I would rather buy my kids some fruit rather than waste it on the plate that they are eating on. Last summer I hit Walmart and got some great everyday plasticware for $2 a plate or less. I bought plastic plates & cups and we use these all of the time. It only takes two seconds to throw these in the dishwasher and they are much more durable. If you can wait until the end of the summer, you can get these on clearance and reap the rewards of not wasting your precious grocery money and scoring a deal on dishes too!

Inspirational Reading Material: The Dollar Stretcher is one of my all-time favorite sites for inspiration when trying to stick to a budget. There is something for everyone on this site and if you find yourself in a financial rut- then read this site! It will provide the kick in the butt that you need to get your finances back in order.

MomAdvice Reading Material: Gearing Up For Summer

On Our Dinner Table: We are going to a friend’s house tonight for dinner. I am supplying the dessert though and am whipping up my husband’s favorite dessert. This is his request in lieu of a fancy (and expensive) birthday cake.

Jewish Coffee Cake
Serves Eight

1 package vanilla instant pudding
1 package yellow cake mix
½ cup oil
4 eggs
1 cup orange juice

Mix these ingredients together and then swirl the following through the cake batter 1/3 c. sugar, 4 t. cinnamon, 4 t. sesame seeds (optional). Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees in a well-greased and floured bundt pan. Allow cake to cool for 45-60 minutes in pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 446kcal
Protein 6g (12%)
Total Fat 23g (35%)
Sat. 3g (14%)
Chol. 93mg (31%)
Carb. 54g (18%)
Fiber 1g (3%)
Sugars 36g
Calcium 141mg (14%)
Iron 1mg (8%)

Published April 28, 2006 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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