Disney Pixar Cars 2

Cars Wall Mural from Birthday Party

If you perform an Internet search on Disney, you’ll quickly discover people have very strong opinions regarding the company – they either love it and the memories it brings, or hate it and view it as a greedy money-machine that preys on kids.

Personally, I think the latter is a bit extreme. I’ve never been to Disney World, but now that I’m a mom ~ I would love to take my son once he he old enough to enjoy and remember the trip.

For the time being, he LOVES Disney / Pixar Cars! Not the original, the sequel…and he knows the difference! He also enjoys Mater’s Tall Tales on Netflix. If he could have his way, he would watch the entire movie every day. But, I don’t want him to develop “couch potato” tendencies, so we break it up with educational DVDs and play.

Because he loves Cars so much ~ I find myself fueling his Cars love. Here are the items he has received over the past year:

Purchased New
- Dish set (plate, bowl, cup, utensils)
- Cars suitcase
- Cars backpack
- Cars undies (got to motivate the move from Diapers!)
- 2 pc short set
- 2 pc jogging suit
- Sunglasses
- McQueen Beanbag chair
- Cars themed birthday party decor
- Giant Cars wall decals (for bedroom redesign project)
- Cars hamper (for bedroom redesign project)
- Cars foam wall hook (bedroom redesign)
- Cars Racing Play rug (bedroom redesign)
- Cars light switch plate (bedroom redesign)
- Cars curtain (bedroom redesign)

Purchased Used
-Lightening McQueen Bed (purchased though Facebook Yard sale group)
- Cars travel potty toilet seat cover (FB Yardsale group)
- Set of cars books (FB Yardsale group)
- 2 larger Lightening McQueen Cars (garage sales)

Gifts
- Racer on Board window decal
- Cars Blanket
- Cars bedding set
- Sippy cup
- Lightening McQueen shoes
- Stuffed/Plush McQueen
- Mini Cars characters
- 2 Cars baseball caps
- Cars winter hat
- McQueen sandals

I think its safe to say he has more than his fair share of Cars items! Except for the bedroom redesign (which we budgeted for), we haven’t spent a whole lot on these items. The most expensive was the suitcase and the party decor. I could have gotten a child-sized suitcase at half the price. A generic party theme would have also cut my expenses, and I’m sure the kids would have had just as much fun.

So how much of this is psychological? Disney puts out these products because they know people will buy them. We buy them because they make our kids (and us) happy. Does that make Disney evil? I don’t think so….it makes them a business.

Did I go overboard with the Cars items? Some may argue yes. But, I’m a first time mom, so I’m allowed to indulge my son a little!

But does this make me a victim of marketing?  I don’t feel like it does…but then again, maybe that’s the point.  Is it any different than my husband’s obsession preference with Snap-On tools…because “they are the best”, according to him.  But I digress…

I choose Cars themed toys, clothing, and decor because I know my son enjoys them, not because Disney convinced me of their value.  I know he would enjoy these items because he enjoyed the movie (so some could argue indirect marketing).

At the end of the day, Disney/Pixar is a business – their fundamental goal is the generate revenue.  Product sales are a part of their business, as it is for many organizations – big and small.

What about you?
What is your opinion on Disney / Pixar’s product marketing?
Do you find yourself partial to a particular brand?
What do you (or your kids) indulge in?

Posted in Mommy Stuff, Personal Finance | Tagged | 2 Comments

Greetings! Here are some articles I enjoyed this week. I hope you enjoy them too!

Making Sense of Cents asks Would you Rather Work for Less Money or More Money – Hmm…

Free From Broke lists 7 Reasons we have Trouble Sticking to Our Budget – If you can identify the problem – you can do something about it.

Stacking Benjamins lists 6 Ways to Sell Your House Faster – Since our house may be on the market in the next 3 years…this was definitely of interest to me.

Enemy of Debt admonishes us: Don’t Be sloppy with your money – make sure you get what is due to you — I love posts that cause me to DO SOMETHING. This one caused me to go after some unclaimed funds. I’ll be sure you let you all know how that comes out.

Even Steven Money pays tribute to some great bloggers in an article I’m Striving to Be Like You. I’m familiar with some of the blogs he mentioned, and others are new to me…but I’m always looking for great sites to add to my reader.

Mom Makes Sense Around the Web
I got nominated for the Liebster Award this week – you can read about it over at Indebted & In Debt

I also hosted this week’s Carnival of Money Pros – If you missed it, be sure to check it out

Enjoy your weekend

Posted in Roundups | Tagged | 4 Comments

Sometimes it really is that simple!

customer service representative

Bank Representative

Imagine logging into your bank account and seeing a balance that is a little lower than expected. As if that isn’t bad enough, the bank is going to charge you $30+ for every overdraft that they covered for you. This happened to me a couple weeks ago. After transferring money between multiple accounts at my bank, I didn’t leave enough behind to cover some lagging pending charges. What resulted was a negative balance and $70 in bank fees.

I made an immediate transfer to adjust the balance. My next step was to call the bank and plead my case…but then I got sidetracked. It wasn’t until I saw a timely post at Bible Money Matters about getting a late fee waived by asking that I stopped what I was doing and called the bank.

Once the representative had my information, he was able to pull out my account. He saw my self initiated transfers, and also pin-pointed the cause of the problem. Some charges took longer than usual to post due to the 4th of July weekend.

I explained that I took steps to immediately remedy the problem, and have not had an overdrafts in a very long time and asked if he could reverse the charges. He checked my account history and was able to do so! Score!!!

Lessons Learned

1. Be diligent! Charges do not post immediately and must be tracked closely

2. Set up overdraft protection – Most banks do this for free, however, there may be an overdraft transfer charge…its typically a fraction of the overdraft fee

3. Fix the problem immediately

4. Have all your information together when you call

5. Be courteous – after all; you are asking them to do you a favor

6. It doesn’t hurt to ask – Banks understand people make mistakes. As long as there isn’t a history of fees, your request will more than likely be granted.

This also has the potential to work with

- Late fees for banks, credit cards, utility bills etc
- Application & registration 1 time fees (rare, but I have gotten a couple application fees waived)
- Service charges (If I’m paying a bill by phone, there is typically a fee for doing this via a live agent vs automated system)

What about you?
Have you ever been able to get a fee waived?
If you’ve ever over-drafted or been charged a late fee – what did you do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

Posted in Personal Finance | Tagged , , | 8 Comments
Liebster award

Liebster Award

I am honored to have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Kirsten at Indebtedmom

The award is a way to recognize relatively new and/or smaller blogs (less than 200 followers).

Kirsten’s blog is about being in debt and how it is (at least for the time being) hindering her from being able to stay home full time with the kiddos.  I appreciate her openness and Christian perspective.  I am especially appreciative that this award came from her as she was the first commenter on my blog!
Continue reading

Posted in Blog Technicals | Tagged | 4 Comments

Disclaimer: I have NOT been asked to write this review. I am NOT receiving any type of compensation, services, or products in exchange for writing this. I’m am writing the review strictly because I want to.

Your Baby Can Read

Your Baby Can Read

You’ve probably seen the Your Baby Can infomercials on late night or weekend television. The course, created by Dr. Titzer claims it can teach babies and young children to read at a very young age, and by doing so they will be primed for academic success. Continue reading

Posted in Mommy Stuff, Product Reviews | 5 Comments
Carnival of Money Pros

Carnival Ferris Wheel

It is my pleasure to host the Carnival of Money Pros! The Carnival of Money Pros is brought to you to by the Money Pros Team, and you can submit articles at Blogger Carnivals Continue reading

Posted in Personal Finance | 3 Comments

Greetings!  Here are some articles from around the web that I enjoyed this week.  I hope you enjoy them too! Continue reading

Posted in Roundups | Tagged | 2 Comments
Frustrated

Total Frustration

A few days ago, I was checking my bank statements (I’m trying to turn over this diligent new leaf), when I noticed a charge for $131 on my credit card.

I just got this card and only made 1 purchase so I had no idea what this other charge was. The description said: AMZN RENT AUTOPURCHASE

Some of you probably already see where this is going…. Continue reading

Posted in Personal Finance | Tagged | 2 Comments

Yesterday I spontaneously joined a tweetchat sponsored by BlogHer.  One of the questions had to do with scheduling posts, writing spontaneously, and overcoming writers’ block.  To which I answered I schedule my topics with Google Calendar and try to branch them off enough to avoid writers blog.  This peaked a lot of interest, so as promised, here is a quick run down of how and why I use Google Calender to schedule my blog’s content: Continue reading

Posted in Blog Technicals | Tagged , | 2 Comments

First there was eBay, then there was Craigslist….now there are Facebook Yard Sale Groups (da da da daaaa!)

A FB Yard Sale Group works a lot like Craigslist:  You post an item you want to sell, someone interested connects with you, you set up a meet and complete the transaction.

That is where the similarities end.  Because FB groups where not designed initially for online yard sales, you don’t have some of the functionality that you would with eBay, or even Craigslist.  Then why use them?  Glad you asked! Continue reading

Posted in Mommy Stuff, spending | 1 Comment