Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Give Away: A Time for Everything's Divide-It Wallet!

Okay friends... I know many of you are Dave Ramsey fans, Crown Ministry fans, Mary Hunt fans... and you're very frugal and wise with your money, so I think you're going to LOVE this new give-away! And for those of you who WANT to be better stewards, this item is for YOU!

Little secret here...

I studied consumer science and did an internship in college for one of those consumer credit counseling agencies... you know, the kind that help people that are WAY in debt pay off their obligations. We would have them cut up their credit cards and then go through their bills and budget with a fine tooth comb, nixing anything that wasn't necessary for life (such as cable TV). Next we would organize their debts from greatest to least in terms of rates, balance due, etc. Each client would then contact their creditors and try to negotiate a lower rate or balance and arrange a new monthly payment til each creditor was paid off the agreed upon balance.

Now I'm not saying this is the way it should be done. Truthfully, if I owe $1,000, then I should pay back the $1,000. But putting that aside, the point I'm making is the fact that we would have them cut up the credit cards and use only cash.

Here's another little secret... a confession...

Despite what I KNOW about budgeting, we've had one little credit card we've kept. {Sigh.... }

Long ago we cut up all the others. This one was not only for "just in case", but for ordering on line... that kind of thing. I can't speak for my husband, but in my own mind, I've justified it because we get cash back for using it. And use it I have. Not frivolously (I pay it off monthly), but to be totally honest... I've made a few purchases that I would NOT have made if I had only been using cash. Instead, I would have waited, made do, figured out another alternative, or done without altogether.

In case you haven't heard, California is in a debt crisis and it's affecting EVERYONE. So it's definitely time to go CASH ONLY.

Now, I tried this once before, using a cash wallet that had paper envelopes and it didn't work so well. For one thing, I got frustrated trying to get into them quickly at the cash register. Soooo embarrassing to hold up the entire line while I dug out my cash and then quickly tried to write down the amount (because this was printed on the front of the envelop and therefore, I felt compelled to do it). I also found the envelopes weren't big enough for a lot of smaller bills, not to mention they would tear on occasion. This lasted about 3 months and I ditched the system entirely.

I realized that if I was going to go to a cash based system, it had to be easy, quick, and uncomplicated while still holding up to the wear and tear of every day use. So I hit the Amazon, eBay, Etsy stores... anywhere I could find cash wallets. And I looked at them for a LONG time, asking myself questions like:

• Can I get into this easily without a fuss?
• What can it hold, realistically?
• How well is it organized?
• Will it hold up to wear and tear?
• Will it work for the way I shop? (Grab my wallet out of my purse and run in to grab one item at a store)

Finally, I asked myself, if I could design a system that fits ME and how I shop, what would it look like? Here's what I envisioned...

And you know what? I found it at Melissa's Etsy shop, A Time for Everything.

FYI here... I sought out Melissa, not the other way around. She didn't email me to do a give away, I purchased from her and then asked her if she was interested. Why? Because this is exactly what I think most of us need... a SIMPLE, well constructed cash bag with dividers. That's it. (I like SIMPLE tools!)

Just to be clear, let me list why I picked her cash wallet...

• This would be easy to get into... just a zippered bag. Much like those big bank bags that businesses use for transporting cash or for using as their petty cash bags.

• The fabrics were not only very cute, but laminated! Do you know how dirty a fabric wallet could get in my purse or in the console of my car? This one can be wiped clean.
• Melissa's sewing skills are impeccable. Doesn't look "homemade" at all! Very professional.
• It had sturdy dividers that I could label to fit my needs. These are plastic and while they flex, they are also fairly firm, supporting the structure of the bag. (You label these yourself or you can purchase custom labels for $2).

• It was roomy enough to expand for my needs (at least to a reasonable point). No struggling to get the cash out because it catches on the ends. AND, I've even tucked my cell phone in there a time or two).
• The coin pouch I purchased from her would easily fit into the front of the cash stash wallet as well as my driver's license and any other store cards (the kind where you earn points).
• The price point was hands down, one of the best of all the systems I looked at. Most were around $30, but Melissa's was only $18.

Here are some actual photos of my own cash stash wallet Divide-It Wallet* and coin pouch...

In the second photo, you can see my phone and coin pouch inside, while the last photo has all that in it with the cash wallet zipped up. Not bulky at all! Keep in mind that this is soft sided and not ridged, so on it's own it would be floppy, however, if you keep the dividers and money inside, it maintains it's shape.

The only thing I would have done differently on this (just being honest here)... I would have added a tiny tab on the side seam where the zipper pull starts so it would be just a tad easier to start unzipping. However that probably would have made the seam bulky, so I'm not sure it's really a good idea. Instead, I just pinch the side seam and it unzips easily.

One more thing... these aren't just good for cash only systems. If you are a coupon clipper, check this out...

I don't use coupons for food (make it from scratch), but I do save store discount cards, preferred customer cards, and flyers with discount codes, so this would be EXCELLENT for organizing them in your purse!

Maybe you need two? I thought so.

Enter the Give Away!

Melissa has kindly offered a Cash Stash Wallet Divide-It Wallet* and Coin Pouch (in fabric of your choice from her current collection) to a Homestead Revival reader! Here's what you need to do...

Visit her Etsy store and see the goodies! She has more items than just these two. Come back here and leave me a comment with your favorite fabric choice. If you don't have a blog, please leave your email address so I can contact the winner!

• For an extra entry, like her facebook page or follow her blog. Come back here and tell me which one you subscribed to.  Again, if you don't have a blog, please leave your email address so I can contact the winner!

For one additional entry, follow my Pinterest page (see right side bar under "FOLLOW"). Then come back here and tell me that you've completed this step. Once again, if you don't have a blog, please leave your email address so I can contact the winner!

This give away closes Monday, October 1, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. PST. is now closed. 

Get a Discount!

Melissa has also offered anyone making a purchase during the month of September FREE SHIPPING! Just use the code "HOMESTEAD" when checking out (under payment choices there is a link that says "apply shop coupon code" where you can type in the code). While this code only works for U.S. shipping addresses, those who purchase internationally can add a note when checking out and she'll refund you the equivalent of the U.S. shipping fees for that item. Melissa can ship first class world wide for reasonable rates (since the product is very light weight).

There really is a time for everything... don't you think NOW is the time to get those finances in order?

*Due to a new vendor who named their shop after the same name (Cash Stash Wallet), Melissa has opted to rename her wallet.


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