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Thursday, October 28 2010

Who doesn't have pets?  Most of us have or have had a dog, a cat or other types of pets at one time or another.  If so, you know how expensive it can be when they get ill and need medical attention. 

Commercial pet insurance can be expensive.  Like traditional health insurance for people, it doesn’t cover all medical procedures and treatments. Also, keep in mind that if you never need the insurance (we certainly hope so), you wouldn’t be able to get the money back that you paid the pet insurance company, accrue interest or be able to apply the premiums to another pet.

A better option is to consider setting up a savings fund.  Consider setting up a medical saving account for your current or future pets you might adopt. 

How to create a specialized saving account:

Start by putting a large amount (such as $500) into a special savings designated just for this purpose and then continue to deposit $20 per month into the account.  By simply creating a specialized saving account for your pet, you avoid being in the position where money has to be strongly considered along with treatment options.

Use this method whenever you acquire a new responsibility.  Simply deposit an eighth or a quarter of your saving goal into a dedicated saving account as the account’s start-up fund (or a multi-use account that you keep records for what money in the account is for what purpose). Once the saving account is open and initially funded, you set up an automatic transfer through your bank to put $10 or $20 (or whatever amount you choose) into the new saving account from your checking account every month. This automatic deposit removes the temptation to spend the money on something else.

You could create a specialized saving account for your automobile — $20 a month can be put aside in an account to cover service needs for your aging car. You can create a fund to save for larger home improvement projects or home organization project.

These specialized saving accounts reduce your stress, allow you to cover large expenses when they arise, and help you to live with an uncluttered budget (a budget where you spend less than you earn).

Do you have specialized saving accounts? Would setting one up help you to prepare for an emergency expense? What reasons do you have to create a specialized saving account?

I would love to hear your ideas!

In the meantime, if you need some help creating a budget, why not consider my U Can Do It Budgeting System that I developed based upon the budget I have used for myself for over 20 years?  You can find it at my ABS Store (look for the tab) right on this website.

Enjoy your week! 

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 08:06 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, October 24 2010

We all know the holidays are right around the corner and it is a time when we tend to focus on helping those in need (or at least I hope so!).

One of the ways in which we can reach out to families with life-threatening illnesses during this holiday season is to order a PIE IN THE SKY thru the Manna organization.

Manna provides Thanksgiving dinners (for 4) to those with life-threatening illnesses.  Their website can be found at

Their mission is focused on people with acute nutritional risk due to life-threatening illnesses.  Manna prepares and delivers delicious nourishing meals and counsel, empowering individuals to battle illness and improve their quality of life.

So, share the holiday spirit and provide Thanksgiving dinner for a family of four.  For a donation of only $25 you can order a delicious pie and help a family in need at the same time!

Simply order your Pie In The Sky pie by noon on Friday, November 19, 2010 and pick it up before Thanksgiving.  They have locations where you can pick up your pie throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Let's make this a Happy Thanksgiving not only for us but for others as well.

You can place your order by calling 1-866-SKY-PIES (1-866-754-7437)

All other questions, call 215-49-MANNA (215-496-2662)

These pies are not only delicious, but tax deductible! 

For those of you who prefer cake, purchase a Classic Cake instead and still help those in need.

Let's make our world A BETTER SPACE this holiday season and support a great cause.

Thank you for helping out!

AND, if I can help you this holiday season by getting organized, contact me.  I am glad to help!

Have a great week!


Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 02:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, October 16 2010

Does everything in your home "have a home"?  Most likely not.  The problem that most people run into is not only finding homes for the things they already have, but finding homes for the new things that come in the door.

Where is everything supposed to go? 

You cannot expect to have an organized home in which to live if you don't have a place for everything.  That old adage still holds true "A place for everything and everything in its place". 

Whether it belongs in a drawer, a cabinet, a closet or a specific room, finding designated space for items you possess is vital in order to stay organized.

Group like-things together when storing items so that it's logical and easy to find when needed.  Don't keep your toothpaste in the kitchen.  Don't keep your snacks in your bedroom.  You get the idea. 

Once you have created those places to store your existing items, you are now able to bring in new items.  (Use the "one in, one out" rule as often as possible to help maintain balance.) 

Always remember, when making a purchase, you want to ask yourself "Where am I going to store or place this item?"  If you don't have an answer, then now is not the time to make that purchase.  Create the space before you buy!

You might be able to afford the item, but if you don't have a home for it, it's not the right time.  This is especially true for large items, for example, small appliances in your kitchen, snow blowers or ride-on mowers for your garage or artwork for your walls.  Once you figure out where the item will live, you are ready to make that purchase.

I have plenty of suggestions on how to store your "stuff" so if you need some assistance, contact me.  I'll be glad to help.

Want more tips on how to get organized, sign up for my free monthly newsletter "Organizing News You Can Use" right on the Home Page.  Just look for the newsletter icon on the right.

In the meantime, have a great week!


Posted by: Audrey CUpo AT 12:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, October 08 2010

Ever since I can remember, I have always advised my clients that an important aspect of paper management and budgeting involves keeping an eye on your provider billing statements, your credit card statements and bank statements.

So many people do not take the time to look at the itemized bill or statement and that is a problem.  The tendency is to look at the total and just pay the bill or not even look at a bank statement at all and just file it away.  It’s important to understand that mistakes are made and if you do not keep track of your statements, the mistakes go un-noticed.  As a result, you could be getting charged for items you should not be getting charged for or you could possibly not get credit for payments made.

A perfect example of this was mentioned in the news this week.  It involves Verizon Wireless and how they charged millions of customers for services they were not receiving.  Verizon Wireless is now required to reimburse those customers a total of more than $1,000,000.

Verizon Wireless was banking on the fact that so many of their customers do not check their statements and just pay their bills based on the total.   It is your responsibility as a consumer to make sure you check your bills, credit card statements and bank statements each and every time you receive them to make sure they are accurate.  If you don’t, no one else will.

So, do you check your statements?  If not, start now.  The next time a bill or statement comes in the mail or is sent to you on line, take the few minutes necessary to make sure your statements are accurate. 

Until next time, have a great week.

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, October 03 2010

My first husband passed away more than 13 years ago at the young age of 40 following a battle with cancer.  Although no one likes to think about losing a loved one, unfortunately, it is a reality. Fortunately, my husband were able to prepare for that day by getting the pertinent information together that was needed in order to handle his estate.

I recently learned of a website that I would like to share with you. I found it to be an extremely helpful site with a set of downloadable PDF files that you can print out to aid in organizing all of the events after a loved one has passed away.

The Death, Dying, and Bereavement Guides include six forms to help plan the events after a death: compare funeral/burial/cremation options, information for writing a eulogy, data needed for an obituary and death notices, and flowers and donations thank you note wording suggestions.

Although it might sometimes be unexpected, I think it is a good idea to fill out the forms that can be filled out while you’re still alive and put them in a safety deposit box or other fireproof location in a folder called "In the Event of My Death". (Please note that safety deposit boxes are sealed upon death until such time as an audit can be done so a fireproof box might be a better option.)

I don’t think it is too zealous to plan ahead for something such as this. If I can spare my loved ones some work following my death, during their bereavement, that will perhaps help them get through the process much easier.

Do yourself and those you love a favor and prepare ahead of time. The site I mentioned above is an easy way to get it all organized.

On a brighter note, I hope you have a great week.

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 08:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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