Archive for March, 2008

SmartyPig Review and a $50.00 Giveaway

SmartyPig logo

SmartyPig is a recently launched website that lets individuals or families set specific savings goals and make specific contributions to those goals on an automated and recurring basis. With SmartyPig, savings accounts are goal oriented and not just a place where money is stashed. SmartyPig partnered with Westbank to set-up high interest (4.30% at the time of this review) savings accounts to save for these goals.

SmartyPig is all about saving for goals such as vacations, books, a new lawn mower, etc. SmartyPig allows and encourages family and friends to chip in and help you out by contributing to your goals through the the site. Savings goals can be made private or public when the y are initially created.

Sunday Lyrics: Thank you

Altar Call
Photo by: richardmasoner

Something you probably don’t know about me is that I sing. Well, I used to anyway. I sang in choir and did solos while in Junior High and High School and then was in Church choir and sang solos at church until I was in my late twenties. Not really sure why I stopped, beyond just life keeping me too busy.

The very first solo I sang in Church was the song Thank you by Ray Boltz. You don’t really hear much about Ray these days, but during the late 80’s and early 90’s, Ray was huge in the contemporary Christian music scene. He sang beautiful songs with deep and meaningful lyrics.

Cash advances: Stray not into temptation!

ATM Keypad
Photo by: catatronic

The following is a guest post by Jonathan from Master Your Card, a blog about credit cards and mastering them before they master you. If you like this post, consider subscribing to his RSS feed.

There you are, broke and in need of cash. Your bank account is so empty there’s an echo and even the sofa cushions have no change. But wait – there’s your shiny credit card. All you need to do is head to an ATM or cash one of those little checks your credit card company provides so conveniently to get some cash.

The Friday Gathering – Spring Break vacation edition

Rain on grass
Photo by: Iain Cuthbertson

This has been a wonderful week for me. I’ve been off from work all week, spending spring break at home with my family. The weather has been absolutely wonderful here in the southeast. The temperatures tomorrow are supposed to be in the 80s!!

This week, we’ve worked on the house and the yard. We’ve repaired some rotten wood, planted grass seed, and planted lots of flowers and a few shrubs. My wife and I have spent some quality time together just relaxing on the front porch while watching our kids and many other neighborhood kids run around in our front yard playing tag. I’ve also been able to spend some quality time with my kids, playing on XBox 360, basketball, watching movies, and reading through Journey to the center of the earth (This link is to a free online version).

The last lecture and brick walls

Brick wall
Photo by: star5112

My wife recently sent me a link to a to a video clip from an episode of Oprah where where Professor Randy Pausch from Carnegie Mellon University reprized a lecture he did for his students call the last lecture. Carnegie Mellon asked their professors to do a lecture for their students, as if it where their very last lecture. Their intent was to inspire the students and allow the professors to share some life lessons with them. In fact for Randy Pausch, it really is probably one of his last lectures. Randy has pancreatic cancer and doctors have given Randy only a few months to live.

Gazelle Intensity: How fast is it?


Gazelle Intensity is a term coined by Dave Ramsey that refers to how a Gazelle reacts when being pursued by a Cheetah. The concept of Gazelle intensity is even found in scripture.

One of the queries I seem to get fairly often is: How fast is gazelle intensity? Based on the number of Google searches I receive on a daily basis for this query and others like “get out of debt quick“, “how to get out of debt quickly“, and even “God’s way to getting out of debt quickly“, it seems lots of people want to get out of debt as fast as they got in. The reality is it takes far longer to get out of debt than get in.

A look at reverse mortgages

Grandma at home
Photo by: scjody

While reading the local newspaper a few weeks back I came across a short blurb in the financial section about reverse mortgages and their recent surge in popularity with older Americans. The New York Times reported that there’s now a $20-billion-a-year industry in reverse mortgages, with “elderly homeowners taking out more than 132,000 such loans in 2007, an increase of more than 270 percent from two years earlier.”

I had never heard of a reverse mortgage and decided to do a little research about them  Here’s some of what I learned:

Homemade car cleaning products

Car Wash
Photo by: Aislinn Ritchie

This article is part of an ongoing series called Money Saving Monday. Each Monday, I share tips and techniques you can use to start saving money.

Inspired by Lynnae’s Homemade Laundry Detergent article, I decided to do some research and see if there were any homemade recipes available for car cleaning products. I found a number of recipes, some a bit crazy and some not so home made at all (i.e. mixing two commercial products together). Fortunately though I did find a few that I would actually consider using on my cars. Once our water restrictions are lifted, I plan to give them a try.

Easter Sunday Lyrics – Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer by: eks

Happy Easter everyone! Easter is often seen as a day of candy for children, decorating and hunting Easter eggs, and of spending time and eating Easter dinner with family and friends. More importantly though, Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s only son, the Savior of mankind. This day, Easter, so many years ago, to the amazement of those that loved him, Jesus arose from the dead before his accension into Heaven to prepare a place for us, those that believe.

Why be frugal?

Photo by: mugley

This is a guest post by Steward from My Family’s Money, a blog about personal finance and changing the world. Like this post? Consider subscribing to his feed via RSS or email.

There is a lot of buzz on the World Wide Web about the the topic of frugality. There is a frugal this and frugal that. The word “frugal” returns over 7,000,000 results on a simple Google search. That is cooler than the Dali Lama, Pat Sajak, David Hasselhof, and Barret Oliver combined! Now that’s pretty cool. Heck, there is even an alliterative carnival completely devoted to the topic in the personal finance world – and I love alliterations. For all the tips and tricks out there on the Internet I think that one very important question needs to get a little more love from the frugal public. That is, why be frugal?