Archive for August, 2008

Gone fishing…

Ok, so I’m not fishing, but we did decide to head to the mountains for the weekend to relax a little and take a look at our “hopefully soon to ours” home. I won’t have internet connectivity to post on Sunday or Monday, but I’ll be back with some great stuff on Tuesday including an article on Roth 401ks and a new series I’m starting called Share your story.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Photo by: mmmarilyn

Getting started with the envelope budget method

This is a guest post from Luke the guy behind Neobudget. NeoBudget is an online budget manager that uses the envelope method to help you track your spending habits and stick to a budget. You don’t need to be an accountant, and you don’t need to be good with numbers to use NeoBudget. It is budgeting for normal people. Head over and check out Neobudget, it’s pretty slick and the best part? It’s really inexpensive.


The Friday gathering: Moving update

I wanted to provide you with an update on moving to the mountains. We finally completed the contract on the new house, the one I mentioned in my gathering two weeks ago. We offered about 15% below the current asking price, and the family countered to meet in the middle which we agreed to. The house had already been reduced to 15% below asking price, so we ended up purchasing it for about 25% off the list price. Both myself and our agent feel we got a very good deal. We now have a fully signed contingency contract in place. Now we just need to sell our current house within 60 days. The picture to the left is the view from the front porch of the house we are trying to buy. Nice huh?

Paying credit cards before a mortgage? What???

I work in IT for a bank. During our monthly team meetings, we often have guest speakers from different areas of the bank come and talk to us about their area. One of our recent speakers was from our credit card division. While not a fan of credit cards, learning about the business model was interesting. The amount of profit and high level of default rates was plain scary. The one quote that caught my attention was “Credit cards have become such an important financial tool, that people are now paying their credit cards before their mortgage“. My first reaction was that I didn’t hear what she said correctly which was immediately followed with a resounding mental “WHAT???”. I wrote the quote down along with the question “Why??”. Rather than interrupt the presentation, I decided to follow up with her afterward.

Teen money management mistakes

I’ve learned a great about personal finance over the years. Much of it through writing here on Gather Little by Little, reading other personal finance blogs, and reading books. Unfortunately, the majority of it I’ve learned the hard way, by making mistakes and suffering the consequences.

In order to try and keep our children from having to learn the hard way, my wife and I have been sharing information about our finances and trying to teach them responsible money management. This is particularly true of my oldest son as he has now entered his teen years (he’s 13).

Online survey scams?

Yesterday I received an email from a reader that concerned me and I felt you should be aware of:

Hi, I just thought I would pass on a warning to you about something that
happened to me doing online surveys.

Today, at my door via the US post, a box full of Dr. Suess books showed up.

I didn’t order these and my daughter is 13 so we have no use for them.

Back to the basics of saving money

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.

There are of course many ways to save money. I also firmly believe that saving is the foundation for building wealth.   I’ve written about using points, kids eat free days, using SmartyPig, and even about how to buy an engagement ring online. In this article I wanted to get back to the basics of saving money and review the more traditional ways of saving money.

Fall wedding season tips

The following is a guest article from Tina who blogs with her sister at Frugal Sister. Frugal sister is written by Tina and her sister Margaret who are helping each other learn to cut the costs of daily living and save money. If you enjoy this article, make sure you head over and subscribe.

It seems that there are now two wedding seasons in a year, Spring and Fall. The fall wedding season is fast approaching and I have some tips for a smoother and less stressful reception. Here are some fall wedding season tips:

The Friday gathering: Whoosh edition

With a loud Whoosh, our typical fall schedule arrived this week. Football season started for my 13 year old this week. He’s currently playing in Pop Warner but is also planning on trying out for the school team next week as well. The school has been running 2 hour conditioning sessions each day this week from 3:45 – 5:45. Following that, he then goes directly to his Pop Warner team practice which is from 6-8:00 3 nights a week.

Marriage, money, debt, and divorce?

How many times have you heard the money is the leading cause of divorce? For years, this has been a common belief by most everyone, including marriage counselors, financial experts and myself. Turns out, this may not be the case.

Jan Anderson, a family and consumer sciences professor at California State University Sacramento, set out to prove this theory by writing a doctoral dissertation on the subject. Anderson both taught personal finance classes and came from a family that ended up in divorce as well. Like me, Anderson enjoyed teaching money skills in hopes to not only educate people, but hopefully to save a few marriages as well.