Archive for August, 2008

Online Surveys, MyPoints and more

Like most everyone, I enjoy earning money and supplementing my income. I do this a number of different ways: through blogging, doing side jobs building and maintaining websites, running a few online stores, and by participating in various online surveys, points programs and rebate sites such as Mr. Rebates and EBates.

I’ve been trying out various services and programs now for more than a year, and thought I would share my perspective on the one’s I’ve tried.

Jobs for teens

My 13 year old son spent a day with my Dad last week. My Dad loves cars and my son has become more and more interested in them as he’s gotten closer to driving age. The type of car he wants t has changed overtime, but his latest “obsession” is with Jeeps. He wants one of the new Wrangler Unlimited models (the 4-door Jeep). Since going to he Jeep dealership with my Dad, all I’ve heard is “I so want a Jeep”.

Buying a used auto with high miles

I drove home in a red Eddie Bauer Ford Expedition last night. The SUV is loaded: sun-roof, leather seats, premium sound (with CD changer), power and heated seats, climate control, trip computer, power pedals, alarm, and tons of other little gadgets. Guess how much I paid for it! $5,500.00 cash. No loan, no payments. The Expedition is all mine and I have the title sitting right here on my desk as I write this.

Increase your income by tithing

This is a guest post by James Rouse who blogs at Capital Couples Finance where he writes about finances, relationships, and life in general. If you like what you read below, please head over and subscribe to his RSS feed.

The last year has been absolutely incredible in so many ways, not the least of which is my annual household income has increased by more than 30%. I haven’t found a get rich scheme. I haven’t sold anything substantial. I didn’t just graduate from college. I have begun tithing to my church and it has dramatically changed my life. Tithing can literally increase your income.

The Friday Gathering – More houses Edition

The roofers should finish up installing the new roof on our current home today. It’s made a huge improvement to the look of our home. I didn’t realize how bad our roof was until I came home from work and saw the new one. Wow!

Which reminds me. We ended up hiring a painting company to repair the chimney, fix all of the rotten wood, and paint the house. I shopped around, received several bids and then selected the company I was comfortable with doing the work. I challenged their offer and practiced some negotiating tactics. I saved $1000.00 off the initial bid. Here’s the best part…the bid was low enough that we didn’t need to borrow any money! We were able to pay off the entire repair with our emergency fund!

College money all at once or allotted over time?

I received a very interesting question from a reader this week. Marsha asks:

If a child has money given to them for college, should it be
literally given to them, or slowing allotted to them? Please explain the
answer. Seeking wisdom….

Well, I’m not sure if I would be considered wise or not, but I certainly have an opinion and here’s what I would do:

I would allocate it over time. As I read your question, the wisdom of Luke 16:10 came to mind:

Luke 16:10 – “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.”

We see what we want to see

For most of my adult life, I thought credit cards, debt, and living paycheck to paycheck were the norm. I lived on this assumption not because I actually knew it to be true, but because I wanted to make myself feel comfortable. I wanted to justify my way of living. I enjoyed having stuff and buying things when I wanted to. I enjoyed deciding that I wanted something now and just going and buying it. At the time, the pleasure was greater than the pain. At some point though, the pain will surpass the pleasure. That finally happened to me.

Do the work that you love to do

When I was eleven years old, I was exposed to my first computer. I loved working on it, entering complex instructions and seeing the computer do what I had told it to do. I drove my Dad nuts until he finally gave in and bought me one of my own. I cannot even imagine how many hours I spent programming that computer, but I would suspect it just might be one of the best investments my father ever made.

How to find out if you can afford something

If you gotta ask, you can't afford me

My wife and I found a another home we really liked while doing our house hunting trip over the weekend. The house is big enough and based on the limited research I did, the price looks right as well. The problem is that it’s above what we had planned to spend for a home.

We spent the evening discussing the house and whether it was something we really wanted or not. Most of our conversation centered on one topic: Can we afford it? This is an easy question to answer, but far more difficult to answer in many cases, especially for higher priced items like cars, homes, etc. This is also a question is a topic that comes up in our household frequently. We even had this same conversation concerning our trip.

Sunday Lyrics – Stained Glass Masquerade

My all time favorite contemporary Christian group is Casting Crowns. They have mastered the ability to combine powerful and meaningful lyrics with wonderful melodies. Their sound is unique and it would seem every song they record is a hit. There music has been a true ministry in my life and really serves to make sure I’m living my life in the way Christ wants me to.

Stained Glass Masquerade is a song that reveals the truth about the life many Christians unfortunately regularly live in. Read the lyrics below and you’ll see what I mean. You can also listen to the song on YouTube.