Archive for October, 2008

When to replace items on your car

Four Pillars from Quest for Four Pillars caught me online the other day and asked me: How do you know when to change your tires? He knew I had a huge interest in cars and some knowledge about them. I of course replied and told him about tread wear indicators. We both thought that an article describing how to know when to replace the various items on your car might be of interest.

Back up Part II – Goodbye Dreamhost

No more than a few hours after Gather Little by Little came up it went down again. Dreamhost resolved the initial application server problem, but then a problem occurred with the database server that caused the site to be down all day yesterday. After waiting most of the day for a reply I finally just gave up on them and moved Gather Little by Little to another server. They did finally reply stating that the problem was that I had an old version of software. What’s interesting about this is that it was software I pay them to maintain that was out of date.

Avoid debt this holiday season

As the holiday season approaches, I begin to think about wonderful music, good food, colorful lights, family and friends, and debt. Yes debt. The holiday season was one of the times in the past where I unfortunately had a tendency to significantly increase the balance on my credit cards.

I would never plan ahead for Christmas and buy my presents all at the last minute and using a credit card. Each year I would thoroughly convince myself that I would just pay it off quickly after the first the year. Each year I would never due that. I would pay the minimum payments and always find some excuse on how to spend the extra money. As a consequence, each month my debt would grow significantly due to the interest and continued use of the cards.

Just a reminder

Just a reminder that I’m moving and won’t be posting for few days. Most likely until not until Monday the 27th and that’s assuming my DSL connection gets hooked up as promised. If for some reason I’m not back by Monday, hang in there I’ll be back soon and hopefully give you an update on how our move went and include some pictures!

If you just can’t wait that long (and you can’t right???) read back through my archives. There’s lots of really great articles in there…or at least I think so. Here are just a few:

Good bye house

As I sit here in my favorite easy chair, typing away on my laptop in the cool quiet morning, I’m surrounded by cardboard. All of our belongings are safely packed away in various sized cardboard boxes. Our shelves are bare, cabinets empty, and surprisingly there are no toys on the floor. It’s all so weird. We’ve lived in this house for more than 11 years. We’ve brought 4 of our 6 children home to this house to raise them. We’ve watched them grow here inside these walls. Over those 11 years, this physical wooden box we call a house has managed to become a part of us. A place of safety and security. A place of laughter, sadness, of good times and bad.

5 Common budgeting myths

My wife and I have been living on a budget for a little over two years now. The first few months were a little frustrating as we got used to the process and learned a few things but since then we don’t even really think about it that much. As a result, we don’t overdraft our accounts, we see our debt consistently going down, and our savings going up.

Package deals – a great way to save money

Last week I had to make phone calls to start our new power, phone, internet, and satellite television service. The power provider is a small rural utility cooperative founded as part of the New Deal’s Rural Electrification Administration. Phone service and DSL is provided by Bellsouth/ATT. I wasn’t sure of satellite options, but knew at least DirectTV and Dish Network were options.

From debt to investing

This guest post was written by ABCs of Investing – a brand new site for novice investors which offers two short and quick investing posts per week. Feel free to subscribe to the feed.

The downward slide

In the beginning there was debt. A lot of debt…and then…some more debt on top of that. Credit card debt – pizzas, tvs, holidays, restaurants, gifts – how could anyone afford all those things in large quantities without using their credit card to finance it all? Eventually there was a line of credit which was used to pay off the credit cards along with that shiny new car and furniture for the house. Good thing the credit cards were paid off because they were necessary to pay for extra gas for the new car and new paint to match the new furniture. You said you wouldn’t use the credit cards anymore but somehow they got maxed out again.

The Friday gathering – Moving Edition

You guys have been reading about my search for a new home, our decision to move to the mountains, about us finally finding one, then the purchase process and now finally the time has come. We’re moving!

We’re having a huge garage sale tomorrow to sell all of the junk…er…valuable items we don’t want to take with us. Once that’s all gone, we’ll finish packing up all but the essentials. The moving truck arrives bright and early on Wednesday morning to begin loading us up. Our closing is scheduled for Thursday morning at 10:00, and following that we’ll meet the moving company up at the new house at noon for them to unload us.

How to read an appraisal

I mentioned in my Friday gathering last week that we received the appraisal on our new home. We knew we were getting a great deal already, but to see on paper that we were walking into a home with almost $40,000 in equity was a great feeling.

Our bank ordered our appraisal and used a company they contract with. I received a copy of the appraisal directly from my mortgage processor. Opening it up and reading through it was a little overwhelming at first. I had to do a little digging to figure out what everything met and how the numbers were derived. This was especially true concerning the comparable properties and how they compared the prices. That completely confused me at first.