Archive for December, 2008

Propane, Electricity, or Oil – Which one is cheaper?


I recently received the first full month electric bill for our new home here in the NC mountains and was shocked: $420.00! That is the most expensive electric bill I have ever had. Granted, my new house is all electric, where my prior homes were both electric and gas.

Out with the old and in with the new


Now that Christmas is over many people’s homes are full of stuff. My guess is that 80% of that stuff isn’t even used and Christmas added even more items to the stuff pile. As the old saying goes, maybe it’s time for “out with the old and in with the new.

Out with the old, in with the new

One of the traditions my wife and I started shortly after our oldest son turned 3 or so was to take toys and clothing that were no longer used, bag them up and give them to various charities after Christmas. We continued to do this as we added more children to our family and even adopted this policy for ourselves.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas morning at the Gather Little by Little household

Just a quick post to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Our kids had mercy on us this year and allowed us to sleep in until 7:30! Something about Christmas morning that always amazes me is how quickly it’s over. Within 1/2 an hour all of the presents were open and the kids were off and playing. Of course my wife and I had to assembly a few things and remove the packaging from a few items which kept us busy for a bit.

Your life is more important than your stuff


This is not a picture of the accident. This one is actually far better than the one I witnessed.

Yesterday I had to drive to Charlotte, NC to run a few errands and pickup a couple of Christmas presents for our kids that we had stashed at my in-laws place.

About 10 minutes from home, I was heading east bound on I-40. In front of me riding in the left lane, a car and in front of the car a Mercury MountaineerĀ  (SUV) pulling a medium sized camper (a 24 foot or so travel trailer). A dump truck was in the right lane just ahead of the SUV. As the SUV pulling the camper passed the dump truck, he began to sway.

Lessons learned about propane


I mentioned two weeks ago in my Friday gathering post that as a result of moving into our home, I’m having to learn a bunch of new things due to our new house and the new area we live in. The trend of learning continues.

As I write this, I am sitting next to a nice, warm gas fire. It’s 6 degrees outside, so I’m very thankful for it. Our gas fireplace keeps our middle main living floor nice and cozy. Two weeks ago though it wouldn’t have as we ran out of gas.

Christmas giveaway from Christian PF

My friend and fellow personal finance blogger Bob, from ChristianPF is doing a Christmas giveaway. In order to enter, you have to have a website, blog, or as Bob suggests you could create a Facebook or Squidoo page.

Items up for grabs include:

Neobudget Giveaway


Just a real quick post to make you aware that NeoBudget is having a promotional giveaway. Five random winners will receive a 1-year subscription for free. To enter all you have to do is sign up for the free trial. Yep, it’s that simple.

What is NeoBudget? NeoBudget is an online budget system that uses the envelope method to help you track your spending habits and stick to a budget.

Make sure you head over sign-up for the 7-day free trial and automatically be entered into the giveaway. You can read all the details on the giveaway page.

The Friday gathering – Finally Christmas Vacation!


As of yesterday, I finally started my Christmas vacation. I was supposed to start on Monday, but due to some ongoing issues at work, I needed to hang out an extra few days. I’m off until January 5th, a little more than two weeks. We don’t take a great deal of vacation and when we do it’s seldom more than 1 week at a time, except for during Christmas where I generally try to take 2-3 weeks off.

2008 Goals


For some reason I can’t seem to mentally grasp that 2008 is almost over. I feel like I was just writing this same article but back in 2007. I like setting goals for myself. Granted I am not near as good at meeting them as I am setting them, I do like laying out a destination for myself. Goals help keep me focused and heading in the right direction, even if I don’t always achieve them. As the old saying goes, it’s often more about the journey than the actual destination.

Blue Hippo computers – The Truth


I listen to the radio in my car while traveling, and it seems like almost every commercial break contains a Blue Hippo computers commercial. I am sure you’ve heard them, Blue Hippo promises a desktop or laptop with no credit check and they even throw in a free digital camera and color printer. If you have bad credit this sounds like an awesome deal right? I decided to do a little research into this offer, after all if it sounds too good to be true it probably is right?

Blue Hippo computers – The Math

This is straight from the Blue Hippo site: