Archive for February, 2009

5 dollars really adds up!


I read about a woman who saved her $5 bills for 3 years and saved $12,000! I thought it would be cool to conduct my own experiment & see what I could do for the month of December. Up until this decision, I didn’t use a lot of cash, mostly my debit card, but I had wanted to transition over to cash (for more accountability) anyway, so this was the perfect time. I took out my ‘play’ money at the beginning of December and went on with life.

The Friday gathering – The joys of home ownership


I love owning a home and in general enjoy the challenges of repairing my own home, making improvements, etc. I say generally because what I don’t enjoy is the fact that most often the big problems happen at the worst times. Either that or they are beyond my ability to repair and require me having to pay a professional.

Financially overwhelmed


Do you ever feel financially overwhelmed? Over the past two weeks we’ve had to pay property taxes on our rental home, home owners association (HOA) dues for our current home and rental house, our car registrations came due, a few bills were due, and another misc expense.

Under normal circumstances, none of these issues should have been a problem, as I would normally have saved for each of them and had the money in my savings account. But due to us moving and having to float two mortgage payments for a bit, I had to dip into those savings to cover things. I didn’t have to dip too much, but enough to make me have to scramble a bit and tap the emergency fund to cover all of the expenses this month.

I made it to round 2 and need your help!

Free Money Finance continues March madness and my article made it to Round 2! If you have a minute, I’d really appreciate it if you would head over and vote: Game 2: Appreciate.

If I win, FMF will donate $500 to my charity of choice, the Amercian Diabetes Association. My now 9 year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in November of 2006. He’s been quite a trooper through the whole thing. He makes me very proud of him each and every day as I watch him struggle daily with the illness. Researchers have made some significant breakthroughs in the past couple of years towards possibly finding a cure. I feel like they are so close to a major breakthrough!

Educate yourself on personal finance and money


A survey done in 2006 by Entrepreneur magazine revealed that “70% of Americans say they are good or excellent at managing their finances.”  Did that statistic shock you? It did me.  Statistics from a 2006 government survey show that “96% of all Americans will retire financially dependent on the government, family, or dependents.”

It isn’t what we don’t know that kills us, it’s everything we know that ain’t so” – Mark Twain

Will there be another economic stimulus check?


With the recent announcement of President Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus bill, there are probably at least 787 billion different questions. One of the top ones is “Will there be another economic stimulus check?“. The answer is No, but…

Tax Impact

The President’s new bill takes a different approach to stimulus efforts. Instead, the new economic stimulus bill will utilize tax cuts as one of many approaches to stimulating the economy. Millions of US workers will begin to see about $52 extra per month in their paychecks, starting in June. This is from a $400 tax credit that will be given out through the remainder of the year.

Establish your personal values and goals first


I’ve been reading Does Your Bag Have Holes?, by Cameron C. Taylor. I’ll have to say, it is probably one of the best Christian based personal finance books I have ever read. In one section, Cameron shares some financial wisdom from a friend:

“After nearly thirty years in the financial business and having associated with thousands of wealthy individuals, I have developed a firm philosophy  about people and money. If an individual does not clearly establish personal values and goals before making financial goals, then wealth and the accumulation thereof will begin to take on a life of its own.”

The Friday Gathering – Arizona Edition


Within the next few hours, I’ll be back on a plane and headed home. I won’t get in until late this evening, but I can’t get home soon enough. I will say though that I was very pleasantly surprised with Phoenix Arizona. Arizona was not at all what I expected. Although I knew better, I had this vision in my of desert, sand, no trees, etc. The area is beautiful, full of palm trees, cactus, and gorgeous mountain ranges that just seem to pop-up out of the ground. The city of Phoenix is beautiful as well, with immaculately landscaped highways, cobblestone intersections, and water features everywhere. Everything here looks so clean, fresh and new.

In the event I die – Information for my family


I’m currently out of town on business. I don’t travel often, but when I do for some crazy reason a few days before I always begin to think through the question: “How easy would it be for my wife to pick up our finances if  died?”  I’m not really afraid of flying and I’ve flown on planes many many times over the years, but the same thought always runs through my mind without fail.

Family Money Mangement – Helping Friends And Family In Financial Trouble

Family money management

When it comes to family money management and assisting friends and family who fall victim to the current economic crisis, most people want to help, but often have absolutely no idea what to do. 90 percent of us understand that the equation of “family + money” = “a particularly nasty” outcome. Hence, the dilemma resulting from being put in this awkward position, not knowing what to do, nor where to turn, can be a bit daunting.