Archive for May, 2009

Sunday gathering – How's your budget?

i-dare-you

At the end of April I dared you to live 30 days on a budget. More than 23 people signed up and agreed to try budgeting. Most said they would begin the first day of May. Here it is the last day of May. How did you do?

  • Did you start? If not, how come?
  • Did you make it the full 30 days? If not, what stopped you?
  • What things did you learn?
  • Did you get it right?
  • Did you use my excel budget spreadsheet? Did you use software such as You Need a Budget?

Saving Pennies by the Pound: My Weight Watchers-Inspired Money Diet

This guest post is by Amanda Steinberg of DailyWorth.com. DailyWorth offers daily personal finance tips for women by email.

I’m a Weight Watchers master. In 2003, I was 5’8″ and 160 pounds “” not exactly ideal for a 25-year-old single girl living in Manhattan. I spent three (!) years on Weight Watchers, and for two years, failed repeatedly. I obsessed over every drop of salad dressing and kernel of popcorn only to learn at my weekly meeting weigh-in that I’d gained half a pound. I quit multiple times, but would return months later with new resolve. Finally, in my third year, something clicked. I dropped thirty pounds in just six months.

Zero percent balance transfers at 3.99%. Huh?

bait-and-switch

Last month I applied for another Discover More card. I had to end up getting two cards as the first one in my wife’s name wouldn’t cover the entire remaining balance on my 29.9% Bank of America credit card (crooks!).

Before any of you freak out about me getting additional credits cards, I’m transferring the balances to get a reduced rate and won’t be using the cards for anything else. As a matter of fact upon receiving the cards I immediately scanned the cards and stored to images in Evernote then sent them straight to the shredder. I just don’t need the temptation laying around. I am sure I’d be fine, but I just don’t trust myself enough.

To what degree should finances affect life decisions?

coin-flip

Last week, I listed some some of my poorer financial decisions. Unfortunately, the picture that I inserted into the post seemed to give the impression that I viewed having children as a poor financial decision. That was not the intent and I took a little heat for that decision. But the discussion did start me thinking about the relationship between life decisions and money.

Winner of the Skinny on credit cards

the-skinny-on-credit-cardsThanks to everyone that entered into the Skinny on credit cards book giveaway. I received 22 entries and visited random.org to pick to the random winning comment. Random.org picked comment #8…and the winner is:

Kim (the first one)!!

In her comment, Kim said:

This sounds like a REALLY great book, and I’d love to win it to give to my teenage nephews. They will be looking at colleges soon, and could use this advice to get off on the right foot financially, especially since I’m sure they will be inundated with credit card offers. And, with their father laid off and no jobs in sight, and me only a temp (with permanent employment a distant, slim, possibility!), and, worst of all, we live in southeast Michigan, every little bit of info and advice helps! Thanks for all the great advice and inspiration! Keep it up!

Specialized emergency funds

firetrucks

I’ve been talking about the benefits of having an emergency fund for a while now. As a matter of fact, my 7th article here on Gather Little by Little introduced the concept as step 5 of my Getting Your Finances Under Control series.

When I first heard Dave Ramsey talk about the concept it was in the context of a $1,000 emergency fund as baby step #1 in getting out of debt. I’ve maintained at least a $1,000 emergency fund since I first started the process of getting control of my finances.

How much do your kids know about money?

two-girls

I know that many of us are still recovering from the long weekend, so my post is on the lighter side today. I spent a lot of time outside over the past few days, believe it or not, my day job required me to work Friday night, all day on Saturday, all day on Sunday and most of the day on Monday . . . Fortunately, my services on Monday were not needed at the last minute, so I was able to enjoy some time with my family yesterday.

Memorial Day Holiday

fallen

I’m taking the day off today to enjoy some time with my family and get some more work done on our yard projects. I hope you are able to get away from work a little and spend some time relaxing or doing something you love to do.

While it is a holiday, don’t forget the reason. Do not forget the service men and women who died while in military service. They died fighting for us and to protect our freedom. If you’ve lost a friend or loved one that served, there are no words that I can share to make you pain go away nor are their words that would even come close to expressing how grateful I am them. What I can say is thank you. I can also promise that I will never forget.

Sunday gathering – Busy, busy

As I’m sure you might have noticed, life here in “Gibble” land has been real busy for the past few weeks. Frankly for he past few months. I love being busy, as I’m not one to enjoy sitting still much, but a little less busy might be a good thing right now!

Let me just share a few updates on things I’ve been doing/working on. I know many of you enjoy hearing updates on the more personal aspects of my life. I can’t for the life of me figure out why though! Anyway, here you go:

Creek side patio

spring

How to Build a Compost Bin

building-compost-bin

Building a compost bin is something I’ve had on my list of things to do to ever since we moved here to the mountains. Compost is a great soil amendment for vegetable and flower gardens. Mature compost is the result of the natural breakdown of organic waste. Composting is the ultimate in recycling and considering organic waste makes up for more than 24% of municipal waste, composting is a great way to help the environment and save money.

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