Archive for July, 2010

Dad spends more

Okay, I will admit it, Mrs. Stew is more frugal than I.

She is poor at paying bills on time and keeping track of the amount of money available in our account. I take care of that stuff because, well, numbers do not really mean anything to her. But she definitely spends less than me. Mrs. Stew leaves on a trip tomorrow and I will be home with our three young ‘uns for four days. I think that this scenario provides the most apt demonstration of my point.

My student loan debt is gone

Last month I made the final payment on my federally subsidized Stafford loan.

I graduated from college with a relatively small amount of student loan debt. Due to the fact that my parents started to make me save for college from the age of eight years old, I paid cash for my first year of enrollment at a private college. After that, I financed my own education by working during school semesters and on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring and summer breaks. I managed to finish my undergraduate degree with only $7,000 in student loans. I then immediately enrolled in graduate school which I financed by working as a graduate assistant. Payments on the $7,000 were deferred while I was enrolled in graduate school, but I still managed to pay off $2,000 before finishing my masters. That was the spring of 2001.

Lessons from Luke: Taxation and the birth of Christ

Last Monday, I announced a new series of articles dealing with the subject of money in the Gospel of Luke. Keep in mind that the book of Luke was a letter written to a rich man by a rich man. Some commentators have said that a major theme of the book of Luke is to expose wealth as an enemy of faith. I know that Luke often mentions money and this is a blog about money, but it is important to note that the book of Luke is not about finance. The book of Luke was written to present Jesus Christ, as God-in-the-Flesh, the Savior of those who believe in Him. My posts in this series are not meant to detract from that truth, but to simply note the times that the subject of finance is mentioned in the book of Luke and how it might relate to our (the GLBL community) development of a biblical view of money.

My Craigslist mistake

Last month, I wrote a couple of posts on the subject of shopping on Craigslist. I wrote on on the subject of selling on the site and one on the subject buying on Craigslist. I listed several suggestions and helpful tips. Also, several readers chimed in with still more advice on finding a good deal through the site. On a related note, I also ran across this story about a teenager who started with a used mobile phone and over the course of two years, traded his way up to a 2000 Porsche Boxster S.

How do spouses share expenses?

I recently ran across a question on Personal Finance Q&A’s over at Moolanomy. The question itself was not all that remarkable, but the scene portrayed¬† in the lead up to the question portrays a marriage that might be headed for trouble in my humble opinion.

Here is a portion of the questions posted by a writer who identified herself as KJC. If you would like the entire context, click through here:

Lessons from Luke

Yesterday, our speaker in church chose a text from the book of Luke. Luke is one of the first four books of the New Testament known as the Synoptic Gospels or simply, the Gospels. They are historical narratives that focus on the deeds and sayings of Jesus Christ while on earth.

The thing that struck me during the message was the number of times that the subject of money came up during Christ’s earthly ministry and especially how often Luke includes monetary descriptions in his writing. I spent a large part of my evening reading through portions of the book and noting the occurrence of words like “rich”, “wealth” and “poor”. Luke often recounts exact amounts of money such as in the story of the widow’s mite or the value of the perfume used to anoint the feet of Christ.

Part-time jobs with perks

On Wednesday, I suggested several full-time occupations that came with benefits that can save you money. However, not all of us are in a position to be picky about our full-time jobs. Sometimes you just have to take what you can get. If you want “perks” like reduced rate merchandise or free access to entertainment from a job, maybe you could look at part-time work. I have often thought about working a few hours a week at an electronics or computer store – just for the discounts on computer equipment.

Full-time jobs with perks that can save you money

This is a tough time period in which to find employment. If you are like me, you are thankful for every day that you can get out of bed and go to work. If you are unemployed, every day can be agonizing. However, there is a chance that you could find a job with better pay or a job for which you are better suited. One aspect of job hunting that we might overlook is the value of “perks” that come with various jobs. Sometimes perks increase the attractiveness of an otherwise low or average paying employment opportunity.

Pros and Cons of my real job

It is good to be back. I took a little bit of time off before and after the Fourth of July. We were doing a lot of traveling and sometimes our internet access was not the greatest and besides it is a little rude to visit family and then be off typing on the computer for an hour or so. I must also admit that I spent a lot of time watching the World Cup and now that the tournament is over, I can get back to life as usual.  I hope that all of you, the Gather Little by Little readers, are having a great summer.