How much do you spend on your hobby?

The dictionary defines a hobby as:

An activity or interest pursued outside one’s regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure.

I originally took up blogging as a hobby. It still is a hobby for me, but the business side of this hobby is growing all the time. I earn a little income now – at least enough to have to report to the IRS. And, from time to time, I am required to meet a deadline or two. Is blogging still a hobby for me? I suppose, since I still enjoy it and I blog “outside” of my regular occupation, so I guess it still qualifies. My mom’s hobby is quilting, I am not sure how many she has made in the past ten years, but the number has to be quite large.

What should a single guy do with a budget surplus?

I am not a financial or investment advisor. The extent of my training is “seat of the pants” or through reading on my own. However, over the past five years, I have probably quadrupled my financial knowledge. Yet there are still many times when people who know about my hobby (blogging about personal finance) ask me finance questions for which I do not really have an answer.

Apple vs PC – Help me out

macvspcPosting here in the afternoon as I need some help. Yeah, I know, I’m supposed to be helping you out, but hopefully you won’t mind me asking a question for a change.

I need to purchase a laptop for my blogging and Empty Cabin Media work. For a few years, I’ve been eying up an Apple Macbook Pro and spent some time yesterday reading up on them and comparing them to similar Windows based laptops. The specific Windows based model I want is a Lenovo T500.

What should I do with my house?


Okay, I am going to lay it all out and see what you think.

We own a home in another state. I am gainfully employed and making a decent wage – at least for us – in our new location. We are coming up on fourteen months since our move and we have had little or no interest in our home. When we last refinanced, our home was 90% mortgaged. We used most of the money from our second mortgage to improve the home just before the subprime mortgage crisis hit.

What do you want and how can I help you?


It’s been a while since I’ve solicited any feedback from you, so I thought it was about time to do it again. I created Gather Little by Little for one single purpose, to help others. I wanted to share my financial learnings with others in hopes that they could begin their join me in my journey to get my finances under control. I have not deviated from that purpose other than to hope that maybe someday I can do this as a full-time job. That would truely be a dream come true.

Magazines – Do you buy them?


Every so often, I like to write a post that asks a question to you. You guys are smart and I really appreciate and value your opinions on things.  One of the purchases I’ve been trying to decide on whether or not to make is regarding a few magazine subscriptions. I really struggle with magazines as I love reading them and love the information in them, but the fact that you have to pay for them and that they use paper bothers me. I’d rather be able to read the information online for free that’s supported by advertisers.

Debt, lies, and marriage – Help a reader out


I received a heartbreaking email the other day from a reader I’ll call Sarah. Her story is all about debt, lies and marriage and she needs some help:

What would you do? The house is a little rougher than we expected

Photo by: fabbio

On Friday, I wrote about a foreclosed home we found on the internet and were going to visit over the weekend. The house is on 16.5 acres of land, is approximately 4,200 square foot including the basement, has 5 bedrooms, a huge external shop and a large shed behind the shop. The land is surrounded by horse and cattle farms and is bordered on the back side by a large creek. This house on the surface seems to be exactly what we’ve been looking for. The price is right, it has plenty of room, and our children would love the land. The land is beautiful, the house? Well it’s another story…

What do you think? Should you discuss finances with your children?

Monopoly Money
Photo by: goat_girl_photos

One of the frequent topics of discussion between my wife and I is whether we should discuss our finances with our children and if so, how much should we discuss. We’ve been having this discussion off and on since our oldest son starting understanding what money was. We both agree that we should discuss our finances with our children but we differ on how much we should disclose. What’s even more interesting is that we both seem to waffle back and forth on the topic.

Should we get rid of the penny?


A reader and friend of mine, Rob, pointed me to an excellent segment that was done by 60-minutes discussing the American penny. The segment asks the questions: How do you view the humble penny? A small part of bigger things? A useless drag on your pocket or purse?

According to 60-minutes:

  • It now costs the U.S. Mint almost two cents to make a penny and almost a dime to make a nickel.
  • Coins last about 30 years in circulation before they wear out.
  • The penny was 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc until 1982 when it became 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper.

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