A Merry Christmas For All!


We are now the 24th of December and my children are getting pretty excited! They just can’t wait to get their gifts from Santa”¦ and I just can’t wait to eat the delicious homemade cookies they will leave for Santa before going to sleep tonight ;-)

But seriously folks, I think Christmas is more than a fancy and overly marketed Holiday abused by gifts and excesses of all kinds. Christmas is a special time of the year where you have the unique opportunity to connect with all the people you love. It is time to forget about your old disputes and call those people you call “friend”, “father”, “sister”, etc.

The cost of Thanksgiving

sleeping children

My wife and kids and I live a fourteen hour drive from my family and a twelve hour drive in the exact opposite direction from my wife’s family, so sometimes it is difficult to make a decision about where to spend the holidays. This  year we drove east to be with my family. Here are the numbers:

Gasoline: The trip is a thousand miles one way and our minivan gets approximately 21 miles per gallon. We will drive another 200 miles during the four day visit and then another 1,000 miles to get home. Total fuel cost: $280.

Have a happy Labor Day!

hot dogs

I always think it is ironic that Labor Day is a day off of work.

Labor Day has been observed since the 1880′s. It was originally intended to be a nod toward organized labor by politicians, both in Canada and in the United States. I value the contributions of all people who work, not just union workers and I salute all who have used the freedom offered by our culture to work to earn their dream.

Inexpensive date night tips

date night

Mrs. Stew and I are the proud parents of three children ages six and under. We love our kids, but we still look forward to those times when it is just the two of us. Date night can get expensive, however. By the time you add up the cost of a babysitter, a movie, dinner and gas . . . well, I don’t want to think about it. Here are a few ideas that we use to keep the monetary cost of investment in our marriage low.

Mom is staying home!

Hug

A month ago, I shared that my wife was planning to work outside the home during this school year. We had every reason to believe that she would be hired and our children would attend that school free of charge. The added income would have reduced our financial strain significantly and if you remember the reasons, the decision was almost 100 percent financially based. However, it turns out that she will not be taking the job.

12 Frugal Wedding Ideas from Stew

wedding-cropped

Okay, these ideas are not really from Stew, but Stew gets some credit because he asked his wife if she had any suggestions for a frugal wedding. Here are twelve that she listed off the top of her pretty little head. She actually claims to have more, but without further adieu, here are the the twelve:

  1. Save wedding invitations that you get in the mail. Use the ideas of others. Making your own can be fun and unique. Enlist the help of your closest friends and family to help you assemble them. My invitations (including envelopes and inserts) cost around $100 for 300.

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.

What should I do with my house?

house-cropped

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.

Help Your Local Church

camp

This is a guest post from the blogger behind Studenomics a personal finance blog that offers common sense advice for college students and recent graduates. Studenomics is the ultimate resource for young people looking for advice on how to survive this current recession, grow their careers, manage their finances, and still be able to enjoy the weekends.

How many times in the last 8 months have you used the excuse, “I would attend church today if I didn’t have so much homework.” Well guess what? You can longer use this excuse for not attending church since college is out for the summer. I’m realistic and I know many college students won’t read the Bible daily or attend church services regularly, but there are many ways you could help your local church.

A lot of green fun with a little junk

Green Fun

This is a picture of the one of the new prototypes being tested by GM now that the government is running the company.

Just kidding!

A couple of weeks ago we took our three kids to a children’s museum near our home. This particular children’s museum is not really a “museum” with static displays and plaques to read, rather it is a place for children to explore with their hands. There is something for almost every level of childhood. Seven month crawlers up through ten year-olds can find plenty to do.

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