Do you go to pawn shops?

A year and a half ago, someone gave me a 50cc scooter. It was of uncertain foreign brand and I could not figure out how to even change the oil. None of the shops in my area would even work on it because they did not know where to get parts for it. People mocked me for driving that scooter, but it sure was convenient since we only have one family vehicle and in our state, scooters under 51cc do not have to be licensed, registered or insured. Between adding a little oil now and then and buying gas, I drove it for about $3 a week. Anyway, I drove it to work most days of the week all until it was stolen about six months ago. I think someone just picked it up and threw it in the back of a pickup truck and that was the end of it.

Would you take a pay cut to keep your job?

I like my current day job, however, our finances are so tight that if my boss asked me to take a pay cut, it might take me a while to make a decision. Here are some of my possible responses:

I might say “yes” because of our health insurance. Health insurance could be a big factor in this decision. If my family had immediate need of medical care, I might be forced to accept whatever pay I was offered.

Will wealth profit you nothing?

Our church has been studying the book of Revelation over the past couple of months. We have been spending time looking at the early part of the book where Christ addresses several churches that were contemporary with the writing of Revelations. There are seven churches mentioned and each is commended or criticized or both according to how well they were following Christ in truth. Many of you know that there are divergent views on how to interpret and apply the letters to the churches. I believe that the problems faced by the first century congregations and the solutions to those problems are issues that are alive and well in our own churches two thousand years later. A believer must be always vigilant to hold up his own congregation in comparison to the early church, and when found wanting, to address the problem.

Passive income is not passive

On Wednesday, I shared some problems with the IRS list of income streams that are considered “passive”. I think much of what we consider to be passive income, is in reality, an alternate stream of income. An alternate stream of income is generally any money that you earn outside of your regular job. Some people have grown alternate income so much that they no longer have to work a 9 to 5, but most of us will never get to that point.

Is there such a thing as passive income?

I was looking over a list of ideas for generating so-called “passive” income when I was struck by the thought that there really is not such a thing as passive income. I think that many times we look at the way certain monies are earned and if those ways seem easier than the way our money is earned, we consider that money to be passive income. I once made a tax mistake regarding passive income, so there is definitely a difference in how the IRS treats active v passive income.

New bank account checklist

Mrs. Stew and I recently opened new checking accounts in our area. As I shared in February, my wife and I have separate brick and mortar checking accounts for salary direct deposit and regular checking deposits. We then use online savings accounts for bill pay, emergency funds, long term savings, etc. Earlier in the month, we both acquired Chase bonus coupons for $125 and opened our new checking accounts.

Friday Gathering: Xavier v K State Edition

Did you see that game?! Awesome!

Here are some articles that I found interesting this week:

A guest post at Cash Money Life listed tens ways to market your small business with limited funds. I am a big fan of marketing. Good stuff there.

What happens when your bank fails? Check out the answer in an article by Craig Ford at Moolanomy.

Do you ever need auto vehicle repairs? My Two Dollars posted 11 tips for getting a good car repair estimate.

With what items are you the most frugal?

I think we all have weak spots when it comes to spending money.

Mrs. Stew really, really likes bargains – she just cannot turn down a 30% off clearance item – even when the kids do not need that new shirt. Mrs. Stew is also a coffee lover, unfortunately, coffee aficionado is not a cheap hobby. Don’t get me wrong, overall, Mrs. Stew is a good money manager, but we all have an Achilles heel, don’t we?

My thoughts on the recent healthcare legislation

I have watched more C-SPAN over the last couple of days than in my previous thirty-five years combined. I have been fascinated by this health care debate. I had a traditional personal finance post ready for today, but I am so into the details of what has happened in Washington D.C. over the past months that I just cannot concentrate on anything else.

Obviously, health care and health insurance is a huge concern for all of us. I would love to hear thoughts from some of you who have watched this process. I am not interested in yelling or accusations, just perspective. Here are a few of mine:

Do Game Shows Want You to Win, or to Lose?

This guest post comes from Michael, a contributing editor of the Dough Roller, a personal finance and investing blog, and Credit Card Offers IQ, a credit card review site.

It’s rare that I can make it through a whole week without watching some kind of game show. Should the game show network ever make its way into my cable package, I’m deathly afraid that my life will cease to exist outside of my television. No one can argue the genius behind the game show greats like “Let’s Make a Deal”, “Press Your Luck” or “The Price is Right,” and with more and more new ideas debuting every year, it begs the question I’ve always wondered. Do game shows actually want people to win or to lose?

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