Common new home buyer mistakes


I was talking with a co-worker recently who was preparing to purchase his first home. He recently got married, and has been renting for a few years. He felt that he had a good down payment and with the economic stimulus benefits for new home buyers, now was the time. I couldn’t disagree with him, for him it was time.

Now is a great time to buy a house, but there are some very common new home mistakes that I shared with him and will share with you as well:

Congratulations! You just sold your house, now what?


We’re going to Disneyland!

Okay, not quite, but the prospect of facing the next month without a house payment, insurance premium, property tax, gas bill, water bill, heating bill, softwater rental bill and other miscellaneous maintenance costs sounds like a trip to paradise – or at least a couple of days off.

Last week, we closed on the home that we have not lived in for sixteen months. The closing documents were overnighted to us earlier in the week and Mrs. Stew and I signed the papers, had them notarized and then sent them back across the country with our fingers crossed and our hearts in prayer.

You can’t trust in money during a storm

After the storm

I believe that God orders all events and this belief is a comfort, not a threat. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose”.

So how does this affect my attitude toward money? There are hundreds of ways – we talk about the influence of faith on money all the time. But once in a while, we get a little comfortable and need a reminder that to trust in a high salary, a beefy 401K, or even in debt freedom for security is foolish. Those things are great, they are smart, but our ultimate trust must be in the One “who owns the cattle on thousand hills”.

Giveaway Contest: Now I Want to Hear From You!

I wrote my very first post yesterday introducing myself and telling my I thoughts on handling Gather Little by Little. However, the biggest part of a blog is its readers and community. For the past months, I have been reading your comments and discovered how great GLBL readers are.

This is why I have decided to run a contest in order to know what you like from Gather Little by Little and also what you would like to read in the upcoming months. Are there any topics that you prefer or you wish to read about?

win an itouchHere are the prizes:

A Little More About The Financial Blogger


As previously announced by Larry, aka GLBL guy, he recently sold his blog to a guy called The Financial Blogger. Well that guy is me, Mike, and The Financial Blogger is the name of my first blog. Selling a blog is a though decision to make for both the buyer and the seller. While Larry has to “leave a part of his life”, I am taking a risk that you won’t enjoy my articles as much as Larry’s. This is why I thought of introducing myself as my first article.

A time for everything – A time to move on


Ecclesiastes 3 says:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

2 year anniversary contest winners!


Wow! I received 231 contest entries: 165 via comments, and 66 via subscriptions with the secret phrase. Thanks to everyone that entered, and a very special thank you for all of the kind comments you left. They met a great deal to me.

Now, jumping right to it…

The Winners!

Winners were selected by placing everyone’s entries into a spreadsheet and using to generate a set of 8 random numbers for the 8 prize winners. Those numbers were matched to the rows in the spreadsheet and resulted in the following winners!

Home Ownership: it's just a little bit more . . .

dripping faucet

Someday, I hope to own another home, but not until I am good and ready. We are quite happy with our rental situation at the moment.

Ask the M-Network – Questions from college and on housing


This article is part of the Ask the M-Network series. Over the past few weeks I received a few more questions, and my M-Nework partners have been kind enough to answer. Here’s the questions and the answers:

Should I rent rooms or the whole house?
Providing money to college students
College student with a tax refund
Rent or Buy?

Should I rent rooms or the whole house?

We need to increase our income, I am SAHM of 2 kids and dh is out of job for 5 months and we are running out of 6 month emergency funds. we have no major debts other than mortgage.

Earned Income Tax Credit mistake


In one of my first posts here at Gather Little by Little, I revealed that my personal finance history is not perfect. There have been some lessons that we had to learn the hard way . . . and there are certainly more lessons to come. I also said that I hoped to be honest with GLBL readers about our family financial journey. Today’s post is one such time that I thought about obscuring the truth a bit. I mean, it’s kind of embarrassing for a personal finance blogger to have a tax error, isn’t it? Here is the story:

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