The Friday Gathering – 1 degree edition

The thermometer outside on our deck says 1 degree this morning. That is the coldest temperature I’ve ever been in while living in North Carolina. My auxiliary heating coils are on as the heat pump can’t keep up, I have the baseboard heater on upstairs to keep my kids warm, and a radiator heater in the garage for the dogs. I can almost hear the electric companies cash register going “cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching“. It will be very interesting to see what this months electric bill looks like compared to last. But, I shouldn’t complain. I used to live in Burlington VT, and accu-weather says it’s -15 there. Man, I sure don’t miss that.

Deals of the day sites – Avoiding impulse shopping


I received an interesting comment on my Deals of the day sites article I wrote that said:

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to clear my box of these tantalizing offers.

The comment made me wonder how many people buy items from deals of the day sites on impulse…probably a bunch. I’m not much of an impulse shopper anymore, but I certainly used to be. I thought I’d share a few tips on how to use these sites to your advantage without wasting money on items you don’t need.

Property Mangement Companies – What to look for


We haven’t fully given up selling our house, but we’ve entered into a contract with a property management company. Our old house is for sale and for rent at the same time. The really good news is that we have a potential tenant already and if all goes well, they should sign a lease this week. No more stressing about two mortgages!

Property Management Companies

Property management companies are companies that take care of “land lording” and marketing your rental house for you. They do this in exchange for a % of your monthly rent, and depending on the company they may charge additional property management fees as well. Here are just some of the services provided by typical property management companies:

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:

Heat cost – Tips for reducing yours


After seeing my home heating cost at more than $400 last month, I decided to take some drastic action to reduce our overall heating cost. Right now, I just don’t have the budget to make major changes like moving to a more energy efficient heat-pump or converting to a different source of heat like propane or oil, but I did find a number of minor changes I could make to help reduce my heating cost.

5 Ways religion can improve a young person's financial situation


The following is a guest post from Studenomics.

I’m not the world’s most religious person but religion definitely plays a vital role in my life. I try to follow my religion and it’s teachings as often as possible and make it a point to attend Mass Service every Sunday. Whether you realize it or not your beliefs (whether they are cultural, religious, etc.) play a large role in your everyday life and especially how you view money. The purpose of this article to show how any religious beliefs may improve a young person’s financial outlook:

The Friday Gathering Ask the M-Network Edition


The M-Network is starting the year off with a bang by beginning something that I think is really awesome: Ask the M-Network. Have a personal finance question you’ve been wanting to ask? Ask the M-Network will not only give you a chance to ask the question but give you potentially 8 different answers with 8 different perspectives!

To Ask the M-Network, submit a personal finance question to any of the M-Network members using the sites contact form on any M-Network member’s blog. Your question could be answered by several M-Network members and published within a few days on the blog where you submitted the question.

Tracking holiday gift cards


I’m sure many of you received holiday gift cards just as I did. I know many people don’t like gift cards, but I actually prefer them, especially Visa gift cards. I’m fine with store specific cards as well, but Visa gift cards are great because you can use them anywhere.

I’m a fan of gift cards in general for two reasons:

  1. Many of my interests make it difficult for people to buy things for me (i.e. banjo, saltwater aquariums, model trains)
  2. I am often not sure what to get people, and giving gift cards allows them to get what they want and/or need.

I have a new 0% credit card


Before you close your browser and stop reading, let me explain…

I have my credit card payments set-up for auto-bill pay. I make sure all of my payments go out on time and even provide a “buffer” just in case something goes wrong. About 6-months ago, I received my statement for my Bank of America credit card. The interest rate? 29.99%  WHAT?

Carnival of Money Stories Edition #92


My favorite blog carnival is the Carnival of Money Stories. Everyone loves a great story and I love reading the different stories people have about their money situations. Some are sad, some make me a bit angry, some make me feel a little better about the “dumb decisions” I’ve made in the past, and most just give you hope. Regardless of the the money story, they really put the “personal” in personal finance.