How is your Christmas savings fund doing?

We received a call from my oldest son’s football coach last week who informed us the first football practice of the season starts tonight. Tonight? Wait, it’s not even…oh wait, it is August already. Whoa, school starts in 3 weeks. That also means Christmas is only 5 months away.

How is your Christmas savings fund?

I wrote about starting a Christmas savings fund last year. I strongly advised that in order avoid using credit cards during the Christmas season that you should begin automatically setting aside some money in a special account (I use ING Direct). I suggested that you should determine what your Christmas budget would be for the year, divide that amount by 12 and set-up an automatic savings withdrawl in that amount.

How would I spend $50,000?

Hank from My Investing Blog is running a great contest where the winner will receive $300.00 in American Express Gift cards. The question you have to answer to enter is: If you were given $50,000USD (tax free) today, what would you spend it on?

Handling a financial windfall

If I were handed a $50,000 check today I must admit the temptation to go out and purchase a BMW 135i would be so tempting! But I wouldn’t, but this does remind me of a very important point: When and if you receive a financial windfall, regardless of the amount, don’t let temptation win.

The Friday gathering: Ban bump keys edition

Ever heard of a bump key? If not, you need to. A bump key is a normal house key that fits your lock but has a special series of cuts. If you put the key in the lock and tap it with a screwdriver while turning then the lock will open. Basically, the tap on the key bumps the pins in the lock exposing a split second when everything lines up and the lock will open. Bump keys work on deadbolt and doorknob locks. They are cheap and easy to obtain. They literally cost just a few dollars on the internet. They are so simple to use even children can master this new break-in technique.

Starting an online store

I’m often asked what I do for living. My answer? “I’m an IT manager and internet entrepreneur.” IT manager doesn’t sound too exciting, but internet entrepreneur always grabs people’s attention. I used to answer the question with “blogger” instead of internet entrepreneur, but people really don’t understand what “blogger” means and my internet activities have expanded beyond just blogging. I now run a few different blogs and currently have 3 different online stores.

How to be rich

Patrick from Cash, Money, Life has been writing a series recently called How to Become A Millionaire. The series is a great read that provides some dead-on information on the basics for becoming a millionaire. I often read through my the blogs in my feed reader early in the morning. I then throughout the day ponder the various topics and content I’ve read that morning. Patrick’s posts have been giving me a great deal to ponder over the past few days.

At the end of his first article, Patrick asks a question that really made me think: What will your millionaire story be?

10 least expensive to own vehicles – not one is hybrid

High gas prices are the talk of the town these days. Talk of high gas prices is on the nightly news, the topic of conversation at the local coffee shop and even around the water cooler at work. People are reacting to the prices differently. Some are telecommuting more frequently, others are practicing hypermiling techniques, some are looking to more questionable practices like using water based devices, and others are trading their gas guzzlers for smaller cars or hybrids.

Money Saving Monday Roundup #2

Each and every Monday, I share with you some tip I practice or have heard about in an ongoing series I have called Money Saving Monday. Back in December, I was a bit busy and put together a quick round-up of my money saving Monday posts. As it turns out, the round-up was pretty popular. So I thought I would once again gather together all of my money saving Monday articles since the last round-up. While I might be a bit partial, I think there are some really great tips here.

Sunday Lyrics – What life would be like

Big Daddy Weave’s newest album, What would life be like, came out this past week. As a huge fan of them I was very excited. I love the vocal sound of the lead singer Mike Weaver and their songs have deep and powerful meaning behind them. Trust me, these guys rock. Head over to their MySpace page to listen to the new song and also hear a bunch of their other big hits.

Improving your career prospects

This is a guest post from Todd who blogs over at HarvestingDollars. Todd writes on personal finance topics including behavioral finance, retirement planning, goal achievement, frugal living, and wealth building strategies. If you like what you read please subscribe to HarvestingDollars.

Clearly careers differ greatly from one person to another, as do each of our career goals. Although I’m still relatively young (33), I’ve been blessed with a wide variety of work experiences, including:

  • working low-level jobs like fast food, tutoring, and entry-level construction jobs
  • driving a dump truck
  • working as a high-end technology consultant

The Friday Gathering – Life change edition

Chimney Rock Park

We went on vacation a few weeks ago to the North Carolina mountains. It was a very frugal vacation in that we camped on our in-laws land and really didn’t go anywhere nor did we spend much money. My wife and I have been visiting the mountains of North Carolina since before we were married. I fell in love with them the first time I visited Biltmore house and then my wife and I have some very fond memories of hiking in Chimney Rock park when we were first married.



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