Personal finance kata

Athletes, musicians, actors, artists, etc. become experts through practice. Contrary to common belief merely doing something everyday doesn’t qualify as practice. Practice is time set aside to focus on doing something in order to get better.  For example, in my fulltime job, I manage projects and people everyday, but that doesn’t make me an expert.

This whole concept and distinction of doing something vs. practice came to my attention while reading a blog I’ve been reading for a while, Coding Horror. In that article, Jeff quotes an article from Scientific American called The Expert Mind that says:

Our Wii has changed our lives

nintendo wii

Back in May, we purchased a Nintendo Wii. Not being one to spend money frivolously, it was a purchase I really struggled with. I used to frivolous, and that was one of the many reasons we got ourselves in a bit of a financial mess. But after discussing it with my wife for a long time we finally decided to purchase one.

I was fortunate enough to actually be able to find one and we used our economic stimulus package money to pay for it. The day we brought our Nintendo Wii home, plugged it in and started playing it changed our lives. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true.

Somebody is watching you

Somebody is watching you

Who’s watching, Tell me, who’s watching, Who’s watching me
Somebody’s Watching Me, Rockwell, 1984

I love going to church and listening to our pastor’s sermons. Funny, I remember a time when I would literally count down the time to when church service was over. Now that I am older and and a more mature Christian, I’ve really come to appreciate the sermon each Sunday and really get a great deal from them. To be honest, many of the sermons influence articles I write here on Gather Little by Little, and this is one such article.

Get 100+ MPG with scooters


Each Monday here on Gather Little by Little I write about topics and techniques for saving money. This article is part of that ongoing series called Money Saving Monday Tips.

I know, I know not another article on gas prices, MPGs, or hypermiling right? Well, bear with me as this is an idea that will not only reduce your gas costs but might even be fun!

Sunday Lyrics – Hold me Jesus

When I first became a Christian I began listening to contemporary Christian music. The quality and style of the music was very different then, but a few artists stood out in the crowd and many are still very popular today. Names to come to mind are Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Stephen Curtis Chapman just to name a few. One other that I’m sure would be on the list if he was still alive was Rich Mullins. Rich Mullins was my favorite artist and I still enjoy listening to him today.  Unfortunately, Rich was killed in a car accident on September 19, 1997. He was only 41.

Following Gather Little by Little

I am continually amazed at the growth I’ve experienced here on Gather Little by Little. Each day it seem like I receive a comment or email from someone that says something like “Hi, just found your blog…” or “First time visiting and love the site”. I love getting those types of communications. As I’ve said before, my intention with starting Gather Little by Little was to make a difference in people’s lives. Hopefully, the more readers I get, the bigger the positive impact I can have.

The Friday gathering – Annoying scrapers addition

One of the things you learn pretty quick as a blogger is the importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Getting your pages ranked high on search engine result pages can bring very large amounts of traffic. That traffic turns into potential new readers and commentators. Search engine visitors are also the visitors most likely to click on your ads as well. While I don’t make a great deal here on Gather Little by Little, it does pay the hosting fees, compensates me for the time I spend writing, and supplements my income some.

I'm losing money in my 401k – Whoa!

It's a long way down

It's a long way down

As many of you know, my day job is in the banking industry. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been slowly watching my companies stock plummet. It seems each day brings another significant drop. I don’t pay real close attention to my 401k balance. Typically, the only time I even look at it is when I receive my quarterly statement, or need to update my How To Determine And Track Your Net Worth. Due to the declining market, I decided to take a peek. Like most, I’m losing money in my 401k.

My single step personal finance challenge

follow the line

Photo by: magical-world

Mrs. Micah started a challenge called the first step challenge. The challenge: Find one step you can take to make your financial system better or more organized. I am a huge fan in the old saying “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

There is no big “fix-it” switch

Too often people realize they need to change and begin to think through how they want to change and what they want to become. But the challenge seems too big. Looking at what they want to do as a whole is just too much.

There is a price for convenience

Dungeons & Dragons books
Photo by: brewbooks

I’ve mentioned in a few posts in the past that I enjoy playing Dungeons & Dragons*. Call me a geek, but it really is an incredible game, much like playing a novel where you are the main character. Recently, Wizards of the Coast (the makers of D&D) released the 4th edition rule set and along with it new rule books and adventures. The new rule set not only makes the game better (or at least in theory) but it’s an incredibly smart marketing move for WOTC (Wizards of the Coast) as it encourages everyone that plays to upgrade their books and adventures. I recently learned what my price for convenience is. Let me explain…