Sunday Lyrics: Captives Come Home

Run Kid Run Picture

To quote Rocky and Bullwinkle “And now for something completely different!”

This music featured on this weeks Sunday lyrics post is little different than normal, but I’m all for shaking things up a bit and enjoy trying out new styles of music. This weeks song was recommended by a reader, and while not something I would normally listen to, I liked it and the lyrics have a great message.

This weeks song is Captives Come Home by Run Kid Run.

My picks for emerging influential blogs

Emerging Plant
Photo by: Nils Geylen

Influential Blogger is running an interesting group writing project that identifies new and emerging blogs. These are blogs that are “gradually gaining a considerable amount of readership and influence.” I’ve had the honor of being nominated a few times, and wanted to join in and share my nominations:

  1. Moolanomy – Pinyo, author of Moolanomy started at almost the same time I did, and takes a very unique approach to personal finance. Pinyo often tackles the more complex aspects of personal finance and investing. His blog design and approach is a leader in the personal finance arena.

The Friday gathering for 5/30/2008

Harbour at sunset
Photo by: ?ick Harris

Looking at my subscriber numbers this week, I finally crossed the 1500 subscriber threshold. All I can say is wow! and thank you! I continue to be amazed at how many of you read Gather Little by Little on a daily basis. Based on the number of encouraging emails I get each week, it would seem you enjoy my writing and get something positive out of it as well. That is what it’s all about for me, making a difference.

Consumer spending on pets is at record levels


According to Pet Age magazine, total pet spending was 41.2 billion dollars in 2007 up from 38.4 billion in 2006. The American Pet Products Manufacturers (APPMA) predicts a 5.6 percent increase over 2007 spending for 2008 resulting in a prediction of $43.4 billion.

Attributing to this grow is a combination of things including:

  • More baby boomer’s owning pets and treating them like members of the family and showing their appreciation to their pets.
  • Increased spending overall on pet insurance. According to the APPMA, more than 2 million pet owners have pet insurance, and by 2010 5-7% of overall pet owners are expected to have it.

Revised version of My Excel Budget Spreadsheet

As an IT manager, I should have known better, but I didn’t effectively test my spreadsheet before releasing it. See, the problem was I made some last minute changes and assumed they wouldn’t cause any problems. Fortunately few of my readers quickly made me aware of the problems.

I’ve fixed the issues reported thus far, which in my opinion where pretty major. I also added a new tab to track the changes/fixes I’ve made so you’ll know exactly what I fixed.

My Personal Excel Budget Spreadsheet

The very first personal budget I ever made was done using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The budget spreadsheet followed the principles set by Dave Ramsey in that it was a zero based budget done month to month. It was a very simple Excel spreadsheet that basically contained a list of our income and expenses. It provided no automation, and no details on transactions, but it worked. As I began to learn more about budgeting and managing our finances, I began to enhance the spreadsheet a little, but it was still very manual and fairly tedious. I also didn’t care for the way I showed all of the months together on one spreadsheet. I wanted to see one month at a time.

Ask me anything

Asking a question
Photo by: Mark Warner

One of the things I’ve enjoyed reading on other blogs is a set of posts where the owner of a particular blog answers questions from their readers. Shoemoney did this recently and I enjoyed reading the responses and Trent from the Simple Dollar answers a reader question every Monday. I’ve decided to do something similar as I thought it might be even more fun to read and answer your questions!

Happy Memorial Day – Taking the day off

American Flag
Photo by: paul goyette

Just a quick note to let you know I’ve decided to take the holiday off and spend some time with my family. I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day holiday! See you tomorrow.

The Glblguy

A song for Maria Sue

Chapman FamilyOn Wednesday May 21st, Maria Sue Chapman, 5 year old daughter of Christian singer and song-writer Stephen Curtis Chapman and Mary Beth was killed in a tragic accident at their home in Franklin, TN. Maria Sue was one of 3 daughters the Chapmans adopted from China. Making the event even more tragic, police reports say that she was accidentally struck by one of her teenage brothers in the Chapman’s driveway. Several children were playing, and he didn’t see Maria in the driveway. Maria was laid to rest yesterday at 11:00am.

Entitlement vs. Earning: How to Avoid Harmful Help as a Parent

Squirrel with a nut
Photo by: law_keven

The following is a guest post by Cameron C. Taylor, author of the book Does Your Bag Have Holes? 24 Truths That Lead to Financial and Spiritual Freedom