The Friday gathering for 5/23/2008

Holding Hands
Photo by: Mr.Thomas

Today is my wife and I’s 16 year anniversary. It simply doesn’t seem like 16 years. In my mind it seems like only yesterday we were married in a small baptist church with only 30 or guests. I will never forgot the feeling I had when “Here comes the bride” began playing, and l looked up and saw my beautiful wife. It was the happiest moment of my life. I never for a second questioned my decision to marry her, and knew from the moment I first met her that we were supposed to be together. 16 years, 6 kids and a few “bumps in the road of life” later I love her even more. It’s truly amazing that no matter how much you love someone, you can love them even more each day you spend together.

Surround yourself with constant reminders

Bart Simpson
Photo by: Sue Waters

When I was in college, my Dad printed off a sign that simply said “The future is now”. That simple sign, placed on the desk in my room, served as a constant reminder of why I was working so hard to get my degree. It kept me motivated, focused, and persevering during those sometimes all night coding projects and homework assignments (thanks Dad!)

$75.00 Amazon gift card giveway

Hot Dog Eating Contest
Photo by: audrey_sel

Update: The contest is over. Thanks to everyone that entered!

Time for another giveaway! This month, I’m giving away $75.00 worth of Amazon.com gift cards. These are the gift cards I received after cashing out my initial test savings goal with Smartypig.

Entering is easy, all you have to do is eat the most hot dogs. Just kidding…All of you have to do is subscribe via RSS feed or email and send me the “secret code” you’ll find at the bottom of each article in the feed. If you are currently a subscriber, than entering is really easy as you just need to send me the secret phrase.

The emotional snowball

Snowballl on a hill
Photo by: redjar

We paid off our Chase card last week. It was an amazing feeling and one that has kicked in the afterburners on knocking out our Bank of America card next. My two remaining cards, Bank of America and Wachovia are our last two. While I don’t like the debt, I do like both of these companies. There customer service has been great, they have both been very fair and have not causing any unexpected rate hikes nor refusing the reduce the rates when I’ve called and asked. They are both the opposite end of the spectrum from Chase, whom I grew to abhor. So good bye and good riddance Chase, you will never be in my wallet again.

What is a budget?

Dictionary page
Photo by: adamjinj

I enjoy reading and spend a decent amount of time each week reading blogs on my blogroll, new blogs I find through pfblogs.org and major news sites such as MSN Money Central and CNN Money. I also really enjoy reading the various comments people make about the articles, almost more so than the articles themselves sometimes. One of the interesting trends I have picked up on is that I’m not convinced people truely understand what a budget really is.

What is a budget?

According to Wikipedia, a budget is:

How to wash your car and save money

Car Washing supplies
Photo by: Micah Taylor

I was finally able to wash our cars this weekend for the first time in nearly 6-months. We’ve been on water restrictions until recently in our area and not able to use any outside water. Many people opted to take their vehicles to the local commercial car washes. Call me cheap, but I just wouldn’t pay the $20.00+ for someone else to wash my car. I know many people who did (and still do), sometimes even multiple times a week!

Sunday Lyrics: In My Arms

Sweet Baby
Photo by: lovecatz

When you hear the first few lyrics of the song, you think the song is about a mother singing about her child. But as you near the end, you realize the song is really about us as children in the arms of God and how we’ll always be safe in His arms.

When “life happens” it’s so easy for us to panic, worry, and fret. Least we forgot that if we know him, we are always in the safe and loving arms of God. Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us ” Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

What Does the Bible Tell Us About Debt?

The Bible

Photo by: LabyrinthX

This is a guest post by Miranda Marquit who writes about personal finances for the All Business Personal Finance Corner and edits information on debt consolidation for DestroyDebt.com. Interested in writing a guest post for Gather Little by Little? Contact me!

One of the growing areas of personal finance is an interest in applying Christian principles to how one spends, saves and invests money. Christians are beginning to take an interest in how their financial lives affect their spiritual lives — and especially in how their spiritual beliefs and values inform their financial decisions. From investing to donating money to the less fortunate, Christians are turning to the Bible to help them navigate their personal finances. And as America’s debt problem becomes increasingly many Christians are wondering what God has said about debt.

The Friday Gathering: Nintendo Wii Edition

Wii

Photo by: Jessica Driver

I mentioned last week that we paid off our Chase card using some of the money from our economic stimulus check. The $3000.00 we received also went to a family dinner out at Olive Garden (something we seldom ever do) and the highlight of the week for me, we purchased a Nintendo Wii.

Unhappy with your job? You're not alone.

Me on that TRS-80 color computer at age 13

I’ve been programming and working on computers since I was 12 years old. I saw my first computer (a TRS-80 Model III) at a neighbor’s home and immediately found it one of the most fascinating things I had ever seen. So fun in fact, while my mother shopped in our local mall, I would spend my time playing on the computers in the Radio Shack located in the mall. I wanted one of my own and asked my father if I could have one. At the time, computers were really expensive for what you got. My Dad said that if I continued to show interest for a few months, he would get me one.

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