The Friday Gathering – Spring Break vacation edition

Rain on grass
Photo by: Iain Cuthbertson

This has been a wonderful week for me. I’ve been off from work all week, spending spring break at home with my family. The weather has been absolutely wonderful here in the southeast. The temperatures tomorrow are supposed to be in the 80s!!

This week, we’ve worked on the house and the yard. We’ve repaired some rotten wood, planted grass seed, and planted lots of flowers and a few shrubs. My wife and I have spent some quality time together just relaxing on the front porch while watching our kids and many other neighborhood kids run around in our front yard playing tag. I’ve also been able to spend some quality time with my kids, playing on XBox 360, basketball, watching movies, and reading through Journey to the center of the earth (This link is to a free online version).

The last lecture and brick walls

Brick wall
Photo by: star5112

My wife recently sent me a link to a to a video clip from an episode of Oprah where where Professor Randy Pausch from Carnegie Mellon University reprized a lecture he did for his students call the last lecture. Carnegie Mellon asked their professors to do a lecture for their students, as if it where their very last lecture. Their intent was to inspire the students and allow the professors to share some life lessons with them. In fact for Randy Pausch, it really is probably one of his last lectures. Randy has pancreatic cancer and doctors have given Randy only a few months to live.

Gazelle Intensity: How fast is it?


Gazelle Intensity is a term coined by Dave Ramsey that refers to how a Gazelle reacts when being pursued by a Cheetah. The concept of Gazelle intensity is even found in scripture.

One of the queries I seem to get fairly often is: How fast is gazelle intensity? Based on the number of Google searches I receive on a daily basis for this query and others like “get out of debt quick“, “how to get out of debt quickly“, and even “God’s way to getting out of debt quickly“, it seems lots of people want to get out of debt as fast as they got in. The reality is it takes far longer to get out of debt than get in.

A look at reverse mortgages

Grandma at home
Photo by: scjody

While reading the local newspaper a few weeks back I came across a short blurb in the financial section about reverse mortgages and their recent surge in popularity with older Americans. The New York Times reported that there’s now a $20-billion-a-year industry in reverse mortgages, with “elderly homeowners taking out more than 132,000 such loans in 2007, an increase of more than 270 percent from two years earlier.”

I had never heard of a reverse mortgage and decided to do a little research about them  Here’s some of what I learned:

Homemade car cleaning products

Car Wash
Photo by: Aislinn Ritchie

This article is part of an ongoing series called Money Saving Monday. Each Monday, I share tips and techniques you can use to start saving money.

Inspired by Lynnae’s Homemade Laundry Detergent article, I decided to do some research and see if there were any homemade recipes available for car cleaning products. I found a number of recipes, some a bit crazy and some not so home made at all (i.e. mixing two commercial products together). Fortunately though I did find a few that I would actually consider using on my cars. Once our water restrictions are lifted, I plan to give them a try.

Easter Sunday Lyrics – Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer by: eks

Happy Easter everyone! Easter is often seen as a day of candy for children, decorating and hunting Easter eggs, and of spending time and eating Easter dinner with family and friends. More importantly though, Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s only son, the Savior of mankind. This day, Easter, so many years ago, to the amazement of those that loved him, Jesus arose from the dead before his accension into Heaven to prepare a place for us, those that believe.

Why be frugal?

Photo by: mugley

This is a guest post by Steward from My Family’s Money, a blog about personal finance and changing the world. Like this post? Consider subscribing to his feed via RSS or email.

There is a lot of buzz on the World Wide Web about the the topic of frugality. There is a frugal this and frugal that. The word “frugal” returns over 7,000,000 results on a simple Google search. That is cooler than the Dali Lama, Pat Sajak, David Hasselhof, and Barret Oliver combined! Now that’s pretty cool. Heck, there is even an alliterative carnival completely devoted to the topic in the personal finance world – and I love alliterations. For all the tips and tricks out there on the Internet I think that one very important question needs to get a little more love from the frugal public. That is, why be frugal?

The Friday Gathering – Hey! They blocked my blog!

A little bit of Sunshine by *Micky

For the first time in weeks it seems, we actually had a fairly quiet week in the GLBL household. Nobody has been sick, work hasn’t been to crazy, and we enjoyed a little downtime. One surprise this week for me was Gather Little by Little being blocked by my employer.

My schedule for the past year has been to arrive at work around 6:30 or 7:00am and write my article for the day first thing in the morning. I would then formally start work at 8:00am once my article for the day was published. Seems my site along with a number of other blogs was included with some type of site blocking update to my employers firewall software. So, had to make a change to my blogging schedule suddenly.

Finding a budget that works

So many choices
So Many Choices by: dewayne.brooks

When my wife and I started following a budget more than a year ago, I decided to use something straight forward and simple, a spreadsheet. I had used Quicken in the past and found it too difficult and frustrating. I needed something that would budget the way I wanted to budget, something that gave me the flexibility to do what I wanted to do.

Extravagant Spending, Is it okay?

Big RV
Photo by: chrisscott

While sick last week, I spent the majority of my time reading, working on my StumbleUpon profile and watching TV. One of the shows I ran across on HGTV profiled super high end motor homes. The least expensive motor home profiled was just shy of 1 million dollars.

These RVs were incredible. They included flat panel TVs, surround sound, satellite TV and literally miles of wiring to put it all together. Seats were made of luxury leather and ostrich skin. Interiors had custom LED lighting, mirrors, and real high quality wood. One motor home was manufactured for a couple that had 6 cats. Instead of the area below the floor being used for storage, the area was converted into a luxury suite for their cats, including air conditioning, and a flat screen TV so that cats wouldn’t get bored!

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