My article How to Stop Fighting With Your Spouse About Money is up at Get Rich Slowly today. Get Rich Slowly was one of the very first personal finance blogs I encountered, and frankly was a significant influence in me starting Gather Little by Little. So head over and check out my article. Also, welcome Get Rich Slowly readers! If you’ve never been here before, you might want to check out my best articles or maybe even read about me.
I enjoy listening to podcasts and audio books while commuting to and from work, exercising, mowing the yard, and frankly anytime I can. I feel doing so is an effective use of my time. This past week I listened to an audio CD that I checked out from our corporate library called Crucial Conversations. Crucial Conversations and another related book Difficult Conversations are what I would consider required reading for everyone. They will change your ability to have positive and productive conversations under any circumstance. Anyway, towards the end of Crucial Conversations, the authors make a very profound but simple statement, “The path to self improvement is about direction, not perfection.”
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A reader recently wrote to me saying they loved my site and tips but wondered why I didn’t talk about debt consolidation loans. This reader, like many of my readers has more than $50,000 worth of debt and I am sure the path to being debt free or even being able to make a dent in their debt seems pretty hopeless. I don’t talk about debt consolidation loans much, because I am personally not a fan of debt consolidation. The readers note however made me realize that I should probably share my perspective on debt consolidation with you.
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One of the many ways I save a considerable amount of money is by using free software. With the advent of Open Source Software there are a number of really great AND free software products available. Software such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Adobe Photoshop are awesome and very sophisticated pieces of software but they are also frequently cost prohibitive for the average user and frankly more than the average user needs.
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While writing my article on teens and money this, the song “Next Thing You Know” by Matthew West kept popping into my head. I asked my wife this morning before writing this post what her favorite contemporary Christian song was, and she said “Next Thing You Know“. Not being one to think there are many coincidences in life, I figured I should use that song for this Sunday Lyrics posting.
So, in the spirit of teens, here’s the lyrics to Matthew West’s very popular and unique song “Next Thing You Know” from his hit album from 2005, History. You can listen to the song by watching this great YouTube video:
Some of you may be wondering what happened to the Friday Gathering this week or maybe you didn’t notice. Well, here it is, just a day later than usual. Why? Well, a couple of reasons actually. Yesterday was my turn to share my article Teach your teen the basics of money management as part of the Money Matters for All Ages Series. The other reason is my job in the real world was killing me this week. So it would seem I’m a day late, hoping you’ll let me slide this time!
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Recently I cut up my credit cards. We’ll get to why in a minute. But first, when I announced I had cut up my cards, I got some interesting responses. While some people were really happy for me, others were skeptical. They asked what I would do in an emergency. What if I had a sick family member across the country?
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This article is part of the Money Matters for All Ages group writing project being conducted by the M-Network and other blogging friends. See the bottom of this article for the full list of participants and links to their articles. Please check back daily as I will update the links as new articles are posted! Also, if you are blogger and would like to join into the discussion, feel free!
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We had some friends over for dinner the other night. We try to get together with them about once a month. Pretty much every time they come over, Mike either asks me questions about his 401k or brings over some 401k paper work he needs some help with. Mike is a really hard worker who builds patios and decks for a national outdoor room company. He knows a tremendous amount about building houses, rooms, patios, decks, and fixing cars but he knows little to nothing about finances or investing. Mike, his wife and their three girls have been friends of ours for a long time, and I don’t mind helping him out at all.
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For the past two weeks, I’ve been spending time cleaning up my finances. I’ve been evaluating all of my auto payments, making sure they are all set-up like they should, looking at my automatic savings deposits for our property tax fund, Christmas fund, and emergency savings to make sure they are set-up. I guess you could say I’ve been doing a little spring cleaning on our finances. I’ve even switched from my custom budget spreadsheet to You Need A Budget, which is working rather well. I’ve also been updating my debt snowball and calculating where we are with paying off our debts and how much we can afford to pay against them this year.