Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/28


  A few weeks ago I posted a review of the Kaiku prepaid debit card.  Yesterday I read an article from my friend Crystal over at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (who has also reviewed Kaiku) about a situation in which a reader had an issue with their Kaiku and reached out to Crystal for assistance.  Customer service is a big deal to Kaiku, and the issue was quickly resolved.  Two things to make note of here: Kaiku customer service ROCKS.  As with any company, sometimes issues arise.  The key is how these issues are dealt with, and Kaiku gets […] Read more »

School Time Is Here – Time To Redo Your Budget!


According to the dry erase calendar on my refrigerator both my son and daughter have school schedule pickup this week. A new school year is about to start, which means homework in the evenings, earlier bedtimes, bus stop pickups and time for a budget rework. Switching over to the school year schedule also requires a shift to a different budget because there expenses that only occur during the school year. There are also some changes in our purchasing habits that need to change with the shifting schedule, as well as some one time expenses that we need to plan for. […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday – I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/21


Yesterday the Pizel family headed to Valleyfair, an amusement park about 90 minutes away in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.  It was our last summertime “hurrah” for family activities.   We arrived 30 minutes after the park opened, and stayed almost until it closed.  I haven’t gone on that many rides in one day in, well….ever.   So. Much. Fun.  How did you say goodbye to summer?   Fist pump for amusement parks, and keep ’em going for my favorite posts of the week! Posts That Make Me Fist Pump Debt Payoff Isn’t Just About Discipline from Fruclassity 3 Tactics to Speed […] Read more »

Say NO To Your Fears


A friend mentioned over the weekend that she wanted to do more adventurous things with her husband. She didn’t want to wake up 20 years from now, and look back at all the things they talked about doing but never did. Our conversation made me think of a recent experience of my own. I crossed the finish line of Grandma’s Marathon in just over 4 hours and 23 minutes. After a volunteer put my finisher’s metal around my neck I took a few more steps, and my lower body completely cramped up. I could barely move my legs, any step […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday – I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/14


My wife and I had a great time at a concert last night.  There’s a club in our mid-sized city that works really hard at bringing nationally known hard rock acts to town.  Nothing gets my heart pumping like some great hard rock in a club setting.  So. Much. Fun. The only downside is that it wiped most of our entertainment spending for the weekend.  But have no fear, it’s all been planned for and budgeted!  We have enough left for me to fire up the smoker to make some ribs on Saturday to have some friends over for Minnesota […] Read more »

What Does Your Refrigerator Tell You About Your Finances?


I view life as being made up of many strands, all interconnected and affecting each other. Each strand represent some aspect of a person’s personality or a stream of experiences. They are separate, but intertwined, each affecting the other. I looked in my fridge over the weekend, and noticed how cluttered it was. I was reminded of how I had been feeling about our finances lately. Let me show you what I mean: Pizza : I found a container of leftovers from our favorite local pizza place. We got back to town late Saturday evening after being at a lake […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/7


I got a curious looking letter in the mail this week, but as soon as I opened it up I knew exactly what it meant.  The letter was offering a wide variety of products to display my recently awarded patent.  I have several patent applications in the pipeline through my employer and the notification from them sometimes takes awhile.    This means that once the slow wheels of administration turn far enough there will be a little award bump in my paycheck along with a laminated version of the issued patent for me to put in my leather bound patent binder. […] Read more »

Review: Kaiku Visa Prepaid Card


My wife and I are back on a cash only spending plan, and it’s working out fabulously. It keeps our spending in check and within budget. Some of the comments on my recent posts on this subject have made a valid point, however. Dealing with only cash means there are times when I may be walking around with a significant amount of cash in my wallet, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that makes me a little nervous. One solution to this problem could be a prepaid debit card. Not just any debit card, but a Kaiku Visa […] Read more »

My Favorite Part Of Having Control Of My Finances


One of the most common questions asked of people going through the process of paying off a mountain of debt is what they will do with the extra money each month once the debt is paid off. Another similar, but slightly different question is to describe how life is different now that the debt has been paid off. I’ve been asked these questions countless times. It’s easy to give the standard answers of build a larger emergency fund, invest more, or save for the kids’ college. I’ve given all those answers. There’s certainly nothing wrong them, as they’re the answers […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 7/31


It’s the end of the month, and the beginning of a new budget cycle.  One of my activities today will be to create our budget worksheet for the next two weeks, and make sure Vonnie and I are on the same page. As I started thinking about things that need to be included in our spending plan, I remembered that our car currently has a half a tank of gas, and our van is still over a quarter of a tank. There’s NO WAY we’re using all of our usual gas budget this week.  Is it weird that I’m excited […] Read more »

Know Your Warranty, Or Pay The Price


I watched my wife cringe as she sat in the living room chair. She paused the television and told me to listen. She was irritated by the high pitched squeal emitted by our air conditioning unit each time it started up. I heard it, but it just seemed like background noise. It didn’t bother me in the least, but it was like nails on a chalkboard for her. It’s been making this noise for years. It squeals for a few minutes, and then it quits. We had someone come out to take a look at it a few years ago, […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 7/24


In last week’s fist pump session, I mentioned I was taking the day off to make a brisket.  I introduced some new things into my process that I had seen on the TV show BBQ Pitmasters, and the result was the best brisket I’ve ever made.  I had a fantastic day tending my smoker, and turning a 16 pound piece of raw beef into something delicious.  The next day, we hosted some friends to help us eat the brisket and play Card Against Humanity.  Overall, the $50 I paid for the brisket provided two days of fun an entertainment, as […] Read more »

Cash Only Spending Weekend Success Story


Last week Vonnie and I got back on the cash only spending plan that helped us pay off a mountain of credit card debt. Living within our means, and spending only the budgeted cash we have in hand, sometimes require tradeoffs be made. There’s only so much you can do with a finite amount of funds. It took exactly one week for just such a challenge to arise, and for our methodology to validate itself. Our initial spending plan for the weekend included just a few things:   Fire Up The Smoker : I was watching an episode of BBQ […] Read more »