The Power Of A Support System

cheering

“Why does part of my brain keep wondering if I’m really going to be able to finish next week?” I asked my wife. At 8:00am on this coming Sunday the starting gun will fire, and I’ll begin a 26.2 mile run that is the Twin Cities Marathon. I’ve been training hard for the last 9 months, but a little piece of my consciousness seems to want to focus on how hard the last couple of long runs have been.   Then I think about how much further I have to run to complete the marathon and wonder if I’ll really be […] Read more »

I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/26

Who has two thumbs and is taking the day off today?  >>>> THIS GUY <<<< The kids are off to school, and Vonnie and I are off to the Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, MN for the day.  It’ll be a fun day of shows, comedy and eating.  Although I *need* to be relatively mindful of my eating as I am trying to keep the right kinds of fuel in me with my marathon just over a week away. Speaking of the marathon, I’m mentally preparing for it each and every day.  I’m anxious.  I’m excited.  I can’t wait.  Did I […] Read more »

Credit Cards Are Officially NOT For Me

CClock

Some use credit cards for as many of their day to day expenses as possible in order to rack up reward program points. Some even go through a process called credit card churning to earn points for signing up for a new accounts in exchange for cash, airline miles, or travel accommodations.  I know people that have taken their entire family on a free, or nearly free, trip by using such methods. Good for them, as long as they’re using their cards responsibly. But this kind of “beat the system” mentality is not for everyone. Not everyone has the internal […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 9/19

This weekend the 2014 Financial Blogger Conference is taking place in New Orleans.  It’s the 4th year of the conference, and the first one Vonnie and I are not attending.  The conference has traditionally  been a fantastic shot of motivation to keep my blogger juices flowing.  I’m a bit down that I’m missing it this year, although I am grateful to follow along virtually by reading blog posts of my friends and fellow bloggers attending, as well as through the steady stream of Facebook updates.   Hope to be back at next year’s conference. In the meantime, it’s Friday, which means […] Read more »

The Best Mystery Shop EVER

mysteryshopper

I had heard about mystery shop jobs paying hundreds of dollars, but I had never seen one. Not until last week. I got into mystery shopping as a way to put a little extra breathing room into our budget while my wife and I fought our way through a debt management program paying off $109,000 of credit card debt. The average shop I pick up pays around $15. Nothing spectacular, but if I do three or four of them a month, the extra money is always appreciated. However, the low pay per job is one thing that prevents people from […] Read more »

I Love you Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/12

We’ve had some house guests this week, my parents on Tuesday night, and some friends of ours from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area Wednesday and Thursday night.  Since my city, Rochester, MN, is the home of the Mayo Clinic we offer up our home as a place to stay when friends and family are referred there for tests.  While the circumstances for seeing people isn’t always the best, we’re always happy to spend time with loved ones, and take a bit of stress off of their need to come to town. I’ve been enjoying the heck out of the cooler temps […] Read more »

Are You As Financially Savvy As A 7th Grader?

Student

My daughter and I always have a good time together. We have similar personalities, interests and senses of humor. She was aware of our situation as we fought to pay off over $109,000 of credit card debt, and even shared her perspective on our journey in a guest post here on Enemy of Debt. She apparently also paid close attention to how our view on money and what is important in life changed over the last few years have changed. I found this out through a conversation we had last weekend. We had gone to the mall to buy a […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 9/5

Yesterday’s high in Rochester, MN was close to 90.  Today it will struggle to get our of the 60’s.  Guess what peoples,  Fall is officially on it’s way.  While I LOVE summer, Fall’s cooler temperatures and lowered humidity makes for great running weather.  There’s also the start of the NFL season (first game kicked off last night!) to soften the transition away from summer. Along with those cooler temperatures comes the turning off of the AC, the opening of windows, and MUCH lower utility bills.   My electric bill literally gets cut in half for the next couple of months, and […] Read more »

Are You Taking Care Of Your Money?

Money Safe

Do you take good care of your money? Think about that question for a few minutes while I tell you a story. My daughter went to an outdoor swimming pool over the weekend with a friend’s family. The weather was hot making it a perfect day to go swimming. Even though the pool was crowded, my daughter had a fantastic time. Until she discovered that the $20 she brought with her was missing from her swim bag. She wasn’t the only one that had lost money, either. Her friend’s mother had $40 stolen from her purse as well. Apparently, the […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 8/29

Here we are, the last weekend of Summer.  I have to do a 17 mile run,  a fantasy football draft, some last minute school shopping, and our neighbor is having a neighborhood party.  We’ll be throwing back a few cold ones, grilling some food, and putting together the 200 foot slip-n-slide down the hill of the park that extends from our backyards.  It’ll be a busy but fun weekend, and except for the school shopping part. relatively tame on the checkbook.  Then, next week it’s back to school for the kids, and back to her job at the school district […] Read more »

Club Stores are NOT Always Cheaper

price compare

In an effort to take advantage of our 2% cash back perk of our executive membership, I’ve been trying to get in the habit of making bulk buying run to Costco once a month. By purchasing products that we always need and use in bulk once a month I figured I’d save time and money. One thing consumers have to be very careful about is whether what we’re buying is actually cheaper at a club store. The perception many consumers have is that if you buy gigantic packages at a club store, it MUST be a good deal. But I […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 8/22

Happy Friday, EOD Nation! Bob from Christian PF had an article over at the Huff Post this week that listed some great budget spreadsheet resources for readers…….and the EOD zero based budget spreadsheet was among those listed!  What an honor and privilege – thanks Bob, that gets me in the mood to fist pump! Check out that article and the rest of the best that had my fist flying this week below! Posts That Make Me Fist Pump 4 Reasons Your Budget Isn’t Working from Luke 1428 A Lesson in Extreme Couponing From the Checkout Lane from Frugal Rules Summer […] Read more »

If You’re Going To Succeed, You Have To Have a Plan!

plan

One of the major components of marathon training is the long run. Once a week, I run much longer than any other day, gradually increasing the length of my run until I reach a distance of 20 miles.   I usually increase my long run by a mile a week. As I pass the 9-10 mile distance I start adding fluids and carbohydrate intake during my run. The weeks where I ran 12, 13 and 14 miles my long runs went horribly.  I didn’t have the physical energy, nor the mental motivation to keep going. In last week’s post I contemplated […] Read more »