I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 4/18

Tuesday was payday.  I did the usual reconciling of the checkbook, paying the bills, and creating our budget worksheet for the remainder of the month.  Vonnie and I sat down to have our usual Payday financial discussion.  When we got to the part of how much we had in our checking account she stared at me and said, “What?  How come it’s so high?”  We went through the numbers in detail, and I explained that apart from not having to make a huge payment to our now complete debt management plan, we didn’t spend all of our discretionary funds from […] Read more »

Financial Literacy: Communication and Teamwork Are Vital to Success

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  Preface:  Today I’m taking part in the Financial Literacy Awareness Carnival hosted by Shannon at The Heavy Purse.  Once you’ve finished here, click here and check out the list of other great posts by my fellow bloggers also participating in the carnival! Sitting in a chair facing a filled to capacity movie theater, the question that popped into my head was, “How did I get here?” I was one of three customers invited to the headquarters of CareOne Debt Relief Services in Maryland in September of 2012. They were holding an employee recognition event, and wanted to have a […] Read more »

Misplaced Dad On A Pre-Teen Shopping Trip

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Today is officially my daughter’s twelfth birthday, but we celebrated it over the weekend.  From our observations, as well as by asking her directly, the thing she wanted the most for her birthday was clothes.   This was not surprising in the least, as my little girl, who’s biggest care in the world used to be wondering when her hair would be long enough to be put in a ponytail, has transformed (seemingly) overnight into a young woman who stares endlessly into a mirror primping and futzing with her hair, even applying some makeup before heading to the bus stop. The […] Read more »

I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 4/11

Monday’s post hosted a review and giveaway of Todd Tresidder’s  book, How Much Money Do I Need To Retire and it’s time to announce the winner.  Gina Helton, come on down, you’ve won!  Expect an email from me in the near future to finalize delivery of the book to you.  Congratulations to Gina, and thank you to everyone who entered. This weekend we’ll be celebrating my daughter’s twelfth birthday (which is officially on Monday).  Is it me, or does there seem to be less pressure on birthdays as kids get older?   This year she wants to get together with her […] Read more »

4 Ways To Make Money At Home

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When I was in high school, I would boast that I was going to retire at age 26.  From that point on all I would do is go to my home office and say, “Buy!” or “Sell!” over the phone a few times each day.  I turned forty few months ago, and it’s painfully obvious that I haven’t reached that goal. Strange how life didn’t follow the twisted dream of a teenager. While I’ll likely never reach that goal of multiplying my millions by buying and selling stocks over the phone (who would use the phone for that these days […] Read more »

Review and Give Away: How Much Money Do I Need To Retire?

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The book had been sitting on my desk in my home office for months, staring at me in plain sight as a reminder that I needed to read it. Someday. I had received How Much Money Do I Need To Retire from the author, Todd Tresidder, at the Financial Blogger Conference back in October, but I just couldn’t seem to find the time or the motivation to read it. Looking back, my mind just wasn’t in the right place. At the time, getting back on track with our retirement planning was just a twinkle in my eye. We only had […] Read more »

I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 4/04

Do you want to hear someone’s idea of a cruel joke?  I’ve been soaking in the Florida sun for the last week, and we begin our road trip back to Minnesota tomorrow.  Taking place this very minute in Minnesota is a late season major snow storm dumping over a foot of snow in some parts of the state. Cruel. Luckily my city will only get a few inches….and I’m actually hoping it melts off by the time I get home Sunday evening. While on vacation, Vonnie and I managed to stay right on top of our finances.  I wanted to […] Read more »

What’s the Best Way To Ship Packages Internationally?

It’s been a long, hard winter here in Minnesota.  Vonnie and I have gotten a head start on our annual Spring cleaning and decluttering, and found a pretty good pile of things to try to sell.  Many times we’ll find a buyer locally, which is preferred.  We’ll just meet at the convenience store a few blocks away and make the sale.  But sometimes, when you’re advertising to a wider audience your buyer may be very far away. Like Canada. One of the things we were selling was a deluxe set of the game Crossbows and Catapults that we bought for […] Read more »

Why I Hate Credit Cards: Hotel Incidental Policy

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I hate credit cards with a passion. The more I walk through life trying not to use them, the more I hate them. My family and I drove to Florida late last week, which gave me the opportunity to find yet another reason to despise them. No matter how much I want to pay with cash, or at least with my debit card so the money comes immediately out of my checking account, businesses seem insistent in pushing me to use the demon plastic. As my wife and I planned our trip, we carefully budgeted our spending for each day. […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 3/28

Greetings from Bloomington, Illinois!  My family and I are at the end of our first day of driving down to Florida (from Minnesota) for a family Spring Break Vacation.  It’s our first vacation since we exited our DMP.  Sounds like a blog post in the making, huh? I’m sitting at the desk in our hotel room, it’s almost midnight, and the rest of my family is sleeping.  But I had to dig into all my favorite blogs and get my fist pumps ready for ya’ all.  That’s the kind of love I have for the EOD nation. Before we get […] Read more »

No Contract Cell Phone Plans Exposed! Are They Really Better?

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No contract mobile phone plans have become all the rage as of late.  I even tried one through a blogging opportunity last year and was actually quite impressed.  Apparently, no contract providers have gotten the attention of the major carriers, as they have begun to offer no contract plans of their own.  I received an email from my carrier outlining their no contract plan last Friday. We’re currently under a two year contract with ATT&T, and for my family of four plus two extended family members to all have smart phones sharing a 10GB data plan we pay $309 a […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 3/21

This weekend I’ve got one of my favorite neighborhood activities on tap – Poker Night!  There is a group of about 8 of us (not everyone can make it all the time) that get together once a month to play Texas Hold ‘Em.  I usually buy in with $20 worth of chips, and play until it’s gone, or until midnight whichever comes first.  Whether I win a few bucks, lose it all, or somewhere in between, it’s always a fun and inexpensive night with the guys. It’s so much fun that it makes me wanna fist pump, which coincidentally is […] Read more »

Build Your Budget Foundation

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The foundation of a couple being successful with their finances requires a clearly defined method of budgeting, and frequent, open, and honest communication between the two people involved. Do you have this foundation? Vonnie and I didn’t for the first thirteen years of our marriage. Our budget, and I use that term extremely loosely, consisted of a piece of paper that listed about half of our monthly bills that I folded up and stored in the back of my checkbook folder. Our communication about our finances was non-existent, so it was no wonder that our finances failed miserably. Building a […] Read more »