Using The Envelope Budgeting System On Vacation

Vacation can be a dangerous financial proposition, even for the most dedicated budget savvy family. One might be diligent in planning out their spending in day to day life, but going into vacation mode can lower a person’s guard. It’s easy to justify not wanting to put in the effort, to just want to relax, not worry about money, and believe everything is going to OK. This kind of lapse in financial judgment is exactly what I’m hoping to avoid. My family and I are headed out on a cross country road trip to Florida later this week. We’ll travel […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 3/24

I was impressed by my son the other day, as he remembered a financial obligation that he could have easily forgotten.  He recently purchased his first car.  Well, he contributed the money he had saved, and my wife and I pitched in the rest.  Part of his continuing obligation is to contribute towards the monthly increase that we incurred in our insurance premium.  He was looking to make a purchase, and asked me when he owed the first insurance payment as he wanted to make sure he had the funds to pay it.  We must be doing something right! Fist […] Read more »

What is a 529 College Savings Plan, and Why Do I Want One?

One of the first conversations my wife and I had after the birth of our son was our desire to start a college savings account for him. I suspect many parents have that same thought early in the life of their children given the ever increasing cost of a college education. But saving for your child’s future education shouldn’t just be depositing money into a savings account. There is a special kind of account that provides tax benefits that should be used instead. Parents putting away cash for a child’s college education should open a 529 plan. Here are the […] Read more »

I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 3/17

I filled out my tax return a few weeks ago, but I just hit the “submit” button last night.  I wanted to let them settle for a bit, then go over them again.  After verifying everything looked correct, I sent them to the IRS.  The government must have agreed with the awesomeness of my returns as both my Federal and State returns were accepted within a few hours.  I got a refund back from federal, and owed some to the state.  All together I owed a few hundred dollars, which is the best our taxes have turned out in years.  […] Read more »

Unlimited Cell Phone Data Plans Are Not Always The Best Choice

Unlimited data plans are all the new rage with cell phone companies, promising to save you big money compared to paying overages on your current data plan.  Mobile phone users that don’t constantly evaluate new plan offerings could miss out big.  For example, a few years ago when we added my wife’s parents to our plan, they went from having limited minutes and texting, and no data to unlimited calling and texting and a 30GB data plan, for HALF the cost.   Wondering if AT&T’s new unlimited data plan would be one of those natural progressions of service that we […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 3/10

This is the big weekend our daughter has been waiting for.  We’re taking her (and some of her friends) to a Panic! At The Disco concert in the Twin Cities.  The ticket was a Christmas present. It’s only an hour north of where we live, so that’s not a big deal.  But now the weatherman is saying there’s a chance for snow late Sunday night.  Hoping we don’t get stuck in Minneapolis/St. Paul for the night! Fist pump for concerts, AND my favorite posts of the week! Posts That Make Me Fist Pump Keep Money Simple Stupid from Budget And […] Read more »

Amazon Just Upped It’s Game With The Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Card From Chase

Retailers are doing battle in the online space. Mainly it’s traditional retail giants trying to keep up with Amazon. Now Amazon is hitting back. If you have an Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase, and you’re an Amazon Prime member, you recently received something in the mail that makes shopping at Amazon even more attractive. If you don’t fall into both of those categories, Amazon just gave you another reason to do so. A few months ago I applied for an Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card from Chase because of a $70 incentive that brought down the price of […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 3/3

A friend and coworker of my wife is retiring today.  It reminded me that it’s been awhile since I checked the progress of our retirement accounts to ensure we’re on track to meet our financial goals for retirement.  I’m expecting to see a good rate of return so far this year, since the stock market has been moving up in crazy like fashion. But it’s definitely time to check in with my 401K investments and make some adjustments if necessary.  When was the last time you analyzed your road to retirement? Get your fists up for big stock market gains….and […] Read more »

Why Every Student Should Have A Credit Card

  Students are simply not getting adequate financial education before being expected to handle their own finances as adults. In my kids’ high school there is a single semester personal finance class, but it is an elective. If the goal of an education is to give young people the skills they need to be successful functioning adults, how can this not be a required class? Even then, a single semester seems like a dreadfully inadequate amount of time to cover seemingly infinite financial subjects such as budgeting, tracking spending, insurance, and retirement planning. The responsibility to teach these lessons falls […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 2/24

Welcome to a Friday, SNOW DAY edition of the Fist Pump!  We’re in the midst of a blizzard warning here in southeastern Minnesota.  We’ve already received about 7 inches of snow, with another 6 expected during the day.  We bought some extra supplies yesterday before the snow started,  so we’re just fine being snowed in for a couple of days. Fist pump for bizzards, and my favorite posts of the week! Posts That Make Me Fist Pump 15 Benefits of Amazon Prime from Young Adult Money Will There Be Fewer Costco Coupons? from Money Beagle How to Stay Motivated After […] Read more »

A Wine Sale, A Blown Budget, and Lessons Learned

Even the most diligent of the financial savvy have an occasional lapse in monetary reason.  I don’t claim to be in the first category, but I can certainly identify with the latter.   When these scenarios play out in life, it’s important to identify what went wrong, what led us down that path, and how we can do better next time. Over the weekend my wife and I stopped by a liquor store that was having a wine tasting event.  The plan was to stop in to taste some new wines and picked up a bottle or two.  We did taste […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 2/17

With this weekend’s temperatures reaching 50 degrees or higher it sure doesn’t feel like February.  It did, however, remind me that spring is not that far off.  It’s time to start saving money away for lawn fertilizer which will be found on sale within the next month! Fist pump for spring, AND my favorite posts of the week! Posts That Make Me Fist Pump Three Immediate Actions to Reduce Debt from DINKS Finance 4 Tips to Avoid Temptation When Paying off Debt from Frugal Rules 5 Ways to Reward Yourself for Financial Progress from Eyes On The Dollar To Refinance […] Read more »

Everything You Need To Know About Selling Your Car Privately

My high school aged son has been working for almost two years now, and saving his money. Buying his own car has been on his wishlist, and his potential first vehicle fell into his lap this week as one of his coworkers is selling his car. It’s a nice car, 6 years old, with low miles. We’ve got a lot of work to do to make sure it’s affordable and worth the asking price, but if we do purchase the vehicle it will be a private party sale. Buying a vehicle from a dealership is easy, as they take care […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 2/10

Technology can make our lives easier.  My wife found a great example of this a few days ago when trying to schedule a hair cut for my son.  Instead of calling the salon and asking what times were available, she was able to view open time slots online and get our son on the schedule.  The tool required we pay a certain percentage of the service to reserve the time slot. $8 was charged to our debit card, and our son was off to get a haircut later that day.  Unfortunately, when it was time for him to pay the […] Read more »