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 »

Renting Your Home: Tips to Help Avoid Disaster

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[The following is an article from Shane Pinkman] If you have recently made the tough decision to rent out your home, due to not being able to sell it as quickly as you had hoped, you may be nervous about becoming a landlord. You’ve probably heard enough horror stories about crazy tenants to have you second-guessing your decision. But renting out your home doesn’t have to be a nightmare, if you take the time necessary to find a tenant who won’t raise any red flags. Here are a few tips that can help you avoid disaster when renting out your […] Read more »

Debt Relief Firms: Why Use One and How to Pick a Good One

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If you’re currently in debt and are considering working with a debt relief firm, you’re in good company. Many people just like you are turning to debt relief firms to help them create and follow a plan for freeing themselves from debt. But why would you opt to work with a debt relief firm versus trying to attack your debt on your own? And if you choose to work with a debt relief firm, how can you find one that will do a good job? Let’s take a moment to answer these questions and more. A Guide for Your Journey […] 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 »

Avoiding Debt Disasters: 5 Finance Savers

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[The following is a guest article] Managing your finances carefully is the best possible strategy for avoiding debt disasters. While it is true that unexpected bills such as an appliance repair or medical expense can drain your savings, having the money on hand when it is needed is far better than having to borrow to cover your debts. Sometimes, investing small amounts and living on a slightly smaller budget can really pay off when an unforeseen financial burden hits. Here are five sure-fire finance savers that will help when it comes to saving for a rainy day. 1. Manage Credit […] Read more »

3 Reasons To Never Borrow From Your 401k

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Have you ever needed a large amount of money and dipped into your 401k to get it?  Maybe you wanted to put a down payment on a house, had an emergency, or some other reason you needed the money. If you did dip into your 401k, was it really worth it?   Taking Money From Your 401k Has Consequences When you withdraw funds from your 401k account to take care of a present need, it can be very detrimental to your future.  Even if you take the money out with the best intentions, it can still have far reaching consequences […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 3/14

Happy Friday, EOD Nation – I hope your week was as great as mine! The Pizel family is doing something that we haven’t done for awhile, and it’s long overdue:  We’re all going in to get our eyes checked.    That means new glasses for Vonnie and contacts for Tristan.  Last time we went, Tori was told she no longer needed glasses, which made her very excited.  The odd thing is, just recently she dug out her old glasses and has been wearing them just for fun because she likes how she looks in them. Kind of a head scratcher, don’t […] Read more »

The Magic Bullet To Combining Finances Successfully

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I knew the minute I finished the sentence that someone would comment on it, and I was right.  In my post last week describing an afternoon at a food and wine event I mentioned that I bought two bottles of BBQ sauce, but not before checking in with my wife first. I wanted my wife’s approval before buying $12 of BBQ sauce. I didn’t expect her to disapprove of the purchase.  As the commenter articulated, it was simply an act of respect.  We are a quad income family (we each have two sources of income), but we choose to combine […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 3/7

Earlier this week I signed my son up for High School Spring baseball.  First, it made me pause for a minute and think about how fast he’s growing up .  I started to think about the shenanigans I was involved in when I was 15……then I wanted to stop thinking about that, and quickly.  Second, it made me think about how when I signed up for sports in high school the process involved showing up at a meeting and getting the practice schedule.  Signing him up for baseball required a payment of $160.  Yikes.  I hope he makes the team, […] Read more »

3 Ways to Get the Most From Your Income Tax Refund

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Over 100 million Americans received refunds in 2013. Undoubtedly, the effects of such windfalls wore off long ago. Were these bonuses used wisely? Here are three ways you can get the most from your income tax refund: 1. Prepare for an Unexpected Event This sounds like an oxymoron, being prepared for something unexpected, but this could be the smartest move for anyone – even someone in debt. Nothing could be smarter than to cash the check and put it into a savings account for emergencies. Let’s face it – something bad is going to happen someday and those things usually cost […] Read more »

First Budget Post Debt Management Plan: How Did Our Spending Change?

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My wife and I sat down last Friday to go over our budget and spending plan for the weekend, just like we always do.  Except this time the numbers looked very different. March is the first month in over four and a half years that we don’t have to make a payment to our debt management program.  More accurately, this is the first time in seventeen years of marriage that a significant percentage of our monthly income isn’t going towards credit card payments. That feels freakishly awesome. I made my usual income and bill statement for the month and looked […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 2/28

My employer announced another round of layoffs yesterday.  Thankfully I am still employed, although it did have me thinking again about how fragile our finances are.  Even though we are making strides to improve our overall financial picture, if I lost my job as a software engineer, we’d be pretty screwed. I guess all I can do is keep making those improvements, and continue to be the best engineer I can be, constantly learning and growing as I go. The whole situation has me in a bit of a funk, so my fist pumps may not be as forceful as […] Read more »

Is This The Year I Pay Someone To Do My Taxes?

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I’ve paid a tax professional to do my taxes only once.  It was the first tax season after getting married, and I wanted to make sure they were done correctly.  I remember sitting across the desk from a woman at a branch of a big name tax preparation company answering questions.  After a better part of an hour, I noticed that she wasn’t just entering the information into a form on the computer, but the software was actually prompting her which questions to ask.  I shared my observation with Vonnie on our way home, stating that I could have done […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 2/21

We had a major snow storm hit Minnesota (and surrounding states) yesterday, with a blizzard warning still in effect as I write this.  Ten inches of wet, heavy snow was dumped on us over the last twenty four hours.  It’s not  record breaking, but it is a major storm.  Some surrounding neighborhoods lost power, but thankfully we did not.  It’s times like this that I’m extremely thankful for a home to keep me warm and safe.   As an added positive, being stuck at home gives me time to catch up on my blog post reading, such as my favorite posts […] Read more »