A Lawn Mower is NOT A Status Symbol

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I was almost done mowing my lawn when I felt something pop loose, after which the handle of the mower was no longer attached to the frame on the left side. I shut off the mower and looked around on the ground, finding the metal peg that held the two pieces together. The peg on the opposite side was immovable, but the one that fell out had worn down enough such that it no longer fit snugly in the hole. Using a screw driver with a very long shaft, I hobbled along well enough to finish the lawn. I knew […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday – I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 6/05

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After spending three full days in front of my smoker a few weeks ago making pulled pork and brisket for our annual Memorial Weekend party, I’m once again working from home today smoking pork shoulder.   I love spending the day using my smoker, and I love the fact that my job allows the flexibility to work from home to do it. Add to that the below posts, and we need three HARD fist pumps!  Have a great weekend! Posts That Make Me Fist Pump Just Do You from Budgets Are Sexy Reaching Financial Freedom: Go With Your Gut from Fruclassity […] Read more »

Four Ways To Take A Load Off Your Money Management Chores

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Looking back at almost a decade of debt-elimination and investing, I can see that one thing has contributed to our financial success: Automation. Not only has automation made things easier, it has also forced us to be diligent. Here are four ways to automate your finances and take a load off your money management chores: Bill-pay Our bank offers free bill-pay. It allows us to set up regularly occurring bills like cable, cell phone, and city utilities. In the old days we would have to write a check, lick a stamp, and send it off in the mail. Now, when the […] Read more »

Budget Reset: Falling Off The Financial Wagon, and Climbing Back On

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My wife reminded me that we needed to sit down and talk finances. She was right, as she always is. I knew it was going to be a long conversation, as it was the first one that we’d had since our annual Memorial Weekend party. We both knew this was going to be an in depth, serious conversation. We both knew that as we prepared for the party we essentially ceased to execute every single technique that had resulted in us successfully handling our finances over the last few years. It turned into a full fledged, throw the budget to […] Read more »

I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 5/29

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Party weekend was a complete success, a great time was had by all.  I even had some blogger friends from the Twin Cities area make the trip to help celebrate the beginning of summer with us!    I’ve limped my way through the week, as I’m completely exhausted.  I think I need a vacation for my vacation. Now that it’s over, it’s time to get down to business; financially that is.  We did end up spending a little more than we had originally intended, and we’ll have to tighten the screws a little it to make up for it.  It’s time […] Read more »

What Charcoal and Beer Teaches Us About Making Choices

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The end of May is in sight, the temps are getting warmer, and Summer is on everyone’s mind. There are great sales popping up everywhere for outdoor home improvement projects, and garden centers are opening up with huge selection of plants, yard care products and grills. Speaking of grills, this time of year I keep my eyes for sales on charcoal. Between my smoker and my grill, I use a lot of charcoal. If I see a great sale, I load up the van and pile it up in a corner of my garage to be used throughout the summer. […] Read more »

Tips When Borrowing Money Against 401K

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When in a pinch, it’s good to know that you have a 401k loan there to back you up. Not only do you have quick access to your own money, but the interest paid goes directly back to yourself. A 401k loan can actually be thought of as just borrowing and not a loan since there are no credit checks, and it’s your own money. Although there are rules limiting your abuse of your 401k account, there are still a few tips you should use when borrowing against it. Use it as a Short-Term Loan Many employer sponsored 401k plans […] Read more »

I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 5/22

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The weekend with our big annual party is here!   I’ve been on vacation from my day job, but it hasn’t felt like vacation.  I’ve been cleaning, smoking meat, and decorating all day every day.   It’s been important to me to make the time to get my marathon training in too, however.  I’ve also found a little time to do some blog reading. So enjoy your holiday weekend, and my favorite posts of the week!   Posts That Make Me Fist Pump Showing yourself Financial Forgiveness from Frugal Rules How to build a Life you don’t have to Retire […] Read more »

Choose Role Models To Drive Internal Change

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Over the weekend, my cousin’s husband ran the Green Bay Marathon. His official time was 3 hours, 7 minutes and 18 seconds, with an average pace of 7:09 per mile. His time was good enough to qualify him for the Boston Marathon. I’m in complete awe at his accomplishment, as it’s something that I hope to do some day as well. It wasn’t hard to be just a little jealous. I was thinking about my inklings of jealousy as I was driving around running errands yesterday afternoon, and then relating it to my post last week about the Joneses. Were […] Read more »

Your First Rental Property: Pointers for Aspiring Landlords

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So, you want to become a landlord, do you? This is an investment that a lot of people dream about owning, but too few are ready for when they sign the mortgage paperwork. Here’s how to get started without losing your sanity or draining your bank account. Start Slow and Make It a Low-Risk Investment Start slow with one home or apartment complex. If possible, hire help so that you’re not trying to buy the property, handle the legal, and advertise for renters all at the same time. Real estate can be a great low-risk investment if you’re buying in […] Read more »

I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 5/15

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I’m on vacation next week from my day job.  I’ll spend the entire week cleaning, organizing, and shopping for our annual Memorial Weekend Party which takes place next weekend.   Most importantly, I’ll be firing up my smoker almost every day to create some smokey yummy goodness for the party. That’s my fist pump for the week, what’s yours? Posts That Make Me Fist Pump It’s A Way of Life, Not an Event from Frugal Rules 8 Delicious & Frugal Grill Recipes! from Bargain Babe How would you like to be debt free, forever? from Debt Discipline Wants Vs. Needs – […] Read more »

9 Tips For Creating Discipline With Money

9 Tips For Creating Discipline With Money

I frequently get questions from my readers about how to resolve their various financial problems.  The questions range from not being able to save enough, to tackling huge amounts of debt, to how to stop living paycheck to paycheck. One of the common themes I’ve discovered in the hundreds of emails I’ve received, is that most of those readers tell me the root of their problem is a lack of discipline. Lack of Money is Not the Problem Learning discipline when it comes to money is not always easy, but it’s necessary if you want to get ahead financially.  Many […] Read more »

11 Signs You Need to Stop Taking Investment Advice From Your Broker

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Your stockbroker might provide free investment advice, but it could end up costing you. Most brokers who offer “free financial advice” receive commissions for selling investments. If a bank really wants to push a security, a broker will get a big commission for selling it to you. When there’s a big fat commission on the table, it’s all too tempting for brokers to think about what’s best for them instead of what’s best for you. If you notice any of these 11 telltale signs, switch to a fee-based financial planner. 1. You’re Promised Fast, Guaranteed Results Guaranteeing results in the […] Read more »

Tell The Joneses To Go To Hell, They’ll Respect You For It

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It’s taken me over 41 years of walking this earth, but I’m finally getting a grip on the person I want to be. It’s been building for awhile, but my perspective was reinforced at a gathering with friends over the weekend. It was our monthly gourmet club get together, which is basically a modified potluck. The host picks the theme and prepares the main course, and the rest of the guests bring an appetizer, side dish, or dessert that matches the theme. It’s a great group of friends, and we always have a lot of fun. It’s also an event […] Read more »