A wedding is a statement of commitment not a show of opulence

wedding

See the picture? It’s me (or my back) on my wedding day 21 years ago. Why my back you may ask? Because my sister in law thought that everyone takes pictures of the bride’s front but she hasn’t seen a picture of the bride’s back. Ever! So here you go; a picture of my back which also happens to show a wonderful detailed of my wedding suit. To tell you the truth, I have not thought of my wedding for a very long time. Even worse, I caught myself thinking the other day about the interesting stage of life I’m […] Read more »

The Big Wins You Should Go After

Big Win

The following is a guest post from Martin of Studenomics, where he’s totally focused on creating financial freedom by 30! I’ve been writing about personal finance for five years now. I’ve explored every topic from big wins to frugality to real estate. There are times where I discuss more advanced topics. Then sometimes I run into a friend and they want to hear about getting started. I know that most of you are past the stage of getting started so we won’t discuss the basics. Instead we will refresh on the big wins. The one thing that we’re all delusional […] 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 »

Teaching Your Kids About Money? 5 Concepts They Need to Know

teaching your kids about money

Are you regularly teaching your kids about money and how to handle it?  I don’t mean just talking about very simple concepts such as “save money” or “don’t spend it all”.  I mean are you really teaching them what money is all about? When they get older are they going to have a clear picture of how to manage their money well so they don’t end up in financial trouble like so many people who never learn these principles?    The Basics Still Apply Managing money is much more difficult than it was 40-50 years ago because most of us […] Read more »

Reining In The Baby Expenses

baby bathtub

[Guest author today, Jason Steele] Having a baby creates the ultimate budget paradox. On one hand, it’s every good parent’s instinct to spare no expense when it comes to their children’s health and safety. At the same time, “sparing no expense” can be a non-stop ticket to unlimited debt. So how can parents resolve this paradox? It starts with a conversation about how to express our love and caring in ways other than spending. The wealthiest, most free spending parents do not love their children any more than their more frugal neighbors. And once a child’s need are met, additional […] Read more »

Debt and Deeper Issues

Debt

Have you been trying to gain control of your money issues but just never seem to get any traction?  I’ve talked to a ton of people over the years who have taken classes, written budgets, read books, and made every effort they could to get out of debt and try to make sense of their money.  But after a short period of time they’re back to the same old habits they’ve always had, ending up with more month than money and steadily adding to their pile of debt. Why does this happen so often?  Is it because I just didn’t […] Read more »

How Skype Saved Me $1,400

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On a late August afternoon, my wife and two kids drove to the Steele County Fair where my son was to go to his first demolition derby. I went to the airport, boarded a plane, and flew to Tucson, Arizona. I would be gone for a week during my first business trip. It was also the first time I would be away from my young family for an extended period of time. When I returned home, my family met me at the airport. Standing by the baggage carousel, my 18 month old daughter just stared at me. I kept glancing […] Read more »

Father’s Day Scavenger Hunt

shirt

My wife knows better than to ask me what I want for Father’s Day, or for that matter any other occasion that involves gift giving. My answer is always the same, “The best present you could give me is to not spend any money on me.” She never listens to me. She has to get me something, even if it’s under the disguise of “from the kids.” She understands, though, that it’s not necessary, or in our best interest financially, to purchase an extravagant gift. Quite frankly, Vonnie has taken gift giving on a budget as a personal challenge. I […] Read more »

Use the Internet To Stay Connected

Online Romance

Like many families, my family is spread out throughout the U.S. Before we had a child, this aspect of our lives didn’t bother me or my husband too much. It was nice to have our own space but we knew that our parents were a relatively short drive away (3 hours north to my parents, 2 hours south to his) if we needed or wanted to visit (or if there was an emergency). It was a pretty sweet set up, actually. Then we had our daughter. Both of us grew up with our extended families less than 20 minutes from […] Read more »

Inexpensive or Free Outdoor Family Fun

summer fun for free

Last week Team EOD member, Jana gave you some great ideas for free or inexpensive indoor activities that you can do this summer. Today I want to give you some activities to do outdoors that are budget friendly and super fun! Keep with What Works The traditional outdoor activities should definitely not be over looked. A trip to the park for a picnic and romp on the playground will never get old. You can take the fun up a notch but being a kid yourself. Nothing gets those kids laughing more than watching their grown-ups acting silly and having a […] Read more »

Getting Through A Divorce Debt-Free

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Going through divorce can be one of the most stressful financial ordeals a person can ever encounter. Over half of marriages that take place in America end in divorce and many of the parties involved end up paying off exorbitant debts because of legal bills and court costs. Here are the top four financial factors of a divorce and how to stay on top of them in order to avoid debt: Children Separate your children from the financial side of the equation. Their well-being during this ordeal should be you and your spouse’s number one priority and all efforts should […] Read more »

Free or Inexpensive Indoor Summer Activities

Kind of like this. But inside.

This is the first in a 2 part series on how to keep kids entertained for minimal or no cost during the summer months. The second part, written by fellow EOD member Jessica Streit, will appear next week. This summer is going to be a different experience for me. It’s the first summer I’ll be home full-time with my daughter (who is 5) and quite frankly, I’m already panicking. Not so much because of all the time with her (which is awesome) but because, honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do with her.  On normal days, I have […] Read more »

Finding Teachable Moments in Your Day-to-Day

teaching kids about money

One of the main driving forces behind my own blog, The Debt Princess is to stop others from going down the dark path that debt took me down. I want to remind people of the dangers of debt and encourage them to take care of their own finances. I also try to encourage my readers to speak to their own children about money. I am working diligently with my own kids to make sure that they are not following in my footsteps. Offering allowances in exchange for chores, is one great way to teach about money. I like to be […] Read more »