Enemy of Debt http://www.enemyofdebt.com Motivational Money Management Mon, 29 Jun 2015 10:27:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 This Is Why You Pay Yourself First http://www.enemyofdebt.com/this-is-why-you-pay-yourself-first/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/this-is-why-you-pay-yourself-first/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 10:26:47 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16688 Enemy of Debt - This Is Why You Pay Yourself First

I’ve been generally keeping an eye on what my son spends his money on, as I can see his account details when I log into my bank’s online portal. The agreement was that he could spend his first two paychecks as he wished. After that, he must transfer $150 of each paycheck into his savings account. Transferring the funds to his savings account on payday is a great way to teach the concept of pay yourself first. We haven’t made it to the bank yet to open his savings account. But, I’ve been keeping track of how much of his […]

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Enemy of Debt - This Is Why You Pay Yourself First

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I’ve been generally keeping an eye on what my son spends his money on, as I can see his account details when I log into my bank’s online portal. The agreement was that he could spend his first two paychecks as he wished. After that, he must transfer $150 of each paycheck into his savings account.

Transferring the funds to his savings account on payday is a great way to teach the concept of pay yourself first.

We haven’t made it to the bank yet to open his savings account. But, I’ve been keeping track of how much of his checking account balance is owed to savings once we get there. We’ve both mentioned it a couple of times, but between our work schedules, him hanging out with friends, and every other excuse you can think of, we just haven’t physically made it to the bank to open the account.

He spends his money on normal teenager stuff including movies, online games, and food when he’s on break at work. Every now and then buys something more expensive, like a new microphone or gaming mouse for his computer. I mention to him that I saw the purchase, but I don’t say much else as long as the account stays above what needs to be transferred to his savings.

Last week he informed me he had ordered a new (faster) hard drive for his computer. It was just what he was looking for, and it was on sale for a total of $190 with tax and shipping. I checked his account balance and noticed that the purchase had brought his balance below what needed to go to his savings account.

When I mentioned he had overspent, he disagreed with me.

The good news is that he had thought about fact that there is an amount of money that needs to go into his savings account. The bad news is he had calculated incorrectly. I showed him his account history, reminded him that the first two paychecks were all his, and then added up the amount of deposits since then and multiplied by $150.

Overspending is too easy when you do not pay yourself first.

I’ve been in similar situations, where for one reason or another I don’t make that transfer into savings a priority.

  • I feel entitled to spend it : I look at the balance over and over. I tell myself that I earned that money, I should be able to use it. When the money is in my main spending account, I feel entitled to spend it.
  • I forget that that I need to transfer to savings : Just as what happened to my son, I may forget that I haven’t transferred the funds to my savings. I then spend the funds, and realize later that my savings account isn’t growing as fast as it should.

I take some of the blame for my son’s overspending. Action by myself is required to get his savings account opened up, as my bank requires an adult present to open any teen account. I should have made the time to do it. I also could have reminded him periodically how much of his balance was owed to savings so  we were on the same page. After all, he’s a teenager in the midst of learning how to handle his funds and will require assistance.

That being said, this is a great example of what happens when we do not make savings a priority. Making that transfer to the saving account an automatic action, something that is just done out of habit, will prevent overspending and help us all meet our savings goals.

Do you pay yourself first? If you don’t, do you find it easy to overspend?

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Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 6/26 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-626/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-626/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 14:36:16 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16675 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 6/26

Last Saturday, I ran my 5th Marathon in Duluth, MN.  When people talk about running a marathon, they talk about hitting “the wall.”  Well, I didn’t just hit the wall, it fell on me and crushed me. Whew….but I pushed through it and finished in just over 4 hours and 23 minutes.  I had hoped (again) to finish in under 4 hours, but  I misjudged my conditioning.  I’m not too disappointed as I over all we had a GREAT weekend in Duluth seeing the sights and going to a concert.  Next up, I’m training for something called “The Looney Challenge” […]

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Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 6/26

fistpump Last Saturday, I ran my 5th Marathon in Duluth, MN.  When people talk about running a marathon, they talk about hitting “the wall.”  Well, I didn’t just hit the wall, it fell on me and crushed me. Whew….but I pushed through it and finished in just over 4 hours and 23 minutes.  I had hoped (again) to finish in under 4 hours, but  I misjudged my conditioning.  I’m not too disappointed as I over all we had a GREAT weekend in Duluth seeing the sights and going to a concert.  Next up, I’m training for something called “The Looney Challenge” which is the same weekend as the Twin Cities Marathon in October.  I’ll be running a 10K and a 5K on one day, and a 10 mile run the next.  Yup, Looney……and totally fun.

 

Have a great weekend, and get those fists pumping for my favorite posts of the week!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

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Are Your Childhood Possessions Hidden Treasures? http://www.enemyofdebt.com/are-your-childhood-possessions-hidden-treasures/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/are-your-childhood-possessions-hidden-treasures/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 17:03:56 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16658 Enemy of Debt - Are Your Childhood Possessions Hidden Treasures?

My parents were in town for a visit recently and stayed overnight at my home. My dad and I watched a television show in which people brought objects they found at home, at a second hand store, or at a garage sale to find out if they were valuable or not. Experts would inspect the objects and estimate their value. Sometimes the objects were common and not worth much, but others were hidden gems worth a tidy sum of money. The show brought back a flood of childhood memories of various things that either I collected, or owned. My parents […]

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Enemy of Debt - Are Your Childhood Possessions Hidden Treasures?

EOD_SportsTreasure_Pic

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My parents were in town for a visit recently and stayed overnight at my home. My dad and I watched a television show in which people brought objects they found at home, at a second hand store, or at a garage sale to find out if they were valuable or not. Experts would inspect the objects and estimate their value. Sometimes the objects were common and not worth much, but others were hidden gems worth a tidy sum of money.

The show brought back a flood of childhood memories of various things that either I collected, or owned. My parents have slowly transferred my childhood possessions to me one box at a time over the years when they come to visit. I wondered if I had any hidden gems packed in boxes in my storage room.

Stamp Collection

I collected stamps for a short time, placing them in a picture album to protect the stamps. I would cut ones I liked off of the envelopes of items we received in the mail. Cancelled stamps (those marked by the post office when the letter is mailed) are likely not worth much. But, during that same period I would also go to the post office every Saturday and ask the post master if he had any new stamps. My stamps have been in that protective picture album for over thirty years, and I’m hoping that a stamp value guide can give me an idea as to how much my stamp collection may be worth.

NFL Football Player Cards

My brother and I both collected football cards for a few years. After receiving our allowance of $0.25 on Friday, we would immediately walk to the local grocery store and spend $0.20 on a pack of football cards. Unfortunately, most of my cards have a big red “T” on the back because I wanted to differentiate them from my brother’s cards. This certainly destroyed the value of those cards to any collector. However, there are some that are not marked. You never know, maybe some investigation using a website specializing in evaluating player cards might turn up a valuable card or two.

Autographed Item

When I was in elementary school, my family went to a Minnesota Twins game at the old Metropolitan Stadium. It was helmet day, and both my brother and I got a souvenir helmet. I got mine signed by some players having batting practice wearing the old time powder blue uniforms.

I also went to college at Mankato State University, where the Minnesota Vikings hold their training camp each summer. I got the autographs of some players of the 1990’s era. I’m planning to get those items analyzed by a sports memorabilia expert, to see if they’re worth any money.

Old Toys

I would bet most kids that grew up in the same period as I did played with heavy duty metal Tonka Truck, farm implement toys, and a wide variety of classic board games. A little searching around will help me determine an approximate value of those items as well.

I don’t know if I would sell any of my childhood possessions, it would probably depend upon how much they’re worth. Of course an estimated value is no guarantee that I’d actually be able to sell them for that amount, but it would at least give me an ideas as to whether there is any demand for the items. It would be fun to know if any of the things I still have are worth any money, almost like my own TV program!

Do you still have any of your childhood possessions? Have you ever looked into whether any of them are valuable?

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Pack A Satisfying Protein Punch With Affordable STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen Meals http://www.enemyofdebt.com/pack-a-satisfying-protein-punch-with-affordable-stouffers-fit-kitchen-meals/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/pack-a-satisfying-protein-punch-with-affordable-stouffers-fit-kitchen-meals/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 20:58:34 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16634 Enemy of Debt - Pack A Satisfying Protein Punch With Affordable STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen Meals

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PowerfulProtein #CollectiveBias As a 5 time marathon runner, getting a great workout in is a necessity each day. I’m also a busy dad and husband that plays the roles of taxi driver, homework helper, chef, laundry doer and groundskeeper.  I pay close attention to the fuel I put into my body which takes time and effort.  But sometimes a guy as busy as I needs a “go to” meal that is fast, affordable and packs the protein I need to keep me fueled […]

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Enemy of Debt - Pack A Satisfying Protein Punch With Affordable STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen Meals

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PowerfulProtein #CollectiveBias

As a 5 time marathon runner, getting a great workout in is a necessity each day. I’m also a busy dad and husband that plays the roles of taxi driver, homework helper, chef, laundry doer and groundskeeper.  I pay close attention to the fuel I put into my body which takes time and effort.  But sometimes a guy as busy as I needs a “go to” meal that is fast, affordable and packs the protein I need to keep me fueled and able to fill all my roles.  The new single serving  STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen meals help me do exactly that!

STOUFFERS_Hero

For example, the Steak Fajita meal includes tender prime rib steak in smoked red chile sauce with a mix of red and green peppers and seasoned brown rice.  It not only gives me 26 grams of protein, but it’s full of great flavor and satisfies the hunger of a constantly moving, energetic dad like me!

STOUFFERS_Store

I discovered STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen Meals in the freezer section of my local Walmart at an affordable price of $3.75 per meal (although pricing may vary by location).

STOUFFERS_Marathon

STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen Meals are perfect for a busy dad that’s also constantly training for some upcoming race (The guy in blue is me running Grandma’s Marathon just this last weekend!).  Some mornings I run over ten miles, and I’m short on time to dedicate to getting my lunch ready.  I grab one of the meals from the freezer, and bring it along with me to work.  It’s a hearty and satisfying meal that helps keep me fueled, and my training on track!

STOUFFERS_Product

STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen Meals come in six different scrumptious flavors:

  • Steak Fajita
  • Cilantro Lime Chicken
  • Rotisserie Seasoned Turkey
  • Bourbon Steak
  • Oven Roasted Chicken
  • Monterey Chicken

Each meal packs a protein punch with 25 grams or more of protein, and can go from freezer to ready to serve in under 10 minutes!

STOUFFERS_Kids

My kids depend upon me each and every day.  To make that happen, I depend on affordable and satisfying meals that I can prepare quickly when I’m on the go.  Thank you STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen Meals for helping me be the best I can be!

Are you a dad on the go?  Would STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen Meals fit into your lifestyle?  Which flavor would you like to try?

Want to know more about STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen Meals and other great products by STOUFFER’S®? Check out these links!

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Don’t Spend Money On Things You Didn’t Know You Needed http://www.enemyofdebt.com/dont-spend-money-on-things-you-didnt-know-you-needed/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/dont-spend-money-on-things-you-didnt-know-you-needed/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 15:12:10 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16630 Enemy of Debt - Don’t Spend Money On Things You Didn’t Know You Needed

Every Marathon I’ve run has had a fitness expo which accompanies race packet pickup. It’s an opportunity for runners to find some last minute necessities for their run, as well as browse the latest and greatest in running and fitness gear. I was in Duluth, Minnesota over the weekend to run Grandma’s Marathon, and walked through one of these fitness expos. As I walked past one of the booths, a man stepped in front of me telling me he had a special treat for my feet. Intrigued, I allowed him to guide me to sit down in a chair and […]

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Enemy of Debt - Don’t Spend Money On Things You Didn’t Know You Needed

EODi_SpendingDontNeedPic

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Every Marathon I’ve run has had a fitness expo which accompanies race packet pickup. It’s an opportunity for runners to find some last minute necessities for their run, as well as browse the latest and greatest in running and fitness gear. I was in Duluth, Minnesota over the weekend to run Grandma’s Marathon, and walked through one of these fitness expos.

As I walked past one of the booths, a man stepped in front of me telling me he had a special treat for my feet. Intrigued, I allowed him to guide me to sit down in a chair and remove my shoes. He slipped a pair of self-massaging inserts into my shoes and told me to try them out. I put my shoes back on, stood up, and took a few steps.

The inserts seemed to bubble under my feet as I walked. It was a sensation I had never felt before, sort of like the footwear equivalent of what pop rocks feel like as the tiny crystals explode in your mouth. It felt different, and strangely good on my feet.

The exhibitor told me that the regular price of the insoles were $53, but the expo sale price was $40. I reached to my back pocket and felt the presence of my wallet. I was about to pull it out and signal that I would take a pair when a couple of questions ran through my mind:

What Value Would This Bring To My Life?

He asked my size, and pulled out a shrink wrapped pair of the insoles from a container that had dozens, maybe hundreds of units of the product. What did he do with that set after I was done? Did he reuse them, or did he throw them away? If he threw them away for cleanliness (which I would expect, really) could they really be worth $53 or even $40?

Do I NEED These?

The whole point of the insoles are to ease foot pain and promote quicker recovery for runners. But I don’t have any issues with my feet.

Conclusion

The insoles are likely overpriced, are a product I didn’t even know existed before the expo, and solved a problem that I didn’t have.

I put my wallet away.

What almost happened is exactly what the exhibitor wanted to happen. He wanted me to be blown away by the feeling of the insoles, and instinctively throw down my hard earned cash without thinking about it too much. Maybe I would have purchased the item and enjoyed the popping under my feet every time I took a step. Maybe I would have decided I didn’t like the product, removed them and let them sit in the corner of my closet until I finally threw them in the trash. The point is, I almost bought the insoles without taking the time to think about it, do some research, and truly make sure that I wanted to give up my hard earned cash to buy them.

Think about how often this happens in our every day life. People buy new cell phones that cost hundreds of dollars just because they want to have the latest and greatest. People buy a new vehicle just because their current mode of transportation has a spot or two of rust. How many times have you thrown away something that didn’t taste good, but sounded heavenly while walking through the grocery store?

Be a conscious spender. Take the time to THINK about your purchases. Be selfish with your money, and evaluate the value your purchase would bring to your life. If you can do that, I think you’ll find yourself buying only things that truly enhance your life, and a little extra cash in your wallet.

What was the last thing you bought without truly thinking about it’s value to your life? How much did it cost you?

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Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 6/19 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-619/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-619/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 12:31:55 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16617 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 6/19

Greetings from Duluth, Minnesota!  I’m here doing some site seeing with my wife, and to run Grandma’s Marathon on Saturday.  I was a bit concerned about the weather, as for most of the week the forecast was calling for a 90% chance of rain.  However, as the day gets closer, it sounds like it may rain overnight, but as the race start time approachesthe chance for rain decreases.  Send dry thoughts my way on Saturday – I can’t wait to recap how this marathon (my 5th!) goes! Fist pump for marathon running……and for these awesome posts! Posts That Make Me […]

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Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 6/19

fistpumpGreetings from Duluth, Minnesota!  I’m here doing some site seeing with my wife, and to run Grandma’s Marathon on Saturday.  I was a bit concerned about the weather, as for most of the week the forecast was calling for a 90% chance of rain.  However, as the day gets closer, it sounds like it may rain overnight, but as the race start time approachesthe chance for rain decreases.  Send dry thoughts my way on Saturday – I can’t wait to recap how this marathon (my 5th!) goes!

Fist pump for marathon running……and for these awesome posts!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

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Want To Achieve A Big Goal? Better Know Your “Why!” http://www.enemyofdebt.com/want-to-achieve-a-big-goal-better-know-your-why/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/want-to-achieve-a-big-goal-better-know-your-why/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 14:06:03 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16611 Enemy of Debt - Want To Achieve A Big Goal? Better Know Your “Why!”

The street corner marked the end of my eight mile run, and upon reaching it I peeled off my tank top. It was soaking wet from being in the rain for just over an hour, and I rang it out as I walked the final block to my drive way. I opened my front door to see my wife looking at me with eyes wide open and a smile on her face. “I look out the window and see this beast walking up the driveway without a shirt on!” She went on to explain that it wasn’t just the fact […]

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Enemy of Debt - Want To Achieve A Big Goal? Better Know Your “Why!”

EOD_KnowYourWhy

Image courtesy of hywards at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The street corner marked the end of my eight mile run, and upon reaching it I peeled off my tank top. It was soaking wet from being in the rain for just over an hour, and I rang it out as I walked the final block to my drive way. I opened my front door to see my wife looking at me with eyes wide open and a smile on her face.

“I look out the window and see this beast walking up the driveway without a shirt on!”

She went on to explain that it wasn’t just the fact that I had removed my shirt, but also the way I was carrying myself, and the look of determination on my face. What she didn’t know was that during that 70 minute run in the ever increasing rain, I had found my “why.”

I’ve been hearing the concept of needing to know your “why” for several years. For any goal that you are trying to achieve, being able to succinctly articulate why you do what you do can motivate you through difficult times, and drive you to do your best. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the reason behind why I put my mind and body through the adversity and pain of marathon training. I’ve even written down several things that I was sure qualified as my “why.”

  • To use my abilities to their fullest
  • To someday qualify for the Boston Marathon
  • To inspire others

These are all well-intentioned and honorable reasons to run marathons, but none of them really resonated with me. Whenever I’d look at these reasons, I simply asked myself the question, “But, why?” During that eight mile run, as the rain came down harder and harder, my mind started to think about how miserable I should be. But I didn’t feel miserable. I felt like the run would make me both physically and mentally stronger and help propel me along my goal to qualify for Boston. I thought about what it would feel like to stand at the starting line of the Boston Marathon. I imagine it would feel amazing, and I want to know what that feels like.

I want to know what amazing feels like.

Suddenly I not only had a crystal clear goal in front of me, but I also knew why I wanted to reach it. That realization was the reason behind the confidence in my step, and the determination on my face as I walked through the door.

This applies to any goal a person looks to accomplish. It’s easy to identify big goals, and with a little work one can even create a plan of action to achieve those goals. But there has to be something for a person to pull from when the going gets tough, and there will be challenges along the way that make continuing on difficult. You have to be able to remind yourself why you started this journey, and what will be missing from your life if you give up. Once you find that reason, once you find your, “why,” you will find yourself with determination and resolve that you didn’t know you had. It won’t make achieving your goal easier, but it will give you the strength to keep fighting when the voices in your head are telling you to stop.

The last two miles of my run were in a rain hard enough that I had just gave up wiping the water away from my eyes. My shoes were water logged and my feet were wet. My shorts were drenched, and my inner thighs were rubbing together in a way that I knew would cause painful chafing later in the day. I just kept saying to myself, “I want to know what amazing feels like,” and I just kept running.

When we were paying off our credit card debt the goal was clear, and the reason for doing so was also very clear. If we weren’t successful, our lives would be affected negatively forever. There was really no option but to crush that debt. Without that clear vision, and a “why” to be dilligent with our finances we recently lost our way a bit. My run over the weekend has reminded me that I need to find a reason that resonates in our core. We can roll along for now just fine, but when something unexpected comes up, we will need something to draw upon. We need to know our “why.”

What financial goal are you working towards right now? Do you know your, “why?” If so, has it helped motivate you to keep going?

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Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 6/12 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-612/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-612/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 16:44:37 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16607 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 6/12

Ladies and gentlemen, citizens of the EOD nation, we have arrived at another weekend.  This weekend will be one of rest and relaxation for me.  Next weekend I run my 5th marathon, so  I’ll need all the rest I can get.  Vonnie and I will be spending three days in Duluth, MN so we need to give our bank account some rest and relaxation this weekend as well.   That’s the advantage to thinking ahead and planning your spending weeks in advance:  You have the time to cut back on spending so you have enough funds to have a kick ass […]

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Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 6/12

fistpumpLadies and gentlemen, citizens of the EOD nation, we have arrived at another weekend.  This weekend will be one of rest and relaxation for me.  Next weekend I run my 5th marathon, so  I’ll need all the rest I can get.  Vonnie and I will be spending three days in Duluth, MN so we need to give our bank account some rest and relaxation this weekend as well.   That’s the advantage to thinking ahead and planning your spending weeks in advance:  You have the time to cut back on spending so you have enough funds to have a kick ass time on a weekend getaway!

I’m excited to run Grandma’s marathon, so get your fists in the air!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

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Review: Saving Money Is a Cinch With Cinch http://www.enemyofdebt.com/review-saving-money-is-a-cinch-with-cinch/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/review-saving-money-is-a-cinch-with-cinch/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 09:00:38 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16601 Enemy of Debt - Review: Saving Money Is a Cinch With Cinch

There are infinite techniques people use to save money. Similarly, there seem to be countless online tools to help people make it happen. Developers of such tools need to come up with a way to differentiate themselves from the rest, and a new service called Cinch may have come up with just the way to do that. Cinch’s goal is to help users save money on common household expenses such as your home insurance, car insurance and mortgage payment by making sure you have exactly the coverage or product you need. But beyond that they also want to help you […]

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Enemy of Debt - Review: Saving Money Is a Cinch With Cinch

EOD_CinchPic

Image courtesy of ratch0013 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There are infinite techniques people use to save money. Similarly, there seem to be countless online tools to help people make it happen. Developers of such tools need to come up with a way to differentiate themselves from the rest, and a new service called Cinch may have come up with just the way to do that.

Cinch’s goal is to help users save money on common household expenses such as your home insurance, car insurance and mortgage payment by making sure you have exactly the coverage or product you need. But beyond that they also want to help you choose the very best bank and credit card for your needs.

The first thing users should do is to tell Cinch where they are located. This is imperative for the service to be able to customize the information that is offered in relation to where you live. After that is complete, there are two different paths users can choose to explore what Cinch has to offer to improve their financial situation.

1.) Statement Or Bill Analysis

Cinch users can choose to provide information about their current bills, and then let Cinch search their database for information in your specific location. There are three ways users can provide this information.

  • Email : If you don’t feel comfortable uploading a bill, you can send the pertinent information to them in an email.
  • Q&A : Finally, users can simply answer questions directly on the website for any product recommendation.

Cinch will take it from there and provide suggestions as to how you may be able to save money by changing your insurance coverage, mortgage, and even applying for a different credit card based upon real products offered in your area.

2.) Top Picks

The service from Cinch also allows users to browse top rated financial products in the following categories:

  • Auto Insurance
  • Home Insurance
  • Mortgages
  • Banks
  • Credit Cards

These are called “Cinch Picks,” and are rated on a scale from 0 to 100. Users will see a summary of the top picks for a category, but can also click on an individual company and see detailed analysis of the positives and negatives of their product.

Downsides :

  • Privacy Issues: You should always do a little research before uploading documents that contain personal information such as where you do business, your address, and your account number. Cinch does state that documents are destroyed regularly and your information won’t be shared, but I always recommend that you check things out enough to feel comfortable before sharing.
  • Information Availability: While I could get information about credit card offers that suit my needs, none of the other categories are available in my area yet. To be fair, they are just starting out and sure to expand. While many users may not be able to fully utilize the recommendations on the site just yet, recommendations are available through BillSnap or email for users anywhere in the US.

Upsides :

At the beginning of the article, I said that online tools fighting for the public’s attention need to differentiate themselves, and Cinch does that in three very important ways:

Multiple Products: Many services will help you find the best mortgage, or the best auto insurance, or even a credit card offer. But few will do all of these. It’s a one-stop shop for many common household expenses for which people typically have to shop around for the best rate.

Customization: The service asks questions that tailor the output to you. For example, the best credit card choice to utilize for a balance transfer may not be the same for travel hacking use. Cinch asks the right questions to give you the best choices for your unique situation.

Detailed Information: The information Cinch gathers about each product is outstanding. Scores are given in value, ease of use, as well as reputation to make up their overall rating.

Our Verdict :

There is plenty to like about Cinch. The website is easy to use, the price (FREE!) can’t be beat, and the information provided enables users to make financial decisions without having to spend the time gathering any additional data themselves.

My favorite feature is the multiple ways users can get at the data, which as mentioned, is personalized for a user’s specific location. As Cinch’s reach increases, so will its popularity.

Check it out today and see what you think!

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

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A Lawn Mower is NOT A Status Symbol http://www.enemyofdebt.com/a-lawnmower-is-not-a-status-symbol/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/a-lawnmower-is-not-a-status-symbol/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 17:07:58 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16595 Enemy of Debt - A Lawn Mower is NOT A Status Symbol

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 […]

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Enemy of Debt - A Lawn Mower is NOT A Status Symbol

EOD_LawnMowerPicI 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 that before I had to mow again I would have to find a better fix.

“We’ve had that lawn mower for quite a few years, maybe it’s time to buy a new one anyway,” said my wife after telling her about the confrontation that had just occurred with my lawn mower.

Thinking about it a bit more, I walked myself through three options:

  1. Do It Yourself Repair : Looking at the pieces, I thought maybe a bolt and a hex nut would do the trick. But would the handle be able to freely move as it did with the smooth peg?
  2. Lawn Mower Repair Shop: I could take it to a repair shop, but who knows how long it would take to get it back. We’re in the part of Spring when the lawns needs mowing every couple of days and I cannot be without my mower for long.
  3. Buy A New Lawn Mower : My wife was right, I had been using this lawn mower for over 9 years. I’d definitely gotten my money out of it. I could be sure that the new mower would work, and I could have it right away.

As you read through the options, do you recognize what happened? I talked myself into buying a new lawn mower. The first two options are much less expensive, but I found downsides to both of them. Buying a brand new mower is far more expensive, but I framed it such that not only does it sound like the best option, but that also I deserve it.

A friend of mine once called this the “Oooooh, shiny!” effect. I was hypnotized by the thought of mowing my lawn with a new, bright red mower from the hardware store. I shook my head swiftly and snapped out of fantasy land.

“A lawn mower is not a status symbol,” I said to myself.

I knew that mowing the lawn with a new mower wouldn’t be a life altering event. It wouldn’t make it easier, or more enjoyable, or make me any new friends. There was no reason to spend hundreds of dollars on a new mower, when my current one still started easily with a single pull.

The next day I went to the hardware store, with the worn down peg in my pocket. The extremely helpful guy I talked to (he’s helped me numerous times before) suggested a couple of different potential solutions. One of them being a bolt with a hex nut.  He helped me find the sizes needed, and rang up my bill of a whopping $0.63.

When I got home, I armed myself with a pliers and a socket set and within two minutes had my handle reattached to my lawn mower’s frame. I checked the handle, which still moved up and down freely due to the size of the bolt selected, just slightly smaller than the hole. With one pull, the engine roared to life and I was off mowing my lawn with a smile on my face.

Fixing my lawn mower for under $1 was certainly the right decision. Had I dropped hundreds on a new mower I wouldn’t have gotten any additional value out of my new mower. Mowing the lawn is just mowing the lawn. That’s not being frugal or cheap, that’s just being smart with my money.

Have you ever almost talked yourself into buying something new, and then ended up only spending a few bucks fixing your old one?

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