Enemy of Debt http://www.enemyofdebt.com Motivational Money Management Sun, 30 Aug 2015 10:02:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/28 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-828/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-828/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 14:09:30 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16869 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/28

  A few weeks ago I posted a review of the Kaiku prepaid debit card.  Yesterday I read an article from my friend Crystal over at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (who has also reviewed Kaiku) about a situation in which a reader had an issue with their Kaiku and reached out to Crystal for assistance.  Customer service is a big deal to Kaiku, and the issue was quickly resolved.  Two things to make note of here: Kaiku customer service ROCKS.  As with any company, sometimes issues arise.  The key is how these issues are dealt with, and Kaiku gets […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/28

fistpump

 

A few weeks ago I posted a review of the Kaiku prepaid debit card.  Yesterday I read an article from my friend Crystal over at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (who has also reviewed Kaiku) about a situation in which a reader had an issue with their Kaiku and reached out to Crystal for assistance.  Customer service is a big deal to Kaiku, and the issue was quickly resolved.  Two things to make note of here:

  • Kaiku customer service ROCKS.  As with any company, sometimes issues arise.  The key is how these issues are dealt with, and Kaiku gets much love and respect from this blogger.
  • Bloggers ROCK.  Our social media reach, and our contacts with the products we review can make an impact.

Get your fists pumping this week for Kaiku, blogger power, and my favorite posts of the week!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

Shameless Self-Promotion

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-828/feed/ 0
School Time Is Here – Time To Redo Your Budget! http://www.enemyofdebt.com/school-time-is-here-time-to-redo-your-budget/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/school-time-is-here-time-to-redo-your-budget/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 05:49:13 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16854 Enemy of Debt - School Time Is Here – Time To Redo Your Budget!

According to the dry erase calendar on my refrigerator both my son and daughter have school schedule pickup this week. A new school year is about to start, which means homework in the evenings, earlier bedtimes, bus stop pickups and time for a budget rework. Switching over to the school year schedule also requires a shift to a different budget because there expenses that only occur during the school year. There are also some changes in our purchasing habits that need to change with the shifting schedule, as well as some one time expenses that we need to plan for. […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - School Time Is Here – Time To Redo Your Budget!

EOD_SchoolPicAccording to the dry erase calendar on my refrigerator both my son and daughter have school schedule pickup this week. A new school year is about to start, which means homework in the evenings, earlier bedtimes, bus stop pickups and time for a budget rework. Switching over to the school year schedule also requires a shift to a different budget because there expenses that only occur during the school year. There are also some changes in our purchasing habits that need to change with the shifting schedule, as well as some one time expenses that we need to plan for.

Sports and Activities

My daughter takes dance classes during the school year. These classes are a $50 a month expense that needs to be paid during the first week of the month that we need to add to our budget. She may also join a hip hop dance group through the school that will require an unknown fall sport activity fee. We need to find out more information, and plan for it.

School Lunches

My son eats school lunch every day. School lunch at his high school costs $2.35, but a growing teenage boy sometimes needs a little extra to eat. I usually put $35 in his account every two weeks, adding $70 a month to our budget to account for school lunches.

Grocery Shopping

During the summer, my kids sleep in ridiculously late. So late, in fact, that breakfast foods weren’t really much of a concern. With the forced earlier wake-up time of the school year I’ll again need to add the things they like to eat in the morning to the grocery shopping list.

On the other hand, since they won’t be home for lunch during the week, I can remove from the list items that they’ve been eating for lunches. I do need to get the items needed to make my daughter’s cold lunch as she’s not a fan of the school lunch program. From a spending standpoint this pretty much evens out, but it is a change in shopping that I do need to be aware of.

School Supplies

We picked up the lists made by the school for the kids’ respective grades. Like good parents, we picked up everything on the list, and even an extra package of mechanical pencils and block erasers. We should be good, right? Nope. Inevitably by the end of the first week of school teachers have informed students that they need to purchase some items that they inexplicably left off the list. It’s best to plan ahead for this, as it happens every year.

Swim Suit

Sometime during the school year, my daughter will have a swimming unit in her physical education class. We need to make sure we have find a swim suit now, because finding one that she likes in the middle of winter will be extremely time-consuming and frustrating.

Parking Pass

It’s convenient to have our son drive to school some days. For him to park at school he needs to have a parking pass. The pass is good for the entire school year, but we’ll need it as soon as possible.

Buying school supplies and new clothes is all part of the process of getting the kids ready for the school year. But there’s no time to breathe a financial sigh of relief once they head off to the first day of school. The school year is filled with one time expenses, and requires a shift in spending paradigms. If we successfully adapt to that shift, we can keep our kids and our budget running smoothly during the upcoming school year.

Do you have kids heading off to school soon? Have you redone your spending plan and planned ahead for the differing expenses of the school year?

 

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/school-time-is-here-time-to-redo-your-budget/feed/ 5
Fist Pump Friday – I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/21 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-821/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-821/#comments Fri, 21 Aug 2015 15:39:02 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16845 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday – I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/21

Yesterday the Pizel family headed to Valleyfair, an amusement park about 90 minutes away in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.  It was our last summertime “hurrah” for family activities.   We arrived 30 minutes after the park opened, and stayed almost until it closed.  I haven’t gone on that many rides in one day in, well….ever.   So. Much. Fun.  How did you say goodbye to summer?   Fist pump for amusement parks, and keep ’em going for my favorite posts of the week! Posts That Make Me Fist Pump Debt Payoff Isn’t Just About Discipline from Fruclassity 3 Tactics to Speed […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday – I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/21

fistpumpYesterday the Pizel family headed to Valleyfair, an amusement park about 90 minutes away in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.  It was our last summertime “hurrah” for family activities.   We arrived 30 minutes after the park opened, and stayed almost until it closed.  I haven’t gone on that many rides in one day in, well….ever.   So. Much. Fun.  How did you say goodbye to summer?

 

Fist pump for amusement parks, and keep ’em going for my favorite posts of the week!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

Shameless Self-Promotion

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-821/feed/ 12
Say NO To Your Fears http://www.enemyofdebt.com/say-no-to-your-fears/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/say-no-to-your-fears/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 16:56:05 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16835 Enemy of Debt - Say NO To Your Fears

A friend mentioned over the weekend that she wanted to do more adventurous things with her husband. She didn’t want to wake up 20 years from now, and look back at all the things they talked about doing but never did. Our conversation made me think of a recent experience of my own. I crossed the finish line of Grandma’s Marathon in just over 4 hours and 23 minutes. After a volunteer put my finisher’s metal around my neck I took a few more steps, and my lower body completely cramped up. I could barely move my legs, any step […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Say NO To Your Fears

EOD_DreamsFearspic

Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A friend mentioned over the weekend that she wanted to do more adventurous things with her husband. She didn’t want to wake up 20 years from now, and look back at all the things they talked about doing but never did.

Our conversation made me think of a recent experience of my own.

I crossed the finish line of Grandma’s Marathon in just over 4 hours and 23 minutes. After a volunteer put my finisher’s metal around my neck I took a few more steps, and my lower body completely cramped up. I could barely move my legs, any step over 6 inches in length was excruciatingly painful. When I finally got to a nearby restaurant where my wife and friends were meeting me, I sat down and fought back tears for nearly half an hour before the cramping subsided enough to give me relief. I vowed at that moment that I had run my last marathon. I was ready to let go of my dream of one day qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

My mind shifted, and suddenly I was imagining a conversation between myself as I am today, and a Travis from 20 years in the future.

Older/Wiser Travis: “Hey, you know you never qualified for Boston. What happened to that?”

Travis of Today: “After Grandma’s Marathon I realized that I’m more of a half-marathon guy. I didn’t ever want to experience that kind of pain again.”

Older/Wiser Travis: “But you know that was likely due to dehydration because you didn’t drink anything after mile 20. Not to mention being undertrained. You bought books and read them after that marathon. You know that you had to train much differently to achieve a Boston Qualifying time.”

Travis of Today: “Yeah, well. I didn’t think I had the ability to do it.”

Older/Wiser Travis: “You’re just scared. Scared that you’d try and fail. That’s bullshit, and you know it.”

Travis of Today (eyes staring at ground) : “Yeah, maybe.”

Older/Wiser Travis: “Another thing, why didn’t you prepare better for retirement? Vonnie and I could use some extra cash flow right now.”

Travis of Today : “What do you mean? I’m contributing to the 401K, I started building funds in an Health Savings Account this year. What else do you want?”

Older/Wiser Travis : “There’s more you could be doing.”

Travis of Today : “But I don’t think I’ll be able to do the things I want to do today if I divert more funds to retirement. I mean we want to do fun things now too, right?”

Older/Wiser Travis : “Excuses, excuses. What you’re really saying is that you’re scared that you can’t mange your money more efficiently. More bullshit.”

Travis of Today (eyes still staring at the ground) : “Yeah, maybe.”

Wow, Travis in twenty years sounds pissed, and he should be. I’ve left him with unfulfilled dreams, and insufficient cash for retirement simply because of a little thing called fear. Fear of failing. Fear of not being perfect.

It might take me 5 or 10 more marathons to whittle my time down. I might not have the physical ability to ever get a marathon time that would qualify for the Boston Marathon. But how will I know if I never try? I almost certainly will achieve a better time than I have thus far in life.

What if I set a goal for how much I want set aside for retirement and not make it? What if I only get 90% or 80% of my goal? I almost certainly will have more than I would if I just keep doing what I’m doing now.

I listened to a motivational speech from Les Brown over the weekend in which he stated that people can choose to live their fears, or they can choose to live their dreams. Too many people are living their fears. Whether it’s a target number for retirement, running a marathon, or having enough passive income to sustain your lifestyle indefinitely. Choose to live your dreams, because it’s the thought of what could be that makes life worth living.

Are you living your fears, or are you living your dreams?

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/say-no-to-your-fears/feed/ 14
Fist Pump Friday – I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/14 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-814/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-814/#comments Sat, 15 Aug 2015 14:36:09 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16826 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday – I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/14

My wife and I had a great time at a concert last night.  There’s a club in our mid-sized city that works really hard at bringing nationally known hard rock acts to town.  Nothing gets my heart pumping like some great hard rock in a club setting.  So. Much. Fun. The only downside is that it wiped most of our entertainment spending for the weekend.  But have no fear, it’s all been planned for and budgeted!  We have enough left for me to fire up the smoker to make some ribs on Saturday to have some friends over for Minnesota […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday – I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/14

fistpumpMy wife and I had a great time at a concert last night.  There’s a club in our mid-sized city that works really hard at bringing nationally known hard rock acts to town.  Nothing gets my heart pumping like some great hard rock in a club setting.  So. Much. Fun.

The only downside is that it wiped most of our entertainment spending for the weekend.  But have no fear, it’s all been planned for and budgeted!  We have enough left for me to fire up the smoker to make some ribs on Saturday to have some friends over for Minnesota Viking Pre-season football.   Something just seems right about watching Vikings play football while gnawing meat off a bone that was cooked over fire.

Fist pump for hard rock, Vikings, football, ribs…..and of course my favorite posts of the week!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

Shameless Self-Promotion

 

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-814/feed/ 2
What Does Your Refrigerator Tell You About Your Finances? http://www.enemyofdebt.com/what-does-your-refrigerator-tell-you-about-your-finances/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/what-does-your-refrigerator-tell-you-about-your-finances/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 13:06:35 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16807 Enemy of Debt - What Does Your Refrigerator Tell You About Your Finances?

I view life as being made up of many strands, all interconnected and affecting each other. Each strand represent some aspect of a person’s personality or a stream of experiences. They are separate, but intertwined, each affecting the other. I looked in my fridge over the weekend, and noticed how cluttered it was. I was reminded of how I had been feeling about our finances lately. Let me show you what I mean: Pizza : I found a container of leftovers from our favorite local pizza place. We got back to town late Saturday evening after being at a lake […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - What Does Your Refrigerator Tell You About Your Finances?

EOD_RefigeratorPic

Image courtesy of patpitchaya at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I view life as being made up of many strands, all interconnected and affecting each other. Each strand represent some aspect of a person’s personality or a stream of experiences. They are separate, but intertwined, each affecting the other. I looked in my fridge over the weekend, and noticed how cluttered it was. I was reminded of how I had been feeling about our finances lately. Let me show you what I mean:

  • Pizza : I found a container of leftovers from our favorite local pizza place. We got back to town late Saturday evening after being at a lake all day, and didn’t want to take the time to make dinner.
  • Cilantro Lime Coconut Rice : We made fish for dinner one day last week, along with cilantro lime rice for a side dish. I made a double batch, thinking I would have it for lunch during the week.   The week came and went, and the rice still sits in the refrigerator.
  • Steak bites: I found left over pieces of steak from last weekend’s steak kabobs, which were targeted for lunch with the leftover cilantro lime coconut rice. But the day I was going to take with with me, we got Subway instead.   The rice and the steak bites never got eaten.
  • Vegetable Soup : Vonnie made a can of Vegetable Noodle soup for lunch last week, and only ate half of it. The other half went into the fridge. It’s still there.
  • Salad Mix : I bought a packaged salad along with carrots and cucumbers to help us get our vegetables and eat healthier. None of the supplies have been touched.

Ok, I think you get what I’m saying. There is a lot of leftover food in my refrigerator. But how does that reflect on how things have been going with our finances as of late?

Not Following The Plan

Before we go grocery shopping, my wife and I do meal planning for the week. We don’t necessarily assign a meal to a day, but we come up with enough meal ideas for the week. The reason we had so much left over food in our refrigerator is because we hadn’t stuck to our meal plan.  Similarly, we hadn’t been following the cash only spending plan we had been so successful with.

Overspending

We broke our meal plan by going out to eat unexpectedly several times during the week. Because of the unplanned dining out, we spent extra funds on food.  Not only did we unnecessarily spend money on food even though we had food in the house, we actually went over budget in the entertainment category for the week.

Wasteful

Some of the food has now reached the point where it needs to be thrown away. That’s wasting not only food, but also money. It felt a lot like one of those weekends when we get to Sunday night, find that we’ve spent all our entertainment budget but can’t figure out where the money went.

It didn’t surprise me that the state of our refrigerator mirrored what has been going on with our finances.   I know we’re on track with our groceries when grocery shopping day arrives and the fridge looks bare. That wasn’t the case this week, and our finances shared that perspective. I cleaned out the fridge, and prepared myself to start a new week.   We also wiped the slate clean with our finances, started over, and created this week’s spending plan. We’ll see what the refrigerator looks like next weekend.

What does your refrigerator look like right now? Does it remind you of your finances??

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/what-does-your-refrigerator-tell-you-about-your-finances/feed/ 28
Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/7 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-87/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-87/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 11:08:11 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16802 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/7

I got a curious looking letter in the mail this week, but as soon as I opened it up I knew exactly what it meant.  The letter was offering a wide variety of products to display my recently awarded patent.  I have several patent applications in the pipeline through my employer and the notification from them sometimes takes awhile.    This means that once the slow wheels of administration turn far enough there will be a little award bump in my paycheck along with a laminated version of the issued patent for me to put in my leather bound patent binder. […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/7

fistpumpI got a curious looking letter in the mail this week, but as soon as I opened it up I knew exactly what it meant.  The letter was offering a wide variety of products to display my recently awarded patent.  I have several patent applications in the pipeline through my employer and the notification from them sometimes takes awhile.    This means that once the slow wheels of administration turn far enough there will be a little award bump in my paycheck along with a laminated version of the issued patent for me to put in my leather bound patent binder.

Fist pump for patents, and for my favorite posts of the week!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

Shameless Self-Promotion

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-87/feed/ 8
What It Costs To Own Man’s Best Friend http://www.enemyofdebt.com/what-it-costs-to-own-mans-best-friend/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/what-it-costs-to-own-mans-best-friend/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 11:15:51 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16737 Enemy of Debt - What It Costs To Own Man’s Best Friend

We brought our dog, Cooper, into our home ten years ago. He was just one in a litter of puppies a friend of a friend was giving away. We offered her $20 but she wouldn’t accept it. Now I understand why; She knew how much it costs to have a dog! If you are contemplating getting a dog for the family then be prepared to increase your annual budget by at least $1,200. That may sound expensive at first but it’s actually on the low end of owning a pooch. Here is a breakdown using our dog Cooper as an […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - What It Costs To Own Man’s Best Friend

EOD_Steve_Dog

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We brought our dog, Cooper, into our home ten years ago. He was just one in a litter of puppies a friend of a friend was giving away. We offered her $20 but she wouldn’t accept it. Now I understand why; She knew how much it costs to have a dog!

If you are contemplating getting a dog for the family then be prepared to increase your annual budget by at least $1,200. That may sound expensive at first but it’s actually on the low end of owning a pooch.

Here is a breakdown using our dog Cooper as an example:

Puppy Nutrition

When Cooper was three, he started having allergic reactions to most processed foods. We found a brand of dog food that worked that just happened to be the most expensive food. This increased our grocery bill from $200 to $500 a year.

The total does not include treats or the occasional canned food for special days (his birthday or Christmas). I estimate those costs to be $70 a year.

Of course, you probably won’t have a dog with special dietary needs like ours so you can cut the food cost down tremendously by feeding it table food. Just be careful not to get it hooked on steak and grilled salmon.

Making a dog healthy and legal

Every region is different but I’m fairly certain all municipalities require dogs to be licensed. I couldn’t tell you what we spent to license Cooper but it was a one-time fee, maybe $20.00.

If you get a puppy you may also be required to get it spayed or neutered. That’s another $135 to $200

Keeping our dog legal with all the required immunizations is another story altogether. We spent over $150 for rabies and other shots last year alone.

While we’re at it, let’s talk medical expenses: Heart worm pills are $35 for a six month supply. Cooper had a hairline fracture in his back paw last year; add another $160 in doctor visits and medicines.

Emergencies are expensive for both man and his best friend.

Good boy!

To ensure there weren’t little “surprises” left around the house we purchased a doggie pen (cage). You may be able to find them on CraigsList for $25 or a new one could set you back $100.

Then there is obedience training: $165 for 2 months of classes and a doggie-diploma. Unless you are Caesar Millan the Dog Whisperer you’ll need a dog collar and leash. We found the best one was a $17 harness that didn’t choke our pooch when he became overly excited while walking around the block.

As a side note: The obedience classes were very effective except for the releasing of a toy when playing fetch (he’d rather play “catch me if you can”). Other than that, he’s a good boy!

Pee-You! Cooper – you stink!

Nothing gets by my wife’s olfactory senses. If Cooper has been outside too long, or rolled around in something he shouldn’t have, we all hear about it. This increases our budget by about $20 a month for either doggie shampoo or a wash at the groomer’s.

Curbing your dog is a requirement in our city. Old produce bags that once carried peaches or plums are now used for Cooper’s road apples. Designer poop-bags cost $7 on Amazon will last 120 “deposits” and a pooper-scooper is $15 at PetCo.

Of course you could hire a service to pick up your dog’s droppings. Yes, they do exist (check out Yuckos.com)

Send him to the kennel or take him with you

Included in our vacation budget is Cooper’s trip to the spa (that’s what I call the kennel). On average we will spend $225 each time we leave him behind.

Instead of sending Cooper to the spa we could hire a dog sitter. Having someone feed and play with your canine in their environment is a great idea – for you and the person hired to take care of Spot. I’m not sure what that cost would be because we haven’t tried it, but I imagine a neighbor kid would love to be your go-to guy or gal if they were offered a small sum of money to play with your dog!

However, you can save tons of money by bringing you dog with you. There are animal friendly hotels that don’t cost more than a Holiday Inn Express, although you’ll notice the rooms don’t look the same as the HIE. Triavago.com has recently been advertising this as a feature of their hotel booking service.

One of the family

We increase our grocery and medical budget to include normal monthly expenses for Cooper – because he is part of our family. Our Christmas budget is increased a few months before December to include a couple things in his stocking (yes, he gets one too).

Overall, our dog costs us $1,225 a year but brings an unmeasurable amount of happiness when he greets us at the door and when he runs around the backyard with a stick in his mouth. (You should see him run through the leaf piles in the Fall).

While some of our expenses are driven by Cooper’s medical needs, others will spend far more money on a 4-legged member of the family. Larger dogs will be more expensive to feed while purebred pooches cost an arm and a leg to acquire.  Ironically, pocket dogs are 10-20% the size of an average house dog but cost much, much more in annual expenses as they are often pampered (because they are irresistibly cute!)

How well you treat your dog is a matter of preference. It doesn’t matter how much you choose to spend on your dog so long as you represent it somewhere in your budget.

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/what-it-costs-to-own-mans-best-friend/feed/ 19
Review: Kaiku Visa Prepaid Card http://www.enemyofdebt.com/review-kaiku-visa-prepaid-card/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/review-kaiku-visa-prepaid-card/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 11:07:37 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16789 Enemy of Debt - Review: Kaiku Visa Prepaid Card

My wife and I are back on a cash only spending plan, and it’s working out fabulously. It keeps our spending in check and within budget. Some of the comments on my recent posts on this subject have made a valid point, however. Dealing with only cash means there are times when I may be walking around with a significant amount of cash in my wallet, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that makes me a little nervous. One solution to this problem could be a prepaid debit card. Not just any debit card, but a Kaiku Visa […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Review: Kaiku Visa Prepaid Card

designs_wood_orangeMy wife and I are back on a cash only spending plan, and it’s working out fabulously. It keeps our spending in check and within budget. Some of the comments on my recent posts on this subject have made a valid point, however. Dealing with only cash means there are times when I may be walking around with a significant amount of cash in my wallet, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that makes me a little nervous.

One solution to this problem could be a prepaid debit card. Not just any debit card, but a Kaiku Visa Prepaid Card that behaves as if it is attached to a bank account. Here are some of the notable features of Kaiku:

  • Online account management including a handy mobile ap
  • Can be used at 55,000 ATM locations nationwide
  • Can be loaded via paypal, amazon, direct deposit, at select retailers, or even by taking a picture of a check
  • Free transfers between Kaiku users
  • Several card designs to choose from
  • Welcomed where Visa is accepted

That certainly sounds good, but how does it work in real life? I wanted to find out, so I took Kaiku out for spin for a couple of months.

Activation

When my card arrived in the mail, I instantly dialed the number provided to activate my card. I even got to select my PIN number immediately. No hard to remember PIN number just assigned by the bank for Kaiku. Kudos!

Load It Up

I registered my Kaiku with Paypal following the instructions on their website. This took a few days for the process to complete, but that’s really a one time Paypal process issue. Once that was done, I transferred fund to my Kaiku. Even though it took a few business days for the funds to show up, this was a convenient way for me to load the card. I get paid from my freelance writing through Paypal, so I commonly have a Paypal balance that needs to go somewhere.

Another option is to deposit funds by taking a picture of a check. If you can wait 10 days for your money to be available, there’s no fee to do so. However, if you need the funds available immediately it will cost you between 1% and 4% depending upon the kind of check, with a minimum fee of $5. To avoid fees, you’ll need to plan ahead as it will take some time to transfer it to PayPal and then to the card, or use the 10 day delayed check loading feature.

Kaiku users could also load funds at a Ready link or Moneygram location. There will be a fee (between $2.50 and $4.50) changed by the retailer to complete this transaction.

Making Purchases

I made my first purchase at Walmart, which went through without any issues. From there I decided to be a little more adventurous. I walked over to Sam’s Club where Visa credit cards are not accepted, but debit cards are. How would Sam’s Club treat the card? Would it confuse their system into a “denied,” or would the transaction go through? I did a little fist pump when my transaction completed successfully.

Handling A Lost Card

I took Kaiku with me on our recent family vacation to Wisconsin Dells. Upon returning home, I realized I had lost the card. I immediately signed into my online account and reported the card lost. I was assured my card had been deactivated, and a new one was on the way. A few days later, I received my replacement card in the mail. I went through the activation process sitting in my car in the Walmart parking lot, then marched right in and used it to make a purchase.

Real Life Application

I could see myself successfully integrating Kaiku into our cash only spending methodology. On Friday, instead of withdrawing cash I would simply load our weekend entertainment funds onto my Kaiku. Then, we would use Kaiku for all of our entertainment spending. To see how much of our entertainment funds are left, instead of counting bills in my wallet I’d just check the Kaiku Ap on my phone.

There is a $3 monthly administration charge to use Kaiku. However, that fee is waived if you setup direct deposits that exceed $750 each month. I wouldn’t qualify for that if I used Kaiku for just entertainment, but if I added my grocery shopping into the process I would.

I could also see Kaiku as a great way give money to my kids if they were going to the mall, or on a trip away from home without us. It would give them easy access to funds without having to carry a lot of cash around.

Kaiku could be a useful tool to help us maintain an envelope like system of spending, keeping our weekend spending separate from other funds. At the same time, it would eliminate the need to carry a wad of cash around. If you’re looking for a tool to help you accomplish the same goals, I recommend taking a look at Kaiku.

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/review-kaiku-visa-prepaid-card/feed/ 0
My Favorite Part Of Having Control Of My Finances http://www.enemyofdebt.com/my-favorite-part-of-being-in-control-of-my-finances/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/my-favorite-part-of-being-in-control-of-my-finances/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 11:00:40 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=16783 Enemy of Debt - My Favorite Part Of Having Control Of My Finances

One of the most common questions asked of people going through the process of paying off a mountain of debt is what they will do with the extra money each month once the debt is paid off. Another similar, but slightly different question is to describe how life is different now that the debt has been paid off. I’ve been asked these questions countless times. It’s easy to give the standard answers of build a larger emergency fund, invest more, or save for the kids’ college. I’ve given all those answers. There’s certainly nothing wrong them, as they’re the answers […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - My Favorite Part Of Having Control Of My Finances

EOD_FavoritePicOne of the most common questions asked of people going through the process of paying off a mountain of debt is what they will do with the extra money each month once the debt is paid off. Another similar, but slightly different question is to describe how life is different now that the debt has been paid off. I’ve been asked these questions countless times.

It’s easy to give the standard answers of build a larger emergency fund, invest more, or save for the kids’ college. I’ve given all those answers. There’s certainly nothing wrong them, as they’re the answers that make sweet music in the ears of financial planners and personal finance bloggers.

But do you want to hear an honest answer? Do you want to hear the real thing that I love most about not having to make a massive payment to a debt management program each month? Should I tell you what makes me most happy about our post debt management life?

I love to host gatherings with friends and family.

SHHHHH, don’t tell my wife. I’m looking at you, people reading this blog that I know in real life. If this ever gets back to her, my facade of wanting to be a hermit inside my own home would be destroyed forever. I would never live it down.

This past weekend was a great example. Early on Friday, Vonnie asked me if we should have people over that evening. She saw the hesitation on my face, and quickly suggested I grill something. While I was distracted by thinking of what cut of meat to use for steak kabobs, and how sweet it would be to finally try out a teriyaki bourbon sauce on chicken, she was texting several friends asking if they wanted to come over that evening.

I had been tricked, and suddenly a gathering was on for the evening.

I say that in jest, of course. I was fully conscious and self-aware of the whole process.

We made a list of what we needed from the grocery store to make for the gathering. Off I went to roam the aisles of Walmart on a Friday afternoon. Not for the faint of heart. When the total was displayed on the screen of the self-check out terminal, I smiled a little as I knew it was well within our weekend entertainment budget.

I need to clarify my definition of what makes me the most happy about our post debt management life:

I love to host gatherings with friends and family and know that we can afford it.

We’ve hosted gatherings as long as we’ve been married. But for a long time, the supplies would be charged on a credit card, contributing to our mountain of debt. Now we can choose to host the occasional gathering, be smart about what we will provide, and live within our means. Even if I decide to pick the good steak, which I did.

By the time I returned, our guests had responded to Vonnie with what they would be bringing with them to contribute to the meal. We had a great meal, but we had an even better time sitting on our patio around the fire pit, talking about whatever came to mind. Sharing stories, laughing, and making the perfect roasted marshmallow using my patented rotisserie method.

It was the kind of night that you think about in January in the dead of winter, and wish for warmer weather to come quickly so we can do it again.

Having the ability to host an evening like this is exactly my favorite part of having control of my finances.

How about you, EOD Nation? Give me a truthful answer, how would your life REALLY change if you had extra disposable income?

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/my-favorite-part-of-being-in-control-of-my-finances/feed/ 16