Enemy of Debt http://www.enemyofdebt.com Motivational Money Management Mon, 29 Aug 2016 10:18:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What Is Amazon Prime, and Is It Worth The Cost? http://www.enemyofdebt.com/what-is-amazon-prime-and-is-it-worth-the-cost/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/what-is-amazon-prime-and-is-it-worth-the-cost/#comments Mon, 29 Aug 2016 10:18:18 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17951 Enemy of Debt - What Is Amazon Prime, and Is It Worth The Cost?

I noticed a $99 purchase during my weekly review of my son’s checking account. Being a secondary on my son’s account allows me to periodically review his spending to ensure he’s being smart with his money. By the description of the purchase I knew that he had had paid for a yearly subscription to Amazon Prime. I didn’t know much about the service, so I did a little research to find out what he would get for his $99.   Here are the major services that come with an Amazon Prime Membership: Free Shipping Amazon Prime members enjoy free 2 […]

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Enemy of Debt - What Is Amazon Prime, and Is It Worth The Cost?

EOD_AmazonPrimePicI noticed a $99 purchase during my weekly review of my son’s checking account. Being a secondary on my son’s account allows me to periodically review his spending to ensure he’s being smart with his money. By the description of the purchase I knew that he had had paid for a yearly subscription to Amazon Prime. I didn’t know much about the service, so I did a little research to find out what he would get for his $99.

 

Here are the major services that come with an Amazon Prime Membership:

Free Shipping

Amazon Prime members enjoy free 2 day shipping on eligible items. They also will get free same day shipping on eligible items shipped within specific zip codes.

Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video offers unlimited streaming of television shows and movies. Some can be downloaded for offline viewing on compatible Fire tablets. The selection of movies and TV shows available is always changing. New titles are added periodically to the catalog, and occasionally titles are removed.

Prime Music

Unlimited, ad-free access to hundreds of Prime Playlists and more than a million songs for members. Prime Playlists are handcrafted collections of songs from Amazon’s Prime Music catalog. Subscribers can also create their own personal playlists, as well as listen to uninterrupted music with personalized Prime Stations.

Prime Photo

With an eligible Prime membership, subscribers receive free Amazon Drive storage for all of your photos, as well as an additional 5 GB for personal video and document storage. Free mobile aps are available to upload and access photos securely from any computer.

On Our Way To Saving Money?

The first thing my son ordered would have cost him $16.77 without Amazon Prime. But with his subscription it instead cost him only $11.40. Additionally, the product he ordered over the weekend is anticipated to arrive at our doorstep on Tuesday instead of Friday.

On his first order, my son saved $5.37 and will get his product three days sooner.

Will Amazon Prime Be Worth It?

Determining if Amazon Prime is worth the cost is a complex issue.

If we look at it purely from a saving money perspective, a person would have to place many small orders during the course of a year to recover the cost. I emphasize small orders because in most cases customers will receive free standard shipping if the order exceeds $49.

We all occasionally need an order expedited. While customers do get free shipping when the total of eligible purchases exceeds $49, it is standard shipping which usually takes 3-5 business days. Amazon Prime members get free 2 day shipping. If the speed at which your package arrives is important, that alone may be worth the yearly cost.

There’s also the additional services, only some of which have been listed here. Personally, I would likely not use the video streaming, music, or picture services at all. Other customers, including my son, may make heavy use of them.

There’s no single answer as to whether Amazon Prime is worth it. Each individual has to evaluate their online shopping habits to determine the following:

  • How often would Amazon Prime give them free shipping when they wouldn’t have otherwise?
  • Ow important is delivery speed?
  • Will the other services be used, and if so, how often?

If, after evaluating those questions, you feel that the $99 per year price tag provides sufficient value for what you get our of the subscription, then Amazon Prime may be a look.

How about you, EOD Nation, do you have Amazon Prime? Have you evaluated the above three questions, and is it worth the price to you?

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Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/26 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-826/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-826/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2016 16:33:09 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17945 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/26

My daughter begins high school this year.  She’s a typical girl, liking all the things girls typically like.  Which means Homecoming in early October has been a hot topic of conversation with her friends for months.  We’ve checked out a few places with no luck.  That all changed last night.  We went to a store in a nearby small town that specializes in dresses for Homecoming and High School Prom.  She instantly found a dress she fell in love with. You could see it in how she smiled, how she twirled in it, and how she looked at herself in […]

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Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/26

fistpumpMy daughter begins high school this year.  She’s a typical girl, liking all the things girls typically like.  Which means Homecoming in early October has been a hot topic of conversation with her friends for months.  We’ve checked out a few places with no luck.  That all changed last night.  We went to a store in a nearby small town that specializes in dresses for Homecoming and High School Prom.  She instantly found a dress she fell in love with. You could see it in how she smiled, how she twirled in it, and how she looked at herself in the mirror.  It was “the one.”  This special occasion dress came with a price tag of several hundred dollars – which I’m told is pretty typical.  Chalk that up to an unplanned expense that we’ll be planning more carefully for next year.  She does look absolutely gorgeous in the dress though.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program of fist pumping…..

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

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The Case Of The Smelly Hotel Room, and 4 Steps to Resolve Any Issue http://www.enemyofdebt.com/the-case-of-the-smelly-hotel-room-and-4-steps-to-resolve-any-issue/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/the-case-of-the-smelly-hotel-room-and-4-steps-to-resolve-any-issue/#comments Tue, 23 Aug 2016 17:06:19 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17937 Enemy of Debt - The Case Of The Smelly Hotel Room, and 4 Steps to Resolve Any Issue

My wife is well known for ensuring that she gets what she pays for. When something doesn’t meet her standards, or someone doesn’t deliver as promised, she makes sure that compensation is received. I’ve heard her utter the phrase, “How are you going to make this right?” infinite times. We’ve received discounts off our bill at restaurants and hotels, or sometimes even a gift card for a future visit. Most of the time it’s for a minor inconvenience such as: Paying extra for a hotel room with a view, but the view is unspectacular Food cooked incorrectly Bad service Not […]

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Enemy of Debt - The Case Of The Smelly Hotel Room, and 4 Steps to Resolve Any Issue

EOD_SmellyHotelPicMy wife is well known for ensuring that she gets what she pays for. When something doesn’t meet her standards, or someone doesn’t deliver as promised, she makes sure that compensation is received. I’ve heard her utter the phrase, “How are you going to make this right?” infinite times. We’ve received discounts off our bill at restaurants and hotels, or sometimes even a gift card for a future visit.

Most of the time it’s for a minor inconvenience such as:

  • Paying extra for a hotel room with a view, but the view is unspectacular
  • Food cooked incorrectly
  • Bad service
  • Not getting the room type we had requested

However what we experienced over the weekend was not only minor inconvenience and unsatisfactory work by a hotel maintenance worker, but actually could have been hazardous to our health.

We checked into two adjoining hotel rooms Thursday afternoon. One was for my wife and I, and the other for our daughter and her friend. We walked into our daughter’s room first, and then passed through the adjoining doorway into our room. As soon as we entered the room, we were slapped with a foul smell. Thinking that it might just be from the recently departed cleaning crew, we turned the air conditioner on as we normally do to cool the room down to a crisp 68 degrees, and then left for a few hours.

When we returned, the odor was still present. My wife picked up the phone and called the front desk in what would be a series of phone calls.

Call #1 (Friday Afternoon)

My wife reported a foul smell in the room. She was told a maintenance person would be down to investigate. When we returned a short while later, there was an ionizer sitting on a chair running. The machine claimed to be an electronic room deodorizer, however the foul smell remained.

We spent the rest of the evening debating whether the smell was still present. We concluded the smell was indeed still there, as we noticed it each time we entered the room, but we quickly got used to it once inside the room.

Call #2 (Friday Evening)

The maintenance person returned, who got a little snippy with me over the fact that the ionizer was not running. Obviously we could not expect the smell to disappear if we turned off the deodorizer. I informed him that HIS machine had a 60 minute timer on it, thus we had to constantly turn it back on. I also pointed out the fact that the odor was still present. He suggested we continue to let it run, and he would check on it again later.

Call #3 (Saturday Morning)

My wife called the front desk again inquiring if we could be moved. We were told that we had the only adjoining rooms poolside. We really wanted to make the rooms work as moving would be a pain, and we then either had to not be in adjoining rooms (which we really wanted to keep), OR we would no longer be pool side. The maintenance man came again and sprayed a room spray. We also (at their direction) left our hotel room door open as well as the sliding door to the pool to improve air flow for a short time. I also went to a nearby Bath and Body Works and bought a room spray. Between these efforts we believed it the odor was dissipating, so we stated we would no longer have to be moved.

Call #4 (Sunday Morning)

We had gone to a concert Saturday night, but when we returned, we instantly noticed the odor had not gone away. In fact, it worsened over night to the point that both my wife and I had headaches. Sunday morning my wife called again, and asked that a manager come down and personally experience the smell. As soon as she walked into the room (with the maintenance guy and the head housekeeper beside her) she instantly stated that she noticed the smell. The maintenance guy agreed and even mentioned it was worse than the day before. The manager continued that this had happened before in a different room, that it smelled like there was a leak around the toilet causing sewer gas to come back into the room. She instructed the housekeeper to take the room out of use and told us to stop by the front desk when we checked out (as we were packing our things) and she would take care of us.

There were several things here that I believe the hotel could have done better:

  • Recognition of Smell : A properly trained and experience maintenance person should be recognized what the smell was and either began the appropriate repairs immediately and/or recommended that we be moved.
  • Inform Manager Part I: After being in our room several times without the smell getting better, the maintenance guy should have informed the manager about the situation.
  • Inform Manager Part II: After calling down to the front desk several times, the front desk crew should have informed the manager about the situation.
  • Manager Handling : Once informed, the manager should have come down on their own to investigate. Of course, we’ll never know if this would have happened, because the staff never informed the manager of the situation. My wife had to specifically ask to have a manager come to the room.

Upon checkout, the manager apologized several times, and instructed the desk worker to remove one of the night’s charges for that room from our bill. In the future, we’ll certainly be using an updated methodology of dealing with such problems. Anytime there is an issue with a service or product do the following:

  1. Complain Immediately : At the first sign of trouble, tell someone you are unhappy. You want to give whomever involved a chance to rectify the situation.
  2. Continue to Complain : If the situation is not rectified quickly, complain again.
  3. Be Honest With Yourself : If an attempt is made to fix the problem, but it is not resolved satisfactorily, complain again. Never settle for, “good enough.”
  4. State What You Want : Service and product providers want their customers to be happy. If they cannot resolve the issue state what WILL make you happy.

Looking back, I’m not sure if I’m 100% satisfied with the deduction of one night’s stay.  We did stay in the room two nights, but I think the hotel could have handled the situation much better.  There’s also the fact we might have been breathing in methane rich sewer gas for two days. But in the future, we’ll be following the above 4 points to help resolve our issues quicker and more completely.

Have you ever had an issue that a service provider or product retailer did not resolve quickly or completely? What did you do?

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Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/19 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-819/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-819/#comments Fri, 19 Aug 2016 13:34:31 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17932 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/19

I’m heading up the the Twin Cities this weekend for a Metallica concert at the brand new 1.1 Billion dollar US Bank Stadium.  Not only do I get to see some of my favorite bands play, but I get to see them in the new home of the Minnesota Vikings.  Being the money freak that I am, I’m interested to see what the prices for refreshments will be.  I’m assuming they’re going to be high, but then again I’ve read stories about other venues trying to be more wallet friendly and slashing prices at the concession stands. Fist pump for […]

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Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/19

fistpumpI’m heading up the the Twin Cities this weekend for a Metallica concert at the brand new 1.1 Billion dollar US Bank Stadium.  Not only do I get to see some of my favorite bands play, but I get to see them in the new home of the Minnesota Vikings.  Being the money freak that I am, I’m interested to see what the prices for refreshments will be.  I’m assuming they’re going to be high, but then again I’ve read stories about other venues trying to be more wallet friendly and slashing prices at the concession stands.

Fist pump for Metallica, brand new stadiums, AND my favorite posts of the week!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

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DIY Money Saver: You Can Change ANY Light On Your Car Yourself! http://www.enemyofdebt.com/diy-money-saver-you-can-change-any-light-on-your-car-yourself/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/diy-money-saver-you-can-change-any-light-on-your-car-yourself/#comments Wed, 17 Aug 2016 15:17:35 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17926 Enemy of Debt - DIY Money Saver: You Can Change ANY Light On Your Car Yourself!

I was sitting in the waiting room of the quick lube oil change place when one of the employees sat down beside me to give the customary rundown of my vehicle’s status and additional suggested services. At the end of the summary, he mentioned that both license plate lamps were out. “Those lamps run $9.99 a piece. Would you like us to take care of those for you today?” If you were in my position, what would your answer be? Your answer should be an immediate, and resounding, “No, thank you.” Which is exactly what I said.As the man walked […]

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Enemy of Debt - DIY Money Saver: You Can Change ANY Light On Your Car Yourself!

EOD_CarLightPicI was sitting in the waiting room of the quick lube oil change place when one of the employees sat down beside me to give the customary rundown of my vehicle’s status and additional suggested services. At the end of the summary, he mentioned that both license plate lamps were out.

“Those lamps run $9.99 a piece. Would you like us to take care of those for you today?”

If you were in my position, what would your answer be? Your answer should be an immediate, and resounding, “No, thank you.” Which is exactly what I said.As the man walked away I could feel my wife’s eyes burning a hole into the side of my head.

“Do you know how to change those bulbs,” she asked?

“Nope. But I can figure it out,” I replied.

Upon returning home, I pulled out the owner’s manual out of the glove compartment, and found the section on bulb replacement. For each type of bulb, the owner’s manual includes the following information:

  • Bulb Type : Each bulb has an bulb type (usually a 3 or 4 digit number). You can take this number to your local auto supply store, or even a big box retailer like Walmart or Target to find a match. If you happen to find yourself staring at a wall of bulbs after forgetting to write down the number, most stores have a book nearby the display in which customers can look up the year and model of a vehicle to determine the needed bulb.
  • Replacement Instructions: For some bulbs, the method to remove and replace is obvious. For others, a little help is needed. The vehicle owner’s manual includes instructions to allow owners to maintain the bulbs on their automobile. I read quickly through the instructions for the license plate bulbs and was confident I could successfully follow them.

Later that afternoon, I was at Walmart for my weekly grocery shopping excursion. Written on my hand was, “2825,” which was the type of bulb needed to get my car’s license plate illuminated once again. Following the directions from the owner’s manual, I replaced both my license plate bulbs in less than 5 minutes.

Obviously I decided to change the bulbs myself because I believed it would save me money. So, how much did it actually save me?

  • Quick Lube Replacement Cost: 2 bulbs x $9.99 = $19.98.
  • DIY Replacement: Package of 2 bulbs : $4.95

I saved $15.03 by taking 5 minutes to replace the license plate bulbs myself.

When you pay someone else to replace burnt out bulbs on your vehicle, you’re paying for convenience. The information as to what bulb you need, and how to replace it is easily found in your owner’s manual, and with with just a few minutes of time you can accomplish the goal yourself. The amount you save will vary depending upon the bulb, but you have to ask yourself if a few minutes of your time is worth it.

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Chef Boyardee Price Rollback You Won’t Believe At Walmart! http://www.enemyofdebt.com/chef-boyardee-price-rollback-you-wont-believe-at-walmart/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/chef-boyardee-price-rollback-you-wont-believe-at-walmart/#respond Tue, 16 Aug 2016 14:17:49 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17921 Enemy of Debt - Chef Boyardee Price Rollback You Won’t Believe At Walmart!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SaveOnChef #CollectiveBias With the back to school season approaching, my family is looking for easy weeknight meal solutions. By spending less time in the kitchen, we can enjoy other after-school activities together. Now through August 29, 2016, each 14.5 to 15 ounce can of Chef Boyardee is on Rollback at Walmart for only $0.80! Purchase five cans for $4 in a variety of flavors that include: Mini Ravioli, Beefaroni, and Spaghetti and Meatballs. You can enjoy a week’s worth of quality meals at […]

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Enemy of Debt - Chef Boyardee Price Rollback You Won’t Believe At Walmart!

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

With the back to school season approaching, my family is looking for easy weeknight meal solutions. By spending less time in the kitchen, we can enjoy other after-school activities together. Now through August 29, 2016, each 14.5 to 15 ounce can of Chef Boyardee is on Rollback at Walmart for only $0.80! Purchase five cans for $4 in a variety of flavors that include: Mini Ravioli, Beefaroni, and Spaghetti and Meatballs. You can enjoy a week’s worth of quality meals at an affordable price.

EOD_ChefBoyardeeDealPic

Be sure when you stock up on Chef Boyardee at Walmart to look for the Chef Boyardee cans that feature NO artificial flavors, NO preservatives, and NO artificial colors. With quality ingredients since 1924, Chef Boyardee has been a pantry staple for many families.

While shopping at Walmart, be sure to look for the Rollback signs for Chef Boyardee in the Canned Food aisle!

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Delicious and Inexpensive Meals in 60 seconds with Minute® Rice! http://www.enemyofdebt.com/delicious-and-inexpensive-meals-in-60-seconds-with-minute-rice/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/delicious-and-inexpensive-meals-in-60-seconds-with-minute-rice/#comments Mon, 15 Aug 2016 13:03:32 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17890 Enemy of Debt - Delicious and Inexpensive Meals in 60 seconds with Minute® Rice!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ReadySetServe #CollectiveBias My seventeen year old son approached me and asked if I could help him add some mass to his slender frame.  Putting on some muscle would require him to do two things: Consistently go to the gym with me for strength training sessions Fuel his body with great food packed with the needed nutrients Between his job, socializing with friends and the school year ramping up in a few weeks, he’s constantly on the go. As a guy with three jobs, […]

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Enemy of Debt - Delicious and Inexpensive Meals in 60 seconds with Minute® Rice!

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

Hero

My seventeen year old son approached me and asked if I could help him add some mass to his slender frame.  Putting on some muscle would require him to do two things:

  1. Consistently go to the gym with me for strength training sessions
  2. Fuel his body with great food packed with the needed nutrients

Between his job, socializing with friends and the school year ramping up in a few weeks, he’s constantly on the go. As a guy with three jobs, software engineer, blogger, and dad, I don’t have a lot of extra time to put together the meals both he and I need to give us the energy we need to have a great workout.

 

Store

Walking through Walmart while grocery shopping, I kept my eye out for something that would be delicious, nutritious, quick to make, but not break my grocery budget.  I found exactly what I was looking for in the rice section.  Minute® Ready to Serve Rice has everything I was looking for:

  • Convenient and quick – Minute Ready to Serve rice is quick, fully cooked, and there’s nothing that needs to be added to have a great cup of rice. Simply pull back the film, heat the cup in the microwave for 60 seconds and serve. No clean-up is required as it can be eaten right out of the cup.
  • 2) Portable and offers portion control – Minute Ready to Serve Rice not only offers portability and portion control for active & busy lifestyles (it’s convenient, healthy and pre-portioned), but it also provides our body fuel to power through our workouts and the rest of the day!
  • 3) Versatile – Minute Ready to Serve Rice is versatile; there are several varieties that can be used for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. We can eat Minute Rice by itself, as a side dish as part of a meal (protein + veggies + carb), or we could mix in other ingredients.

Here are five fabulous recipes that we’ve put together so far, along with the cost per serving.  Costs are calculated using the amount of a product actually used.  For example, a package of Minute Ready To Serve Rice costs $1.84 and includes 2 containers, therefore one container costs $0.92.

Chicken Rice With Chicken

Paring Minute Ready to Serve Rice with natural chicken flavor with fully cooked chicken breast strips is an easy way to add protein.  By adding a serving of chicken, the rice is turned into a meal that will satisfy even the hunger of a growing teenager.

ChickenRiceProducts

Recipe:

  • 1 Container Chicken Minute Ready To Serve Rice
  • 3 Oz precooked chicken breast

Cost:

  • Rice :$0.92
  • Chicken: $1.49

Total cost: $2.41 per serving

 

ChickenRiceFood

White Rice Vegetable Stir Fry

Sometimes it’s hard to find a way to get needed vegetables into one’s diet.  A guy can only eat so many salads.  Mix together White Minute Ready To Serve Rice with vegetables and stir fry sauce and you’ve created a tasty and nutrition packed meal to keep you going for hours.

WhiteRiceProducts

Recipe:

  • 1 Container white Minute Ready To Serve Rice
  • 1 Cup frozen stir fry vegetables
  • 4 Tablespoons of Stir Fry Sauce (or to taste)

Cost:

  • Rice:  $0.92
  • Vegetables: $0.49
  • Stir Fry Sauce: $0.52

Total Cost: $1.93 per serving

WhiteRiceFood

Teriyaki Fried Rice With Shrimp

Both my son and I love seafood.  Adding precooked shrimp to the fried rice variety of Minute Ready to Serve Rice and a little teriyaki sauce might just have us making seconds instead of heading to the gym!

FriedRiceProducts

Recipe:

  • 1 Container fried rice Minute Ready To Serve Rice
  • 1 serving (10) shrimp
  • 4 tablespoons teriyaki sauce (or to taste)

Cost:

  • Rice:  $0.92
  • Shrimp: $1.25
  • Teriyaki Sauce: $0.55

Total Cost: $2.72 per serving

FriedRiceFood

White Rice Curry Mahi Mahi

Ok, so I cheated just a little on this one as we had some leftover Mahi Mahi in the fridge. I seasoned it with curry, and plated it with Minute Ready to Serve Jasmine Rice.  I’m so looking forward to making this one again!

JasmineRiceProducts

Recipe:

  • 1 Container Minute Ready to Serve Jasmine Rice
  • 1 Fillet Mahi Mahi
  • Season fish lightly with curry powder

Cost:

  • Rice:  $0.92
  • Mahi Mahi: $2.62
  • Curry Seasoning:  Trivial

Total Cost: $3.54 per serving

JasmineRiceFood

General Tso’s White Rice Chicken Stir Fry

After getting my confidence up with some simple dishes, it was time to kick it up a notch.  Using Minute Ready to Serve White Rice as the base, and adding in both vegetables and chicken I also spiced it up with General Tso’s stir fry sauce.  I really brought the heat!

WhiteRiceTsoProducts

Recipe:

  • 1 Container Minute Ready To Serve White Rice
  • 3 Oz precooked chicken breast
  • 1 Cup Stir Fry Vegetables
  • 4 Tablespoons (or to taste) of General Tso’s Stir Fry Sauce

Cost:

  • Rice:  $0.92
  • Vegetables: $0.49
  • Chicken : $1.49
  • General Tso’s Sauce: $0.75

Total Cost: $3.65 per serving

WhiteRiceTsoFood

These five simple, but delicious recipes are just the beginning.   What we can do with the different varieties of  Minute Ready to Serve Rice is limited only by our imagination.  This gives my son and I the ability to keep ourselves fueled for our workouts with limitless variety of deliciousness, all without costing me a fortune.

Hero

How about you, EOD Nation, are you looking for an inexpensive yet versatile method to quickly create meals for a family on the go?  Do you have your own recipe you could share?

For more delicious recipes using Minute Ready To Serve Rice, connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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The Zen of Budgeting http://www.enemyofdebt.com/the-zen-of-budgeting/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/the-zen-of-budgeting/#comments Sat, 13 Aug 2016 18:34:01 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17875 Enemy of Debt - The Zen of Budgeting

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from my good friend Pauline of InvestmentZen.com. Pauline is a ‘budgeter extraordinaire’ and an investing maverick with considerable reputation in the personal finance community. Budgeting has always been like watching paint dry to me. My brain can’t get around it. I understand the main concept: spend less than you earn, and am pretty good at putting it in practice. But who really enjoys writing down they’ve been spending $0.47 on a stamp and $2.19 on celery? Not me, that’s for sure. And I don’t blame you either if you have been postponing budgeting […]

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Enemy of Debt - The Zen of Budgeting

zen of budgeting

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from my good friend Pauline of InvestmentZen.com. Pauline is a ‘budgeter extraordinaire’ and an investing maverick with considerable reputation in the personal finance community.

Budgeting has always been like watching paint dry to me. My brain can’t get around it. I understand the main concept: spend less than you earn, and am pretty good at putting it in practice. But who really enjoys writing down they’ve been spending $0.47 on a stamp and $2.19 on celery? Not me, that’s for sure. And I don’t blame you either if you have been postponing budgeting for years.

Today though, I come bearing good news. You can budget in just a few minutes per month, and forget about it. Here is how I do it.

Step 1. Define your goals

The whole point of budgeting is so you can have money down the road for stuff that is important to you. Not to keep track of your gas consumption. So write down your goals. They can be short term or long term, we just need a number and a timeframe. For example:

  • $200 for Christmas gifts by December 1st
  • $1,500 for a nice holiday next July
  • $50,000 balance in your 401k by 2027
  • $15,000 for a car replacement within five years

And so on. Now break down your goals into smaller, more manageable monthly goals. If you need $15,000 for a new car within 60 months, you need to save $250 every month. Christmas is four months away, so that’s $50 you must save with each pay-check. Do that for all your short term and long term money goals. You will be able to track your progress and gain momentum when you see yourself actually moving forward and getting closer.

Step 2. Make the money disappear

Saving money is not easy, especially when it is there at your disposal, waiting to be spent. We all have a limited amount of willpower, and the hardest you make accessing your money, the more likely you are to avoid spending it. If it is in your checking account, one debit card swipe and it’s gone. On the other hand, if it is in a high yield savings account, you need to log into your online banking and make a transfer in order to be able to access the money. If it is locked for a year or two with a CD, then there would be a penalty on top to withdraw anything. And the worst that could happen would be having to withdraw from your 401k and pay the taxes, when the markets are down.

So to resist temptation, let’s make the money disappear every month. To meet your retirement goal, you should take advantage of your company match, and the money will be taken off your paycheck straight away. You won’t miss it if you don’t see it.

Then, all the other savings accounts can be funded via automated payments on pay day. You should do the same for your mortgage, your bills, and any other recurring expense. You have to pay all that anyway, so make it easy on yourself and set up monthly debits then forget about it.

Step 3. Relax

Knowing that your savings and investing goals are met every month, whatever is left in your checking account is yours to use freely. The thing I dislike the most about budgeting is you have so many lines of spending they make you dizzy. Oh my god, I overspent by $12.99 on eating out, but thankfully I am under by $27.43 on transportation. Who cares, really? You are in a good place because you are actively saving for retirement, college for the kids, and other short term money goals. So have fun with the rest of your money. And if it is gone by the 25th, next month, tighten the belt a bit more.

That’s it. Budgeting shouldn’t be more complicated than this.

photo credit: August 10, 2016 via photopin (license)

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Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/12 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-812/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-812/#comments Fri, 12 Aug 2016 16:32:48 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17871 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/12

The first NFL preseason game of the 2016-2017 season, The Hall Of Fame Game, was supposed to be last weekend.  Unfortunately it was cancelled due to unplayable field conditions.  I was very disappointed.  That disappointment will come to an  end tonight as my Minnesota Vikings take the field for their first scheduled preseason game of the season!  Thus begins a full six months of football gatherings with friends! Fist pump for football, and my favorite posts of the week! Posts That Make Me Fist Pump Deprivation Is Not Part Of The Journey from The Frugal Cottage Three Simple Steps to […]

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Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 8/12

fistpumpThe first NFL preseason game of the 2016-2017 season, The Hall Of Fame Game, was supposed to be last weekend.  Unfortunately it was cancelled due to unplayable field conditions.  I was very disappointed.  That disappointment will come to an  end tonight as my Minnesota Vikings take the field for their first scheduled preseason game of the season!  Thus begins a full six months of football gatherings with friends!

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

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

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What You Need To Know About The Computer Chip In Your Debit/Credit Card http://www.enemyofdebt.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-computer-chip-in-your-debitcredit-card/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-computer-chip-in-your-debitcredit-card/#comments Mon, 08 Aug 2016 11:58:29 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17863 Enemy of Debt - What You Need To Know About The Computer Chip In Your Debit/Credit Card

I was expecting a new debit card in the mail, as my current was one expiring soon. When I received it in the mail, I instantly noticed something different about it; a small computer chip was embedded on one side of the card. I knew what it was, but I was surprised that my small regional bank was using the technology. Before activating and using the card, I wanted to review what this chip was all about. What is EMV? EMV, or Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, integrates a tiny computer chip into your card to store information about your account […]

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Enemy of Debt - What You Need To Know About The Computer Chip In Your Debit/Credit Card

EOD_EmvPicI was expecting a new debit card in the mail, as my current was one expiring soon. When I received it in the mail, I instantly noticed something different about it; a small computer chip was embedded on one side of the card. I knew what it was, but I was surprised that my small regional bank was using the technology. Before activating and using the card, I wanted to review what this chip was all about.

What is EMV?

EMV, or Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, integrates a tiny computer chip into your card to store information about your account and the card issuer. Despite it’s name, it has been adopted by all major card issuers including Discover and American Express. Instead of swiping the magnetic strip through a card reader, users insert an EMV card into a slot and the technology generates a unique transaction code. This differs from the magnetic strip technology where all the information is fixed. It is the unique transaction code that makes EMV cards difficult for counterfeiters to copy, giving users more protection against fraud.

Do I Still have To Worry About Fraud?

While EMV cards are more difficult to counterfeit, there are still possibilities of fraud that consumers need to worry about.

Internet Transactions

Consumers don’t use a physical card for internet transaction. All that is needed is a card number, thus the EMV chip technology doesn’t come into play. Until additional online security measures can be put in place, consumers should continue to be careful when making online purchases such as:

  • Ensure sites used for purchasing are encrypted
  • Never initiate transactions from a public computer
  • Always log out of accounts when finished.

Security Breeches

Once your information is in a merchant’s database, it is vulnerable to criminals who might hack into their system and steal your information. Consumers should always review their account information frequently for suspicious activity.

Fraud Liability

Traditionally, the retailer has been in the drivers seat when it comes to liability if fraud should be reported. Technically, a transaction is complete once a card is swiped. However, if the merchant makes any attempt to verify the authenticity of the card user by way of a PIN or signature, a the card issuer is held liable for any fraudulent charges. If no attempt to verify the card user is made, then liability falls with the merchant.

Liability Shift

As of October of 2015, the determination of liability changed to encourage card issuers and merchants to switch to EMV enabled technology. In the case of fraudulent activity, the liable party is determined by who is less EMV capable. If the retailer has upgraded their equipment and has EMV card readers available, but the card used in the transaction was not an EMV card, then the card issuer is held liable for the charges. However, if the card used had an EMV chip, but the merchant did not have an EMV card reader, then the merchant is responsible for the amount of the charge.

EMV Chip readers are becoming more common with major and local retailers. Even though there is a cost for retailers to upgrade to the new technology, it makes sense as it shifts the liability back to the card issuer. While it may take a few extra seconds to perform a transaction using EMV technology, the extra protection for retailers, and customers is worth it.

Does your debit or credit card have an EMV chip? Have you noticed an increase in EMV card readers at retailers?

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