Unplanned Expenses Fund

We recently had to use up a significant chunk of our unplanned expense fund.  We had a random piece of our roof blow away and, that very same day, my husband’s car battery died. The events occurred a week and a half ago, right smack in the middle of the holiday season. This time of year, we don’t have loads of extra cash lying around. These are the types of issues that personal finance experts reference when recommending emergency funds. Just about everybody has heard of an emergency fund. We all know we are supposed to have at least three […] Read more »

Performance Check, 30 Day Financial Challenge

It is time to check in on my 30 day financial challenges. If you have been following along, I decided to utilize the “30 day challenge” concept popular for fitness, for finance. I chose two challenges. The first challenge is something I am familiar with, the five dollar bill challenge. It is pretty simple, every time you find yourself with a five dollar bill; you put it away and do not spend it. Although November is not quite over, I have saved $25 bucks. I am a debit card kind of girl, so I don’t normally carry or transact in […] Read more »

Challenge Accepted!

So in my last blog I challenged everyone to come up with a financial savings strategy that I could execute as a 30 day financial challenge in November. So I chose two to try this month…I know such an over achiever.  I am trying Ali’s suggestion from the comments, to take the equivalent amount spent on non-essential items and place in a savings jar. I am also going rogue and trying an idea that I did last year and putting every single five dollar bill in a savings jar. With six days into the month I have saved $10.00 from […] Read more »

Will You Accept the Challenge?

  I am not the first person to point out the many parallels between financial and fitness goals. The mental and emotional tools we use to motivate ourselves to eat healthfully and workout are pretty much the same tools we use to save more money and make better purchasing decisions. Both require extensive discipline. Both require the ability to say “no” to short term temptations in order to live better in the long term. So I had a thought.  When I find myself lagging with my financial goals, why not jumpstart my healthy financial habits in much the same way […] Read more »

5 Ways to Shake up Your Routine

News flash, we are all super stressed out. Okay, not a news flash. It’s actually pretty well documented just how stressed out most of us are these days. There happens to be a ton of advice on how to combat this stress. The advice is pretty standard and goes a like this: Work out more, eat less, use your vacation days to find a hobby while you are slowing down to enjoy the view and find any and all means to chillax. Although sound advice, the reality is it just feels a little like one more thing to add to […] Read more »

My Short Term Mindset is Getting in the way of my Long Term Goals

When you work in the personal finance industry people kind of expect you to be wealthy.  I guess it is similar to when you retain the services of a personal trainer.  You don’t feel inspired or confident by an out of shape personal trainer. When I tell people what I do for a living some of them assume that I must be financially set.  The reality is that I do make some better choices sure, but I am far from my ideal financial state. Like most average middle class families, we struggle from time to time. We have successfully avoided […] Read more »

4 Tips to Sweet Talk Your Partner About Money

I love my husband.  That is a fact, but it is also a mantra that I repeat to myself before we sit down to discuss anything about household finances. No matter how innocuous the discussion may be, it typically causes one or both of us a bit of tension.  It should come as no surprise that the number one reason for divorce reported last year was money problems. In our first five years of marriage financial discussions were a battle ground.  Nobody escaped unharmed and we discovered that we had VERY different perspectives about managing money.  We also happened to […] Read more »

Earned an A+ in fun and a C- for my Budget: Vacation Report Card

I am back from vacation. This trip was perfect; from the house we rented to the weather, everything about this trip gets an A+. My family has not had many opportunities to spend quality time together being spread out across the country.  I know that my brothers feel the same way I do about how amazing this experience was for all of our children and it was pretty awesome for my Mom too. BUT Our vacation budget took a bit of a beating.  Although we did not completely break the bank, there were several key lapses in judgment where spending […] Read more »

Carolina Dreaming

Suzanne Coblentz CareOne Debt Relief Serivces Blogger

If you are able to take a vacation each and every summer, good for you, but for many of us juggling various financial goals, sometimes the big trips don’t make the cut. Getting away can get extremely pricey, and that does not even include what you paid in advance for your trip.  Vacationing in general is just an expensive process. As a result, it is not something that we do as a family each and every summer.  We typically do a few small weekend jaunts and live it up with the plastic pool in the backyard. Normally the idea of […] Read more »

Summer Vacation is not What it Used to be…It’s Going to be Better!

Every summer I begin the season with an acute case of “Mommy guilt.”  I have two children, an eight year old daughter and a four year old son.  When summer hits for these two there is not real change to their Monday through Friday routine. I take my daughter to a summer camp that is run out of the same daycare my son attends. Although my daughter is not in school, she and my son are both woken up early and out of the house in much the same manner as the school year. Why do I have “Mommy guilt” […] Read more »

5 Personal Finances Blogs I Recommend to Our Customers

In my role as Social Media Manager, I wind up conversing with all kinds of people looking for information about debt. Some of these folks have already enrolled in CareOne debt relief plans; some are just looking for resources to do it on their own. I like to send a variety of resources to people to help them find their way with personal finance.  Although we have a ton of proprietary resources available through CareOne, I have found that the personal finance blogging community provides a constant stream of new content that can make the whole debt thing feel less […] Read more »

After 10 Years of Marriage, I Still Have a lot to Learn.

My Husband and I will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary this Friday.   To celebrate we went away this past weekend and stayed in downtown Baltimore. Clearly we had two goals with going away 1. Go far, far away from our darling children 2. Spend quality uninterrupted time together Originally we had big plans lined up to celebrate this particular anniversary; we had a trip to South Carolina or NYC planned and budgeted accordingly.   After several discussions my husband and I agreed to not spend too much money and play it closer to home. We settled on our […] Read more »

Who Says You Can’t Rock a Tool Belt with Heels?

Tool belt and heels

When it comes to home repairs or pulling off DIY projects, it’s the ladies in my family rocking the tool belt.  Despite being a card carrying Daddy’s girl, I did not grow up with the kind of father who owned lots of power tools or worked around the house fixing things each weekend.  However, I do have a mother who currently owns a band saw and thinks instructions manuals are for babies. I am a hardcore DIY’er.  I have a list longer than the square footage of my house full of home improvement projects. My loving and supportive (and manly, […] Read more »

Be Honest with Yourself First

“The lies we tell other people are nothing to the lies we tell ourselves.” ― Derek Landy Self-deception is nothing new for human beings. Researchers have been studying why we lie for decades and the reasons run the gamut from self-preservation to biological imperative. Lying to yourself can be a useful tool if you are attempting to overcome a psychological obstacle or maybe psyching yourself into a stronger performance. Where things seem to take negative turn is when you lie to escape accountability or hide serious issues from yourself. Personal finance is one area where people seem to lie to themselves […] Read more »