I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – I’m Going To India Edition

I’m heading to Hyderabad, India for the next two weeks for work. To get there I’ll have the privilege of experiencing 28 hours of total travel time across three flights, so I’m going to have plenty of time on my hands that need to be occupied with some sort of activity. Here’s a list of awesome blog posts that I’d totally read during that time if I hadn’t already read them. Whether your stuck on an airplane for hours on end, or sitting in the comfort of your own home snugged up on the couch with your laptop, these posts […] Read more »

Overspending, Failure to Track Expenses, and A $100 Loan Equals….Success?

Trying to recover from overspending during the first half of July, Vonnie and I planned our spending  for the rest of the month with only bare bones funds available.  We even sat the kids down and explained to them exactly what was going on, so that they would have realistic expectations in regards to family activities for the remainder of the month. We had a plan that looked great on paper, and we were confident we could execute it successfully. And then real life happened. The first weekend was supposed to be one of those “enjoy what we have at […] Read more »

Weekend Links and Love

Vonnie and I have been working hardcore on our budgeting and communication skills over the last month. We’ve been digging ourself out of a bit of a financial hole due to overspending the first half of July and I’ve really been leaning on my blogging friends for inspiration during this little rough spot. Check out some of the posts that have really struck a chord with me this week and helped me keep rocking the budget and the lines of communication open. “I Want To have fun” – One of the Worst Excuses for Not Saving from Financial Samurai The […] Read more »

Does Your Wallet (or Purse) Reflect Your Financial Goals?

If you love sitcoms, you may be familiar with a show that aired during the 1990’s called Seinfeld. If so, surely you remember an episode that mocks the size and fatness of George Costanza’s wallet. He would put everything in his wallet including money, receipts, numbers, coupons and even candy. I was sitting in my office the other day and became painfully aware that my wallet had become just a little too thick. It was time to do one of those periodic cleansing of the wallet to purge those things that I don’t need to be sitting on for 10 […] Read more »

How I Save Money At Subway

I love Subway.  My whole family loves Subway.  In fact, over the last year, it has become tradition that I pick up Subway and bring it home for the family for Saturday lunch. We don’t eat out all that much, and it’s our way of saying, “How you doin?” to the weekend. I’m not sure if  they suddenly raised their prices, or if it was a gradual increase that just finally hit my breaking point, but a few months ago I noticed that Subway for my family of four was getting  kind of expensive for a Saturday lunch. Here’s an […] Read more »

It Takes Two To Make a Budget Succeed

Couples argue. Vonnie and I are no different. After a week vacation in Kentucky and the following weekend out of town for my class reunion, we needed to do a serious budget scrub. I knew we had exceeded our original budget for both activities, and I began to outline just how much. I  hadn’t done a good job of keeping track of, or communicating to my wife during that two week period as to when the over spending had occurred, and by how much. I just kept thinking to myself, we don’t have anything planned the second half of the […] Read more »

My Class Reunion, Was It Worth It?

Smokin’, drinkin’ and partying too, we’re the class of Ninetytwo! This past weekend I traveled to my hometown to celebrate my 20 year high school class reunion (yikes). My classmates who organized the reunion did a spectacular job putting together an entire weekend of events ranging from a golf outing, to an outdoor meet and greet, a dinner, a pool party and a reserving a special section at a community event involving live music and rib tasting. Vonnie and I had a blast at both my five and ten year reunion, so we were looking forward to this one as […] Read more »

Hotels.com Gained, and Lost Me As A Customer

We knew we didn’t want to drive the entire 11 hours home from Kentucky to Minnesota in one day, so we were looking for somewhere to spend the night at about the 7 hour mark. The wife of another couple that had also traveled from Minnesota found a place in the desired city and price range using Hotels.com. Looking at the computer screen, I was impressed with the website as it listed the hotels for the city requested as well as the surrounding area. Users are also able to sort the list many different ways. Our friend called and booked […] Read more »

Razor Customer Support Rocks!

Standing in the kitchen, we told our daughter, Tori, she was only getting one present for her birthday. She looked a little confused as we handed her a small, flat, rectangular present that was very light. She opened it up and screamed in delight as she realized it was the picture cut from the packing box of the Razor electric scooter she had been coveting ever since her friends in the neighborhood had gotten one a year earlier.  We had not intended to purchase such an expensive birthday present, but it was something Tori really wanted. So, we sacrificed a […] Read more »

A Glass Of Wine, A Sign, and An Obstacle Walk Into a Bar….

Vonnie and I went to the end of the school year staff appreciation function for her new job. It was at a bar and grill and I figured it would be a great way to put faces with the names of people she’s been talking about for the last 6 weeks. As Vonnie ordered a glass of wine, I stepped onto the outdoor patio to take a phone call. While I was on the phone, Vonnie and one of her co-workers walked by me making the “going for a smoke” sign with her thumb and index finger pressed together and […] Read more »

Father’s Day Scavenger Hunt

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

What My Friends and Family Don’t Know….Only Hurts Me

At mile 19 of the Twin Cities Marathon in 2003, I found my family, as well as my brother-in-law and his family cheering me on. Seeing their familiar faces provided me the instant mental “pick me up” that I so desperately needed to keep going.  When you’re being challenged in life, having people there to support you can make all the difference. However, as I work to achieve the very difficult task of getting out of debt, I am missing the support of many of the important people in my day to day life. Because they have no idea what […] Read more »

Baseball Season is Here, New Rules, and How Much Did You Pay For That Bat?

I asked Tristan to bring me his baseball bag so we could check the condition of his equipment and see what needed to be replaced for the upcoming season. After all, tryouts started the next day. “Parent fail” for waiting until the last minute. Inspecting the equipment, we found he would need new baseball pants, cleats, batting gloves, and all sorts of other equipment. Not unexpected, as kids tend to outgrow these sort of things from year to year. Surprisingly, however, he’s used the same baseball helmet for years now. Why his melon doesn’t get any bigger is beyond my […] Read more »

I’m In Debt, But I Party Like a Rock Star

It all started in 1997 as a housewarming party at Vonnie and I’s first home. We hosted both our parents, and a few select close relatives. We decided to make it a tradition, and this year we hosted our 16th annual Memorial Weekend Party. It’s grown over the years, and quite frankly, it’s achieved almost legendary status. Friends and family come from out of town and stay not only at our home, but also the homes of our neighbors. A great time is certainly had by all that attend, however with all it’s fanfare comes a lot of work, and […] Read more »