My Wife Doesn’t Stop…..Until She Gets What She Wants

When my wife gets her mind set on a mission, her tenacity at achieving a goal is unparalleled.  This is true in every facet of life, including those times when she feels that she has been overcharged, or not getting what was promised to her. I got to see my fiery wife in action again this weekend. Back in our free spending days we had a subscription to Sirius/XM radio. We had purchased a detachable faceplate unit that fit into a mounting plate in our car, or on a portable radio that we commonly use outside. The $15 a month […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 04/26

Our finances feel very strange at the moment.  We’re 4 days from payday, and we’re not trying to stretch every dollar trying to make it until the next infusion of income – which was the standard method of operation for so many years.    We have our budgeted amounts for groceries, gas, and allowance for the kids plus our own weekend entertainment fund.  Did I mention we have a baby emergency fund too?   That’s the power of sitting down and having twice a week budget discussions with Vonnie, making a detailed spending plan, and most importantly actually sticking to it. I […] Read more »

In Finances, Fitness and Life, Together We Stand, Divided We Fail

Over the weekend Vonnie and I watched the movie “This is 40″ with a group of friends.   I won’t give away many of the details of the movie for those who haven’t seen it yet, but the plot revolves around the fact that the two main characters are about to reach that milestone age of 40. The movie focuses on the changes that go on in people’s lives as they move into middle age, and their reaction to those changes.  I cannot confirm or deny that both Vonnie and I may or may not be reaching this milestone age […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 04/19

Uffda, it’s been a busy week!  For those of you not familiar with “uffda” it’s a Norwegian phrase, but I think you get the idea of what it means and it sums up my week pretty darned well.  One of the very cool things that happened this week was that I increased my flat bench press maximum weight during my strength training routines…..twice. That never happens.  Never. On Monday, I lifted 275lbs for the first time.  Yesterday I pushed 280.  I was super excited as this  is by far the strongest I’ve ever been.  I literally leaped off the bench […] Read more »

Online Coupon Sites That Will Save You Money

Over the last few months I’ve been making an effort to use coupons to help save on groceries, household items, and other essentials of life. It’s obviously one of those things that you get out of it as much as you put into it. It takes time to dig through the local ads as well as websites to find coupons that match the products that my family actually uses. Through my quest for using coupons experience (say that fast 10 times!) I’ve found a handful of websites on which I have been able to find useful coupons that can genuinely […] Read more »

How Much Would You Pay For A Child’s Birthday Party?

A few years ago, I put together my daughter’s 8th birthday party for under $35. Her 11th birthday, which we celebrated over the weekend, was a different story. There’s a huge difference between the two ages, and we’re dealing with an entirely different set of rules. The suggestion of playing games for prizes now results in the newly perfected pre-teen eye roll. The last few years, having a sleep over with her friends as been the foundation for keeping the cost of her birthday celebration down. This year she was adamant she did NOT want a sleep over party because […] Read more »

I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 04/12

This weekend we will celebrate my daughter Tori’s 11th birthday.  I can easily see the bits of personality she has inherited from her mother and I.  She has her mother’s dramatic flair, compassion for others,  as well as her strong will (otherwise known as stubbornness).   She gets her work ethic and sense of humor from me.  🙂  She’s seriously one of my favorite people in the whole world to hang out with – you never know what that girl is going to come up with next. I worry sometimes about how our debt situation affects her, as she (like her […] Read more »

Cookies, A Robbery, and Wings: The Life Of A Mystery Shopper

The concept of mystery shopping has been around for awhile. Mystery shoppers go into stores, posing as real customers, and then write up an evaluation of their experience in exchange for a small payment. I started mystery shopping a few years ago primarily as a way to earn a little extra cash. But over time, it has grown to be much more than that. Did you know that mystery shopping can be used to accomplish tasks you wouldn’t have normally? Did you know mystery shopping can help improve your marriage? Did you know it can even add some excitement to […] Read more »

I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 4/4

Last Friday was a very exciting milestone for my wife and I.  We made our 45th payment to our Debt Management Program, but more importantly according to the tracker tool we have 12 payments left.  Which means a year from now we will be DONE with our DMP, and will have paid off $109,000 of credit card debt.  As I thought about that, I teared up a little.  Look, I’m a glass half full, optimistic, find the silver lining in everything kind of guy.  When I look back at the last 45 months, I think about all  the changes Vonnie […] Read more »

Cable TV Is Cheap Entertainment

Our cable company has been advertising new packages and lower prices, so this weekend Vonnie and I stopped into the nearby office to investigate our options, and see if we could lower our bill. Thirty minutes later we walked out the door having been upgraded to their new gold package that includes 4 DVRs, almost every channel they have, and a broadband speed double what we had previously. AND a lower bill. Driving home with the new DVRs in the trunk, I thought about our decision and wondered if we had made the right choice.  The TV portion of our […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 3/29

The kids are on spring break from now until April 8th.  Anyone want to start a pool as to how long it will take before the first “I’m BORED” is said?  I personally am excited for this weekend because there is a Minnesota personal finance blogger meetup (FinconMN) tomorrow in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.   We bloggers have an interesting work environment as we don’t get many opportunities to talk in person to other bloggers, so I’m really looking forward to it! Enough about my weekend, you came here for links, and I’m a giver so here you go: Posts That […] Read more »

Beer, Friends, and Losing Control of your Spending

My last few Monday posts have been a bit heavy and serious, so today I thought I’d talk about something a little lighter: Beer and Movies. Well, to be completely accurate, it’s more about my weekend spending relating to beer and movies. My house is a convenient central meeting point for my brother-in-law and his two best friends from high school. A couple of times a year they meet at my house, go out, and have a great time together. I’m always invited to come with. The first few times I felt a bit out of place, but I know […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 3/22

It’s March Madness time!  Yeah, I’m not much of a college basketball fan.  I know the Minnesota Gophers made the tournament, so I might briefly be interested in seeing how they do.  If you’re not interested in basketball, you could always checkout my favorite posts from the week,  or just read them during halftime. Posts That Make Me Fist Pump: Are You Paralyzed With Fear Because You’re in Debt? from Celebrating Financial Freedom Message Monday: The Entitlement Donut from Money Plan SOS How People REALLY Get Rich (Versus How We Think They Do) from American Debt Project You Saved $128 […] Read more »

Personal Responsibility and Debt Relief Are Not Dirty Words

Last week my story to pay off credit card debt was shared in a post on Business Insider, and subsequently picked up by Yahoo Finance.  I really appreciated the opportunity, and I think the article turned out great. There were many positive comments on both posts stating support for our journey, and for what we have learned and accomplished. There were also a fair number of comments questioning how we could have ever let things get so far out of control to accumulate such a massive amount of credit card debt as well as wondering what effects our debt has […] Read more »