I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 12/14

Confession time:  Vonnie and I haven’t even started our Christmas Shopping.  That’s right, not a single gift has been purchased.  The good news is, the kids have made their lists, and we have the cash – we just have to go get them.  Anyone want to take a guess at what we’ll be doing this weekend? Favorite Posts Payday Loan Smackdown- Convenient or Ripoff?   from Dr. Jason Cabler What do you mean I cannot return this? I don’t want a store credit from Free At 33 Sleep on the Pavement, Piss in a Bottle from My Broken Coin 2012 […] Read more »

Dirty Dice: A Fun and Frugal Way To Exchange Gifts

Over the weekend Vonnie and I hosted a family Christmas gathering for her side of the family. We sent the invite out via Facebook several weeks ago, and it didn’t take long for the RSVPs to start rolling in. We also started getting questions regarding whether we were going to have a gift exchange, but with over 30 people expected to show up, we weren’t sure how to do it and keep it economical. Talking about it for awhile we remembered a game that we’ve played at Christmas gatherings before, and decided it would be perfect for this one as […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 12/07

We’re a week into December and it’s officially the holiday season.  Vonnie and I are hosting a family get together tomorrow for her side of the family which should prove to be a great time.  I hate to admit this, but I really wish it would snow.  Look, I’m as big of a summertime, warm weather fan as they come but if it’s going to be colder I’d rather there be snow on the ground instead of everything be all brown and dreary.  Even my daughter agrees.  Last night she said, “We’ll probably have another dirt Christmas.”  She does have […] Read more »

Kids, We’re In Debt

Preface: My wife and I were discussing various financial subjects over dinner one evening last week when  Tori, our ten year old daughter, blurted out, “I remember when mom told us we were in debt.”   After she told us the story from her perspective, I asked her if she would be willing to write me a blog post about it.  Immediately after dinner she sat down in front of the computer, and began typing away.  The following is the story of our journey out of debt through the eyes of our daughter. Three years and four months ago my mom […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 11/30

Thanksgiving is in the rear view mirror, and my family now turns it’s attention to Christmas.    Last weekend the fall decorations came down, this weekend the Christmas decorations go up.  This decorating extravaganza will include putting up the Pizel family Christmas tree followed by the traditional viewing of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  Oh, and the weather is going to be abnormally warm for this time of year in Minnesota as highs will flirt with 60. Weird. What’s not weird is the list of my favorite posts below.  Check ’em out, and give ’em some love.  Tell them I sent you […] Read more »

Using Checks is Bad For My Finances

I stared in confusion at the papers laying on the kitchen table as I attempted to reconcile our checking account. My mortgage statement said the amount due was $1543 as it always does. The numerical dollar amount written on duplicate of the check I dropped off at the bank matched, as did the receipt I got from the teller. But that’s NOT what the written amount on the check said. The written amount was, “One thousand forty three dollars.” I had apparently omitted the “five hundred” when I wrote out the check. I needed to find out exactly how the […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 11/23

Its Black Friday……and I really don’t care.   I slept in.  Instead of getting up super early, or even worse staying up all night I think my time would be better spent reading awesome blog posts.  If you agree, you’ll definitely enjoy my favorite posts of the week.   Favorite Posts:   15 Truths About Money from The Daily Money Shot Being On A Budget Doesn’t Mean You’re Poor from BudgetBlonde Thankful For a Perfectly Flawed Life from ExConsumer Personal Finance Lessons That Should Be Taught In High School is a guest post from Briana at Money Q & A   […] Read more »

My 8 Step Plan to Resolve Financial Conflict and be a Super Hero Husband

My wife is a “Go big, or don’t do it at all” kind of person.   We once had a Valentine’s Day themed Pampered Chef party which included tables in our living room set with tablecloths, centerpieces, and a full dinner. While we were planning the party, we had several disagreements regarding how elaborate it should be.  It even became a joke of sorts between us as every time we disagreed, she would utter the phrase, “Don’t you see my vision?”  We had a huge turnout, and earned a ton of product credit from the sales. Taking into account the […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 11/16

For the first time, in a very long time, I feel caught up and in control of every aspect of my life.  I had more time for reading blogs, and wow there were a TON of great posts this week!  Below are links to my favs.   Favorite Posts The Most Popular Budget and Why It Sucks from Money Life And More We’re Switching To Cash! (Our ‘A-Ha’ Moment Weekend)   from Plunged In Debt Seriously. What’s 1 percent gonna do?  from Money Plan SOS Life After Debt: How Budgets and Planning Become Lasting Habits from Ask CareOne How I […] Read more »

Save Money by Cooking at Home: Japanese Steakhouse Edition

When a Japanese steakhouse first opened in our city, it was extremely busy. Tales of flaming onion volcanoes, spatula tricks with eggs, flying bowls of rice and shots of sake had people rushing through the doors. As the newness wore off, the infatuation with the restaurant died down quickly. One of the reasons for this, in my opinion, was the price. For example, let’s say my family visited the restaurant for dinner.  My wife, myself, and my son would each order a meal, as well as upgrade from the white rice to the chicken fried rice. $20.95 (steak and shrimp) […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 11/9

As a country we re-elected President Obama to a second term this week.  I hope and pray that both parties will keep the best interests of our country in mind over the next four years  and keep moving our great nation forward.  We should all be keeping our finances in mind this weekend, and I’ve assembled a list of links that will help you do just that.  Enjoy! Favorite Posts Are You Ready to Fall Off the Fiscal Cliff? What You Need to Know if the Bush Tax Cuts Expire from Free From Broke Would the Envelope Method of Budgeting […] Read more »

Smart Phones are Going to Cost Me How Much?

A mutiny is brewing at home, and I don’t know how much longer I can hold it off. Our cell phone contract expired in August which means we are eligible for a handset upgrade, or able to change carriers without penalty at any time. With scratched screens, odd behaviors, and increased frequency of complete “lockups” our phones are beginning to tell us they are nearing end of life. Chances are we will need to make a move soon, and if that move doesn’t include the iPhone as an option I fear I may come home one day to find the […] Read more »

I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 11/1

Ooooooooh, no!  I think I’m fighting something off.  I’ve been going to bed early all week and getting some extra sleep but I just don’t have the usual spring in my step.  In fact last night I grabbed a pillow and blanket and curled up in a ball on the floor while the family caught up on a few episodes of Survivor.  I have still managed to drag myself out of bed every morning and get my workouts in.  I hate being sick, so I hope a weekend of R&R will get be back 100% in action. Well, I hope […] Read more »

What’s Your Measuring Stick for Value?

Over the weekend I went out to eat on two different occasions. The bills were significantly different, and so were the experiences. Restaurant #1: Vonnie and I visited a nice restaurant that came highly recommended, and has a reputation. The kind of reputation that usually results in people mentioning going there during Monday morning hallway conversations at work when asked if you and your significant other did anything special over the weekend. Vonnie had butternut squash ravioli, a cranberry spinach salad, and a glass of wine while I ordered the shrimp and scallop au gratin. Oooh, sounds fancy! Except it […] Read more »