Can You Tip With A Gift Card?

Picture this scenario: You’ve just finished a great meal at a restaurant, and you’re planning to pay with a gift card that you either got as a gift, or you purchased for yourself. The gift card is worth more than your bill, so you instinctively write the remaining value on the tip line. But you second guess yourself wondering if you really can use the remaining gift card value as a tip. Can you use gift card value as a tip? The answer is, maybe. It really depends upon the policy of the restaurant. Here are some tips to making […] Read more »

How Much Could You Cut From Your Budget By Downsizing?

It would be easy for you to cut a massive amount of expenses from your monthly budget. That’s a shocking statement, but it holds true for a very large percentage of the population. I came to the conclusion that it was certainly true for me. At the same time, how many of us have whined and complained that we don’t have enough money? With just a couple of lifestyle downgrades, I found I could cut thousands from my monthly budget. Mortgage This would be the hardest one to execute as I’d have to sell my home and move. But disregarding […] Read more »

4 Reasons Procrastinating is a Horrible Idea

We all procrastinate from time to time, but it rarely contributes positively towards finishing a task, or resolving a problem. In fact, one could argue that procrastinating is the worst possible thing you could do. Let me tell you about an experience I had with procrastination this weekend: Over the weekend I needed gas for the lawnmower, so I put my gas can in the back of the van and headed for the gas station. As I was doing so, my wife stated she was concerned I was going to spill gas and recommended I put the gas can in […] Read more »

13 Better Money Habits You Need to Get Out of Debt

13 Better Money Habits You Need to Get Out of Debt

Developing better money habits that lead to getting out of debt is one of those things everybody knows they should do, but sadly most don’t.  I know Angie and I struggled for years with nagging debt that never seemed to go away.  It wasn’t until we changed our money habits and our mindset about money that we were truly able to make a full effort at getting out of debt. We Had to Change Our Money Habits We spent a lot of time putting band-aids on our finances, but never fixed the underlying problem.  When it came down to it, […] Read more »

5 Surefire Ways to Become Debt Free Fast

become debt free fast

Author’s bio: You can find more by Maria Nedeva on debt, money management and making money on her blog, The Money Principle, where she teaches people in financial trouble how to build sustainable wealth.   Becoming debt free haunted my dreams, and my waking hours, for couple of decades. And for decades it was just that: a pipe dream to which I escaped every time I suspected that we have too much debt and every time I wished it to disappear. Than six years ago the reality of our financial depravity penetrated the dream: we calculated that we were in […] Read more »

Are You Conscientious or a Slacker?

Extremely frustrated, I waited in a parking lot for one last person that was running late. They were supposed to arrive at 7:30am and the instructions clearly stated the youth group would leave the church at 8:00am sharp. It was this person’s tardiness that broke my wife’s perfect parent streak. You know what I mean; the mom who waves to her child as they drive away in excitement to a five-day excursion of hiking, singing songs by the bonfire, and getting yelled at by counselors because you’re making everyone in the cabin giggle when you should be sleeping. Here it […] Read more »

Don’t Spend Money On Things You Didn’t Know You Needed

Every Marathon I’ve run has had a fitness expo which accompanies race packet pickup. It’s an opportunity for runners to find some last minute necessities for their run, as well as browse the latest and greatest in running and fitness gear. I was in Duluth, Minnesota over the weekend to run Grandma’s Marathon, and walked through one of these fitness expos. As I walked past one of the booths, a man stepped in front of me telling me he had a special treat for my feet. Intrigued, I allowed him to guide me to sit down in a chair and […] Read more »

9 Tips For Creating Discipline With Money

9 Tips For Creating Discipline With Money

I frequently get questions from my readers about how to resolve their various financial problems.  The questions range from not being able to save enough, to tackling huge amounts of debt, to how to stop living paycheck to paycheck. One of the common themes I’ve discovered in the hundreds of emails I’ve received, is that most of those readers tell me the root of their problem is a lack of discipline. Lack of Money is Not the Problem Learning discipline when it comes to money is not always easy, but it’s necessary if you want to get ahead financially.  Many […] Read more »

13 Ways You Can Save Money On A Low Income

save money low income limited income

I get a lot of questions from readers wanting to know how they can save money on a low income, so I thought I would write a post about some of the suggestions I’ve been giving out that can help you put money in the bank, even when you’re living on a limited income.  I’ve also included some great resources along with the suggestions that will help you get started putting money in the bank right now!   You Can Still Save Money On A Low Income When you’re living on a small income, it can be especially hard to […] Read more »

What I Should Do vs What I Do Do

(Go ahead, giggle. I did when I wrote the title of this post) To become a successful entrepreneur I’m supposed build an engaging blog and active media presence in the margins around my “day job”.  Those who have done this successfully are living testimonies that it really does work, but I’ve been struggling.  It’s taking a toll on my health, the relationships with my wife and daughter, and my effectiveness in everything that I should do. Why? Because I’m not doing what they did. Let me explain… In order to be successful, I’m supposed to follow some recommendations.  I have […] Read more »

Small Victories- Getting Out of Debt One Small Step At a Time

small victories get out of debt one step at a time

Getting out of debt can seem like a daunting task.  When you finally decide to take the step of getting yourself out of debt, it’s easy to be intimidated by the huge goal you’ve presented for yourself. And when you realize what you’re up against, you’re ready to give up on getting out of debt before you even get started. So how do you overcome that overwhelming feeling when you want to achieve your goal, but you’re so intimidated by all the work you know it will take to get it done? You have to chill out, take a step […] Read more »

Bad Debt Collectors and What You Can Do About Them

bad debt collectors collections

Dealing with bad debt is no fun. Dealing with a bad debt collector can be downright terrifying. When you have a bad debt that has gone to a collection agency it can be very easy to want to avoid the pain of the situation or even totally ignore it when you know you can’t possibly pay it.  That’s why some collectors of overdue debt will do everything they can to get your attention, even if it’s illegal. Most debt collection agencies are legit and strictly follow the rules set forth by the FTC  (Federal Trade Commission). However, there are plenty […] Read more »

Warning: Shopping Without A List Is Hazardous To Your Budget

My love of lists is almost legendary, my daily activities driven from them. I have different lists for different parts of my day: Things needing to be done at work, written on my office white board Personal life todo list written in a notebook on the kitchen counter Blogging todo list written in a notebook on my computer desk My lists help me not only remember things that need to be done, but also to prioritize them. My wife sometimes makes fun of me because of my lists, but she understands the importance I place on them. I commonly find […] Read more »

7 Ways You Can Stay Motivated to Get Out of Debt

7 ways to stay motivated to get out of debt resources

Over the years I’ve seen plenty of people get motivated to get out of debt, but they never end up following through with the process.  They are usually pretty fired up about getting out of debt and start out very motivated.  But not long after they start the process, their energy flags and it’s not long before they lose their motivation. I’ve seen a lot of other people make decent progress in paying down debt, but for whatever reason, they end up losing their focus and go back to their old habits, never finishing the get out of debt process.   How to […] Read more »