Perception Will Make You Broke

  One of the biggest reasons people overspend is because they worry what other people think about the possessions a person may or may not have as well as the perceived quality of what a person does own. Or maybe they simply believe they are a better person if they have nicer things.  Many people believe their value as a person is measured by what car they drive, the size of their home or the name on the tag of their clothing.  Unfortunately, that perception will do nothing for you but make you broke. My son was giving my wife […] Read more »

Amazon Makes The Online Return Process Easy and Worry Free

Doing most of my Christmas shopping online was unbelievably convenient, but there was always one thing about the process that worried me. What would happen if something had to be returned? My mind would instantly create a scenario in which it was nightmarish, hard process which would take months to get my money returned. Fortunately, the process was simple and I got my money credited quicker than I would have imagined. I ordered from Amazon a ski jacket my son had picked out, as he wanted to go skiing with his friends. When the coat arrived it didn’t fit right. […] Read more »

The Case Of The Smelly Hotel Room, and 4 Steps to Resolve Any Issue

My wife is well known for ensuring that she gets what she pays for. When something doesn’t meet her standards, or someone doesn’t deliver as promised, she makes sure that compensation is received. I’ve heard her utter the phrase, “How are you going to make this right?” infinite times. We’ve received discounts off our bill at restaurants and hotels, or sometimes even a gift card for a future visit. Most of the time it’s for a minor inconvenience such as: Paying extra for a hotel room with a view, but the view is unspectacular Food cooked incorrectly Bad service Not […] Read more »

A Lawn Mower is NOT A Status Symbol

I was almost done mowing my lawn when I felt something pop loose, after which the handle of the mower was no longer attached to the frame on the left side. I shut off the mower and looked around on the ground, finding the metal peg that held the two pieces together. The peg on the opposite side was immovable, but the one that fell out had worn down enough such that it no longer fit snugly in the hole. Using a screw driver with a very long shaft, I hobbled along well enough to finish the lawn. I knew […] Read more »

What Charcoal and Beer Teaches Us About Making Choices

The end of May is in sight, the temps are getting warmer, and Summer is on everyone’s mind. There are great sales popping up everywhere for outdoor home improvement projects, and garden centers are opening up with huge selection of plants, yard care products and grills. Speaking of grills, this time of year I keep my eyes for sales on charcoal. Between my smoker and my grill, I use a lot of charcoal. If I see a great sale, I load up the van and pile it up in a corner of my garage to be used throughout the summer. […] Read more »

Using Intermittent Spending To Stay On Budget

A body builder friend of mine recently posted a link to an article that caught my eye. The article described a diet methodology called Intermittent Fasting in which a person would consume all their food for the day in an 8 hour window followed by 16 hours of fasting. This wasn’t just some person’s half cocked idea about how people should eat, there was actually some science behind it. The thought is that eating all the food for a given day in a short period of time more closely resembled how our ancestors lived. Prehistoric man would spend the day […] Read more »

Hindsight is 20 dollars: An Andrew Jackson can save you 2 hours or more on home improvement

A termite infestation was discovered during our last insect treatment. Our “guy”, Bugs by Brian, sprays on a quarterly basis and always does a great job keeping spiders and other bugs from getting into our home. What we didn’t know was that large pieces of wood separating the sloped yard from our flowerbed and patio was home to some wood-eating critters. Not wanting to spend any money on the project, I decided to take care of them myself. This was a big project but I already knew what had to be done – I had replaced some of the 6’ […] Read more »

How Does the Target RedCard Work?

I was hurriedly going through the checkout lane at Target picking up some items on my way home from work when the cashier sprung a question I’ve heard a zillion times: “Are you going to be saving 5% with your REDcard today?” I shook my head, “No,” after which she asked me if I knew about the REDcard. I quipped at her my understanding of it being a Target Visa card that saves me 5% on my purchases. I told her that I didn’t like to use credit cards, but thanked her for the offer. I was surprised when she […] Read more »

How to Get Ahead if You’re Living Paycheck to Paycheck

get ahead living paycheck to paycheck

Some recent studies showed that more than two thirds of people are living paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time. That’s pretty incredible! It seems to be getting harder and harder to keep your head above water financially, and there is no lack of reasons why that’s happening. Some of it is because our attitudes about money have changed over the years.  Some of it is also because of the changing economy, and some of it is probably due to the fact that the world is rapidly changing, and some are getting left behind because they refuse to […] Read more »

No Thanks, DirectTV, You Know Where You Can Stick Your High Pressure Sales Act

I thanked the employee that had asked if I needed any help, guided me to what I was looking for within Best Buy,  and answered my questions. As I began to turn away, he said, “Oh, just one more thing. Who is your cable provider?” It was at that moment I noticed for the first time he was wearing a shirt with the DIRECTV logo embroidered into it. I knew exactly what was coming next as he led me to a table where he pulled out a notebook and started asking me more questions. He wrote information I was providing […] Read more »

Confession: I Broke My Number One Rule Of Shopping

I know I cannot be trusted with credit cards; the temptation of overspending is just too much for me to handle. That’s why I will never carry them again.   But I would have never guessed the events that unfolded late last week as I was shopping for needed items for our annual Memorial Weekend Luau themed party. The party was going to be a little bigger than it has been the last few years, because it was also doubling as our celebration for completing our Debt Management program. We’ve been saving up since the end of January to make sure […] Read more »

Why I Hate Credit Cards: Hotel Incidental Policy

I hate credit cards with a passion. The more I walk through life trying not to use them, the more I hate them. My family and I drove to Florida late last week, which gave me the opportunity to find yet another reason to despise them. No matter how much I want to pay with cash, or at least with my debit card so the money comes immediately out of my checking account, businesses seem insistent in pushing me to use the demon plastic. As my wife and I planned our trip, we carefully budgeted our spending for each day. […] Read more »

The Magic Bullet To Combining Finances Successfully

I knew the minute I finished the sentence that someone would comment on it, and I was right.  In my post last week describing an afternoon at a food and wine event I mentioned that I bought two bottles of BBQ sauce, but not before checking in with my wife first. I wanted my wife’s approval before buying $12 of BBQ sauce. I didn’t expect her to disapprove of the purchase.  As the commenter articulated, it was simply an act of respect.  We are a quad income family (we each have two sources of income), but we choose to combine […] Read more »

Why Cash Only Weekend Spending ROCKS!

Hearing colorful language coming from our home office, my wife stormed in to find out what was going on. I was reconciling our checking account, and even though it had only been a few days since I had last done it, I couldn’t make the numbers come out right. Between Christmas shopping, and being out of town for extended family gatherings quite a few transactions had posted, and I was obviously making a mistake somewhere. The arithmetic error was quickly found and fixed, but in the process I found something that could not be corrected as easily. We had spent […] Read more »