Someone thinks I'm Smart

I think one of my most controversial ongoing decisions on this blog is my commitment to homeschooling.  Now I will admit this summer has been a doozy for me emotionally, and the thought of just sending all the kids off on buses for 8 or so hours a day has been appealing at times.  Of course, then I think about all the calls from teachers I would get because of certain behaviors or disorganizatio [...]

$800 Doctor Bill

Have you ever opened the mail and found an unanticipated bill that just made the blood drain out of your face and you feel sick to your stomach? I have. Lord knows, I have. It's what happens when you know you don't have the money to pay it. You weren't expecting it or didn't anticipate the large amount and, knowing that you owe it, you feel scared/sick/sad/panicked. I've been there. Sho [...]

Lessons from Therapy: Day #1

I just had my first therapy session this week and I'm happy to say that it went better than I'd expected! I was nervous about whether we would "click" and be a good fit, but we really gelled in terms of personalities and it felt like I was chatting with a friend (albeit a friend I'm paying to listen to me. heh). I'm only one session deep at this point so, obviously, this person doesn't know all [...]

Holy Crap - ANOTHER Raise!?!?!

Guys. I can't even. Pinch me, because I don't even believe it. I got another raise!!!! Well.....kinda. You know how I work 2 jobs (a full-time one + a part-time one)? Well, I just got my contract in from my part-time job and something that has literally NEVER happened before occurred. Without even being notified/informed/asked, one of my classes was large enough that apparently they opene [...]

Going for Broke: Things to Consider When Investing Without a Broker

Most investors work with a broker to help them find and purchase the right stocks for their portfolio. However, you can go it alone if you prefer. When investing without a broker, there are a few things you need to consider to ensure your money is as safe as possible and make it work hard for you. Understand How to Buy Stocks Through a Direct Stock Purchase Plan Many companies listed on th [...]

I'm Still Here

I don't even know where to start. I really crashed this summer emotionally, like really.  Thank God for my kids.  My obligations to and for them are the only thing that saved me I think.  I know it's still kind of taboo to talk about depression, and I never would have expected it as I tend to be a glass half full kind of girl.   But I definitely have been going thru some major depression, bor [...]

Happy Friday!!!

Happy Friday, friends! Just peeking in quickly today with some fun news...I got a raise!!! Wahoo!!! My university is implementing institution-wide raises for ALL benefits-eligible employees as a way to try to address the compression that our university experienced during all the rough recession years and increase salaries to be competitive with other large research-1 universities. The mandat [...]

House Hunting....kinda

Hi from sunny (and HOT) Madison, Wisconsin!!! I'm here for my work conference and, unfortunately, brought the Tucson heat with me! Just last week the average temperatures were in the mid-80s. I arrived on Tuesday of this week and since I've been here it's been in the high-90s/flirting with 100 degrees F plus muggy. Boo!!! Get it together, Madison! (I kid, I kid - it's actually quite gorgeous as [...]

Essay on Personal Finance Planning

It is odd at times to think of all the lessons that are not taught in schools. Essentially these can be considered life skills that are fundamental to the well-being of an adult but for some weird reason they are omitted from classrooms. None can be truer than the lessons which surround the management of one's own money. Personal financial planning (PFP) is the act of systemizing a person's re [...]

Cheap Lemonade

We went over to a friend's house to go swimming in their pool this past weekend. My girlfriend ran inside for a moment and emerged with the BEST lemonade ever! I asked her if it was store-bought or homemade because it was so dang good! Imagine my surprise when she said it's made with bottled lemon juice!!! But not just any old lemon juice - Costco does it again with some of the best organic lem [...]

Ashley's July Debt Update + General Life Updates

It's that time of month where our checks have all come in, bills have all been paid, and we're getting to see how much progress we were able to make on debt. And - spoiler alert - it was a good month for debt payments!!!! First, let's get right to the debt table... [table id=84 /] It's still exciting to see so many empty rows, the debts having been paid off. And can I get a virtual hig [...]

Under Contract

We are now officially under contract!!! Not hubs & I (we still haven't even started house-hunting, but plan to start in August!! Can't wait!!!) - my dad's Utah house! After receiving a couple competing offers, we accepted one that we felt was more than fair (it's actually over our listed asking-price). We've already completed inspection and all the requested repairs are super minor, so w [...]

Extended Warranty to the Rescue!!!

Back when we bought our new-to-us (then only 1-year-old) car, we added all the warranties on top of the sales price and financed it all together. Remember, this was back before any debt-reduction mission or such. After listening to Dave Ramsey, I've now learned that the majority of extended warranties are a total waste of money (disclaimer: I don't blindly believe everything Ramsey says, but I [...]

Vacationing on a Dime: Camping With the Family

Americans are known for being avid road trippers. We're eager to load up the car, pack a few travel games and head out to take in the wonders of our natural surroundings. Investing in a family vacation isn't just about seeing the sights. Family travel is an important investment in each other, our physical health and our mental well-being. Unfortunately, many families forgo family vacations beca [...]

Is Making Money with Rideshare as Easy as They Say?

Hailed as the newfangled way to reach your financial goals in your spare time, ridesharing is marketed as being accessible and cost effective for virtually anyone with an automobile. Are these claims true? While the "anybody can be a cab driver" mantra of ridesharing is fairly accurate, and no one is doubting the potential to generate income by driving strangers around town, the expenses and hassl [...]

Clever Ideas for Saving Money and Leading a Healthy Lifestyle

Saving money is something that anyone can do, but sometimes you need new ideas to get you motivated. If you have debt that you want to pay off, or you are saving up for a major expense, such as purchasing a house, you may need to look for aggressive ways to cut back on your spending. Often, the spending habits that people have are directly related to instant gratification or habits that are unh [...]

Work Trip = $$$

I have a conference for work that I'm attending in early August. It's a conference that I've heard people talking about and suggesting in the online-teaching world for over a year, but I've never been before. I'm super excited because I applied to be a presenter and was accepted so it's also a nice little CV-boost as I venture more and more into the world of online education (all my previous wo [...]

Summer Childcare Update

Hi guys! I hope your Monday is off to a good start! Remember when I talked about our summer childcare plans? We ended up opting to hire a babysitter whose been coming to our house to watch the kids 3 days per week. I wanted to give a little update on how it's gone. First, in case you hadn't noticed from our recent budget update, our childcare costs have been way down compared to the academic [...]

Ashley's June Budget + 2016 Goals Update

As a reminder, we have 3 concrete financial goals that we’re working on in 2016: Save $10,000 for a down payment Save $5,000 for an emergency fund Put $30,000 toward debt. Even amidst some obstacles that have caused us to have to withdraw money from our EF (for expenses related to the death of our beloved dog and a plane ticket home for my Nana’s funeral), we’ve still managed to m [...]

Happy Independence Day!!!

Happy 4th of July to all our U.S. readers and friends! I wrote up a full budget update, but since my normal blogging day (Monday) happened to fall on a national holiday, I decided to push it back so it's scheduled to go live tomorrow morning. Check back for that content post. In the meantime, I want to wish all our American friends a happy 3 day weekend that is hopefully full of the 3 F's: [...]