First Paycheck = FAIL!!!

I received my first full paycheck at my new rate of pay. I was shocked that it was much lower than I had anticipated (even after using a couple online calculator programs to try to accurately predict take-home pay).  My expectation was that I’d earn somewhere between $5-6,000/month take-home.  The reason for the large range is that I have a LOT of money coming out in pre-tax deductions, includ [...]

Hope's Fall 2017 Monthly Budget

Without further ado, my new monthly budget. [table id=97 /] Some important things to note.  This budget does not include my business expenses, or rather bills I pay out of my business account and use for tax purposes including but not limited to my cell phone bill ($286 monthly,) Adobe Suite membership ($29 monthly,) Microsoft Office ($99 annually,) Dropbox ($99 annually) and so on.  I have co [...]

Fully Vested and Planning for Retirement

Just as I was getting my monthly budget together, the quarter was up and I was given the opportunity to invest in the company sponsored 401K plan...fully vested immediately.  The company matches up to 5% of my salary. It has been a LONG TIME since I had a company matched 401K opportunity. So effective this week, I am investing 20% of my corporate job's income in the 401K. I can change it at an [...]

Making Extra Money at the Beach This Summer

I love the beach. In fact, I spend as much time as I can at the beach every summer. The problem I had for years was that going to the beach seemed to be a waste of my valuable time when it came to earnings. Should I go to the beach and enjoy myself, or should I really be using that time to work a side job and bring in more money? Then I began to think, "Is there a way that I can make money when I' [...]

The True Cost of a Deck

Thanks for all the comments on my latest post about motivation. I've taken the comments to heart and am really doing some serious pondering and life planning for moving forward. I'm trying to minimize the financial bleeding this summer, and then jump back full-force in August with some renewed energy. I wanted to try to go gung-ho this month, but with my lower pay and some unexpected expenses (se [...]

Finances & Fitness

Hubs has become quite the fitness aficionado lately. Remember back in 2015 when he lost a ton of weight? He ended up losing 60 lbs. in total. In 2016 he was really just learning to maintain his weight through having a healthier lifestyle overall. He eats pretty clean, drinks lots of water, exercises regularly, etc. This year (2017) he decided he wanted to try to build some muscle mass. Well, missi [...]

Money in the Bank

I feel like I've hit a milestone today that I hadn't really thought of...money in the bank. I'm not talking about the 10% I've been setting aside in a hard to reach savings account. I'm talking about there being several hundred dollars in my primary daily living account that is not earmarked for some upcoming bill or that I'm watching like a hawk to make sure I can cover something that is comin [...]

How to Deal with New Financial Concerns for a New Generation

In agrarian times, people were more concerned about crops than money. Then again, crops were money. No wheat, no eat. Contrary to the popular narrative, there has always been credit. People have always needed to borrow goods or services against the promise of future payment with interest. Generation Xers share many of the same concerns as the agrarian. But along the way, we have developed a few [...]

Life Lately

Hello, friends! I apologize for my absence! June has been an absolute whirlwind of a month! I feel like I just blinked and all the sudden we’re two weeks deep and I haven’t written a single post! Yikes! It’s not for lack of thought about you all! Things have just been, well, a bit crazy. Let’s talk some general life updates with some financial stuff sprinkled throughout. First, my [...]

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Locking Your Credit

In today's internet-driven world, finances are a mixed bag. Online banking services and tools make it easier to manage your money, but it's also given thieves more ways to steal from unsuspecting victims. I personally have had my PayPal account hacked in the past, but fortunately, PayPal refunded the money that was illegally withdrawn. Another common cyber crime is identity theft. Luckily, I ha [...]

Get Your Business Rolling!

As a small business owner, one of the many challenges that I faced was financing. I think I speak for others when I say that business loans are one of the biggest challenges for SMBs today. The reason I say this is that banks are tightening their requirements when it comes to approving individuals for business loans. Regardless, you need capital to grease the wheels of your business. So, I g [...]

5 Point Plan for Getting Out of Debt

Debt could be good because it affords you an opportunity to use tomorrow's money to meet today's needs. However, debt when not properly managed can cast very dark shadows over your finances and make it hard for you to become financially secure. This article provides five actionable steps that could help you improve your odds of getting out of debt faster and permanently. Build an emergency savi [...]

The End of a Decade plus

Hello BAD Community, I apologize for my long absence. I've visited often, with the thought to write an update, but never seem to focus on something to write about.  We are fully settled into small town life in Georgia, our lives in Virginia settling into mostly fond memories.  I think Gymnast still struggles the most.  Change is hard for everyone, but I know the kids are resilient and in time w [...]

Giving Along The Way

On my way to work this morning I was listening to an old episode of the Dave Ramsey Show (side note with some of my favorite podcasts to check out:  This American Life, The Bobby Bones Show, The Dave Ramsey Show, Science Friday, and Serial). I was listening to a Millionaire Theme Hour. Those, along with the standard Debt-Free calls, are my favorite segments of The Dave Ramsey Show! Anywho, I w [...]

Summer Camping!

Today was officially my kids' last day of preschool!!!!!! Starting in the "Fall" (which is August 2nd in these parts), they'll be KINDERGARTNERS!!! I can't even believe it! I want to cry from happiness AND sadness all at once! How is it even possible!? B and B with their teacher on the last day of school! Instead of a traditional "graduation" ceremony, they had what they call a "Teddy Bear Pic [...]

Student Loan Forgiveness Program To Be Cut???

Has anyone seen this news story floating around the interwebs? The headline reads: "Trump to Propose Scrapping Beleaguered Student Loan Forgiveness Program." It's got a big picture of Betsy DeVos face floating around with the headline. In the story, reporter Jillian Berman discusses how a leaked education budget shows plans to eventually chop the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PS [...]

When is it Safe to Use Up Your Emergency Fund?

Would you say it's safe to use your emergency funds to pay off credit card debt? Many would see this as insane, unheard of, or outright unwise. Who would presently touch their emergency funds when it will come in handy if you need it the most in future? First Things First There is no way you can talk about an emergency fund when you don't have one to begin with. It's important to set aside f [...]

Creative Ways to Save Money when Moving

If you're anything like me, moving can be quite daunting. Besides the sheer volume of labor, there is a lot to figure out. What made our move more challenging was that our family is on a tight budget, we had some major time constraints such as only having the evening and weekends to get our packing done, and we had accumulated a lot of stuff over the years.Below are some of the major and minor sav [...]

Loan Defaults and 5 Ways to Get Out of It

In layman's term, loan defaults are simply debt that you weren't able to pay. Loan defaults apply to any type of loan - car, home, student, SBA, 401K, payday loans, and the most common - credit cards. Defaults will be incurred once a consumer fails to pay the borrowed amount to their lender, and once a certain period of time has elapsed, your debt will be recorded and will forever be a part of you [...]

"Fun" Little Freak Out

Let me share with you a story about an all-out “FREAK OUT” moment I recently had regarding my pay. In terms of back-story, I am on a 9-month contract which ends May 19. When my new contract goes into effect I’ll be switching to a 12-month contract. But that contract does not go into effect until the start of the fiscal year, July 1st. In the interim (May 20-June 30), I will be receiving p [...]