Stumbling Blocks

Hopefully ya'll read this morning about how we paid off two of our credit cards.  Now, let's talk about the bad news. Ever since we heard about my moms diagnosis our strict adherence to our budget has gone out the window.  We haven't gone buck wild crazy but we have been eating out waaaayy more than we were before, which was basically not at all. Also, I'm pretty sure we have been giving in t [...]

Doin' the Carlton

I am dancing around ya'll, and just so you'll have a visual, you can imagine how Carlton dances from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Hey, that's all the rhythm I've got! So, let me explain why my children are currently glad their friends can't see me. In one of my previous posts we got to talking in the comments about whether or not we should pay credit cards with crazy, stupid interest off first or [...]

Costco Gas Calculator: Will I Save Money Buying a Membership if All I Buy is Fuel?

For those who don't shop at Costco regularly enough to make a membership worthwhile, it might be worth getting one if your Costco has a gas station, and you fill up your vehicle on a regular basis. The question you should be asking yourself is, "Will I save money if I get a Costco membership simply from the money I save on gas?" There are quite a few variables that go into this calculation, and [...]

Money Philosophy

I am very smart and educated. I'm not saying that to brag, it's just a fact.  I have plenty of things that I am terrible at too and I will readily admit them as well. But back to my being smart and educated. My parents taught me from a very young age to manage my money - 10% to savings, 10% giving and the rest for me was a weekly mantra from the time I was old enough to get an allowance.  And [...]

The Obamacare Loophole that Isn't a Loophole

No matter what your personal feelings are about the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as Obamacare), it's important to understand how it works for your personal finances. Not fully understanding how it works, or making assumptions that you can do things that you really can't, can come back to haunt your finances in a big way. A good example is a conversation that I had at a get-together I [...]

I got a new job!

From the beginning I've thought that increasing my income was my best bet to speeding up my debt free journey.  And with summer approaching and the kids being older, I thought it was the perfect time to explore that theory as a reality.  And now it's here!  I start my new job...TODAY! Woohoo! I'll be working 12-15 hours a week, doing whatever needs to be done, and it's outside my home.  Thi [...]

How I Save on Groceries

So with the comments that I have gotten in my last post, I wanted to write about how I do some of my groceries, and in particular how I get some of my meat. One of the biggest chunks of my food budget, is meat.  Unless you are a non-meat eater, I bet you’re in the same predicament.  Yes you can shop the sales and the mark downs, but one of the tested and proven ways is to simply buy in bulk. [...]

Is Costco Gas Quality the Same as Exxon, Shell and Chevron?

There are many reasons to love Costco. They treat their employees much better than many businesses, and they have competitive prices when it comes to the things that they sell. While there might be some reasons that you wouldn't want to shop there, a lack of quality in the gasoline they sell is not one of them. If you have ever driven by a Costco and looked at the prices at their gas stations, [...]

Go Ahead and Be a Sellout

A long time ago I had high artistic ideals. I wanted my work to change the world, to bring awareness to important issues, and to be "great." That lasted until I was out of college. That's when I realized that I had to eat, pay rent, and fill up my gas tank. High ideals went out the window in favor of any job that paid. And since I graduated in the middle of the 1990's recession, the bar wasn't [...]

Birthday Expenses

Saturday was my little man’s birthday party.  And let me tell you, these things wear me out!  Cleaning the whole entire house, cooking all the food, decorating the house according to the party’s theme.  All of this does such a toll.  Almost four days non stop if you count in Easter. But all in all, it was a huge success!  Probably the most people we had in our house at any given time.  [...]

I got a raise!!!

Can I get a "woohooo!!!!" But before we get too excited, let's have a little #truth. I don' know if you can really consider it a "raise" because what happened is I took on additional work. So, yeah, my income is going to raise (and not by just chump change...a pretty decent upward improvement), but it is in exchange for additional work. It was a bit unexpected, but I'm very grateful for i [...]

Don't Expect a Big Raise This Year: Ask for These Perks Instead

Getting a raise at work continues to be difficult, and it doesn't appear that it's going to be any easier in the next few years. According to the April edition of the quarterly survey from the National Association of Business Economics (NABE), nearly 80% of the seventy-two businesses which participated in the survey expect little wage growth over the next few years. These businesses expect wage gr [...]

Fighting Mad

Arrrrgh, I am SO MAD at Wells Fargo! As you may recall, I recently paid off my Capital One credit card (which had been my highest APR), and have moved onto focusing on my Wells Fargo credit card (my second highest APR). A few days ago I received a credit card offer from another bank. It offered 0% APR as an introductory rate for the first 24 months. To be clear, IN NO WAY do I want to open a [...]

Gas Prices Inch toward $4 a Gallon: Ways to Save

Gas prices continue to inch toward $4.00 a gallon, although the increases have leveled off over the past week. According to AAA, gas prices have reached a national average of $3.67 a gallon. That's an increase of three cents from last week, $.15 from last month, and also $.15 above what gasoline retailed for at the same time last year. While this is the national average, prices are well above $4.0 [...]

Did Credit Sesame Just Make LifeLock Obsolete?

Earlier this month, Credit Sesame launched a free identity theft protection service. In doing so, they were able to accomplish a couple of things. First, they were able to differentiate themselves from competitors like Credit Karma and Quizzle, both of which have no plans to offer free identity theft protection. Secondly, and something which isn't quite as apparent since they have not been a direc [...]

Making a Meal Stretch

This past week our pantry has been a bit bare, but I’ve been making it a priority to eat what we have instead of making an extra trip to the grocery store. I divide our grocery money into the number of weeks in the month (4 or 5) and try to stick to that amount – no more. We had already used our week’s allotment of grocery money so I was going to have to get creative until the following week [...]

Question of the Week - Long Term Goals

This is our Sunday series where we all respond to reader questions. If you want to submit a question, please go to this post. Question of the Week Beyond paying debt, what are your long-term goals? posted by TPol Stephannie First, I want to say Happy Easter!!  I am so thankful that I can spend this day with my family, celebrating Jesus and the sacrifice He made for [...]

All Banks Closed Easter, All Banks Open Monday

With Easter upon us, you might have some time to run some of the errands that you have on your list of things to do. If you are planning to do any banking that needs to be done at the institution, you are going to need to wait until Monday to do it. If you are wondering if banks and credit unions are open or closed on Easter Sunday, the answer is that they are all closed (you may also want to know [...]

Jim's Weekly Update 4/19

First I wanted to apologize to everyone for this weeks worth of posts from me.  I am so used to writing those kinds of posts on all of my blogs that it seemed right.  One thing I am not used to is writing about myself personally.  I did tidbits here and there, but nothing on a regular basis.  Hopefully you will accept my apologies and we will go from there. Today is my son's actual birthday [...]

What Stores are Open and Closed on Easter Sunday 2014?

One of the worst things that can happen when you want to go to a store is to arrive to find that the store is closed. This situation often happens when there is a holiday, and the store you plan to visit has closed for the holiday. With Easter Sunday just around the corner (April 20, 2014), many people want to know whether their favorite stores are going to be open or not. Below is a list of what [...]