Sunshine Blogger Award
- Created on 01 September 2015
I've been recognized - by my peer - for spreading sunshine.
Recognition of your efforts is always a nice thing. So I appreciate Maarten Van Lier of Million in 10 for spreading a little sunshine my way.
If you haven't yet heard Maarten's fabulous story about his goal of reaching the millionaire status in ten years, please do listen to this episode (How to Create a $300,000 in the Bank Attitude) of the Midday Money Show.
Find $200/month in your Budget Challenge
- Created on 27 August 2015
I've been engaged in a most interesting experiment. I've been helping people find $200/month on paper in their budget. So far (as of the published date for this post), 100% of those I've talked with have found at least $200 - if not more - that can be redirected toward dumping debt faster in their monthly budget.
Yes, that's $200 on paper, but it's a great start.
Here are the major culprits to investigate when looking for areas to streamline.
Doing Washington D.C. Debt Free Divas Style
- Created on 24 August 2015
So far, one of my all-time-favorite places to visit is the nation's capital. Washington D.C. The District of Columbia.
I love the architecture. I love the rolling hills and endless greenery. I even love the confusing circles - as long as I'm not driving.
This week, we had an occasion to visit family for a few festive occasions. WonderMan hails from the D.C. area originally. Hanging with my in-laws is always a treat. Since we had more flexibility this time, we extended our trip a few days which gave me time to get lost in all things touristy in D.C.
Regardless of your political or historical persuasion, a visit to the capital should easily make everyone's travel to-do list. There is something to do for just about everyone. Since WonderMan's parents live in the D.C. suburbs and we have rounded the corner on 13 years of marriage, I've had the pleasure of romping around D.C. for a while now. In that time I have developed an extensive tourist to-do library.
Here are a few Do's and Don'ts when it comes to frugally exploring this wonderful town.
5 Financial Reasons to Avoid Co-mingling if you Cohabitate
- Created on 17 August 2015
As this experience running a laundromat officially winds down, I was recently engaged in conversation with yet another colorful personality. We've had the laundromat since 2003. This most recent exchange reminded me of some of the more memorable characters we've met over the years.
- Gun-toting Granny. This very seasoned citizen, probably in her 70's with an ever present Band-Aid below her eye, often regaled me with stories of threats of gun play directed mainly at her children. I stayed on her good side.
- The opportunistic cable box thief. I kid you not. Someone used a laundry cart to scale a wall and steal our cable box after I stepped out briefly to run an errand. He brought it back a few days later with a Post-It note attached expressing his apologies and advertising his tuck pointing services. We declined his offer.
- The angry lady. We actually had a few of these customers over the years. However, only one ended in a police negotiation. She had to be calmed down by one of Chicago's finest after threatening WonderMan with all manner of bodily harm because I removed her clothes during a busy period. I wore gloves and we have signs posted, but she didn't care. Everything ended peacefully and she actually apologized and asked if she could come back again. We forgave her.
Let's just say owning a laundromat has been a different kind of experience.
How Misbehaving Almost Ruined our $20 Date Night
- Created on 14 August 2015
I know the back to school sales are in full force and the days are getting shorter, but I'm not giving up on summer - not just yet.
So far this summer, I've:
- Found my way to a free zoo.
- Taken in tourist attractions in the city for nothing more than bus fare.
- Sampled wine and cheese on a savory tour of the arts in Bronzeville. The free trolley and great weather made the night rock! I actually made the highlight real (that's me in the black and white top).
- Walked right into an open air steppers set in Hyde Park in our workout gear.
- Been reminded why Top Gun is not appropriate for little children at a free movie in the park.
Can We Take Frugal Too Far?
- Created on 10 August 2015
I've been hitting the bitty birthday circuit hard this month. We've attended a first birthday bash, a four year old swim soiree, a bounce and jam fest for a five year old, and we have plenty more to go in August alone. In addition, WonderMan and I celebrated 13 years of wedded adventure this month. Let's just say - we get our celebratory mood on in August.
I love getting together with friends and family. It's a great reason to prioritize fellowship. However, the expense associated with celebrating milestones has my personal finance mind in overdrive.
7 Tips to Build Your Debt Freedom Chain
- Created on 05 August 2015
In a previous post I mentioned a new challenge - Don't Break the Chain to Get Out Of Debt - I'm trying to add sizzle to my health improvement goals. I took it from a guy who took it from a guy who took it from Jerry Seinfeld. See, we're already building chains.
In a nutshell, if you want to improve in an area use repetition and tracking as a tool to build progress. In my case, I want to drink more water regularly. This month, I'm tracking my 3 glasses a day water consumption using a calendar in Google drive.
I have to say after on 3 days, I'm very conscious of starting my day with a glass, getting another in around lunch, and ending the day on a refreshing note.
Not breaking the chain is golden. However, building the chain may be a bit of a challenge. Let's review the following steps to use the chain approach to be on your way.
How to Break the Cycle of Living Paycheck to Paycheck
- Created on 03 August 2015
Here's a typical scenario for people who aren't proactive with their money.
For those with direct deposit:
On pay day, money is deposited into their account. They now have the green light to spend, save, or give. Many choose to spend as if they've won the monthly income lottery that will tie them over until the next monthly income lottery without taking care of their needs first.
Don't Break the Chain to Get Out Of Debt
- Created on 31 July 2015
Recently, I sat in on an unexpectedly excellent seminar on productivity. We all want to squeeze more action out of the finite amount of time we have each day. Well...I do anyway.
So the gentlemen (whose name escapes me) shared an interesting tip he picked up from a guy who knew a guy who asked Jerry Seinfeld a critical question. Yep, Jerry Seinfeld from the cult classic, 90's favorite TV show.
This guy, who knew a guy asked the comedian how to write better jokes. Seinfeld's response - "Don't break the chain."
Let me explain.
Is Home Ownership Still Worth the Hassle?
- Created on 29 July 2015
I've run across a few trends on home ownership lately.
Home ownership is at the lowest levels for the 18-35 crowd in the last 40 years.
The midlifers (35-50) were likely most impacted by the housing bubble and have cooled the most on the idea of mortgage mania.
Overall, every demographic category is down and rents are on the rise. Yay for landlords.
Is this a bad thing?