I’m Worth It
- Created on 05 December 2013
I’m currently investigating the cost associated with attending a family member’s wedding in oo-la-la Hawaii late next summer. So far, I can tell you, 1 week in Hawaii with a flight for three from Chicago is shaping up to cost a pretty penny. I love this family member to pieces, but the cost of attending this wedding may break me and our budget into a few pieces. I haven’t ruled the trip out entirely. If you know of any great deals, please holler at your girl!
Thoughts on Thankfulness
- Created on 27 November 2013
I try to continually count my blessings. However, the Thanksgiving season tends to put a point on that idea. Possibly because we slow down from the hustle and bustle of life long enough to take stock of what we have. Spending more time focusing on areas of gratitude stops me from pining over what I’m missing. I’m reminded of a great quote:
"We may not be where we want to be today, but we are further along than where we were yesterday."
Can We Be Financially Free?
- Created on 13 November 2013
Disclaimer: My family is not yet financially free (according to my definition), so this entire discussion is theoretical – at best. However, if you can see it, you can be it. That’s how I roll. Let the postulation commence!
Facebook, when used for good, can be an amazing forum with a fluid exchange of ideas. It can also be a freak show on constant display if friend lists aren’t properly managed. Seek quality, not quantity. I generally enjoy the links, political rants from all sides, kiddie updates, travel pics and worthwhile announcements that filter into my newsfeed. A recent discussion caught my attention over most others because 1) I was tagged and 2) The topic was personal finances. The question posed was simple enough – what does it mean to be financially free?
How Not to Fight Over Money
- Created on 05 November 2013
This morning I had a sharp (read: nasty) reaction about a financial matter shortly before WonderMan left for work. Even with 11 years of progress learning to work as a team in financial matters under our belt, we are still susceptible to intense emotions when ugly surprises arise. The reaction took me back to our first money fight over joint or separate accounts. Oh they joys of newlywedom. I’ll save that story for a future post!
Thankfully, the immediate separation allowed for cooler heads to prevail. While we still have a financial issue to address this evening; claws, venom, and vitriol aside –we’re on the same team. Money fights account for a significant number of marital breakdowns. Some reports put the number of close to 80%. That’s huge! It’s also a key reason why couples should work very hard at finding a solution to any ripples in the financial framework as soon as they appear.
I want to share a few concepts that I’ve learned (sometimes kicking and screaming) to help you avoid some of the headaches inherent in learning to work with someone around money.
Halloween Help Us
- Created on 31 October 2013
We’ve entered into the holiday season. Time for fun. Time for family. Time for financial fuzziness. I’m continually amazed at the amount of money we shell out for our annual, one day celebrations – Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Since Halloween is upon us, let’s begin our conversation here.
The Debt Free Divas seek to encourage as many as will listen to free themselves from the stranglehold debt poses in our lives. As one who has walked that journey personally, this doesn’t happen overnight. It does, however, require a series of sacrifices, a decision to be diligent, and continual creativity! Enter October 31st. Again, this belt tightening is a temporary blip on the fruitful financial future you have in store. To that end, how do we celebrate Halloween without breaking the bank?
Lessons From the Government Shutdown
- Created on 10 October 2013
We’ve now entered week two of the latest political melodrama. Someone recently posted an applicable African proverb: When elephants fight, the grass suffers. Regardless of your politics, we can all agree this shutdown is no picnic for hundreds of thousands of furloughed workers. The prolonged effects will start to adversely impact even more as businesses who support the government feel the pain and so forth. The shutdown is not good for the near term. However, we can and should extract a reminder from this latest and tangible lesson as to why we must protect ourselves financially. Do you have a system of saving in place?
Retire Who? When? Me?
- Created on 18 September 2013
The big misconception is that you need to be at a predetermined financial checkpoint at specific points in your life to ensure that retirement is a smooth transition. Well crafted radio and television advertisements from investment companies, the recent recession, and the fluctuations in your personal investment/retirement accounts over the past 5 years probably haven’t helped alleviate your stress either. Don't freak out. Again, DO NOT freak out. If you get starteddoing something, you'll be better off when you retire.
- Created on 14 September 2013
Hopefully you’ve never been financially hoodwinked, or any other way for that matter. When protecting yourself, going on offense is generally the best defense. An interesting show, American Greed, profiles a wide variety of white collar criminals each week. Most are familiar with Bernie Madoff, but scam artists work all levels of the income spectrum. Each time I watch that show or read of someone’s financial mishap, I always wonder if that could happen to me.
Let’s dig in to a few stories and learn from their debacles to prevent scam artists from monkeying with our money.
Handling Hard Core Sales Pitches
- Created on 09 September 2013
We’re dipping our toe in the kiddie modeling pond; just to check out the landscape of possibilities. After a complete stranger yelled from a passing car, “Your son is sooooooo handsome”, I’ve decided to let my guard down and give kiddie pictures a try. In my mind, this is just another experience. Worse case, no one calls and we have a few more photos for the album. Best case, we book a few gigs, pad his college savings fund, and create a new memories to cherish. This is me, trying to tamp down expectations.
Off to the first “modeling agency” we went.
Why Debt Free
- Created on 22 August 2013
I’m a planner. I love to think about what I want/should be doing 6 months, a year, or even 5 years from now. As I’m enjoying the last year of my third decade of life, I’m planning for the arrival of a new bundle of joy and how I can bring in the 4-0 with a bang (a pop or whimper will also suffice). I mentioned to a close pal that I’m considering renting a yacht to hold a floating festival in a combined celebration for the two milestones. The response was a somewhat snarky and equally surprising, “How much will all that cost? Okay … Debt Free Diva”.