Friday, November 26, 2010

Week End Round Up

Hoping everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I did and I'm still full from dinner. This year is really moving fast. There are 28 day left until Christmas.

My Yakezie challenge continues to make progress. I am now under 600K. Good Stuff.

Here are some of the most interesting post I read this week:

Budgets Are Sexy - Here a Tip, There a Tip, Everywhere a Tip Tip!

Punch Debt in the Face - Am I a puppy murderer?

Get Rich Slowly - Fantasy vs. Reality: Paving a Path to a Promising Future

Frugal Dad - Black Friday Deals: A Savvy Consumer’s Guide

Free From Broke - Think Long Term When Shopping Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Financial Samurai - Who Are You To Tell Me It’s Not Worth The Money?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Give Thanks

It’s that time of year again family, friends, food, and football. Thanksgiving is here. Typically a nice four-day weekend, with one big kick off nestled in there to really get the Holiday shopping season off the ground. Black Friday! Our family typically doesn’t partake in Black Friday actively. If there is something on our Christmas list that we can get a deal on we may venture out, but often we choose to sit this day out. Thanksgiving for our us is enjoying a great meal with family.

A Turkey.Image via Wikipedia

We often share they things that we are thankful for in our lives. The childrens list can get interesting and quiet funny. Here are the thinks I’m most thankful for:

My Wife – she keeps me in line. :)
My Children – puts lots of smiles on my face and makes me proud
My Job – Good days/bad days but it pays the bills.
My Health – sure I could lose some weight, exercise more, but overall not to bad
Family & Friends – don’t get to see them as often as I’d like
Recession – forced me to change my financial habits and get things on track

It’s a pretty standard list up until the Recession entry. For me the recession was the bottom, it was the point that I could not refinance any longer, or increase my line of credit. I had to find other answers. It forced me to cut spending, close my credit cards and get my finances on track. So for it, I’m thankful. I know for others it’s not  something they will ever be thankful for.

Happy turkey day!

Will you be venturing out on Black Friday? What things are you thankful for?
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Other Peoples Money

My wife recent came down with a toothache. She made a dentist appointment and was seen. The dentist addresses the pain, but follow up work was needed. The follow up work would take a few additional appointments with a total cost with insurance of roughly $900. Ouch! At the front desk my wife asked what were her option for appointments, payments, etc. She would need 3 follow visits to complete all of the work and payment in full would need to be made at the time of the final appointment. My wife explained that she would hold off making any appointment for now. The woman at the desk asked why? My wife explained that she did not have the cash to cover the work at this point. The woman said why not put it on your credit card. My wife explained that she would pay cash when she had it and would make an appointment at a later date. The woman again suggest that she need the work and she could pay on credit card. My wife explained again that this was not an option and left the office.

I understand the concept of payment must be received at the time of service. I would also like to have my wife's teeth address so she does not have any further issues. We both certainly don't want to finance the cost to have the work done. I was surprise as my wife retold me the story at how quickly the woman at the dentist office was to over advice on how we should spend our money. That a credit card was a good way to cover medical cost. We will make the arrangements to cover the cost and have my wife's teeth address in the near future. Payment will be made in cash!

Have you every been offered financial advice by a complete stranger?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Debt and Social Media

I have recently heard a number of stories about a new weapon in the debt collector arsenal, social media.  Think about all the information that is now shared online via Facebook and Twitter. A great way for that debt collector to find out more information on your current situation, where you going, eating out, buying something new, posting recent vacation photos etc.

Just think of all the status updates you provide and how they could relate to your financial state. If you have outstanding debt and are not current on it, it’s probably not a good idea to be showing off a new purchase on Facebook. It’s a simple rule, that any of us with kids have discussed, be careful what you post online, potential employers may see it, colleges, friends, etc. It’s really about common sense and protecting one's own privacy. Make sure you check privacy settings on any of the social media application that you make be using and think about what you are posting before you click submit.

Have you ever posted something online that you regretted?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Week End Round Up

42 days left before Christmas. Ouch. This year is moving fast.

My Yakezie challenge continues to make progress. I am now under 800K. Good Stuff.

Here are some of the post that I enjoyed this week:

Punch Debt In The Face - Does the economy have you down?

Faithful With A Few - 4 THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T PAY FOR't-pay-for/

Free From Broke - Ways To Increase and Improve Your Credit Score Without a Credit Card

Get Rich Slowly - Make More Money: How to Supercharge Your Income

Frugal Dad - Stop Being a Slave to Debt (and Banks)

Have a Great Weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Debt Collector Calls

I received a call from a debt collector this week. It wasn’t for me, but a family member. I explained that they did not live or could be reach at the number dialed. I asked the collector not to call my number again. When I asked her to confirm my request, she proceeded to get rude with me, annoyed that I asked her to confirm my request she stated that she did hear me. After her confirmation I ended the call. 

The family member in question I have little contact with, but assuming that we share the same last night the debt collector is looking for anyway to get in touch to try and collect the debt. This brief call was frustrating enough and it wasn’t even for me, I couldn’t image having these types of calls coming in for me. I’m hopeful that the family members get their finances straightened out. If we were on better terms I would offer what help I could, information on how to get out of their financial trouble. As bad as you may think you have it, someone always has it worse.

Have you ever tried to help a family member with their finances? If so what were the results?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Do you need to be Downsized?

A new television show premiered this past Saturday on the We network called "Downsized." It follows the Bruce family, a blended family (kids from previously marriages) who are currently struggling with their finances. The Bruce's have 7 children under the age of 18 and live in Arizona. The full details of their finance woes look to be detailed over the season, but during episode one we learned that Dad, Todd Bruce's contracting business is in bad shape, they have lost their house and vacation home to foreclosure, they have filed for bankruptcy, they are on food stamps, and are having trouble paying the rent. Wow! I would recommend you give this show at try. It is interesting to see how the kids deal with the difficult times and how the parents communicate the financial situation to them. Please see web site for more info on the show:

Did you watch this show this weekend? If so what did you think?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Week End Round Up

Another Busy week. I was not able to post as often as I would have like this week or read as many PF blogs. :(

My Yakezie challenge continues to make progress. I started with a Alexa ranking of over 4 million and within 5 weeks I’m under 900K. Nice!

Here are some of the post that I enjoyed this week:

Yakezie - Weekly profiles of great blogs.

Frugal Dad - How To Clean Up Your Financial Indiscretions

Gail Vaz-Oxlade - The Seven Deadly Sins: Pride

Have a Great Weekend!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Book Review: The Millionaire Next Door

Although the book is almost 15 years old and a lot has change in the economic world in that time, The Millionaire Next door is a must read book. It doesn't name real names, but based on interviews and surveys with real millionaires the book compiles profiles backed with lot of data of your average millionaire.

 The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America' s Wealthy 

Before reading this book my impression of millionaires where something complied from TV and movies of extreme luxury, and extreme spending. This book tells a different story, a story of hard work, and frugality. In one chapter they discuss what makes the perfect Millionaire, or what Business produce the most. One of my favorite lines from the book "...the character of the business owner is more important in predicting this level of wealth than classification of his business." If you haven't already you should read this book.