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Archive for September, 2011

Glasses, Tomatoes and the Emergency Fund

September 22nd, 2011 at 09:44 am

Last night I get a call from my mother telling me that while my son was out at her house he lost his glasses while picking tomatoes. My initial thought was ďOh crap now I am going to have to spend a $150″

We were out looking for his glasses for a couple of hours total in the dark with flashlights but we didnít have any luck at all. I came home last night smelling like tomatoes from digging through the garden so much. This morning I decided that I would go out and look for them one more time to see if I would have any luck. Thankfully I wasnít looking for 5 minutes and I found them. I was so excited.

This got me thinking about our emergency fund and how much of a life saver it would of been had we needed to buy new glasses. You never know the importance of your emergency fund until you actually need it for something. But then again I am also glad that I didnít have to use it. My guess is that if we never had money saved then I probably would of never found the glasses and we would of been completely screwed.

Your bank account meets gravity

September 20th, 2011 at 10:45 am

You try and try to keep money in your bank account but it always seems that by the end of the month your bank account has met gravity once again and plummeted down to zero. Or maybe you were lucky and had $4 leftover for a meal at Mcdonalds.

Either way there needs to be a way to keep more of your money at the end of the month. And that is where your trust budget comes into play.

For years my wife and I never wanted to do a budget. It seemed like something that was too much work. Turns out that doing a written budget each month can save you tons of money each month. It might even feel like you got a raise. Your first budget can literally be done in 30 minutes. You will probably need to tweek it every week for a while because things will come up that you forgot about.

Building a solid foundation

September 14th, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Building a solid foundation is an important step in the construction of any building. If the foundation is not solid the building will collapse. The same goes with your finances. If you do not know the basics then its going to be an uphill stuggle
I specifically want to talk about building a foundation for your kids to learn about money. My feeling is that the earlier you teach them the basic principles the much better off they will be in the long run. (And they won't live in your basement when they are 40)
My son is 6 years old and like many young kids, they always want something new each week. A couple months ago we decided that it was time to start teaching him about money and how it works. We ordered Dave Ramseys Financial Peace Junior kit and a bunch of other products for kids. He really enjoyed listening to the stories and he really loves his giving, saving and spending banks.
Now each week he has a small lists or chores that he does to earn his money. And he has been really good about doing his work. A few weeks back he actually saved up enough to buy a small $7 toy for himself. We took all of his change and went to the bank to get dollars for it and off to the store we went. I let him pay for it himself also and I think it was a great learning experience.
Its simple things like this that build a strong foundation for other things in life. My goal is to save him from at least some of the stupid mistakes the my wife and I made with our finances early on in our marriage.

Yep I Screwed up

September 6th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

We have all done it before, we messed something up. Whether its money, relationships or anything else. Its something we can not avoid in our lives. Some people call it a failure but I like to think of it as a learning experience. Its only a failure if you do the same thing again and again.

I am the first to admit that I have messed up so many times its not even funny anymore. Money mistakes being my favorite thing to screw up. But I will tell you something. I learned a lesson from each one of those mistakes and vowed to never do them again.

I talk about the first 10 years of my marriage all the the money mistakes I made in my book http://www.ifstupidwasillegal.com/purchase-the-book.

The bottom line is that if you make a mistake, don't be embarrassed about it, just learn from it and move on. I have found that mistakes usually tend me make great stories later on it life.