Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Chesney Park NIA blog will be coming soon

Last Day

I am heading to bed, but I wanted to remind everyone that today is the last day to vote. Please help the only PF blog to win the award. We need 70-100 votes to win. Click here to vote for "Debt Free 4ever."

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Interesting Reading

I finally finished reading Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Revisited. As such, last night I began reading a book that I have had on the shelf for sometime. The book's title (Die Broke) makes me cringe and my first thought is that I don't want that in my life. However after reading the first page, I don't think the author is being litteral.

Die Broke. Turn the phrase over in your mind. At first it sounds insane. Instinctively it's something to avoid at all costs, not something to pursue with a vengeance. It immediately conjures up images of Dickensian poverty; of Depression-era families having their mortgages foreclosed on by Lionel Barrymore. But fight off those instinctive responses and reflex images and think about it for a minute, really think about it.

What's wrong with dying broke? What good will money do you when you're dead? Isn't there something ironic about hoarding money for a time when you can't spend it? But what about your family, you worry; how will they get by? Well, why can't you take care of them when you're alive? Isn't it daft for them to have to wait for your death to be taken care of? Okay, you say, but what about those images of poverty the concept instantly brought to mind. You just can't shake them. Don't. In fact, look at them really closely. There's something very important about them you need to focus on. They're from the past.

Could it be, that this author is using this image teach you to save and like dave Ramsey pay cash for everything. I already know that in chapter 3 he says to cut up and get rid of ALL credit and debit cards. Ye, you read that right. I actually wrote that this author suggests getting rid of evrey card, including the debit and atm cards. I am looking forward to reading what his thoughts are and comparing them to Dave Ramsey's.

Has anyone read this book? If so what are your thoughts.

Voting Extended

The voting for the blogs of summer have been extended. "Debt Free 4ever" was the only personal finance blog that was nominated, so I am asking all of you if you haven't already voted to help make a personal finance blog the winner of the random blogs, by going here. According to Lyn Perry the time is fluid, but voting is through Saturday with winners annouced Sunday.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Nominations Are In

The nominations are now in. It is now time to to vote. "Debt Free 4ever" is the only personal finance blog to be nominated. Please go here and vote for "Debt Free 4ever." Remember voting started Monday the 24th and ends tomorrow the 27th. Thank you.

Saving For My Next Car

Over paying over the life of the loan can shave several years off the life of the loan, it is a very good idea. I intend to do the same with my car loan, at least as long as I have the car. If I decide to sell it to get rid of the loan and be debt free faster then that will be much better, as long as I am not upside down in the loan at the time I sell and I can afford to get another car (that I can actually afford) to replace it. Either way, I have a mutual fund thAt I will put most of thse monthly payments in, for a future car down the line (10-15 years) that I will pay cash for with that saved money. Eventually I will be able stop putting money in that fund because I will have enough cash saved to buy 2 or 3 cars, keeping them each at least 10 years. Anotherwards, lets say I only fund this fund for 10 years. Considering my payments alone, after 10 years of saving those payments I would have enough to buy 2.5 cars or put another way I would have enough to buy a good used car once every 10 years for 25 years. By which time I will be in my 60's with not much need to buy another car after that. Add in the rate of return, that fund would last many more years then the principle alone.

Tips for Keeping Track of Your Money

I have heard a tip to save money, that at first I didn't really agree with. However, the more I have thought about it, the more it makes since. In John Cummuta's TDIW series he says to avoid writting checks for more then the purchase price when going through the stores checkout. The same would apply when using your debit card. Why does he say this? Because then that money is gone, and you lose track of where that money is. I am now convinced that is why Dave Ramsey recomend's using cash rather then checks. Checks should only be used to pay bills, and I use online bill pay instead. Which means about the only thing I should be using checks for is the tax man.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Is Getting A Tax Deduction On Donations A Sin?

I know, not all my readers are Christians. I also know that not all Christians will agree with me here. However, ever since my days of serving in full time ministry, I have read the scriptures and wondered why so many pastors go with the way of the world here. Let me try to explain as plainly and concisely as possible.

Do I believe getting a tax deduction for a donation is a sin? Well maybe that's a little harsh, but it got your attention and peeked your interest in this article, and that is what I wanted.
Should we deduct our donations on our taxes? Well that is where, I don't believe we should. Why? Because of what scripture says.

"So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. "But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. - Matthew 6:2-4 (NAS)

You see when I read that and then look at the tax forms, are we not in some way, by placing it on the piece of paper, bragging to the government? In affect saying, "Hey look at how good I am. I gave away all this money. Now reward me." To which the government does, giving you part of that amount as a tax break. Thus as God said in his word you were honored by men (or in this case the Government) and thus not entitled to your reward in Heaven.

Ok, as I said, I know it's controversial and I have heard many people try to argue why we should be able to, but none of them could base their argument from the Bible. Legally, yes the U. S. Government has set this up as acceptable, but is it acceptable from the the perspective of the Bible?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

FPU Class Totals

Well, as Kevin posted, our very first Financial Peace University class finished up last night. We did it! The final class totals are below:

23 people (10 married couples, and 3 singles)
Class timeline - April 26, 2006 - July 19, 2006

Total Debt Paid off during this class (not including mortgages) - $38,931.16
Total Savings Increase during this class - $18,744.53

The average student paid off over $2,700 in debt while saving over $1,300 cash into an emergency fund. That's a change in position of over $4,000!

The maximum savings amount was $6,200.

The maximum debt paid off was $12,112.00!!!

I talked to the couple that paid off over $12,000 in 13 weeks. I asked them "how in the world did you do that? (I know them...they are a single income earning family earning the average American family's income). The answer I got was "Intensity, Man...intensity".

They are absolutely right. When you take the bull by the horns and say "I'VE HAD IT" and REFUSE to live in bondage any longer...that's the day you change your life.

I've been kinda-sorta doing the get outta debt thing, you know...kinda sorta...for about 18 months now. Leading this class and helping others has given me the KICK IN THE BUTT that I needed. What I realized is that YOU CAN'T wander your way out of debt. You have to kick it into gear. My wife and I set a goal for ourselves to pay off our van (roughly $5500 as of 7/1/06) by November 1, 2006. Keep in mind she's a stay-at-home mom and I make an average most of us. However, we managed to put almost $3k on the van in JULY ALONE...and the month's not over. I've been working, working, working, busting my tail in the hot Kansas summer heat...but you know what? We're going to beat that goal. That's exactly what we needed. July's not even over and we have less than $2,500 left on that van. Look out August, here we come!

Here's the point of my rant. No more excuses. Let's get the pain over with now. YOU are responsible for tomorrow and every day for the rest of your life. Let's quit living TGIF to OGIM and have a plan for our futures!

I'm very proud of our class. I'm so proud that I'm hosting another one this fall. Hopefully we'll convince enough more from now until then to fill up the room, standing room only!

Are you ready to change your family tree?

Understanding The Great Misunderstanding

Get Rich Slowly presented an interesting article today, that she called An Effective Three Step Budget. However, she is wrong in one major way.
How? Well first take a look at her 3 steps:

1. Destroy all your credit cards.
2. Invest 20% of all that you earn. And never touch it.
3. Live on the remaining 80%, no matter what.

Now take a look at how I would do the same list, which is also (pretty much) how Dave Ramsey, John Commuta and Larry Burkett would teach it:

1. Destroy all your credit cards.
2. Give 10% to Charity off the Top.
3. Invest 20% of all that you earn. And never touch it.
4. Live on the remaining 70%, no matter what.

As we learned in last nights Financial peace Class
"giving moves you to become less selfish and less selfish people have more of a tendency to prosper in relationships and in wealth."

Interesting Cartoon

This 1952 cartoon that I first seen on Finance Professors blog, is very interesting as it discusses the stock market, despite it's gender biases that was so prevalent in that era.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tonights the Night

Yep, that's right. Tonight is the night that I graduate. Graduate from Dave ramsey's Financial Peace University that is. What is FPU? FPU is a 13 week course that is designed to help get your personal finances back on track and help you see how you can be a millionaire when you retire. As such you won't have to depend on what Ramsey calls, "Social Insecurity." I would encourage everyone to take the class nearest you. If you are married it will also help you in your relationship with your spouse.

My biggest question now is do I want to be a cordinator for a future class, possibly at my own church.

Andy Litinsky: What Trump Has Taught Him

Washburn University, Topeka, KS (July 18, 2006) - Andy Litinsky,who was the youngest contestant on The Apprentice. He left Harvard University at the age of 22, one month before his college graduation to tape NBCs The Apprentice. He took his final exams in Trump Tower during the filming of the show to graduate from Harvard with honors. He finished in the "Top 6" on The Apprentice. Litinsky was the first person in the history of The Apprentice to be rehired by Donald Trump to work at The Trump Organization. Trump personally selected Litinsky to work as project manager on his development team, and he has worked the past 2 years or so at Trump Tower, New York City. He has recently been named president of Trump Productions, in Hollywood.

Litinsky said what he learned while on The Apprentice and working for Trump since is that, entrepreneurship is a mindset. Despite his success, Trump continues to think entrepreneur-ly. He continues to think like he was still in his 20's with lots to learn about providing better customer service. He and any successful business man, can never think that s/he knows everything, there is always something you can learn to do better.

Second, he learned that you can't get what you want, unless you tell people what you want. It's kind of like the old saying (and what Dave Ramsey teaches, when looking for bargains), "you can't get it, if you don't ask."

Finally, and most importantly he learned there is no substitute for passion, if you don't love what you do, you can't be successful.

After his speech, local TV anchorwoman, Amy Leitz asked him (jokingly) why Harvard and not Washburn (University)? Litinsky replied that it was a big mistake that he blames on his guidance counselor, which brought laughter from those gathered in Washburn Universities Memorial Union.

Litinsky also answered questions about Trumps hair, it's real, "if it wasn't he would be able to afford a better rug." In addition he answered questions about Carolyn and George. By the way, Litinsky mentioned that George is rich and doesn't have to work, but just loves to, has a book that the audience might check out, "Think Like a Billionaire"
In closing he said to always keep an eye open for opportunities.

Carnivals Are Up

Well some of the Carnivals that we are expecting to be a part of are up. The ones that we have madie it in so far are:

carnival of personal finance (week 57)


Carnival of Debt Reduction
and finally the
Kansas Group of Bloggers Carnival

there may be more Friday or Saturday.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dave Ramsey's FPU

Tomorrow night I graduate from the current 13 week Financial Peace University course in my city. I am looking forward to it. I also realize more then ever after attending classes these past 13 weeks that I must find another source of income, at least for a little while so that I can eleminate some of these smaller bills. Like the bills from the emergency room on Christmas Day 2005, the credit card bill, that I want to see eleminated and the final $1500 on my home improvement loan. In total that little bit is right $2,900. If I could get them payed off, I would only have the approxamate $15,000 on the car that is worth about $12,000.
Anyway, I am going to bed now, I will post more tonight when I wake up. It is currently 87 in the house, down from last night when I left for work it was 96, and that's with the window air running. Untill later, have a great day. God bless.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

DebtFree4ever TV presents ..."Comedy"

"Don't buy stuff, you can't afford." An excellent and serious topic, presented in a humorous way. But oh, how many people act just like Steve Martin in this video?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Budget Living Good HouseKeeping Refund

So back at the end of May, you may remember that I had received a subscription to Good Housekeeping forced upon me, because Budget Living (which I had subscribed to) had ceased business. Well the letter explaining all this, that came with that first issue of Good Housekeeping was this last paragraph:

If you currently subscribe to Good Housekeeping, we will automatically extend your subscription. If you would like a refund of all unmailed issues of your original Budget Living subscription, simply let us know by writting to us at Good Housekeeping Subscription Department, Attn: Elizabeth Stone, P. O. Box 7186, Red Oak, IA 51591.

Well I haven't seen a refund as of yet, even though I have put in the request. So I hunted and hunted for a number. Of course they don't list their numbers in Red Oak. I did finally find a customer service number, which of course MS. Stone, does not work at. The lady who took my call, said that my account had no request on file and given that it was replacing my Budget Living mag there couldn't be a refund. However, I read her the paragraph and she changed her tune. She said she could enter a request, which she did and then I wil have to wait another 4-8 weeks (so she said anyway). So my guess of another 6 months before I see the refund, appears to be accurate.
6 months to have subscription transfered to another magazine that I have no interest in.
another 6 months (apparently) to actually get a refund)
My refund should cover June 2006-Oct 2007, according to their website and based on the letter I hold in my hands right now.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

My Financial Mission Statement

As I have just completed week 12 of my 13 week Financial Peace University Course, I thought I should post my own mission statement here on my Financial Peace (aka Personal Finance) Blog:

I will maintain a positive attitude and sense of humor in everything I do. I want to be known by my future family as a caring husband and father; by associates at work as a fair and honest person; and my friends as someone they can count on to earn their respect. Controlling all my actions is a strong sense of integrity which I believe is the most important character trait.

My Mission, in my current employment, is to provide smiling, helpful and attentive service with integrity and honesty to the supermarket customers. I will strive to do my best to keep the stock full and the floors clear, so that my customers can have a pleasant shopping experience.

My Mission is to figure out how to best use my personality traits to succeed in life. I want all I do to be a product of God's. I desire to be loyal to my future wife (whoever she may be), family, friends and God.

For myself, I want to develop self-knowledge, self-love, and self-allowing. I want to use my personality traits, that tend to be more analytical, to excel in my whatever work I am doing, whether work related, family related or otherwise.

Early Morning Thoughts for 7/13/06

Good Morning, it is just after midnight and is officially July 13th, and my birthday. While most of you are in bed or getting ready to go to bed (if you are in the USA or elsewhere in the Americas), it is only my noon time. So how how am I going to spend my birthday on a frugal budget (ie: no money)? Well I will be up untill about 8 am, then I wil head to bed. When I wake I will shower, go to west Topeka and use the $5 gift card I won to Maggie Moos Ice Cream, that I won a couple weeks ago. At 6 pm I have a neighborhood improvment association meeting to go to and then finally tonight I will be going back to work as my weekend is now over, to work for the next 4 days.
One thing I was hoping for was a free cold stone creamery item fo my birthday. They had coupons in Sunday's Topeka paper, and the ad mentioned they did that, however when I arrived at their webpage, the Topeka location is still "coming soon." Locations as close as Lawrence exist, but none here yet. Making me wonder why they were running coupons in our Sunday paper. Both Lawrence and Kansas City have Sunday papers.

Anyway, does anyone have any other ideas on what I might be able to do? I will probably receive a phone call at some point from my parents during that time, unless like last year they forget.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tomorrow On Oprah

I received the following in an email from

THURSDAY'S SHOW: The Debt Diet, Part 4 (July 13, 2006 [my birthday])

See why America is getting hooked on the Debt Diet! The easy-to-follow plan you need to get started. Plus, an update on all three families!

Learn more and talk about this show.

Stop Overspending Today
It's never too late to get your finances in shape! From credit card debt to how much you

should be spending every month based on your salary, our financial experts share their tips for getting out of debt. Use these steps, calculators and tools to take back your life!

Which Is Better

Ok, so the time has come once again, that I am getting messages the my ink catridges are low (both color and black). On top of that I am out of paper, a first in at least 2 yaers, when I last bought a box. My question is this. Office Depot, like others, offers $3 off or a free ream of paper, when you recycle your old cartridges. Which is better? The $3 off or the cartridges. I am not sure how much the free ream of paper costs (I am assuming it is the store brand). Should I get the 2 reams of paper or should I get the $6? Anyone with any advice, please speak up, I will be stopping by O. D. tonighht, on the way to my Financial Peace University class.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Suze Orman: Pay Off Mortgage Early; Never Lease A Car

I am a little hesitant of Suze's mortage advice, but it does somewhat lean towards what Dave Ramsey and John Cummuta teaches. I just wish it was a little more hard hitting, like the other 2. However, her advice on vehicles, absolutely hits the mark.

the following excerpt comes from Larry King Live - April 17, 200

KING: Victoria, British Columbia, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Suze and Larry.


CALLER: I think this is a pretty simple question. I'll get into more detail if you need it. Is it more advantageous for me to pay down my mortgage, thereby investing in myself, or to invest in mutual funds?

ORMAN: It will depend on what makes you feel more powerful. For many women out there, they get extreme power knowing that one day sooner than later they're going to own their home outright. I happen to be one of those women who -- I like knowing my house is my house, no matter what happens, nobody can take it from me.

So I don't think it has to be, however, an either/or situation.

Do you know if you have a 30-year mortgage and you just pay one extra mortgage payment a year, you will change a 30-year mortgage to 22 or a 15-year mortgage to 12. You could do that at the same time that you're invested in mutual funds.

Please don't look at your money as if you have -- this is all you can do. You can only do this, you can only do that. Do a little of it all. Diversify and pay down mortgage and diversify into a mutual fund as well. KING: Is the same true, you should buy a home that's about equivalent of if you have -- if you make $100,000 a year, you can buy a $400,000 home? Is that about right?

ORMAN: That's what they say.

KING: What they used to say. Is that still true?

ORMAN: What they say is still true. However, I have to tell you I'm not so sure I believe what they say.

KING: What is a good rule of thumb?

ORMAN: You figure out what you can afford truthfully after taxes. You do the calculations. What you can afford after taxes, after you want to live a nice lifestyle, after your vacations, after whatever it is that you want. How much money do you have left over to put toward real estate? Otherwise we become cash-poor and we start to hate the property that we bought.

KING: Is it ever intelligent to live in an apartment?

ORMAN: It absolutely is. There are some areas right now that are so overextended in real estate prices. So between the property taxes and the mortgage payments -- and most people don't have 20 percent to put down. And when they don't have 20 percent to put down, they're going to pay something called PMI, or private mortgage insurance. When it's all said and done, they totally have no money left to do anything. But yet, they can have a nice apartment that's at one-quarter. That's to live in an apartment. But save the money so that you can do it one day.

KING: If you can pay off your car, should you?

ORMAN: Absolutely. And you should not, in my opinion, in most cases, be leasing a car.

KING: Really?

ORMAN: Yes. It's, you know, it's -- a car. And what is this thing about having a car for three years and getting another one? If you have to finance a car, fine. But after you've financed it, keep it. There's nothing wrong with keeping a car for 10 years, 13 years if you take good care of it. And then take that money and invest it in your future, you'll get a lot further mileage out of that than you will your car.

KING: We'll be back with more moments with Suze Orman, the bestselling author of "The Courage to Be Rich." Don't go away.

Saturday, July 8, 2006

NCN Updates the Princes Debt Info

Yep, thats right, last night, No Credit needed has updated my information. take a look at the new chart, that I have posted here.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

quick, cheap and low-fat chocolate mousse

Todays tip from Mary Hunt's sounds delicious and to easy to not try.

For a quick, cheap and low-fat chocolate mousse: Mix cocoa powder into Cool-whip. Add as little or as much cocoa powder as your palate dictates. Stir well and serve. Also can be used to frost cakes.

Plan To Curb Out of Control Spending

I was reading Jessica's post over at Debt has made me it's B****h {{{uh mm errr}}} slave, and realized she could be posting my story. So I left this reply:
The month of June has been the same way for me. I bought things and services, before I should have, now those overdrafts are being carried into July. Some of the items, I have been needing done for 7 years, like the yard light. Others like the bathroom sink has been broken for 6-9 months, while the cabinet under it needed replaced for 7 years. So I have waited, it's just I didn't wait till I had the cash to pay for these. I did have some volunteers help with some of the things, but it still cost me $75 to buy the wiring and $4 to buy the concrete so the volunteers could install the yard light that had been purchased 7 years ago. Then I had to buy the new sink and parts, the volunteers didn't get to that, because they didn't have the right tools, so I hired a plumber at $99.25 to finish that job. Now it will take a week and halfs paycheck to catch up, which means no bills can be paid. I still have a lot more to do around the house, I just need to get back on track financially first. I just don't want to wait another 7 years to get them finished. I am thankful for the volunteers. They got my yard light installed. Painted my dinning room walls (another 7 year old project). Started the tiles in my bathroom (another 7 yr old project). Replaced both bathroom light fixtures (again projects I knew needed to be done, when I bought the house 7 yrs. ago).

Projects I still need to do:
  • Paint bathroom trim, door and ceiling.
  • Finish landscaping projects in yard
  • Get electricity out to the shed/workshop (The shed has been remodeled, thanks to an insurance settlement).
  • finish tiling bathroom
  • New vinyl floor in bathroom
  • Office/storage space in basement (to help free up space upstairs).
  • Turn porch into a breakfast nook. A roll of carpet I was given for this project, was lost to fire, when the shed was set on fire by an arsonist, earlier in the year.

    and as time goes other things, will pop up (like the water heater is at that age), but these are things that have been needed or I have wanted done since I moved in.

  • Despite all the bad decisions, that I have made last month, I still came out slightly ahead on the debt retirement. Question, is will that hold true for July? Will I be able to catch up and still decrease my debts that has enslaved me?

    Only God knows for sure, but I think I can do it, if I stick to my plan, though I may not get anything into my savings. Although, I have a plan for that to. Right now my automatic deposit, puts cash into my savings account at the same credit union my checking is at. The CU then takes it by the end of the month and uses it, when I overdo my checking. To force myself to cut back on spending there, I am thinking of having the weekly savings deposit go to another credit union, where I have my emergency fund set up. Thus I also will assure I get money into my emergency fund, and I keep a little closer tab on my checking account.

    Solution To New Jersey's Budget Problems

    A local talk show host, that grew up in New Jersey suggested a solution to the budget wows. He said New Jersey was actually 2 sections. As such, his suggestion was to eleminate the state, the northern half of the state, which is basicly suburban New York, should be annexed by the State of New York. Southern New Jersey, is basicly a suburb of Philly, so it should be annexed by the state of PA. This will solve the New Jersey budget problems. Kind of like when one or two companies take over all or parts of a bankrupt company.

    Wednesday, July 5, 2006

    NEWS FLASH: Ken Lay Avoids Jail Time!!

    The recently convicted former Enron chairman Kenneth L. Lay, 64, died early today in Aspen, Colo., a family spokeswoman and the sheriff's office said. Lay, convicted of fraud and conspiracy for his part in the Houston-based energy company's collapse, had faced the possibility of life in prison at his sentencing scheduled for October.

    By Carrie Johnson and Daniela Deane
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Wednesday, July 5, 2006; 12:22 PM

    Enron founder Ken Lay, shown here in March, faced sentencing Oct. 23 in a fraud case surrounding the company's collapse.

    Have You Noticed

    I have been wanting to go to 3 columns, and have finally been able to. What do you think of the new design?

    Bitting Back!

    Ok, so I tried to upload a snapshot of this adobe (pdf) file, but blogger would not recognize it. As such I do not have an image of this page, like I wanted. Anyhow, I found this on Dave Ramsey's website and is an awesome tool, in my mind, to fight back at these credit companies sending us junk mail all the time. What you do is print out this page, put it in their postage paid return envelope, allong with a couple of other pieces of junk mail and mail it to the credit company.
    I recently received 2 offers from Crapital one. I took their ad and threw it away, filling their postage paid envelope (don't want to do this, if it isn't on their dime) with one letter, my card advertising this blog, and pieces of junk mail I received from other companies and put it in the mail. I then repeated this with the other return envelope. What does the letter say?

    Your credit company has been chosen, out of all those in your area, to receive our "Send us junk mail and get it back at your expense deal.

    It continues and even asks if they are interested in something else:

    Upon receiving your offer in the mail, I was excited to see I would have the opportunity to pay several fees, including the applcation fee, the annual fee AND the monthly user fee. Seeing how fond you are of fees, perhaps I can interest you in my $250 unsolicited mail fee!

    It also demands:

    Take us off your stupid list!

    I am going to continue doing this untill they get the message. Next on my list, Amerifirst Mortgages. Now if only HFC, would include a postage paid envelope.
    that file again is:

    Tuesday, July 4, 2006

    Happy Birthday, Citizens

    I love this photo. Of the photo's I viewed, it best represents the freedom's that we celebrate this day. May we take a few minutes and reflect on those freedoms, lest we forget.
    Happy Birthday, America

    Frugal Tip - Frying Bacon

    Something I learned when I was a kid, selling Grit Magazine, was a good way to save money when frying bacon. What does selling Grit have to do with this tip? The tip was in one of the issues. Now the tip:

    When frying bacon use a page or 2 of old newspaper to drain your bacon on instead of the several sheets of paper towels. Of course you may want to use one (1) sheet of paper towel between the newsprint and the bacon. Still though, one sheet is cheaper then the 3-5 sheets, most of us tend to tear off a roll for this job.

    Beserk Lawn Mower

    Ok, so the title is a bit misleading, but with this being marketing and relationship week I wanted to grap your attention. I have not mowed my lawn yet, this summer. I am saving up to buy Lawn Mower choice #2 or Lawn Mower choice #1
    You might ask why in the world would you want a manual lawn mower. The answer is simple. 1st my house is only about 750 sq feet and the yard isn't any wider then the little bungelow, I live in. With such a small yard I don't need a lot of mower. 2nd,every gas mower I get, whether I buy it new or used, ends up needing work the next summer, when I pull it out of storage. Since I am mechanically challenged, this costs me a lot of money, that I just don't have. Finally, the 3rd reason is enviromental as well as financial, gas mowers burn a lot of gas. Gas costs are soaring upwards and gas creats a lot of emisions. Gas emisions, are not good for the enviroment. So there you have it, no matter how you look at it, a manual (reel) mower is just better on the finances in the long run.

    Gift Card & Interesting Towns

    Last week, I won a $5 gift card for MaggieMoos, by having the correct answer to a question asked on the radio. The question was what state has a city named "Ding Dong." Apparently this town, in the county of Bell, wanted to be called Bell, but the county fathers, would not agree to it, so they called theirselves "Ding Dong, TX"
    I will be using that gift card come July 13th for my birthday. Still looking for other ideas, of what I can do with no money. I had expected dozens of responses, to the previous posts, but very few of you actually responded, to that one.

    Another interesting town name, that I found, when searching for the term "the Prince of Thrift," is the City of Thrift, GA. Maybe the Prince of Thrift should set up his thrown there.

    Monday, July 3, 2006

    Upper 90's In My House

    With temperatures reaching the upper 90's in my home today, I finally broke down and put the window air in. It sits in the dinning room window, the least used room, but the only room with a window big enough. Still though the temp in that room is 91, as I write this and my living room is 92. The window air just does not cool the house enough. I would love to install central air, but it just is not in the budget. I am still trying to save up $100, just so I can buy a lawn mower and mow my grass for the 1st time this summer. Who knows, maybe someone will give me the $2000-3000 for my birthday, needed to buy and install central air in my small 750 square feet home. Yeah, I know I am probably dreaming, but it's good to dream. My goal is to have it before next summer though. All I have to is figure out how to save that much cash, without harming my debt retirement numbers.

    Saturday, July 1, 2006

    Debt Retirement Better Then Expected

    Hello everyone,

    I am not to the point those in the picture are, however, I have finally ran the numbers and I was surprised to find that I was better off then I had thought. Here are my current numbers:
    Current debt remaining - $17,529.51
    that means a total of 10.524% has been paid since March
    dispite, what looked like backward movement, I was still able to pay down a small portion of my debt , with $138.65 being applied to principle this month.