Why Cash Is King

We are nearly a cashless society.  People are carrying less and less cash, and most people could probably get through a week or two without any cash at all!

Cashiers automatically assume that if your purchase is over $50, you’re swiping your card.  We have personal credit card readers, credit card readers at every possible place where you pay for something, we’ve got Apple Pay on our phone and our watch, and we don’t even have to pull out our credit card to buy from iTunes, Amazon, and eBay, because it has our credit cards memorized.  We even have laws about how much of your own cash you can withdraw from your bank account!

Cash is nearly so far removed from our society that it takes intentional effort to incorporate it […]

By |July 13th, 2015|Money|0 Comments

I Just Want Stuff!

So there’s a new grill that I want.  I got some money for it for Father’s Day, and the one I’m eyeing is just a little bit more expensive.  There’s also some outdoor gear I want, and I want some upgrades to my golf equipment.  I want to play more golf, too.  I’ve been thinking about a car upgrade, and I’d be lying if I said the thought of a new house hasn’t crossed my mind.

I don’t know what it is lately, but there are so many things I want and simply not enough money to do it all!

Every day, it seems, I’m contemplating a $200 purchase on one thing or another.  Something for the home, a grill, supplies, a toy, a repair.  I want […]

By |July 9th, 2015|Money|1 Comment

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [039]

Writing about our Emergency Fund got me thinking about financial preparedness…

– It’s always good idea to have some cash on hand.  No, not because of an impending bank collapse, but who knows what could happen tomorrow?  A natural disaster could knock out power, then how is Apple Pay going to help you then?

– Consider keeping at least $100/person in cash somewhere safe where you can access it in case of an emergency situation.  Many such situations resolve themselves (or get much more bearable) within 72 hours, so have enough to carry you through that.  You don’t want to be out of luck in an emergency when they can’t run your credit card because of a network issue or power outage.  Having cash on hand could mean […]

By |July 7th, 2015|Money|0 Comments

Our Experience with an Emergency Fund

“How we looking, Don?”

“Well, I can’t pass your inspection unfortunately, because I can’t get the ‘check engine’ light to go off.  It’s reading a transmission malfunction code, which you also saw indication of when the light flashed around the D symbol on your gear shift indicator.”

“So, how do we get this taken care of?”

“Having driven it around, I can tell the transmission is on it’s way out, and it will be unsafe to drive soon.”

“So I need to replace the transmission?!”

“It’s looking that way.”

There I stood in the mechanic’s office, facing a $3200 repair on a used car that we had purchased less than one year prior.  I was starting to freak out a bit.

“OK Don, let me talk to my wife.”

I […]

By |July 2nd, 2015|Money|3 Comments

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [038]

– We are halfway through the year!  Tomorrow the second half of 2015 begins!  If your goals for 2015 included getting control of your finances or getting on a budget, you don’t have any time to lose!  Start today, and get your budget planned for tomorrow!

– You need two primary sources to build your budget each month: your bills and your calendar.  What are your bills for this upcoming month?  What do you have going on this coming month that will affect your budget?  These change each month, so it’s important you adjust your budget for it!  Most likely, you’ll be hosting a barbecue, traveling to the beach, visiting family, buying fireworks, and running the AC a lot!  Your budget should reflect that.

– Taxes and accounting most often […]

By |June 30th, 2015|Money|0 Comments

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [037]

– Disability insurance is a MUST-HAVE!  I don’t care about short-term disability as much as long-term disability.  An emergency fund will help you through a short-term disability, but what’s going to happen long-term, six months and beyond?  A young adult has a much higher likelihood of being permanently disabled than being killed.  That makes disability insurance just as important as life insurance!

– Financially speaking, a permanent disability is much more devastating than death.  Overall, death is obviously worse.  But if looked at from a purely financial perspective, with a disability, you not only lose your income but you still have to have your basic needs met, and you may need some sort of specialized care.

– The most cost-effective way to get disability insurance is to go through your […]

By |June 23rd, 2015|Money|0 Comments

My Chat with His & Her Money

I was honored and thrilled to have the chance to spend some time with Talaat and Tai from His & Her Money and share our debt-free story.  They are doing great work helping people navigate the challenges of marriage and money and inspiring people to make major changes with their lives.  They’ve got a great blog and podcast with new episodes and inspiration weekly.  You can see their write-up and post about the podcast here!

By |June 17th, 2015|Money|0 Comments

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [036]

– In a day where so much of our personal information like name, address, bank account information, and credit card numbers are shared online, some sort of identity theft protection is well worth the minimal cost.  I cover Nancy and myself for less than $13/month with Zander Insurance’s ID Theft Protection.  We consider it a form of insurance.

– In most ID theft cases, unless you’ve given someone express permission to use your accounts, you’re not liable for the money or credit that’s been stolen.  Just like if someone stole your checkbook and wrote bad checks from it, you’re not liable.  But one thing you must do in all ID theft cases where you don’t want to pay for it is get a police report.

– No matter what […]

By |June 16th, 2015|Money|0 Comments

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [035]

Let’s talk about the vehicles available to you for saving for college. 

– There are lots of tax-favored investment strategies for college and supporting minors as they head off towards college.  The Coverdell Education Savings Account is very flexible and allows you to contribute $2000 per year per child, tax-free, though it is inferior to 529 plans in some ways.

– 529 Plans are administered state-by-state, and therefore have some different rules and guidelines.  Oddly enough, you can choose another state’s 529 plan for you if you want to, though you may sacrifice some home-state benefits.  Two parents can contribute up to $28,000/year into a 529 plan, which is calculated by the federal gift tax exemption of $14,000 per person per year, up to a grand total of […]

By |June 9th, 2015|Money|0 Comments

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [034]

– Buying/selling a car is a big decision with BIG financial implications!  Your choices on this front can cost you big time!  One of the most important things to realize is that a car is likely the largest purchase you’re going to make that will go DOWN in value.  Other purchases this large (property, investments, etc.) will go UP in value.  It’s one thing to buy a house that goes up in value with debt, another thing entirely to buy something that goes down in value with debt.

– Buying used is definitely going to be your best bet, avoiding payments to keep your cash flow up.  This means you might have to wait longer to upgrade your car.  But if you put the equivalent of the average car […]

By |June 2nd, 2015|Money|0 Comments