Financial Questions to Discus Before Putting a Ring on It

So you think you’re in love.  You think – you hope – you’re going to spend the rest of your life with him.  You love everything about her, and nothing, nothing, could make you love her any less, especially not something as trivial as money.  *sheesh*

STOP STOP STOP!  This is me reaching through the computer giving you a proverbial slapping around – snap out of it!

The first thing that your minister will say when you stand before him (and God) will go something along the lines of, “Marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, soberly, and in the fear of God.”  It’s time to sober up, friend!  Get out of that love-drunk stupor, and start thinking clearly about how money could affect your […]

By |August 6th, 2015|Life, Money|0 Comments

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [043]

– In order to give, save, and invest effectively in your monthly budget, you can’t wait until all your other expenses are paid.  You have to do those first, or they won’t happen!  Other living expenses will crowd out those priorities and you won’t have any money left!

– Your priorities are the things that you take care to do first.  You can say that saving, giving, and investing is important to you, but your checkbook betrays you if you allow other living expenses to crowd out those things.

– Next time you do your budget (hopefully this week!!), start with saving, investing, and giving first, even if they’re modest amounts to start.  You have to start somewhere!  Then plan all of your other expenses around those existing expenses, […]

By |August 4th, 2015|Money|0 Comments

A Fake Excuse for Using Your Credit Card

This misconception has been rampant for years, and has led people to continue to cling to using their credit card when they could have let them go.

What is that misconception?  Well it goes something like this: I use my credit card for online transactions because it’s more secure and has better protections than a debit card.

I was recently shredding and disposing of some old documents, and came across this, printed on the back of every bank statement we get.  I’d honestly never noticed it before:

It’s really excellently, clearly worded.  It’s not in super fine print, and it’s not buried in the middle of a ten-page cardholder agreement.

Paraphrase:  If you lose your debit card and tell us within two business days, you MAY lose up to $50. […]

By |August 3rd, 2015|Money|3 Comments

How to Use Invoicing More Effectively

Being a small business owner, I know how vital it is to have a simple, effective way to bill your clients.  One that’s easy to use, integrates with your systems, looks good, and helps you get paid.  If you don’t get paid, you don’t have a business!  Whether you’re a designer, a planner, a photographer, a blogger, a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker, you need a decent software invoicing platform.

First of all, why would you ever want to deal with a paper invoice?  I don’t know that we’ve ever printed a paper invoice.  So ditch that old Microsoft Word template and join us here in the 21st century.  I need an integrated, easy, good looking system (for me and the customer) with which I […]

By |July 30th, 2015|Money|3 Comments

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [042]

– If you’ve read my blog for any time, you know I don’t think that building your credit score is worth spending a lot of time and money to do.  However, it’s important that you know what’s on your credit report!  The information on your credit report(s) are what determine the scores assigned to you by the three credit bureaus and FICO.

– To keep tabs on your credit report, you can get one free credit report annually by visiting; NOT, which is actually owned by Experian, one of the credit bureaus.  You need to check your credit report at least annually to make sure nothing is incorrect and that no one has stolen your identity to take out loans in your name.

– Since there […]

By |July 28th, 2015|Money|0 Comments

Choosing an Insurance Policy for Your Kid

I’ve shared our experience with making maternity insurance decisions and everything we’ve learned since Milly was born.  When Milly was born, that started a 60-day timer following the “qualifying event” of her birth for us to figure out how we wanted to structure our insurance.

What kind of insurance did we want to pay for for Milly?  What kind of expenses were charged to her during the hospital stay?  Out of the over $10,000 in charges billed, how much were charged to Nancy, and how much were charged to Milly?  Going forward, what kind of coverage did she need?  That information would be extremely valuable in our decision-making process for her insurance coverage.

It’s important to understand that when you choose your own insurance (because you’re self employed or maybe have […]

By |July 27th, 2015|Money|0 Comments

How to Pay off Your House

Nancy and I have made it no secret that we’re completely debt free.  Cars, business, and yes, even our house.  We’re so open about those things because we hope to inspire others that you can also become completely debt free.  It is possible, no matter what society, supposed financial experts, your parents, or your banker will tell you.

But how do you do it?  When it comes to us, that’s probably the question I get the most about paying off our home.  “HOW?”  It’s something I reviewed with Talaaat and Tai on their podcast not long ago.

To that question, “How did you pay off your house?” the simplest answer I can give is this.  It came down to two things: Simple mathematics and discipline.  Lots and lots of […]

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

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [041]

– Do you have any bills that you pay quarterly, semi-annually, or annually?  Maybe your insurance premium, membership dues, tuition, or property taxes would fall into that category.  The easiest way to make sure those don’t sneak up on you is to “level” them out into a monthly amount.

– For example, maybe your property taxes on your home are $1200 annually.  Instead of that $1200 jumping up on you and thrashing your budget that month, set aside $100 in your budget each month, so that money is there when you need to pay the bill!  You just have to make to base your spending on your budget, not on your checking account balance!

– If the irregular expense is quarterly, divide by three.  Semi-annual, divide by six.  The […]

By |July 21st, 2015|Money|0 Comments

Update: Pregnancy, Babies, and Insurance

A few months back, before Milly arrived, I wrote a post on making effective insurance choices when you find out that you and/or your spouse are expecting.  That post was especially for people who buy their own insurance.

I wanted to give a little update to that post about what I’ve learned since we had Milly.  Fair warning, this post may get a little bit “down into the weeds” of insurance, claims, benefits, and care, but it will be especially helpful if you purchase insurance on your own and are now facing the prospect of having a baby.

As you may recall from the first post, you can purchase any kind of insurance you want at open enrollment periods, even if you just found out that you’re expecting.  When […]

By |July 16th, 2015|Money|1 Comment

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [040]

– When making a large purchase, the best way to get a deal is to take. Your. Time.  The more you research, the more you learn about the market for that item you want, the better your chances of locating a deal for it!  That goes for real estate, cars, electronics, tools, furniture, toys, and any other number of things.  He with the most patience and information wins.

– Consider buying used where appropriate.  Buying used doesn’t necessarily mean buying something beat up, scratched, and poorly cared for.  Homes and cars are easy to buy used, but you can save TONS of money allowing someone else to pay retail price for your tools, toys, and electronics.  Many times we don’t even think to walk into a pawn shop to […]

By |July 14th, 2015|Money|0 Comments