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Budgeting in the Undead Stuff

The following is a Halloween guest post from my in-real-life friend Mitch from last year (2010).  I thought it was hilarious enough to republish.  Buckle up and enjoy the undead humor! If you’re reading this blog, you realize that one of the most import things you can do to ensure a safe, happy future is to plan ahead. But what about your head? Or, more specifically, what’s inside your head: Brains. Yeah, you’ve got some, all right, and that’s just the problem. In the dark days to come, the streets will be full of mindless throngs out to get you.  And no, I’m not talking about all your friends and family who didn’t fully invest in their 401(k).  I’m talking about the rising tide of the undead who will walk the earth in the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse. Yes, friends, it IS coming… and sooner than you expect. If you plan to be one of the “breathers” who makes it through the Time of Troubles alive, then you need to plan for it today. That’s right; you need to be Budgeting in the Undead Stuff. Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse Like any form of disaster preparedness, you need to look the … Read more…

Mortgage and Newsletter Update

Mortgage Payoff Update As I proclaimed, lol, my husband and I are attempting to pay off our mortgage within 6 years or less – specifically, by the end of 2013.  In order to stay on track, I’ll be posting updates here as we make progress.  Here’s what we have accomplished so far: Payoff Amount on our goal start date (10/26/2011) – $62,634 This is the first week of our goal, so this is basically the starting point.  All we have done so far is start the transfer of $7000 from our ING Savings account to Chase which we will be applying to our mortgage this coming week when it clears.  🙂 Newsletter Update Remember, if you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my weekly newsletter with exclusive, subscriber-only giveaways by using the subscription form in the right sidebar! ———> My current goal is to reach 150 subscribers by October 31st, so please spread the word as you see fit! I appreciate it. 🙂 Just for kicks, here are the current newsletter stats from last week’s subscriptions: Number of Subscribers: 105 (Thank you!!!) Open rate (how many subscribers ended up opening the third newsletter): 46 of 105 (43.8%), which is 27.8% higher than industry standard, … Read more…

My Monthly Goal Reward Led to a Serious Talk

Since I hit my monthly goal of at least $10,000 for October, my husband and I went out for a scrumptious meal at Perry’s Steakhouse a couple of days ago.  While we were devouring $45 per person steaks (I literally cringed when we opened up the menus), we started talking about our future plans. My Income Increased For anyone just tuning in, I was making $35,000 a year at my old day job as a glorified customer service rep, which I had started at $26,500 in 2005 and left in July 2011.  After taxes and benefits, that came to just about $2100 a month.  Even with my blogging income in 2011, I was making just around $3000-$3500 a month until May 2011.  Then my blog advertising business really started to take off.  My income has even started to land in the 5 digits for the last couple of months – $11,900 in September and am already at $15,000 for October.  Even after fees, expenses, and taxes, my income has quadrupled in a matter of months.  So my husband and I have started re-looking at our future. Our New Goals We decided this week to throw a lot of the excess cash towards our mortgage (about 35% … Read more…

Entertainment on the Cheap

The following is a guest post from Lisa at Frugal Living. Among the other giants such as eating out, entertainment can butcher your budget if you’re not careful!  Cutting down on spending can certainly start in this area, where you can make quick and easy alternatives work for your finances.  Consider how some of the following ideas could help you stick to your financial plan. Avoid the Movie Theaters You could easily spend $30 to see a movie at the theater for a date night, and easily double that amount for a family of four. While it can be fun to go to the theaters, the cost can be outrageous when you consider theatre admission and snacks.  And truthfully: are there really that many movies that justify that price?  One cost-efficient alternative is to frequent the local dollar theatre. The dollar cinema plays movies that have just left the high-priced theatres before the movies are put out on DVD. Rates can range from $1 to $5, depending on your city or region. Another choice is to rent movies instead.  Your local rental store might charge a few dollars for a new movie, and you could easily get a few movies … Read more…

NEW GOAL – Paying Off Our Mortgage in 6 Years or Less!!!

As you may have already read, the only debt that Mr. BFS and I have left is our house.  We paid off my car in 2007 and paid off the last car, my husband’s Prius, in 2010.  And after refinancing our mortgage this year (February 2011), we had about $69,000 left.  Our payments went down from $740 to $515 a month for 15 years, but we continued paying $900 a month as we have since we bought it in 2007.  As of today, we owe about $63,000 more, which means that we are currently on track to pay off our house in 2017, so about 10 years total. Our New Goal Well, we are taking another look at that goal.  Now that I am making significantly more than I was, but we are trying to continue living on the same budget, we’ve been having a bunch of left over cash at the end of every month for our emergency fund and investments.  Since we are already happy with the emergency fund staying at $10,000, my husband and I just decided to divert the extra towards principal repayment on our mortgage instead.  We’ll continue investing in stocks and mutual funds as well with … Read more…

My Confession – Splurging and Scrambling

The following is a guest post from Martin of Studenomics. Martin has just released a super-helpful guide that shows you how to completely conquer credit before you hit 30.  “You can’t leave your mark on the world if you spend your 20s paying off credit card debt. I did all of the boring research for you so that you can see how easy it is to figure out credit.” I’ve learned from Crystal and many other internet entrepreneurs that transparency is the way to go. Today I’m going to be more transparent than I’ve ever been before. I’m going to make a confession about being in credit card debt. I often mention (perhaps brag?) that I’ve been able to avoid credit card debt and student loans. Well today I need to confess to something. I recently spent just under a month being stuck in credit card debt. For the first time in my life I found myself in credit card debt and scrambling to get out so that I didn’t start getting hit with interest payments. I finally knew how it felt to be on the other side of the war against debt. This is my story… How did this happen? … Read more…

Single Mindedly Spending Money – Halloween Addiction

I fully admit that I get through life by focusing on a single thing at a time and all other stuff falls to the wayside.  Some days I am all about self employment, but other days (like the weekends), I may not even touch a computer other than to look up movie times.  For the past week, I have become nearly addicted to spending money on Halloween. Halloween Costs So Far I know I already made a post about my projected Halloween costs this year, but I went a little more overboard.  The weather got cooler, I finally convinced Mr. BFS to help me find our costumes online, and I got into the spirit!  I’m not even sure I am done yet. And yes, there are two costumes listed below…the first set (Robin Hood and Maid Marian) fell through after I ordered them the first time and my reorder may not make it here by Saturday for our party, so the second set of costumes (King and Queen Chess Pieces) is a backup set that I was able to get 2 day shipping from with my Amazon Prime membership.  Worst case scenario, we will have costumes for next year. Here’s what I’ve … Read more…