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Let’s Get Controversial – Credit Cards

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I’ve decided to use this week to get through some of the controversial issues I see on other blogs.  I’m simply going to post my opinions and see what you think. Today’s topic:  Credit Cards *cue scary music* Let’s just rip off the Band-Aid, I love using credit cards for as much as possible, getting my rewards, and paying them off a few days after I receive my emailed statements.  It makes my super-anal budgeting system so much easier.  I like getting cash back rewards.  Oh, and I hate debit cards, but that’s my own fault.  I’m old school…I actually keep up with every single checking account debit and credit in a check book.  Writing down hundreds of tiny charges does not sound like fun to me. I got my first card when I was 18.  I’ve never been in credit card debt.  I’ve never received a fee or any interest charges.  If you are addicted to spending or cannot control yourself with a credit card, PLEASE DON’T USE THEM.  Otherwise, why the heck not?! We have a Discover More card, a Discover Open Road card, and a World Points MasterCard.  We use the Discover More card for everything possible … Read more

Let’s Get Controversial – Hiring Help

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I’ve decided to use this week to get through some of the controversial issues I see on other blogs. I’m simply going to post my opinions and see what you think. Today’s Topic:  Outsourcing / Hiring Help The comments to this post at Get Rich Slowly were the proverbial “straw” that motivated me to start this blog. If you haven’t read the post or don’t have time, it boils down this; a 26 year old that sold a company for a million dollars felt a little lost in her “early retirement”.  She wasn’t as happy as she thought she’d be until she discovered outsourcing.  She hired a personal assistant, a housekeeper, a personal chef, and two foreign virtual assistants so she could do fun stuff and start a new business. As you can guess, people went nuts for a variety of reasons.  I honed in on all the commenters that had a freaking cow about having a housekeeper or a personal chef.  As someone who happily has a housekeeper, a lawn service, and a CPA, I was offended.  Then I was curious. Why not hire a housekeeper? I got a response that blew my mind; by not doing my own housework, … Read more

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Fit in a Fun Friday – Curling…Yes, Curling

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My husband has recently thrown himself into Curling. Yes, that’s right…Houston man…not much ice…ice sport…I do see the funny. 🙂 For those of you that have not been introduced to this sport, IMHO it’s a little like shuffleboard on ice. It requires a lot more coordination and heavy breathing than shuffleboard, but that’s the gist on how you score. Here’s a more thorough and accurate explanation of the game. Since my husband was so interested, we found a Curling league in our area and attended a class last weekend. After much cussing, knee bruising, and numb fingers, I realized this was not an activity for me. On the other hand, my husband was smitten. Think kid in a candy shop – that was my husband after 2 hours of practice. He’ll be returning to this painful super fun league this weekend to join up. On the financial side of this new hobby, he’ll be looking at weekly league dues and some equipment costs like shoes ($30-$200 depending on quality and brand) and a Curling broom ($20-$50). Thankfully, the league supplies the granite stones that are slid across the ice. They will also let him borrow the basic supplies in the … Read more

Our Wedding – Frugal and SOOO Fun!

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I was reading one of my favorite blogs today, FMF, and saw this post.  All of the comments were interesting, but the ones specifically about the cost of the engagement ring and wedding brought me to this post. I met my hubby during our freshman year of college.  I was bored during a midnight shift on the 24 hour help desk at our dorm and he kept walking past.  By his third pass, I asked him to keep me company and didn’t find out for years that he was hoping I’d want company…that still makes me smile! He proposed less than a year later with the ring I picked out (with him of course) – white gold with a diamond chip for $125.  I love that ring.  We got married 3 years later on a gorgeous early-summer day.  It was an awesome day!  Even though the ceremony had to start a little late, my hubby was waiting patiently at the end of the aisle with a huge grin on his face.  I happily cried through at least half of the thing, we had a great reception, and then we hung out in our miniature apartment with our closest friends until 3am.  We opened … Read more

Our Monthly Budget

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To lay the last bit of our financial foundation, I wanted to share our monthly budget.  Our exact expenses change a little month-to-month, but this is the basic picture of our spending: Mortgage – $900 Emergency Fund – $500 Tax Account – $400 Home Account – $350 Roth IRA – $300 Vacation Account – $250 Cash – $200 Extra Roth IRA – $120 Extra Masters Money – $125 Car Payment – $330 Car Insurance – $110 Gasoline – $150 Electricity – $150 Cable & Internet – $100 Cell Phones – $80 Water – $30 Garbage – $20 Groceries – $300 Fast Food/Restaurants – $200 Misc Bills/Car Maintenance – $200 Entertainment/Misc Fun ($75 each and $100 joint) – $250 Medical – $100 Maid Service (biweekly $45) – $100 Lawn Service (biweekly 8 months a year) – $50 Netflix – $20 Pet Expenses – $100 Massage Envy – $50 Total = $5485 That comes to $65,820 a year.  We make $78,000 before taxes plus the $4000 a year my hubby makes as a sports official.  Taxes, the pension, the 401k, and our benefits account for the other $16,180. Needless to say, I am anal enough to keep up with every single expenditure.  Unplanned expenses are taken from the appropriate target accounts.  Also, before … Read more