Friday, June 29, 2012

Dave Ramsey offers

I have mentioned Dave Ramsey several times in my blog posts. His books and materials are a great resource either to get your finances in order or as a refresher course.

For a limited time he is offering a free download of a Guide to Investing.

There is also a sale of many of his items for 50% off or more for a limited time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

People First

Suze Orman ends each of her shows with "People First, Then Money, Then Things". With all of the natural disasters and other things happening recently it got me thinking about this saying. 

Over the past weekend, we had a family reunion on my mom's side. She comes from a family of 10 children and now we have a total of 120 family members. We are fortunate to be able to get together with some of them every year. We had over 50 together for the weekend. At the end of the weekend we were reminded of the importance of family when we heard one of my cousins had been in a serious accident. He has been making progess the past few days.

Money is a vital part of our lives, but it is important to remember what really matters in life. We spent a lot of the weekend looking at old photographs and remembering past events, along with the younger ones laughing at our clothes, hair and glasses.

So as Suze would say, "People First, Then Money, Then Things".

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Latte Factor is more than Coffee

A few years ago, David Bach coined the phrase "Latte Factor" in his book, The Automatic Millionaire. Latte Factor refers to the small expenses that drain money from your wallet without you noticing such as buying coffee. Even though it is called the Latte Factor, it can refer to many things such as bottled water, magazines, etc.

There was a recent article about frozen yogurt becoming the new Latte Factor.

It is okay to spend money but it is important to realize how much you are spending and what you are spending your money on. It is referred to as conscious, when you are thinking before spending money on something and deciding if you really need to purchase the item.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kids and Money Calendar

There are various resources to teach kids about money. I have compiled information into a Page-a-Day Calendar with websites and other information to teach kids about money and finances.

If you order the calendar on line you can choose the date for the calendar to start. The calendars are $15.99 plus shipping.

Monday, June 18, 2012

It Not be as it Appears

I recently watched the movie The Descendants and there were a couple of lines that struck a chord with me.

“My friends on the mainland think just because I live in Hawaii, I live in paradise. Like a permanent vacation. We're all just out here sipping Mai Tais, shaking our hips, and catching waves. Are they insane?”

You never know what situations people are dealing with. With the availability of credit, etc. people may look richer than they are by the cars they drive and clothes they wear. It may look like they are living happy lives, but if they are living beyond their means they may be worrying constantly about how they are going to pay their bills.

On the other hand, some people that do have money, may have it because they watch how they spend their money.

Another line was “I don't want my daughters growing up entitled and spoiled. And I agree with my father - you give your children enough money to do something but not enough to do nothing.”

He is a lawyer and receives money from land that his family has owned for years and has been in a trust. He said unlike his relatives, he has been living on his income as a lawyer and saving the income from the land. That is why his relatives are in a hurry to sell the land and he wishes to hold onto it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

How to be Richer, Smarter and Better-looking than your Parents

Previously I wrote a post about the book Debt Free U by Zac Bissonnette about how to save money on college expenses. He now has written another book, How to be Richer, Smarter and Better-Looking than your Parents.

The book contains useful information for people entering the workforce and for others. Some of the topics covered include investing, saving, job interviews and buying a car. Many people think car payments are just a way of life, he discusses how it is possible to purchase a car for cash. The typical car payment on a new car is $479, if you save that amount for a few months and can purchase a inexpensive car and continue saving that amount each month, you can in time move up to a better car. Personally, I have purchased my last two cars for cash. When I was considering purchasing my last car, I told the salesperson I would sleep on it overnight. She asked about starting the paperwork for financing. She was surprised when I told her I would not need to borrow money to purchase it.

He also discusses financial freedom, being able to live life the way you choose. With all of the advertising today it may be difficult not to give into the temptation of thinking that buy purchasing certain things, your life will be better. It doesn’t mean you cannot buy things, but it is better to save up until you can afford to buy them. I have heard people say that young people are purchasing cars, homes and other things that it took their parents 30 years to afford.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Storybooks about Saving

I feel it is important to start teaching kids about saving and spending when they are young. I saw a recent post on Money Saving Mom about the storybook, A Chair for My Mother, by Vera B. Williams. Vera Williams has written several storybooks and I found three that are about saving money for things you want to buy.

A Chair for Mother is about a young girl, her mother and grandmother who lost their home to a fire. They received many things they needed from others but wanted to buy a chair. Her mother brought home a large jar and each day they put extra money they had into the jar until they were able to buy a comfy chair for their new home.

A Chair for Always and Music Music for Everyone are also stories about the importance of saving for things that you want to buy.

A Chair for my Mother was on a list I saw on line of 50 books your child should read before starting kindergarten.

You can check your local library to see if they have the books. I found the books at the Fargo Public Library. I also requested a couple of them from Paperback swap since I had credits available to use.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Four Weeks of Family Fun

Crystal from Money Saving Mom is hosting a series on 4 weeks of Family fun. Each weekday for the next four weeks she will post about an activity her family has done. You can also leave comments about ideas for family activities.

The first day of the series they made homemade flubber,

$2 Kid Movies

The Kid's Dream Summer Film Series begins Tuesday, June 19 at Marcus Theaters. Movies are at 10:00 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays and admission is $2 for each person. The series runs each week thru August 18 except July 3 thru 5.

For here for participating theaters and movie schedule.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Grocery University for Free

One of the largest monthly expenses for many households is for groceries and they continue to increase. 
Grocery University  is an audio program with tips and ideas to save money on your grocery bill.  It is an audio program of MP3 files so you can listen to it while doing other things instead of having to read a book to get the information.

The program is a $24.95 value and is being offered for free for a limited time if you subscribe to their email list.  I downloaded the program a while back and it has very helpful information.  Even if you have been couponing and saving money, you may learn tips and tricks that you did not know of.

The program consists of 139 minutes of MP3 files, 40 page workbook and "Rock-Bottom" price list.  Some  people have a guide of the lowest prices they can find items for, so they know when to stock up.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Budgeting for Travel Expenses

Now that school is out for the summer you may have a summer vacation planned. If you don’t and do not think you can afford to get away, you may consider a staycation. More people are taking time off and exploring destinations closer to home instead of traveling to other places.

If you are planning a winter vacation, now is the time to start making plans so you will know what it will cost and can budget for it.

On a recent airing of the Suze Orman Show one of the guests has $40,000 of student loan debt that she didn’t need to take out. Her parents had paid for the first 4 years of college costs. When she was going for her Masters degree, she took out $40,000 of student loans to travel and buy things she didn’t necessarily need. Many college students take out more in student loans than they really need, not realizing that it will cost them more in the future to pay off the debt.

The same night, on Princess, the subject was about a college student who had just returned from a 6 month trip to various countries which was paid by her parents. Her parents had paid for the trip, spending money and college costs, but in the process had jeopardized their future and the ability to help out their other children with college costs. Now after returning, she was only working a few hours a week, because she says she can’t handle the stress of working 40 hours a week. She was earning about $6,000 a year gross, but they figured the way she is spending money, she would need to earn $56,000 a year.

Many people think they need to take the opportunities to travel when they are younger. That is fine if you can afford it. But not, if you are spending money now that will jeopardize your way of life in the future.

I just returned from a week cruise to Alaska. By watching my expenses and spending throughout the year, I was able to have the trip paid for before I left. As Dave Ramsey says, “Don’t let your vacation follow you home”. When you charge your vacation costs that take months or years to pay off, you are reminded of the debt each month.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Mid-Year Financial Checkup

It is hard to believe how fast the first half of this year has passed. Your finances may have been part of your resolutions at the beginning of the year. If so, here is an article from the Village Family magazine about a Mid year financial checkup. One thing to keep in mind is to start thinking about and saving for holiday expenses.

If you need some tips or refresher points, here is an article about a 30 day money cleanse. Just as it is important to evaluate your physical health it is also important to evaluate your financial health.