March 5th, 2008 at 12:28 am
As I was working in Quicken tonight with DH's profit share check I was listening to my songs I've bought on ITunes and Casting Crowns song, "American Dream", came on. I had to put aside what I was doing for a while and listen to it.
What we discuss here about personal finance is all very important, but there are more important things in life. How many of us are so busy trying to get out of debt that we tend to neglect our families? Just something to think about.
Take a look at the video on YouTube:
. I think it will give you something to think about.
March 2nd, 2008 at 11:44 pm
I had mentioned e-mealz
in a previous post. It is a site that, for $5 a month, provides you with menus and a grocery list for your dinners for a week. You pay for 3 months at a time and a new meal plan is posted once a week. My plan is available on Friday so when I log in I print out 2 copies of the menu and grocery list. One I place in a sheet protector in a 3-ring binder for future use and the other is the one I write on and mark up.
They have several plans to choose from. I chose the Point system meals for any grocery store, since I am counting Weight Watchers points to lose weight.
This will be our 3rd week using the plan and it appears that our average expense is $120 per week. That's about what we were spending before for a family of 5 and not having nearly as nice of meals as we are now.
Everyone in the family is really enjoying the meals. There is a lot of variety and the side dishes are wonderful. Our side dishes before amounted to opening a can of corn or beans. Now we have mandarin orange salad, honey-kissed slaw, oven roasted veggies, etc. Much tastier and healthier.
I think the thing that makes it most worth it to me is that I no longer have the dilemma of "what is for dinner?" and then wondering if I have all of the ingredients. It is a huge load off of my mind. That alone makes it worth it for me.
I like having a list of exactly what I need for each meal when I enter the grocery store. I am not a shopper so, for me, the grocery store is a mission. Get what we need and get out in as short a time as possible.
My grocery bill could be considerably less if we didn't drink as much milk as we do!!!
February 11th, 2008 at 05:09 pm
I have Suze Orman's Yahoo column listed on my homepage so that I can see whenever she writes a new article. Today's column is Stash it, Don't Cash It
. She advises using that check the government is sending you to either pay off high interest credit card debt, build your emergency fund or put it in a long-term investment.
Glad to know that Suze approves my plan!
February 10th, 2008 at 10:29 pm
I am trying something new for our meal planning that should benefit my Weight Watchers lifestlye and our family time.
While listening to Dave Ramsey
early mornings in the office, I've heard ads for e-mealz
. I decided on Friday to check into it and see what it was all about. After reading through their website and looking at their sample menus and grocery lists, I decided to sign up for a 3 month subscription and give it a try.
I chose the Point-System meal plans since I'm following the Weight Watchers
Flex plan. I then decided to get the menus for any grocery store. Our area has a Super Walmart coming soon, so I'll probably switch to that choice once it's open. The cost is $5 a month, but I was able to find a coupon code that gave me a $2.50 discount.
Once I registered, I had access to 2 weeks' worth of menus and grocery lists. I really like that there is a dinner menu for 7 days of the week. That is the hardest point of cooking for me, deciding what to make.
So tomorrow after work I'll be going grocery shopping and picking up the needed items to begin using the menus. I am anxious to see if I do save money as they claim, but even more anxious just to have a plan all laid out for me.
February 6th, 2008 at 12:40 pm
I found this personal finance calculator
interesting this morning. According to it my budget is WAY off.
According to their percentage allotments, our housing & debt costs are fine. They recommend 30% and ours are at 24.34%.
Our insurance costs are slightly over what they should be. They recommend 4% and ours weigh in at 5.48%.
We are not saving near enough, which I expected since I'm throwing as much as I can toward the debt instead.
Our living expenses are really over the limit that they recommend. They say they should be at 26% of your income and ours come to 57.3%. I really don't see any way to cut those expenses. They are what they are and there's not much I can do about it. We need to heat our home, put gasoline in our cars so we can work and have money for prescriptions that we need.
All in all, it's a good tool to use to see how you measure up against the ideal budget and get a grasp on how you spend your money.
February 1st, 2008 at 12:53 am
I decided to reapply for term life insurance again. You may remember that I was rejected last year because of my blood pressure and the cyst they found in my brain. Since my health has totally turned around since then I figured I'd give it another try.
The neurologist says the cyst is no problem at all, that lots of people have them and don't even know it. The blood pressure is now running 110/70 with the new medicine and I've lost 32 pounds so far with Weight Watchers
I am back to a size 10, which is still overweight for my height and frame, but I'm still working on it. I have another 24 pounds left to get to my goal weight. The Flex plan is really working well for me. I've been walking with Leslie Sansone
and doing yoga 2-3 times a week. I decided this time that the only exercise I was going to do was what I could continue doing the rest of my life. No more half killing myself to burn calories. I'm too old for that now. LOL!
So hopefully in a couple of months I'll know if they approved me and if so, I can cancel the whole life insurance and cash it in. We plan to use it to buy another coal stove for the main part of the house or to replace the roof.
January 26th, 2008 at 11:01 pm
We attended the live Money Map simulcast at our church today. It began at 9:30 and ended at 4:30 with an hour break for lunch and 2 breaks of 25 minutes each.
I have to say that by lunch I was extremely frustrated. The speakers they had were good, but when we were going to get to the 'meat' of the material and get practical instructions that would benefit us? I really didn't feel that I needed it for me, but for a friend that attended with me that is in desparate need of a budget. I couldn't help but think that if this were Financial Peace University Dave would already have everyone on a budget and a fully funded baby emergency fund.
Finally, after lunch they got down to specifics. It still wasn't as detailed as I would have liked, but a category plan (budget) was discussed and the link to Crown Money Map
that will walk people through setting one up.
I guess that the day was worth the $25 that DH and I paid to attend, but I have to say that I was disappointed. I didn't learn anything new, but DH did. At least now he knows why I have things set up as I do. My friend was satisfied. She said she now knows that she needs to have a spending plan and the basics of how to accomplish that.
For beginners to financial planning, I think this would be good. If you're a veteran at personal finance though, you probably won't be impressed.
I guess I just like Dave Ramsey's approach to finances better. I like the aggressiveness and step-by-step detail he provides. I'll be searching for a Financial Peace University near us.
July 16th, 2007 at 11:57 am
is another good article on retirement funding by Suze Orman.
July 6th, 2007 at 05:09 pm
Another good site that I find helpful and informative is CNN's Money 101
. They have a series of 23 lessons ranging from setting financial goals to buying a home to 401(k)s.
July 6th, 2007 at 02:23 pm
MSN Money website has another good article today. It's titled The Five Minute Guide to Protecting Your Identity
It lists some known threats to your identity and then gives 16 tips to protect yourself.
July 2nd, 2007 at 01:31 pm
Suze Orman has us take a mid-year financial check-up in her Yahoo Money Matters column
this week. See how you've done so far this year!
June 13th, 2007 at 02:01 pm
Our library listserv had a link for a neat website, Your Money's Best Friend
that has some really good games for kids
to teach them about money. I especially liked the game that teaches them to make change. Check it out!
May 23rd, 2007 at 11:37 pm
I discovered the Fuel Economy
website last week and decided to track my mileage on there to see how many miles to the gallon I'm getting and also to compare gasoline stations to see if there is a difference in miles to the gallon with the different gasolines.
I only have 2 entries so far but the first time I got 20 miles to the gallon and this time I'm up to almost 25. This should prove interesting to watch.
You can choose to share your information and can compare with others.