This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Article: Financial Peace In Tough Times

Posted By Paul

I liked this article on Debt Kid that talked about how an emergency fund was useful in a time of family crisis. We often think of emergency funds for times where our car breaks down or we discover a hole in our roof, but this was a great example of how having some extra money can also help when a family emergency comes up:

Feeling Financial Peace In Tough Times

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Article: America's Biggest Rip-offs

Posted By Paul

A cool article on CNNMoney about the biggest rip offs in America.

It defined a rip-off as something you use or consume that has a REALLY high mark up.

I thought that made some good choices. Ones in the list that I especially liked:

Text Messages - I rarely send text messages (at least in part because I'm not very practiced at typing them out on my phone) but when you think about the amount of data that is being sent, the prices are pretty ridiculous.

Movie theater popcorn - I've never been one to get snacks at a movie (usually because I feel like eating at the same time distracts me from the movie), but it comes as no surprise that movie theater popcorn was one of the major rip-offs. I liked the quote that was listed in this section:

"A lot of theater owners tell me, 'I consider myself working in concessions, not movies.'"

'Free' Credit Reports that aren't - beware of the 'free' services that sign you up for 'credit monitoring' for $15 a month and hope you don't notice.

Worth a read:

America's Biggest Rip-offs

Friday, April 16, 2010

Follow up on my system for saving

Posted By Paul

One thing that I've been doing that has worked well for me is based on a REALLY old post of mine that talks about how I save money. Here is the article:

Simple System For Saving Money

I still use this system but now I tailor it a bit in that I keep a list of places that I like to put money when I have a little extra. For example here is my current list:

Car Loan
Child College Fund
Fun Fund
Rainy Day Fund

I just keep this list in a text document and whenever I have more than my 'target amount' in my checking account I transfer $100 to the item that is at the top of the list and then that item moves to the bottom.

I like this system because I can change the list easily if I ever want to divert money to saving for a new goal. I can even put the same item in the list multiple times if I ever want to save towards a specific goal faster.

You may notice too that I have 'Fun Fund' in the list. This has been a great addition in that every dollar that goes into that account (which is just an account in my ISA that I labeled 'Fun Fund') is intended to be spent on something fun. It's a great way to give yourself a reward for saving. It's also a really nice way to save up money in preparation for a vacation or some other fun event. We don't even know what exactly we're saving for (though it'll probably be some sort of vacation when our child is old enough to travel), but it's great to have the money set aside and to see it growing.