Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Night Out on the Town

So my wife and I decided that we eat out far to much, it may have helped that for 2 months we didn't have a kitchen, literally!  So for the first 2 weeks of September we were in our old habits of grabbing a pizza for delivery on Friday night and if we didn't feel like cooking to go grab something.  We did budget a small amount to go out to eat, but usually we would just ignore whatever money we put in and go way past the budget whether on my wife's tab or our joint checking account, for some reason if it goes on the wife's card it doesn't cost anything in our minds, we in fact are crazy!  So here's our plan of attack to stop from spending so much on going out to eat.

The envelope plan well sorda.  So we decided to not use our debit/credit card for any meals where we eat out(with the exception of lunch for my wife).   So every 2 weeks we will take out $60 and put it aside for going out to eat(side note don't search eating out in google images, not what I expected, I'm a little scarred).  The goal is to stop us from eating out so much and as an incentive any money that we don't use will go towards our Hawaii trip in November.  So far we are 1.5 weeks in and that $60 is still sitting in my headphone bag(our version of the envelope), so far so good, I will let you know.  Is there anything you do that helps you to save money instead of eating out?  Share baby, share!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Follow the Leader, If Someone Walked Off a Bridge, Would You?

I feel like many of us out there copy what there parents have done with there money good or bad.  I believe it goes the same for friends, TV shows, people you live by.  I'm not claiming this as fact but if your parents have bad financial habits, your best friend has 20 credit cards, you love Housewives of Miami, and your neighbor has a BMW that you look at with envy, chances are you are currently, well screwed!

How do we break bad financial habits?  Read about personal finance, listen to a good podcast, stop watching Keeping up with the Kardashians!(Please everyone stop, only bad things come from that show)  Unless you plan to have a sex tape make millions, marry an Olympian, NBA player, come out with a clothing line, then let's get back to reality a little here and actually care about our own lives.  On a "I hate saying this note"  they are great entrepreneurs, man I feel worse for saying that.

So what do I love, hate, obsess over?  Great question I just asked myself.  Here's a couple books I really enjoyed and would even read again, Super Nerd, i know.

  1. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason.  This book is by far my favorite book it eases you into personal finance by telling short stories or parables and how it relates to money. 
  2. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.  By far the most known personal finance book out there, he keeps it simple and has had millions follow his how to steps of getting rid of debt and creating wealth.

  3. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko.  This book has great research that shows who the millionaires are and how they made and keep there money.  They are not driving BMW's or living in mansions, do not keep up with Jones', because they are stupid.  Great insight, great book.

These are great books and there are many more out there and I have read many, many more that are very good, just didn't make the Top 3.  Should you buy these books?  I wouldn't why spend and extra $10-$30 on books that the library lets  you use for free.  Now if you love one of these books or plan to follow the guidelines in one of the books and want it for reference, please go ahead and purchase this book used from Amazon or eBay.

So you haven't walked off a bridge, you are not educating yourself if that person is indeed crazy or if the bridge is going to collapse.  I encourage you to read up and tell me about a great personal finance book you really like(Suze Orman excluded, she hurts my ears even on paper).   

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Money is Always on Mind, Every Morning at Least-Thanks Dave Ramsey

I like many of you out there are a creature of habit.  Some must have that morning coffee, bowl of cereal, leave at exactly in between 7:00 and 7:05, or in my case I change my routine to create some sense of spontaneity, but it's still a habit.

Right now I have been going with the morning coffee, made at home(trying to save that $10 a week and I prefer to be all jacked up by the time I get to work) and Dave Ramsey podcast every morning on the train.  I like Dave Ramsey and my other options are listening to Pandora cut in and out like a bad DJ or staring outside(p.s. the buildings or walls don't change much).  So about Dave Ramsey..................

I like to listen to someone telling me to pay items with cash, stay away from credit cards, and that he has made mistakes but here is why you should not do what I did.  It creates a mindset that if you spend money with bad decisions, you are going to pay for those bad decisions.  He is a strong believer in debt makes you a slave to the lender, I couldn't agree more.  I struggle everyday to get in this mindset, this is another reason why I listen to Dave Ramsey every morning.

Here's what I want to do with my money.  Put tons of money in my 401K, pay off every cent of debt I have today, fix up my house, pay off the house, and invest in stocks, other houses, take tons of trips.  This morning dose of Dave Ramsey reminds me to keep things in check, Rome was not built in a day, cliche yes, but very true.

I have a budget, I have a plan.  I don't want a 30 year mortgage, I want my mortgage to be paid off in 7 years, is it possible, absolutely I ran the numbers to know.  I read something by Zac Bissonnette said and I'm summarizing here, but poor people think about how financial decisions affect them this month or this week and wealthy people think in 5, 10 and 20 year blocks.  That makes sense to me, when buying a car the poor guy is thinking can I afford the payment of $200 month, the wealthy guy is paying cash and thinking how much money per month he is saving over a 5 year period.

So in summary every day is a battle with money, but the key thing is I may lose a battle today and go buy my lunch or spend money on something I don't need, but I will win the war, with God's help and with great influences around me.  Right now my biggest influences on money are my wife(smart lady and cute to), her family(they have great advice that gets funneled through my wife),  and personal finance blogs, podcasts, and books.  Make sure to surround yourself with great influences, if your brother likes to drive his leased BMW on his Wal-Mart cashier hourly wage, you might want to find a better influence

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Just Thinking About Money-Spending Money is Getting Old

Our house is getting very close to finished with what we have included in our mortgage(FHA 203K).  That is a great thing! I'm ready to live in a house without dust, strange men coming in and out(sounds bad intentionally), and things that are half done.  This is not to say the house is done.  Like any house you want to do so many things.  For example we had the contractor create a couple closets, but in reality it's just a door with an entrance, more work to be done, more money to be spent.  But like many people we can deal with what we have.  A fan where a light should be, closets with just a pole to hang clothes, slowly we can take care of this and the key is do little by little and keep it in just our unit.

So we have decided for the most part(no big projects expected) we are done with spending money, honestly I'm sick of it.  So until we get some rental income in our pockets we will be making good with what we have, which is a lot, we have been blessed.  The only money we will spend is to create income.  We will take whatever rental income we receive and use the money to fix up our "Garden Apartment" aka the basement.  I knew coming in this was going to be a process, it's been 2 months and I feel like we are on the right track.

So let's not spend money this Labor Day weekend, let's clean up and fix up what we have and be thankful for what we have.