A Holiday Giveaway!!!

Hey everyone! A bunch of us bloggers teamed up together just in time for the expensive holidays we’re approaching to do a little giveaway. Instead of writing a big ole’ blog post about it, just mosey on down a little on this here webpage (scroll down) and find out.

That’s right. We’re giving away a brand spankin’ new iPad Mini 16GB (plus $50 towards a case) and $100 in cold hard cash!

The Total Value (including taxes) of this giveaway is approximately $510!

The Grand Prize Winner will win the new iPad Mini (in the color of their choice). The winner will also get $50 in PayPal cash to use towards an iPad Mini case of their choosing.

Runner up prizes: There will be Four runner up prizes. Each of these winners will receive $25 in PayPal Cash!

Rules

  • Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below
  • You don’t need to complete all of the options, but the more you complete, the higher your chance of winning! Each entry must be accomplished exactly as it is stated.
  • Entries will be verified, so please do not lie
  • You can perform each entry type ONE TIME ONLY unless otherwise specified.
  • Make sure to leave a valid email in the Rafflecopters email field so we can contact you if you win (or make sure that your Facebook is correct).
  • If you already follow/like one of the other blogs, these entries still count, so still sign up!
  • The giveaway ends on November 28th @ 11:59 PM EST
  • Open to everyone

We wouldn’t be able to have this giveaway without the donations and support of everyone involved. Especially the brains behind the operation, Michelle from Making Sense of Cents. Here is the list of all that participated in no particular order.

Jason from Work Save Live

Jordann from My Alternate Life

Jessica from Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses

One Cent At A Time

Kristine from The Foley Fam

Jackie from The Debt Myth

Anne from Unique Gifter

Kelly from Messy Dirty Hair

Lance from Money, Life and More

David from Young Adult Money

Living Debt Free Rocks

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Election Day

As you might know, today is election day. It’s kind of a big deal here in the U.S.A. and can have an impact around the globe. Both main parties and the media would have you believe that there are only two candidates. That is simply not true.

The Republican Party: Mitt Romney

The Democratic Party: Barrack Obama

The Libertarian Party: Gary Johnson

The Constitutional Party: Virgil Goode

The Green Party: Jill Stein

You see, there are many candidates to choose from. There are even more than just the five I listed here. Be informed. Vote for the candidate that you believe can help our country the most. I feel that we have an obligation to cast our vote. A lot of brave men and women gave their lives for our freedom to choose. We owe it to them to have our voices heard.

 


November Goals

I don’t think we made any goals for the month of October. Why not? I have no idea. I guess it must have just slipped my mind. We do have some goals for the months of December/January that include paying the rest of our student loans off, purchasing a second snowmobile (mine) and purchasing a treadmill. To do this and not kill our savings means we have to either earn more or save more. Most likely it will be a combination of the two. November will be a month where we try to add as much as we can to our savings to accomplish our end of the year goals. Here are our goals.

  1. Make an extra $2000: I don’t think this one will be as tough as it looks. This is one of those awesome months where the wife gets three paychecks. I am also receiving a small one time bump in my paycheck. Those two things alone will be roughly $1200 of the $2k. There are also three holidays this month (Veterans Day and two for Thanksgiving) that will beef up the paycheck although two of them won’t be paid until December. I’ve already worked one overtime and plan on doing at least one more this month but we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully we’ll be able to hit this goal as it will help tremendously with our other goals.
  2. Blog more: I only put out 12 blog posts last month which isn’t horrible, but it isn’t great either. I’d like to do at least 15/month. It seems like there hasn’t been as much time lately to get my posts written (sure doesn’t help that the Walking Dead is back on tv). Finding balance between work, the blog, investing and life sure isn’t easy. I’m trying to get the wife to write a few posts for the blog so be on the lookout if I can convince her to do it.
  3. Make back the ugly loss from one of my stock investments: I will be writing a more detailed post that will explain why the loss occurred in the first place. Gotta make it back though if I want to meet my year-end goal of $15,000.
  4. Not get sick on Thanksgiving: I always eat too much on Thanksgiving and end up feeling like crap. Who am I kidding. It’s my favorite holiday and I love eating holiday food. It will be worth it and I don’t care if I fail this one.

That’s it folks. What are some of your goals for November?

 


October Budget & Net Worth Update

What I woke up to Wednesday morning

Well, fall is gone for us up here. I woke up yesterday morning to four inches of snow on the ground. I didn’t bother to snowblow because I know it’ll melt (at least I hope so). The bad part is I still haven’t replaced the drive cable that broke on it last winter and I’ve had the new one for about 10 months now. How’s that for putting stuff off? One thing I never put off is doing the monthly update. It helps us track the progress of our goals. So here we go.

Savings: -$972.02 This is the second straight month that our savings has gone negative. This is ok for now because of what we did with it, which I will explain below in the “Debt Payments” section. Our savings should increase next month because we aren’t going to be paying extra on any payments which I will also explain below.

Investments: +$1,600.22 Not too much to explain here. Some of this increase was from gains in our accounts and some of it was from contributions. Not too bad considering the Dow Jones is almost 400 points lower than what we were at in the beginning of the month. I love seeing our investments increase. I would imagine everyone does.

Debt Payments: -$2,963.52 We had a great month for paying stuff down. We knocked out the $2700 we had left on our camper loan which felt awesome for a couple of reasons. One being that it had the highest interest rate on any of our debts and two being that it means we are now free of consumer debt. Student loans aren’t consumer debt are they? We had been paying a crapload extra every month to knock this out. From the beginning of June to October 10th (date of payoff) we paid a total of $7042. I now know that we can pay our normal bills and make good progress on our debts without having to sacrifice too much and let me tell you, it’s a good feeling. We were able to travel a little in the summer, go camping and race a good amount of motocross races and still keep on track with our financial goals.

Our next goal is to pay off the student loan which we will be saving up to pay it off in one lump sum. Why? Because the stupid company that owns our student loan makes it hard to make extra payments. We should have enough to pay the last $3400 off sometime in December/January.

Total Asset Increase: +$628.20

Total Debt Decrease: -$2,963.52

Net Worth End of September: -$70,544

Net Worth End of October: -$66,953

Total Increase in Net Worth: +$3,591

Overall I’m pretty happy about the month of October other than the crappy rainy weather we’ve been getting. I can’t complain though with the horrible storm the east coast just went through. I guess we are lucky that the worst thing we get around here is a couple of feet of snow.

How did the month of October go for you? Anybody else getting some unwanted snow?


Life Lessons From My Dad

I’ve talked in the past about how grateful I am for the financial lessons my Dad taught me, but as you know, life is not all about the Benjamins. There are many things that my Dad taught me both directly and just by the way he carried himself. By no means is he perfect and he will be the first to admit that he isn’t.

There was one time when I was 16 that I needed money to go on a date. I asked him if there was any work that needed to be done and he said that the side of the pole barn needed to be shoveled. He asked me how much I needed and I told him that the movies were $4/ticket and that I needed some money for gas. Just to give you an idea of what the job was, our pole barn is 40 feet long and the spot I needed to shovel was about 10 feet wide and there was about 6 inches of snow on the ground. I figured it would take me a maximum of 2 hours to shovel it. Turns out I was completely wrong. My Dad decided to go hit the side of the barn that way the snow would fall of the roof. There was probably close to a foot of snow up there. All that snow falling probably close to 20 feet kind of turns it into ice. Long story short, the snow was about 4 feet high and it ended up taking me almost 10 hours to finish the job. Total pay……………..$13.

You know I complained about that but in the end that was the amount of money I asked for. Even though I thought he misled me on the pay, that was the amount I agreed to. I agreed to shovel the snow but didn’t say how much snow I was willing to shovel and he took advantage of that. I still call him cheap to mess with him but he just says “If I would have paid you more you might not be married to the nice girl you are married to right now.” I have to admit, he’s got a point and I’m glad I only made $13 cuz the wife is pretty damn sweet.

Lesson Learned: If you say you’re going to do something then do it. Even though the definition of the job wasn’t clear (I thought it was only the 6 inches of snow), I had agreed to “shovel the side of the pole barn” for $13. I completed the job, went on the date, and haven’t seen her since haha. Secondary Lesson: Don’t work for my dad haha.

Living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan can be brutal during winter time. We get the regular snow and the lake effect snow. It all adds up to some harsh driving conditions. While I was riding along with him one time we saw a vehicle that had lost control and was stuck in the ditch. We knew who the vehicle belonged to as this guy had trespassed and poached off of my dads property in the past. Needless to say, my dad was not a huge fan of this particular guy. Even though my dad disliked the guy, he still stopped to make sure he was ok. We ended up shoveling a bunch of snow and then proceeded to pull him out of the ditch. The guy offered my dad some money for helping him out but he turned it down.

Lesson Learned: When I asked my dad why he didn’t take the money he told me it wasn’t about the money. Somebody could have been hurt and might have needed help. He told me the same thing that he told the guy. That one day I could be in that ditch and it would be nice to have someone stop to help me out. Kind of like the “paying it forward” idea.

I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve seen my dad help out others for no reason at all. I’ve watched him plow out driveways when people weren’t home. Saw him pull a truck out with his skidder (log hauler) that had went through the ice on a lake near us when a truck had just went through the previous day. I’ve seen him drop groceries off at people’s homes. I think a big part of this is because we had struggled when I was a kid and somehow we would always have food in the house (which I think was from our church).

Lesson Learned: Help your neighbors out. You don’t need to be recognized every time for doing a good deed because that’s not what it’s about. It’s about doing the right thing even when no-one is looking. There doesn’t have to be a reward for doing something nice. Doing something nice is the reward.

What lessons have you learned from your dad? Do you stop when someone went off the road or got into an accident?