We bought a van last week. I know for families with more than your average number of kids that is a rite of passage, so I guess we’re “in the club” now…the I-drive-a-minivan-and-like-it club. Although it doesn’t have flames painted down the side, a hemi under the hood or a stereo that will let everyone hear you from 3.4 miles away, I’ll have to say that I’m happy to have bought it. More importantly, it is paid for. We don’t do payments around here. If we can’t pay for it, we aren’t buying it. So how can we pay cash for all our cars? Read on. [Read more…]
Let’s talk job interviews! Call me weird, but I’ve always enjoyed the interviewing and hiring process. I’ve done a lot of it, too. I’ve probably been in a few hundred job interviews at this point…on both sides of the table. I’ve also done some various interviewing classes for high school students and others for front-line hiring managers. So when someone contacted me recently and asked if I could offer some pointers, I thought it may be of use to all of us to go through some interviewing basics…an Interviewing 101, if you will.
First and most importantly, remember that every job interview matters. Whether you are voluntarily looking for a new position, interviewing for a promotion, or desperate for a j-o-b to make ends meet, every interview gives you the chance at a fresh start to convince a captive audience that you are awesome. With that in mind, be awesome! [Read more…]
If you’ve read much of what I’ve written previously about relationships and money, you’ll find I regularly state that your finances won’t work if you and your spouse can’t agree on money. I’ve even given you my top five things I believe all spouses must agree on to win with money. What I’ve not told you is that there is serious research that shows your spouse has the power to make you filthy, stinkin’ rich. Okay, maybe not too stinkin’ because a good spouse will make you bathe so you’re agreeable to sleep next to…but I digress.
Stacy has stayed at home since before we had children. We made the choice that her time and energy would be best spent taking care of our home and family. We have made sacrifices to do this, but it has been totally worth it.
I don’t make an exorbitant salary; we’re not trust fund babies. We don’t live up to our eyeballs in debt; we don’t live in squalor. We are a relatively normal-looking American family that decided we would be willing to live on a single income so Stacy could stay at home with our children. [Read more…]
We’re huge Dave Ramsey fans used most of his principles to become completely debt free (including our home) a few years ago. One of his baby steps (baby step 5) is to handle college funding for children. When our first child was born, we started her college fund in a 529. With small, but consistent contributions, that fund is up to roughly $5,000 (she’s 5 now). When our next was born, we started him a college fund, too. He’s 2 now, and he has almost $2,000 in his fund. Along comes baby #3 and what do we do? Well…you’d think we’d just keep the 529 thing rolling, but we haven’t. Why did we stop funding our kids’ college savings? Read on. [Read more…]
If you missed last week, when I shared a letter to my eventual son in law, you may want to go back and have a look at that letter to give you an idea of why I’m bothering to write these letters in the first place. To sum it up: I have hopes and dreams for my kids and I want the person each of them ends up marrying to know a little about what my expectations are. Even though I only have about 11 years of marriage under my belt and a little less than five as a parent, I want to capture my thoughts now and share the wisdom I can offer today because I know at least a few of you reading this right now are about to “give away” your son or daughter and could sure use some input.
You’ll probably notice a lot of similarity in the two letters – that is intentional. I want my kids to know my expectations are high for both of them and similar for both of them. The letter to my eventual son-in-law was tough. I’d bet you this one won’t be any easier. Here we go…
Several months ago I wrote a letter to my past self, looking back at some lessons the past ten years have taught me. In that same theme, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the future and wanting to pen a letter or two to my future self. However, I think it may be more important to write some other letters first.
I daily pray for my children, their development (physically and spiritually) and wonder what they will grow to become. I do my best to teach and train them, but I also recognize I don’t only want to have hopes and dreams for my own children, but for yours. I don’t want to limit my prayers to what my daughter will grow to become – I also want to start asking for her family to be blessed. Maybe I’m waxing a bit too poetic by doing this, but I’m going to spend this week on a letter to Annie’s future husband – wherever and whoever he may be. Next week, I’ll do the same for Andy’s eventual wife. If you’re a parent, I hope this letter will encourage you. But I also hope it will challenge us all to begin seeking the best for our children, recognizing we’re not just raising them for an individual benefit, but as the future leaders of the world. They are our legacy. So here goes…
Today I’m writing to all the married women out there. As a man, a father and a husband, I can tell you there are a lot of things I see women worrying themselves with that men truly couldn’t care less about. So if you are a busy wife or mom, PLEASE READ THIS PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT – it may just save you several hours of your life each week. Let me also offer this disclaimer before I share my list because I’m sure otherwise I’ll get plenty of hate mail and nasty comments disagreeing with me. This list is based on MY experience and MY observations only.
Here are ten things women should stop worrying about, because their men probably just don’t care. [Read more…]
If you’ve not already figured it out, everyone out there is teaching your kids about money, or at least trying for all they’re worth. Think about it…TV commercials scream about how your kids “need” to spend money on the latest toy or gadget. Movies (even those supposed kid-friendly ones) portray that money buys happiness and fame. Popular music teaches valuable life lessons such as, “I ain’t coming out for less than a 100 thou” (Nicki Manaj) or, “grab that cash with both hands and make a stash” (Pink Floyd). Wow, what enrichment your children can gain from popular culture…and they will, if you don’t teach them any differently.
Allow me to contrast the world’s approach with a few things God’s Word teaches about money: [Read more…]
If you’ve been around here long, you know I want you out of debt. I don’t want you to reduce your debt – I want it gone. And we’re not talking about “eventually,” but ASAP. You also probably know I’m a huge Dave Ramsey fan. The man is a no-nonsense debt assassin. He keeps it simple and to the point so you can get started immediately on what he says to do. While I disagree with him on a few minor points, one where I am in lockstep with him is his advice to use the debt snowball. Today I’ll talk about why that’s the best and fastest way to get out of debt. [Read more…]