Find $200/month in your Budget Challenge
- Created on 27 August 2015
I've been engaged in a most interesting experiment. I've been helping people find $200/month on paper in their budget. So far (as of the published date for this post), 100% of those I've talked with have found at least $200 - if not more - that can be redirected toward dumping debt faster in their monthly budget.
Yes, that's $200 on paper, but it's a great start.
Here are the major culprits to investigate when looking for areas to streamline.
Doing Washington D.C. Debt Free Divas Style
- Created on 24 August 2015
So far, one of my all-time-favorite places to visit is the nation's capital. Washington D.C. The District of Columbia.
I love the architecture. I love the rolling hills and endless greenery. I even love the confusing circles - as long as I'm not driving.
This week, we had an occasion to visit family for a few festive occasions. WonderMan hails from the D.C. area originally. Hanging with my in-laws is always a treat. Since we had more flexibility this time, we extended our trip a few days which gave me time to get lost in all things touristy in D.C.
Regardless of your political or historical persuasion, a visit to the capital should easily make everyone's travel to-do list. There is something to do for just about everyone. Since WonderMan's parents live in the D.C. suburbs and we have rounded the corner on 13 years of marriage, I've had the pleasure of romping around D.C. for a while now. In that time I have developed an extensive tourist to-do library.
Here are a few Do's and Don'ts when it comes to frugally exploring this wonderful town.
Keeping Your Affairs in Order - Legal Matters Chat with Johnetta Paye, Esq.
- Created on 21 August 2015
For some time, I've wanted to cover basic legal issues on the Midday Money Show podcast.
Why, after 5 years, I'm just getting around to it is beyond me. Maybe I had the same questions that many of us have when finding a lawyer for personal legal matters. Where do I find a good lawyer to discuss my issues and concern? How can I tell if the attorney is competent enough to trust? I wonder how much they'll charge me?
Well ask and you shall receive - the answers in this case that is.
Johnetta Paye is an attorney and entrepreneur in Chicago, IL who specializes in transaction law (i.e. contracts) and litigation. She's launched a Youtube channel to provide homeowners in distress with an informational legal resource. This might just come in handy during your attorney research phase - do they have a Youtube channel?
As life would have it, her Youtube channel is how our paths crossed. You all know me. I love to talk about all things as they relate to money. That's exactly what we did.
5 Financial Reasons to Avoid Co-mingling if you Cohabitate
- Created on 17 August 2015
As this experience running a laundromat officially winds down, I was recently engaged in conversation with yet another colorful personality. We've had the laundromat since 2003. This most recent exchange reminded me of some of the more memorable characters we've met over the years.
- Gun-toting Granny. This very seasoned citizen, probably in her 70's with an ever present Band-Aid below her eye, often regaled me with stories of threats of gun play directed mainly at her children. I stayed on her good side.
- The opportunistic cable box thief. I kid you not. Someone used a laundry cart to scale a wall and steal our cable box after I stepped out briefly to run an errand. He brought it back a few days later with a Post-It note attached expressing his apologies and advertising his tuck pointing services. We declined his offer.
- The angry lady. We actually had a few of these customers over the years. However, only one ended in a police negotiation. She had to be calmed down by one of Chicago's finest after threatening WonderMan with all manner of bodily harm because I removed her clothes during a busy period. I wore gloves and we have signs posted, but she didn't care. Everything ended peacefully and she actually apologized and asked if she could come back again. We forgave her.
Let's just say owning a laundromat has been a different kind of experience.
How Misbehaving Almost Ruined our $20 Date Night
- Created on 14 August 2015
I know the back to school sales are in full force and the days are getting shorter, but I'm not giving up on summer - not just yet.
So far this summer, I've:
- Found my way to a free zoo.
- Taken in tourist attractions in the city for nothing more than bus fare.
- Sampled wine and cheese on a savory tour of the arts in Bronzeville. The free trolley and great weather made the night rock! I actually made the highlight real (that's me in the black and white top).
- Walked right into an open air steppers set in Hyde Park in our workout gear.
- Been reminded why Top Gun is not appropriate for little children at a free movie in the park.
Can We Take Frugal Too Far?
- Created on 10 August 2015
I've been hitting the bitty birthday circuit hard this month. We've attended a first birthday bash, a four year old swim soiree, a bounce and jam fest for a five year old, and we have plenty more to go in August alone. In addition, WonderMan and I celebrated 13 years of wedded adventure this month. Let's just say - we get our celebratory mood on in August.
I love getting together with friends and family. It's a great reason to prioritize fellowship. However, the expense associated with celebrating milestones has my personal finance mind in overdrive.
How to Create a $300,000 in the Bank Attitude
- Created on 07 August 2015
Maarten van Lier heard an off-the-cuff comment from a co-worker shortly after arriving in the United States from the Netherlands.
His co-worker expressed a lack of concern with the idea of losing a job because he had $300,000 in the bank. Maarten took that to heart.
Maybe we should too.
In 2000, Maarten and his wife looked at their financial situation and drew a line in the sand. The van Liers decided they wanted to have a million dollars in 10 years. It actually took them 13 years, but who's counting.