Archives for September 2013

How To Save Money: Mock Yourself

How To Save Money: Mock Yourself

Being on a very tight budget, we are always looking at ways to save money on stuff. We also review our budget at least once a month to make sure we are on track. And sometimes when we pull up the ol' budget on Mint.com, I find that we are in the red in some categories (shocker, I know). It's always a bummer when you blow the budget, but I use failure as a learning experience, and use what I learn to change our budget moving forward. But sometimes I need to go to even more extreme measures to make sure I pay attention to our budget to stop ourselves from giving in to those daily financial … [Read more...]

Budget Friday: Submission 11

Budget Friday: Submission 11

Hey everyone! Welcome back to another episode of Budget Friday. This is seriously my favorite part about personal finance, the chance to help others get on a budget, get out of debt and reach their financial goals. I love showing the power of a well-thought out budget plan, and the long term results they can have. I know it's been a while, and I'm glad to be back today with an awesome reader's budget. Today's budget is an anonymous submission. We'll call her Stella. Background: Stella is a medical doctor who has been in the workforce for just over 2 years. She has already amassed a sweet … [Read more...]

What’s Your Percentage?

What’s Your Percentage?

I love numbers. I love to break them down, work them out and come up with awesome uses from math. But I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with percentages. Sometime I find them very useful in laying out the data I'm looking at. But other times I find them deceptive, and don't really trust what they are telling me. To quote the movie Anchorman, "60% of the time, it works, EVERYTIME." But when percentages are useful, they can help us see what we couldn't see before and set goals to improve the percentage to get where we want to be. So today I want to look at the percentage of income you are using … [Read more...]

What If I Never Borrowed Money Ever?

What If I Never Borrowed Money Ever?

As I was getting ready for bed the other night, I was lamenting to my wife how tired I was, but how I wanted to write something epic for this here blog. I started a few posts, but couldn't bring myself to finish them because my heart was not in it. I wanted to write something to get people thinking, to get them to change the way they look at the world. But was I even capable of thinking outside the box? I was getting stuck in my own head, when my wife offered a suggestion. "What if we never borrowed money? Like, ever?" At first, the idea just kind of bounced off my head like a pass off a … [Read more...]

5 Simple Ways To Save Money This Fall

5 Simple Ways To Save Money This Fall

Fall is in the air. No, literally, rain is now falling, leaves are changing, and the mornings are cool and crisp. All signs point to the changing of seasons, which makes kids mourn and parents rejoice, because Fall is on is finally here. And along with the season of Fall is a number of great family activities, traditions and don't forget, AMAZING FOOD! Fall is quickly becoming our favorite season in the iHB household. Summer is great, backyard parties and friends are cool, but there's just something magical about leaves crunching underfoot and seeing your breath in the air for the first time … [Read more...]

You Need To Fail

You Need To Fail

Failure is not the worst thing that can happen. It's not. It may sometimes feel like it, especially when something big was on the line, but failure is actually the sign of something great. Failure is a sign of something much better than just getting by. Failure is a sign of actually TRYING! But I find that even I, myself, try to avoid failure at all costs. Why? I know that failing means I tried something, even if it wasn't in my realm of competency. Failure helps me learn, build new skills, find my limits and push past them. But I run from it like it's the plague instead of embracing it for … [Read more...]

Four Figure Student Loans. W00t!

Four Figure Student Loans. W00t!

  It seems like just last week I was asking you all if I should pay my student loans down or keep my savings bolstered up. And after some awesome discussion, I decided to plop $3,000 of my savings on those blasted student loans! That brought my total from about $14,000 to just under $11,000. I was pretty excited to see the progress, but to be honest, having these loans the past 4 years, it has felt like they were moving slower than a traffic jam in China (no seriously, look it up!). But today marked a momentous occasion as I can now remove a digit from the total debt left on our … [Read more...]

Money Doesn’t Exist Unless…

Money Doesn’t Exist Unless…

I visited relatives this week (hence the sudden disappearance), and was able to spend some quality time with family. As usual, I like to get into conversations about finances, because I love learning how people tick. Finances may be an off-topic conversation in some families, and I don't think everyone should divulge every financial details to everyone they know, but finances can be a fun dinner conversation. Plus, this family had something that I don't: Teenagers! Money Is Not Real I began the conversation very subtly, because I didn't want to pry… Me: "Hey Cuz, tell me, what do you … [Read more...]