How To Travel For Free: Hawaii Trip Update

How To Travel For Free: Hawaii Trip Update

Hello everyone! I hope you didn't miss me too much. Just finished up another busy tax season, got promoted at my day job and tried to see my family in between. It's been nuts! During that time, I also kept the wheels a turnin' on our epic Hawaii trip plans. Last we left off, I had put all the puzzle pieces together on getting 7 free tickets to Hawaii for our family, and was about to book the tickets. Let's see how that turned out. 7 Free Roundtrip Tickets To Hawaii We are heading to Hawaii to celebrate my mother-in-law's 50th birthday, and to have a 10 day getaway from reality. Since … [Read more...]

You Are Being Boiled Alive

You Are Being Boiled Alive

I am never one to place financial blame on the government, or corporations, or anyone else for your financial problems. Those problems are yours, and you have MUCH more control over them than society thinks. But the majority of people I help through my financial coaching just don't see the impact of all the small expenses in their budget. I always try to show them the long term impact of these things, and many people are shocked at how a few simple items could delay their retirement a few years! Yes, the latte factor is in full effect, but this time it's not lattes killing the … [Read more...]

Your Ideal Budget: Family Of Four |$40,000 Income

Your Ideal Budget: Family Of Four |$40,000 Income

I love all things budget. And having put together quite a few budgets over the years, and worked with many people on this very site to create a financial plan, I have seen a few trends. I have also been able to find ways to save money in almost ANY budget category for our family, and for the family of those who I have coached. I have found that most everyone has unique goals and aspirations for their life, but there are a LOT of commonalities for ways to reach those goals. So I have decided to create "Your Ideal Budget", a place where I put together the IDEAL BUDGET for individuals and … [Read more...]

Reader Question: How Do I Convince My Wife That Used Cars Are Awesome?

Reader Question: How Do I Convince My Wife That Used Cars Are Awesome?

I love my readers. Not sure if I've said that before. But I do! You send me awesome questions, which I get to answer, and often they are thought-provoking enough to turn into a fun post. Today's reader question bring me it back to one of the most costly and wasteful things we spend our money on: new cars. Our reader, Dave, has seen the light and agrees that buying a new car is a complete waste of hard earned dollars. But he has a dilemma! He needs to convince his wife of this. Let's see what Dave says: I've read and agree with your articles on reliable older Hondas/Toyotas. My problem … [Read more...]

How To Save Money: Use Priceblink

How To Save Money: Use Priceblink

Ok, here's the deal. Most, if not all, of you shop online. Let's face it. It's convenient (no getting off my butt to buy stuff) and usually cheaper (no storefront = less overhead costs = savings to you) and can be downright frustrating! Where do I find the best deal? How much is shipping? Does this product even have good reviews? These questions run through your head every time it's time to make a purchase online. And they should. Finding the best deal on ANYTHING takes some research and thought to make sure you are getting the best product for the best price. But today I want to talk … [Read more...]

How Facebook Is Emptying Your Wallet

How Facebook Is Emptying Your Wallet

Facebook is no longer a fad. ("Really Jake? This is 2014. And you just figured this out?"). Yes. I'm a little slow. Sorry. But what I mean is that Facebook has replaced a lot of social norms that used to occur OUTSIDE OF THE INTERNET. Things like saying "hi" or "happy birthday" no longer involve going anywhere, or even picking up a phone. No, most social interaction these days involves Facebook. And I'm ok with that. But you need to be aware of how it affects you, and the world around you. Specifically, I want to talk about the financial implications of Facebook on your personal … [Read more...]

Personal Finance Rap Video

Personal Finance Rap Video

Yes. You read that right. My buddy Matt over at Listen Money Matters is talented. Not only does he have a wicked-cool site and podcast, but apparently he can rap. And not like the "my buddies and I were drinking one night and I rapped about how drunk I was" kind of rap. No, he's got FINANCIAL SWAGGER, and has absolutely set the bar for entertaining personal finance songs. So, without further ado, here is "All My Money" by MattĀ Giovanisci. For more details on the sing, including lyrics and a "Making Of" video, check out THIS POST. … [Read more...]

$500 In Free Travel: Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard Review

$500 In Free Travel: Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard Review

Free Travel has obviously become a passion of mine over the last 18 months. I went from rockin' a cash-only budget, to booking a Free Trip To Hawaii in less than 2 years, and it just gets better and better. But this did take a little bit of work. I did a few months of research and analysis before jumping into the credit card rewards game, and had figured out the fun tricks to get us free flights and hotels. I signed up for all the best bonus cards, redeemed for 3+ trips last year, and reaped about $10,000 in travel rewards in 2013 alone! But deep down, I really wished that all the rewards … [Read more...]