Week End Round Up #62

Happy Friday! Welcome to our week end round up #62. What a great week. We returned from a short but wonderful trip to California to visit family and attend a wedding. We had an amazing time. We got home just in time to attend our youngest son’s winter concert, followed by our daughter’s winter concert later in the week. They both sang beautifully. Then we found out we made Yahoo Finance’s most inspiring personal finance stories of 2014. Wow! I hope our story continues to give others hope. I have a few last-minute shopping ends to tie up this weekend, then I’m going to sit back and enjoy the Christmas Holiday with the family! Enjoy your weekend!

What’s your weekend plans?

Some Photo’s from our Trip:

week end

week end

Now on to some of my favorite reads from the week:

My 2nd Meeting With Debt-Debs: Finding “Community” in PF Blog Community @ Prudence DebtFree

Will The 4 Gift Rule Work For Your Family This Christmas? @ Frugal Rules

Santa Claus – The Ultimate project Manager – @ Modest Money

Here are some of my favorite blogs:

pftwins
Prudence DebtFree
Dear Debt
Moneyminiblog
Messy Money
The Frugal Farmer
brokeGirlrich
Enemy Of Debt
The Broke and Beautiful Life
Club Thrifty
Squirrelers

I continue to featuring Interviews of fellow Personal Finance Bloggers, please consider participating.

Please e-mail me for more details.

Have a great weekend!

Posted in Week End | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Interview Series: Indebted and In Debt

This is the twenty-ninth in a series of personal finance blogger interviews with fellow personal finance bloggers. Today’s guest is Kirsten of Indebted and In Debt.

Who is (Kirsten of Indebted and In Debt)?
Kirsten: I’m a wife and mom to two small girls. My husband has quite a bit of student loan debt, and I have my own.

Why did you start your blog?
Kirsten: That’s a good question. I’m not 100% sure why :) I was on maternity leave, about halfway through, and I had spent a lot of time online while I was nursing. I felt like I had seen all the internet! Blogs became a little bit of a savior during that time and I thought, hey, I bet if I blogged about my debt, I could get some accountability going. It was part wanting to join in and part hoping it would change my life.

What are your favorite Blogs?
Kirsten: It depends on the day. Obviously Debt Discipline is a great blog :) Frugalwoods is always great for a snort. Myles Money is always really impressive (maybe partly because he is so young). If I need to be uplifted, I’m sure Meredith Bernard will come through. Lisa Jo Baker does a great job encouraging moms – and hers was one of the first blogs I started reading.

When did you first become financially literate?
Kirsten: I’ll let you know. I thought I knew quite bit about finances, but as I started reading other blogs, I realized I have a long way to go!

What was the last item you regretted purchasing?
Kirsten: I went to Target a couple of weeks ago and I could not stop picking up pretty dresses for my girls. They didn’t need them.

If you died today, would your family be okay from a financial standpoint?
Kirsten: They would be OK – which is a recent thing. I learned at the beginning of October that I didn’t have enough or the right kind of life insurance, so we had to make some adjustments.

What are you teaching (or will you teach) your kids about money?
Kirsten: My kids are very young, but we got my oldest a “Save, Spend, Share” bank recently. She’s doing great understanding the concepts. Later on, I want to make sure they both understand to avoid student loans.

What’s your dream job?
Kirsten: For a long, long time, my dream job was to be a flight controller at NASA’s Mission Control Center. I accomplished that. Now, my dream is to be a stay-at-home mom.

What is the one thing you wish everyone knew about money? ( write in question) Kirsten: Student loans are not an “investment in your future”. They are debt. You can work your way through college and/or you can get grants and scholarships. You do not need to finance your undergraduate education. Your future self will thank you if you don’t mortgage your future away!

Posted in Personal Finance | Tagged , | 5 Comments

A la carte Airlines

Last week I flew on an airline for the first time in over three years. As part of our get out of debt plan we cut back on travel over that time to save money. This was a tough sacrifice for my wife. All of her family lives on the opposite coast 2500 miles away. This isn’t to say none of the family has traveled, we shipped our kids over to visit the grandparents one summer and we have made several road trips as a family. We just have not logged any air miles as a family. So now being debt free we plan to travel more often. This is one of those first trips, sort of, as only my wife and I made this trip. We headed to the West Coast to attend a close family friend’s wedding and visit with family. It was perfect timing being right before the Holidays. We flew coach, are stayed with family and are borrowed a car, so overall cost are being kept in check, but what I forgot about since I haven’t step foot on a plane in over three plus years is how a la carte airlines have become.

Airlines

The up-sell started a few days before our flight, we received an email stating that first class seats were available for the first leg of our flight (we had 1 connection) at a cost of $369 per person one way. The $369 is just slight under what we paid for a single round trip ticket. We didn’t bite.

The next was the day before when we checking in and were hit with a $25 per checked bag cost. We only had one, due to the personal care items we had packed we could carry them on.

Upon arrival at the airport and check in there we were offered a $39 per person preferred check in. I wasn’t even sure what that was, but we declined. I found out later that the extra $39 allowed you to board the plane in between the first class, business class and every other class and coach. So basically you are paying to board before coach. Not worth it.

Once on board and in flight there was any an announcement made about WiFi. That WiFi was available on the plane. I figured I’d check in on my blog, beat a fill levels of candy crush, you know kill some time. I connected with no issues, but when I hit my browser I could connect to the Internet. Then I got the dreaded pop up with the WiFi pricing options. $10 for 30 minutes, $20 for 60 minutes and the low, low price of $34.95 for an all day pass. I passed again.

Next was the beverage and food service. I was glad to see that soft drinks, coffee, tea, juice and water were still complimentary. Wine, beer and spirits are not and ranged from $7 to 15.99. We stuck with the free stuff. We did cave on the food and snacks. Although the $3 bag of M and Ms was tempting we stuck with a snack pack $6.99 and fruit & nut mix $5. The highest priced item was a southwest chicken salad for 8.99, not too bad. The flight attendants were all equipped with portable credit/debit card readers willing to swipe away your purchase.

The last and not least was about ¾ of the way through the flight an announcement was made for an incredible credit card offer that was being made available to us today, and only if we signed up while on board. It was a Mater Card with APRs that ranged from 15.99 to 24.99% depending on your creditworthiness. It did feature a 50,000 bonus mile sign up, which equals 2 round trip tickets. We again passed on the offer just not ready to take the plunge.

airlines

I guess I’m just a bit rusty and need to get my travel game face on as we are planning at least two more trips in the next 6-8 months. I really need to settle in on travel rewards card to help minimize cost going forward. I’m just not there yet.

What’s the one cost you can’t stand from airlines? How do you save money when traveling?

Posted in Spending | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Week End Round Up # 61

Happy Friday! Welcome to our week end round up #61. Well my wife and I will be traveling for the first time post debt freedom, and no big surprised we are flying coach, staying with family when we arrive and borrowing a car. We did receive an e-mail just this week from the airline asking us if we would like to upgrade our tickets to first class for the low prices of just $319 per person, one way. Ouch! As much as I’d like to be pampered during our flight, I’ll keep the $638 in my pocket. We are looking forward to a relaxing weekend away with family and friends. Enjoy your weekend!
week end
What’s your weekend plans?

Now on to some of my favorite reads from the week:

How to Say Happy Holidays to Your Personal Finance Inept Friends @ brokeGirlrich

Terrible Gifts You Should Never Give a Coworker @ Wealthy Turtle

Rejection Isn’t Failure @ The Broke and Beautiful Life

5th Semi-Annual Report: $100,000 Down! @ Prudence DebtFree

16 Habits of Wealthy People @ Money $mart Guides

Here are some of my favorite blogs:

pftwins
Prudence DebtFree
the frugal millionaire
Dear Debt
Moneyminiblog
Messy Money
Frankly Frugal Finance
The Frugal Farmer
brokeGirlrich
Enemy Of Debt
The Broke and Beautiful Life
Club Thrifty
Squirrelers

I continue to featuring Interviews of fellow Personal Finance Bloggers, please consider participating.

Please e-mail me for more details.

Have a great weekend!

Posted in Week End | Tagged , | 10 Comments