Week End Round Up #53

Happy Friday! Welcome to our week end round up #54. What a busy week it has been and the weekend looks to be the same. We started the week with an afternoon football game for my oldest son. His team lost a great game 27-20. I donated blood after work on Tuesday for my youngest son’s middle school. On Wednesday we had a potluck dinner for the entire High School football program. All parents donated food, dessert and drinks. All families are invited too, so we go to enjoy some great food. Thursday had an appointment to review some plans for a possible home improvement project we’d like to do. Tonight I have to bring Mushu for a checkup at his vet and then drop my youngest son off to his schools Halloween dance. Saturday we have another football game and homecoming. Oh did I mention I squeezed in about 45 hours of work in the office this week. All is good, just busy. Even in the middle of all the busy we were able to stick to the budget all but for one night as I ran late donating blood I called an audible and picked up takeout dinner for the family. Enjoy your weekend!

What’s your weekend plans?

week end

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

Money Advice I would Tell My Younger Self @ Making $ense Of Cents

Debt & Imbalance: One Spouse Shoulders Financial Burdens cause by the Other @ Prudence DebtFree

6 Financial Lessons We Didn’t Get in Home EC @ Debt Free Divas

How Fast Can You Churn a Credit Card? @ The Broke and Beautiful Life

Here are some of my favorite blogs:

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

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 Personal Finance, Week End | 4 Comments

Interview Series: The Single Dollar

This is the twenty second in a series of personal finance blogger interviews with fellow personal finance bloggers. Today’s guest is Cecilia from The Single Dollar.

Who is Cecilia?
Cecilia: Besides an international woman of mystery? (NOT) I spent most of my late 20s and early 30s getting a PhD in the humanities, and now I’m spending my mid-30s figuring out where to go from there :) As you may just possibly have heard, the job market for college teaching has collapsed, the majority of professors now being sub-minimum-wage adjuncts. So far I’ve done ok for myself with reasonably well-paid short-term positions, but trying to figure out where to go from here is a big thing on my mind.

Why did you start your blog?
Cecilia: I had kind of a crisis a little over six months ago, when I realized that while I was making progress on paying down my student loans, it wasn’t going fast enough, and I didn’t have any kind of provision against the future (aka, a retirement fund.) There was some other, more personal, stuff going on then too, and I kind of grabbed onto my financial life as something I actually had some control over and could start to sort out. One night I googled “pay off student loans or save for retirement” or something like that, and I ended up finding the PF blogosphere. I knew right away I wanted to start my own; I didn’t feel like I could talk about my new obsession with my IRL friends and family and I really wanted to tell *someone* about what I was doing with my money.

What are your favorite Blogs?
Cecilia: I tend to like really personal blogs the best– I read lots of pro bloggers like Melanie at Dear Debt, or Cat at Budget Blonde, but over the months I’ve gravitated more towards checking in on people that are really just thinking out loud about their own debt situations. Alicia at Financial Diffractions was one of the first friends I made; I check Six Figures Under, Evolving Personal Finance, The Budgets and the Bees, Debt Free JD, and Debt Debs pretty much daily, although they don’t all update that often.

When did you first become financially literate?
Cecilia: Depends on what that means. I’ve always had a basic sense that I shouldn’t get really deeply into consumer debt and kept a close eye on my credit cards, which doesn’t mean I’ve always paid off the balance (I haven’t) but when I really ran them up by making a trip or something, I then worked hard on paying them off. I’ve never been late on a bill that I can recall — rent, credit card, utilities — so I’ve been good at that kind of thing. On the other hand, real budgeting is pretty new to me [as opposed to the kind where you figure out on the back of an envelope how to meet the needs of the next month or two] and so is a basic understanding of how the stock market and index funds and 401(k)s and IRAs work. That’s all the product of the last six months.

What was the last item you regretted purchasing?
Cecilia: Huh. You know, I can’t really think of one. Unless it’s the collective amount I’ve spent at coffee shops this year. I don’t tend to be a huge purchaser because I know I can’t afford to be; it’s more little bits here and there that add up that get my budget into trouble.

If you died today, would your family be okay from a financial standpoint?
Cecilia: Yes. I don’t have dependents, and work is carrying enough life insurance on me that my parents could pay for whatever costs they had to. My retirement fund beneficiaries are my two godchildren, so they’d each get a few thousand dollars.

What are you teaching (or will you teach) your kids about money?
Cecilia: Well, I don’t have kids, and for various reasons I doubt I will. But my godchildren and theoretical nieces and nephews, I’m definitely going to make sure their parents talk to them about starting a long-term savings account (IRA, probably) when they start to make their first income. That’s protected so colleges can’t expect you to contribute it, in my understanding (which is the big problem with regular savings) and I’d like to make sure they get what a big boost it is to start saving for retirement when you’re still a kid, even, and not (like me) wait til your mid-30s. But a less nitty gritty answer: I want to teach them that they should go into a field that will suit their interests, but also compensate them appropriately. Have the self-respect not to work for free or nearly free, as so many fields expect you to do now. That doesn’t mean I want them all to become i-bankers (I really don’t) but I want to help them find a way to choose something that is interesting to them, but that doesn’t expect free labor.

What’s your dream job?
Cecilia: College professor in a city where I have very close friends or family.

What’s been the hardest thing for you this year as you paid off debt? (write in question) Cecilia: Sticking to the plan. There were some months where I really couldn’t afford what I had budgeted to go to debt and also take care of the other things, and other months where I really wanted to say “screw the contribution to the emergency fund, let’s just pay down the credit card!” Going slowly and steadily is hard for me.

Cecilia is the pseudonym of a mid-30s single academic living in the midwest after a loooooooooooong stint in an expensive east coast city. She’s recovering her financial life after a decade of student debt and not saving, and blogs about the ups and downs at The Single Dollar.

Posted in Personal Finance | Tagged , | 9 Comments


Now that we are debt free we are officially instituting a commission policy for our three kids. Over the years we have tried varies ways to pay our children for chores. We’ve tried a straight allowance system, tracking sheets, etc. None of these really ever stuck falling off after a few weeks. Now that isn’t to say we have not given them any spending money at times, we have, when they had plans with friends, things like movies, school dances, etc. We sat down recently with our children and explained the commission system would work. It will be up to them to keep track on a weekly basis of the things they have helped with around the house. The more one does the more they potentially can earn. The totally amount is still a work in progress. We are working the total amount into our monthly budget. Most likely a $30-40 total per week range. This would be divided up among the three. They all agreed to keep track of the items completed and the lists will be kept on the refrigerator.


Commission Item

Here’s the list of items we came up with:

  • Set dinner table
  • Clean dinner table
  • Take out trash
  • Load dishwasher
  • Empty clean dishwasher
  • Mow lawn
  • Yard work
  • Feed Mushu (our dog)
  • Walk Mushu
  • Pick up Mushu’s poo
  • Laundry
  • Fold and put laundry away

The children are free to add an item at any time. We want them to take the initiative to pitch in more around the house. Items like mowing the lawn, yard work and picking up the dog poo will be weighted a bit heavier since they are more involved them the other items. We want to add preparing meals to the list. This is something we are working on.

Commission Week One

Week one went pretty well. $25 was paid out in commission. My daughter and youngest son earned $10, and my oldest son earned $5. My oldest son didn’t do a good job tracking he progress during the week and missed some possible earnings. He tried the old “I didn’t know we started yet” trick but I wasn’t falling for it. He’s been warned and ready for a better week two.

How do you handle allowance in your house? What items do you expect your children to help with? Did you receive an allowance growing up? If so what were you expected to do?

Posted in Budget, Education | Tagged , , | 32 Comments

Financially Savvy Saturdays #60

Welcome to Financially Savvy Saturdays, the savviest personal finance blog
hop on the planet, created specifically for personal finance writers! We
welcome all things money here. Whether you’ve written anything from how to
pay off all your debt to how to be a side hustle superstar, you’re invited
to link-up.

If it ties into personal finance, we want to read it!

Debt Discipline

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Feature of the Week

As this week’s co-hosts, I got to selected my favorite post from last
week’s blog hop to be one of this week’s feature, Student Loan Debt: 5
Things I’d Tell My Pre-Graduate Self by Sam from FUN on a BUDGET.

Click here to read her post!
here to read her post!

If you submit a post, you could be featured in next week’s party!

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