Week End Round Up #67

Happy Friday! Welcome to our week end round up #67. It was an interesting week here weather wise. The Northeast was hit with Blizzard like conditions on Tuesday. Shoveling 18 inches of snow is always fun. I’m sure for my Midwest and Canadian friends, this is a typically Tuesday. It was a good lesson in hard work and entrepreneurship for my oldest son. He got together with 3 of his friends and shoveled driveways to make $50 for a few hours of work. Looking forward to eating a lot of great food this weekend, we’re hosting a get together and serving Bagna Cauda, a family tradition. Then with the Super Bowl on Sunday, there will be more good stuff to eat. I’m looking forward to the food and the commercial, since I really don’t care for either team. Here is a recipe for one of my favorite football snacks:

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 cup chopped celery
2 bars of cream cheese
1 cup Frank’s Wing Sauce
1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken
1 cup Ranch dressing
Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese to melt on top

Combine chopped celery, cream cheese and wing sauce in saucepan over low-medium heat.
Heat till cream cheese is smooth.
Add chicken
Cook a few minutes to heat chicken
Add Ranch dressing last
Heat a couple minutes
Pour into pie plate or casserole dish.
Heat @ 350 for about 15 minutes.
Some people sprinkle shredded cheese on top. I don’t. I think its rich enough but I’ve had it both ways and it’s equally delicious.
Serve with tortilla chips (Scoops work great) and cut up celery.

Enjoy your weekend! What’s your weekend plans?

week end

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

What To Do When You’ve Had Enough Of Work? @ Monster Piggy Bank

A Frugal Weirdo’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Manifesto @ Frugalwoods

15 Ways to Make Money in 2015 @ Financially Blonde

Thursday Rant : In Life, there are no tradebacks @ 1500 Days to Freedom

Do What You Want With Your Life Sooner Rather Than Later: New Road Maps for Quitting the Rat Race @ pf Twins

Confession: I Paid Someone to Clean My House…And Liked It @ Club Thrifty

Here are some of my favorite blogs:

Pass the Debt
pftwins
Prudence DebtFree
the frugal millionaire
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!

Debt is Not Forever

Jackie over at The Debt Myth has a month-long campaign going on call Debt is Not Forever. If you haven’t heard about it you should check it our, it’s truly inspiring. Many other bloggers has joined the #DebtIsNotForever movement and have posted some great material on the topic. I’m joining as well so here goes.

Debt is Not Forever

If you asked me that question five years ago my answer probably would have been “yes it is.” See we were uneducated in the ways of personal finance and were drowning in over $100K of consumer debt, but for years we kept managing minimum monthly payments and considered what we were doing normal. Everyone has credit cards, everyone has a 30 year mortgage, everyone has a home equity line of credit, and everyone spends more than they make. The problem with thinking like that is that we’re not everyone, we’re our own unique family of five. Personal finance is just that, personal, not a one size fits all cookie cutter spending plan that works for the masses. It wasn’t until our rock bottom moment, when we were out of cash and couldn’t increase our credit lines any further that I finally began to realize that debt is not forever.

Backed into a corner we had no choice but to make a change, so that’s what we did. We hit the internet seeking the great financial secrets that have been kept from us for years. What I found was most of your personal finances concepts are basic common sense. Have a plan for your money, live within your means, cut expense, increase income and if you follow these steps you can begin to win with money. So that was we did, and 50 months later we clean up our $109K mess and are on to building wealth.

debt

I Want Everyone to Know

One of the many reason to get out of debt initially was to provide a better live for my family, and reduce stress. Some where along the debt repayment way it became very clear that not only was it important to improve our finances, but to teach our children better than we were ever taught about money. I certainly don’t ever want them to be in debt, that may or may not be in my control, but I want them to have the knowledge about personal finance, retirement, and careers to make better choices if the decided to do so. I want them to know its okay to discuss money openly and honestly. So far so good, our oldest will be ready for their first jobs later this year, so we will see how well we have done with the teaching, I’m sure that our work will continue for many years to come.

Now having our finances in order and our children’s money education on its way, I have a desire to share it with anyone else who will listen. I want others to know that debt is not forever. That it is possible no matter what your income to be successful with money. Sure it make take hard work, sacrifice, but if you are willing to commit to these changes you can succeed. I have began to work with individuals to help coach them on their financials, as well has getting involved with my school district and employer to begin spreading the word. I want as many other people who are willing to make a change as we have to win with money because if we could do it so can you. Debt is not forever and we are just one example.

Old School Thinking

One of the first things we had to do to get out of debt was change our way of thinking about money. Looking back at it now I’m amazed at how much the mental part of it played in our journey to become debt free. It’s difficult to pinpoint just one moment in time or a certain learning period that shaped our views on money. I think it happens over many years, and experiences as you grow up that help shape your relationship with money. It certainly took some time to break our old school thinking.

If I heard someone say just once about saving a percentage of my paycheck in my teen years and my various part-time jobs maybe I wouldn’t have just spent all of the money I made all of the time. When my parents handed me a credit card in college and said only use it for emergencies, it didn’t click that $500 in a saving account could serve the same purpose. When we started looking for our first house, our mortgage broker told us we would grow into the payment, as our salary increased over time, and everyone take a 30 year loan. We never thought the goal was to purchase just was you need, and try to pay it off in 15 years. Everyone has debt is what we thought when we took out a home equity loan to remodel, but it was not big deal because we could manage the monthly payment. We felt the same about credit cards, so much so that we ended up with five of them to pay for all kinds of things like eating out, vacations, and emergencies. If we could manage the minimum payment, why not continue to spend, everyone else does. That’s the danger in following or thinking like others, their advice may not be in your best interest. Our mortgage broker was looking to close a loan, his concern wasn’t our overall finances and just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you have to. Since changing our way of thinking about money and educated ourselves about the different ways to be successful with it we’ve paid off our debt and increased our net worth, now on to the next mental hurdle, employment.

old school

Old School Employment

My Dad was a union member. He worked for the same company for 30 years. He was never afraid of work. He often took on part-time jobs to bring in extra money and he had side jobs as he called them back in the day. He’d always take overtime if he could and on weekend at time and a half and holiday’s at double time. I remember him explaining to me as a young boy what that meant. I grew up with that as my frame of reference for work. You land a job, stick with the company, and work hard and after 30 year you retire. Although my dad worked hard, I’m not sure he ever worked smart.

I know things are different today. People typically don’t stay with one company their entire careers, Pensions are dying, and self-employment is bigger then ever. I still cling to the idea that working for someone is the best idea. I haven’t made the adjustment in my thinking on employment like I have with my money. Employment with a company is not guaranteed, it’s just that simple. But when thinking of a job change or loss I immediately think of finding something with another company. I know this is the old school way of thinking, but it feels safe. I heard a story on a podcast recently on this very topic, comparing an employee whose fate lies with one person hand at a company. If that one person doesn’t think they are doing a good job they could be fired. If that same employee say owned a hot dog-cart who has an average 100 customers and had a single customer upset with them or disliked the tasted of their hot dogs all them need to do is replace that customer. Sure they may lose the single sale, but still have 99 other satisfied customers. It’s an interesting point.

Now I have no plans of changing careers, unless someone has plans for changing it for me. I do want to change my thought process about employment though; I want my children to see beyond the 30 year career with one company options. Whether they take that path or not I just want them to have an open mind and not be stuck thinking it has to be done only one way.

What topic have you struggled changing the way you think about it? If and when you changed what was the outcome?

Week End Round Up #66

Happy Friday! Welcome to our week end round up #66. What a productive week! I e-mailed my CEO of the company I work for with some ideas I have for our company and employees. Yes they are personal finance focused. Well my e-mail and ideas were well received! Things are now in motion to help implement my ideas. Feels good to know that something I initiated has the possibility of helping many people and my fellow employees. I will also be hosting another money coaching session this weekend, with the goal of help an individual get their finances on track. I’ve been looking forward to this all week. Enjoy your weekend!

What’s your weekend plans?

week end

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

Set Your Debt Free Date And Stick To It! @ money beagle

Who Is The Middle Class? We Are All Middle Class Citizens! @ Financial Samurai

15 Ways to Fight Debt in 2015 @ Financially Blonde

Have You Ever Been Excited to Fail? @ Even Steven Money

5 Reasons I’m Choosing to Stay Out of Debt @ the Frugal Farmer

Never Pay Credit Card Interest with this Simple Trick @ Club Thrifty

Here are some of my favorite blogs:

Pass the Debt
pftwins
Prudence DebtFree
the frugal millionaire
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!