Get a Mentor

Find a mentor. Someone that you look-up to for their financial deftness. The man/woman/couple who has it together financially. But don’t choose by appearances. Just because they have fancy clothes, a large house and 2 BMW’s in the driveway DOES NOT mean they are with it financially, It could actually mean the opposite. They may make a great income but spend a greater amount. Avoid these types, they are financial poison. The people that I’m talking about are the people that have no debt, well funded retirement accounts, and wear regular guy clothes.

A person who makes $50,000 per year and spends $40,000 a year is going to make a better mentor than the person who makes $250,000 a year and spends $300,000 a year.

Find someone that you can meet with and bounce ideas off. This could happen on a regular basis, monthly get-togethers. Or just when questions arise and you need to run an idea by someone who doesn’t have a personal interest in the issue/problem.

It would also be a bonus if this person has already successfully raised a family. Raising financially responsible kids is a great responsibility we have been given. We need to get this right. So look for people that have adult children that are doing well also.

Don’t know about y’all, but I can use all the help I can get.

Too Much Information?

How much is too much when sharing on the internet? How much do we really need to be sharing with each other compared to what we share with those in real life?

Do you need to know tons of details about those that contribute to this website? If you don’t, does it make what we post less trustworthy and relevant to you? How much personal information is safe to share from the author’s perspective?

People reading articles on the internet, especially on new sites like this one, have no way of knowing if what write is true or fabricated. I could be a single, 15 year-old kid making up stuff to jerk around with people. As opposed to the 50-something father of many that I am (honest).

And assuming you do take us at our word, how many personal details do you need to know in order for us to get our ideas across? At least some details are needed to give credence to what we are writing about.

It’s easy to say “spend less than you make” and “save more”. But without practical examples that have worked for us, will these saying help you at all? Probably not.

I’m a runner, I probably run too much. But if someone asks me how to train for a marathon. And I say “go run”. That’s particularly useful. It’s true, but some more details and personal experience would make the advice a lot more useful. But you wouldn’t need every detail about my running life. Sharing stories about chaffing and and toenails falling off, while amusing to some, wouldn’t contribute much to your running goals.

So we will try to balance over-sharing vs leaving out any personal information at all. You might get posts with some details of our financial status, marriage and child rearing tips (if we can think of any good ones), homeschooling how-to’s and personal data on other topics of interest.

So rest assured, you won’t ever know if/what underwear we are wearing. But you will know what works for our family and some of the basic details.

Go Ahead and Splurge

No really, I’m serious. Splurging once in awhile can help you get out of debt faster and save more in the long run.

If you are constantly paying down debt and/or stashing money into savings and doing nothing fun, you may soon become frustrated. Especially if the results are slow in coming. And then you might go out and blow a ton of money on something silly instead of just blowing a little bit.

Living like a desert monk is good for the finances but all that scrimping and saving can get to you. Instead set aside a bit of money each payday for fun. Call it your Blow money. Once you have it, go Blow it on something. Dinner out, new shoes, a box of Lucky Charms cereal, disco-ball, whatever meets your fancy.

Just don’t go bonkers and spend tons of money each payday doing this, make it a reasonable amount for your current financial situation.

Want to splurge on a larger purchase? Then save your monthly splurge money until you have enough and then go for it. Buy that leopard-print couch or that autographed collection of Kim Kardashian bikini pictures*.

*this website does not endorse the buying of this product, nor accept any responsibility for what happens to your eyes if you look at this product

Working From Home

The Benefits (and some cons) of telecommuting aka Working at home.

No not everyone has the option of working from home, but if you get a chance to do it, you need to seriously consider it. The Pro’s outweigh the cons. At least they have for me.

9 years ago I started working from home 2 days a week, then 7 years ago I started working from home 3 days a week and 6 years ago I started working from home all the time.

Benefits, economic and otherwise:

It saves gas and wear and tear on the car. I was spending $200 a month on gas. And that was with an average commute and free parking. Plus I was adding over 1200 miles per month to my car.

It saves on electricity. I seem to be the only one capable of turning off a light in this house. My bride and children have some genetic disorder that prevents them from turning off the lights when they leave a room.

It saves on food. I never went out to eat lunch that often, but there was always some event that came up that I felt obligated to go to. No more going out for silly luncheons.

My office is my computers, 2 laptops. I can work wherever I can get an internet connection. Is the weather nice? Why not work on the back porch and get some fresh air and sunshine.

Don’t feel like shaving or showering? Don’t have to. Want to work in your boxer shorts? Sure, that’s allowed. Want to sleep in until 8:59am and still be able to start work at 9am? That will work too.

You also get mental benefits from avoiding traffic and all the crazy drivers out there. No putting up with traffic jams, thunderstorms, snow, ice etc…or the crazy co-worker that wants to tell you about the great weekend he had building a new climbing toy for his cats.

You get time for “free”. My commute was 35-45 minutes each way. I now have an extra 70-90 minutes each day in which to do something I want to do, or to sleep.

Taking a work-from-home job with a lower salary may be worth it. Do the math and consider the fringe benefits.

It’s not all ice cream and cheesecake though. There are some issues that have to be dealt with.

Especially in a homeschooling home with 12 kids still living here to one degree or another.

It can be difficult to stay on task and focus on work. It is easy to get sidetracked and start doing other things around the house: little projects, watch TV, work on the cars or yard. BS with the wife and kids. Take kiss-breaks with the Misses.

The spouse and kids will think you are fair game and that you can be asked to do things or help with school. Especially if you are working in a common area of the house like I do at times. I have a desk setup in my bedroom but like to work in other areas of the house. Since my office consists of 2 laptops it’s pretty easy to work wherever.  I just have to make sure I focus and get the work done that is expected of me.