debt debs

Personal Debt Wrangler – Had my money head in the sand – but no more!


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7 Financial Lessons Learned from My Parents’ Debt

I am very happy to have a guest post from one of my blogging friends, Erin from Journey to Saving.  I’ve mentioned before about how I worried about the impact that our financial bad habits have had on our kids.  Erin shares her story about this below.

financial-lessons-learnedI am no stranger to debt. While I have only personally experienced student loan debt, consumer debt came knocking on my family’s door decades ago, and nearly destroyed us.

Debs is very open in sharing her mistakes and experiences when it comes to debt and her own family, so that others can learn from her. It’s for that reason I only thought it fitting to share my own story here, with all of you, along with some of the lessons I’ve learned from my parents’ debt.

Debt is a common enemy of ours, and even though it brings dark and trying days, I’ve been able to get a few things out of it after starting on my own financial journey. After reading this post, I hope you’ll be able to as well.

The Beginning

It all started when I was 7. My dad had been laid off. I suddenly began hearing the word “No” much more often, accompanied by frustration at the predicament we found ourselves in.

My 7-year-old brain didn’t comprehend this as I can now, but I knew enough to be scared. What will this mean for us? I often wondered, especially after hearing my parents speak in hushed tones.

Bits and pieces made their way to my ears: losing home, can’t afford, might not recover, and can’t keep this up, were just a few phrases that clued me in to what was happening.

The real warning sign was that my lovely grandma was showing up at our house more often, always with food and household products in tow. It was as if we didn’t have to go grocery shopping anymore!

My childhood self was more than a little naive, thinking my grandma was stopping by just to spoil me with goodies. While that was part of the visit, something deeper was going on, as I saw her attempt to hand my mom cash several times. My mom usually refused.

Thankfully, my family recovered in about two years. My dad worked part-time until he found a full-time position, which put us in a better place. On top of that, my mom began to work full-time once I turned 13.

We went on our merry way, and I was none the wiser to the increasing pile of bills that would slowly bury us in several years.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

financial-lessons-learnedIt was only at Christmastime that I was told money might be a little tight, but my parents always managed to get me what I wanted most. I never truly knew just how bad of a state we were in, until my dad lost his job again, this time, while I was in college. This time, I knew what was going on, and I wanted to run.

My parents had never gotten their financial act together. They had never saved, and they still hadn’t paid off their debt. I was angry at them. Why hadn’t they learned from their mistakes the first time around? Was I the only one that remembered those times? I didn’t know how they let history repeat itself.

What’s worse, my mom became resentful toward my dad. Without his income, we were relying solely on her income, which was only half of what my dad made. I should say that my parents were never extremely high-earners, so while we kept a mostly frugal lifestyle, losing my dad’s income was a huge blow that we never recovered from for many reasons.

My parents have always been prideful and unwilling to take “handouts.” As such, my mom shouldered the burden of making ends meet by herself, even when I offered to help. Likewise, Debs is the primary breadwinner in her family, and I know it’s not easy at all. There are plenty of mom’s out there who are shouldering this burden, and doing an amazing job of it. While it can be a thankless job, your children will grow up to appreciate and respect you for it.

To say this was a difficult time would be an understatement. I can’t even begin to tell you all how happy I was when we finally got through it. There were times I doubted we would. I took mental notes through everything, because I knew I never wanted to go through that again.

I wanted to make sure I could safeguard myself against debt. Student loan debt had been different in my mind, so I sadly didn’t avoid that, but you can bet I won’t take on any consumer debt after what I’ve seen it do. For that reason, I’d like to impart to you the financial lessons I learned from watching my parents suffer with their debt.

7 Financial Lessons Learned from My Parents’ Debt

  1. Save, budget, and track spending. Keep an emergency fund. Please. It kills me to know my parents would have been fine had they actually taken the time to save money. Because they didn’t have anything to fall back on, any unexpected expenses would go straight on the credit cards. It was a vicious cycle they were unable to break out of. My parents also thought they had a good hold on things, but I guarantee that a budget or spending sheet would have opened their eyes.
  2. Communicate. According to my parents, there was a bit of miscommunication going on. My dad believed that they were paying the cards off in full every month, when in reality, they were paying the minimums. This was because my mom balanced the checkbook and paid all the bills. I know Debs has mentioned a few times that she didn’t realize how bad things were because her husband was doing the same. Even though I handle all of our finances, I always keep my boyfriend in the loop. Your other half needs to be included.
  3. Perseverance pays off. I want to inject a little happiness into this post! I’m glad to say that my parents fought the battle and won, in their own way. They are still in debt, but they were able to retire and move to a place that is much more affordable. They purchased their house outright and no longer worry about a mortgage. With the sale of their old house, they were able to put a large chunk toward their consumer debt, and they now have a good buffer in their bank account should they need it.
  4. There’s more to life than possessions. Having a little less than my peers made me realize early on that there’s simply more to life than having the newest gadgets, prettiest clothes, trendiest accessories, etc. My parents never purchased name-brand anything, and they always shopped frugally. They’re both deal-finders. I got a hand-me-down car (from my grandma to my mom, then to me) and only replaced it once it was unreliable to drive. Even though it was a funky teal color, I didn’t have to pay for it, and that made it valuable.
  5. Experiences matter. I’m an only child, and many of my memories growing up involve my parents. None of these memories revolve around things, though. Yes, I can remember the gifts they’ve given me over the years, but what matters most to me now is spending time with them. No one lives forever. So the next time you feel pressured into buying something for your children, remember that prioritizing experiences is the way to go. They will thank you for it some day. Remember to enjoy the little things life has to offer.
  6. Keeping up with the Joneses? Nah. I never got the sense that my parents were trying to keep up with anyone, even though there were plenty of people around us that were clearly questioning our priorities. They were never phased by it. Sure, it’s a little sad to see people from college “living the life,” (or so they want us to believe?), but I’m happy where I am. I have a great boyfriend, two adorable cats, and supportive friends and family.
  7. Don’t give up hope. This has to be the most important lesson I’ve learned. My parents went through a lot in a short span of time, twice. Yet, they’re still together. They pulled through. And I turned out fine. Looking at my student loan balance can make me feel hopeless at times, but I know I’ll reach a $0 balance someday. Being in debt has taught me things I never would have discovered about myself, and for that, I am thankful.

 

financial-lessons-learnedI want to close this out by saying that things could have been much, much worse. Compared to some people, my family had it easy. I am very grateful that my grandma was there to help us through everything, because I’m not sure we would have survived without her generosity.

Don’t let debt take away from you any more than it already has. I know it can be soul-sucking, and that the journey is a long one, but you’ll make it through if you choose to fight. And I know you want to, otherwise you wouldn’t be here!

What are some of the lessons that debt has taught you? Did you grow up around debt? How has it affected you?

erinmauthorpicErin M. is a full-time personal finance freelance blogger and virtual assistant. She’s passionate about helping other millennials get started on their financial journey. She blogs about frugality, being happy with less, and tackling student loan debt on Journey to Saving.

 

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brokeGIRLrich


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Debtity-do-da! – Debt Repayment Plans

debt-repayment-plans

We’re #1!!

Our debt repayment is now listed in Money Smart Guides Debt Payoff All Stars and we show as in #2 position, but I will advise Jon Dulin after this post to move us into #1 spot, baby!  Yep, we’ve paid $160K in 2.5 years!! :-D  Go check out his list and if you’re on a debt repayment journey you may want to add your numbers to the list.  Nothing like misery loves company, I always say!

So let’s take a look at the numbers since I’m actually on time with my update to our Debt Repayment Plans.

debt-update

click to enlarge

I’m very happy with the consistent progress.  $48.6K paid so far this year – on track to pay my target of $60K and there’s a good chance we will exceed this.  Whether we meet the stretch target of $65K is looking like a possibility, but I don’t want to count my chickens as there’s a few unknowns which I’ll get to in a bit.

Debt Repayment Plans ~ Progress by Type of Debtdebt-repayment-plan

  • Timewise we are 41.3% through our debt repayment journey targeted to end May 18, 2018.  Our debt is 40.7% paid.  So technically we are 0.6% behind but so close!
  • This means our debt remaining is 59.3%, so we are below 60% remaining of our original total debt at 2.5 years into our debt repayment plan.
  • At right is the % paid to date by type of debt.

e-fund-20141004

Our Trusted e-fund

Steady eddy is fine by me, especially with how the year started out. This brings me to our forecast for September. Not sure if it’s because of back-to-school or what, but The Irishman’s income for October will be below our minimum goal of $2,400 / month.  He’s only made $2,200 in September to be paid in October.  He’s been quite busy the last few days so hoping it’s just a temporary blip. Of course, this is why I’m building up my emergency cash fund again.

Plan is to get it to $15,000, because technically it’s not only our emergency fund but also our property taxes fund which are approximately $5,800 and have to be paid in two installments in March and June.

Anyways, I increased it by $2K in September, on top of paying off $5.6K of debt above, so ya, hash-tag winning!!

Plan is to do the same in October but that’s not looking so promising.  We have $1,200 bill for The Irishman’s professional fees and with only minimum income, it’s going to be difficult.  Meh, I’m not going to get worked up about it.  It could be worse.

debs-devotions - MediumDebs’ Devotions #3

Thanks so much to the following blogs for linking my recent posts:  Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet and Travis @ Enemy of Debt featured my post Credit or Cash?  Pick Your Poison in their weekly round-ups.  Travis is a big fan of cash, as are many of my blogger friends.  However, I also have many blogger friends that endorse credit, like me, mainly for the rewards points but also for easier expense tracking.

In retrospect, I wish I had conducted a poll on that post, but better late than never, I have one for you here folks.  Just for your info, I did a quick tally based on the comments left on that post.  If anyone mentioned that they use cash or debit, even partially (except for really small amounts of cash) I put them on the CASH side, and all others who use Credit and were big on paying of monthly (a must!) and getting rewards I put on the CREDIT side.  Totals came to 20 for CREDIT and 22 for CASH.  So that’s a 48% / 52% split.  Let’s see how the poll comes out.  Even if you already commented last time, please vote in the poll again.  Merci.

Last time I did a poll, I didn’t get a lot of responses, but that was in my early blogging days.  I kind of like polls, to be perfectly honest, so hopefully I can do more on here as inspiration strikes me.

Some favourite posts that resonated with me or were helpful to me:

Stop Dehumanizing The Poor, Homeless from Sam @ Frugaling.  I get overwhelmed when I think about the suffering in the world.  But then I think, I’m no good to anyone, if I let this feeling overtake my emotions.  I do what I can, and I pray.  Please take a look at Sam’s insightful post.

10 Bare Necessity Blogging Tips from Steve @ Kapitalust.  Still learning myself and I like to help others, so I want to share this with fellow blogger readers.  Go check out Steve’s Fluff Piece also for some fantastic photos he took.  So beautiful!

You Don’t Know Jack (and Neither do I) from Laurie @ The Frugal Farmer.  Full of inspiration, Laurie tells us like it is. Incidentally, Laurie was the winner of the Plutus Award at FINCON for Best Green/Sustainability PF blog , worthy of mentioning, just sayin’.

Can I Retire Today? Yes, but I Won’t from Jean @ Nearly Retired.  Jean is finding her way to retirement, like me, so I find lots to think about in her posts and including her FREE Retirement Readiness Assessment which was very helpful.

Scheduling a Side Hustle from B @ Banishing Loans.  She works and full-time job, a part-time job and runs a blog.  Seriously, that is a lot of work and I’m always looking for tips on how to up my game so I can achieve this.  Not only that, but B has opened a second blog Miss on the Money.  Go check out her first official post there.

Society Makes It OK To Te Broke from Kim @ Eyes on the Dollar.  Kim has a perfect everyday example of how some people live, but maybe don’t need to.  Not saying all financial hardship is easy to solve, but with some effort, I would think that situations like this could be turned around.

BATB TV: Tips to Save Money from Tonya @ Budget and the Beach.  Oh how I laughed and laughed.  Seriously, who needs Cable TV when you’ve got great content right here on your lap!

Filed Under Life as We Know It

Monkey-Butt-DepartsOK, that’s a wrap.  I’m doing Brian’s 31 days of Writing this month and I’m not gonna lie, it ain’t easy.  I was doing okay until last night and fell asleep on my daughters couch as she was putting Monkey Butt to bed.  He’s gone for ten days so I’ll just have to come and stare at this picture taken last night just before supper.

Tweedledum-TweedledeeThis means we’ve got our two grand-dogs for the next 10 days or what I’ve dubbed “10 Days of Misery”.  LOL  We love dogs but these two are seriously high maintenance.  The wiener (let’s call her Tweedledee) has a back problem and has to be carried up and down stairs and has been diagnosed with renal (kidney) issues after a recent sickness.  The black rescue (Tweedledum) cannot be trusted with free reign of the house as he marks his territory.  One whines for food (and she’s off most stuff except special kidney food and green peppers) and the other whines for us to throw his toy.   They are pretty cute so all errant behaviours are quickly forgiven. Nama thinks they may have a bath and hair clipping in their near future if she get’s around to it.    October is our dog sitting month.  Next week we have the neighbour’s dog for a few days and we have another neighbour’s dog for 2+ weeks after the grand-dogs go home!  Go big or go home, so they say!

Would you consider joining the Debt All Stars List?  Did you vote in the Cash versus Credit poll?  Have you ever dog-sit before? 

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Friday Jet Fuel #14


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Debt Do Run Run

The above was from 1963, I was four years old and The Irishman was eleven.  We just celebrated his 62nd on 9/11 this week.  Yes, fate has linked his birthday to that tragic day never to be forgotten.

So excited about our debt repayment process, I alluded that August was looking good and I’ve had a sneak peak at September and so far so good!  Our debt dropped $6.4K in August (and $3.6K so far in September – not shown).  I’m just shy of my timeline – I should be at 40% paid off towards our debt repayment date of May 18, 2018 but I’m at 39.3%.  I’m hoping I may be ahead of schedule for my September update.  We’ll see.

debt-update

click to enlarge

Buoyed with this consistent and solid performance, I’ve added a new debt repayment date counter in my sidebar.  It says I am three years to debt repayment, but it’s actually 3 years 8 months.  My stretch target is 3 years 3 months.  I did some calculations yesterday and a got a glimpse that maybe it was down to 3 years 5 months but immediately figured I made a mistake.  I’ll leave a little more time pass and recalculate again.  I don’t want to jinx us, and we still have to get through that dreaded winter where income may fall short again.

This time of year is generally better for us cash flow wise.  The additional payroll deductions that hit in the first part of the year are long gone.  To prepare for winter/spring lower income, I’m boosting up my e-fund/property taxes fund to $15K.  I’m currently at almost $9K.
debt-emergency-fund
Now for some exciting news!

Frugal FinCon Fiesta Party

debt-frugal-fincon-fiesta
So while I’m running away all my debt, and don’t make enough on my blog to cover my costs plus many other good reasons (check it out if you want a laugh), I’ve conspired with some of my fellow bloggers to do something fun while the rest of you are lollygagging* away in New Orleans.  Before I tell you what’s in it for the rest of us, let me tell you a bit more about FINCON.

  • It’s a conference for financial media – bloggers, journalists and freelance writers, financial advisors and coaches, podcasters and brand marketing experts.
  • There are workshops and speakers on beginner, intermediate and advanced topics to help communicators write better content, broadcast their message to larger audiences, learn to work with new media platforms.
  • It runs from Thu Sep 18 – Sat Sep 20 this year, 2014.
  • There’s a $99 virtual pass where you get lifetime access to all the keynotes and breakout sessions including videos, slides and MP3’s.
  • It costs $499 for the conference fee.  There were other passes available for advanced sessions etc. but they are now sold out.  Hot stuff!
  • You can’t bring your spouse into the sessions / parties unless they are a registered attendee (Guess they’re taking a nap!)
  • There are FinCon mobile apps at the iPhone store or the Google Play Store (Android).
  • The tweet tag is #FinCon14.
  • For more information visit the FinConExpo.com

*I needed to check the meaning of lollygag to make sure I was using it in the right context.

lollygag

verb

    1. To idle about; goof off: He has the summer free for play, swimming, berry picking, and general lallygagging/ when my nephew and his companion lollygagged back to my house (1862+)
    2. To kiss and caress; dally; make out, neck, trade spit (1868+)

I think maybe I am, he he, but no worries.  But I just wanna say that if there is any of item #2 above going on, can you at least wait for next year when I can go?

Okay, on to the details about the Frugal FinCon Fiesta Party.

  • It will run Sep 18 – 20 to coincide with FINCON and allow people time to visit other blogs (after all, most of us are working during the day, or taking a nap ;-) )
  • It will be an open linky party using the inlinkz tool.  You do not have to get an account. I have provided the code to insert into your blog post.**  This will display links with pictures to all of the other partyers on your post.  Here is an example from #FinSavSat.  If you do not have a self-hosted blog but use WordPress.com, it will show up as little frog like in this post (from when I used to be on WordPress.com) but will take you to the linked blogs.***
  • The purpose is to entertain questions from your readers like J. Money did in Ask J. Money Anything Day and Crystal did in Ask Crystal Anything Days.  Answer the questions in the blog post (like live blogging over a 3 day period, as time permits, of course).  Indicate in the comments when the question has been answered in the post.  If you choose to get the party started by posting some teaser questions and answers about random facts about yourself, then by all means go ahead.  This can be a great way to spawn future blog posts, if the answer is quite complex.
  • I also would like you to encourage non-blogger readers to say ‘hi’, even if they don’t ask a question at this party.
  • Let’s do some banter in the comments as well, not the usual commenter comments and blogger responds.  Let’s mix it up and comment to other’s comments for some $hits and giggles.
  • It will be super hot if you put a picture in the header of your post which you can select for the inlinkz. (or it will give you the option to choose other photos on your blog).  There are tons of great shots if you search on “Fiesta” in MorgueFile.com to give your post some pizazz!
  • I reserve the right to take down any spammy links or otherwise party-poopers who are not participating in the party with the spirit in which it was intended.
  • TWEET #FrugalFINCONFiesta and HAVE FUN!

** Write your introduction to your post and then click on this link to get the code to be inserted in the text (html view) at the end of your party post.  get the InLinkz code Note:  You will not see it in preview mode.  It needs to be posted live to show up.  If you prefer to test, edit an old post.

Link your own post up to the party by clicking on the little blue box that says “Add your link” at the bottom.

*** Special instructions on how to set this up on WordPress.com is linked here from inlinkz. (non self-hosted blogs)

So what do you have to say about the ‘hotness’ of my debt repayment?  Are you in for the Frugal FinCon Fiesta (Hotness) Party?  Any non-bloggers wanna give me a wink?  ;-)
#FrugalFinConFiesta

This post is part of Friday Jet Fuel #10 and

brokeGIRLrich


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Financial Mistakes of the Worst Kind

financial-mistakes-debt-debsThe way I handle our finances today is night and day to what we did before. So much so, that I even have a hard time remembering some of the financial mistakes we made. It’s probably because I push bad memories from my consciousness. It’s a coping mechanism.

So before I completely forgot everything, I thought I would try to document the things I do remember about the worst financial mistakes we made that got us into $394K of debt.

You read that right folks! So now I would like to walk you through things we would do over, if reliving our experience. Hang on for the ride!!

To read more please go to my guest post on Frugal Rules.

I’ve featured this post on

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I Just Paid Off my Cash Advance Credit Card

… and other stuff

But first

I am excited to be guest posting at Financial Samurai today.  Steps To Get Out Of MASSIVE Credit Card Debt Due To Lifestyle Inflation.

Steps To Get Out Of MASSIVE Credit Card Debt Due To Lifestyle Inflation – See more at: http://www.financialsamurai.com/steps-to-get-out-of-massive-credit-card-debt-thanks-to-lifestyle-inflation/#sthash.rlqueGIK.dpuf
Steps To Get Out Of MASSIVE Credit Card Debt Due To Lifestyle Inflation – See more at: http://www.financialsamurai.com/steps-to-get-out-of-massive-credit-card-debt-thanks-to-lifestyle-inflation/#sthash.rlqueGIK.dpuf
Steps To Get Out Of MASSIVE Credit Card Debt Due To Lifestyle Inflation – See more at: http://www.financialsamurai.com/steps-to-get-out-of-massive-credit-card-debt-thanks-to-lifestyle-inflation/#sthash.rlqueGIK.dpuf
Steps To Get Out Of MASSIVE Credit Card Debt Due To Lifestyle Inflation – See more at: http://www.financialsamurai.com/steps-to-get-out-of-massive-credit-card-debt-thanks-to-lifestyle-inflation/#sthash.rlqueGIK.dpuf

And second

I want to thank everyone who commented for their support on my last post Thoughts on Suicide which was incredibly difficult to write.  Actually I take that back, it was quite cathartic to write and was written very easily.  What I didn’t expect was the after effect.  I felt quite drained for a few days.  But that’s okay, it needed to be said.  It is very comforting to see the number of people who have written on this topic recently, not only from the sufferers perspective but from the caregivers perspective as well.  I know both sides of this coin, so I fully endorse these views.

One Year Blogiversary from Green Money Stream – Kay has shared that she recently has been dealing with depression and I want to support her in any way I can.

Why Do We Wait from Budget and the Beach – Tonya has written some wonderful prose that is well worth reading and heeding.  Thanks for sharing my post, too!

The Impact of Mental Illness and Suicide from The Money Pincher – her experience with her father’s death, full of regrets, laments and frustrations, keeping it real.

You Are Not Alone from The Pursuit of Riches – Debby’s been touched by this illness and has learned much compassion, something we can all use a little more of.

Being Grateful: Thirty-Ninth Edition from Journey to Saving – E.M. shares her dark ages and her journey to the light, and what a bright light she is in our PF world!

I was so inspired by some things said, I turned some quotes into picture tweets:

 

 

Thanks to Shannon for linking my post in her roundup: Blog Round-Up: Week of August 11, 2014

 

There is hope for all those who are suffering.  Keep trying and tell someone who can help you.  Do not suffer alone in fear of being a burden to your family or friends.  Give them a chance to help guide you.  If you don’t get the support you need, tell someone else (and forgive them, they may have their own burdens not yet known).  By all means draw on your support network, and part of that support network is you.

And finally third

I’m so late in getting my debt update from beginning of August done.  I was supposed to do this Sat and well, read above.  It’s going to plan which is great.  I don’t have my little graph updated but will do that next month.   So here are the numbers:

cash-advance-credit-card

click to enlarge

 

Time wise I am 39% through to our May 18, 2018 debt payoff date, but I am only 37.6% through the debt.  Not going to get all panicky about this yet.

Okay, so you are going to say what does this post at all have to do with Low Rate Cash Advance Credit Cards?  Well see the number under credit cards above for $6,014 above?  Well that was as of August 1, and included in that number was $2082.21 still owing on our 11 month 0.99% cash advance credit card for which we paid $24K against our mortgage and have been slowly paying off all year.   That is now paid off as of Friday!  Yay!  All of my angst about the winter months of low income and having to dip into our emergency fund are behind me (for now!).  So ya, whew!  All in a day in the life of a personal finance debt blogger.

Now you have a good week now, y’hear.

The-Power-of-Now


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Monkey Butt: The Power of Now

Irish Rose-the-power-of-nowIt’s summer time, the time when things usually slow down.  The sense of urgency lessens and you can literally stop to smell the roses once in a while.

Whereas last summer I was chilling by the lake many weekends, this year, for various reasons, we have not been able to make the weekly trip as often as we would like.  This has definitely contributed to my lack of feeling rested.  Work has been quite busy and this new found blogging hobby is consuming all of my other time, with some exceptions.  Excuse me while I point out my #1 priority.

The Power of Now

I hadn’t seen him since Sunday and felt a strong need to whip over and see him for his bath and bedtime routine last night.  Poor little guy has been sick this week with roseola but has started feeling better.

So I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, trying to juggle so many balls in the air, but also maybe a little tired last night.  I knew today would be a killer day, as I was facing a deadline for work and waiting on some information before I could complete a bunch of work that likely would not be smooth sailing.   I wanted to draft a post last night, knowing that my work may take me into the evening on Friday with Murphy’s assistance.   But, I was so tired and my brain was fried, that I just couldn’t face some of the topics that were floating around in my head but not grabbing me outright and compelling me to write.  Is this my first case of writer’s block?  Oh my!

Anyways, at the beginning of the week I was caught up on blog reading, but knew I was fast falling behind again.  This didn’t please me, so I decided to turn my attention towards this, because my post for today obviously wasn’t going to write itself!

The first blog that came up on my reader was the one I was meant to read right at that moment.   In my busyness, I have fallen away from something I strove to practice since last summer.  Frequent readers may remember that I have referenced the concepts of “The Power of Now” a number of times.  This time last year, I was enjoying reading and applying it to my everyday life.  Today, I’ve got the book still perched on my bathtub ledge, I think about it often, but am I applying it?

The-Power-of-NowIn his post, John brought me back to the splendor of applying the concepts of living in the moment.  When I take sudden road trips, thankfully not too far, to go see my little monkey butt, I feel like I am getting there.

But that is not enough.

Living too much in past or in the future is not good.  And as much as I strive to not do this, I still am.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t lament about the good old days.  I do feel the best is yet to come… or… ahem… is now.

To be honest, unless I’m recounting a funny story, memories can be still a bit painful – missing my Aunt, my Mum, my dog.  But I don’t want to go there.

I prefer to live in the moment but yet I do live a bit in the future.  Life is not perfect, because I cannot do exactly everything I want to do.  That is why I sometimes live in the future.  What if I get to the future and it is not as I expected?

There’s a high probability this could happen.  Therefore I am wrong to put all my eggs in that basket, all my money on Monkey Butt  for the win, all my desires on hold today because I must sacrifice for a better tomorrow?

Sometimes, I feel I’m continuously playing catchup, in a world that won’t stop.

I am swimming across the English channel or Lake Ontario.  It’s choppy and not fun, but I’m determined to get there.

I know I don’t want to sacrifice my goals for some fleeting pleasures, and yet must I sacrifice my present joy for something that may not materialize exactly as I imagine?

The answer is no.

I can have it all.

I can experience joy today, as much as I want and not turn my back on future goals.

I can execute on my plans, but not let it seem like drudgery.

I can find balance, in a world of demands and opportunities.

As long as I allow myself to take those opportunities and even seek them out.  I deserve them.

I deserve to achieve my goals as well, so I keep my eyes on the prize.

I live each moment and say, “How am I feeling now?”

Is this bringing me pure joy?  Keep doing it.

Is this in line with where I want to go?  Keep reaching for it.

Is this too much of one and not enough of the other?  Stop.  Rebalance.  Then get back on that horse called Monkey Butt, as soon as I am ready.

P.S.  I really recommend you read John’s post, Be observant, it will change your attitude, if you haven’t already.  BTW, after reading it, I shut down the laptop and went to bed.  I managed to get my work completed by 5  p.m. today (that never happens!)  And now, I  have the pleasure of writing this post, refreshed, relaxed and ready to start the weekend.  How’s that for living in the moment?
 

I’ve submitted this post as part of

A Disease Called Debt
and you can too!
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63 Comments

Money Lessons in Marine Life

I don’t know what was going on this week but I can’t believe the number of videos I saw that were oceanic in nature.  Did you see them?  I do love some big blue ocean,  so it made me want to look them up so I could watch again (I originally saw them on the TV news).

They lead me to other fantastic sea videos which I loved so much,  I wanted to share.  So not to worry folks, if you missed seeing great marine life videos this week, or want to see them again, plus more, I’ve got you covered.

Besides, Discovery Channel is starting their advertising campaign leading up to Shark Week which starts August 10 so this will rev you up for that.  Don’t get Discovery because you canceled cable to save money?  Well then, you’re in for a treat.

But since this is a personal finance blog, I need to keep things relevant and that was not hard to do.   First watch the video, and then I will tell you what this video is saying to you in personal finance terms.

So we are gonna have a whale of a time and there’s even a special photo taken by moi that I am proud to share amongst this fabulous collection of videosl

Double Breach

Did you see that?  She took your eyes off prize just for a short bit and then missed the opportunity to see the complete double breach jump.  Um ya…., that’s like if you finally put your money where your mouth is and bought Apple (Disclosure:  Short AAPL ha ha) in March this year at $75 even though it was lower than $60 for a bit in April and June of last year.

AAPL-Shark-Week-money

Source: www.nasdaq.com Apple Inc. Stock Chart

On the positive side, she’s got it on video and with a selfie to boot!    That’s gotta be worth some money!!  [Personal note:  we took the same boat tour in September 2011 but didn’t see one whale]

Not Checking Your Money

Did you see that at 39 seconds?  Maybe it’s hard to see the whales, I dunno.  Apparently the pilot didn’t see it but only avoided the landing because of the antics of onlookers on shore.  I would have thought that in an area where whales are quite common, you would be checking for these carefully as you land.  What does this remind you of?  How about not checking your bank balance before you use your debit card so that you don’t go into overdraft?

Money Trickery

This was reported as a ruse put on my The Discovery Channel to raise excitement of their upcoming shark week.  Was it brilliant or slimey?  Slimey as in when you do your homework to check out all the prices on a new TV, decide to buy from one place and find out the salesperson neglected to tell you that the wall bracket costs extra.   Ya?  But then you bought the TV anyways, right?  I mean it is SHARK WEEK after all.

Big Problem

You’ve got a whale of a financial problem, it’s ugly and “you’re in the bottom of the ocean alone”.   (You feel like) you’ve got no one to help you, no one you can talk to, but if you can figure it out and pull it off what a story it will be.  Anyone else feel like that?  No one?  Just me?

Well truth be told, I used to feel this way.  Now that I’ve started blogging I feel like I have people to talk to.  Lots of people.  Thank you.

Money Constraints

Does your budget and frugal living sometimes make you feel like you’re on the periphery and not having fun?  It’s like you are looking at everyone playing, like the pelicans, but not able to partake.

Don’t let your frugal living put you on the bench.  There’s lots that you can do that doesn’t cost money.  I, for one, am just thrilled by all these on line videos I can watch  for entertainment purposes.  It’s not the money you can’t spend, it’s the money you choose to save that’s important.

Financial Wins

Witnessing something unexpected is like winning a prize or getting a bonus that you didn’t expect.  You can’t believe you are witnessing this.  You’re in the right place and the right time and it feels so good.

Celebrate small financial wins in a joyous manner.  They will happen, and probably when you least expect it.

Leap into Investing

You have a lot of built up anticipation before you finally make your first investment in equities.  You think it’s going to be good but it’s also kind of scary.  The suspense is quite real.  Hang on for the ride, but don’t get freaked out by all the ups and downs.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I have a confession.  I’m afraid of big fish.  And by big fish I don’t mean any big fish, I mean humongous groupers.  Aren’t they the ugliest looking things?  Well after watching that video and now that I know they are an endangered species, I feel kind of sorry for them and now I think they are kind of cute.  It’s a bit like feeling sorry for the Joneses.  I mean, they don’t realize their money is going to be extinct if they keep on spending the way they are.

Mr. Pay Day Loan

Barracuda-money

Mr. Pay Day loan is courtesy of moi, although The Irishman will say he took the photo but I do think he is mistaken.  He was found off the shores of Cozumel while we were scuba diving.  Great place to scuba dive.  Mr. Pay Day Loan found some unsuspecting divers borrowers to lend money to and I caught it on camera.

Barracuda looking at food

Barracuda-debtdebs.com-moneyDid you see that?  Just in case you missed it I’m gonna show you again, fully illustrated.

So there you have it, all your money concerns illustrated by oceanic situations.  Have you ever heard the expression “You can’t fight the ocean“?  Well that’s true, I totally agree with that.  But as far as personal finance difficulties go, you can fight ‘em tooth and nail fin.

*Note:  The first three videos are the ones I saw on the news this week that spurred this post.

Linked to Friday Jet Fuel #2

 

Shoeaholic No More
This post was featured on Rockstar Finance
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64 Comments

Debt Update and MVP Blog Award

I’m a week late in giving my monthly debt progression update.  Something else was going on last Saturday.  Oh yeah, I was finalizing my migration to self-hosted wordpress and doing a live blog.   Such is life.

I was also planning on getting this post done last night, so I could get on with a bunch of chores I need to do around here today.  But alas, I fell into bed at around 9 p.m., unable to keep my eyes open.   There was not even a drop of wine consumed last night, so I can’t blame that and I can assure you that there was none consumed in the making of this post – maybe a cup of java (or three), but I mean, what are lazy Saturday mornings for?

Debt Decrease

I’m a little disappointed in my debt decrease from last month.  Not that we didn’t pay our debt as planned, but it was because our credit card took a jump due to car repairs.  Anyone else out there hate those blasted car repairs?

debt-impacted-by-car-repairsI mean we budget them and all, but it’s hard to forecast (for me), the timing.  In addition, I think we budget too low an amount because it always seems to come in higher.   Like so far this year we’ve spent $1,742 on car repairs for two vehicles, but I think most of it was on the truck and I have budgeted only $120 / month for vehicle maintenance.  Actually, I just checked and I had one transaction misclassified in MINT for a oil change on my car for $71.30 and the picture at the left was taken before I fixed it.  This month we spent $1,150.03 for front and rear brakes on the truck.  {big} ugh

debt-paydown-debtdebs Ya, so like we’re $1,000 in the hole and that translates directly into our debt numbers I’m going to show you next.

I only started this graph last month so the actuals and forecast are tracking exactly from Dec to Jun.  It’s hard to tell, but there is a slight difference between the forecasted debt and the actual debt.  That is why I added the data values onto the graph.

Look for more variability going forward (or not!) and if there is some I’d prefer it to be on the upside instead of the downside as shown, thank you very much!

You see, we should always be tracking to our debt repayment or better unless (a) The Irishman’s income is way lower than our minimum target or (b) we have unforeseen expenses like car repairs > budgeted.  If his income is better, then hopefully we can apply even more to debt repayment.  At least that’s the current philosophy.  OK, my philosophy.  OK, now don’t get all philosophical on me now.

Detailed Debt Figures

Ahem… on to the detailed figures.  Our debt decrease was only $3,200 since last month which is better than our abysmal Jan and Feb, but not as good as last three months.  If I add back the extra $1K+ for car repairs, we’re still only at $4,350, which annualized would be $52K, and short of our annual goal of $60K, which we have managed to achieve the first two years.  Year to date, The Irishman’s income is only $1,100 lower than last year, so I’m not quite sure what the explanation is for the lower debt repayment and it’s making me a little nervous.  Anyhoo, I’ll need to stew about  look into this a bit more.

I know these debt repayments are large compared to what some of you reading this may pay in a month, but I just want to say it’s all relative.  Anyone want to trade an opening debt position of $394K with me?  Anyone?  I don’t know why I feel the need to justify this every time I put these figures out here.  Clearly I need help, or more money, or both.

Debt-Debs-Debt- Details

Click to enlarge

I’ve added a little metric which I think is quite titillating (see how sad my life has become?), which is the % decrease in debt from our opening position in March 2012 as compared to the % of time that has passed until our debt freedom date – May 18, 2018.  May 2018 is what my avalanche/snowball debt calculators are telling me, and I revise these every few months to see if we are on track.  So far so good (crossing fingers and toes).  So I picked May 18 since it is year 2018 as an arbitrary debt freedom date.  Time (and money!) will tell if we can achieve this date or not.  To be perfectly candid, my stretch target is Dec 2017, but at this juncture that is looking really stretched!  So you can see that we are 36.5% paid off but we should be at 37%.  Missed it by that much!  Quoting Don Adams from GET SMART!    Time for a video.

Who reading is old enough to remember Get Smart? I couldn’t find one with him quoting that line, but the cone of silence has always been a favourite and is used in my everyday dialogue quite often so I thought it appropriate.

Anyways, compared to earlier months this year, we are doing pretty good for that metric. Last month was the best where we were only off by 0.4%.

Emergency Fund

Emergency-fundNeedless to say, I have not been able to put any additional towards our Emergency / Tax fund since last month.  That’s the other bad news.  However, on the positive side, I was able to pay our second installment of property taxes of $2,812.42 last month without taking anything out of this fund which is reserved for emergencies and property taxes.  I normally try to contribute $500/month to it.   So technically I’m $2,300 ahead in trying to get my E-fund up to a new target recently set due to the slow earnings months experienced in Q1.

Is there any metric or piece of info that I’m not telling showing that you want to know to complete the picture?

CNA Finance MVP Award

Debt Debs - Personal Finance MVP!
Before I go and get on with my chores, I must tell you that I’m tickled pick to be awarded the CNA Finance MVP of the Week award  by votes from readers over at CNA Finance Blog.  Josh has a series where he posts every Friday called “Why Bloggers Fail” and he explores different topics on this subject each week.  Based on feedback received, he awards a blog each week and yours truly was selected this week.  I am really humbled by all the nice things he had to say but especially thrilled that he captured the essence of what I do here perfectly.  I guess my communication skills aren’t so bad after all!  heh heh.  I really appreciate all the readers who voted for me as well.  Truly.

Thanks to the following blogs:

Carnival of Financial Camaraderie over at Counting My Pennies for  featuring one of my posts:  Couples Money Conversations You Want to Avoid.

Young Adult Money for Weekly Hits Roundup and Personal Finance Tips – Moving Blog from WordPress.com to Self-Hosted WordPress.org

Have an amazing weekend folks.  That’s a wrap.  debt debs, over and out.

My Pennies, My Thoughts
This post is part of Financially Savvy Saturdays
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Tweet hashtag #FinSavSat
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35 Comments

B-A-C-K-S (Break50.com, Anti-spam, CNAFinance MVP, Kisses & Kudos, Self-hosted)

Hi folks

I had a good Canada Day weekend, after a rough start, which is why I’ve entitled this post BACKS!  The Irishman tried to change the front brakes on the truck himself.  We had paid $754.76 parts and labour, earlier in the week to have the rear brakes done.  He decided to do the front himself because they are less complicated and he figured he could save the labour charge.  Parts alone were $395.27!  Yikes!  It’s been an expensive week.

sciatica-x-ray-self-hostedAnyhoo, he struggled to get the rotor off because there was rust and corrosion and then couldn’t get the brakes on because they gave him the wrong brakes!!  They gave him rear brakes!   So he rushed to take them back and get the right parts before we needed to babysit and then he didn’t have the right receipt.  So he dropped me off at my grandson’s, so my daughter could leave to go to a wedding and ran back home to find the receipt and get back to the dealership before the parts department closed.

He ended up having to finish the job on Sunday morning and it was a lot of work.  Consequently he is complaining that his back is sore which isn’t good since he had back surgery 7 years ago.   This is his x-ray before his surgery where they put two titanium rods in his back.  I have another photo post surgery of the incision but it’s too gross to show you.

I told him to go to physiotherapy.  I hope he listens and I don’t have to nag him.  Every time he complains about it I’m going to hold up a sign with PHYSIO on it.

Short post (sure you say! ;-) ) today, with various updates on some topics.  So I’ll get started real quick, continuing with the BACK theme.

Break50B – Break50.com Interview

Speaking of brakes (breaks), I was very pleased to be interviewed at Sov’s site, Break50.com,  The Personal Debt Wrangler – an interview with Debt Debs.   Discussions of net worth and Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich (which I’m currently reading) over there.  Worth checking out as there’s information I have never yet disclosed on this blog.  A big thanks to Sov, for his hospitality.

Canada-anti-spam-legislation

flickr: janet galore

A – Anti-Spam Legislation

Canada launched new anti-spam legislation on Canada Day, July 1, 2014.  In order to comply, I believe I have to get express permission from people in Canada who subscribe to my blog via email.  I also need to remind them how to opt of receiving emails, at any time.  Since this is a fairly new blog, I don’t have  a lot of email subscribers, 9 to be exact (most subscribe via WordPress reader or blog reader tools (Bloglovin’ or feedly).  In addition, I don’t know if my email subscribers are Canadian or not.

But in order to be compliant, I did managed to send out an email using Google Forms to get their express permission to continue to receive my blog posts via email.  Google Forms was actually pretty easy to use, although I made a boo-boo with my first email out and forgot to ask the subscribers to identify themselves.  I was getting confirmations back that they still wanted to subscribe to my blog, but I had no way to know which of the 9 subscribers was responding.  So I sent out a second email.  Since then I have received responses back from 3 subscribers with their email (Thank you! :-D ) and another 4 affirmations but with no email indicated.  But I’m suspecting that the four are from the first mail out, so theoretically I have only received 3 out of 9 responses and I should be unsubscribing the other 6 from my blog (Boo Hoo! :-( )

I wanted to do a blog post about how to use Google Forms to do this.   I may still, or I may update this post afterwards, but basically, here is the content of my Google Form:

Anti-Spam Consent

I would like to send a very sincere thanks to all of you who have subscribed to my blog debtdebs.com.

Canada is launching a new anti-spam legislation on July 1, 2014 and to comply with this I would like to obtain consent from you individually by confirming that you agree to continue to receive messages from me whenever I post a new blog entry at debtdebs.com.

You may unsubscribe to receiving these messages at any time by selecting Unsubscribe at the bottom of any email you receive from debt debs or by contact me at debtdebs@gmail.com.

If I do not receive a response from you, I will remove you from the mailing list.

I’m looking forward to continued sharing of my personal finance related stories with you.

Thank you and best regards,
Debs

For more information about Canada’s anti-spam legislation visit.

http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/home

* Required
Do you provide consent to continue receiving emails from debtdebs.com? *

By selecting

My email address is *

This is needed to match responses with responders

 

CNA-Finance-PF-MVP-Award-Vote-for-meC – CNA Finance Personal Finance MVP Award Nomination

As I mentioned last post, my blog has been nominated for the CNA Finance MVP Award.  I was quite tickled given the caliber of the other two nominees.  If you like what you are reading here, there is still time to vote until the end of the day Wednesday.  The votes will be counted Thursday morning.  You can vote by leaving a comment in the post or send an email to CNAFinanceHelp@gmail.com!  Thank you so much for all those who have voted so far!  It’s a long shot for me, but I really appreciate the sentiment, very truly.  :-)

self-hostedK – Kisses & Kudos

Since I’ve been away and not near the internet for a few days, I have a lot of catching up to do.  I see many have re-tweeted my post from Saturday and left some nice comments.  Thank you very much!  I’ll be around visiting blogs for the rest of the week.

S- Self-hosting (Moving Blog from WordPress.com to Self-hosted)

I’ve decided to move my blog from the awesome WordPress.com hosted site to a self-hosted site and that will be happening this week (all things going well, crossing fingers and toes!).  There’s a few reasons behind this, most pressing reasons listed first:

  1. I’ve been asked to participate in an event that will utilize Rafflecopter, and this plug-in cannot be deployed on WordPress.com hosted blogs.
  2. I found out when co-hosting a FinSavSat blog hop in May, that I couldn’t display the other blog posts that were participating in the usual nice format that shows the post and associated picture.  Instead I had to have this dumb little frog’s head, that readers would need to click on to see all other linked posts.  Since I would like to co-host that blog hop again and maybe others, I need to be able to install plug ins on my site.  Full stop.
  3. Initially I did not want to pay anything for my blog, since I felt I was being hypocritical, since our large outstanding debt was the primary catalyst for starting.  I finally got fed up with the annoying WordPress word in the blog url (debtdebs.wordpress.com) and bought my domain name for $26 after I realized I wanted to continue to devote my time and grow my blog.  Now that I realize how much work is involved and still want to continue, I need to set myself up for potentially monetizing my blog down the road.  My initial intention was to grow my readership first, and then decide.  Now I realize that delaying the move will only result in more work down the road.  So that, in addition to the above two factors makes me realize that I should do this now and not delay.  If I had known this before, I probably would have started out as self-hosted.

Happy-4th-July
I must admit, I’m a little nervous.  I’m not technically inept, and I like troubleshooting, but I would rather that things go smoothly because who needs the hassle?  I would rather devote my time to writing and reading other blogs.

So despite my good intentions above, if things seem a little quiet here and from me for the next few days, then you will know why.

Wishing all U.S. based readers and bloggers and very fine Independence Day!  Happy 4th of July!

Be back later.  :cool:

B – Do you ever do your own brake jobs?
A – Any Canadian bloggers done anything similar for the Anti-Spam legislation?
C – Can you vote for me?
K – What are your plans for Independence Day?

S –  Share any words of advice for moving from WordPress.com to self hosted?

advice


53 Comments

Debt Debs Super Duper Advice

debt-debs-adviceDid you see the great post compiled by Mark @ MoneySavingDude which compiles 50+ Money Saving Tips From Some of The Best Personal Finance Bloggers Today?

There’s a great variety of ideas from lots of great experiences all collected in one spot.  Mark did a great job on compiling that post.  I was so impressed that I took him up on his offer to promote myself add my own.  #growingmyfangirls&homeboys

This got me thinking about all the things I have learned over the last 2+ years of our debt recovery journey.  We’ve made so many mistakes, that I could do a Do’s and Don’ts, but I wanted to keep this positive.   So with the World Cup Fever upon us, let’s just call this the FIFA List (Finance Is Freakin’ Awesome).  So here’s my list of things I wish my former self knew already:
FIFA

  1. Track your spending!  Yes, I know you think it’s boring but once you make it a habit, it is not.  Just start.  Make a plan of what you can afford to spend against your income (a budget) and stay within it.  If you blow some categories one month, just pick yourself up and do better next month.  You can cut back (eat your pantry) on groceries next month or reallocate from a category you are under budget on.   Use a piece of paper, excel, MINT, YNAB… whatever… just do it!
  2. Stop buying stuff! It’s just crap! More stuff to dust, giveaway, throw away later. Live a minimalist lifestyle and put value where it belongs on activities and experiences and people!
  3. Use credit cards for rewards only if they are for things you need and are lucrative.  i.e. Cash in the hand for cash back cards are the best.  Travel can be good if you can work it so that you are saving a lot for planned travel.  Anything else that causes you to buy things you don’t need, or travel a particular way you normally wouldn’t are not what you are looking for.  Look for cards that give you 4% on ‘needs’ purchases – gas and groceries.
  4. Always pay off your credit cards monthly, the only exception being in step 5 below.
  5. Use low rate balance transfer cards with discretion and manage very carefully. Use them to your advantage to pay off a higher interest debt but don’t get caught with your pants on the ground! I can’t stress this enough!  So here are the conditions:
    1. Under no circumstances let anything else be charged to this card while you have an open balance. This happened to us for an annual renewal that we forgot about and we have paid $20 more interest as a result. Hey, you don’t think that’s much? I’ll take $20 any day!
    2. Don’t pay a balance transfer fee. Usually they are at about 1% but sometimes more. Negotiate for a 0% balance transfer or wait for that deal to come along. We were constantly being solicited to do one of these transfers and we said only if they would waive the transfer fee, which they did, and the interest reate is only 0.99%.
  6. Pay off your home in 15 years. How to do this and why?
    1. How?: Take out your mortgage for 20 or 25 years but ensure you have prepayment privileges so you can pay extra throughout the year and with a high enough maximum so that it will be gone within 15.
    2. Why?:

i.      You want to have cushion in your amortization period so that if worst case happens, job loss or illness, you have some buffer and don’t get stressed about it, as you might if you only had an amortization period of 15 years.

ii.      It’s better to be able to pay extra through out the year. Otherwise you need to be very disciplined to save the extra $3K to make the prepayment before your annual anniversary.

iii.      Most people buy their homes when they are starting out and before kids start coming. By the time your oldest is preteen, there’s other expenses to worry about like sports and activities (hey kids are expensive!) and having your mortgage gone gives you greater flexibility and more opportunity to save for university costs and extra for retirement*.

iv.      I don’t advocate skipping your retirement savings during this period of mortgage repayment. You should be doing both simultaneously. Your budget should be tight, but it should be doable. If you can’t, then maybe you should consider that you bought too much house.

Guess which one is featured on 50+ Money Saving Ideas?

Pay-off-Mortgage-in-15

So on the topic of Lessons Learned, although I’m still learning the ropes on blogging, and I might have already shared a thing or two on that too, I like to include stuff as I go along this new journey of PF blogging.
(PF = Personal Finance or Pretty Freakin’, your choice ;-) ).

blogger-carnivalI recently signed up for some blogger carnivals and learned a couple of things I’d like to share:

  1. It is the host’s discretion which posts to feature for that week.  Some hosts seem to cover all posts submitted.  Others just pick up the top ten.
  2. If your host is not picked up, you can try to submit again in the next week.  General rule of thumb is that the post should be less than two weeks old, but I’m not sure how ‘official’ or enforced that is.  I’m still learning, but I’m thinking that you could submit something up to a month old, possibly.  That’s what I’m going to try to do and we’ll see how it goes.  Let’s face it, if you don’t get picked up one week, it’s pretty hard to only submit posts that are less than two weeks old.  That’s why I’m thinking there may be some leniency there but we’ll see.
  3. Some carnivals are not posting regularly per the schedule.  I tried contacting the hosts to see what’s up with that, but have not had much success.  You can contact me directly if you have any questions in this regard.
  4. Keep a record in an excel file or something of what posts you submitted to what carnival.  You don’t get an email once your submission is received and it’s easy to lose track if you are submitting a few at a time.  If it doesn’t get picked up, the situation gets even more confusing a few days down the road.
  5. If you’re post is picked up, then you should receive a ping back.  What I did not know, but Harry Campbell from Your Personal Finance Pro helped clarify, is you are supposed to include a link to the carnival on your site.  Duh!  Makes sense right?  It doesn’t have to be a separate post.  You can just tag it on one of your posts or include in a weekly roundup if you normally have these.

So here are the carnivals that I have had posts featured on:

The link above is for PF blogger carnivals but I’d also like to point out Mel @ BrokeGIRLRich did a really great post on blog parties called Personal Finance Blog Hops and Link Ups.  Again, these are PF related, but these are common in the blogging community on many niche areas it seems.

keep-calmLastly, while I’m at it, I would like to shout out to these folks who have featured my posts in the last month.  Okay I’ve never done this before and honestly did not know this was blogger etiquette.  Duh! Again!  Now I understand why people cover this in their weekly highlight posts!!  I won’t be tardy in my backlink love in the future.  Live and Learn …

Can A Marriage Survive a Debt Crisis? – Thank you Brian, John, Shannon and Hayley who featured this post on Debt Discipline – Week End Roundup #33, Frugal Rules -Thank You for Serving!, Financially Blonde -Weekly Roundup and A Disease Called Debt – New Blog Design Soon – Hayley’s had her new blog out for a few weeks and it looks fabulous!
Curve Balls – When You Are Hit With Unexpected Financial Events was in Young Adult Money’s The Weekly Quick Hits Roundup – Thanks DC!

Couple’s Money Conversations to Avoid was link loved in Everybody Loves Your Money -Link Love – 6/6/14

Two Key Blogging Tips to Help Your Brand and Exposure was helpful to The Write Budget – Weekly Wrap Up #18 – Back to the Beach.  Lauren was able to fix her favicon so that it showed up on the browser tab instead of the little navy blue Bluehost squares.  I was really happy that the tips were helpful!

Debt Games – was a guest post I did at Kayla’s site Shoeaholic No More when we did a blog swap and she wrote Debt and the Single Girl here.  Tonya @ Budget and the Beach enjoyed that post as well and featured it in her Feeling Guilty/Link Love.

Father’s Frugal Finances – was liked by Debby aka Little Miss Money aka Ginger on a Mission in Day 246 – Public Transportation: a Comparison.  She’s over in Belgium right now training for her new job and had something to say about New York City versus Belgium transportation systems.  Jason aka Dividend Mantra was long :-) on love in his Weekend Reading – June 21, 2014.

Whew!  I just realized this is a combo post, personal finance advice and new blogger advice all rolled into one.  Something for everyone.  ;-)   Actually, not really, but once I start doing my investment portfolio updates – watch out!  In the meantime, I hope that you found something useful!

“Advice” Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
“Funfairs Carnivals” Image courtesy of Nathan Greenwood / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Smile House” Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net