Disney World Problems: Unplanned And Unavoidable Issues

As I’ve outlined with my series of posts, our Disney World trip last November was an incredible experience.  It was made more so this way because of all the plans that my wife put into the trip. She spent hours and hours and it definitely paid off.  However, on a week long trip, it’s inevitable that you’ll have issues that no amount of planning could have avoided.  As much as they try to prevent them, Disney World problems exist.

Here are a couple of things that threw us for a loop and how we responded to them.

The Late Snack Delivery

I’m a frugal guy.  I know how expensive Disney World is for just about everything.  That said, we looked at various ways to save money while we were there.  One money saver was trying to get a good deal on all the snacks I knew that we’d need.

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The Credit Card of Tomorrow: Which Trends Will Change the Way You Pay

Though other countries have used EMV technology for nearly a decade, chips in credit cards are brand-new to the United States. To many Americans, it is unbelievable that such a small change mb-2016-01-creditcardcould have such a monumental effect on financial security.   The truth is that EMV chips are leaps-and-bounds better than magnetic strips for fending off fraud. It certainly makes you wonder what other fantastic tech could make paying with credit faster, easier, and better than before.

Though it certainly seems like the future is now, most experts predict the humble credit card to undergo a number of changes in the coming years. Here’s a sneak peek at what tomorrow’s credit card might look like. Let’s just hope they still offer great rewards.

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Detroit Neighborhoods and Downtown: A Tale Of Two Cities

I am one of millions who call themselves ‘Detroiters’ but who live away from the city.  For us, the city of Detroit is about 15 miles away.  A 25 minute drive and we’re there, though sometimes it feels like a million miles away.  Increasingly, that type of separation is now happening within the city itself.  Detroit neighborhoods continue to suffer while the downtown area thrives.

Thriving Downtown

If you’re not from Detroit, you may have missed on a lot of great things happening in the Downtown area of Detroit.  And a lot has been happening.

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Our Disney World Experience: This And That

I’ve spent a few posts over the last few weeks going over our amazing Disney World trip that our family took back in November.  All in all, the trip was great, and past posts have talked about the theme park, our resort, and dining option.

Here are a few categories that really didn’t fit anywhere else but are worth mentioning.  If you have any questions about any of the items below, please let me know and I’d be happy to provide more info!

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Buying Exercise Equipment Is A Terrible Idea

It’s a New Year, and we’re all ready to get in shape, right?  There are many ways to get moving toward that goal.  One thing I want to recommend that you don’t do is buying exercise equipment.  In short, I think it’s a terrible idea!

Don’t get me wrong.  Getting in shape is a great idea.  It’s a necessary idea if we want to live a long, healthy life to our fullest potential, but I have learned that buying equipment is just a bad idea, and I’m here to give you four reasons why.

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Our Disney World Experience: Disney World Dining

This is the 4th post in my series on our recent trip (November 2015) to Disney World.  This was a huge trip for our family, one that we consider ‘once in a lifetime’ and that my wife planned out to give us the most magical and memorable experiences.  I’ve already talked about our visits to the parks as well as our hotel, so I wanted to concentrate on Disney World Dining.  It’s definitely worth a post of its own.

Meal Plan

We decided to dine at Disney with the standard meal plan.  With that plan, you get one full service meal, one quick service meal, and one snack per day.  You can divide how you use up your dining credits over the course of your trip. Our plan ended up technically being ‘free’ because we upgraded to a deluxe hotel during our stay, and Disney offered the ‘free dining’ option to entice visitors.  And, it did as things were hopping!

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Financial Goals: 2015 Review and 2016

Well, another year is in the books, and it’s time to look at our financial goals, specifically to see how we did, and how we’d like to see the year play out ahead.

Overall, we saw our net worth increase, but it was a disappointment in the fact that we fell short in a few categories.  This means that we had a gain.  It just wasn’t as big as I’d hoped.  In fact, it was our smallest gain (percentage wise) in over six years.  I guess it could be worse.  It could be back like in the recession when our net worth fell.

I track our finances by breaking it down into several categories, first on the asset side and then on the liability side.  I will do the breakdowns by percentage, rather than list actual amounts.

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Money Beagle’s 2015 Year In Review

2015 is drawing to a close and I wanted to take a moment to look at a few highlights from the year.  I’ll have a post with our financial specific goals early next week, but this covers life and such.  In no particular order:

Family

Our kids got another year older and both made huge steps in their development, as is the expectation at their ages of 6 and 4.  Our son is a whiz at math and ahead of expectations on reading and writing.  For the first time, he wrote out his Christmas list this year!  He does great with Lego building and loves dinosaurs.  Our daughter is really big into Disney princesses, dancing, and is always up for a new adventure.  My wife has done a lot of work at both my son’s school and daughter’s preschool and continues to do her online side gig.  Both sets of parents are healthy and of course, loving watching their grandkids grow!

Disney

My wife spent almost a year planning our trip to Disney World and we finally pulled it off in November.  We had eight days of magical fun.  My favorite part was seeing the smiles on the kids faces and getting to share all that new magic with them.  I’m in process of writing a series of posts that I hope will help others with their planning.

Running

My wife started running seriously last year, and she stepped it up this year to run her first half-marathon in October.  She did great!  She led me into it, and I wish I had started sooner!  We differ in that she loves running outdoors and I prefer running indoors on a treadmill.  I track my running, and at the beginning OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAof the year I had set a goal of logging 500 miles, I fell a bit short due to three factors.

First, I ramped up too quickly and ended up getting a mild case of plantar fasciitis, which led me to shut things down for most of the summer.

Second, during our Disney trip, I got a really nasty chafing injury on my shoulder, and any exercise led to painfull rubbing, so I took some time off to heal.

Then, right after that I got two colds back to back (one from my wife, the other from work), and that basically ruined most of December.  All told, I ended up with around 470 miles, so not too far off the mark!  Also, my wife did urge me to run two outdoor races, a 5K in the spring, and a 4-mile trail run on Thanksgiving, and I had a blast, so I think I’ll amend my preference to say that I enjoy my daily runs indoors, but I also enjoy doing group runs outdoors.

Camping

We had a lot of great trips this past year.  I think it was the first year in all four years that I’ve had our RV that I have felt fully comfortable with things.  I’m hoping that’s a sign of good things to come.

Work

No complaints at work.  I got to work on some smaller projects versus some of the bigger implementations we’ve had in years past.  This was a nice respite.  They just announced a merger, and based on the fact that I’ve worked on past integrations following a merger, I wouldn’t be surprised to be brought into this one, which would probably make things a bit more fast paced.

Amazon Prime

We joined Amazon Prime as paying members for the first time.  I have to say, it has a lot of value.  The free two-day shipping has been great, especially during the holidays, and I’ve just started using the Video free content, which seems pretty nice.  I also use the Music player which has a good library, though I find the interface on the mobile app very clunky to use compared to the Google Play Music app, which I used for a few months during a free demo period.

Clutter

This year, I tackled clutter in our basement, which had grown out of control and required a full scale assult, so much that I basically decided everything needed to be overhauled, meaning everything got touched.  I have made huge strides, gotten rid of buckets full of garbage, recycling, and donations, but sadly, I’m still not done.  I haven’t gotten into our office and there’s still a bit of cleanup I need to do for my tool area.