Life Insurance – Because Dying Is Not So Abstract Anymore

“We’re not the young people here at work.  When did that happen?  Now we worry about things like…life insurance!”

As we were discussing careers, a colleague and I lamented this thought.  I remember back when I started and was working with people all older than me.  They were all people with spouses and kids and mortgages and real responsibilities.  I was the young kid talking about going out, showing them how to do the Macarena (it *was* 1996) and not worrying about much else.

Now I look around and I’m in the group with the spouse and kids and mortgage and all the other responsibilities that go along with it.  How quickly does it all happen?  In the blink of an eye.

Read moreLife Insurance – Because Dying Is Not So Abstract Anymore

The Importance Of Positive Messages

I read a post by Eliza at Happy Simple Life and it absolutely made my day.  She talked about her ‘happy file’ that she started years ago.  Whenever she gets a thank you note or a nice message from a friend or something else that expresses a positive thought from someone else, she puts in her file.  She’s been doing it for years and her file is getting full!

I have never done this, and I imagine most people haven’t, but I have to say that I think it’s a pretty amazing idea.  Think about it.  Anytime you get discouraged or overwhelmed or when you start feeling sorry for yourself or feeling mb-2015-01smilelike you’re unappreciated or maybe even under qualified, guess what?  You have a whole bunch of history that can tell you otherwise.

I can’t imagine any better way to pull you out of a funk than looking back and seeing the different messages that have come your way.

Read moreThe Importance Of Positive Messages

I May Never Buy A GE Appliance Again

For years, I’ve followed the trials and tribulations of the front loading washing machine issues surrounding mold and mildew.  Why?  Because the GE  front loading washer that we have has been plagued with these issues since we bought it in 2007.

At the time, I thought it was great.  The community where we moved had some of the highest water rates in the area, so it was a HUGE win to save money on the water bill with the new type of machine that used significantly less water.

The honeymoon quickly wore off.

Moldy Gasket

When we first got our machine, we did what any sensible person would do and closed the door when it wasn’t in use.  Sound, reasonable, right?  Well, we quickly found out that was a bad idea when the rubber gasket around the door started getting covered in mildew.

Read moreI May Never Buy A GE Appliance Again

If You’re Told To Evacuate, Then Evacuate

Hurricane Matthew hit the United States over a week ago now, but the cleanup and damage assessment still goes on.  One of the things that I saw in the days after Matthew was finding people that had died or that needed to be rescued.  While I felt bad for the people, I had a nagging feeling that many of the people that died could have lived. Many of the people that needed rescued could have avoided their harrowing situation had they done what many of their neighbors had done, which was to get out of dodge.  During disasters, why do some people fail to evacuate?

Technology Doesn’t Help

Matthew didn’t come out of nowhere.  It didn’t go wildly off course (and the times it did actually helped things from being worse as it stayed further offshore than anticipated during the strongest points).  So, if it wasn’t a big surprise, how come so many people still ended up in harms way?

Read moreIf You’re Told To Evacuate, Then Evacuate

Are Installment Loans the Right Choice For You

Life happens and unexpected expenses, with even planned events such as a wedding or home improvement project, can send any household budget into a frenzy. Not only that, but the stress alone can also take a toll on your health. In these instances, taking out an installment loan may be the answer to your problems.

What Is An Installment Loan?

An installment loan generally has set scheduled payments due on a particular date each month. Some examples are your mortgage, a car loan and student loans. Generally, the determined  interest rate comes from the market and your credit score. Before increasing your monthly budget, make sure that you are comfortable with the amount you’ll have to pay. Your credit score will be impacted by late payments.  Perhaps an installment loan will avoid that.

There are also other types of loans with short-term repayment terms that might offer a better option. While the payments each month will be higher, you will lose the loan faster, paying it off in months instead of years. A payday loan is an easy to acquire loan well-suited for someone that does not own a home and has a less than stellar credit rating. However, this type of loan also comes with high-interest penalties, sometimes even more than the initial loan itself and the terms of repayment are limited. Yet another choice and a better alternative to the predatory payday loan is to look at fast installment loans. Personal cash loans and installment loans in amounts up to $1250 as an alternative option to payday lending. Key benefits include minimal eligibility requirements, fast-funding and flexible repayment. Qualified applicants must have a social security number, an active checking account, and a verifiable source of income.

Impact of Installment Loans

Taking out an installment loan can also help you improve your credit score. This, of course, depends on how many other open sources of credit you already have. If you have only a couple of credit cards and a mortgage, an installment loan paid on time will show credit worthiness. However, if you already have many credit cards with high balances, a car payment and a mortgage, your debt to income ratio could be a red flag for a potential lender.

Ultimately, it’s always best to plan for a major purchase, an event or a remodel.  Have funds set aside in a savings account for these purchases. This way there is no pending bill that will increase your monthly expenses. Of course, if it’s something that’s unavoidable, you have to go with the option that works best for your situation. Installment loans offer an affordable way to pay for the expense over time. If you have a mortgage in good standing, check with the bank you use first.  You may qualify for a HELOC or a personal loan. The interest rates are generally lower and repayment terms can range from a few years and up.

When it comes to taking on debt always make sure that it’s something you can handle and something that you need now. Establishing a savings account and building up the money so that you can pay it off without interest is the better way to go. If it’s a home improvement project or a car payment, delaying the purchase or work order until you have the money saved can help you enjoy your life to the fullest without the added stress of being just one paycheck away from poverty.

Before Keeping Up With Them, Ask Who Are Your Joneses?

Keeping up with the Joneses.  We’ve all heard it.  We know what it means.  Hopefully we don’t do it.

Keeping Up With The Joneses: Who Are Your Joneses, Anyway?

But, since most people that you start comparing yourself to probably aren’t actually named Jones (though, some might be), I wonder who your Joneses are.  Meaning, who are the people that, when you see them, make you want to ‘keep up’?

For me, I don’t have actual people, but the people who fall into these groups are definitely my triggers.

Read moreBefore Keeping Up With Them, Ask Who Are Your Joneses?

We Leased A Brand New Pickup Truck – Here’s Why

I’ve been doing this blog for years and I read a lot of other related personal finance blogs.  I love it.  One of the common themes that you’ll see among the personal finance blogging community is to buy a car, whether it new or used, and then keep it for a long time.  This is great advice and advice we lived by for a long time.  But not anymore.  See, we leased a new pickup truck.

Have I gone off the rails?  Nope, I’m still of sound mind.  Am I going to be shunned by my fellow bloggers? Man, I hope not!  So, why did we do it, then?  Well, because the numbers made sense.

Here’s some of the factors that went into our decision to lease a new truck.

We’d been tossing around the idea of something different

We had a 2007 Buick Rainier that was our family car and the tow vehicle to our travel trailer.  Although it had only 94,000 miles, the age and declining value and wanting something more reliable had given us thought to getting something more current.

Read moreWe Leased A Brand New Pickup Truck – Here’s Why

Does Being Too Close To Money Make People Turn Evil?

The latest scandal in the banking industry has my shaking my head.  For those who haven’t heard, Wells Fargo is in it deep because they basically set quotas for the number of add on services that employees were required to sell.  This was pushing people to go above and beyond normal circumstances, opening accounts without permission, forging signatures, pressuring family and all sorts of fun stuff.  So I have a simple question: Does money make people evil?

Still In The Cycle Of Corruption

Basically, more awful behaviors in an industry that has the stench of a lot of awful behaviors.  I mean, nobody has forgotten the subprime mortgage crisis, right?

It just got me to wondering why this stuff keeps happening.  I’ve heard that we should break up the banks to make them smaller, or taking certain functions (like investing) away from banks.  All sorts of things, but I’m not sure any of that would work.

Read moreDoes Being Too Close To Money Make People Turn Evil?