Friday Favorites Roundup – April 19, 2019

Baseball practice has started for my son.  This is his third year playing.  We switched him over to Little League this year.  The past two years we used a city-sponsored organization, but we ran into an increasing number of problems.  There was a disparity in team talent, lack of organization, poor communication, and the like.  Little League is more expensive, but so far has been a much better experience.

The Michigan weather hasn’t done us any favors.  April can go either way.  This year we’ve had some really warm days, but also some incredibly cold days.  Practices have seemed to favor the chilly days.  It’s also been very rainy.  So, even if they practice when it’s not raining, it’s been muddy.

Regardless, it’s still fun to see kids learn and grow individually and as a team.

Great Blog Posts

With that said, here are five great blog posts I’ve recently read as well as one I wrote that I am proud of.  I hope you enjoy them!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Blogger Tip: Install One Plugin Update At A Time

The other day, I had a slight outage here at Money Beagle.  Chances are you missed it, as it wasn’t down for very long.  It was only by sheer luck that I was able to get it fixed so quickly.  The experience taught me a valuable lesson: A plugin update problem can be fixed quickly if you update one at a time.

The Vast Expanse Of WordPress

I run my blog on WordPress, which is the platform for a huge number of blogs, due to the ease of use and flexibility to make each site unique.  The popularity of WordPress means that there are a lot of extras that you can add, and these are called ‘Plugins’.

For example, the little buttons that give you the ability to Tweet my post, or the checkmark that appears next to the comment box to weed out spammers are just a couple examples of plugins, and they are some of the ones that users can ‘see’.

There are some other plugins that run more back-end functionality, which don’t necessarily provide anything extra that the user can see, but can improve things like security, monitoring, speed and other performance.

Read moreBlogger Tip: Install One Plugin Update At A Time

Consider Failure On Your Path To Success

I love a good success story.  Who doesn’t?  There are so many stories about people who make money blogging that I thought I’d give some perspective.

Make Money Blogging: Going Full Time

As you know, I read a lot of different blogs and one of the themes that comes about with blogging, especially here in the personal finance niche, is how people are able to turn their blogs into businesses, often with the ability to leave their day jobs and concentrate full time on blogging.

It sounds pretty cool.  And it is!  Think about some of the success stories:

  • Back in the heydey of blogging, some of the more established bloggers in the personal finance space were reported to have sold their blogs for over $1 million dollars each
  • One blogger left her job, started making a few thousand a month, and last month reported income of over $78,000 just from her blog!
  • More than a few bloggers have written eBooks about topics that they write about and have watched the money pour in
  • People are able to freelance and write articles and promote their own blog and write for others to the tune of thousands of dollars per month.

Read moreConsider Failure On Your Path To Success

Why I Visited 1,132 Personal Finance Blogs (And What I Learned)

I’ve always had a slight obsession with, every now and then, doing a ‘complete’ review of something.  Over the years I’ve done things like:

  • Read every book in chronological order from a particular author
  • Listened to every single CD in my collection
  • Played every video game I owned for a particular console.

I think I do this because I always find something interesting when I do so.  I’ll rediscover a book that I had forgotten about, I’ll realize that I really like a particular CD (or sometimes realize I made a really bad purchase), etc.

Read moreWhy I Visited 1,132 Personal Finance Blogs (And What I Learned)

Saturday Sprinkle #1

I’m going to try something new and post some random thoughts that aren’t big enough to justify their own blog posts, as well as mix in some links to other blog articles that I’ve enjoyed over the past few weeks.

  • Weather – I don’t know about you, but we have had a heck of a warm finish to winter.  Here in Michigan, we did have a couple of February snowstorms, but that was about it for the year.  Now, our temps have been 10-25 degrees warmer than average for awhile.  No complaints, but just keeping our fingers crossed that this doesn’t come at the expense of warm summer days!
  • Income Loss – Not many people would find it in them to write an inspirational post after losing half of their household income, but Kristen at Joyfully Thriving does so, which is why this is one of my new favorite blogs to read!
  • Frugal Moment of the week – Last Saturday, we wanted to get the kids out of the house and go do something. The kids couldn’t agree on an activity, so we split up.  I took my son to a local place where he could build Lego for a couple hours.  Since we have a membership, it was free.  My wife took my daughter to a movie. The local theater has a thing going on in March where they show a second run kids movie all weekend, and it’s free for kids and $1 for adults.  Our grand total for a couple of hours of entertainment was $1.
  • Self-Escrow – Megan at Counting You Pennies wrote about something that I do but have never been able to mb-2016-03-springcome up with a good name for.  Assigning your money to particular funds is a technique I’ve employed for years, so this was a great read for me.
  • Water and RVs – We’ve had our RV for a few years now and the one thing that constantly terrifies me is water.  Water and RVs just don’t mix.  Last year we had a leak in our storage compartment that got under the flooring and ran all the way down to the other side of the unit, leaving a floorboard that’s softer than I like.  This year, when I went to check on it, no leak, but a tarp that I’d left in there had condensation underneath, which I now understand the reason for.  Not as big of a deal, as it was on top of the linoleum only, but it keeps that nagging fear alive!
  • Entitlement – Aaron at Three Thrifty Guys noticed a trend in a recent traffic situation that made him wonder if having more money leads to people acting poorly.
  • Dating – It’s been over ten years since I was out of the dating pool, but Christina at Adventures in Frugal gives a great idea that I had to share for any single guys reading.  This is a move I definitely might have tried (well, I’d have talked about doing it anyway) had I read this ten years sooner!
  • Weekend Plans – This weekend is supposed to be in the 60’s here in Michigan, so we are planning a trip to the zoo.  They’ve got a brand new $20 million dollar penguin exhibit that’s set to open soon, so we’re hoping that maybe we can catch a glimpse if they try a soft opening.  We also have to work on a project for my son’s spring fair.  He has a great imagination, so I know that once we get started, this is going to be awesome.

Hope you have a great weekend!

 

10 Things I’ve Been Up To Lately

It’s mid-September already, and that just blows me away.  It doesn’t seem like but a few weeks ago that summer was just starting.  We had dreams of long days at the beach and warm nights.  Now we’re holding onto every last bit we can.  We’ve even had a couple of fall-like stretches here in Michigan.  Boo!  Here are some things I’ve been up to that are keeping me busy.

Read more10 Things I’ve Been Up To Lately

Best of Money Beagle For 2013

It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for nearly five years now.  I wonder how many of my readers from the beginning are still with me.  Besides my parents, of course, who I know have read every word!

I decided to take a quick look at what were the most popular articles, as noted by page views, that I wrote in 2013.  I was surprised to see that they all were written in the April and May time frame, so I guess I was in a period of good writing.  Though, in fairness, the posts later in the year didn’t have as much time to show up in search engines and such, so maybe they’re skewed.

Nonetheless, here are the most read posts from 2013.  When I pulled the numbers, I was surprised to see that four of the top six were directly tied to stores or brands.  I’m thinking that maybe I’ll put more focus on reviews and observations about products, retailers, and services.  I enjoy writing about them, anyways, so it’s good that people are reading!

Read moreBest of Money Beagle For 2013

What’s New This Week? (Plus A Roundup)

A few updates and random thoughts, followed by some great posts I hope you check out:

  • A few weeks ago I wrote about how our IT department is being insourced.  We have received a few more details.  Our official offer letters should be arriving any day now.  They were promised by the 15th, so if that still holds, I’ll know what’s what in a week.  We did find out that our years of service will be credited from when we started, so I’ll come in with six years of service.  This means I’ll get roughly the same amount of time off as I do today, and has a few implications for benefits and such.  There is a lot of nervousness that they’ll be coming in offering less pay than we make today.  I think that’s just normal jitters, and I’m staying optimistic that it’ll be the same or better as what I am getting today.
  • Did you hear about the Walmart glitch on Wednesday where the website had prices mb-201311mistakeof various items at outrageously low prices?  I sure did.  I found a 55″ TV for $329, and while it was sold out online, it said that my local store had one.  Which, when I called, they confirmed that they did.  But, they were already aware by that point that the prices were a mistake (they had $800 treadmills ringing up for $33, computer monitors for $9, and new release video games for $17), and were not honoring those prices.  I read a few forums where people said they got in and picked up stuff right away, so it sounds like a lucky few were able to take advantage of the glitch, but sadly, we did not find an easy way to replace our damaged TV.
  • As a Ford stockholder, I’m a little annoyed at the activity on the stock.  Ford beat earnings a couple of weeks ago, and hit over $18 per share.  Since then it’s been on a somewhat steady decline, around the mid-$16 range, all on virtually no news.  I think institutional investors want a dividend increase, and are passively letting Ford know that they need to increase the payout.  Hopefully the stock reverses course soon!

Read moreWhat’s New This Week? (Plus A Roundup)

Great Read Friday: I Jinxed Myself – September 6, 2013

I had a feeling when I posted last month that our net worth had made positive gains for fourteen months that I was probably jinxing myself.  Sure enough, the streak came to an end as our net worth fell for the first time since June 2012.  Largely driven by the stock market taking a breather, our net worth fell by 1.5%.

mb-pennyI guess that can only mean one thing: It’s time to start another streak!

Here are some great posts I’ve read over the past few weeks.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

A buffer of cash in your checking account can help in many ways, as pointed out by How I Save Money.  My favorite positive reason is simple: peace of mind!

Read moreGreat Read Friday: I Jinxed Myself – September 6, 2013

Great Read Friday: Airlines Sucks Edition – August 23, 2013

We do our fair share of traveling, but for the last few years, our traveling has been exclusively on four wheels.

Or, more recently, eight wheels, as we’ve been towing our camper to various campgrounds around the state for the last two seasons.

mb-201309airplaneCost is a big reason we’ve taken to doing all of our adventures on the road, but airlines, specifically how much airlines suck, has been a big reason.  I’m not a fan of the charges and fees that have taken over the industry.  I think that if they want to charge them, they should have to post an up front expected cost when displaying the fare for the first time.  For a $200 fare to turn into a $450 mess is backhanded.  With all of the information that websites are able to gather on people, this is not only possible, but probably would be eerily precise.

Read moreGreat Read Friday: Airlines Sucks Edition – August 23, 2013