Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Money Blogger Podcast Update...

This week in episode #20 of the Money Blogger Podcast, Scott interviews Amanda from "Young & Broke." Amanda is a twenty something living and working in Chicago, in the financial services sector. She's been blogging on the subject of personal finance since August of last year, and has been doing a great job of it ever since. With a great writing style and a good sense of personal finance, Amanda shares her experiences being young and broke. She's currently engaged and writes about her experiences in planning a wedding and getting married. Check it out!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Money Blogger Podcast Update...

Today in episode #19 of the Money Blogger Podcast, Scott interviews Cecilia of "City Girl's Financial Blog." Cecilia is a articulate, 24 year old single gal living in the San Francisco Bay area, who is a fairly new personal finance blogger. She graduated college a few years back, and is now working on getting into medical school. Cecilia's ultimate financial goal is to be financially free. To her this means... "To have zero debt and an interest income of $6,500/month ($2,000/month in today's dollars, using a 4% inflation rate). Assuming a 3% withdrawal rate, I should aim for $2.5 million in liquid assets. Own three houses, free and clear (one for me, two for the parents)." Check it out!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Money Humor From Some Of The Greats..

The banks have a new image. Now you have "a friend.". . . your friendly banker. If the banks are so friendly, how come they chain down the pens?--Alan King

Anytime four New Yorkers get into a cab together without arguing, a bank robbery has just taken place.--Johnny Carson

The safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.--Kin Hubbard

Always live within your income, even if you have to borrow money to do so.--Josh Billings

To be clever enough to get a great deal of money, one must be stupid enough to want it.--George Bernard Shaw

Banks will loan you money if you can prove you don't need it--Mark Twain

Bankers are just like anybody else, except richer--Ogden Nash

Bank accounts give a person a good feeling until they realize that banks are insured by an agency of a federal government that's over $2 trillion in debt.--??

You can tell when you're in trouble--the bank sends somebody to repossess your toaster.--??

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Money Blogger Podcast Update...

Today in episode #18 of the Money Blogger Podcast, Scott interviews Finance Junkie from "PlugginFinance." In another unique and interesting interview, we find that Finance Junkie is a lifetime military man with goals of retiring in 16 years at the age of 47 and to create a passive income of 80k a year! He seems to be doing pretty well, at a current passive income of $17,260, he's 21.5% towards his goal. Finance Junkie is married, and has an MBA in Engineering. He seems to have a deep knowledge of finance and investing. Check it out!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Thanks Virtual Bank, that was easy...

A few days back I opened up a e-money market account @ Virtual Bank. The entire process to open the account took a matter of approximately 4 business days. It takes roughly 15 minutes to fill out an account request form, and a couple of days later, I had to verify two small deposits in our savings account. A day or two after that, our money was transferred. A couple days after that we received the referral money. A co-worker and I made 20 bucks each for the referral, and the referral money can't be touched for 30 days after it's credited. The current rate for the Virtual MMA is 4.60%. I know, I know, it's not the highest out there, Bank deals has a good post about who does, but I made 20 bucks for 15 minutes of work, and it's still a great rate. Well, actually $60 since I referred my wife soon after I opened my account ;-) Here are some of the specs...

  • $100 Minimum deposit
  • FDIC Insured
  • No Monthly fees
  • Interest compounded monthly
  • $20 to sign up with referral

If you're interested in opening a Virtual Bank MMA and would like to get $20 for doing it, E-mail me and I'll send you a referral. I have accounts @ ING and Emigrant direct as well, so if you're interested in referrals for those, let me know. Yes, I'm a rate chaser. I may not be for long though. I've recently opened an account @ Vanguard and have come account that are exempt to federal or state taxes. I'm also considering T-Bills and other various tax exempt, fixed income investments. We're saving for a house to be purchase in a few years, so I'm looking for something liquid and safe. I'm also looking to help soften the dent from inflation and taxes. Jon @ MyMoneyBlog has a great post on things like this.

The saving continues...

In a post last month I mentioned that since becoming more frugal, we saved a nice chuck of change on our electric bill by keeping an eye on the thermostat and trying to create a more energy efficient home, i.e. energy efficient bulbs, sealing the windows and doors properly, etc. With another $9.58 saved this month, that'll be a total of $126.22 saved since the beginning of the year. These little bits of saving really add up. The savings continues...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

24 Hour Blogging Marathon!

Nick over @ Punny Money will be blogging for 24 hours straight, starting today @ 6:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. tomorrow. He will be updating his site with various personal finance news and tips, and expects to average about 1 post an hour. He's doing this in honor on his mother for mothers day, who passed away two years ago from breast cancer. All of the advertising revenue he receives from the blogging marathon will go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. I will personally be helping by visiting the site throughout the day(s), checking out the posts and maybe commenting. It's a site I don't frequent too much, so it will be a good time to check it out and get to know him. I think it's a great idea and hope I can help, maybe you can too.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I received a raise! Soooo, what?

The angel on my shoulder says that I should appreciate the 3% pay increase I received today. He says that the company is going through a restructuring process and needs the money to help improve and rebuild the company. Why, with the raise freeze for 12 months back in 2003, He says I should be grateful to even get one this year. The company isn't even making money, it's losing money. Besides, he hears that is the average for most of company, and even America. 3%?! Sooo what?! The devil shouts. You received 3.5% last year, what happened this year? That's not even beating inflation! If you want to help your money grow, and have an early retirement you will need to protect it from, and beat inflation! Saving and investing isn't good enough, you need increase your income! You deserve more than that! Why, you should demand a bigger raise and quit if they don't. It's always a never ending battle with these two...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Money Blogger Podcast Update...

Today in episode #17 of the Money Blogger Podcast, Scott interviews him and her from "Make Love Not Debt." In what seems to be another unique and record length interview, they talk about the dynamics of a premarital couple trying to pay off debt while planning for a wedding. Stresses me out just to imagine it. Check it out!

Monday, May 08, 2006

My Flat Tires, Didn't Leave me Flat Broke...

This morning it seemed like it was going to be a nice day. The weather forecast called for a partly cloudy day with a high of 70 degrees. I was walking out of my door this morning, coffee in hand, as happy as can be, The birds were chirping, the sun was rising...but two of my car's tires were lowering! I had two flat tires! Both were along the right side of the car. Must've been the recent highway construction. I knew I should've gotten new tires at the beginning of the year. After 55,000 miles, it was about that time. I was holding off for a bit longer, but my car couldn't wait any longer. So, with a can of "fix a flat" ($5.00) in hand, I was able to inflate my tires about to about half of their capacity. That enabled me to hobble to the local gas station to fill up the the rest of the tires. ($0.25) I then cautiously made it over to a local, family recommened hole in the wall, "tire exhange." I figured I'd bite the bullet and get all 4 tires done while I was there. Greaaat, this is going to be at least $400.00. What's that you say Mr. tire exchange? Each tire will only cost me $65.00?! But I have BFgoodrich high performance tires. You say you're going to replace those tires with a "Fuzion-HRI?" At $65.00 a piece, that sounds good to me. 45 minues and 1 coffee later, I wind up saving over $150.00. Thanks to a little business, with low overhead....

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Money Humor...

A young man was having some money problems, and needed $200 to get his car fixed and road-worthy again. But had run out of people to borrow from. So, he calls his parents via the operator, and reverses the charge and says to his dad, "I need to borrow two hundred dollars."At the other end, his father says, "Sorry, I can't hear you, son, I think there may be a bad line."The boy shouts, "Two hundred. I need two hundred dollars!""Sorry, I still can't hear you clearly," says his father.The operator cuts in, "Sorry to butt in, but I can hear him perfectly."The father says, "Oh, good. YOU send him the money!"
******************
A man walks into a New York bank, and says he's going to Europe for two weeks and needs to borrow $5000. For collateral, he offers his new Rolls Royce.The bank is satisfied and parks it in their secured underground garage. Two weeks later to the day, the man returns to the bank, repays the $5000 and interest of $15.41.The loan officer says inquiringly, "Sir, we were delighted to have your business but, in checking your credit, we learned you are a multimillionaire. Why ever did you need to borrow $5000?""Where else in New York can I park my car for two weeks for $15.41?"

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Top 10 Investing Books...

In an attempt to become a better investor, I set out on a search to find a few, good solid books about investing. I sometimes roam around in the investment catagory @ Amazon, or just google it. I was feelin' a little lazy, so I googled it and found a top 10 list from Joshua Kennon @ About.com. Here are the books he believes are the top 10 investment books...

  1. The Intelligent Investor
  2. One Up on Wall Street
  3. The Essays of Warren Buffett
  4. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits & Other Writings
  5. Security Analysis
  6. How to be a Billionaire
  7. The Interpretation of Financial Statements
  8. 9 Steps to Financial Freedom
  9. Use the News
  10. Financial Shenanigans: How to Detect Accounting Gimmicks and Fraud
Hm, I haven't heard of most of these, but they're worth a shot. Has anyone reading this post read any of these books? If so, any reviews or recommendations? I've also come across Amazon's Investing top sellers.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Money Blogger Podcast Update...

Today in episode #16 of the Money Blogger Podcast, Scott interviews Caitlin of "Clutter2Cash." Caitlin is another successful blogger to take control of her finances, and climb her way out of debt. While I'm trying to sell items on Ebay, Half.com, and Amazon, I too am trying to turn clutter2cash. Check it out!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Net Worth Update...

Looks like we've reached the 100k mark in the month of May. Our net worth increased by $2905.99, for a 2.98% increase. Not our best month, but it's progress. A couple of factors made a big difference. I'm in the process of moving my Roth IRA from my current brokerage to Vanguard, so my funds had to be sold. Unfortunately they were back loaded funds, something like 4.00%. I'm looking foward to Vanguards low cost funds and ETF's. We also purchased a new computer a few days ago, half price from Dell. Climbing the ladder, slowly but surely...