July 2011

Here is July’s review of blog posts. This will be our last post for a couple of weeks. I (Dawn) will be going on vacation, so our regular Monday morning post will resume on Monday, August 8th.

Get Rich SlowlyEvery Purchase Is a Trade Off – Understand that if you buy something, you can’t spend that money on something else.

Good Financial CentsWhen is Bankruptcy Acceptable? – Bankruptcy may be the best option for some people.

The Simple DollarTen Things College Graduates Need to Know About Finances and Careers  – Making the right decisions early in our career can make a big difference later in life.

The Simple Dollar A Guide to Selling Unwanted Items – Make some money by selling your unwanted items the right way.

The Simple Dollar Side Businesses for Stay-At-Home Parents – Some ideas on how to still make money while staying at home with your kids.

Wise Bread Repair the Car or Spend the Cash – When you receive money for repairing a car from the insurance company, how do you use it?

Please let us know if you have a favorite financial blog that you think we should be reading.


While we’ve talked before about setting goals for yourself, we’ve never talked about dreams. It’s common for people to have big dreams about their future: a dream job, a dream house, a dream car. There is nothing wrong with dreams, as long as you stay grounded by setting goals.

What’s the real difference between a dream and a goal? If your dream is to own a vacation home on a lake, isn’t that also your goal? Not exactly. Here are the definitions of the two words from Dictionary.com as it relates to this discussion:


  • to think or conceive of something in a very remote way
  • most desirable; ideal


  • the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end

Dreams are big ideas that you want for your future. We think that they can be great to have. Dreams can keep you hopeful and positive, but they can also be dangerous. Some people may get so wrapped up in what they dream for the future that they forget about the present, and the goals that could potentially help them realize their dreams.

Goals are much more tangible. You decide you are going to achieve something, and you work to do so. Goals also tend to be more short term (though not always). Your dream vacation maybe travelling through Europe in the future, but your goal is to save for a weekend away next summer.

Dreams and goals can go hand in hand. If you have a big dream that you are determined to see realized, set up goals for yourself along the way, each one to get you one step closer. If you have the vacation home by the lake dream, make your goal paying down your debt so that you can make the purchase debt free or cutting back on everyday expenses so you can afford the extra cost. Whatever you want the ultimate outcome to be, carefully plan your way one step at a time with goals.

However, for most people, dreams remain dreams. Their dreams shift and change as years go by, and they don’t make any move to make them a reality. There’s nothing wrong with that either. But set your financial goals to some future that you want to have, whether it’s a vacation house or retiring early. Whatever you want.



  • Disclaimer: The information on this blog is not meant for specific financial advice. The ideas/opinions stated are not suited for everyone, and readers should use their own judgment in applying them in their financial lives.

It’s hard to believe, but our first post on Ironclad Finances was one year ago tomorrow. When we first decided to start this blog, we couldn’t predict what would happen. After kicking around the idea for months, we finally decided it was what we wanted to do. We set a goal of making our first post in July 2010 and then at least once a week. Though we have taken a few vacations, we’ve met our goal, and we’re proud of creating Ironclad Finances and keeping up with it.


For the most part, we’ve enjoyed the work, Dawn as writer, Keith as editor. Though, as anyone out there who writes for a blog (or anything else) likely knows, sometimes you would rather be doing anything else! We feel like we’ve made progress in the writing as far as personality; we know our early posts were rather dry! While we still have a long way to go, we look forward to continuing what we’ve started.


We wanted to thank all of our readers! We hope you’ve found something useful in our posts that you’ve been able to apply to your life. A special thanks to our clients who have been following us. We appreciate the support!


Also, thanks to all the other blogs writers that have shown interest in Ironclad Finances, especially Len at Len Penzo dot Com. We appreciate the support and the readers you’ve sent our way!


So, to wrap up our one year anniversary post, we wanted to share with you our favorite series. It also appears to be our readers’ favorite series, since we have the most views on the following pages! It’s our All Your Worth series that we began posting in January 2011.


Book Recommendation: All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan by Elizabeth Warren & Amelia Warren Tyagi


All Your Worth: The Balanced Money Formula

All Your Worth: Making Adjustments

All Your Worth: Making Adjustments to “Savings”

If you haven’t read this series yet, please check it out. We had a great time writing it, and can’t recommend that book enough!


We’d love to hear from you! Let us know what you thought of Ironclad Finances in the past year, and if you have anything you’d like to read about this upcoming year!

We hope everyone has a happy 4th of July! We’re taking time today to celebrate our nation’s independence with family and friends, and we hope that you can do the same! We’ll be back on our regular schedule next Monday.