November 2011

Here is November’s review of blog posts.  We hope you find something you enjoy!


Get Rich SlowlySpend on the Things You Do Every Day – When you’re spending money, don’t spend it on the things you do one time or that you want to do, spend money on the things you actually do every day.


Good Financial CentsHow to Tap Your IRA With No Penalty – The situation where you can pull money out of your IRA with no penalty (other than retirement after age 59½).


The Simple Dollar Is Your Home an Investment? – In today’s housing market, can your home be considered an investment for you?


The Simple Dollar What Makes for a Rich Life? – A rich life often has little to do with the amount of money you have.


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


We aren’t doing our regular weekly post today, but we just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving! We appreciate all of our readers and hope that you enjoy your holiday with family and friends.


There was a great post last week over at The Simple Dollar. Trent Hamm wrote “A Mindful Life,” a post about curbing your impulses and really thinking about how your decisions will affect your life.

This post reminded us of the book we reviewed her a few months back, The Real Cost of Living. Both underline that many of the choice you make in your lives will have a major impact, either personally or financially, often both.

Hamm discusses how in his younger years, he let impulse drive his decisions without consider how it would affect his future. Because of this, he ended up in a very bad place financial and unprepared for many of the roles he ended up playing in his life (like parenthood).

However, he made the decision to live “a mindful life,” where he made decisions after considering how the decision would affect his life. Doing this helped him to live a more fulfilling and success life, both personally and financially. Hamm says: “The biggest change that I’ve made in my life over the last several years is to simply start thinking about all of the little actions I take.”

Going back to The Real Cost of Living, you will often find that when you really think about the decisions you make everyday and consider the pros and cons, you will often find that the outcome is just not worth it. Even if it seems like something you should do based on your lifestyle, be mindful of all the consequences as well as the positives before acting and you’ll be more successful.


  • 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.

I (Dawn) have! I’m the type of person who likes to have my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving. I hate the shopping crowds (you’d never catch me out shopping on Black Friday!). I’m not necessarily in the Christmas spirit yet, and I think that the radio stations that started playing Christmas music before the Trick or Treaters come to the door are crazy. But I usually have a good idea what I want to buy as Christmas presents for my family and friends, so I see no reason to wait. Then I can relax and enjoy the holidays without stressing out and braving the crowds.


Some of you might be like me, others might thrive on the thrill of the crowd and getting a good deal (like on Black Friday). Or you may just pick up a bunch of gift cards from the grocery store for everyone. Whatever kind of Christmas shopper you are, how do you budget for that Christmas shopping?


One of the worst things you can do to head to the store with no plan and a credit card on hand. It’s much too easy to go overboard. We suggest you first write down a list of all the people you want to buy something for and how much you want to spend on each before you even head to the store. That way, you will be less likely to spend $75 on someone you wanted to only spend $50. And you’ll be less likely to realize on Christmas Eve that you forgot to buy a present for someone special.


Once you budget for everyone’s gifts, where does the money come from? How do you avoid turning to your credit cards? If you’ve read our All Your Worth series from early this year, you know that we believe your spending money should come out of your “Want” money. The cash you give yourself every month to do whatever you want with it. That should be where you Christmas gift money comes from as well.


If you do follow the All Your Worth “Balanced Money Formula,” or any comparable monthly budget, it should be easier for you to pay for Christmas gifts without credit cards. If you don’t follow this type of budget, we highly recommend you check it out. You may have enough cash on hand during November and December to pay for the gifts. If you have a smaller budget, you should consider setting aside some of your monthly “Want” money earlier in the year.


If you don’t have a budget in place, and the only way you can see to buy gifts is on a credit card, please think twice. Consider homemade gifts or gifts of your time. Going into debt for Christmas is not a smart move, and if you are buying for family and friends, they should understand your reasoning.


Whatever you do, don’t go overboard! We know it’s easy to do when you are constantly bombarded with great deals during the Holidays, but hopefully if you plan ahead of time, you’ll be much better prepared!


  •  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.