Do the Changing Seasons Affect Your Budget?

seasonsThe changing of the seasons can sometimes mean huge changes to your monthly budget and utilities. At least, that’s how it works for my family.  As soon as I get used to whatever spending pattern we’re in, it’s time to change things up and get used to a whole new season once again.

I guess that’s the price I pay for living in Indiana, right?  Here’s how each season plays out on our budget and how we try to keep it in check: [Read more…]

Scary Things I’ve Done with Money

Watched this movie as a kid. Still have nightmares. Thanks mom.

WHY did my mom let me watch this when I was a kid? Still having nightmares…..

Once upon a time, Greg and I weren’t all that great with money.  In fact, we each spent early 20’s frittering away most of what we earned then continued the practice once we met and fell in love in early 2004.  A lot of the things we did like they made sense at the time, but that is mostly because we were C-L-U-E-L-E-S-S.

The fact is, we were smart enough not to get into too much debt, but downright irresponsible with all the cash we brought home.  And that trend continued until we started having kids and realized that we were not only wasting money, but also our precious time and energy.

In honor of Halloween, I thought it would be fun to share all the scary things I’ve done with money over the years.  Here are a few: [Read more…]

How Much Should You Budget for a Trip to Europe?

eiffelAs most people know, we’re leaving Tuesday for a trip across the pond.  We’re slightly nervous about the long plane ride, but mostly just excited to get the ball rolling.  Recently, I was drafting up our zero-sum budget for November when Greg asked me how much we were budgeting for our trip.  Sadly, I hadn’t even thought much about it.  I’ve been so busy with life and everything else that our vacation budget had become an afterthought somehow.

So we sat down and figured it out.  Here’s what we came up with: [Read more…]

New Technology to Reduce Fraud

credit card rewards ccIn October 2015, new technology and new rules will enter the American credit card market. This new credit card technology will replace the old magnetic stripe and signature cards, and hopefully make it much more difficult for scammers to access confidential consumer information in the process.

Following data breaches from top-tier retailers such as Target and Nordstrom, the rollout of Chip and PIN credit cards is picking up steam. Here’s a basic rundown of everything you need to know about this technology. [Read more…]

The Scary Thing About the High Costs of Health Insurance

pigYesterday, John at Frugal Rules wrote about his family’s struggle to afford the high costs of the new plans offered through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.  And, as we all know, his struggles basically mirror the problems my own family has encountered.

Like it or not, open enrollment will be here before we know it, which means that we’ll soon find out what our beloved health insurance providers have in store for us in 2015.  Pardon me if I don’t SQUEEEE too much cause I’m about 1000% sure I’m gonna get screwed again.  But unlike last year, I can’t just ignore the problem and hope it goes away this year. [Read more…]

How to Save on Holiday Travel with Choice Hotels

holiday travelThe holidays are coming up, and you know what that means.  It means it’s time to pack your car full of kids and gifts and drive all over the country in an effort to meet everyone’s holiday expectations.  The problem?  Holiday travel can get expensive.

Fortunately, Choice Hotels is offering up some hot deals for this year’s holiday travel season.  Let me explain… [Read more…]