I'm co-host of the podcast Stacking Benjamins and blog at the site by the same name.
Lately it seems like employers ARE watching what you do after the interview. We had interviewing expert Leah McLeod on our show a couple months ago and the lessons she had about interviews blew me away. I'm glad I'm not looking for a job right now!
2 months, 1 week ago on What You Should Do After a Job Interview
For many years we enjoyed Myrtle Beach for this reason. We'd steer clear of the tourist traps, but we could get close to the ocean for less money while still enjoying the sand and sea.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Lower Cost Places to Take Your Family on Spring Break
I worked with a client who had me talk to his mother. She'd been robbed because the neighbors found out that she kept money in the basement in mason jars. Not a great idea.
6 months ago on 10 Money Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid
I love your strategy. There's nothing more embarrassing than not having all of your notes from an interview that went well/poorly.
6 months, 1 week ago on My Method for Keeping the Jobs I Applied to Organized
I don't know what it is, but curling now does it for me....along with all the track races (bobsled, luge, skeleton). For some reason during the next two weeks the cold weather seems more fun than ugly, which I like, too!
6 months, 2 weeks ago on The Weekly Quick Hits Roundup
I'm wearing some HUGE slippers right now. Fuzzy socks FTW!
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Valentine’s Day Gifts She’ll Love for $20 or Less
I went to Edmunds.com and watched an awesome video on negotiating my car's price. I was able to wallop $4k off the price of our car immediately before talking to anyone. That was my favorite consideration.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Three things to consider when shopping for your next vehicle
Good tips! I still recommend people cancel cards even though it lowers your credit score a little. If you don't use the credit, it's pretty dangerous to have it open. :-)
6 months, 3 weeks ago on 5 Things you didn’t know Could Affect your Credit Rating
I'm finally getting ahead on our podcast, but sadly that's just so that I can slow down over the holidays! I'll be back to "just in time" as soon as 2014 hits. BUT I like this feeling, so my first 2014 goal is to get a couple of weeks ahead of the curve.
You'll like Catching Fire. Very faithful to the book but still a good film on its own.
8 months, 1 week ago on The Weekly Quick Hits Roundup
Wow! Powerful post. How much did it all cost? Have you done any cost/benefit analysis?
8 months, 1 week ago on I Was A Triple-Major in College and Where it Got Me
Dude, I live in TEXAS! How do I ice skate or sled here?
Just kidding, man. Nice article. I love the ugly sweater party. I'm gonna have to steal that one.
9 months, 1 week ago on 5 Frugal Ways to Celebrate the Holidays
@PFUtopia That's a tough wrinkle that sidetracks many great plans (the power of love!). That's why it's important to be open about money before marriage. You can decide together how to attack the financial mountain together. Hopefully you were able to share your good habits with her!
10 months, 2 weeks ago on How Do You Stack Up To People Your Age Financially?
@deardebt I was behind also because I invested heavily into my business. The good news: because I chose businesses well and worked hard to "build to sell," I was able to catch up quickly when I sold it a few years ago. School can be the same: if you choose subjects wisely, you could also catch up quickly.
@KyleJames1 Thanks, Kyle! I'm not a big fan of rules of thumb, but there are lots of good calculators out there. Here's what we did: start with the relative lifestyle you want in retirement (in today's dollars), use a decent inflation rate (3-5% is good) to calculate what that means after age 60. Then pick a date to die. That'll tell you how much you'll need. Run the number back to today at a reasonable rate of return based on your investment profile (8 percent is a good number for many) and that'll tell you how much you should be saving AND give you benchmarks to hit in upcoming years.
I'm looking at what I just wrote and it looks like it's complicated, but really there are calculators on many popular sites like Yahoo! Finance that'll help you do that work pretty quickly. It isn't as complicated as it looks.
@CanadianBudgetB The cool part about that realization is that you've learned from it. I know many people who've made financial mistakes and didn't learn anything (or they learned the wrong lesson altogether).
@Andrew LivingRichCheaply I love that your dad encouraged you to start early. Investing in your education will set you back ahead because you chose a career where the education needs are matched by a payoff later.
@brokeandbeau We actually are talking about that on tomorrow's podcast! For some people it isn't an expense problem (broken budget), it's an income problem.
@FrugalRules The biggest problem I had in my 20s was that I wanted to spend time reinventing the wheel for myself because I felt like I had forever. There were so many cases that I decided to take the long way rather than a short cut because "I wanted to know how it works." Now I'm looking for any help possible toward reaching my goals. If some tool can make it easier....bring it on!
@Holly at ClubThrifty Hopefully, though, someone reading this in their 20's will learn from your comment (and your blog....).
@moneystepper I'd love to see that statistic also.....AND that was the most common question in my practice: "How am I doing next to everyone else you see?" My answer was usually, "It's far more important for us to see how well you're doing vs. your goals."
That usually wasn't a very satisfying answer! ;-)
You're right on about working out. I get a huge rush on days that I have a hard workout. It's a great feeling without any of the downsides of drugs/alcohol!
Thanks for mentioning my piece. The geek in me couldn't resist asking the question: what if financial people could be superheroes? That'd liven up a topic that for some reason some nay-sayers think is "boring."
11 months, 3 weeks ago on The Weekly Quick Hits Roundup
@FrugalRules Agreed. In that case, it becomes management's problem. How come management isn't engaging workers during the downtime with training to do their job better? It's a waste for the company and employee.
11 months, 3 weeks ago on 5 Ways to Stay Busy at Work
I've worked form myself for so long that it's ingrained in me to look for process improvement and think strategically. What could I be doing right now that will advance the ball 20 yards instead of 3 (sorry for the football analogy, but it's that time of year, baby!)
This shows why priorities are so important. Once you know how much each goal costs, it's easier to prioritize. I can't believe that someone would choose to put their kids through school for $100k and completely disregard retirement. Oops.
11 months, 3 weeks ago on Are You Really Living Within Your Means?
Funny thing....I have a friend who went to Antarctica and said it wasn't very fun at all. In fact, she openly discouraged people from the trip because everyone got seasick on her boat, there's zero to see there, and it's a long way to go for absolutely nothing. She isn't a whiner, btw. That said....I'd still like to go ;-)
I have several trips I'd love to take, but none qualify as "once in a lifetime." There's a cool tour of castles in Scotland that's for runners. You run in a great setting every morning and then tour the rest of the day. Every day you're running mileage in the best setting they could find. There's a great bike trip right now around Yellowstone that looks awesome. I want to see King Ludwig's castles in Bavaria. A close friend wants to run the Great Wall of China Marathon, and I'd like to do it with him. Luckily, none of these trips is "once in a lifetime" expensive.
11 months, 4 weeks ago on How Much Would You Spend on a Once In A Lifetime Experience?
I wouldn't invest the money for a car in stocks or a small business. Why? Time. Most car loans are four years or less. If you're investing money in the stock market or a business with only a four year time frame, you're absolutely nuts. Historically that's way too much betting for me. You're far more likely to win if the investment is 10 years or longer.
12 months ago on Paying Cash for a Car versus Taking out a Loan
I'm 45. Can you get my parents to un-cut me off, Cat? That'd be awesome. ;-)
1 year ago on When Did Your Parents Cut You Off?
Great tip on focusing your attention only on "must haves." When my kids were in kindergarten and first grade we piled up on all of the "recommended" supplies. Many of those sat around the house forever.....we got smarter as they aged.
1 year ago on 6 Ways to Maximize Back-to-School Savings
Another great episode, Steve. I love the analogy between investing and baseball.
The best baseball story I have: We were at a game a few years back and in the previous game we'd attended (maybe a year earlier) one of our favorite players hit a grand slam. That same player came up to bat with the bases loaded and after a couple pitches my son said, "Wouldn't it be funny if he hit another grand slam like he did a year ago?"
It happened on the very next pitch.
1 year ago on Stay in your investing seat – MPSOS118 [podcast]
What a horrible feeling! I can imagine the pit in your stomach as I read along....ouch. Our worst mistake? I can't think of "the worst" one, but here's a bad one: we were on vacation a couple of years ago and had purchased tickets to a Pittsburgh Pirates game while we were driving through town. We'd gotten really good seats and were fired up about the game. However, when we arrived, we realized we'd inadvertently purchased tickets for the game that'd happened a day earlier.
We had to rebuy tickets...and got ones that weren't as good. The upside: Train was performing a concert for fans after the game. Your ticket got you into the show. My daughter thought I was the best dad ever for messing that up.....
1 year, 1 month ago on The Time I Made Three Rent Payments At Once
We have a rare weekend at home! That means that I'm going to be cleaning the garage (finally) and my office (which is littered with "do when you get time" projects).
1 year, 1 month ago on The Weekly Quick Hits Roundup
That's funny. In my family I'm the spender even though I'm the financial blogger! I've had to develop some pretty good systems to keep myself from spending money the minute I make it.
1 year, 1 month ago on The Spender and The Saver
@DC @ Young Adult Money @AverageJoeMoney Ha! I think people think I'm more involved at FFA than I am....although I still own half the site, I'm barely involved there. It's all Stacking Benjamins for me!
1 year, 1 month ago on One Year Bloggerversary! Accomplishments and Goals for the Future
Congrats on the big day, DC. Doesn't it seem like yesterday that you started? I still remember thinking, "This blogging thing looks fun." What planet was I on? Those must have been good drugs.....
Trust funds are interesting because of the restrictions some people place on them. There's an ongoing argument I find interesting about ruling from beyond the grave....once you gift someone money and are dead, should you tell them exactly how and why they can spend it?
1 year, 1 month ago on What is a Trust Fund?
Your #2 and #3 are huge for me. I also find that planning out my day removes stress. Once I quit stressing about how much has to get done and instead have a plan of attack, my stress tends to evaporate.
1 year, 1 month ago on 5 Ways to Relieve Stress on a Budget
As a guy who's employed lots of people, I'll agree and add one more: a positive outlook. There's nothing that stinks more than having an otherwise competent employee who shows up in a bad mood every day. It brings the entire staff down!
1 year, 1 month ago on Qualities Every Employer is Looking for in an Employee
I still wouldn't pursue golf more if I were wealthy. Back when I had my practice and cash flow wasn't a big issue, I still didn't golf much. It's fun but time consuming. with two kids and a spouse I'd rather spend time with them.
1 year, 1 month ago on 4 Things I would be more interested in if I was Wealthy
My brother is currently using Wix to design a new website. I'd never heard of it before that and was blown away by how good it looked even though a total beginner was putting it together.
1 year, 2 months ago on How to Start Your Own Business With No Money
I know what you mean about allergies. There's this rock on the planet I come from called Kryponite....that thing just literally kills me whenever I'm around it.
1 year, 2 months ago on Friday Giveaway Roundup – 111 Giveaways
I use all of those, plus Draft to capture ideas on the fly and Dragon to speak ideas if I'm driving.
1 year, 2 months ago on 5 Tools to Help you Manage a Small Business from anywhere in the World
The good news is that it's Walmart. That means you barely had to wear clothes! Bonus!
1 year, 2 months ago on Saving Money on your Phone Bill: Search for a Cheap Wireless Plan
We've gone completely to staff writers at FFA. I barely touch the site now. Congrats on expanding your business!
1 year, 2 months ago on Friday Giveaway Roundup – 162 Giveaways
Here's my take: I've seen too many people jump into entrepreneurship because they wanted to practice a skill alone than in a company. Sadly, when they become an entrepreneur, they realize that they aren't practicing that skill as much as they're practicing running a business. Once someone is willing to actually run a business alone, then I think that being an entrepreneur is a wonderful opportunity.
1 year, 3 months ago on How I want to make money – an overview and analysis of various ways to generate income
Thanks for the fantastic interview with OG. You didn't need to do this, Steve. His head was already big enough....now we'll never get him into the basement. The show is now live and I hope people give it a spin. We've had some nice comments today about Episode #1.
You guys nailed it. 12% is irrelevant. Save money. Invest responsibly. Get your life moving. Great show.
1 year, 3 months ago on Dave Ramsey says saving 100 a month can make you a millionaire – MPSOS109 [podcast]
The bigger magic of Twitter is that it's free. People pay great money for advertising and expensive lead generation, when there are absolutely no-cost ways to promote your business and market. Great post.
1 year, 3 months ago on Ways to find Customers for your Service Business
I love the bonfire idea. While I live in an area that's perfect for bonfires, my lot isn't perfect for it. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to do some landscaping work to have one. Our frugal activity? We like to drive to nearby little towns that we've never been to and walk main street to see what the town is like. That's been a good activity and has helped us know our new home well over the last four years.
1 year, 3 months ago on 5 Frugal Summer Activities
Pat Flynn was a great guest on our show. A successful podcast will be different than the other podcasts out there. You'll need to ask yourself how you'll be different and attack from that angle. I know you'll be great!
1 year, 4 months ago on Why I’m Starting an Podcast
Red Plum and Rather Be Shopping are two sites I like and should take advantage of more. Great roundup of cool savings sites, DC. Thanks for these.
1 year, 4 months ago on Websites That Help You Save Money – Part Two
Sweet resources list, DC. If this is Part 1, how many total will there be? Based on your track record of finding stuff...about 30?
1 year, 4 months ago on Websites That Help You Save Money – Part One