Average Joe’s Friday Read-Along: Documents and Plans Edition

A sad reminder of the times: Cheryl wanted to have a meeting this weekend to review “where everything is kept.” She wants us both to be clear about where we keep account passwords, insurance policies, estate documents, and to establish who we call first in the event of needing help after a severe disability or death.

It’s sickening why we need to have this meeting, but we’ll have it.

On a better note, we have some huge news coming up in the next few weeks. I realize that what’s “HUGE” to me is slightly interesting to maybe 4 people on the internet…but if I haven’t made the usual rounds this week as much as I’d have liked, you’ll see the reason in about nine days (hopefully).


State of the Union


I’m pleased with the progress our little blog has made this month. If you read our Diary, you know that we had a horrible February. March was back on track, and April has been explosive. Something funny? Here’s a reason to keep blogging: we experienced a wave of traffic on Tuesday and I couldn’t figure out why…until a quick trip to Google Analytics made me laugh. It seems that lots of people were reading our I Forgot To File My Taxes article from a year ago.  Hmmmm…..can’t figure out why that was so popular.


8 Great Blog Posts You Might Have Missed This Week, So I’ll Remind You:


When I originally posted this, I hadn’t seen this piece from a friend’s business partner’s spouse. She ran the Boston Marathon and finished about two minutes before the first bomb went off. Here’s her personal story at E2Dietitian’s Blog.

Not so much a post, as it was a movement….I was happy to see Shannon, from The Heavy Purse gather up a large contingent of financial bloggers to write about Financial Literacy Month. Here’s a link to her carnival and all the blogs that took part. We’ll do our part for financial literacy on Monday when we interview Barbara Friedberg on the podcast about her new book, How To Get Rich: Wealth Building Guide for the Financially Illiterate.

At Money Beagle I enjoyed a post about saving money, even though you think you can’t. He recently started shopping at Aldi. Check out the comments in There Are Always Savings Opportunities for another view about Aldi from a reader. Great post and interesting discussion.

eemusings reminded me of the great Cal Newport’s blog while she was commenting on our site last week. He needs a link from me like I need this doughnut in front of me (oops! No longer there….). However, you need to be reading Cal Newport’s work. Check out In Choosing a Job: Don’t Ask “What Are You Good At?”, Instead Ask, “What Are You Willing To Get Good At.”

Speaking of eemusings, I enjoyed reading Love Where You Live: Auckland on her site, NZMuse.

Combining tight, creative prose and financial topics is an art few explore, but Mackenzie at The Random Path both tackles the challenge and succeeds in At Night. Ever stayed up worrying about your bills? This story is for you.

I remember owning a pool growing up. A few days after we moved in, a strange thing happened: people who we hadn’t seen in years suddenly started calling and dropping by. Weird…. Guess what happened two years later when we moved from that house? That’s right…a lot less “drop in” business. How much does a pool really cost? The PoP’s at Planting Our Pennies 2nd installment in their three part series on the topic is called: We Only Have a Pool Because It’s Free. Check out the disgusting comments, too. They’re hilarious.

Our friend Dominique Brown at Your Finances Simplified is buying more rental properties. Like tales of negotiation and intrigue? Okay, maybe it’s light on the intrigue, but Negotiating Rental Property #5 – They Send a Repair Sheet – Dumb Move! is a fitting end to another multi-post story.

I like the way that My Financial Independence Journey features different companies each week on their blog. They’re often fun reads whether you’re interested in the stock or not. I like the thorough analysis. Check out Air Products and Chemicals (APD) Dividend Stock Analysis.


Hello, My Name Is….


I’m happy to say a big “howdy!” to Cash Cow Couple. Over the last several weeks Jacob and Vanessa have already written some fun, informative content. Check out Applying Pokemon in Real Life for a good starting point.


Photo: Martin Pettitt

Average Joe’s Friday Read-Along

There are few feelings better than knowing you have a whole flippin’ weekend with absolutely nothing to do. Nothing! It’s been a long time coming, so this weekend I promise to put my feet up and do…well…..

1)   There’s a clean up day on local trails. I will be doing that BUT I’ll be outside enjoying the spring weather in Texas. This is the best time of year here. If you think differently, stick it in your ear. (I’m even beginning to get cocky like a Texan!)

2)   My garage is a mess. It’s gonna need some TLC BUT I’ll be in the fresh air AND I’ll see that train set again that I’ve promised myself for 30 years I’d finally put together….

3)   The symphony is playing Saturday night. We’re going to go see them. I HATED the symphony until a good friend dragged my wife and I to a performance for his birthday (I couldn’t say no….it was his birthday!) Now? I’ll go any time I can….even on “do nothing” weekend.

4)   My son has pretty much decided on the University of Texas. We’re going to put down his $200 deposit so he can start picking his dorm this weekend BUT I’ll be clearing up that ultimate “how much money are we spending on college?” discussion.

5)   I’ve got an office that needs some love BUT it’ll make it easier to work next week if I tackle that.


Sigh. Looks like my “do nothing” weekend is all planned out…..


Let’s Look at Eight Great Blog Posts You Might Have Missed


How about if we start with my friend Mr. MMD at My Money Design and his fun post called Would You Borrow Money to Invest in Stocks? I’m ready for next week’s post: Would You Borrow Someone’s Toothbrush?

Justin at The Frugal Path is down with the kid’s stories in his epic piece Paying Off Credit Cards, the Little Debtor Who Could. Congrats to Justin on his first six months of blogging, also!

One of my favoritest writers (it’s my blog and I say it’s a word, okay? Let’s move on….) on the interwebs is Andrew at 101Centavos. This week he spins his quirky tales of gardening in mining stocks in a hilarious direction….Gardening for Zombies.

Kim at Eyes on the Dollar asks a great question about Unethical Doctors – What Can You Do? I love the discussion in the comments.

Our good friend Erin at The Dog Ate My Wallet had a surprise this week….she lost her job! Read The Financial Side of My Layoff on how she’s viewing the coming changes…it’s an uplifting post and reminds me that the glass can be half full or half empty….I decide.

Our new friend Nola at New Take Travel wrote a good post about house swapping: How Can You Trust Strangers In Your Home? I’m excited about trying out house swapping on a vacation…and Nola’s blog is a key resource.

Jen at The Happy Homeowner is right on the money. You can’t just wish your way to wealth. Financial Freedom Doesn’t Just Happen, It’s Earned.

Finally, congrats to our friend (and podcast contributor) Carrie Smith at Careful Cents. She quit her job to freelance! Check it out Why I Quit My Job (and Think You Should, Too).


April Fools!


I have to give a special award to my favorite April Fool’s post. It’s a tie between the PoP’s at Planting Our Pennies with Rebranding – Now Spending Our Pennies and John at Frugal Rules with How to Get Rich Quickly. Nice job. Of course, we participated in the action on our podcast, too. Check out our biggest episode ever.


The Diary


I’ll be releasing a new Diary post this week. It’s nearly done. Matt at Dumb Passive Income is currently working on SEO for a piece of ours. We’ll see what he’s able to come up with. Thanks also to Lance at Money, Life and More for some good Diary suggestions this week.

Interested in reading our behind-the-scenes rambling about blogging? We don’t do that on the blog…it all happens on the Diary.


Hello, My Name Is:


A special welcome to Cash Rebel, who I visited for the first time this week. Mosey over to see this sweet Q1 Update for a sample.

….and a howdy-doody to cartoonist Mark Anderson and his Andertoons website. Mark followed me on Twitter, and I checked out his long-running blog. It’s become an awesome respite from financial pieces all day….check out his tutorial on how to draw a cartoon baby chick. Even I can do it!


We’re Very Popular and Modest, Too:


A huge thanks to those who’ve mentioned us in the last few weeks.

At Nerd’s Eye View, Michael Kitces pointed readers toward How Color Affects Your Investment Decisions in his Weekend Reading post, as did Laurie at The Frugal Farmer in Out on the Town, Good Reads for the Week, Marvin at Brick By Brick Investing in Wealth Building Bricks, Session #9, and Maria at The Money Principle in Principled Money Posts #38, Happy Easter. I’m thrilled that Maria will be making the long trek to Saint Louis for FinCon.

Thank you to John at Frugal Rules, Holly at Club Thrifty and Tonya at Budget & the Beach for featuring OG’s We Gave Frugal the Finger in Frugal Friday: Missing from a Wal-mart Near You editionI Just Wrote a Check for $8,700 and Link Love /Week in Review.

A special thanks to Marvin from Brick By Brick Investing for using my awesome kids as an example in his rant against a sickeningly self-absorbed teenager in . You have to read Marvin’s post to believe this young woman’s point of view….read Ridiculous Entitled Generation for some fun (check out the pics of the woman’s house!).

I know there are people who recognized us that I’ve probably missed. Thanks to everyone who did. I’m grateful for all the sharing of our work.

Have a fantastic-alicious weekend,





Average Joe’s Friday Read-along: 3 Times the Charm Edition

How many times in a row do you have to be right before people catch on? In our little year-in-a-half existence, we’ve only tried to make a few points:

–       Stop making bone-headed financial moves

–       Good advisors often win NOT because they make brilliant decisions but because they stop clients from making moves that wreck their financial plan

–       And, oh yeah, it might be a good idea to have a strategy in writing

We do all that and talk about avoiding the hotel minibar…..

While you may use the word “genius” (and we won’t stop you), we’ll stick with “prudent.” Sigh. It’s tough.

We’re not in the business of calling the stock market, and as some of our readers have mentioned (and we totally agree), you shouldn’t be, either. However, someone who’s a good advisor can see some obvious trends marching down the road. We’ve only made three calls here, and in our view, they weren’t tough:

–       We recommended people avoid the Facebook and Zynga IPOs. Zynga, after opening just over $9 per share, now is trading at $3.72 as I write this. Facebook, while better, also isn’t good news. It opened over $29 per share and is trading at $27.04.

–       On the April 9th issue of our podcast, we told listeners to avoid Apple stock. It was trading at $636.23. Today? $432.50. Follow our advice and pare back? You are welcome….

–       And finally, eight days ago, on March 7th, we said, that while you should put defensive measures in place, we thought there was a good chance the market could still run up and you shouldn’t try to time it. We got pushback on this one, especially. The internet worry that the market was too high ended up being more financial pornography, brought on by the media hype of “sky is falling!” (I won’t call out specifically the three guys who told us they were worried and taking profits….). On March 8th, SPY (the S&P 500 ETF) traded at $155.44. Today it’s opening at $156.73.

So, because we don’t plan to call the market, you STILL won’t get a ton of moves from us in that area. You’re smart enough to know that you should start with your goal, find your perfect diversification, and finally, stay invested and rebalance. However, ahem,  not to brag or anything….but we’re three for three.


So Now It’s Time To Mention 8 Blogs


Budget and the Beach Tonya experiences the real fear of running out of money. She worries that it’s making her a penny pincher. I love the fact that she’s really in tune with how tenuous any financial situation can be.

Young Adult MoneyDC talks spring cleaning. This gave me the fantastic idea that we need to talk about this topic on our podcast. Thanks for the inspiration, DC, but no thanks for reminding me that my garage needs serious attention….yuck.

Debt Roundup – Don’t be a hater! I know this post is three weeks old (ancient by blog standards), but I’ve got to point to one of my favorite articles ever on Grayson’s site: his rant about passive income. It was good to see another person call out the passive income lie. There is no cake.

Dough Roller – I like the idea of visual budgeting (so you can watch outflows more carefully). This article on the best calendar-based financial management tools shows three good candidates for me to play with.

Careful Cents – Speaking of apps, Carrie Smith tackles one of her favorite topics: tax organizing and filing apps.

Wise Dollar – I try not to mention the same blog two read-alongs in a row, but this post was great. Jose lost his job but details point by point his strategy while transitioning and looking for new work.

Reach Financial Independence – Pauline has a fantastic travel series. I grabbed her idea to use AirBnB for travel in the UK and morphed it into my summer trip to Northern Michigan. Her latest describes ways to travel France on a budget.

Club ThriftyHolly is at war with the naysayers questioning her commitment to pay off her mortgage.

So many more blogs to mention, but I’m sticking to my rule of 8. It actually makes picking hard, but more fun deciding than just crankin’ out a laundry list….

Hello….My Name Is….


Hello to Johnny Moneyseed….a fantastic moniker and cool ass logo. Check out his post on traveling for less.

And hey-o to Alice at Hurricanes, Panties and Dollars. While I like Johnny’s logo, Alice’s got my attention more quickly, somehow…. Check out how she runs a carnival.

We’re Very Popular and Humble, Too….


Thanks to a ton of people for shining lights on our work this week.

Most notably, Robert at The College Investor was kick-ass enough to place our site on his list of the 19 Best Investment Blogs You Can Learn From. OG & I were happily surprised when we saw our name there.

Jen at the Happy Homeowner featured us in her Friday Link Love post today. Thanks for pointing to our How I Learned to Avoid Bone Headed Financial Moves post.

Laurie at The Frugal Farmer was kind enough to add us to her On The Town list of good reads.Thanks, Laurie for placing Rethink Your To-Do List on your own list!

Adam at Money Bulldog was kind enough to place our post 5 Great Stock Buying Tips to Practice Today on his weekend reading list.

And finally, Todd & John at Fearless Men (one of our all-time favorite sites for men) had the good sense to point to our Two Guys & Your Money podcast episode Makin’ Mo’ Money in their Weekly Roundup.

Average Joe’s Saturday Read-Along

Wow! So how long has it been since I’ve done one of these, huh? I know. I’ve been waiting, too. It’s always good to throw down a few shout outs (but never as many as I’d really like…by the time I get these posts done I’ve read a bajillion great pieces).


The Diary


Thanks to everyone who responded to my last Diary post. It’s awesome to get so many words of encouragement. Pauline at Reach Financial Independence gave me great suggestions on hiring a VA, Kathleen at FrugalPortland wrote to ask about which class we’re taking, Siccora at Tackling Our Debt wrote to me about KeePass (awesome tip) and last, Matt at Dumb Passive Income offered to help me with SEO by working on a joint project together. Check out his site…pretty soon he’ll SEO some Average Joe’s Money Blog posts. Can’t wait for the lesson, Matt!

Not getting my Diary? What the hell are you waiting for? Sign up and we’ll get you caught up on the action behind the scenes at the blog. A quick note…the Diary is different than our newsletter (which is filled with awesome tips and discounts). Follow this link to find the Diary subscription page and we’ll bring it to your inbox, pronto!


I’m a braggart


Total non-sequitur. Check out this kid.


Nick taking off

That’s my son warming up at the Texas State Swimming Championships! He finished 14th in the state in both the 100 and 200 freestyle and anchored both of his team’s freestyle relays. Thanks to our friend Kathy Anglin for the killer action shot.

By the way: He doesn’t get it from me. I swim like a brick.


Some of My Favorite Reads


Holy cow. Again, I’d like to apologize to people who don’t appear here today. I read these lists of “favs” on other blogs and totally get depressed when I don’t see some of my AJ Money Blog awesomeness listed. First, I can’t put as much time into these as I’d like AND there is just too much good writing.

Could you help me? To make this list easier, please write other bloggers and ask them to suck a little more. That’ll help both you and me. Thank you.

I no longer do “Blog Post of the Week,” but if I did, it would go to John’s spouse Nicole at Frugal Rules. Her post “Losing Isaac, Finding Life in the Death of a Child” is so incredibly sad, yet unbelievably inspiring.

Our good friends Len Penzo and PK at DQYDJ never fail to make me laugh and teach me a lesson at the same time. Check out Len’s 9 ’Oops’ Moments That I Ultimately Paid For (One Way or Another) and PK’s take on the blog world’s latest drama: On Shortcuts, Originality…and Casablanca.

KrantCents has written some fantastic pieces. The Case Against Paying Off Your Mortgage may be my favorite of all.

Possible Reason #1 I can’t wait for FinCon: to personally again witness one of Jana’s rants. If you’ve never seen the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, the Statue of Liberty in the early morning, the Grand Canyon at dusk, or heard one of Jana’s rants, you’re missing out on life. It’s true. After meeting her last year at FinCon I now read her posts as if she’s reading them to me. It makes them authentic. Check out Change Your Situation With a Little Drastic Action at Daily Money Shot. Special thanks, too, to Jana for running the Bloggers helping Bloggers program. Maybe that’s why there’s been so much good content lately around the interwebs….

Speaking of friends and FinCon, my friend Erin at Dog Ate My Wallet writes some wonderful, contemplative prose in Walking in the Rain.

John and Todd at Fearless Men are back with another awesome round of Best Fearless Men quotes. My suggestions, such as “Don’t piss in the bathtub” never seem to make the cut. The bar must be pretty high….

Kim at Eyes on the Dollar writes a well-thought piece called Is Poverty in the United States an Excuse to Do Poorly in School? If you’ve watched Waiting for Superman, you know this is a complex problem. Read the comments for some great discussion, also.

A website I have more appreciation for all the time is Brick by Brick Investing. Soon-to-be-daddy Marvin does a super job of laying out the details of investing as well as anyone I’ve read. Read Lazy Attitudes…I Absolutely Love Them.

See that? I just went over my self-imposed “eight post” limit AGAIN and I still have about 30 more I loved this week.

Thanks everyone for stopping by our site. It’s increasingly the fun of being a part of this community (even when we have the drama of your average 10th grade hormonal class) that gets me excited about doing this.


Hello…My Name is….


Check out two “new to me” promising bloggers on the scene since my last read-a-long:

Jose at The Wise Dollar has a unique voice and situation. He’s taking care of his elderly parent’s finances AND his own situation. Because of that you’ll get a little of everything from his blog. Check out a sample: Estate Planning – Our Return From Miami.

The blogger at Write Your Own Reality is another distinct new voice. Check out To DRIP or not to DRIP where I promise he isn’t talking about post-nasal anything….


Join In!


My friend Maria at The Money Principle and I are on Daily Mile, a fun site to track your running. Friend us both! We’d love to have more people out there (I say that and I’ve only been there twice…help me get there more often!). Aloysa at My Broken Coin pinged me a while ago, but I have changed profiles, and Shannyn at FrugalBeautiful uses the site often. Let’s hold each other accountable to our running goals!



We’re Very Popular and Modest, Too…


I’m grateful that our work has been displayed in many places in the past few weeks, including:

Laurie at The Frugal Farmer was nice enough to nod toward our post Average Joe vs. Upside Down Teacups and Other Nonsense in her awesome post Oops, I Did It Again (Almost!). Ever fight to reach your goals? Sure you have. Read Laurie’s story about ALMOST forgetting the big picture.

Thank you to John at Frugal Rules, Holly and Greg at Club Thrifty and John & Todd at Fearless Men for pointing readers toward 5 Great Stock Buying Tips to Practice Today. Like two guys who high five each other because they wore the same shirt to school, John and I had similar posts on the same day (not eerily similar, like elsewhere on the internet this week, but “dude, awesome” similar….).

Maria at The Money Principle mentioned The Power of Big, Fat Audacious Goals, a post I was honored to write about my friends who ran 100 miles.

Marvin at Brick By Brick Investing, Grayson at Debt Roundup and Adam at Money Bulldog kindly pointed readers toward Average Joe vs. Upside Down Teacups and Other Nonsense. Thank you, guys!

Pauline at Reach Financial Independence and Erin at The Dog Ate My Wallet mentioned Long Term Care Planning, What Would You Do? to her readers. Thanks, Pauline!

Hope you’re having an awesome weekend!

Photo: aussiegall


Average Joe’s Friday Read-a-Long

Mission partly accomplished! I filled out two FAFSA applications this week. That means that I’m halfway to finding out that the total cost my twin’s college is roughly double what I’ve saved.

You may not know this, but contrary to my post about expected family contributions, the formula is simple:

EFC = Everything You Have + ($several thousand more)

Thank you to Lance at Money Life & More, who planted the seed for that equation during a Twitter discussion.

Now, where were we….something about posts…..OH!


10 Great Reads Plus An Extra One….No Charge 


More fantastic blogging these last couple of weeks. I could point out a bajillion stories, but then I’d miss the Real Housewives of Atlanta. So, in the interest of time, and watching that little b#$%! get hers, let’s point you toward some weekend reading, shall we?

I hope you’re not hungry as you click through to Sydney’s article at Untemplater. She talks about the Best Eats From Around the World. Check out the pics. I’m headed to Istanbul right now to grab some of that Turkish delight….

The crappiest job I ever had? I had to move chickens from their cages into little portable cages and load them on a truck to go to the slaughterhouse. Kim from Eyes On The Dollar takes the road less traveled and discusses the lessons learned from some pretty crappy jobs.

You’re an MVP at work, aren’t you? How about some career advice? Read Early Stage Career Boosters For People with MVP Potential at FastCompany.

Have you ever self-sabotaged? Sadly, I’ve seen this more often than I ever cared. KK at Student Debt Survivor had an awesome post called Think Yourself Into Financial Failure.

I’d say one of the most eclectic financial writers has to be Kathleen at Frugal Portland. You read her site one day and it’s definitely not an indicator of what she’s writing the next. Check out Spirituality Lesson from My Baby Sister.

Older workers face a different set of challenges in the job market than young workers. KrantCents tackles Interview Tips for Older Workers.

Jordann at My Alternate Life annoyingly shares a bunch of tips on eating healthy. But Jordann, how can I ever visit In-N-Out with your voice of reason blaring in my head? Check out the good stuff in Why I Care About What I Eat.

Maggie at Square Pennies discusses one of the coolest companies I’ve found, Rent the Runway. Have a daughter headed to a big dance? Want to avoid buying a dress that’ll be warn exactly once? Read Maggie’s article.

iHeart Budgets tackles an interesting budget for a couple, and the couple works with readers in the comments! What fun this was: Budget Friday: Submission 7 (Jake didn’t write a post about kinky sex, although the title reads like it, go ahead and click….).

Mrs. PoP at Planting Our Pennies plays the part of the person who knows how to lower her real estate tax assessment in the two-part epic: How We Fought Our Real Estate Tax Appraisal And Won.


We’re Very Popular and Humble


Thanks to Adam at Money Bulldog and Pauline at Reach Financial Independence for pointing readers toward our article: College Planning Strategy: a Creative (and Effective) Option.

Thank you to our new Yakezie friend Thriftability and the Freedom 35 Blog for pointing readers toward 5 Simple Steps to Kick 2013 Into High Gear.

The awesome dudes at Fearless Men pointed to my personl favorite article I wrote in the last couple weeks: Joe’s Favorite Movies of 2012. Thanks, guys!

Jacob at iHeartBudgets , Michael Kitces (via LinkedIn), and Erin at Dog Ate My Wallet pointed out our discussion of advisor lobbies: Hiring a Financial Advisor: Clues From the Lobby. Thank you, peeps!

Random Thoughts To End the Week Without a Bang


A new diary post hit reader inboxes this week. We talk about my obsession with finding the right headline.

AND our shiny new newsletter will have issue #1 going out this week. We’ll tackle saving money on car insurance. Hey, that might be a good idea for a slogan….

Finally….remember: If you live in SW Georgia, vote for Dr. Dean Burke for State Senate!

Photo: Moria

Average Joe’s Friday Read-a-Long

….in which our intrepid hero, Average Joe, takes you through some of his favorite reads. This post is published whenever the hell Joe gets around to it. Today’s your lucky day.

Happy Friday, read-a-long peeps. It’s been quite a few weeks since this groundhog popped his head out of the hole and said “I’m not sick anymore!” but now’s that time.

Of course, that means I was sick over the entire holiday and only recovered in time to get my ass back to work.

But, with work like this, who needs a holiday anyway, right? You with me?


Here’s what I’m talking about:


Hey workout lovers, Todd Mayfield at Fearless Men wrote about barefoot running. I’m sticking with shoes for now, but he makes a great case for those five toed shoes.

Savvy Scot and femmefrugality have cool posts on technology. Savvy Scott focuses on emerging energy-saving tech while femmefrugality tackles items that will be cheaper in 2013. Both fun reads if you’re hoping for new toys or lower costs on those toys.

There’s something about making letters that can be personal. As bloggers, we do it by stringing together words in ways that reflect our personality. At Letter Cult, they focus on how people actually draw the letters. This post is full of fascinating examples.

Holly at ClubThrifty writes the funniest/creepiest post of the week, with her near-porno debut at a classic motel.

My internet friend Jefferson at SeeDebtRun outs himself and his weight struggle in Epic Failure. The question I ask is this: what is the right way to lose weight? Go it alone? Do it with a team of help? Read weight loss blogs?

It’s not a blog, but the New York Times ran a fascinating article about how Disney is expanding their technological advantage over other companies….and mining data at the same time.

Hank at Money Q & A lists several ways to keep your New Year’s Resolutions. Generally, New Year’s tips posts won’t make a “must read” list, but Hanks are really good, especially the last one: Don’t Make Any.

…and finally, I love peeing in public as much as the next guy, but TB at Blue Collar Workman (who sees all the good stuff in a day’s work), meets a woman with her pants down….literally in a post last week.


As always, too many great blog posts by too many good authors to mention….but this should get you started this weekend!


Congrats Are In Order


Congratulations to our friend American Debt Project on her recent engagement.

Way to go, Len Penzo on being mentioned on the Dave Ramsey Show! Dave reviewed Len’s Billionaire piece with his listeners and discussed how everything is in perspective. Of course, you can hear Len weekly on the WAY-more-popular Two Guys and Your Money podcast, but I think the little Ramsey thing is a great 2nd place….

Sicorra at Tackling Our Debt reports that her blog planning tools have been downloaded over 1,000 times. Wow! If you haven’t checked them out, what are you waiting for…a link? I just gave it to you!

AND last but not least, our friend Dr. Dean Burke from the Millionaire Nurse Blog finished first in his election for Georgia State Senator, and is headed to a run off early next month. While I’m sure that keeps him away from our podcast a little longer, America can use more great people like Dr. Dean. Congrats on the well-deserved victory!


We’re Very Popular and Humble, Too


In the last few days we’ve been mentioned quite a few places, and I need the thank my mentioning peeps:

Jason at FrugalHabits, who just might be the friendliest guy on the internet, gave our pieces Stock Market Punishment – 1st Lesson of 2013 and 5 Saving Tips You Wish Someone Had Told You Earlier a nod.

PK, from DQYDJ.NET included our podcast (including his own, awesome contributions) in his DQYDJ Weekender last week.

Todd & John, our friends at Fearless Men, chose Stock Market Punishment – 1st Lesson of 2013 for their as part of their best reads of the week.

Kathleen from FrugalPortland used our savings account strategy in her post Two New Savings Hacks for 2013.

Steve Stewart of MoneyPlanSoS fame mentioned our podcast on his DaveRamseyFan website in his post: Dave Reads: What’s It Like to Be a Billionaire, By Len Penzo.

Speaking of podcast, Lance at Money, Life and More also mentioned the show and his appearance in his Personal Finance Round Up, Mentions, and Carnivals #37.


Contests! We’ve Got Your Contests Right Here!


Our $100 contest ends soon. You should get in on the fun while it’s still open.

We’ll have a $1,000 contest coming this weekend (look for it Sunday here).

I received your emails about Diary posts. Keep them coming! I’m reading them all and hopefully will be able to respond to some this weekend. New Diary posts hopefully coming next week….


Adorable Cat Photo: DidByGraham

Lifestyle Carnival – “I Hosted the Carnival and All I Got Was This Tee-Shirt” edition

Happy Monday, everyone!

It’s “back to school” day at our house. That means less travel, entertainment, wealth and retirement thoughts, but more health and fashion talk. But there’s good news: we’ll bring you every category as usual for today’s list of fun, along with some of the tee shirts I could have received for hosting, had that requirement been in place. (Where’s the suggestion box for this carnival?)

Here is the 17th edition of the Lifestyle Carnival! Submit your blog article to the next edition using our carnival submission form.



A wonderful place to buy a travel tee shirt. I recommend going as soon as you get a chance.

Jeremy @ Modest Money writes Vehicle Insurance Better Safe Than Sorry – I am sure none of you are guilty of this, but amazingly some people take the risk of driving without insurance. Here in BC that is illegal and a pretty dumb risk regardless where you live.

Steve @ Canadian Personal Finance writes Is it OK to get a discount if you are good looking? – Would you turn down a discount because you were good looking? A customer received a discount for being good looking. This was simply a joke by the server but honestly it brings up a good question, do good looking people get discounts?

J Wayne @ All Things Finance writes The True Cost of Car Ownership – Car ownership costs much more than people think. It’s not just a matter of what you pay each month, but many more factors such as depreciation, insurance, fuel, interest and taxes.




Julie @ FashionSmart writes Fashion Smart – For those who love to get inspired and inspire others. Share fashion via photographs. Share/respond with your own style via comments section; thereby, bringing diversity of style into one place. Everybody is welcome to join my blog, and share fashion ideas. FashionSmart22.blogspot.com



I feel this way every single time.

Jessica Moorhouse @ Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses writes I’ll Take Chipmunk Cheeks for $2,000 Alex – After comparing the pros and cons to taking out $2,000 from my emergency fund to pay for a dental procedure, I decided that my health is worth more than any amount of money.

Cash Flow Mantra @ Cash Flow Mantra writes Having a Daughter Changes Everything – After having started to read Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, I realize that there is so much I didn’t know about what goes on inside the head of a little girl. I am very glad that this book came as such a high recommendation by Dave Ramsey. There are tons of daddy/daughter books out there, and I’m sure I will read more over the years. But I’m grateful that I got this one first, to start a solid foundation for being the best father possible to my new daughter.



Might be my favorite tee shirt of all time. My wife said this wouldn't ever leave the house on my body if I bought it.

Jason @ Live Real, Now writes Letterboxing – This week, I’ve been taking my kids letterboxing. We go to a letterboxing site(either LBNA or Atlas Quest), choose a letterbox, then follow the clues. When we find the letterbox, we stamp our letterbox journal with the stamp we find there and stamp the book we find with our stamp. It’s similar to geocaching, but without a gps.



Consult with your mom before wearing this one to the prom.

John @ Calling the Puts writes Save Money by Learning to Spend Wisely – The first step to investing is saving, and the key to saving money is learning how to spend it properly.

harry campbell @ Your Personal Finance Pro writes Why Borrowing From Your 401k is a Bad Idea – here aren’t many loans out there that allow you to borrow without a credit check and pay yourself interest, but that’s what a 401k loan does. Sounds pretty awesome right? Well it isn’t all good, and although pundits argue that 401k loans are a good alternative to commercial loans and definitely a better choice than an outright distribution, a 401k loan goes against the whole principle of retirement investing.

Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes Tiny House Design Plan Book – Downsizing has been a hot trend during this recession (or recession as of late if you think it’s over) and one way some people are downsizing is in their everyday abode. From Tiny Tumbleweeds to small eco-footprints, small is the new “in.” And small sometimes becomes tiny – tiny can be linked to freedom in some ways; freedom from too much stuff, too much debt, or just too much of everything.

Paul Vachon @ The Frugal Toad writes Deciding When to Retire – Deciding when to retire can be a difficult decision to make. Will I have enough income from my retirement accounts, pension, and social security to live comfortably in retirement?

Teacher Man @ My University Money writes Investing In Yourself Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive – There is plenty of buzz out there these days about “investing in yourself”. Usually it is in reference to some magical product that you should buy. The logic is that by investing in what they have to offer, you are really just spending the money to improve themselves, and really, who doesn’t want that?

Boomer @ Boomer & Echo writes Are You Counting On An Inheritance? – Many boomers are not well prepared for their own retirements and are expecting an inheritance windfall to reduce their debts and provide an income.



MMD @ My Money Design writes Blogging Tips from All the Dumb Mistakes I Made My First Year – I made a lot of mistakes within the first year of my blog. Here’s a look back at them and my blogging tips for doing things the right way!

Grand Per Month @ Grand Per Month writes Make a Grand Per Month Writing Resumes – While the economy is rebounding, many are still looking for a job, which makes it a great time to create a side gig writing resumes. (Even in a strong economy, resume writers are generally in demand because resume writing seems to be a dying art form.)

Young @ Young And Thrifty writes How Far Would You Go to Score a Deal? – This is my journey to get myself 16,500 free Aeroplan points. It took a while, but in the end I was able to take a mini vacation!



And finally, when wearing the tee shirt didn't share your love of fruit nearly enough....

Miss T. @ Prairie Eco Thrifter writes Peach Tree Battle – Don’t fight the peach tree battle. Plant blueberries instead! We’ve had banner crops from two bushes for 4 years since planting them 5 years ago!

Alicia Sher @ wholesomehealthyhearts writes Running and Cooking and Baking, Oh My! – A post about running, eating healthy, and includes 2 recipes.

Linsey @ Lille Punkin writes My Recipe for Easy Pecan Crusted Chicken Fingers – Pecan crusted chicken is one of those dishes you probably think would be difficult to make at home; I would’ve agreed, had it not been for my accidental experiment in the kitchen that produced a beautiful version of pecan crusted chicken that even my kids enjoyed. This crispy and delicious meal takes just minutes to prepare, and it really does taste phenomenal.

Melissa @ Mom’s Plans writes Have a Bumper Crop of Cherry Tomatoes? Here Are Some Delicious Dairy Free Cherry Tomato Recipes – Our one little cherry tomato plant has been a prolific producer, already giving us 375 cherry tomatoes. The plant is still full of green tomatoes, and there are more blossoms. One of our CSAs is also experiencing cherry tomato overload, so every week for the last few weeks, we have been eating several meals created around cherry tomatoes.


Photos: Austin: The SeaFarer; Skull: antjeverana; Running: Sierrafit; Dollar: Demi-Brooke; Making Shirt: …love Maegan; beckett: Kripptic

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