Sunday, March 30, 2008

Carnival of Debt Reduction #133

Welcome to the 133rd Carnival of Debt Reduction!
Beginning January 1st of this year, I started my blog regarding personal finance specifically about debt reduction and frugal living. I have had the pleasure of reading many of the PF blogs and have been enjoying it a lot.

This is the end of the first quarter of 2008 so I decided to share with you some of the headlines from these past three months along with the great debt reduction articles.

So onto our carnival.

Editor's Choice
NCN presents Moving Debt Is Not The Same As Paying It Off posted at No Credit Needed.

Editor's choice
paidtwice presents Small Changes Make a World of Difference posted at I've Paid For This Twice Already....

1st Quarter -January 2008
source wikipedia January 2008
(If you want to see the articles you might have to click the navigation Current Events or Portal Current Events on the Wikipedia page.)

January 3: Caucus vote in Iowa (BBC)

The Happy Rock presents Why APY Matters And The APR Lies posted at The Happy Rock.

January 6: Greece is hit by an earthquake 6.5 magnitude (RTE News)

Steve Faber presents - How to Get Out of Debt Fast posted at Debt Free.

January 13: "A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota announce the creation of a beating rat heart using cells from the heart of newborn rats and a heart structure from a dead rat." (The New York Times)

Praveen presents IVA - British Alternative to Bankruptcy posted at My Simple Trading System.

January 26: "The United States government warns that a spy satellite is losing power and propulsion and could hit the Earth in February or March." (BBC News)

Jim presents 7 Steps to Debt Consolidation Using Balance Transfers posted at Cash Back Ideas.

1st Quarter -February 2008

source wikipedia February 2008
(If you want to see the articles you might have to click the navigation Current Events or Portal Current Events on the Wikipedia page.)

February 21: "Singapore is elected by the International Olympic Committee as the first city to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2010." (IOC)

Debt Freedom Fighter presents Debt Advice: How to Defeat Your Debt Once and For All. posted at Discover Debt Freedom!.

February 24: "A Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 becomes the first commercial aircraft to make a flight powered by biofuel flying between Heathrow and Amsterdam." (CNN)

FMF presents 790s Credit Score Barely Enough In Today’s Loan Market? posted at Free Money Finance.

1st Quarter -March 2008

source wikipedia March 2008
(If you want to see the articles you might have to click the navigation Current Events or Portal Current Events on the Wikipedia page.)

March 4: "A manmade flood is created in the Grand Canyon in Arizona in an attempt to replenish the ecosystem in the gorge." (CNN)

FIRE Finance presents Three Quick Steps To Get Out of Debt! posted at FIRE Finance.

March 12: "The total amount of digital information is estimated at 281 exabytes in 2007, exceeding available data storage for the first time." (Ars Technica) (IDC via EMC)

Helen Anderson presents 8 Easily Avoidable Causes of Business Debt at Personal Finance Blog, Budgeting, Debt @ Bankaholic posted at Bankaholic.

March 16: "Italian airline Alitalia is purchased by a consortium of Air France and KLM for €138 million." (BBC)

sara l presents $500 Phone call posted at paying off my future.

March 17: "World War II Royal Australian Navy warship HMAS Sydney is discovered off the coast of Western Australia after being missing for 65 years with the loss of all 600+ crew." (ABC News Australia)

Broke Grad Student presents How To Quickly Pay Off Student Loans posted at Broke Grad Student.

March 24: "The Olympic Flame of the 2008 Summer Olympics is lit in Olympia" (CNN)

glblguy presents Gazelle Intensity: How fast is it? posted at Gather Little by Little.

March 27: "The oldest known recording of a human voice, created with a phonautograph by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville on April 9, 1860 is replayed by American researchers." (The New York Times)

William Blake presents What Does Your Debt Ratio Mean? posted at Becoming Debt Free.

Have a great spring!!

Carnival of Debt Reduction

This is the Sub Prime Crisis editon of the Carnival of Debt Reduction. Enjoy!.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Next Host for the Carnival of Debt Reduction

Motherhood101Aplus will be hosting the next edition of the Carnival of Debt Reduction. Please submit your posts if you are interested in participating.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Not All Homeowners in America have a Mortgage

This sounds like good news. Normally I feel that I am in a very small majority trying to get my mortgage paid off while my children are still in grade school.
Gallup has a few polls regarding Mortgages and Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit.

The first one that I wanted to mention says that "59% of the people have a fixed rate mortgage and 9% of the people have a variable rate mortgage." (April -May 2005)

Another Gallup Poll indicates that "85% of the people aged 30-49 have a 1st lien mortgage; 78% of the people aged 18-29; 61% of the people aged 50-64; and 24% of the people aged 65 or older." (October - December 2006)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Power of Paying Off a Mortgage Early

We have been in our home for 10 years. Our principal has really not gone down very much each year until now. Last year (April 07-April 08) we reduced our principal by 12K. If we follow along using our debt reduction snowball, we will reduce our principal by 14K next year and an additional 16K the following year.
Each year the amount of the principal reduction will be more because our interest owed will not be as high.

Home Equity Going Down

Apparently the equity in your home is related to the amount that your home is worth based on the housing market rather than the original purchase price of your home. So what is going to happen to the home equity loans when the market price of people's homes goes down? Will the home owners no longer be able to sell their home for a profit but instead will need to take a loss b/c they have essentially two mortgages that add up to more than the selling price of their home?

Debt Reduction 101

1) Don't get into debt in the first place
A) Normally that advice comes too late
B) Debt comes with living in America
C) We all want the American dream of being mortgaged to the hilt

I have been trying to figure out the history behind how the home equity loan got started. Did someone realize that home owners actually had some equity that they could borrow against? How is this good for the consumer? The home owner already has a mortgage and then they get a home equity loan.
Several times we have been approached to get a home equity line of credit "just in case" it was needed.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Self Esteem

Information from the University of Texas at Austin
The Counseling and Mental Health Center
Healthy Self-Esteem
Childhood experiences that lead to healthy self-esteem include-
being praised
being listened to
being spoken to respectfully
getting attention and hugs
experiencing success in sports or school
having trustworthy friends

Low Self-Esteem
Childhood experiences that lead to low self-esteem include-
being harshly criticized
being yelled at, or beaten
being ignored, ridiculed or teased
being expected to be "perfect" all the time
experiencing failures in sports or school
People with low self-esteem were often given messages that failed experiences (losing a game, getting a poor grade, etc.) were failures of their whole self.

Step 3: Get Help from Others
Getting help from others is often the most important step a person can take to improve his or her self-esteem, but it can also be the most difficult. People with low self-esteem often don't ask for help because they feel they don't deserve it. But since low self-esteem is often caused by how other people treated you in the past, you may need the help of other people in the present to challenge the critical messages that come from negative past experiences. Here are some ways to get help from others:

Ask for Support from Friends

Ask friends to tell you what they like about you or think you do well.
Ask someone who cares about you to just listen to you "vent" for a little while without trying to "fix" things.
Ask for a hug.
Ask someone who loves you to remind you that they do.

new week

Well it is a brand new week. Hopefully all will go well this week.
Organizational purchases made yesterday:
Hanging folders, regular file folders, half sheet envelopes, and 2008-2009 small date book.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Easter Egg Hunt

Dear Baby Michael and Baby Kathleen,
We had a fabulous day today. I wish you both were there to celebrate LIFE with us!


Friday, March 14, 2008

Spring is just around the corner

Wouldn't it be nice to put everything out for a yard sale and it all just be wisked away. Why have a yard sale when you can just donate and take a tax deduction? In reality you will only get about $6 off for every $100 of stuff overall but it eliminates all the extra work. We just have too much stuff. Which makes things impossible to find but also impossible to know where to begin. There is not one area of our house that does not need improving.

I feel that I am just going from event to event and holiday to holiday and trying to cram in more and more stuff into the same square footage of house.

I guess it is time to do some spring cleaning!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kitchen Challenge

Awesome video from Organized Everyday on her before kitchen.
Video takes less than 5 minutes to watch.

new look

In case anyone notices the new look I was mainly trying to change the size of the font. I was looking at this blog late at night and the type looked way too small.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How to Save for a future expense

We have three large expenses that we are saving for each year.
1 and 2) two tuitions each year
3) pool membership
4) we should also be saving for gymnastics since that is about $900 during the school year

We have a separate savings account that we make automatic payments to on a weekly basis. If we did this manually there is the chance for user error, I forget to make the transfer or the funds are already spent.
Currently we transfer $90 per week to the savings account. Starting in 2009, this will change to $120 per week.

The trick here is that we are using current paychecks to make these future payments without having to dip into any additional savings.

No Credit Needed

No Credit Needed has complied a list of personal finance bloggers best tips on frugality, saving at home and personal finance. There are over 40 tips included.

Pool Expenses -Does the wording make a difference

Our pool membership dues are due before May 1. If we pay on or after May 1 there is a penalty. My husband mentioned that people will forgo a discount but do not want to pay a penalty. Does the wording make that much of a difference?
For example: pool membership dues that cost $1,000 and are discounted to $900 if you pay before a certain date is the same as $900 with a $100 penalty if paid after a certain date.
They also have another way to get your money even earlier. If you pay by March 15 you will rec. 5 guest passes for free.
Wait there is more. You can prepay for guest passes, 5 for $20 rather than 5 for $25 later.


Here are some of my daughter's firsts.

Dec. 27, 2007 -sat up on her changing table
Feb. 21, 2008 -crawled from the livingroom to the end of the diningroom
March 5 or March 7, 2008 -clapped
March 13, 2008 -1st tooth appeared on the bottom; 2nd tooth towards the end of the month
March 16, 2008 -crawled on hands and knees alittle
March 30, 2008 -said duck when we gave her a duck at church
April 1, 2008 -can try to get up without assistance but is not able to stand yet, getting there; has been crawling more on hands and knees
April 19, 2008 -top two teeth appeared; has been standing on one foot and kneeling on the other leg for awhile; stood holding onto the couch today; has also stood holding on to other items; no cruising yet; does not like the feel of grass on her feet or legs;
May 14, 2008 -crawled up the stairs
May 18, 2008 -stood by herself; said duckie when she picked up a duck off the floor

Congratulations to Life in the Hundred Acre Wood

Congratulations to Anjali and Brian on their new addition!
Life in the Hundred Acre Wood.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Here is the list of future hosts for the Carnival of Debt Reduction:

Mar 17, 2008 Ask Mr Credit Card
Mar 24, 2008 Debt Reduction Formula
Mar 31, 2008 Motherhood101Aplus
Apr 07, 2008
Apr 14, 2008 No Debt Plan

Friday, March 7, 2008

Happy Birthday my child in Heaven

Dear Baby Michael,
Happy 2nd Birthday to you my son! March 15 was the day you went to heaven two years ago. Too bad we can't plan a party for you here on earth.
We deeply miss you always.


Alot of times I read blogs for inspiration. Not for inspiration for what to write but for what to do. Reading the organizing blogs sometimes I see something and I say, yes that would be a good thing to do.
Nothing is inspiring me today. The weekends are normally fun. I think up tons of things to do. Things to fill my week days are harder.
Maybe tomorrow my inspiration will come; since it is the weekend.

Sometimes it is hard to be the one planning all the activities. Hint, Hint.

OKAY. I just read something to inspire me.
change is good.

Now how to implement it is the question.