National 529 Day– Get $50 When You Start a 529 College Savings Plan

529 Day

Math nerds celebrate Pi Day (3.14).  Personal Finance nerds celebrate National 529 Day (5-29)! What?  You didn't know that was a thing? Okay, so neither did I until I was invited to be a blog ambassador for ScholarShare, California's 529 College Savings Plan.  I spent a day in Los Angeles learning all about 529 college savings plans and I'm excited to share what I learned with you over the next few months. Today we'll talk about the basics of 529 college savings plans.   If you decide ... read more

Benefits of Blogging for Accountability (…and why I started blogging)

Blogging for Accountability

Just the other day, a reader asked me about how blogging was helping us to reach our financial goals and what advice I have for people who are thinking about starting a blog for personal accountability.  Readers often ask advice on starting a blog, especially a blog to chronicle their financial journey. I always hesitate to talk too much about blogging specifically since most of my readers aren't bloggers.  However, most of my readers do have goals!  A blog doesn't have to be a huge business ... read more

What are your kids learning from you about money?

What are your kids learning from you about money

Enjoy this insightful guest post from Mark at BareBudgetGuy. I know I did! My mom always said that nothing compensates for good, clear communication. This is especially true in marriage. When the kids are finally in bed after a long day, and my wife and I finally have a few minutes to have some uninterrupted communication, we usually discuss what we are most excited about. The problem is, however, that we are excited about very different things. I usually want to talk about some aspect of ... read more

Is a Baby Registry Worth It? Tips to Make the Most of Your Baby Registry

Baby Registry

Today's post isn't one that most of you will use right away, as it only directly applies to those of you who have a baby in your near future.  If that doesn't describe you now, you can pin it for later or pass it onto a friend or daughter who is expecting. Is a Baby Registry Worth It? Gift registries are becoming more and more popular.  The idea of making a list of the gifts you would like to receive used to sound childish and tacky, but now it's seen as a favor to those who wish to give ... read more

Hoarders and Minimalists: Two Faces of Frugality

Hoarders and Minimalists

What do hoarders and minimalists have in common? Admittedly not a lot.  In fact they are pretty much at opposite ends of the "stuff" spectrum. The lifestyle of a hoarder would drive a minimalist insane.  Likewise, a true pack rat would go bonkers in a minimalist's world. Hoarders and minimalists have at least one thing in common: Frugality. By definition, frugal is: Economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful Not all hoarders and minimalists are frugal. ... read more

8 Great Ways to Save Money on Laundry

Save Money on Laundry

With a family of six, there's never a shortage of laundry.  Some days there is not an end in sight.  I always feel so accomplished when all the hampers are empty and the drawers are full, though it's only a matter of hours before the laundry begins to pile up again. With a task as never-ending as laundry, finding ways to save money really pays off.  Since the laundry isn't going to go away, learn ways to minimize the expense so the savings will keep adding up. Here are 8 great ways to save ... read more

Sunday: The Secret to Week-Long Productivity

Sunday

I don't claim to have it all together, but I enjoy a happy, balanced, and productive life.  I'm sure there are lots of contributing factors, but I believe much of it boils down to one day a week. Sunday is my secret weapon to being productive and getting things done.  The funny thing is that I don't actually do anything on my lengthy to-do list on Sunday.  I don't even try to check anything off my list. It might seem counter-intuitive that doing "nothing" for one day a week helps me get ... read more

Everything Muffins– Healthy Banana Zucchini Berry Muffins

Everything Muffins

Everything muffins are packed full of healthy things, but still taste like a treat.  They are very versatile, so you can adapt the recipe to what you have on hand.  Your ingredients can be fresh or frozen.  They're never the same muffin twice, but they're always moist and delicious. We don't buy many pre-made treats and snacks.  Making our own goodies is usually less expensive than store-bought treats.  Homemade snacks are also healthier and tastier than the store-bought alternative. My ... read more

How to Save Money on Road Trips

save money on road trips

Road trips are a great way to have a family vacation without breaking the bank.  With a little bit of planning, you can make your road trips even more frugal by learning some tricks to save money on gas, food, entertainment, and accommodations. I've spent tens of thousands of miles in the car on road trips.  I grew up about two thousand miles away from any extended family.  Every couple of years my family would make the long trek across the country to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles ... read more

April 2015 Debt Repayment Progress Report

debt payoff stats may 1 2015

Debt Repayment During April, we put $2,352 toward our student loans!  Our debt payments this month went toward the 0% APR balance transfer that we're using to save money on interest.  On Income Based Repayment with our current income and family size, we don't have any payments due, so we can focus all our attention on the balance transfer. We also got a deposit from SmarterBucks, which is a cash back program where the money goes directly to your student loans. It's kind of exciting to be at ... read more