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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Budgeting on Vacation

I just spent a week on the beautiful shores of North Carolina. The people, scenery, culture, and cuisine all make this part of the United States a great place to visit. While I was there, I also got to thinking how many people treat money while on vacation.Many of us keep an eye on the money the saved up for a getaway. I got to thinking, why don't more people budget the money for the vacation?
While the vacation budget will not be as strict as a normal budget, we should give each vacation dollar a name prior to our excursions. In today's economic climate, we need to be careful how we spend, no matter where we are.
When on vacation, I would recommend having three categories. You need a gas category. Unless you are flying, you need to make sure you have enough to get back home.
You also need a food category. After all you are planning on eating, right? A good way to save in this category is to eat in. The beach house we stayed at at a full sized refrigerator, as well as a spacious pantry. We did eat out, but we also saved money by buying groceries locally.
The third category will be your fun category. Like I said , this is not a normal budget. You need to have some fun while on vacation.
By having a vacation budget, you are less likely to go into debt for your vacation. Additionally, when you come home from vacation, you are not haunted by what you spent for that short time away. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Giving Opportunity

This is something I have never done. Any reguilar reader of this blog knows I speak out about the need to be a good money manager. The church my family attends, Crossroads Community Church, in Mansfield, Ohio, has been given a unique opportunity. Through a non-profit ministry, we have been given the opportunity to build 2 -24 bed facilities in Cambodia to get kids off the streets, and away from the sexual and economic exploitation that targets them. This ministry will match, dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. The last day to give for the match will be Easter Sunday. I'm asking for each of you to pray for this campaign. If you feel led to give, donations can be made at Thank you in advance

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tips for Tipping

How much should you tip when eating out? 10%? 15%? 20%? While there is no set percentage, I would like to show a different point of view. Instead of sitting there figuring out a percentage, why not make the criteria how much the service was worth to you. Was that cup of coffee at the diner just what you needed? How about leaving a 100%, or even a 150% tip? The next time you get a lite meal at Bob Evans or IHOP, why not double, or even triple the bill by giving a nice tip?
Some of you may be thinking that this is extreme thinking. I'm telling you what to do. I'm just trying to get you to think outside the box when it comes to those who bust their tails providing great service.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Stupidest of Stupid Tax

As I went out to my mailbox to retrieve some mail, I received a flyer from a new rent-to-own establishment in a nearby town. Normally I pitch these ads from people who take advantage of those who have little money and even less financial knowledge. I'm not sure why, but I started reading this particular ad. I had always heard that these businesses took advantage of people by promising things people "needed" for "easy weekly or monthly payments." I never realized how immoral these businesses were. For example, you could purchase a new iPad for "only" 19.99 a week for 104 weeks! I mean, what a deal! This makes sense if you really "need" an iPad right? That's right folks! For only $2079, you can buy a $500 iPad!
Or maybe you don't need the latest tech thing. You are looking for a washer and dryer. well, you're in luck! It just so happens another rent-to-own establishment will sell you a washer and dryer for only 69.99 a month over 18 months! In this case, you can buy an $800 washer and dryer combo for the price of $1259!
These ripoffs are keeping so many people from where they could be. These people prey on people's feelings of jealousy and entitlement. They neglect to tell people that if someone saves that $20 a week, they could buy an iPad for that $500, without payments, in less than 6 months. Or that by saving that $70 a month, they could purchase that $800 washer and dryer with cash in under a year.
In order to drive these shysters out of business, we need to have the discipline to wait. Hebrews 12:11 reminds us that though discipline seems unpleasant, it produces righteous fruit.