I had blood work done at the spring health fair recently, and I got my results this week. My total cholesterol and triglycerides are a little high, just over 200. My good/bad cholesterol ratio is good, but it’s all creeping up a little. I rarely eat red meat or other high cholesterol foods, and I work out almost every day, but I have really bad genetics for cardiovascular issues. I also have been snacking too much, and I often finish my daughter’s candy. So, this week, I went back on a low carb eating plan. Jim and I did it once before when he had put on some weight after an injury. We felt great, and looked awesome, then I got pregnant. Seven years later, we eat all the carbs we want, and now my cholesterol is inching up.
I’m not going whole hog this time, as I won’t cut out fruit. I’m also going to allow one piece of whole grain bread per day if I want, but pasta, chips, sugar, and other types of bread have gone bye-bye. It’s been five days, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t craving pretzels, but I feel great, and I can feel my blood flowing better already.
We finalized some summer travel plans this week. My daughter and I will be heading to Kentucky next Friday, the day after school is out. It worked out to visit my family over Memorial weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. Jim and I get to take a kid free trip at the end of June for a conference I’m attending in San Diego. My mother-in-law is coming to babysit, and I couldn’t be more excited. We got tickets to see Train. While, it’s not Pearl Jam, I do love live music, and it’s been a while. Our big family trip to Seattle and Portland will be in July, so it will be a busy summer. I love not having to work all the time! Continue reading
We had a pretty good year at work in 2012, which is great. When you have a business, you want to make money. However, that also means a bigger tax bill. Because I’m not a fan of handing over money, I’m always on the lookout for legal ways to minimize taxes. I’d already maxed out my employer retirement plan. I put quite a bit into my HSA. It seems like I’ve already done several of the great suggestions Krantcents recently recommended. What else could I do?
My accountant suggested that we hire my daughter. Legally, you can hire kids when they are 7 years old to do basic tasks like filing or cleaning up. My daughter was only five. He told me to set up a photo shoot and use her pictures for advertising purposes. I could then pay her as a model. He said to think of child actors and models in Hollywood and how much they were paid for services. It was perfectly legal, and he said he would go to bat on that any day. Good enough for me. Continue reading
This is a guest post from Troy at The Financial Economist. If you’d like to guest post, please contact me.
Yes, you did read the title correctly. In order to make profitable investments, you do not need to predict the future. I understand that at this point, what I’m saying doesn’t make much sense. Let me elaborate.
Most investors are accustomed to predicting the future of the stock market – where will it be in the next 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, etc. They do “research” online, and come up with all these predictions backed up with fancy data. However, I prefer to invest differently.
I’m not a very smart guy – I literally spent a year preparing for my SAT’s, just to get a meager 1490 (considering the effort v. reward ratio, my score was disappointing). Hence, my brainpower (or lack of) doesn’t let me predict the future like all those Harvard MBA analysts on Wall Street can. My investment style is simple and straightforward: instead of predicting what the economy will be like in the next 3 months or 6 months, I just recognize the fundamentals when they appear. Now you’re probably asking “How does simply recognizing reality give you an edge? You’re not ahead of the curve at all!” Continue reading
One of the fun parts of having a blog is being able to see the search terms that people use to find whatever it is they are looking for. Some of them are quite comical. My two recent favorites have been Wow, I paid off my cat and Do snakes smell like burnt rubber. Why on earth those landed here, I’ll never know, but I do know that by and large my biggest search term is related to paying off credit card debt. My most popular post is my story of paying off over $30,000 in credit card debt. Obviously, there are lots of folks out there who are struggling to pay off their credit cards. I think there are tons of resources to help you with that plan, but how do you stay out of debt once you have paid it off?
I have another secret confession. The amount of debt we paid off over the past two years is not cumulative. There were two other times in years past when we paid off our credit cards. Once, we paid off $8,000, and another time, it was $12,000. Early on, we knew credit card debt was not a great habit, but after we paid off our balances on those occasions, we ran them up again. Why can’t people stay out of credit card debt?
I’ve Got All Kinds of Money!
I think when we reach a major goal like paying off credit card debt, it is usually through some struggle and sacrifice. You’ve cut out all unnecessary spending to focus on a goal. After the payment is gone, you suddenly find yourself with more money in your pocket. Advertisers and society try to rope you into spending it. People may tell you to reward yourself, or you only live once. Almost every business offers financing. How many people do you know who struggle with finances and then go out and buy a new car? Continue reading
We never know what sort of note we’re going to find.
We’ve almost made it to the end of our daughter’s first year of school. It still seems like she should be toddling around with a pacifier, but she is almost a kindergarten graduate and ready to move on to the big time world of first grade. While, I’ve certainly spoken out about some issues with public school and the guilt trips that get thrown your way (please buy a t-shirt, water bottle, pizza kit to support our school!), it really is amazing what a year in kindergarten can do for a kid.
Wow, Mom, I Can Read That
Yes, my kindergartener has been reading since this past winter. I’d love to say it’s because we’ve read to her since she was one day old, but kindergarten really takes credit for this huge achievement. She knew some letters and basic words going in, but now she can read and write just about anything. As you can see from the signs she leaves all over the house, the spelling hasn’t quite caught up, but I’m sure it will come later. She is super excited to come home almost daily with new words that she can read and recognize. Continue reading