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Financial Lessons from Clark W. Griswold

Since it’s Christmas Eve, I hope you are enjoying your time rather than last minute shopping. One of our favorite things to do during the holiday season is to watch  Christmas movies. At the top of the list is Christmas Vacation, one of my all time favorites. If you grew up in an Amish family and haven’t seen it, this movie is a comedy starring Chevy Chase,and it is about his misadventures in trying to achieve the perfect family Christmas. I’ve probably seen it 50 times, but still laugh at all the classic scenes. Although the movie is all in good fun, for us finance geeks out there, we can learn some financial lessons from Clark W. Griswold. Don’t Overspend on Christmas Decorations One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when Clark lights up his house for Christmas. It has inspired many terms of endearment toward those who tend to over decorate. In reality, you don’t need that many lights, and Clark runs up a huge electric bill. Switching to LED lights might also be a good option, but those weren’t available in the 80’s. Clark does make up for his electric bill by cutting his own ...

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Can’t Take My Eyes Off These Blogs #18-Toy Pony Edition

I am so excited to have four days off to do basically nothing. After Christmas parties, Christmas programs, trying to finish year end business stuff, and filling in for my associate doctor whose wife had a baby a week early, I’m surprised I got anything done this week. If I didn’t make it to your blog, I’m very sorry, but there are only so many hours in the day. It was an exciting week on the blogging front as I had my first 300+ visitor day. I know that’s small beans for many of you guys, but I was pretty happy. Our daughter called an audible in the Santa game this week when she changed her mind and is now asking for a toy pony. Do I tell her that Santa doesn’t last minute shop or suck it up and go find a toy pony? Giveaways You can still enter the giveaways for $100, the iPad 3, or Jeremy’s big cash prize. This isn’t a giveaway, but if you haven’t downloaded Sicorra’s blog planner, you really should. What a great gift for us bloggers. Thanks so much. Guest Posts I was very excited to guest post at Making Sense of ...

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My Best Financial Tip: Stop Being Afraid

When Grayson at Debt Roundup put out a call to all bloggers asking for our best financial tip, I thought of lots of helpful and necessary things like spending less than you make, having an emergency fund, and setting up a budget. If you spend more than five minutes reading financial posts, you will see these basic steps repeated over and over. Unless you were born into royalty, you can’t have financial independence without them. If these steps are so easy to find, why doesn’t everyone practice them? I honestly can’t answer for the masses, but for my own situation, I would say that fear was the biggest thing that held me back for so long. To live the life you aspire to, you have to stop being afraid. What Are We Afraid Of? If you find yourself in debt, reason would say that you need to stop spending money. Sometimes it isn’t that simple. Are you afraid of what people will think? How often do we feel the need to buy something new to keep up with the expected norm? Society wants us to spend money. That’s great if you have it, but if a purchase has to go on ...

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It’s Fun to Stay at the YMCA-Gift Exchange Reveal

December can be such a fun month. I’ve enjoyed all the different blogger movements, and the Frugal  Portland Gift Exchange did not disappoint. Thanks to the lovely Kathleen for putting this together. I drew the name of Catherine from Plunged in Debt. For her gift, she received a wine bottle candelabra and wine glass markers with a corkscrew. I thought this was a wonderful gift for her, except after I mailed it, I second guessed my memory. I thought I had read that she was a red wine enthusiast, but maybe I got that mixed up with someone else. If it turns out she doesn’t drink, won’t I feel silly? However, she will have some great items to re-gift. When my gift arrived, I really had sort of forgotten and thought it was one of the neighbor’s packages dropped off by mistake. They keep UPS in business, so we get strays delivered to hour house on occasion. This box had my name on it, though, so I ripped it open to find……… This headdress, very similar to the one I wore when I made a fool of myself sang YMCA as one of the village people while under hypnosis. I ...

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“Twas The Week Before Christmas”

This is a guest post. If you would like to submit a guest post, please read this policy and contact me. AKA (Holy Cow! I have to buy what?) I know, it seems that Christmas always ‘sneaks up on people’.  The funny thing is, Christmas is the same time every year.  So what winds up happening is that thing called ‘Life’.  Other priorities, other “Gotta Do’s” gotta get done and like the old saying goes “If it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done”.  But before you go out doing that last minute Christmas Shopping, stop and think not just about what needs to be done this week, but let’s take a second and plan for next year and add some thoughts about what to do for this year. Odds are, if you’re reading this, (Thank you Kim, BTW) you have at least a passing interest in keeping an ‘Eye on the Dollar’.  In the hopes of keeping you from spending much more than you need at the last minute, let’s do two things in the few minutes we have together. 1.  Take stock of our ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. Of course it’s easy for me to say that, because we ...

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