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Can’t Take My Eyes Off These Blogs!

Oh jeez, I can’t believe I have  agreed to go a Zumba class my friend is teaching this morning. I have below zero rhythm. If you don’t hear from me for a while, you’ll know I threw out a hip. This has been a big week for my humble blog. I have gotten some good comments and feedback, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support.  I am working hard to get the RSS, twitter, and facebook buttons working, and have called in reinforcements to help. Hopefully by next week, those will be operational. I registered with Yakezie, but don’t want to annouce on the forum until everything is working.  Hope eveyone has a great weekend! I can’t thank these guys enough for mentioning me this week. Greg at Nerdy Finance Carnival Blog Post of the Week by Average Joe I also couldn’t take my eyes off these posts. My Money Design celebrates his one year aniversary and gives some great tips. TeacHer Finance asks if past struggles should change your financial responsibilities. Jen at Master the Art of Saving is saving lots of money for her new home. So happy for her! Jeremy at Modest Money always has ...

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Health Savings Account 101

Every year I compare health insurance plans to find the best deals as far as premiums vs. what the plan actually covers. If you don’t live in the U.S,. go read Daisy’s post on universal health care.  If you do live in the U.S. , unless you are eligible for Medicare or state aid, you have two options; group or individual plans. Years ago, I looked forward to the day when my husband had a teaching job (because that’s what he wanted to do AND) I could join his group plan. I was very excited until I found out that it would cost $500 per month. This cost was for the family plan. It didn’t matter what size family. Whether it was spouse only or if you had nine children, it was $500. While that might work for a big family, having nine children for the insurance benefit was not a good idea. We now have one daughter, but $500 a month is still  very expensive.  The group coverage is good. There is only a  $25 copay for doctor visits without a deductible, but we have no pre-existing conditions and rarely go to the doctor other than for annual physicals. Taking all that into consideration, ...

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Sad/Happy Debt Story

Unless we are fortunate enough to be independently wealthy, most of us go into our first real jobs with the hopes of increased income. What I have to wonder is why do many of us also feel we have to increase our lifestyles? With regret and relief, I’ll share the story of two supposedly smart people who got caught up the trap of consumerism. When I met my husband, I was an optometry resident making around $22,000 per year.  He was a non-traditional college student, having gone back to school after working in a number of jobs over the years before finally realizing that he wanted to be a teacher.  He worked part time as a ski instructor in the winters and as landscaper in the summers and made much less than my $22K. Did we feel poor? Wow, no. We love the outdoors, and spent most of our free time mountain biking or hiking. We traveled to different ski areas in the winter. He usually knew someone who could get us cheap lift tickets, and we’d sleep in the floor at a friend of a friend’s house.  If I wanted something I didn’t have money for, I worked a Saturday at the local Walmart ...

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Does Credit Card Debt Have You Stuck?

Today I saw one of the most amazing and bizarre events. I was out for a jog along one of the busiest streets in our town, one block off main street. I came to an intersection and noticed that the street was blocked off by the police, a fire truck, and a variety of other uniformed officers from divisions of different things.  There was a gathering of people at the barrier, all looking up at a rather large black bear stuck up in a tree. From another observer, I found out that the bear had been up there for several hours, and animal control had just tranquilized him, which explained the uniformed men standing under the tree with a big tarp. (ouch!) I watched for a while and then went on my way. What if the poor fellow wakes up when he falls? You only have to be faster than the slowest person, but you never know. As I was finishing up my run, this post came to me. I guess I am ready to have this blog if I can relate just about any event to personal finance. After that lengthy introduction, you might ask how this bear stuck up a tree reminded me of credit card debt. If you think ...

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Hidden Costs of Kindergarten

Two weeks of summer left and our five year old starts kindergarten. I used to laugh at those parents who got choked up when their kids started school, but I get it, and while I haven’t shed any tears, there is a little tug in the heart because she is growing up and becoming more independent. Sadly, I had to go back to work when she was six months old. For the first three years of her life, we paid $500 a a month to a private sitter during the school year. My husband is a teacher, so he’s home in the summer. At three years old, she started full day preschool to the tune of $385 per month, lunch included. I realize that day care costs in a rural area are much less than in the city, but it was still a big montly expense. Starting public school should be like gettting a raise, right? Well, maybe not. We’ve been discovering the hidden costs of kindergarten. Full Day Tuition In Colorado, the state only covers half day kindergarten. (Is it any wonder we are getting left behind by all the other developed nations who start learning Calculus in first grade?) If you ...

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