Debunking Financial Literacy Myths

April 4, 2019

“Hey, did you hear…..”

“Did you know that….”

“Somebody once told me…..” (insert the rest of the “All Star” lyrics by Smash Mouth here)

Yeah, aren’t we all experts?  Or, at least, we know an expert who is willing to impart their knowledge without even being asked.  But is that information really good information?

April is Financial Literacy Month.  “A whole MONTH devoted to financial literacy?” you wonder?  Why, yes, yes there is.  But why?  Well, because it needs at least that much attention.  As I am out doing financial literacy education, I come across a lot of different perspectives and opinions.  Unfortunately, too many of them are wrong.

So, to kick of Financial Literacy Month, let’s take a look at, and debunk, some of the incorrect financial literacy myths that are out there. Read the rest of this entry »

Want to Trade Days?

January 31, 2019

So let me tell you about my last 24 hours.  In case you haven’t heard, it’s been cold around here.  Like, really, really, ridiculously cold.  In fact, I heard it’s so cold, THAT place actually had a freeze warning.  Being the GREAT guy that I am, I drove my wife to work the last two days so that she didn’t have to walk the block and a half from the parking lot to her building.  We took the van with remote start and away we went.  Last night, I decided I should probably start my car and get it running a bit so it was ready to go this morning.

Rrrrr……Rrrr…rr………  That’s it.  Nothing.  Dead battery.  True story. Read the rest of this entry »

Making the Most of Christmas Giving

November 29, 2018

Coming from a family of story tellers, there is nothing like the telling of favorite family stories as we head into the Christmas season.  There is one particular female I’m close to (not my mom or sister) who has a family story that comes up somewhat regularly that I thought would be fun to share (to see if she reads my posts) and it makes a good point.

You see, as a younger girl, her great-aunt would always get embarrassed womanher a couple of Christmas presents.  Every year, you could count on one of those presents being a package of new underwear.  Being married and having a daughter of my own, I have learned how particular females can be about embarrassing things.  An elementary-age girl receiving new underwear for Christmas?  Apparently that’s pretty embarrassing.

So, there’s something to learn from this?  You bet!  Here we go. Read the rest of this entry »

May All Your Gifts Be Valuable

November 8, 2018

So I just had my birthday.  It was the big one.  I guess I’m no longer a kid, at least physically.  That’s right, I turned the big 40.  I guess it’s time to start thinking about retirement and senior care arrangements about now.

OK, not really.  After all, I don’t really plan on ever even growing up.  Just ask my wife.  But in honor of another year, my sister asked for a list of gift ideas for both my birthday and Christmas.  I finally sent a couple of ideas almost a week later.  Sure, life is busy.  But I was also struggling to come up with anything that I really needed or wanted.

And with that, here we go right on into the Spending Season……. I mean the Christmas Season. Read the rest of this entry »

Big Things in Little Boxes

November 1, 2018

You know the old adage – big things come in little boxes.  Perhaps it’s the key to your new car.  Or maybe a folded up $100 bill.  Or maybe it’s a diamond ring promising big things in the lifetime ahead.

That’s all great.  But today we’re going to flip that idea just a little.  If you’ve used a budget form before, you know there are usually little boxes next to each expense category and you fill in what you spend.  Some times you just know it’s going to be a large amount, like a house payment, medical bill, or car repair.  Other times it’s just a little thing that goes into those boxes.

Or is it? Read the rest of this entry »

Settlement or Management? Which is Right for You?

October 12, 2018

So you’ve run up a little credit card debt.  How much do I mean by ‘a little’?  Well, I’m not really sure, but enough that you are aware of it.  For the sake of this blog post, let’s say it’s enough that the minimum payments are perhaps a struggle some months.  Maybe it’s even enough that you are not making payments because you can’t afford them that month.

Well, let’s talk about your options for dealing with debt. Read the rest of this entry »

Cheap? Free? Maybe. Maybe not.

September 20, 2018

As promised in an earlier blog, here it is.  The big scoop.  The source of excitement.  The opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

Many years ago at Scout camp, I learned to sail a small boat and I really enjoyed it.

Fast forward a few too many years and I was gifted a very small sailboat by a camp that didn’t want it any more.  Before I could get it back to ship-shape (see what I did there?), we decided to move back to South Dakota.  With the move and a new child, I handed the boat off to another family before I was able to get it on the water.

Quite a few more years down the road, and I was presented with an opportunity to buy a sailboat that a camp in Iowa didn’t want any more.  And so, I am now the proud owner of my very own 16-foot sailboat.  I’m excited! Read the rest of this entry »

But wait! THERE’S MORE!

August 30, 2018

2 seconds.  4 seconds.  1 second.  My coworker, Randy, has noticed an interesting trend around the office.  After he pointed it out, I was surprised (not by the fact that Randy was actually right) by how often I found the same thing.

See, we have two different microwaves on our floor for employees to use to heat up breakfast, lunch, a snack, or coffee that sat around a little too long.  And it’s amazing how often people set the timer and then just can’t wait for the last couple of seconds before they have to pull their newly hot item out of the microwave.  2 seconds?  Really?  You couldn’t wait that long for it to actually be done?!? Read the rest of this entry »

What A Gift!

August 23, 2018

I have to share with you – I recently got one of the best gifts I’ve gotten in a long time.  One of my coworkers came into my office and shared that her son had a gift for me.  It was a bit of a process figuring it out because he wasn’t even entirely sure of my name.  He just knew it was for “that really tall guy in your office.”  Well, that pretty well narrows it down to me.  He was apparently very serious and very convinced that that gift was for me and only me.

So after the story and all of the buildup, she finally revealed what the precious gift was.  With my eyes undoubtedly gleaming in anticipation and my hands twitching to be holding that which was so important, she pulled out one single maple leaf.  Read the rest of this entry »

To Give or Not To Give, That Is The Question

July 23, 2018

I have a problem.  It’s nothing new.  It’s been that way for a long, long time.  It definitely impacts my life daily.  At first glance, most would only see it as a definite positive.  But it does create some fallout as well.  And now, it appears that it may not entirely be my fault.  It may be, at least in part, due to my surroundings and what I have been exposed to.  You see, my problem is that I have a very hard time saying “No”.

And I’ll follow that with “But it’s not my fault!”  Or…… at least…… maybe not entirely my fault. Read the rest of this entry »

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