Your checkbook is like a gas tank

Gas can

What would you do if you ran out of gas? Would you risk asking for assistance from strangers? Would you call a tow-truck or AAA? Would you take a long walk to the nearest station and buy a gallon tank? Most people have no idea what they would do in this scenario. The good news is that keeping gas in the tank is a fairly easy thing to do.  So when do you plan to fill your tank? Before the "Low Gas" indicator goes off? When the gauge touches the "E"? Or are you gambler and get it as close … [Read more...]

If you can read box scores, you can budget!

Photo by Piedmont Fossil

I am constantly amazed at guys that can read box scores and can tell you everything that happened, even if they didn't watch the game. They speak in figures: Innings, At-Bats, Runs, Errors, all kinds of information that a novice fan would think was as complicated as Trigonometry (PS - I had to spellcheck that word). So why do guys say that they would suck at doing a budget? There are so many similarities: Numbers, averages, percentages, goals, timeframes, and in personal finance there are … [Read more...]

Handling money is like driving a car

Photo by Samcwill

You see, using a Budget is like a windshield - it allows you to look ahead, make safe course corrections, and enjoy the ride. Using Cash is like using the side windows: You can quickly see what is happening around you, lower it when things start to get too hot, and raise it in case you need to protect yourself. Using Credit (credit cards, student loans, auto financing) forces you to keep looking out the rear-view mirror. The payment ALWAYS comes after you and is likely to cause you to … [Read more...]

Tree-tirement – a simple way to look at how saving for retirement works

Simply put, saving for retirement is like planting the seed and watering it in order to grow a big, strong tree. … [Read more...]

Credit Cards are like Cereal

How did we end up with so many?  We meant to have only one, yet here we are with more than we can handle.  How do we get rid of them? This humorous look at our cupboards is a great example of how we end up with more Credit Cards than we said we would ever need and the BEST way to get rid of them! … [Read more...]

A Calendar, A Budget, and a To-Do List


Have you ever heard the saying "Your priorities are highlighted in your calendar and your checkbook"?  What you put on your calendar shows what you spend your time and effort on and even a stranger can tell what your priorities are from looking at the activity in your bank account. Leave something off of your calendar and it could cause problems.   Example:  I had forgotten to write my best friend's wedding anniversary on my calendar.  I was talking to him on the phone that very day but didn't … [Read more...]

Credit cards the Wimpy way


One of Popeye's friends was "J. Wellington Wimpy.  He never brought cash with him and would max out his bar tab for just one more hamburger.  I assume he did pay his bill on Tuesday, otherwise people would not continue to write him IOU's.  Right? These days a lot of us are Wimpy.  We would go out with our buddies and "forget" to bring our wallets, tell our lunch companions that we'll get them the next time, or owe the boss money to help us get by until payday.  Yes, I did that last one and … [Read more...]

Integrity is like a locomotive

Tracks Integrity

Webster’s dictionary defines this word as: in-teg’ri-ty (noun) – compliance to a standard; being whole or sound.  Many make an assumption that someone with integrity means the person is honest and trustworthy; however it would be more accurate to say that someone with integrity is true to their belief or does not waver the course that they have set for themselves.  Integrity in itself is neither good nor bad, but losing integrity is always destructive. Visualize a train locomotive.  It is set … [Read more...]