Hope for your financial life and beyond

Confessing a Really Stupid Money Mistake

man with head down on desk

What was I thinking?

Longtime readers know I’ve been preaching against debt and the use of credit cards since the early days of this blog. I know some people believe in their use, especially for the reward points they offer. For some reason, we were never able to get credit cards to work in that way. All they created for us was overspending.

Debit cards and cash became our salvation, as we learned to only spend what we earned each month. Taking that step away from credit, coupled with our budgeting efforts were big steps in moving us toward financial freedom. The journey, in the past five years especially, has been a wonderful ride, one that has allowed us to pay off our mortgage earlier than expected.

It would be easy to let my head swell and the buttons on my shirt pop with pride at our financial success. Funny how life has a way of keeping us humble. It did to me this past week when I received a curious and infuriating letter in the mail from Bank of America.

The letter read:

“Your above referenced account is currently past due. If you’ve already scheduled a payment, thank you. If not, your current balance is $299.56.”

Pardon me?

My money mistake

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A Sobering Takeaway From the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Crash

rocket launcher

Hidden Nuggets Series #49 - “See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” - Ephesians 5:15 Tragedy always catches our attention. So my thoughts have been perked this past week as the … [Continue reading]

Emergency Fund Basics: The Step On Which All Other Success Is Built

red 911 button

What’s that? Oh…I see…you are just getting started with the “getting-my-financial-act-together” bit and don’t know where to begin. Well welcome to Emergency Fund Basics, the first step to success in all other areas of personal finance. That may … [Continue reading]

5 Life Changing Moments That Lead to Lifestyle Inflation

sonogram of baby in womb

In simplest terms the concept of “lifestyle inflation” refers to a person’s spending going up as their income goes up. Some lifestyle inflation may be unavoidable but it’s a good thing to keep it in check as much as possible. Otherwise you end up … [Continue reading]

A Singular Focus of Paying Off Debt Leads to Peace

sunset in Hawaii

Today I'm guest posting and commenting at the personal finance blog The Frugal Farmer. Click the link below to read about what distracts people from paying off debt. Earlier this summer, my family and I took a weekend excursion to the Bahamas … [Continue reading]

Rethinking the Definition of Success

definition of success

Hidden Nuggets Series #48 - "Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.” - John 3:29 What is the definition of success? Such a loaded question and a difficult thing to determine. I would say most measure whether a person has been a success … [Continue reading]

The Tools of Motivation – Getting What You Need to Succeed

Nike+ GPS Sportswatch

What do you need to succeed? For my money, nothing beats a good tool. Those who have ever worked on a construction site or have completed a DIY home project know this to be true. The more specific the tool is to the need the better it is able to … [Continue reading]

The Lemonade Stand Book Review Plus An iPad Mini Giveaway

The lemonade stand book review

Today I have the pleasure of assisting my friend Shannon Ryan from TheHeavyPurse.com as she kicks off the release of her new book The Lemonade Stand. In addition, you can sign up below for the chance to receive a free iPad Mini. How cool is … [Continue reading]

I’ve Scrapped My DISQUS Commenting System To Run A Blog Experiment

figurine at computer with blank comment cloud

Hidden Nuggets Series #47 - “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge…” - Proverbs 18:15 I find it frustrating when people make blanket statements about a topic without proof to back up their claim. They present their argument as the gospel … [Continue reading]

Your Best Investment Ever Won’t Be In The Stock Market

Invest in yourself quote

Historical analysis suggests an investor in the U.S. stock market can reasonably count on an average annual return of 8-10%. I’d certainly like that return on my money. To get that, I'll have to weather down periods in the market. It’s worth it … [Continue reading]

Happy Anniversary! Luke1428 Enters the Terrible Twos

Two year old crying

It’s a happy anniversary announcement today at Luke1428. As of July 3rd, I have now completed two years of writing on this blog. In parenting terms, it’s now time to enter the most challenging of all toddler development stages - the “Terrible … [Continue reading]