Hope for your financial life and beyond

Interview with a Centenarian: At 100, My Grandfather Reflects on Life, Faith and Finding Purpose

Oh, to be a centenarian – 100 years of living. It’s simply amazing! Most of us would settle for 80% of that. It’s hard to fathom the changes and life events someone born in 1914 has experienced.

centenarian

Byron Miller – Preaching at 100 years of age

What will you be up to at 100 years of age? My grandfather, as shown in the picture, preached a sermon the day after he turned 100. His challenge to those who listened:

1. Practice Gratitude (be thankful)

2. Express Certitude (in the things of your faith)

3. Develop Fortitude (build the power to endure)

And he played his guitar and sang a short chorus at the end. The song’s message – “Just a little bit longer Lord…just a little bit longer.”

Not a dry eye in the house.

In the weeks leading up to his 100th birthday, my grandfather was kind enough to answer some questions about his life. I’d encourage you to take five minutes to enjoy this thought provoking read about a man who has experienced the Depression, the loss of siblings, financial challenges, joys and regrets and 60+ years of ministry.

Q & A With a Centenarian

1. What is the most amazing thing you have seen in your lifetime? Why did that stand out?

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The Most Important Reason You Do Not Worry About Tomorrow

You’ve probably heard it said at some point, “Hey, do not worry about tomorrow. Focus on today and let the future take care of itself.” That’s not bad advice really. The older I get the more I’m realizing why.

do not worry about tomorrowWe all have things that affect our actions from day to day. Things we’ve done in the past affect us in the present. Things we are doing in the present affect us in the present. And believe it or not, things that we will do in the future affect us in the present even though they haven’t happened yet.

You may be thinking, “How could that possibly be if those events have yet to occur?” Well, it’s not the event per se that affects us. It’s how we think about those yet-to-happen events and how they lead us to worry about them.

Of those three time lines – past, present and future – I think the future one has the greatest potential to stop us in our tracks. Here’s how.

Why You Do Not Worry About Tomorrow

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A Christmas Memory That Still Challenges Me to This Day

I really do love the Christmas season. I know it’s hectic, that travel is often a nightmare and that the weather can sometimes wreck your plans. Each of those issues may bring back a Christmas memory you’d rather not recall.

christmas memoryDespite all that, I look forward to Christmas. As long as I can remember I have. As a young child it always meant a trip to my grandparent’s house in Indiana. We’d usually stay for a week with the rest of the extended family crammed into the house. My sister and I camped out on air mattresses in my grandfather’s study.

I don’t know how my grandparents did it, especially my grandmother. Cooking for 15 plus people for the week must have been exhausting. In fact, from our sleeping position in the study, my sister and I could see the light of the kitchen click on early – VERY EARLY – each morning. She always pulled it off though with the perfect mixture of foods that we all liked.

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How to Save One Thousand Dollars in a Month

Are you serious about getting out of debt and building a strong financial future? If so, then you must save money on a regular basis. The best part is you don’t have to begin with much. All you need to do for starters is to save one thousand dollars. That will give you some cushion and breathing space which you can then build on.

Speaking of building, when I worked construction I learned that every building requires a solid foundation. For your financial life, that foundation is savings. Without adequate savings you will struggle to get out of debt and will always be susceptible to emergency situations.

save one thousand dollarsNow I know for most people the process of saving money isn’t a sexy financial move. We’d rather spend money on gadgets or entertainment or experiences that give us an emotional high. Saving money and leaving it in the bank is an emotional blah.

To save one thousand dollars in a month may or may not sound like a daunting task. Some of you may be struggling to pay your basic bills. To save one thousand dollars may as well be like saving one million in your eyes.

But be encouraged. You can save one thousand dollars quickly. In fact, you can do it in only one month. Here’s how.

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How Much We Pay Our Kids For Chores

If you’ve ever wondered how much to pay kids for chores you are not alone. It’s a question my wife and I have wrestled with again and again. I’ve mentioned before why we don’t give our kids allowances. I’m not giving them money just for existing. It seems like that is what an allowance implies. Kids need to feel the burden of work so they can experience the joy of its rewards.

how much to pay kids for choresIn addition to earning some money, doing chores around the house is teaching them responsibility. The home is where they should begin to learn basic life skills. When I was in school, I knew some college freshman who couldn’t do their own laundry. All four of my children have been doing their laundry since they were nine.

Over the years my wife and I have adjusted how much we pay our kids for chores. The amounts started out small and increased as they got older. And then when we started having teenagers, specifically when they turned 16, we made another radical turn. Before I get to that though, here is some background information that helped us decide on how much to pay kids for chores.

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20 Flexible Part Time Jobs For College Students

Every fall about this time, parents are gearing up to send their kids back to school. In some cases, that means sending them to college. It’s an expensive proposition putting a child through college. But there are so many part time jobs for college students that can help bring in some extra spending money.

part time jobs for college studentsMore than likely, students have figured out how to finance college tuition, student fees and room and board. However, there are so many hidden costs of college for which students don’t prepare. These little incidental items can certainly add up. So, unless an endless stream of cash is flowing from mom and dad, students will need to secure some extra spending money.

The big question though is, what part time jobs can reasonably be done by college students? Yes, you could work a full-time job and attend classes but that’s not what most students are looking for. The average student just wants enough spending money to go to parties, put gas in the car and pay for their books.

With that in mind, here is a list of 20 part-time jobs and activities that could earn a college student a little bit of extra spending money.

Part Time Jobs for College Students: On Campus

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How to Manage Your Side Hustle and Family Life So You Don’t Go Insane

There may come a time in your life where you want to or need to create a side hustle to earn extra income. It can be many things depending on your skills and the depth of your need. Regardless of what you choose, it will be something you do on the side (apart from your day job) to bring in additional money to the family budget.

Side hustles can be a financial blessing. They can help you build up your savings account or pay off debt or meet any a number of financial goals you might have.

side hustle IIIHowever, while the additional income of a side hustle is welcome, there is a dark side that many are unprepared for. Side hustles, done improperly, can be a curse on family life.

It’s one thing to have a side hustle if you are single. I remember talking with a blogging friend who told me how he’d work his 9 to 5, take a 30-minute dinner (maybe) and then work till past midnight writing and networking. I’m not saying that’s necessarily an easy schedule but it’s not like you have anyone else to account for. It’s just you.

When a spouse and/or kids are in the picture side hustles take on a whole different dimension.

There is a tension that immediately surfaces the minute one member of the family begins a side hustle. What was a normal life is no longer normal.

You know the side hustle must be done to improve your financial life. But you also know family life matters. How can you manage it all and not go insane?

Here are a few strategies I’ve used over the years as I’ve managed a career, side hustles (my blogs) and family life.

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Thank You, For One Million Page Views at Luke1428.com

Rarely do I draw attention to the metrics of this blog. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever done it like this (and probably never will again). But I have fun moment that I couldn’t shy away from. Yesterday, some unknown user found their way to my site and triggered the one millionth page view at Luke1428.com. Thank you, mystery reader – I wish I had a prize for you.

Look, I know. In the grand scheme of the web, one million-page views isn’t a lot. Some personal finance sites get that in weeks. Still, it’s a big deal for me, especially when I consider my intentions for this blog.

This site has never been about making me money. I’ve never tried to make it my living as some other personal finance bloggers have successfully done. I basically generate enough revenue here to keep the site running and have a little left over for fun projects.

For the most part, I work on posts and site maintenance in my spare time. Early mornings, at night or on Sunday afternoon while watching football. It’s a part-time deal for me. And at this point, I’m doing two to three posts a month.

Despite my approach, the blog continues to grow beyond what I could have imagined when I first started. In fact, at current pace of growth, I should reach my 2-million-page view mark in the next two years. From there, who knows what happens.

So, if it’s not for a living, why devote effort to a blog in the first place? I’m glad you asked.

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6 Signs You Are Living Above Your Means

Let’s face it. We live in a fast paced, consumer friendly, debt-driven society. Spending money has never been easier.

That might be why more than 60% of Americans deal with credit card debt on a daily basis. Access to credit has never been more available to the general public. Unfortunately, it is a main reason why living paycheck-to-paycheck is an unfortunate reality for nearly half of Americans.

However, that reality doesn’t have to be inevitable. Your situation can improve with some quick refinements to your spending habits. I’ve done it before and so can you. You don’t have to live above your means.

It does come down to a simple choice. But first you must be able to recognize that you have a problem. With that in mind, here are a few warning signs you may want to look out for when you’re worried you’re not living within your means.

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What I’d Tell My 20-Year Old Self about Financial Freedom

the futureEnjoy this guest post today from blogger and website owner Joseph Hogue as he shares his ideas about financial freedom.

The best lessons come from our experiences even if sometimes it’s our biggest mistakes. I’ve made more than a few mistakes in life. Fortunately, I’ve learned from at least some of them.

I think most of us can relate to Brian’s story of getting financially real from a mistake even if it took a while to figure it out. I have a drastically different interpretation of financial freedom now versus what I thought it meant earlier in my life.

It would be great to go back and clue my 20-year old self in. Maybe a quick slap on the head is what would be needed for this stubborn former Marine. I can however be happy that I learned from my misguided idea of financial independence and that it set me on a path to fulfillment in the future.

Before reading how financial freedom has changed for me, ask yourself, what does it mean to you? Then see if it changes after you read my story.

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The Sam’s Club Scan N Go App Is a Shopping Game Changer

Have you ever missed out on something for so long and when you finally heard about it, felt stupid for not knowing sooner? That’s how I feel right now about the Sam’s Club Scan and Go app. I’ve been shopping at Sam’s for about a year now and just learned about this app several months ago. It’s actually been out since 2016.

Sam's Club Scan and GoThe only thing helping me shed my feelings of stupidity is the shopping experience this app provides. It’s that amazing!

One of the challenging things about shopping at warehouse clubs like Sam’s or Costco is the checkout line. First of all, there is the line itself. It’s usually long, especially during peak hours. I’ve easily stood in line for over 20 minutes before on the weekends.

Secondly, it’s just a bear to check out with all your massive, bulky items. You have to unload at the checkout line and then reload carts after the items are scanned. Even the most skilled checkout attendant can take 5-plus minutes if you have a cartload or two. But we put up with this because we are saving money by buying in bulk.

That’s where the Sam’s Club Scan and Go app comes into play. By using it you can bypass the whole checkout line process! Here is how simply it works.

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