Last week we got up to 60 degrees a couple of days. Lot's of birds have returned. This week we went back to around freezing again. Spring is right around the corner.
I exercised everyday this week.
And a pointer for kids today: http://kids.daveramsey.com/ - go there and you can read/watch one of the kids books that Dave Ramsey created. These have stories of how kids can learn about money. Really well done.
9:07:17 AM # comment  trackback 
I made some great progress at work today (fill in blank here... just can't talk about it :-)
Today was weight lifting day. I did two reps of the whole set of lifts. Some days you feel like a whimp :-( I'm working on getting healthy and it's not fun. But I'm feeling better day by day. Today I had to reduce the amount of weight to something that I thought I'd be able to handle until the end. I only had 30 pounds for the barbell and eight pound weights for the others. It's not a huge amount of weight... but I'm doing it :-)
I've always liked video games. More adventure related games - like final fantasy. The old game systems aren't nearly as spiffy as the new ones. But there are a lot of great old games. Maureen really liked playing a game called Bust-a-move. It's a puzzle game that ran on the good old Super Nintendo. We might be able to dig it up again if I dug around long enough... maybe. Fortunately there are emulators for a lot of the old game systems. I played around with one called SNES9x for Mac OS X, chased down a ROM image of the good old Bust-a-move - fired it up and there it was on my laptop. There's a gazillion old games out there that are lots of fun. Check out http://www.snes9x.com/
9:36:00 PM # comment  trackback 
I'm still exercising. Day by day it's getting a little bit easier. Last week I skipped a total of one day (Wednesday - because of DnD the previous night). I used the eliptical trainer three times and lifted weights three times. The good part is that I'm getting better at it. On the 4th I got to .62 miles in 20 minutes, this morning it was .69 miles (I'll take my 0.07 miles thanks :-) I've almost made it to 4 miles... :-)
In financial news - we're on budget and doing pretty well. Gotta get our taxes ready yet. I have to get back into quicken (balance that checkbook). I'll probably update my old pocket quicken (http://www.landware.com/pocketquicken/palmos/index.asp) for my good old handspring visor... we'll have to see.
The envelope systems works really well for us. The idea is really easy. If you would have spent money using a debit card, don't. Instead take out all of the money you would spend for a category - like food - and put it into an envelope that says 'food' on it. When you buy food, spend the money from the 'food' envelope. When the envelope is empty, then you can't buy any more food.
4:08:58 PM # comment  trackback 
I did the eliptical trainer both saturday and sunday (20 minutes each day, 0.61 miles and burned about 122 calories each day). I also started the weight training program on ifit.com and lifted weights this morning.
http://earth.google.com/ is kinda cool if you like looking at the earth. Slick 3D animation from place to place. Maureen pointed it out today... well... actually delayed me getting to work because she wanted it installed on her computer this morning.
I've gone over to the light side.
What am I talking about? Lots of stuff. Listening to the Dave Ramsey Show everyday, I keep picking up sayings and books. One thing that Dave Ramsey says is that you need to have a 'I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired and I'm going to do something about it' moment. This is when you are going to change something - whatever 'it' is.
It started with Financial Peace University (see http://www.daveramsey.com/ for lots more). We had fought with our finances for nearly 20 years. There was a lot of reasons for that - among them were things like breeding Birman cats for over 10 years and collecting stuff (we got piles of stuff - cheap stuff, electronic toys, not that much expensive stuff) and throw in no budget and anyone can figure out why we had problems. FPU forced us to wake up and stop playing the game of 'we're doing fine - no reason to work on finances now... let's go get more stuff...'
We got a budget working (it's been probably about six months) and we're paying down our debts. We are using the envelope system - meaning that we put the months money that we've already spent on paper on purpose, for the stuff that you might consider using a debit card (stuff like food or gas for the cars). And we're finding the budget working pretty well. The first budget wasn't really close - we had a lot of changes to it that month (yep - emergency budget committee meetings). After a few months, the budget gets to be pretty easy. Just minor tweaks here and there.
If you don't have a budget that you and your wife/husband agree to then you'll never get your money under control. I create the monthly budget (before the month starts) and it's zero based - in other words, we spend EVERY DOLLAR BEFORE WE GET IT. Yep - on purpose on paper. And then Maureen reviews it. I might have to change it because of something I missed. I'm the geek and she's the free spirit in this case. Once we both agree to the budget - we stick to it. No cheating, no spending outside of the budget. We're both accountable to the other for all of our money this way. It's the way we are working on our goals and dreams. I think other people think we're nuts. But that just spurs me on more. :-)
A cool thing happened this past week. Maureen had to have some dental work done (getting an implant... I'll skip the gory parts). We knew about this since December. So, we saved money to pay for it for a couple of months. This meant that our debt snowball was paused a little... but we had a bill we knew was coming. Wednesday morning I went down to the bank and took out the estimated payment in hundred dollar bills. I giggled all the way home. This was the first big thing we have payed for in cash, on purpose.
I'm going to try to never borrow money again - EVER! No credit cards, no paying for things with the home equity loan. No more debt.
I've closed most of our credit card accounts - there were a lot of them. Discover was the most pain in the butt one to close. The woman I was talking with made over seven different offers (lower interest rate, and on and on). I just insisted on closing the account and eventually she seemed to get the message. The Discover(debt) folks then sent us a new Discover card (a plain old ordinary one, not the platinum one we closed) - and we had to close that account too. Dumb.
We're getting out of debt and we're never going back into debt again!
Oh yea - you probably ought to check your credit report throughout the year. Identity theft isn't any fun - your credit report can identify that it happened to you. There is one company that has some good identity theft insurance where they clean up the mess (http://www.zanderinsurance.com/) and it's pretty cheap too. We'll be getting it pretty soon (like within the next month or two - gotta add it to the budget).
Part of FPU points out all kinds of things. Like careers - I love my job. There are up and down days - but if you love what you do, then you'll succeed at it.
FPU pointed out that you ought to get healthy - exercise. Well, I've been pretty remiss on that one. Today I started using my eliptical trainer hooked up to iFit (http://www.iFit.com/). My plan is to get into shape. I'm going to do my best to exercise everyday. Its another pain in the butt - but I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired and it's time to do something about it. Just walking the dogs isn't enough and I notice that I don't have that much flexability (if you gotta grunt to bend over and pick up after the dogs, then its definitely time to get in shape - I'm thinking of this as a budget for my stomach).
Other stuff - Our church (http://www.newhopechapel.net/) is going through the 40 days of community program (http://www.purposedriven.com/). We've gone through the first week and it's pretty easy going in some aspects. It's about love and the small group and believers. We've been in the same small group for about a year now. Being in a small group is great. You get to know people much better and get involved in their lives. If your church has a program for small groups - get into one. It'll change your life.
Well... back to work... I have to go collect some songs for one of church elders. It's part of the present we're giving him for all the things he does for our church. I won't ruin the surprise by revealing who it is yet. Once we've given the present, then I'll say who it was.
12:18:04 PM # comment  trackback 
I highly recommend going off and playing games you like for four days!
I was at Total Confusion (http://www.totalcon.com/) from thursday through sunday last week. It's a lot of fun. I had a chance to play in four games and I ran five as a dungeon master. It's cool when you get to see a group of people once a year for over 15 years. Overall, lots of fun and games.
Copyright 2006 Dave Kopper
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