Saturday, September 19, 2009

Who Says American Frugality is Dead?

As I study more about personal finance I am constantly looking for additional means to improve my financial fitness. I have found that throughout a good chunck of American history our forefathers (and mothers) were extremely frugal people. Little or no debt, personal responsability, and SAVE! I had thought that with the 70s this great American trate had died, but this puts that thought to rest.

Back to the GOP

For those unaware last November with my extreme vexation with then President Bush chucking his free market principles under the bus and the GOP in general becoming standard want-to-be Dems I decided to join the Libertarian Party.

As of yesterday I have rejoined the GOP, though as a Libertarian Republican. If you click on the link and look at the philosophers who have inspired Libertarian Republicans you will be reading the list of those authors who have a profound impact on my political thinking of late. I particularly recommend Hayek, Rand, and Mill.

I have also been posting political articles of interest via Twitter. If I find anything interesting I tend to tweet it, though since this blog and my Twitter feed are linked to my Facebook page I tend to like to keep my traffic to a fairly small volume. I hope you will find them interesting, and if this is nothing more then my personal echo chamber I will have an excellent archive of political articles I have enjoyed.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Financial Armor and the Battle Plan

I recently read this post providing a public method of keeping oneself on task with one's finances. I began to do this last month, and wish to continue. Since the finances have cleared up a bit I figure why not continue?

The discription in Ephesians 6:10-18 is one of my favorites in the entire Bible. This post subsequently had a great impact on me; thus, the title of my public records- the battle plan.


The ever present foe. *Much* work has been done on this front this past month or so.

Car loan: $0.00- Blown out of the sky- and there was much rejoicing.

Credit Cards: $0.00- Paid off and plan to keep it that way.

Primary mortgage on Colorado: $137,600 (5.1% variable capped at 5.9%).

Chipping away at this beast. Thinking about re-fiing, but not sure the 5.9% cap can be beat in today's climate. The fixed nature of the following loan would be helpful, but not sure it's worth it particularly if I sell in the next two or three years. Regardless knocking this one out of the park is solidly on the to-do list.

Second on Colorado: $28,900 (6.5% fixed)

Lumping this baby with el grande would be useful but again not sure the costs of closing the deal and probable subsequent intrest rise would be worth it. Top priority if re-fi doesn't happen for long term debt elimination.

Student Loans: $30,000- Since Sueanne is probably going to teach she will have to opportunity to have these paid off. If not they will become #1 target on the debt elimination list.


*- Have $12,500 in the bank as an emergancy fund.

So everyone knows an emergancy fund means no touchy unless there is a missing limb or blood. The latest Braille display, offering from Apple, or the "need" for a meal out does not count as a reason to use this fund. We basically have this fund and totally leave it alone. If we do use it we then funnel funds right back into it to raise it to the proper level.

Statis: Long way to go on this one. Only $1,600 in the bank as of now, but will work on it.

*- $5,000 in I Bonds.

Although the rate on I Bonds isn't great at this point I am extremely concerned about inflation in the long term. Plus every dollar in an I Bond isn't one I can easily get to. Thus it serves a duel purpose of protecting the funds from inflation and myself.

Statis: Long way on this as well. Currently only $200, but $50 is added every month and I am working on saving up additional funds to shovel into I Bonds in December.

*- $5,000 in Savings Bonds

A little less save then the I Bonds but still a great way of keeping my money from myself. Plus if these ever go bad I shall have far more to worry about then the loss of a few thousand dollars.

Statis: $100 as of now. Once I get the funds squirled away in I Bonds Savings Bonds are next on the list.

*- $10,000 in Municiple Bonds

Tax free (at least on the Federal level) and unable to be touched without great trouble. Seems like a winner to me.

Statis: $1,600 thus far. Adding $100 per month.

Well that's the start of the battle plan. Any thoughts are appreciated.

I follow with the iced coffee...

Thursday, September 10, 2009


My comemoration of that day. Let us never forget that liberty comes with a high price.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tough Money Love

Great thoughts here on loaning money to family members and here on lending to friends-- i.e. don't. Both of these posts come from Tough Money Love an excellent blog. While reading it I have been reminded of books I have enjoyed in the past on this topic including The Richest Man in Babylon, as well as new ones like The Total Money Makeover.