Archive for July 2008

Gift Cards – A good deal?

The Saving Freak wrote an excellent post about gift cards becoming a risky purchase.

Have you ever thought about what a gift card really is?  A gift card is where someone takes the national currency (US Dollar, British Pound, Euro, etc.) and converts it into a store currency.  This severely limits the use of the currency.

And if the company issuing the gift card declares bankruptcy and shuts its doors?  The currency becomes useless.

Read The Saving Freak's article HERE

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My Desktop Picture

Tony, has placed a picture of his desktop picture on his website with the question, "Does your desktop picture say anything about you?"

So I am posting my desktop picture to see if it does say anything about me.


What do you think?  Does my desktop picture say anything about me?

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Air Conditioner

I have written before about the fact that I have a thirty-year-old house that has thirty-year-old house problems.  One of the problems is that the downstairs AC is the original AC for the house.

Problem 1 – January 2008

It was making a "banging" sound.

Diagnosis: Low on refrigerant – $75.

Problem 2 – May 2008

It was not cooling at all, and it was making a loud electrical "HUMMMMMMMM" sound.

Diagnosis: Condenser unit fan was not operating – $200+

Problem 3 – June 2008

It stopped cooling again.  It was a day before vacation so I decided to have it looked at when I got back home two weeks later.

Diagnosis:  Electrical wiring insulation had worn through and was shorting out the fan – $105

So we are back to enjoying the nice cool air conditioning in the dead-middle of a South Carolina summer.

I wonder when I will have to replace this unit?  Part of me wants to bury my head in the sand and hope that it runs another thirty years.  The realistic side of me says I should go ahead and start pricing out units.  Initial looks have shown a cost of $5K – $7K.  Just what I want to spend my money on …  an air conditioner.

Why do I bring all of this up?  Because it is so important to look ahead when preparing a financial plan.  Jenn and I could pretend that this issue does not exist and then have a financial "emergency" when this AC really does fail permanently.  In the past (when we were always broke), we would ignore this issue and then be surprised when it failed.  Now, we recognize it as a known, upcoming expense, and we plan for it.

I do hope that it lasts another thirty years, though. 

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VOTE: New Web Site Graphics!

I know that a vast majority of readers use the subscription option to receive daily posts and that means that there is a good chance you have not seen the new graphics that have been appearing on the web site.

You can check out the main web site HERE and the I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. web site HERE.

Once you have viewed the main site and the book web site, please share your thoughts by voting below.



The new graphics are
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ING: Do You Know Your Number?

If you have read this website with any regularity, you will know that I am a freak about having a plan.  I want a plan for anything related to my finances.

One thing that I teach during my events (Financial Learning Experience and Financial Freedom Experience) is the importance of calculating how much money you need to retire.  It is also taught in my book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.

It is SO IMPORTANT to know how much money is needed to retire well.

So while I was watching the British Open this weekend, an advertisement caught my attention.  It was for ING and focused on a website named, and it was asking the very question I ask during my events: “Do you know how much money you will need to retire well?”

So I went to the website and calculated my number.  The result?  I am ready to roll for retirement!  Of course, I already knew that fact but I am a sucker for new and different ways to determine my family’s preparedness for retirement.

So here is the CHALLENGE to everyone today.  Take five minutes and calculate Your Number at and then calculate your number using the “Retirement Nest-Egg Required Calculator”.

Are YOU going to be able to retire well?

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Related posts/links

TOOLS: Calculate Amount Needed For Retirement

TOOLS: How Much To Invest Each Month?