Category Archives: Random

Where to Go From Here

I have been thinking a lot about writing lately and wanted to propose a slight change to some of the posts. I want to keep writing about money and debt but I also want to being to write about improving ones life and just winning in general. I don’t really want to push you away from the site so I want to leave it up to you. PLEASE answer the quick question(s) below and give me your feedback. You all are the reason I continue to blog and your opinion matters greatly to me.

I’m Still Here….

Just wanted to give you a quick shout out and let you know that I am still alive. It’s been pretty hectic for me the past few weeks. I moved back to Maryland, started my new position and visited family in PA (twice). So, needless to say, the blog has taken a back seat.

Our debt repayment is still going strong and we should have a pretty good tally at the end of the month.

I hope to get some posts up starting next week as things are finally starting to settle down a bit. I have a few good posts up my sleeve about budgeting and financial things you still need to do even if you are in debt. In the meantime, check out the post I had over at Frugal Dad last week.

Don’t Become a Financial Bully

Have a great weekend!

Miss Me?

Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I’m alive and well. Over the past few weeks, not much has happened in our financial lives so I figured I wouldn’t bore you with random posts. I typically just sit here in my home away from home and talk to my wife via Skype. Not much excitement there! Obviously, we are still paying off debt but I don’t really feel like writing a post titled “I paid $100 on our personal loan today!”

I could write some more basic things if that is what you are looking for. Any thoughts? Do you want more posts on “how to budget” or “why you need to save”? I just feel like so many other bloggers are writing about that stuff and you are probably getting tired of it. So many other bloggers are beginning to “write for the search engines” and I just don’t want to do that. I feel like I would alienate you.

So, I am reaching out to you, my readers. What do you want to see here on the site? I definitely want to stick with the idea of transparency in our financial life. So, is there something that you want to know about us?

Big Changes and an Even Bigger Confession

Happy holidays everyone! If you are viewing this post on the site, you may notice a big change. I’ve changed the header, updated all pages and made the site easier to navigate. If you are viewing this in a reader or via email, click here to get to the site. I’ve made these changes for reasons that you will find out below.

The Big Confession

As you know, someone by the name of Chris has been posting on the site about his debt. Well, I am here to confess that I am Chris. When I first started blogging, I wanted to share our journey out of debt. However, my wife felt a little different about that. So, I thought I would create a pen name (Chris) to blog under. Did I get ya? Did you know it was me?

Lately, I have been talking to my wife about coming clean and she agreed that it was time. We have had great support from the readers here and over at Frugal Dad (where I am contributing weekly). We now want to share with you our journey out of debt on a more personal level. I think it makes it much easier to follow someone on this type of journey if you can connect with them. That’s why I now have my picture (and my wife’s picture) on the new about page. We want to get to know you and support you in getting debt free just like you will support us. Transparency is our new goal.

The Big Changes

I have also decided to change the way I blog. Long gone are the days where I talked about lipper fund averages and what the best reward credit card is. There are just too many bloggers doing that today. All future posts will be about our journey out of debt and how we live our life while in debt. If you read the about page, my wife and I want to continue to live a somewhat normal life while in debt. We won’t be eating beans and rice. We won’t be making our own deodorant. You never know when something will happen in your life and we don’t want to sacrifice everything to get out of debt 12 months faster.

I am going to try desperately to stick to a schedule. I want to post three times a week here (a post on Monday, a post on Wednesday, and a roundup on Friday). I will also continue to have a weekly post on Frugal Dad (every Friday). The posts will hopefully be a little bit meatier than in the past. I want to put out some quality things that will cause some great discussion here on the site.

Here are some other things that are changing:

  • I want to include many more guest posts.
  • I have removed all Google Adsense for regular readers. As long as you visit the site once every six months, they will not show for you.
  • Advertising will be limited to a single page and will not clutter the sidebar.
  • I want to include much more discussion.
  • I will be creating a free eBook sometime in early 2010.

These are just a few things that will be changing around here. Be sure to comment below about the new design, me being Chris, or suggestions that you want to see in upcoming posts.

Have a great holiday! 🙂

Multiplication Made Easy

Sometimes when I am out with friends and family, a medium sized multiplication problem comes about. For some reason, I can do these types of problems in my head fast. I’m not sure where I learned this trick, but I am going to share it with you.

Third Grade Math

I remember back in third grade when we used to play multiplication games. We would compete with other students in the class to see who could learn the basic multiplication tables first. We started with the 2’s (2 x 2 all the way to 2 x 9) and then moved onto the 3’s, 4’s, all the way to the 9’s. The tip that I am going to show you assumes that you already know this basic math.

Multiples of Ten

The process that I use for multiplication involves breaking the problem down into two parts. The first part is a multiple of 10 and the other is the basic math explained above. Let’s look at an example:

17 x 6 =

When faced with a problem like this, I first break down the larger number in my head as a multiple of 10. So, I take 10 out of the 17 and it leaves me with 10 x 6. You can do that in your head and get 60. I then take the remainder of 7 and multiply it by 6. That is a problem from the basic section and it gives me 42. All you need to do then is add the 60 and the 42 and it gives 102. Isn’t that a lot easier to do in your head? Here’s another example just to be sure you got it:

16 x 8 =

First, break the larger number down into a multiple of 10. That will give you 10 x 8 which equals 80. Then take the remainder of 6 and multiply it by the 8. That gives you 48. Add the 80 and the 48 and you get your answer of 128.

What do you think? Easy? Will it be useful to you?

Great News! We’re Back In Business!

Woohoo!!! The time has come! After a long hiatus, I have finally been granted permission to continue the site. I thought this day was never going to come! Well, it’s here now and I cannot wait to get going again.

Look for some new material next week from Chris and I. He has been stockpiling articles and I will release them in a somewhat methodical way. They are great and I know you will enjoy them. His story is one that I hear frequently and I hope his journey can help each and every one of you. I will be posting too, but probably not as frequently as him. I will be focusing on getting posts ready for the upcoming tax season. I hope to give you a one-stop site for all of your tax questions for next filing season over at The Simple Tax.

Finally, I want to thank you for sticking with me and remaining a subscriber (if your not one, shame on you 😉 ).