Best of the week – June 27, 2015

Here are some articles that caught my eye this week….

Every smart step to take with your money by your baby’s first birthday

Having a child, especially the first one, is an awesome, wonderful, exciting, maybe a little overwhelming, and slightly terrifying experience. Knowing you have a little person who you are now responsible for is life changing. Part of that responsibility is financial. Here are some things to consider if you have recently been blessed with a new baby.

4 Budgeting Methods Worth Trying

One of the most important keys to having financial success is having a plan. Without purposely deciding how you will spend your money, I guarantee you will have money slip away and wonder where it went. How you develop that plan is less important. Here are 4 options for budgeting. However you do it, just make sure you have a plan that works for you and your situation.

Before donating, make sure that charity is not a scam

I believe one of the most important reasons for getting out of debt is it enables us to become wildly generous. We are called to be good managers of the blessings that God has given us and being generous is a key part of that. But, that comes with a responsibility of making sure we give to reputable organizations. There are many wonderful charities that do tremendous good, but there are also many scam artists that use the cover of a charity to bilk millions of dollars from well-meaning people. A key part of managing well what God has entrusted to us is doing our homework to make sure our giving goes to those who will really do the most good.

Coloring in this picture helped me erase $26,000 in debt

I think one of the keys to paying off debt is tracking your progress. Paying off debt is hard and it takes time. You didn’t run up that debt in a couple of weeks, you won’t pay it off in a couple of weeks. It is natural while in the process of paying that debt down to sometimes wonder if you are really making any progress. The problem is we forget where we started from. When we were paying off our debts, I kept a very simple little spreadsheet where each month I recorded the remaining balance on our outstanding debts. The spreadsheet helped me stay motivated many times as I could look back six months or a year and see that we had made more progress than I realized. The simple spreadsheet worked for me but if you are more visually oriented you can find many creative ways to chart your progress.

The Argument for Freezing Credit: Is Your Social Security Number Easily Found on the Web?

Did you know it is possible to put a freeze on your credit? What this means is as long as the banks check, if someone tries to inquire about your credit report they will be blocked. As long as the banks check, this would prevent someone from fraudulently opening up credit in your name. It’s not an absolute guarantee as sometimes lenders don’t check your report before issuing credit but freezing your credit should prevent most attempts to open credit in your name. Just be aware that if you try to open credit or do something where they need to check your credit score, you will need to unfreeze your credit. Otherwise you will be blocked too.

A Father’s Day Letter to His Children on Living Happy, Successful Lives

This past Sunday we celebrated Father’s Day. Thought this was wonderful advice from a father to his children.

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