Best of the week – December 13, 2014

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

5 Party or Potluck Pleasers for under $5

We are entering the party season and chances are sometime over the next couple weeks you will be invited to some potluck style dinners. Here are some recipes that you can try that will be very easy on your budget.

10 Things Every Parent Should Tell Their Kids (and Themselves)

If my son grasps onto these truths by the time he leaves the nest in a few years, then I think I would consider myself to have done a pretty good job parenting him. (Actually, I might need reminded of some of these myself from time to time.)

What is the Daily Interest you pay?

Interesting: the writer of this article quotes a study that the average American will pay over $200,000 in interest over the course of their lifetime. How much different would their life look at retirement if that $200,000 had been invested consistently over the years instead of being paid out in interest here and there.

Epic Budget Failure: When Everything Goes Wrong

One of the things I like about the way Dave Ramsey teaches budgeting in Financial Peace University is the recognition that especially when you are first getting started you probably won’t be very good at budgeting. What happens far too often is people try to budget. It doesn’t turn out well because they really don’t know what they spend on some categories. And so they give up after a month or two and just decide budgeting isn’t for them. If you haven’t budgeted before, then of course it might be a little rough when you first get started. You probably wrecked your bike the very first time you took off the training wheels when you were a kid, but you got back on and tried again until you learned. The same is true for any new skill you learn, and none more so than budgeting. The trick is to just make adjustments the best you can in the moment and then learn from your mistakes. Fix things in next month’s budget, and know you may well run into a couple more road blocks next month too. Adjust, learn and move on. Eventually, you’ll get where it becomes much easier. And even if you are an experienced budgeter, you’ll find a month here or there where either your will power slips, you get a little sloppy, or perhaps it just feels like the world is conspiring against you. Simply learn what you can from it and move on to next month. Just don’t give up! You only lose if you stop trying!!

What Your Credit Score REALLY Means

Fascinating look at credit scores. Personally,  I hate the concept of a credit score. The entire system is based on the initial assumption that you will always have debt. But I don’t want to play that game. And what I really hate is how insurance companies and other seemingly unrelated businesses have latched on to the credit score as a factor in what rates they will charge. So it’s necessary for me to continually stay in debt just so I can get a better rate on my car insurance? Sorry. I’m not going to play that game.

10 Reasons Not to Take Out a Reverse Mortgage

Reverse mortgages are horrible products that prey on the elderly. In my opinion the aging stars who promote these products should be ashamed of themselves.

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