Saturday, December 3, 2016

It Is Finished.

No, this post isn't about the atonement of Jesus Christ.  I will say, however, I am grateful for His help in getting me through this day.

No, this is a goal fulfilled: to get the stuff in storage moved back into my home.

I spent what I would have spent in monthly storage fees renting a U-Haul cargo van to get the bulk of it home, with two additional trips in my car getting the last of it home.

All this, in addition to sinus and coughing issues, plus a 99.6 degree temperature, thanks in part to people at work showing up sick.

At any rate, at least this part is finished.

The interesting part is, I couldn't believe I had that much stuff to store, I have a lot of work to do in sorting, disposing, donating or finding new homes for things.

Finance Basics - Lesson 8 - Budgeting 101

Among the wonderful vloggers on YouTube that handles finance, one of my newest discoveries is Our Life... On A Budget.  I heard about this vlog from a favorites post by Lydia Senn and I agree, this is definitely someone you want to subscribe to.

Angela and Jeff do a really great job of demonstrating how they budget - in detail, this is also how I do it.

If you are looking for a slightly different version of the blank budget sheet, I have one here.  Please keep in mind that Google Sheets is not as pretty or, in some cases, easy to get the formulas and formatting to work, so this is a rough version of what you could do with Excel.  But hey, it's free.  :-)

The version of the budget worksheet Angela uses can be found here.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Finance Basics - Holiday Spending

I'm hoping all of you have had a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving!

For those with no money in this year's budget for holiday spending, consider a handmade note, homemade goodies or simply a visit.  Sometimes the best gift to others is your time.

This is, however, also a good time to think about next year.  Believe it or not.

The reason?  There are different times of the year when specific types of gifts can be found at the best prices.  The trick is to know when to shop for them.

Consumer Reports gives one of the best guides I know of on when to find the best prices for different product categories.  See:  The Best Time To Buy Things

Here are some other tips from my personal favorite financial guru, Jean Chatzky.

If you enjoy listening to Jean's advice, she has a fantastic podcast that can be found in your Podcasts app or on iTunes.

Jean With Dave Framsey and Rachel Cruz

Jean discusses teaching children about money with Ron Lieber

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Finance Basics - More Ways To Track Your Progress

This isn't as much a lesson as it is more tips from Budget Girl on tracking your progress toward debt freedom!


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Finance Basics Lesson 7.2: Learning Where To Get Help

Sometimes life can hand some real blows.

Because of this, sometimes it pays to know there are resources out there and how to reach them.

There are several resources through the government to help in a time of need, including a time of financial crisis. is a site maintained by the Arizona Community Action Association, designed to give those who need assistance a one stop shop to see where it can be found.

In addition, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a Provident Living piece of the organizational pie that has an independent set of resources available to the public, not only members of the Church.

Here is a an independently produced video giving an idea of what the Church has organized:

If you are in this kind of a situation, please know you are not alone, and please know there are many, many people who care about you.

You are worth it.

Worth Watching

One of my personal heroes, Warren Buffet.

Monday, November 7, 2016

More Local Politics - The Arizona Corporation Commission

The Arizona Corporation Commission is a government entity that his charged with overseeing the major utilities for Arizona, including railroads, electricity, television and internet services.

This is to make sure that the people have a voice over the utility bills they are paying.

The problem is that as of the last few years, there have been issues with people who have ties to the corporations providing these utilities getting elected to the corporation, and some of the corporations who have indirect ties to the Commission paying campaign contributions.

How bad has it gotten?

The important part is to look at who funded this campaign advertisement, Pinnacle West Corporation.

This is quite something, given the issues Pinnacle West has had regarding campaign contributions, thanks to the efforts of Bob Burns to expose it.

Just watch:

So what is a corporation to do when it has money to burn?

Also of special interest is Andy Tobin and his interest in the railroads.  Why?

Tobin Appointed To Corporation Commission

Tobin Appointed As Insurance Commissioner

It's evident that Andy Tobin is Governor Doug Ducey's man.  Having Tobin on the Corporation Commission might make things easier to get a few things passed regarding the railroads:

Ducey and Sonora, Mexico