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Friday, August 15, 2008

Crazy Two Days from MSN

Crazy traffic over the last few days via MSN Moneyblog and Karen (again)! She linked my Brett Favre piece and over 4,000 people came in two days.
Thanks to all who came, especially those who have signed up! Good stuff coming this weekend.
Work is crazy now with three major projects being wrapped...Only home long enough for a shower, shave and repack!
Wish all the best and Thanks Again! Especially to Karen who has picked up three of my posts and given my little blog an amazing exposure!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What the Green Bay Debacle Can Teach Us

First off...I love football. I am not a big pro sports guy, but I enjoy all levels of football. From little kids playing Pop Warner, to High School, College and the Pro's, for me there is no better drama in sports.

Even though I am no Green Bay Packer fan (Go Cowboys!) I can't help trying seeing parallels in our own career path that we need to understand.

For those not following the story; basically Brett Favre, a future Hall-of-Fame Quarterback for Green Bay (GB), decided to retire at the end of last season. It was a shock, given that the team well over achieved expectations. It wasn't a shock though that it was coming. A 15 year veteran, he had hinted at it for two years. Brett retires, team moves on, new QB, other personnel changes...then Brett decides he made a hasty rash decision and he wants to come back...(cue record scratch sound). Team says we have moved on, Brett say fine trade me to this team. GB says nope, they are our rival and it would hurt our fan base, but you are under contract so we control that move.

It gets worse from there, now there are rough feeling etc.. It isn't resolved as of this writing, but probably will be this week.

So...how does this ties to personal finance and career advise?:

  • No matter how good you are, you are replaceable - Brett's one of the best ever, but the team has moved on
  • If you don't own the business, you don't hold the cards - Brett is famous, rich and well liked...But see #1. It doesn't matter if you are the star performer, the business can move on without you
  • Don't make rash career decisions - If Brett had not rushed his retirement call (even if pushed) he wouldn't be in this spot with no leverage.

Its a sad story for a sports hero, team and fans to learn that even the best, eventually, are displaced. But it is a lesson we all should know too.

Monday, August 4, 2008

July Finance Review: The Month That Was

The smell of firecrackers are gone, and the first whiffs of "Back to School" are in the air. The month that was is, is was and will be is now! (say that 3 times fast!). Great month even with the Evil Ninja fair popping up and spending too much there, we still did pretty darn well with an increase of $2, 093 to our Net Worth!


  • Lowered a few Bills - Made an effort to kill a bunch of these $5-10 nagging monthly charges from various accounts. A few more to go, but we also killed a few bigger quarterly ones as well. This will save us over $1000 a yr!
  • Net Worth up by $2,093 - Still mostly debt reduction, but better to kill a 12.99% credit card debt than earn 3% in a savings account!
  • Reached the 1/3rd pay off point in our consumer debt! (OK 32.73%...close enough to celebrate!) Original number: $68,897.23 - Now: $46,344.81 - Paid off since 10/07: $22,522.42

Points to Work on:

  • Property Taxes Coming in October - Need to step up savings if not gonna touch Emergency Fund. $3,040 in ETrade Account right now for it, probably need another $1500!
  • Weekly updates op MS Money and Excel charts - Daily too much bi-weekly to long. Today took 2hrs to get everything to my love OCD-esque level.
  • All of us to pull reins in tighter when envelopes are empty...No more robiing Paul to pay Peter!


  • Pay Off StateFarm CC - $2836 - Down to $1920! #1 Snowball debt getting payments of $280!
  • Pay Off Car - $4594.87 - Down to $2474, Coming down quick!
  • Pay Off CC CitiBank Platinum - $8989 - Now $8345 This is still getting Minimum payment as we snowball the State Farm Card
  • Pay off all CC Debt - Paid off $1600 since beginning of tracking
  • Save 100% 2008 Property Taxes - $4500 - $3040 Saved in E*Trade Account. Back to working this amount. Whatever not achieved will come out of Emergency fund, but would rather not tap it.
  • Keep Snowball 100% Intact - $308.43 Is the Current. Once StateFarm is paid off, it will be $654.72!
  • No CC Use - For the TENTH month! Getting close to the 1-year mark! 60 more Days!
  • Increase Average FICO-Score to 720- Without CC payoff not gonna happen this year, but still getting better. Now average 7001.7 over the three agencies!
  • Stick to Cash Budget System - Yep!
  • Net Worth increased by $20,000 - $12,000 so far!

Baby Steps:

  • Baby Step #2 - As stated above, now at nearly 1/3rd paid off!

That's it!

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