Archives For Eric

By Eric on April 23, 2014 1

Saturday afternoon, Kelsey’s parents and sister’s family of five joined us for Easter service at our church. And her parents stayed with us Saturday night. Which meant Sunday would be Funday with Nana and Papa for our little Roo.

So, when it came time for them to leave, right at nap time, I hadn’t yet realized how difficult the next few hours would be as a parent. (Total first world problems.)

Rooney woke up that morning as normal, although she had a full and leaking diaper that soaked her sleepsack with urine. Not the biggest deal; into the wash went her favorite sleepsack.

The forecast couldn’t have been better! It was mid 60s before 9 AM and at about 09:30 we headed to the playground, and then back home to get Rooney’s trike (she calls it her bike) that she’s recently fallen in love with after weeks of being uninterested. So we walked around the block.

Photo Apr 20, 9 48 16 AM

The weather was more gorgeous by the minute, and we soaked up the beautiful Easter morning in our front lawn and made plans for lunch. Kelsey proclaimed that if we wanted to be practical, we could go to Hy-Vee (a local grocery store with a built-in restaurant), and if we wanted to be fun, we should go to The Cheesecake Factory.

Into the minivan we went and off to The Cheesecake Factory, where we had a great lunch and brought home tons of leftovers.

Photo Apr 20, 1 05 58 PM

Nap Time

The perfect storm was about to let loose as Nana and Papa said their goodbyes and nap time was at hand. Actually, it was a little later than normal, which might have had something to do with it…

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By Eric on April 21, 2014 +

Gasoline, gas or fuel. Whatever you want to call it, budgeting for gas is the most annoying category. Gas prices float up and down constantly, making it hard to budget before the month begins. This past few weeks, prices in Des Moines were below $3.30. And when I looked the other day they were up to $3.49. Ugh!

Gas pump

The short answer to make budgeting for gas easier for everyone would be to stop the powers that be from moving them up and down all the time. I wish I had that kind of influence. The next best thing we can do is try to make a plan to accommodate our reality. That or stop driving motorized vehicles… or buy a Tesla… but paying for a Tesla has it’s own set of issues. Back on point…

This kind of fluctuation can cause enough stress to make you want to give up on budgeting all together. Fear not, I have some tools to help!

How to make budgeting for gas easy

  1. Track spending: We use an iPhone app called Gas Cubby (available in the App store) to track our fuel consumption. We also input our mileage and the app has tracked our MPG and cost of operation on our vehicles since November 2009. Over time we’ve been able to see how much we spend on average every month in our fuel category.Gas Cubby app report
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By Eric on April 16, 2014 6

You may have noticed some subtle changes to the design of WoW over the past few weeks. Or you may have seen a leak of our new About page (Kelsey was so excited she couldn’t help but tweet about it).

A couple weeks ago, I asked my good friend Jason Bradley come over to help migrate our site to a new theme, Lean Theme. The theme we used to use (Standard) was no longer supported, and there have been some areas of the site that I’ve wanted to update for a while, but couldn’t due to functionality and lack of Web development skills.

Which is why I was super pumped when Jason came out with his own theme. It had the features, function, and flexibility that we needed to give Words of Williams a facelift and a sport coat.

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By Eric on April 15, 2014 +

Proverbs 22:6 says…

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

What a fitting verse to summarize the premise of Dave Ramsey and (his daughter) Rachel Cruze’s book that’s coming out on April 22, 2014. The official title is “Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money,” but Proverbs 22:6 does a pretty good job, too.

I’ve been looking forward to this book coming out after hearing the buzz about it, but I’m even more excited that we are able to be apart of the official launch team for Smart Money Smart Kids. Not only did we get a sneak peak at the book, but we’re able to share it with y’all as well (I imagine that’s how they would say it in Nashville).

As I started diving into the book, I was immediately hooked by a story of a woman who approached Dave after a talk he gave early on in his personal finance career; she said,

“Dave, that was great information. Why don’t parents teach their children about money? Why don’t we teach basic money skills like this in schools? Our kids need to know this information.”

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By Eric on April 11, 2014 2

A train can only be moving either forward or backward. It can’t be doing both at the same time. And if a train is your journey to financial freedom, then your spending/saving is the direction it’s moving. (I thought a train analogy would be fun…here we go!)

Four years ago, we were pulling the brakes on our train. Trying to slow it down. We didn’t know any better before that, but as we were rolling down the tracks we figured out that while we were going fast, we were going in the wrong direction. We had been educated on a better way to take care of our finances (through Financial Peace University), and we knew we had to change directions.

Train Tracks

Knowing is one thing, but how in the world do you slow down a locomotive, bring it to a stop and get it to reverse directions?

Trains can’t stop quickly or swerve. The average freight train is about 1 to 1¼ miles in length (90 to 120 rail cars). When it’s moving at 55 miles an hour, it can take a mile or more to stop after the locomotive engineer fully applies the emergency brake. (from here)

How to get the train to reverse directions

Trains and money can do lots of things. They are tools that serve great purposes. But as the engineer, it’s our job to make the tools work to help us accomplish our goals. A freight train is useless and can cause great trouble if it ends up at the wrong destination.

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