Archives For Money

By Eric on August 28, 2014 7

It’s been a busy summer for sure. A summer unlike any other for the Williams family. After Kelsey created a summer bucket list, we’ve been slowly but surely checking them off. It’s been fantastic, and I’ll say that summer with a 2-year-old is amazing (and challenging… but mostly amazing)!

Aside from checking off the summer bucket list, we’ve been working toward a big transition. As of tomorrow, I’m leaving my current job and partnering up with another Financial Coach and joining his established business (Strong Tower Consulting) to help individuals, families, and businesses see the bigger picture when it comes to their finances, through teaching, direction and accountability.

The Beginning of the End

It all started after being featured on the local news. We have known Justin Bennett for a few years, and Kelsey and I met with him twice as a financial coach to help us figure out a few things, and we had a great experience. I’ve also chatted with him a few times over the years trying to figure out how to work together in an online sense, but the timing never really seemed to be right.

But, after being featured on the news, they asked if we new any professionals they could interview and we gave them Justin’s number. After the news aired, Justin and I got together once again to catch up.

We wanted to try to do a podcast or webinar together, but that’s when the conversation went down a different road. I told him I was thinking of getting into financial coaching. Essentially we would be competitors, although while he has been working with a lot of local, Des Moines-area folks over the past four years, my focus is finding a way to best help this community online. Continue Reading…

By Eric on August 19, 2014 6

The most frequent personal finance struggle that I hear (by a long shot) is this… “I know that I need a budget, but I just don’t know where to begin.” Followed by similar comments of “It’s too complicated” or “I’ve tried before, but couldn’t stick to it.”

Budgeting & Planning for Emergencies Workshop

Come learn about budgeting & planning for emergencies!

If any of these phrases resonates with you, I’d like to tell you about a live event I’m co-hosting in September with a few other awesome people. Erin Smith from Restoration Coaching and I are co-hosting the event while my good friend Justin Bennett with Strong Tower Consulting presents a presentation proven to help you create a spending plan you can stick with.

If you are in the Des Moines area and want to start taking control of your finances, I’d love to see you at the event. Details and registration are available here.

P.S. If you are not in the Des Moines area, is this something you’d like to see as an online event? We’re trying to gauge interest for future events like this, so speak up in the comments!

By Eric on August 7, 2014 5

The internet is flooded with opinions on how you should handle your money. The opinions vary among the big topics such as debt, budgets, savings, credit cards, and consumer loans. If you don’t know where you stand on handling your finances, you’ll quickly find conflicting views.

Which is why I thought I would share some of my favorite personal finance sites. As a disclaimer, this in no way means that I agree with 100% of the views of any of these sites, but some come closer than others, for sure. The important thing is to find the truth and then be able to dismiss information that is off base from time to time.

Recently, moneytips.com set out to determine the top 50 social influencers in personal finance and wealth. I wanted to share the list and whom I follow, plus a few others that didn’t make the cut.

Continue Reading…

By Eric on July 15, 2014 2

One of the hardest parts of getting rolling with a budget is understanding where to put money that you’ve saved during a particular timeframe once that timeframe is over. We didn’t spend the money, but need it to be accounted for later. Budgeting and saving should go hand-in-hand, but can be confusing at times.

For example, you saved $300 for Vacation this month, but now it’s time to start the next budget and you’re not sure what to do with that money to ensure it goes toward Vacation and doesn’t get spent at the grocery store before it’s needed.

Saving for Vacation?

And if you’re doing this for multiple categories and have a few different savings accounts it can get very confusing quickly. Which sucks, because budgeting is very simple, but can be complicated by banks who try to make you think you’re budgeting, when in reality, you’re just looking in the rear view mirror and seeing your spending history.

Let’s start with why a budget is better than just looking at your bank statement…

Continue Reading…

By Eric on July 1, 2014 10

A few weeks ago, at the start of a two week heat wave in Iowa, we started having problems with the air conditioning system in our minivan. And by problems, I mean it was dying a slow death.

Snookie's Malt Shop

 

I basically only drive the minivan when we’re headed places together as a family. Otherwise, Kelsey is the primary driver and hauls herself and Rooney to and from work/daycare. Kelsey jokes that I have supersonic senses, because I tend to have a weird heightened observation when something seems out of place. For example, I walked in the house after church this past Sunday and could instantly smell that Kelsey’s straightener had been left on.

Other times the situation is a bit more obvious, I just know that it’s not a good thing. Like when the rear brakes were going out on the minivan. I got in the van, put it in reverse (with my foot slightly on the brake), stopped, looked at Kelsey and said “How long has that noise been going on?” Kelsey replies, “Oh, yeah… I meant to tell you, it’s been doing that for awhile.” Yeah… at that point all you could hear was metal on metal! Yikes.

So when I hopped in the van this time, the air system was making a funny noise, and we had a similar conversation as above. Ugh! Car problems are annoying, but having a DIY spirit as I do (and a Dad who used to be a mechanic), I called him up to see what my options were. “I don’t know how to fix A/C systems, son.” Dang it! He is human after all…

Into the shop the van went for an assessment of the damage. $900 was the damage and the kicker was that one of the parts was on back order, and it would be  a couple weeks before the part was in. Gulp… It was pushing 90 every day and with Iowa’s humidity, it was going to be a rough few weeks for the Williams family. And by rough, I mean a total first world problem where we had to drive around town with the windows down.

Continue Reading…