From the monthly archives:

February 2010

So I guess sleep is optional right? Lately I have been running on caffeine and will power. I am trying to get a little bit of a side business running doing some web development and thesis customization. If you are a Facebook friend you have seen my fan page invite. I haven’t really made a formal announcement on my blog as I want to try to focus on local business. If you are looking for some help with Thesis or WordPress or want a custom site design check out my new venture Suburban Media. I would love feedback on the site too, just drop me a line if there is something you think is off.

Here are the links for the week:

@EnemyofDebt Introduced his March 2010 Manage Your Money Challenge. This challenge features the budgeting application PocketSmith and includes some pretty gravy prizes. Stop by and enter the challenge and checkout PocketSmith.

@MJTM asks why everyone hates on financial planners. I don’t think everyone hates on financial planners. I don’t know very many of them but there is certainly a time and place for everything. If I had a moderate to decent amount of money manage I would certainly be looking for professional advice.

@Matt_SF lists out the fastest ways to go broke. I agree with most of these but my children aren’t making me go broke, I have less money but more joy. It is one of those trade-offs you have to be willing to make. Same thing with divorce, is it really worth the drama just to save money?

@FinancialSamura talks about how the government is sexist and no one seems to care. While he certainly makes his point I find it interesting how his examples are not for the average couple. My wife and I don’t make anywhere near $200k combined so I find it hard to relate to the examples. It is a good point though and one I have seen made elsewhere.

@FiscalGeek tells us how to budget like an Olympian. I love how he talks about visualization of a goal. Anytime you want to achieve a specific objective you should visualize what that will look like. When you have that picture you can attack it and hopefully succeed.

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Seriously, if opportunity comes knocking open the door and quit trying to figure out why. That is what everyone tells you to do anyway. I am personally of the belief that opportunity does not come knocking on your door. Opportunities are something you make as a result of your actions and choices in life. Everything we do drives us towards our future, and what we choose today will have an effect on what happens tomorrow. The “opportunity” to become wealthy isn’t going to fall out of the sky one day, we have to make that opportunity happen.

Think about this, how often does someone say “The opportunity to become a millionaire just fell in my lap and I took it” more likely it is “the opportunity to steal a million dollars presented itself and I took it.” You see fraud is a crime a of opportunity, someone realizes the chance of getting caught is less than the trouble to take the money. The opportunity exists for them to take the money and they do. This isn’t how things work in real life. You are 1,000,000 times more likely to get caught committing fraud if you have to create the opportunity, in life you have to create your opportunities. The point I am trying to make is that in most instances when an “opportunity” presents itself to you the consequences are most likely not to your liking. On the other hand if you work to create opportunities for improvement your success will also increase.

Living the American dream is a perfect example of creating your opportunities. Have you ever noticed that the owner of your mom and pop gas station is there every day from open to close? They are creating their opportunities by working their butts off to live their dream. They didn’t wake up one day and say man I hope an opportunity presents itself today, they worked their asses off, and do it every day. Stop waiting for your opportunity to present itself, get out there and create it, TODAY!

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iXpenseIt by FYI Mobilware, Inc. allows you to input daily expenses with your iPhone. The system handles budgets based on Type, Category, Subcategory and more. You can set your budgets to daily, monthly or anywhere in-between. A while back I went on a business trip and decided to test out the app for tracking my business expenses against my per diem rate while in travel status.

My per diem is based on the GSA Schedule and I was in the DC area so I setup a daily budget of $71.00.  Setting up a new budget was relatively easy and you can limit the budget by Type so I was able to restrict it to only business expenses.

During my trip I was able to record the amounts I spent on each meal or other expenses as they happened. The best part about the app was you can take a picture of the receipt and include it as part of the record for the expense. This meant I didn’t have to keep perfect track of all of my receipts so I could complete an expense report later.

When you get back to the office and need to file your reports you can easily export a report for your travel period using the iXpenseIt reporting capabilities. The application allows you to either e-mail the reports or access them via a wifi connection to your iPhone. One thing I didn’t like was you can only export the reports as either a HTML file or CSV. With the HTML it exports your receipt photos as well but they are still separate and would have to be included if you sent the html file somewhere. It would be perfect for me if you could export the report as a PDF because I am required to turn in any supporting documents in an electronic format such as a PDF.

Screenshots of the App in Action:

iXpenseIT-recordiXpenseIT-export

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Is Bulk Better?

February 22, 2010
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I have always been leary of the Costco’s and Sam’s Clubs of the world. Something always seems off to me when you have to pay to get in the door and then pay to get the stuff. Same thing with cover charges at a bar. I am here so I am going to be buying […]

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Friday Finance Followers – Finding Your Focus Edition

February 19, 2010
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Wow, it is Friday already and I missed a post this week. I told myself I wasn’t going to let that happen, but it did. Sometimes we think we know what our focus is, and then it changes. I am a huge believer in making your own destiny. I also I think making that destiny […]

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