Buy the Finer Things in Life, or Pay Off the Debt?

This inspiring article was written by Derek Sall. His article made me want to stop spending on all the frivolous things I like to indulge myself with and start being really serious about paying off our debt. Derek is a recent Finance graduate from Grand Valley State University and posts regular articles just like this one on his website, http://www.lifeandmyfinances.com.

I found my eyes lost in hers while I gently held her soft hands, and she smiled back as if I were the only man in the world at that moment. “I introduce to you, Mr. and Mrs. Sall.” We were married, and it was time to start our fabulous life together; one filled with trips to the beach and hardly a care in the world.

Separate or Joint? Mine or Yours?

Want to know how to haggle? Then please make sure to check out my staff writer post at Beating Broke today, The Golden Rules of Haggling!

This post was featured in Carnival Of Personal Finance #288.

In my family we always had a common pot of money.  We didn’t have a bank account but we would put money in a big brown envelope. Yes, I still remember the color! My grandmother was in charge of it, and she would do all the necessary budgeting. If I needed money for school lunch, I’d have to ask her for an allowance. If my mother needed a new coat, my grandmother would decide when the family budget could afford it. I grew up with one brown envelope, or I’d rather say one “joint” account.

My Life Without Christmas

We did not celebrate Christmas in the Soviet Union. It all started with the revolution. Vladimir Lenin eliminated Christmas. Under Stalin‘s regime the Christmas tree was outlawed. This was always difficult for me to imagine – December with no Christmas spirit and no tree. But understandably, Christmas had no place in the atheist society.

Later, Stalin lifted his ban on Christmas tree and declared the New Year’s a national holiday which eventually became one of the biggest holiday’s of the year.

Twelve Days of Giving

First Gen American suggested a writing experiment – an embellishment on the 12 days of Christmas. So, here I am…writing away…

Remember the lines of 12 Days of Christmas? Of course you do. These are my favorite lines :

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me…

Isn’t it a great idea to give, send, bring a loved one, a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or even a stranger something every day like in the 12 days of Christmas?

To really embrace a selfless spirit of Christmas, try doing the following:

“If You Don’t Know, You Can Feel It Somehow”

I am starting a series called “Beaker’s World.” Guess who is Beaker? My husband! He agreed to share with my readers some of his stories, thoughts and opinions. Believe me, he has plenty! Remember how I mentioned once that when Beaker and I met, both of us were really poor? Well, I have omitted the fact that six months before we met, Beaker was unemployed and starving. This is his story…

A Few Good Things

On Blogging
I started blogging in August, joined the Yakezie challenge on September 27, 2010, opened my self-hosted site on October 18, 2010. This is how I have progressed up to this point:

Alexa Ranking as of September 27, 2010: 2.6 MM
Alexa Ranking as of October 18, 2010: 15 MM
Alexa ranking as of December 8, 2010: 244,353

October traffic: 458
Average visitors per day: 32

November traffic: 1,171
Average visitors per day: 39
Unique visitors (I installed Google Analytics on November 4, 2010): 481
New visits: 89%

I cannot thank enough of my fellow bloggers for all the promoting, commenting and tweeting they’ve done.

Aloysa’s Reading Picks

There was an interesting discussion on the Yakezie forum about how everyone is keeping up with reading each others blogs. I have to say that keeping up with reading is not that easy. But we all try, and overall we all are doing really well.

But if you think that you could have missed some of the great articles, make sure to read some of the great posts from this list:

First Gen American suggested a writing experiment – an embellishment on 12 Days of Christmas. Some of the great bloggers participated and wrote:

Store Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping?

This is a guest post by Tim Chen who is founder and CEO of NerdWallet.com, a website that helps consumers to find rewards credit cards.  Tim also educates consumers about credit cards and debt management at the Forbes Moneybuilder Blog, the Huffington Post, and the Christian Science Monitor.

Between overly aggressive sales clerks and cryptic PA announcements, shoppers could be led to believe that store credit cards are hotter than $499 HDTVs this holiday season.

Why Women Lie About Shopping

This article is not a generalization. It represents my observations only.

One of my married friends always goes shopping alone. She always pays cash. Why? Because there will be no monthly credit card statements and no paper trail. There will be no questions from her husband about what she bought while shopping because she won’t show him her purchases that are tucked away in the trunk of her car.

Five Reasons To Stop Being Frugal And Get A Life

This post was inspired by Invest It Wisely and his post Challenging Your Thoughts and Beliefs.

This post was featured as an Editor’s Pick in Carnival of Personal Finance #286.

This post was included in The Best Personal Finance Articles of 2010 by Free From Broke.

I like spending money. There… I said it. I like shopping (if you didn’t know that, read about it here). I like going on vacations even if it means only a two day getaway to some place I’ve never been before. I like eating out with my friends. So, overall I like spending money and I don’t feel guilty about it. Or even worse – I don’t feel like a fool who is parted from her money.