Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another Ramsey Rant

I really like it when Ramsey does this kind of rant. He is rough around the edges but dead on with wisdom.

Check out his rant called "Butt Scratching and Bass Fishing" in either written form or audio. I suggest both.

Debt Snowball Update

Haven't blogged much lately because I am working the part time job and the kids are home for the summer. But, I am happy to report that with our most recent debt snowball payment we have now paid off $10,000 of debt since starting our snowball back in Feb 2008. This is total debt including mortgage but just over $8,000 is consumer. Things keep rolling. We now have $750 a month getting applied to the next item on the list.

Maintaining the monthly cash flow plan (budget) has been the key. We have our income spent on paper each month before we spend it for real. I check things out once or twice a week and make adjustments when needed. Food and gas expenses have definitely gone up and so has home repairs, entertainment, and our giving (because we want it to.) No worries though, we've just cut back in other areas for the summer (i.e. a good budget allows us to capture and redirect the higher amounts that would go to the heat bill in the winter, etc.)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Side Blog

I've added a new feature to this blog - it's a Side Blog. Look to the right just under the so called "sponsors" section. Often I want to post about something quickly but I'd rather not commit to a full blog, the side blog will function as a quickie-posting-like-tool for me.

To make it happen I am feeding in from the page I created at a free service called Tumblr. Here's my page: Pat's Stream's - it even has it's own RSS feed.

Inline Training Update

I feel like I am really entering a groove with my inline training now. Below is a chart of the miles I've put on since April 5th and my average pace per minute (sorry, it is not a very good image.) I am hoping to get my pace down closer to a flat 4 minutes per mile by race time.

Goals for 2008

1. Finish St. Paul Inline Marathon on August 3rd in under 1 hour 40 minutes.

2. Finish Hayward Marathon on August 9th in under 1 hour 45 minutes.

3. Finish St. Micheal 1/2 Marathon on August 16th in under 50 minutes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Time Your Flight and Save Big With Farecast

To book the lowest priced flights for my flying wife's recent travels to Dallas for Operation Outcry I've used Farecast. I am telling you, it is simply fantastic.

About Farecast

Farecast, brought to you by Microsoft Live Search, is the smart travel search site that helps you buy with confidence. Since 2006, Farecast allows you to easily compare, filter and sort flight results from hundreds of airline, hotel and agency websites to find the right trip. Farecast's award-winning technology also empowers you to Know When to Buy™ with airfare predictions and Know Where to Stay™ with the hotel Rate Key™.

Farecast® is the 2008 Webby Award winner in the travel category and is recognized as one of Web 2.0's "Best Travel Sites", one of Travel & Leisure's "Top 25 websites" and one of PC World's "20 Most Innovative Products". Farecast is headquartered in Seattle, WA.

Farecast predicts where prices will be and guides with the use of a confidence rating - it tells you to buy or wait. After using the service four times now, I am a true believer in its accuracy.

For example, about a month ago I looked up a flight to San Antonio, the price for a round trip ticket was $474. I waited as Farecast predicted prices would go even higher - with in a week they jumped to $502. I waited some more because Farecast told me prices would drop by $100. What is really nice is that I set up email alerts to track the price levels. One day I got an alert to Buy! Prices dropped to just under $400. But Farecast had a 60% confidence level that prices could drop by another $50. I waited. Then I got another email indicating a strong buy as prices would soon climb to back over $450. I bought a round trip ticket at $389 two weeks ago. I still get the email alerts however and see now the prices are back up to $474.

Farecast, my favorite!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Fat Cat Makes the Hit

He's definitely fat. He's charatarized by slothfulness. He's disliked by the mother in our home. Yet, his stealth instincts serve the household well and he has no shame.

Nice work fat cat Griffen!