I’ve heard Joe teach pretty much everything he has written in the book either in his FLE or in one on one counseling with him. But it was reinvigorating to read it all in the book and make notes of some things I need to re-focus on regarding our finances. In the year and a half that we’ve been following Joe’s methods we have made huge progress toward improving our finances. It is very exciting.
In case you haven’t read Joe’s book – I HIGHLY recommend it. It is the most simple material to read AND apply that I have ever come across (it took me about 3 hours to read it and I stopped to jot some personal notes in several places). I also highly recommend scheduling one on one counseling with Joe so he can share his insight in to your finances. He is not bossy or judgemental (in fact he’s the exact opposite) but he is inspiring and challenging in sharing his experience and knowledge and using it to offer suggestions that will help your unique situation.
Now that I’m going on and on about it I’ll go so far as to say that if you haven’t read Joe’s book you are really missing out. And if you think you don’t need to read Joe’s book you are a freakin idiot. There is something for everybody to learn in Joe’s book. I don’t care if you’re wiping with $100 bills – there is still something for you to learn from Joe’s book (like you might get some better ideas of something good you could be doing with your money besides wiping with it).
Shawna and I just love Joe and Jenn – both as friends and as financial mentors. I can’t say much else about it.
Anybody who has known me for more than two seconds probably knows I work from home, and we have a small house with three children so space is limited. Therefore my office is set up in a corner of the garage. Very plush except for when it’s so hot outside that it’s 95 degrees in the garage.
For 4 summers now I’ve managed to survive by running a fan in the garage until the temperature got to 85 degrees and once it got to 85 I would go inside and work in our bedroom. It was that or stay out in the garage and literally bake as the temperature continued to rise.
BUT now, in my 5th summer of working at home (in the garage) I have upgraded my luxurious office to make it more plush than ever. I got a portable air conditioner unit!!! That combined with my faithful fan allows me to beat the heat to at least a tolerable temperature.
One of these days my goal is to have a space that is mine and mine alone (I won’t have to share it with the cars, lawn equipment, tools, kids toys, and miscellaneous other junk). The options for how to achieve that are endless and all cost money that I’m not ready to spend, so as for now I’m just as productive in my little corner with A/C.
The relationship with my boss is as good as it’s ever been. I think it took quite some time for us to understand each other and learn to work through the daily grind without always rubbing each other the wrong way. I think it also took some time out on the road traveling together and sharing a hotel room to get to know each other on a more personal level. It’s amazing what having a good relationship with your employer can do for your morale. I see it not only in my work but in my home life too, because when I’m in the dumps about work no matter how hard I try to prevent it my family can tell.
It doesn’t hurt that my numbers have been really good lately (I work on straight commission – scary). It is great having the peace of mind to know that there won’t be a struggle to stay in the budget next month or the next (I know 2-3 months in advance what my pay will be). We’re no where near where I want us to be, but having a little peace of mind from month to month sure makes me feel like I’m bringing home the bacon and not just the bacon bits.
Finances is a sensitive subject for me because I’ve been almost to hell and back learning the hard way with money, but I hope to muster up the transparency to share some of where we’ve been, where we are, and what our goals are for the future.
I can’t wait to see if any of the big talking presidential candidates are really going to do something about the screwed up health-care crisis in our country. It’s ridiculous.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to fix that one myself so I called Gerald’s Radiator here in Anderson. I met Gerald on one other occasion and he seemed like a pretty professional good ole boy who knows what he’s doing, so I decided to take my repair need to him. The bill was way better than what I would have had to pay the Cadillac people, but even more valuable than that was the lesson he gave me about Dex Cool.
He showed me articles about Dex Cool clogging up and corroding cooling systems which eventually breaks critical parts all over the engine and transmission because they all depend on the cooling system working properly. I was intrigued because I drive a Cadillac Catera – which comes with Dex Cool in the system. There were pictures of broken and corroded parts all through these trade magazines he had. I was convinced – get that crap out of my car and put in regular antifreeze.
After Gerald was done working on my car he told me he had to unclog one third of my radiator because it was stopped up with sludge that Dex Cool causes. That would explain why in the summer my car would out of the blue run really hot until I turned off the a/c then it would cool back down. I was probably on the verge of major breakdown. I just hope there aren’t any corroded parts that will break later on.
I decided to just do a general google search for what’s out there on the net regarding Dex Cool. There is a ton of stuff about the problems, the lawsuits, and even the good intentions GM has for using it. The hard evidence is convincing enough to me. Good intentions or not – I think Dex Cool is a bad product. I mostly just read the consumer affairs writeup on the Dex Cool issue, and I also read some of the consumer complaints about it.
The article says not to replace Dex Cool with regular Antifreeze, but Gerald was confident it would be ok. I just hope he flushed it out good enough that they didn’t mix because it seems that is the concern with changing to regular from dex cool – they don’t mix well. But it’s a catch 22 – if you don’t change it you’re stuck with a chemical that will eventually tear up your car, and if you do change them you risk mixing the new with the old and having a bad mix in your car. I’m living on the edge I guess and going with the changed fluid that hopefully is pure enough to keep me running a lot longer. I’ll just have it flushed more often to be sure.
Thanks to Gerald for looking out for me. If anyone else has Dex Cool in your car you might have some decisions to make – or at least get that crap flushed often. Whatever you do don’t go by GM’s non-warrantied statement that Dex Cool is good for 100,000 – 150,000 miles because that just isn’t true.
BUT THIS YEAR IT IS ABSOLUTELY FREE!!! Since I read several blogs, some of which are money-specific content, I read more than once that you can get TurboTax service for free by going through State Farm. All you have to do is have accounts with State Farm, have online access to those State Farm accounts, and click the link to TurboTax right from the State Farm site. It was just as easy as always, and TurboTax has REALLY improved their application more and more every year to make it easier than ever. It is especially easy after the first year because they transfer all your info from year to year.
I’m just extremely thrilled that I got it for free this time. Now I can’t wait to get my return so I can pay for baby Kylee (who is due pretty much any time now). If you are a State Farm customer I highly recommend getting online access so you can take advantage of free TurboTax. And if you’ve never used TurboTax I highly recommend you do – it’s really great.