Archive for the ‘financial aid’ Category

Sasha and our cat Joel

Since I’ve already received some odd looks over my choice to spend almost $4,000 to fix my dog Kane, I figured I would pose a related question.  This question came to mind as my wife reminded me that our cat Joel is almost 14 years old.  The question is simple:

Assuming you owned both a dog and cat, hypothetically of course, and both needed expensive medical treatment to prolong their lives, where would you draw the line?  Can you define an objective amount, say $10,000, for each?  If not, would you be more likely to spend more on keeping your dog alive than your cat?  If so, why?

When answering the above questions please, if you feel comfortable, also state whether you own a dog, cat, or other pet. (more…)

Although most of the big ticket items of the adoption process are being paid for by L.F.S. and grants from the state, we are still facing a significant amount of costs for various and sundry things ranging from a fire inspection to medical exams. After you read through this list, I ask that you please add the prayer requests (listed at the conclusion of this post) to your prayers for the next several days. (more…)

I’ve written about our family’s dream several times on here before.  For those of you who need to catch up, check out the links below.

A Farm of Our Own

Setting Our Goals

Also Scroll down to the bottom to see a Brief Summary.

Caught up?   Good.  So here is the idea.   Anyone who can afford to share a little just drops a bit in the donate button below.  Who should do this?  If you have some spare change laying around in your PayPal account (or in that jacket you haven’t worn for months) you would be a good candidate. It is all up to you.

You see, I am very curious what could happen if the hundreds (possibly thousands) who have visited this sight over 52,000 times donated a dollar or two towards a fund to help us achieve this dream.  What do you think?  Maybe we could have a good part of our down payment ready to go.

So you ask, what’s to keep me from blowing all the money on booze and comics?  Well, just my word.  I would hope that after almost ten months and tons of embarassing pictures, you guys would know how much a share without reservation.  If anything I am TOO truthful.

If you don’t want to donate, no hard feelings.  Well, maybe a few.  But for those who do, thanks.  Let me know if this whole PayPal things works, I’ve never used it before.

DONATE

Warning: This donation is NOT tax deductible. 

What will we be doing with the money?

1. Down payment on a piece of land- small to medium acreage (30-60 acres).  We are still locating the right piece of property and we are waiting to see where I end up in two to three years with my Ph.D.

2. Run a small scale animal rescue (dogs/horses).

3. Combine the animal rescue with a program for at-risk youth.  We are still learning lots about this, and it is very interesting stuff. Click here to read about one such pet training program currently employed in prisons.

4. Run a fully operational ranch and/or farm (depends on the land) where we can sell a portion of our agricultural returns and donate the rest to local individuals in need as well as local charities.  Some ideas we have include orchards, crops, milk, and eggs.  There is a big learning curve on all this stuff and I spend much of my limited free time reviewing books on these subjects.

5)  Care to make any suggestions to fill this space?  Anything I missed?  Drop a note in the comments section.

God bless you whatever you give- including those of you who give nothing.

BTW, for those of you skittish about PayPal, you can email me and drop a few small bills or a check in the mail.

As we near out first pay check in over two months (times have been tough but God provided) we are set to implement some money saving procedures and a much improved budget.   What have we done?  Well I will share with you three tips today to shrink your expenses and saved lots of money

First, perhaps the biggest change for us, we are limiting our grocery/all things Wal-Mart budget (excluding dog food) to $250 per month.  We are going to enforce this budget limit by taking out $250 cash at the beginning of the month and placing said cash in an envelope to be used each time we shop.  When the money runs out, no more groceries.  As an incentive to save more, 50% of the money left over at the end of the month can be used for ANYTHING we want.

Estimated Savings: $200-400/month

Second, we are going automatic.  We are signing up as many bills as possible for automatic bill pay.  We have been paying anywhere from $5 to $25 dollars in late fees each month.  The main offender is our water bill.  It is the only bill that comes without a return envelope and is therefore easy to forget about.  To make matters worse the local water department are known in our house as the water Nazi’s- if you are two weeks late with your bill they shut off the water and charge $20 bucks (plus late fee) to reconnect.  As if they weren’t selling the most abundant resource that only cost about $30 a month, and we were somehow going to run off without paying that hefty $35 dollar water bill….geesh.

Estimated Savings: $5-$25 dollars

Third, we will be paying down our lowest balance credit card in a month or two and using that card for gasoline- NOTHING else!  Well okay, emergencies, but only real emergencies.  The card will be paid off before the end of each month.  It will help us budget our gas money and allow for quick and easy gas purchases.  Tried buying gas without a credit card lately?  It isn’t fun.

Estimated Savings$10-$25/month on interest

OVERALL estimated servings:  $215-$450 dollars

As I have a very full day before me- mostly involving me, my wife, my daughter and various forms of gymnastics- I will leave you with this short post.  Take time and enjoy these top ten posts.

How Many Push-Ups Does it Take to get to the Center of an Awesome Body?

I wrote this post in May, and ever since it has been one of my most viewed posts on a daily basis.  I thought it was a throw-away post at the time, guess I was wrong.

Stop the Bleeding

Need some inspiration to escape credit card debt? Start here.

Also see Starting Your Total Financial Transformation.

A Question for Christians- Is the World Comfortable with You?

What’s your answer?

Training for Ninja Warrior

Yup, I really am.

My Unconventional Workout Tools

I can’t forget the boys that brung me, eh?  My wonderful and wacky workout tools.

How to Break Pateaus.

A few suggestions to help make all that hard work productive.

Living the Deliberate Life

A somewhat complete guide to beginning to live a thoughtful and purposeful life.

Also see this rough outline.  I will get around to finish this sooner or later.  Promise.

My Most Recent Before and After Pictures 

The proof is in the pudding..I mean…the pictures.  But Pudding does sound good right about now.

A Fireside Chat with the Adversary

He is actually quite amiable in person.  A little too amiable.

Sexerise

Wonder why everyone loves this post?  I just can’t figure it out.

I would have posted earlier, but my wife didn’t want me to blog about these blessings until we watched them play out a bit more.  However, I can’t contain my joy any longer and after spilling the beans to Neil over at 4Simpsons a week ago, I am going to share God’s gracious actions in our life with all of you.

As all of you who read this blog know, my wife and I have decided to pursue adoption.   Our choice (and our agreement) resulted from a rather miraculous experience- and I don’t mean simply the miracle of getting your wife to agree with you (you know what I mean husbands).

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Our present financial condition is similar to my physical condition back in February. My wallet is horribly out of shape; my credit cards are stretched like me waist used to be; and cash flow is almost non-existent (much like my previously well concealed six pack). I think that is enough analogies for now, you get the point.

Where are we right now? Well, sad to say, we are burdened by about $15,000+ dollars in credit card debt. That debt costs us about $525/month just to stay on top on minimum payments. Crazy, isn’t it? It wasn’t always like this, when we got married we had three credit cards. It got this way because we (and most often me/I) got suckered into those credit card giveaways. We bought a new mattress and took advantage of the no interest, no payments for a year if you signed up for store credit card “special.” Of course we didn’t pay it off within the year, so we got charged the back interest. Same thing with a digital camera. We also had medical bills we couldn’t pay, so that ended up in a medical credit card. So right now we have about 9 credit cards. I could just smack myself for getting into this mess.

To make matters worse all those cards are maxed out. Why? Well, since my wife is a school teacher and I am a grad student we had two months each year with NO paycheck. We didn’t save/budget well so we ended up living off our credit cards.

So what now? I can’t go back and change this, but I can create an action plan to pay-off this debt. Chances are you could use an action plan too.

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