Posted by: yuk22319 | July 3, 2010

10% Tour

Its that time of the year again and my wife came up with a great idea. The Tour De France starts today and we have come up with a idea to ride 10% of the distance the peloton rides. That will put us at around 250 miles over the next three weeks. today is easy just a 5 mile Prologue Stay tuned to hear more about our family adventures.

Posted by: yuk22319 | June 30, 2010

Family Adventures

If your like me and have a adventures spirit you might find it hard to come up with things to do when you have a family. Before I was married and had a family it was a common to get up early drive 1/2 way across the state to go for a six hour Mt bike ride in the hills of eastern Tennessee. I was a licensed skydiver and would go as often as I could.  Weekend whitewater rafting on the Ocoee river, and road trips just because you could were all part of the routine. But when I met the girl of my dream and got married we found out that God wanted us to have kids right away. We got pregnant three months after getting married. When our daughter was born we were living in KY and I distinctly remember the first time we tried to go hiking with her. She was about six weeks old and we woke up one morning and got the urge to be spontaneous.  It took us about four hours to get on the road. Things like feedings, packing all the baby stuff, naps, feedings and getting gas took a little longer than we expected. We finally got on the road and headed to the Red River Gorge. We put on the baby carrier and hit the trail. It was actually a very nice hike. This started the redefining  of the word adventure for us.  I remember another time with our daughter when she was about six months old when we were hiking in the red river gorge and we were working our way down the only tricky part of the trail when she decided she was hungry. She started crying at the top of  her lungs with her voice echoing off the canyon walls making it even louder. When we finally got to a spot where we could feed her we met up with another family who were frantically searching through their packs looking for some cheerios for us. We said thanks but we had it covered.

I remember the day we finally got a bike trailer to tow her around town in. We had some great rides as a family going to the park. Riding on the back roads of KY. This year we moved up to our 5 1/2 year old daughter on the tag-a-long bike behind mommy and our 2 1/2year old son in the trailer behind me.  When I am work the trailer actually fits behind the tag-a-long bike and we get the bike train going. Mommy’s bike followed by the tag-a-long with the trailer attached. Its as long as our Nissan Pathfinder.

We also do a lot of Geocaching. If you don’t know what that is go to Its a way of using multi million dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods. We will talk more about that later.

Posted by: yuk22319 | February 12, 2010

Tax Time

Well we did our taxes a few days ago, and it gets more frustrating every year. We are a one income family that does OK. We have some kids and a mortgage. Why do taxes have to be so time consuming. By the time you get done gathering up all the information you need. Plugging it in to Turbo Tax checking and rechecking it you have spent countless hours. It is frustrating to see that you made $XX,XXX dollars last year and paid $YY,YYY in taxes but with all the deductions and credits you have a different “taxable income” so your tax liability is different. Dont get me wrong I actually don’t mind paying a reasonable amount of tax. I want my Country to have a strong Military to keep us safe from our enemies. I want my trash picked up and a school system to HELP teach the youth of America but the way the system is set up know makes absolutely no seance . Someone very close to me told me that there live in girlfriend made about $13000 in income last year. After her taxes were done they received a “refund” of over $6000. How is that possible? I wont get into the whole concept of wealth redistribution at this time but its out of control. I will say that I am a big fan of a consumption tax. Something like the Fair Tax makes a lot of seance to me. I recently got into a discussion about all the hidden taxes that the average person pays in the US. Its frustrating to know that when I go to the store to pay for something that the company that made it and the company that sells it are taking all of there Payroll tax, Import tax, Unemployment tax, Gas tax,and the 13 other taxes and considering them a cost of doing business and passing that cost down to me. So not only do I get taxed on my income and pay sales tax but I have to pay all of the corporate taxes also. Maybe by the time our kids are older the will fix the system.

Posted by: yuk22319 | January 31, 2010

The myth of the extra paycheck

How many people have a couple of months out of the year when they get the “extra” paycheck. January was one of those months for us. Now don’t get me wrong but getting three paychecks a month is great but up until a we got married it seemed that extra paycheck just kind of disappeared. I remember sitting down and doing one of our first budgets as a married couple and being very excited about the fact that we had an extra paycheck to play with. Before I was married it seemed that the sudden influx of cash was short-lived as I quickly spent it sometimes more than once. We also had a learning experience one month when we had the “extra” paycheck. We failed to increase our gas, grocery,restaurant,entertainment lines and were a little shocked when we realized four weeks into the budget that we had two weeks to go and no money for gas, groceries,restaurant, entertainment envelopes. But after a quick emergency budget  meeting we moved some money around. But remember if you add money to one line you need to add it to another. That is Budget writing 101

Posted by: yuk22319 | January 29, 2010

How it started

When I was younger my parents did a great job of teaching me the importance of saving up for things and paying cash. Telling me to save money for the future. and living within my means. But you see I was smarter than them. When they left town one weekend I had a party at the house and wanted to watch some movies with my friends. the only problem is that we didn’t have a VCR (you younger people may have to GOOGLE that if you don’t know what it is) So off to Montgomery Wards I went to buy a VCR, on my new Wards credit card of course. same thing with Sears. I was walking through the store one day and saw the best fish-finder in the world. So I opened up a Sears Card and bought it. Of course I did not have a boat but that was a small detail that would have to be worked out later. So I went through life pretty much like that for years and years.At the time I was going to school and working about70-80 hours a week between two jobs. One in a R & D lab where I got paid to blow things up and the other Bar Tending at a Resort so I was making good money and was able to avoid sinking to far in the hole. I also liked driving nice cars, my younger years were filled with owning Z-28’s, Mustang GT’s and my personal favorite the brand new Formula Firebird Black on black with T tops that I owned for two and a half weeks before totaling it. In my late 20’s I made the move to Supervising and Management as a career choice and with that came a decent pay cut. I went from making good cash money every day to collecting a paycheck every two weeks. The only problem was that I was still spending like I was working two jobs and making more money. Fast forward about 5 years and I was in a big hole. Without going into to many details now lets just say that I made the decision that I needed to change a lot of things. It took me about six years to climb my way out and when I made it out the other side I vowed to never go into debt for anything ever again (except a house). About that time I met the most wonderful and beautiful woman in the world. She was so great but she was also just like the rest of the country. She had a leased car, student loans, CC debt. After dating for a while and wanting to take things to the next level we had a long talk about Finances and Debt. I explained my reasons for never borrowing money and the importance of her having the same views, and the good thing was that she agreed with me right away. She put together a plan and started attacking her debt while we continued to grow our relationship. Fast forward to our 5th anniversary and we have done a monthly budget together every month. During the first three years of our marriage we were able to pay off the entire $75,00o that she had left along with paying cash to  put our dog through Chemo. We have our emergency fund set up and our retirement accounts are going up every month. It is not easy saving up to buy things you want and having to delay pleasure in this world of instant gratification but whenever life throws us a curve ball wondering how we are going to get through it does not involve alot of financial worry. Now don’t get me wrong we are not swimming in piles of money. We just are able to manage the money we have and when you don’t have most of your income going to car payments, CC, student loans, and huge house/property tax payments you have a lot more wiggle room. The purpose of this Blog is to share some of the victories and struggles with you as well as pass on some tips we have learned over the years. So if you have any questions please let us know.

Posted by: yuk22319 | January 25, 2010

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