Starting the Journey to Financial Peace

I think the breaking point was when, for a variety of reasons, I was unable to pay my tithe (to the church) for three months last fall.  As I was agonizing over this (yes, it is just that important to me), I ran across a book I’d bought some time ago, Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.  I saw Dave Ramsey present at a faith-based conference in 2008.  The thing that appealed to me about the plan he proposes is that it includes contributions to church.  So, I began reading the book and making a plan to get it together.  In fact, I boldly procl...more

Cloud of Debt

Like many others, one of the biggest challenges I face is credit card debt.  It began before I was married, when I was young & reckless with money.  I used credit cards as a way to pay for things I thought were needs: a new computer, a washer & dryer, clothes.  I spent years getting out of debt only to find myself back in it once more. This time, it was not out of reckless spending, but because my husband and I made the decision for me to stay home after the birth of my first child.  ...more

Tax Refunds

It has been quite some time since I have updated. Broken computer, dead computer, new computer, new job...yada, yada, yada. Suffice it to say, life happens. With the passage of time, I have updated my debts. My new debts, which are twice as high as the last time I posted, are not all bad news. I got a new job that pays almost three times as what I was making before....more

Exchange Rate Roulette

Living and working in a foreign country is an amazing and thrilling thing, but it does not come without its headaches. For many British expats who are living in Europe for the benefit of constant sunshine and ripe fruit, this is not news to them – their incomes are at the mercy of continually shifting exchange rates. This week the European currency took a hit because of the global recession and the international market’s recognition that lots of debt is not a good thing: the nation of Greece is in a bad way. So what’s the big deal?...more

Need an answered prayer?

JMJ Do you have a prayer request? A special need?  Well, I spent all night placing a live webcam to Lourdes, France on my website, including a little mailbox to their prayer request email.  All kinds of weird computer problems kept cropping up, and I kept offering them up as a prayer, which did help to keep me from being annoyed.  Then... This morning I got an email from a friend who told me that today is OUR LADY OF LOURDES FEAST DAY!  Wow.  I had no idea!  That is just so cool... ...more

The Truth Behind Reward Credit Cards

Airline miles! Cash back! Free stuff! Rewards points! Who could resist the joy of getting something simply for buying the things you normally buy, right? Who among those of us drawing breath and having a pulse haven't been asked by some store, bank, airline, or frequent buyer club to apply for their credit card because it has the best rewards around? ...more

I know how it feels to call and complain to a credit card company only to be ignored and ...more

Help Choose Nine Women To Run the World

By Carol Muske Dukes...more

The House Hunt

Since January of this year, we have viewed over 70 properties in the south west of London. We have seen overpriced tiny flats, reasonably priced fixer upper maisonettes, and outrageously prices terraced houses. We even managed to make offers on several properties that, although not exactly what we were looking for, were not too bad and were within our meagre budget. These properties, it turned out, were well beyond our reach. Despite a 20% fall in London housing prices since the start of the recession, sellers in London are holding out....more

The Plan

My 29th birthday has come and gone and like most birthdays nothing much happened. In the USA the 5th of November is not a special day - it is too far past Halloween to warrant a costume party and weirdly the only notable event it is close to is Election Day. However, ever since I have moved to London my birthday gets celebrated by all of the British public with an extraordinary fireworks display. The fireworks are not really for me, obviously, they are to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night....more

Introduction to the American Baby Plan in London

Today is the first of November 2009. In exactly four days, on November 5th, I will turn 29 years old. This blog will begin then, with the premise that in one year's time, on my 30th birthday, I will be pregnant for the first time in my life. That's not hard, you might think, but if you actually begin to think of all the things that need to be in place in order to have what we all ultimately all want in life: to do one better than our parents - then you really do need to stop and consider all the small items and steps that need to go into the Baby Plan....more