Personal Finance

I knew this was coming. This summer when I lost my job, my former employer gave me a severance package that included paying my family’s health insurance premiums for the rest of the year.  Our current health insurance premium for our family of four is $1192.30 paid quarterly ($664.10 every month). I knew this was coming. It was due to this looming expense that I had doubts about whether or not going back to school was the best idea for me.  Back then there was an opening for a city garbageman. I grabbed the application but instead of filling it […]

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What Is Your Purchase Personality?

by The Happy Rock on September 4, 2008

As I struggle to resist the temptation to snag a snack from the vending machine during my ingredient month, I began thinking about how different personalities chose what to eat at vending machine or even at a restaurant. This led me to identify five distinct purchasing personalities.  The purchase decision at a vending machine or a restaurant serves as concrete situation to help us think about our own purchase personality.  We all can probably be any one of these at different times and in different situations, but the question is what personality are you most of the time. The Lavisher […]

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What Candidate Will Be The Best For Your Finances?

by The Happy Rock on January 27, 2008

With primaries and caucuses in full swing and a new president on the horizon, I thought it might be helpful to start some discussion on who will be the best for our finances. This isn’t about who you like the best, or even who you want to vote for, but who will be the best for your personal finances. This includes things like job availability, income rates, interest rates, mortgage rates, taxes, and other related issues. For me, I think the biggest issue affecting my personal finances is taxes. From 7% sales tax in NJ, to income tax, to having […]

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Why Personal Finance is Personal

by The Happy Rock on October 24, 2007

The reason they call it personal finance is because there aren’t any right answers. That’s right, no right answers. If there were right answers, we could call it something like personal financial decision science. Everyone would be doing the same 20 step program and trying to achieve similar goals. That isn’t how it works. It is our money. We are all different. We all have our own quirks, goals, personalities, and dreams. Personal finance can not escape that fact that it has to deal with humans, and that is where the personal side of equation comes into play. Consider two […]

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Delayed Gratification Will Save You Money

by The Happy Rock on June 12, 2007

Remember the ‘Marshmallow Test‘? It was a study from the 1960’s which found that preschoolers who were able to delay gratification at four years old were more likely to be socially competent, assertive, trustworthy, dependable, able to cope, and likely to embrace challenge. The ability to control our impulses will encourage success in most areas of our lives. Our relationships, careers, money, and wealth will all be positively affected by being able to delay our gratification. As an example let’s look at two similar families who want to own their $300,000 dream home. They both have a $60,000 down payment […]

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The title of the site mentions gaining freedom through personal finance, so it is about time that I share some of our journey. The family’s finances are now on auto pilot, but that is only after 4 years of blood, sweat, and tears. The idea is to not only share the overview of the last 4 years, but also highlight the key concepts that we encountered while paying off over $70,000 in debt. One would think that defaulting on a Sears credit card freshman year in college, and then having to get an 8% deferred interest student load to finish […]

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How to move a rock! Part 3

by The Happy Rock on April 28, 2007

Financial Peace: Restoring Financial Hope to You and Your Family Out of my growing desire for personal freedom, I had already started the journey towards being debt free. I stumbled upon a copy of this book in the local library and thought it aligned with my current focus. Dave Ramsey is a personal finance talk show host with Christian flavor. More motivational speaker than finance expert, although I found that helpful at the time. My wife and I had 70,000$ in debt, so his energy was refreshing. We had a big hole to dig out of, but as degreed DINKS […]

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