Picking the Perfect Family Road Trip Vehicle

Sponsored post I didn’t mention it on the blog, but back in March, we purchased a used 2014 Chrysler Town and Country.  My 2005 Dodge Caravan was beginning to have more issues than we wanted to deal with, and we decided that it was the proper time for a replacement. Mr. Yoder Toter and I had many lengthy discussions about getting an SUV versus sticking with a minivan.  We spoke to friends and family about the pros and cons of …

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Travel Hacking New Orleans

Flights and 4 nights for 5 people- under $300 We just returned from New Orleans thanks to some serious travel hacking and I wanted to share with you how we saved so much money on accommodation & flights.  We’ve been able to travel more since learning how to better utilize our credit card points.  For more info, start HERE: Why this Dave Ramsey follower still uses a credit card Travel Hacking the Canadian Rockies We flew to New Orleans on Southwest …

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Travel Hacking the Canadian Rockies

A four-night, four-star trip for next-to-nothing. I’ve been so eager to tell you how we took second-honeymoon style trip to the Canadian Rockies for pennies on the dollar.  We started travel hacking about 2 years ago and using points and miles has definitely helped with our travel game. After booking our trip to Australia last year, I had a bunch of American Airlines miles left.   Reading Bryce’s blog about how to use the Fairmont VISA gave me an idea- I’d …

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No thanks, Pittsburgh: Your museums cost too much for my young family

I booked our last minute trip to Pittsburgh without doing something I preach over and over:  Cost planning. I used Chase Rewards points we’d been accruing for YEARS and booked the Doubletree by Hilton for a whopping $57 total.  I had a total budget for the weekend, but completely overlooked the cost of experiences. A few blogs and friends mentioned some different museums.  Which was all hunky dory UNTIL I looked at the prices.  How are these museum prices family-friendly?! …

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Why this Dave Ramsey follower still uses a credit card

As much as I preach the Dave Ramsey financial gospel, there is one solid thing that I disagree with him on. I think you can get out of debt and pay your bills and still have a credit card.   Now, as Paul Harvey would say, here is “the rest of the story.” We never struggled with credit cards.  We had a car loan and student loan when we took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  We were young and dumb, …

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3 More Ways to Save Money

It’s President’s Day!  In honor of the day that celebrates Washington and Lincoln, I thought I could save you some Benjamins (who wasn’t a President, but whatev).   Here are 3 more things we do to save money. We don’t give it to the government Seems a little ironic, right?  While I’m patriotic to the US of A, the tax code should always be used to one’s advantage!  FYI: It’s YOUR money.  Since my husband is  self-employed, we do our best …

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How to make a budget

AKA: How to afford to do the things you want to do You can read lots and lots of financial advice.  There are books and blogs and e-courses,oh my!  However, we’ve found that truly the ONE thing you must have if you want to succeed financially is the dreaded B word- a BUDGET! The months when we get off track with our budget are the months that we lose sight of the big picture.  Creating a budget gives you the …

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There’s Nothing Evil about Making Money

Dave Ramsey will often say, “Money is amoral.” It is just a tool.  It is neither evil or good. Can money be used for evil or good?  Absolutely.  However, the $20 bill in my wallet is not evil itself,  it’s just sitting there waiting to be plucked out for groceries or the babysitter. Oftentimes the Bible is misquoted by folks that say, “Money is the root of all evil.” Negative.  The Bible says, “For the LOVE of money is a root of …

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Labor Day Financial Check-up

Most people celebrate the end of summer with a day by the pool or campground, but we choose to use a morning at home to do a financial check-up.  It’s never a bad time to review your yearly finances, but the unofficial end of summer seems even more timely!  The calendar is showing a slow-down to pop-up cookouts, weekend road trips, and high gas spending- so we can evaluate where we’re at and what expenses we have coming up. This …

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4 things I always buy at Aldi

Mr. Yoder Toter and I have always been frugal food shoppers, but having three children has added a dimension of buying things that we never did before.  Whereas I used to eat the only bowl of cereal each morning, there are now 4 bowls of cereal.  Or instead of using 4 pieces of bread for a sandwich, we’re up to 8 or 9.  All of this change has prompted some modifications to how I shop. Aldi has swept in and become …

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