The Night My Son Discovered Generic Soda

Posted by Brock | September 22, 2014.


My son is your typical high school sophomore. Social and peer pressure tells him that the brand name of his sports equipment, and where he buys his clothes and other products he uses matters. As an adult I know better, but as a kid I was the same way. I remember giving my mom a hard time for trying to be cost conscious. I cringed at the thought of going school shopping with her because I knew it would only be a matter of time before she’d tell a store employee that their prices were too high.

After a high school football game on Friday night, he climbed in the van as I was picking him and his friends up at a gas station nearby the field.  He pointed at the bottle of soda he put in a cup holder and asked if I had ever tried that kind. After I told him that I had not, he went on to explain to me that it was an off brand of cola, but it’s cheaper AND (in his opinion) better than Coke.

Seeing an opportunity to reinforce a lesson in value, I told him how this is a good example of why the label on a product isn’t always a good indication of the quality of the product inside.   I went on to tell him he should always try things for himself and if he likes them, there’s no harm in saving a little money in buying an off brand product.

Clever Posts Of The week – September 19th

Posted by Brock | September 19, 2014.

It’s supposed to be a beautiful weekend here in the Midwest, so time to get some outside projects done.  One of those projects will be to mow and trim the lawn and then put down the fall application of fertilizer.  I had contemplated hiring a service this year as my yard was looking a bit ragged at the end of last season, but I’m glad I decided to stick it out on my own.  I’ve consistently watered and fertilized it exactly as recommended and it’s paid off.  Looking forward to it being even better next year when I’ll continue to go the DIY route and save some cash on lawn maintenance.

High five for me.  What do you have going on this weekend?

  1. Defeating Your Debt for Good from Modest Money
  2. Gadgets I Love and Make My Life Easier from Suburban Finance
  3. I Live in a Van Down By The River – Basically… from Money Ahoy
  4. Time for a Financial Do-Over? Tips for Turning Things Around from Money Bulldog
  5. Seven Things I Learned About Money When I Became a Parent from Prairie Eco Thrifter

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

Do You Understand Your Medical Insurance Explanation Of Benefits Statements?

Posted by Brock | September 17, 2014.

medical insurancepic

Image courtesy of Baitong333 at

“We gotta go to the doctor,” my wife said as she hung up the phone.

The phone call had been from my sister-in-law, who’s family had stayed with us the previous weekend, informing us that their daughter had head lice. We piled the family into the van and quickly drove to our primary care provider, making our way into the office just a few minutes before closing.

The doctor snapped on some rubber gloves and checked us over. We breathed a sigh of relief as she stated she didn’t find anything on us. She did give us a list of things we may want to do just in case we wanted to be extra cautious.

A few weeks later we received in the mail the explanation of benefits statement from our insurance company. I expected it to tell me that our trip to the doctor was covered 100% as a diagnostic office visit.

Instead, it showed a coinsurance due of about $22 for each family member.

Phone call #1:

I called the insurance company, and a very nice lady on the other end of the phone walked me through my explanation of benefits. She showed me the code assigned to our visit, and explained that it meant that we were treated by a physician’s assistant. She went on to tell me that she may be able to help me out. As long as the assistant was working under a physician, it should be coded as a visit to our primary physician, and covered at 100%.

Fantastic Financial Tips For Traveling Abroad

Posted by Clever Dude | September 17, 2014.

Traveling to a distant land is an amazing experience and one you should thoroughly enjoy. Unfortunately, worrying about the financial aspects of the trip has ruined many trips to foreign destinations. Before leaving for your trip, it is important to work out how to handle your financial needs while traveling and make sure that you have a backup plan to fall back on in the event of an unexpected financial issue. Here are some great financial tips to follow if you are planning on traveling abroad.

Schedule Online Bill Payments Before You Leave

While you are traveling through a foreign location, the last thing you want to be thinking about is paying bills at home. To ensure that you do not fall behind on any of your payments while you are gone, use your bank’s online bill payment system to schedule the payment of your bills while you are away. Being proactive and scheduling the bill payments ahead of time ensures that you will not be coming home to shut off utilities and overdue payment notices.

Open A Bank Account For Long Trips

Global Wealth Management Tips For Multinational Families

Posted by Clever Dude | September 17, 2014.

Over the past decade, the rise of the multinational corporation has led to an increasing number of wealthy professionals and their families living or maintaining homes in multiple countries. These families need to be able to manage and access their wealth from wherever they are in the world with ease. Unfortunately, accessing wealth across national lines can make the money subject to a wide range of complex tax rules and regulations that could cost or save the families a great deal of money. Here are some wealth management tips that can help you navigate the U.S. tax laws that makes planning and transfer decisions on wealth so challenging.

Seek The Assistance Of A Professional

Because global wealth management can be excessively complicated, it may be in your best interest to hire a professional experienced in such international matters to help you. One of the best places to find out more about global wealth management is from a professional wealth adviser from a multinational banking institution. While your current banking institution may have a global wealth management division that is highly regarded, their advisors may not be the best advisor for your needs. Research the advisor’s fee structure and references before deciding to trust them to help you make the best decisions on how to grow your wealth.

Carefully Evaluate Wealth Transfer Options

Are You Protected Against A Lost or Stolen Cell Phone?

Posted by Brock | September 15, 2014.


Image courtesy of stockimages at

I thought I was going to have to drop some serious money last Friday, as I spent most of the morning frantically searching for my lost cell phone. It was frustrating because I know I took it with me to work, and before I noticed I didn’t have it, I visited my office and two other places all physically within 30 feet of each other.

I ripped my office apart, searched the meeting room, and visited my coworker’s office countless times hoping that eventually something would trigger my memory and lead me to a device that had access to my social media accounts, email, and hundreds of pictures. My phone was on silent so calling it to try to locate it by the ringer sound wouldn’t work.

My iPhone using friends added to my frustration by mentioning that iOS has a feature that would locate the phone, and cause the ringer to sound even if the phone was on silent. I searched the internet and found a handful of apps that could be installed on Android phones to accomplish the same thing, but I would have to install one of them proactively.

I thought I was completely out of luck. I searched my wireless provider’s website and found it would cost me over $300 to replace my Galaxy S4. I started thinking about my options including searching for a used phone.