Rotate Your Tires, Or Pay The Price

Posted by Brock | November 24, 2014.



Image courtesy of Keerati at

The last two weeks have brought lower than normal temperatures, and a handful of light snowfalls. I noticed our van, which we purchased in January, was sliding quite a bit when I slowed at intersections, but just figured it was normal winter driving in the Midwest. But when I was unable to make it up a hill while driving home from a movie, I wondered to myself if maybe our tires should be checked.

It suddenly occurred to me that I had completely spaced off having our tires rotated.

I’ve been fairly good at remembering to have it done in the past, but with the purchase of our new van, I’ve gotten out of my rhythm. I normally take our vehicles to a quick lube place for an oil change every 3000 miles, and every other visit I’d go to the tire place which is literally 200 feet away and have the tires rotated. But our new van only requires an oil chance every 5000 miles so my process no longer worked.

Compounding the issue is the fact that our van has been used a lot this year. In addition to our normal usage, we also drove over 2000 miles to and from Florida for a vacation in March, and another longer trip to Chicago in July.

5 Tips for Small Businesses Getting Started Online

Posted by Clever Dude | November 23, 2014.

smallbusinessGetting a small business started online is easier every day, with everything from one-click domain name registration to online storefront assistance services like Shopify available to make the process as quick and intuitive as possible.

However, this doesn’t mean that online business is easy out the gate, especially if you’re just starting up altogether. There are a few tips to follow to make the process as painless as possible beyond just setting up a website to launch on time.

 1. Make a Plan, Get Some Help

When you set out into unknown territory, you aren’t likely to get far without a map. The US Small Business Administration recommends not only starting with an official business plan—including your launch date goal, your plan for inventory maintenance, possibility for expansion and other important business matters—but also that you seek out mentorship from experienced small business advisors. Look for free training from your local business assistance center or small business coalition, take a couple of courses in business at your local community college and get yourself ready to be the professional entrepreneur you’ve always wanted to be. Use your newfound knowledge to doublecheck your business plan, then streamline it into something as close to perfect as possible.

 2. Pick the Right Name

Just as important as building a plan is naming your online vessel for surfers across the web to find. This is key to getting off the ground right. Choose something easy to remember, as short as possible, and easy to pronounce and spell. Since you’re aiming for online launch, you need the kind of address that everyone can remember. Make sure that this name is reflected in your brand and your online presence, from website to social media.

Clever Ways to Repair Your Credit After Difficult Times

Posted by Clever Dude | November 23, 2014.

creditcardswalletBy Pierre Roy, Bankruptcy Trustee

The harm was done. Him who will remain anonymous had filed for bankruptcy with us about 3 months ago. He was calling us for help and guidance on how to rebuild his credit score after an R9 note had been dropped on his credit report.

There is no doubt about it – bankruptcy gives a fresh start. It is a chance to start over without the burden of past debt and build a better future for yourself. A future where you won’t make the same mistakes and fall in the same patterns. However, your credit score will follow you for a while in this new life. It is you responsibility to prove to your creditors that you have learned and you will better manage your credit.

Coming back to our client… He was not alone. Thousands of people – some who have filed for bankruptcy and some who haven’t – face a bad credit score every day. These people are usually in the process of getting a loan for a car or a mortgage for a house but are repeatedly denied by banks and private lenders.

If you have been through a job loss, a nasty divorce, an illness or any other cause of financial distress and your credit has suffered, don’t over worry. Bad credit will follow you for some time but it is possible to repair it.

Clever Posts Of The Week – November 21st

Posted by Brock | November 21, 2014.

I’ve got a busy, and potentially expensive weekend ahead of me.  Tonight we’re going to a friend’s 40th birthday party.  It’s in a nearby town, so I won’t be partaking in any adult beverages so we can come home and save on a hotel room.  But, we have to fill the tank, get a gift and eat dinner somewhere along the way.  Saturday evening my wife has a charity event to go to.  She already has the ticket and outfit purchased, but she’s got an appointment at the salon for hair and nails.  This event is also out of town, so more gas into the van.  I think we’ve got our budget buttoned up, but we have to make sure we stay focused to stay within the amount we allocated for these two events.

I better read through my favorite posts of the week one more time just to make sure I’m in the right frame of mine…..what do you have rollin’ this weekend?

  1. What is the best gift you ever gave or received? from Savvy Scot
  2. 3 Things Parents Should Stop Teaching Their Children About Finances from Suburban Finance
  3. Great Trash Finds: The Thanksgiving Edition from FrugalWoods
  4. 5 Quick Ways To Decrease Your Spending Right Now from GenY Finances
  5. Celebrate Thanksgiving On A Budget from Money Smart Guides

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

Quick, Easy, and Accurate: Tax Tips for Last-Minute Larry

Posted by James | November 20, 2014.

Tax season is months away, yet, for some, it doesn’t matter how long they have to prepare; they wait until the last minute.  Each year, you wait until the remaining days, scramble to get taxes done, and feel nervous.  However, automated and digital methods of tax preparation and filing makes tax season much simpler and free of anxiety.

Add a little bit of order and dispel all feelings of anxiety in time to do your taxes the right way.  Even last-minute filers can do it quick and easy.

Review Last Year

First, gather your returns from last year.  Use last year’s to refresh your memory regarding sections, and avoid prior errors related to withholding information, carrying over last year’s return, etc.

Get Orderly

A shoebox or a drawer full of disheveled papers is a terrible place to keep tax-related materials.  Get orderly, maintaining a file drawer or office area of the home.  Most anxiety related to taxes stems from the meticulous nature of preparation.  Yet, if you maintain order and keep all related materials in the same place, preparing for tax season won’t take so long and or such tension.

All the Income

You need to report all of your income or face the potential of attracting a hefty fine.  You’ll need a copy of W-2 statements from employers, wage and tax statements, 1099 forms, etc.  Get in the habit of storing hard copies of receipts, canceled checks, income statements, tax credits, business costs, etc.

Contemplating the Intricacies of Open Bar Etiquette

Posted by Brock | November 19, 2014.


Image courtesy of iosphere at

While waiting for my wife to put the finishing touches on her makeup, I checked my wallet to make sure I had an ample supply of singles. We were headed to a wedding and I wanted to make sure I had one dollar bills to tip the bartender. As the minutes ticked by I occupied my time by contemplating the intricacies of wedding bartender tipping.

Do I need to tip?

The wedding was for a daughter of a coworker. He had told me about a discussion he had with the groom’s parents, and how he had emphatically stated that at his family’s weddings there is always an open bar. He didn’t mind paying for it, but there would be an open bar.  If the drinks are meant to be complementary, is there still an expectation of a tip? Or would my coworker also tip the bartenders when he pays the bar tab? I couldn’t remember what I had done when I got married so I quickly decided I should definitely tip. After all, if the drink is free, tipping a buck per drink isn’t a big deal. Plus I have no idea how the bartender is paid.

When’s the best time to lay down the tip?