Monday, November 23, 2015

Financial Freedom by Greg Kesten

I have to admit that, as I read this new book by Greg Kesten called Financial Freedom, I wasn't prepared to actually learn anything NEW.  I mean, after all, the hubby and I are pretty decent with money and while we are not very good at actually following a budget, we are very, very good at creating one!  We do it nearly every January.  (And then promptly quit following it by February).  Really though, I kind of felt like we knew what we needed to know about Finances and Budgets.  I felt smug in Chapter 1 when Keston discusses the Haves vs Wants.  We discuss this concept with our kids all the time.  But- I was surprised to discover by Chapter 2 that we needed to have something called a "financial vision."  Hubba-Wha?

Kesten describes a Financial Vision Statement as "a positive, passionate description of your financial hopes, bringing them into the present." he had us there.  Our "financial vision" was usually something like "get out of debt."  Pretty vague, nondescript and certainly flat with no passion or hopes.  This the the first thing that we will want to change!  Having a goal that makes sense and is emotionally charged creates a sense of ownership that I don't think we have had before.

The author goes on to address how to do an honest assessment of your current spending habits.  This may require you to "face your fears."  I believe many people may be embarrassed to really analyze your current out-going cash-flow.  One time we sat down and looked at our receipts to really see where our money went and were mortified to realize that we spend hundreds on eating out!  (I am very much to blame since I am the one who should've been cooking!  Ugh!).

Keston discusses net worth...YOUR net worth.
This is calculated using this formula:

Total Assets - Total Liabilities =Net Worth

Finding this figure demonstrates your "financial health" and gives you a target to work toward.  Keston describes this number as "getting on the bathroom scale after the holidays."  Hahaha...  No...I'm not going to share mine.  Don't ask!  =O
To get this number into a healthier range the book offers myriad suggestions.  Not falling into the comparison trap, how to increase your cash-flow, how to recognize a spending addiction (how to get over it!), and much more.

I really enjoyed this little book!  It is smaller than an average paperback and only about 100 pages but it is bursting with great financial advice!  I personally think it would make a great stocking stuffer for anyone this Christmas or a wonderful gift for a high-school or college graduate!

You can purchase the book as either an eBook or paperback on Greg Kesten's financial website.

Also:  The Financial Freedom website is FULL of great video presentations, a bio of Greg Kesten (he was a missile launcher in the Air Force!), and his blog.

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge from Shadow Mountain in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my very own.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A month gone by.

Its crazy how fast time flies when I'm busy and not paying attention.  Halloween has come and gone with girls dressing up as Robin Hood and a Gypsy.  They got a LOT of candy at our church's Trunk-or-Treat!  

We also went to the Spooky Symphony put on by the Springfield Symphony was great!

The conductor was channeling his inner viking.  

We also took advantage of more Halloween fun and the girls participated in the Trick-or-Treat around the square...  It was really neat to meet so many of the local business owners.

Then we headed out to Texas to meet my new nephew Milo
 (and to pick up Gramma and bring her back with us!)
We stopped at the newly rebuilt McDonalds in the Sky which is always neat.

 We took turns loving and hugging on the new baby...

 While in Texas we just HAD to make a stop at the Half Price Books flagship store.

It had a Vault!

 It was so HUGE!!!!

 While Gramma was here we took the time to pay a visit to Silver Dollar City.

 And to console ourselves right after she left we decided to put up the 
Christmas tree (only a little early).  :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mark Twain's Hannibal

We enjoyed a fun field trip to Hannibal to learn more about Mark Twain!

Hey Tom!  Whitewash that fence!

Mark Twains birthplace...

I think Kayley is going to crash her steamboat into a car!

Quick!  Blow the horn!!

Can't leave Hannibal without visiting the Mark Twain Dinette and getting a world famous Maid-Rite loose meat sandwich!  Yum!

 We stumbled upon the cutest train museum too where everything was very hands-on!  The best 4$ I ever spent!

 We finished out our visit with some good old-fashioned Huckleberry Ice Cream!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Weekend in Nauvoo

We decided that we needed to take off on a fun family weekend so we headed out to Nauvoo, IL to see some church history sites and do some shopping!  We had a blast!  We stayed at the Woodruff which gave us a fantastic view of the temple and easy walking to shopping.  Here are just a few fun pictures from our busy day!

Up close and personal with a sunstone. 

 A ride behind oxen!  Very cool!

Making Rope!

Maggie teaching a Relief Society lesson upstairs in the Red Brick Store.

 A yoke is quite heavy, even with empty buckets.

Discovering the printing process in the newspaper office.

How to make bricks!

And guns!

You are never lost when you can see the temple.

Gorgeous sunset over the river.

Maggie photo bomb!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

George Washington Carver National Monument {Field Trip!}

We have been learning a bit about Jim Crow laws and what life was life for African-Americans in the early 1900s and we had a great time learning about an amazing man - George Washington Carver.  He was born really close to here in the little town of Diamond, MO.  We enjoyed paying a visit to the National Monument in his honor, seeing fascinating creatures, getting attacked by caterpillars and learning about the million different things you can do with Peanuts and Sweet Potatoes!  (Just Think -- everything from eating to shoe polish!)

No trip to a National Monument would be complete without the girls earning their Junior Ranger Badge and, as an added bonus, this was the last necessary stop to earning their Junior Civil War historian badge!   

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