How to Host a Killer Holiday Party Without Going Broke

How to Host a Killer Holiday Party Without Going Broke #Holidayparty #budget #fun #family #thrifty

Hosting the annual holiday party is serious business. And with so many factors at play, it’s not difficult to send your friends and family away thinking, “Well, we’re not doing that again next year…” So here we’re going to cover the ins and outs of how to host a killer holiday party – without going broke!   (Photo courtsey of Randy Monfredi)   But first, a MikedUp Blog original:     As I unlaced my shoes and took a long deep breath, I quickly reviewed our entire battle plan in my head. Where were we exposed, did I plan for all potential contingencies, and what could come up during the conflict that I hadn’t previously expected? So many questions running through my mind and only a single white door separated the present from the future…   On one side of this door stood me – inside of my garage (…that probably […]

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Help!! I’m Proposing and Need Some Financial Advice!!

Help!! I'm Proposing and Need Some Financial Advice!! #creditcards #proposing #highyield #savings #personalfinance

Hi, Team! From time-to-time, I’ll do a mailbag post where I’m literally answering questions from readers just like you! So if you’ve got a burning question or would like a second set of eyes on a financial, business, or fitness situation, please feel free to reach out on Twitter or via email and my answer to your question may be featured in a post!   (Photo courtesy of Justin Montemarano)   Today, I’m responding to Jake, who asked a few things about credit cards and online savings accounts (my comments are in bold italics here):   1- What’s the best way for me to pay for a wedding ring that I don’t currently have the cash for but will in the next 12-15 months (he’s proposing in the next 2 months), and what are some things I need to be thinking about? Is going with a 0% APR for a year […]

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How to Start Going Green – 13 Easy and Effective Ways!

How to Start Going Green - 13 Easy and Effective Ways! #environment #gogreen #sustainable #environmentallyfriendly

  Have you ever had a desire to start ‘going green’ (you know, using more environmentally friendly products and practices) but you just don’t know where to begin? Well, that was us just a couple months ago… And until I started asking my friends for some advice, I had no idea what to do, where to look, much less how to get started.   That is until I asked one of my ‘greener’ coworkers to help me with an intro guide on how to get started. Little did she know, I’d ask her to write a guest post for the blog as well… ????And it doesn’t hurt that she’s also an accomplished writer! So let me get out of the way and let Sarah hook you up with the roadmap on how to start going green. Take it away, Sarah!     Hi, all! I am a coworker of Mike’s and […]

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You Want to Be a Millionaire – Start Not Acting Like it

You want to be a millionaire - start NOT acting like it

Have you ever had the experience when something hilarious happens to you at some point throughout the day… And you just can’t wait to get back to your wife and tell her all about it?   Personally, there’s the combination of fear that I’ll forget the most important details and just lack of patience that both provide me with a sense of urgency.   Combine that with the fact that these Grade A+ stories just don’t land well over the phone – so you know that waiting is what’ll provide the best result.   Well, a Saturday morning exactly one year ago provided me with one of these exact moments.   All courtesy of my neighbor. You know… the one that wants to make sure you think he’s a millionaire…? Oh, you know him, too? Cool.     His subterranean sprinkler system popped up from beneath the grass when he […]

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How to Take a Family Vacation on a Budget

How to Take a Family Vacation on a Budget #budget #vacation #expenses #value #compromise

Vacations can be so important to the development and cohesion of a family. We try to vacation at least annually, and every time we’re on that trip back home, we find ourselves reflecting on all the memories made and lessons learned. But those trips don’t pay for themselves… So that’s when thinking about how to plan a family vacation on a budget comes into play. Today I’m thrilled to bring you a post from Mr. Thrifty – an amateur arm wrestler (more on this below), a lover of Merle Haggard, a family man, and a connoisseur of all things thrifty in nature. Take it away, Mr. Thrifty! Mr. Thrifty publishes Thrifty Enough at Thrifty Enough provides an uncommonly common sense approach to thrifty living, including some of the thriftiest original and curated personal finance content out there. You can also find him on Twitter at @thriftyenough. Mr. Thrifty lives […]

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5 Simple Steps to Boost Your Credit Score Up To ‘Excellent’

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If you plan to take out a loan, buy some type of insurance, negotiate a reasonable utility bill, or even get a job in the next few years – your credit score better be in good shape. It’s one thing to just make your payments on time, but it’s a totally different thing to strategically boost your credit score, brick by brick. Number by number. This post will give you the roadmap. I’ll let you know what actually determines your credit score, then I’ll show you how to boost your credit.   (Photo by Kevin Newton)   First things first, let’s find out what factors actually determine your credit score   1- Payment History   Payment history is said to represent 35% (most important of the factors) of your overall credit score and it is based on how consistent you are at paying your bills. What kind of bills?   […]

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Shout-out: The Costs of Having a New Baby


Hello all!   Our Saturday morning shout-outs highlight a post/article/book/other that I’ve come across lately that deserves exactly that: a ‘shout-out.’ The goal here is to hopefully introduce my readers to other authors or bloggers that have had an impact on me, my writing, and my life.   This week’s shout-out is: The Costs of Having a New Baby (Jamie from Mr. Jamie Griffin)   Click here to check out the post!   As the father of a 3-year-old with the potential for more kiddos down the way, this post was a great refresher and brought back one of my most terrifying moments in life. My wife and I planned extensively for our hospital costs associated with the delivery of our first child. We knew when mom’s out of pocket max would be met and what would be required over that “maximum.” The first day we got a bill for our […]

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How I Increase Productivity and Get 25 Hours Out Of a Day

How To Increase Productivity By Getting 25 Hours Out of a Day #productivity #efficiency #goals #tasks #progress #personaldevelopment

To successfully increase productivity for an extended period of time, it is essential to have a well thought out plan in place. Sure, you may get lucky and be ultra-productive for a few weeks or months, but eventually, the absence of a solid plan will lead to increased stress and burnout. Trust me… I’ve been there.   But once I had a handle on my stress and anxiety, I turned my focus to a full proof plan that would allow me to increase productivity while still enjoying the finer things in life…   This is that plan:   (Photo courtesy of Justin Montemarano)     “Dude, how in the world do you find time to do all of that?!? It’s like you get 25 hours in a day…”   This was a friend’s response after hearing about my revolving priority list (below). It wasn’t a beat-my-chest brag sesh’.     […]

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How to Prepare a Successful Student – (It’s Not With Supplies)

How To Prepare A Successful Student (And It's Not with Supplies) #attachment #success #academics #parenting #personaldevelopment

Hi, Team! This is a special occasion for me today. I’m bringing you a guest post from a close friend, published author, English teacher, and candidate for Virginia Senate – He’s my brother-in-law (@ronnierossva)! Ronnie has been an educator for nearly a decade and he knows how to prepare a successful student. Whether you’re returning to your school for a new year or starting a different journey at a new school, Ronnie has you covered below! Hint – it has little to do with “Back to School Supplies”. Take it away, Ronnie:   (Photo by Al Emmert)     Ronnie Ross is a new father who, along with his wife and son, lives in the Piedmont area of Virginia.  A teacher and school administrator, he spends his days helping young folks read, write, and think “better.”  Recently, inspired by the birth of his son, he announced his candidacy for the Virginia […]

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9 Lessons You Need to Teach Your Teenager About Investing

9 Lessons to Teach Your Teenager About Investing #stocks #bonds #passiveincome #kidsinvesting #personalfinance

Hi, Team! Today I have a treat for all of us parents! Sure, you may have covered budgeting or income protection when talking with your kids… But how does your at home “Investing for Kids” curriculum look these days?   If you’ve been wanting some guidance to help educate your teenager about different investing options – look no further. This post is perfect for all of us parents who know we need to have this conversation with our kids – but just don’t have the expertise. And here’s our high-powered backup:   Chelsea Brennan is the founder of Mama Fish Saves, a personal finance blog that focuses on family finance, investing, and reducing money stress. Chelsea is an ex-hedge fund investor whose work has appeared in a wide array of publications, including Forbes, Business Insider, Haven Life, and more.   I’m thrilled that Chelsea agreed to stop by and share some […]

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