Happy Labor Day

7 Lessons I’ve Learned This Summer At Six Flags


It’s been 3 months since we bought our season passes and we’ve been to the park 5 times so far either as a complete family or just me and my oldest.  The plan is to go 3 more times before the season is over but anything can change, especially weather which can wash you out at any time!

Even though I’m a theme park veteran (see my first post on this) I’ve still learned some tough lessons this time around.  My pain is your gain so I hope you take notes!


1. Pimp Your Map

As I entered the water park for the first time I realized that I didn’t need the whole map but I also had no clue where I was going.  I had brought a Ziploc One-Zip freezer bag to protect my phone so I opened the map, ripped out the waterpark sections and voila… waterproof map!


I stuck this sucker in my swimsuit pocket and it never got lost despite multiple dunks in pools and water slides.  As you can see, just a tiny bit of water got in at one point but it really didn’t ruin it!  I did this on two more occasions and neither time any water got in at all!

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3 Reasons You Need An Independent Mechanic You Can Trust

mechanicHave you ever gotten this phone call?  “Honey… the car is making this noise…”  Uh oh!  We need the car!  The kids have to get to their game, I have to get to work, and we already have tickets to that concert next week!  What do most people do in a moment like this?  They take it to the fastest and easiest place that can fix it and often without a second thought.  In this brief post, I want to share with you 3 reasons why you should a trusted independent mechanic in your pocket you can turn to in a moment’s notice.  In each of these reasons I’ll be referencing a true story of a repair we needed done.

Reason #1: The Upsell

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The Definitive Guide To Cutting Cable and Saving BIG!

cuthecordUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you can tell that something is brewing.  The market is clearly changing.  The public has spoken and the market is responding.  Now, besides the usual “Big 3” of Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime Instant Video some heavy hitters and unique services have cropped up for the more discerning TV viewer.

In what may very well become a knockout punch to the established cable model, the #1 pay channel in the country launched HBO Now in April 2015 where anyone can subscribe with the proper device and $15 of their hard-earned dollars a month.  This service comes in addition to already existing a la carte services offered by network heavy hitters like CBS, and Showtime soon followed with their own stand alone service.

Bringing to the table some cable alternatives not limited to single networks are Sling TV and Playstation Vue.  Both offer a set core of channels for a fixed price with the ability to tier up and add a smaller set of channels onto the core for a smaller price… kind of like… cable.  Whether these will be viable options remains to be seen, but at the time of this writing (August 2015) I would not recommend either.  They are still very limited.

Today, I want to give you 8 key areas to understand in order to cut cable and maximize your savings before the market swings to the new normal and prices rise again.  Carpe Diem!

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Top 5 Illusions of Bankruptcy

In 2014 almost 1 million Americans filed for bankruptcy.  A large amount of them are likely to file again in the next 8-10 years.  Bankruptcy is a common topic I hear about from clients.  There is a lot of misconception about bankruptcy, what it provides, and if it’s a viable option or not.  Let’s clear up some of the confusion.


1. “I’ll be homeless if I file bankruptcy.”

Things may seem dire, but I promise you can rise above this!  If you do file it’s not the end of the world.  You will not wake up the next day on the street.  Also, if you have filed bankruptcy there is hope.  You can grow from that experience if you apply yourself and become intentional so you don’t fall back into old behaviors.

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5 Tips To Maximize Your Theme Park Visit (Even With A 5 Year Old)


A little over a month ago I told you how I saved serious cash on Six Flags passes for my family.  Now the rubber meets the road and here’s what I observed from taking my 5 year old daughter on her first trip ever to a theme park!  Spoiler: You can do it without going crazy!  Here’s how!


1. Go With A Plan… and Snacks!

Before leaving for the park take 30 minutes or less the night before and identify what are your must-dos!  For me, this also involved identifying what rides my daughter could and couldn’t ride due to height restrictions.  Next mark in your phone what rides are of interest, and then when you arrive at the park get a physical map and circle the numbers of those rides.  This will help you not have to bounce all over the place trying to remember or find them.  You could use your phone for all of that if you like, but I find it’s a lot easier to get the folded map from your pocket versus your phone which may have needed to be secured or stored due to the nature of the ride you were just on.

Make sure to bring some sort of snacks with you to defray the cost of food, which is INSANE.  $14 for a tray of Asian food.  No exaggeration… and no drink either.  I brought my Camelbak to refill in the park and share with my daughter, and then went truly dad style with my oh so sexy black hip pack (it’s not a fanny pack really!).  In the hip pack I put a few things: Larabars, Clif bars, Luna bars, and then on top a couple grocery store plastic bags and a ziploc freezer bag.  The latter I used to secure my stuff in on rides like the rapids or such so they wouldn’t get wet.  I also had my ID and debit card in the front zipper pocket.  This plan allowed me to be hands-free except the water bottle which is extremely helpful.  There’s nothing worse than carrying stuff around a theme park.


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5 Short Films That Will Transform Your Outlook on Money

I have a confession to make.  I’m a movie buff.  Among my hobbies lie lots of music and film consumption. Now, I’m not a critic like the late Roger Ebert, but I do appreciate a good flick.  That said, I’ve come across some pretty compelling stuff and so this week I want to challenge you to reclaim some of your downtime and use it to broaden your horizons.
The following list is 5 key documentaries that are engaging, entertaining, stirring, and inspiring. You’ll sit slack-jawed, shout “WHAT?!?!” at the TV screen, and be moved to tell people you know what you’ve learned.  Join me as I jump in to a brief summary of each and… there may be a little surprise at the end!  As we begin this countdown, I want to make one thing clear.  Some of the topics discussed in these documentaries touch on some political issues.  Have an open mind and take the facts for what they are.  You may learn something.  Ok, here we go!
P.S. All availability listed below is as of the time of the writing of this article.

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Freedom Is Sexy, So Get Your Debt Free On

In our culture today there is a common belief that has overtaken society in the span of 60 years or less.  You need debt to get by.  It’s impossible to stay completely out of debt long term.  But is this really true?  Let’s take an honest look at the issue because I believe debt free is the new sexy.


A Lesson From History

Do you know how the credit card came to life?  Watch this clip from the History Channel.


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4 Steps to Save Big Bucks on Your App Purchases


As of October 2014, 64% of all Americans now own a smartphone and that number is only rising.  With smartphone and tablet ownership comes the responsibility of knowing how to use them and the most dangerous aspect is how much money you can burn with irregular app purchase that beckon you to spend money with a simple tap.  Today, I’m going to show you how to be prepared and equipped to control that spending and optimize your app dollars.

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Is Your Credit Score Deceiving You?


There may not be any question or statement I get more than “How do I build my credit score?” or “I did this to help build my score.”  It’s a HUGE issue in our culture and the hot topic everyone is talking about.  But how do you tackle this elusive beast?  In this post, I’ll share what the credit score is, how it’s calculated, what score you should be aiming for, and how to get there.  Buckle up your seat belts, Dorothy, because we aren’t in Kansas anymore…

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