Thursday, May 28, 2009

mint.com

Some friends of ours recently told us about this website and I wanted to share - because it's pretty cool. Cole and I had been using Microsoft Money (which we didn't like very well) and then switched Microsoft Excel to track each expense and keep an eye on our budget, but Excel can be so time consuming... After checking it out, we gave mint.com a try, and you should, too! It's FREE. Who doesn't like free?! And it imports all of your financial info into one place... Checking, savings, credit card, auto loan, student loan, mortgage, 401(k), 403(b), Roth IRA, etc. It's an excellent tool for having an overall picture of your net worth and allowing you to clearly focus on eliminating debt or increasing investments...



You don't have to share your SSN or other private information; they'll even alert you of suspicious transactions on your credit card, alert you when you're nearing your budgeted spending in a specific category. There are over one million users, and the site has received multiple awards... I could go on, but you'll have to see for yourself!

So.. why is it free? Because mint.com takes a snapshot of your finances and recommends {enter: advertisements} the 'best' products for you. For example, your current savings account may only earn .03% APY and mint.com might recommend an interest-bearing savings that can earn you 3% APY. Of course, to view these offers, you have to click on them - you can always ignore them if you're happy with whatever system you have going. :)

Hopefully you'll find mint.com to be as handy as we have!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Curb Appeal.

After three years of being homeowners, we have finally finished landscaping our front yard! I sure feel like a 'real' grown-up to be planting bushes and flowers that I actually know the names of. :) It just killed Cole to cover up the "best grass" in our yard, but it was worth it! We originally planned to use steel edging because we just love the way it looks... Have you ever priced steel edging??? Yikes! Instead we opted for a heavy-duty plastic edging. It's actually made for containing stone patios, so you can bend it into practically any shape you choose. It was so convenient and much more affordable than the steel, too. Here are some pictures of our handiwork:




Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Painted Turtle.

Working at a camp certainly has its perks. Check out this lil' guy found roaming around outside our office yesterday! He's about the size of a quarter...


Friday, May 1, 2009

Yabba-Dabba-Doo!!!

It was so much fun watching all of the creative "entrances" to Winfield High School's prom this year... Some of my personal favorites were the girl riding on a donkey (dressed to look like a unicorn), a couple strapped into one of those giant rolling blow-up balls and of course, the Flintstone-Mobile. :) For me, watching this prom tradition brought back so many fond memories of good ol' WHS.

video





We're baaack.

Whew! Vacations are fun, but can be exhausting, too. We got home from our Texas trip late Sunday evening - only to drive from Kansas City to Manhattan in a torrential downpour.

Our vacation went too quickly! We started out in San Antonio and finished in Austin. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that we just happened to arrive in San Antonio smack dab in the middle of San Antonio's Fiesta, an annual 11-day party featuring mariachi bands, parades, lots of delicious Tex-Mex and margaritas! Here are photos... many photos. Enjoy!

- San Antonio -





Of course, the real reason for our trip was for Mark and Becky's wedding! What a great time... After looking back at all of our pictures, I'm reminded of what an awesome group of friends we have. Sadly, it seems like weddings and K-State football games are our only excuses to see each other. Soon, we'll all be married.. Then we'll have to start making other excuses to get together. I'm sure we'll be able to come up with something! :)

- Austin -