Wishing You a Merry Debt Free Christmas!

Debt Free Christmas

My fellow blogging friends have been hard working like little elves cranking out helpful advice this Christmas season. I’ve collected a few of the best articles I’ve found ranging from gifts ideas to Christmas financial advice.

I hope you find these articles helpful and enjoy the rest of the holiday season. Merry Christmas!


Credit Jonathan_W

Christmas Gifts Ideas


Credit Jonathan_W

The Meaning of Christmas

Christmas Financial Advice (2012)

Share the moments. Credit

Share the moments. Credit Kalexanderson

General Christmas Advice

Did you read or write an awesome Christmas related article I missed? I must not be in your Google+ Circle or follow your blog yet. Let’s be friends, so I can include you in my next roundup. Merry Christmas!

Route 66 Map

Cool sign on Route 66 on our recent move.
Rights Reserved

This past few weeks has been a whirlwind of say goodbyes, packing, driving 1,400 miles twice, moving, and fixing up our new living space.

I was rudely reminded on our trip of the power banks have over me and the need to inform banks when I leave the state and make unusual purchases–like $200 of diesel fuel in Arizona.

Moving Tip I Forgot: Inform Your Bank of Traveling

I recently wrote an article on moving tips, but learned a new moving tip on our recent trek.

After driving our 22 foot long Penske’s 50 gallon tank to empty in the middle of Arizona, it was time to fill up. I learned that you have to prepay for diesel fuel for large purchases. Afterwards, any unused funds are returned back to your debit or credit card.

I prepaid $200 and was instantly rejected and informed by the cashier to call my bank. I was shocked as this was the first time I’ve ever had any trouble with my account.

I called the number on the back of my ING Direct card promptly and started to jump through the security hoops in place to insure it was indeed myself who was calling.

Security Hold on Debit Card

I was handed off to a general customer service rep who informed me there has been a security hold on my account, but couldn’t tell me why. Really? I informed him I was moving and traveling through several states making large diesel purchases. He entered that in the system, but still informed me there was a security hold.

I was then handed off to a security specialist. He informed me I couldn’t use my card as it was on hold, but he’d do me a favor and lift the hold for a few minutes so I could get cash. Then he’d mail me new cards. Mail cards? 

This obviously wasn’t a logical solution since we still had many many more miles to go and needed access to our money for fuel, food, and hotels.

He asked, “Don’t you have other funds available?” I’m assuming he meant a credit card, but I haven’t used credit cards in years. My wife’s debit card had been put on security hold too, but she hadn’t even used her card while traveling.

“This is unacceptable!” I began. “I have been a saver since 2007…” I became a little upset with the ridiculous solutions proposed and was passed on to a manager.

Seems someone with brain was put on the line and explained that there was no reason for a security hold and she pushed the magic buttons. We had no further problems with our debit cards.

Lesson learned: Inform banks if you’re moving and making multiple purchases in various states in a short amount of time.

I can only hope this was a standard ING Direct response and not a new security policy with Capital One taking over. [This does make me skeptical of the ING Direct to Capital One 360 makeover.]

Has your debit or credit card been placed on a security hold while traveling or moving? Share your story below in the comments. 

I’ve become addicted to American Pickers. These guys are digging through barns and finding old gems for antique collectors and museums.

The dust and rust are beautiful. The thrill of the hunt is exhilarating. Negotiating is fierce. The love of history is genuine.

What is Picking?

“Indiana Jones meets Sanford and Son.”

Advice for Life and Picking from American Pickers

This video (sorry no embed available) shows professional picker giving advice for future pickers and could also be applied to life or personal finances.

1. Love what you do. It keeps you going in tough times.

2. Be optimistic.

3. Slow your roll before you buy.

4. Have the cash.

5. Diversify what you know. Don’t get pigeon holed.

6. Never give up!

Picker Lingo Video

Honey Hole- Sweet pick.

Mega Pick- Huge find that has a large volume.

Rusty Gold- an object found in its natural state full of dirt and rust.

Windshield Time- Time spend exploring the back-roads of the USA.

Are you a picker or want to become a picker? 

Are you a disciplined robot?

Discipline is tough word. It sounds harsh and rigid. Discipline reminds us of hard work and no fun.

To bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control.

Passion on the other hand sounds much more enjoyable. Phrases like,”Follow your passion.” and “Live your passions” are inspiring.

We must have both passion and discipline for success to be realized.

Passionate Dreamer

Have you met a person who is passionate about a cause or idea? They are just beaming and glowing when they discuss that cause.

You’re sold since their passion is contagious and you want to join the passionate promoter in in…what? What do I do now?

The passionate promoter is a dreamer until they utilize discipline.

Discipline is the harness for our passion and dreams. It gives them feet.–marching orders to accomplish the good we desire to see fulfilled.

Disciplined Robot

Have you met a disciplined person who seems to charge through life and people? Lifeless.

A robot can follow orders programed into them. They execute relentlessly without thought or care for the relationships around them.

If you program your Roomba Vacuum to wake in the middle of the night, it will begin whirring and rolling around your house–despite the fact that you are asleep, it doesn’t care about your beauty sleep.

A disciplined person, void of passion is a lonely robot that destroys relationships and lives an uninspiring life.

When Discipline Marries Passion

There is a beautiful celebration that happens when passion marries discipline.

A dance begins.

Dreams move forward with a plan and action.

Execution of rituals become celebrations of a future reality.

Actions gain meaning and propel the dancer forward.

Dreams become reality. Others are inspired.

A movement is born larger and more influential than the dreamer could ever dream alone.

Discipline + Passion = A Movement

Will you allow the marriage of discipline and passion to occur in your life?

Photo Credit Fred Seibert