Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mrs. Froh Interviews Yours Truly - Logan Wallace

Yeah, not true. I was not sober. (Las Vegas, NV)
About a month or so ago, I was contacted by a Mrs. Froh, and she asked if she could do an email interview with me. I'll admit, I was a little hesitant. Mrs. Froh sounds a lot like one of those names on an email that begins with, "Dear Sir or Madam..," and ends with that someone asking for your bank account info.

Mrs. Froh is the writer of a blog called Life As Bryan's Wife. I checked out her site and immediately thought, oh great, a blog about God, religion and all the beautiful things. Was this interview going to be about my relationship with or without the Christ almighty?

Almost unwillingly, I accepted the interview, and a couple weeks later she sent me a list of questions to answer. Upon opening and reading the questions,  I was pleasantly surprised! It was as if I was on an episode of Inside The Actors Studio being interviewed by James Lipton!! The questions were extremely intuitive and thoughtful. I enjoyed every minute of answering the questions. The interview made me think about my life as it was, as it is and as it will be. Read the full interview, she's a very God, I mean good writer ;). The Froh, is still a mystery to me, and I like it that way. Read the bio here.

See what alcohol and Craps in Vegas does to you? Just Say No.

Coming up on The Wonderful Whoopsie Blog:
  • Office to Nursery - The Photographic Transformation and How To Steps
  • Belly Photo Update And The Baby Boy's Name Is...
  • Cramming 2 Years into 5 Months - Remodeling on A Short Schedule and Tight Wallet
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Read on to see the interview in it's original form...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How The Hell Can I Afford College for My Kids?!

How important to you, is organized tuition-based education for your child? Personally, I'm on the fence. Part of me feels that college is an overpriced social experience that leads you in too many directions and can be self taught through discipline, reading and hard work (I lack the first, to which the second then goes without saying). The other half of me, knows that the social experiences and well-rounded education helps (most) young adults grow and mature into socially and financially responsible adults. We can go into the secondary education options pros/cons in a later post. For now, let's discuss the daunting (and outrageous) financial responsibility of saving for your child/children's education. Read on...

Oh yeah, there's also this reason to go to college (Arizona).

Of course, there is the money in an envelope tucked away under a floor board option, but if God forbid your house burn down, you would be S.O.L. Also, savings accounts are a conservative approach, with little or no reward for allowing someone else (the bank) to use your money for profit. Among all of the investment types out there, the two major educational savings plans, are the ESA and 529. Ever heard of of these? First, educate yourself on these two savings plans on Wikipedia. Here are the links: 529 Plan & ESA.

Now that you're in the know, what are the major differences? According to Erik Folgate of MoneyCrashers.com, they are as follows:

Educational Savings Plan
  • The invested funds grow tax-free. You are not required to pay taxes on the interest earned.
  • It has a broad definition for “qualified expenses”. Along with tuition, room, and board, it covers items like books, computers, and internet access.
  • the funds can be used starting when the child is in Kindergarten. This is great for someone looking to use the funds to cover private elementary and secondary schooling.
  • Contributions are used with after-tax dollars, but the distributions are tax-free as long as it is used for qualified educational expenses.
  • You must make less than $220,000 a year per married coupleo to be able to contribute to an ESA
  • An ESA only allows you to contribute up to $2,000 per year
  • Contributions are not tax-deductible
  • Beneficiary must be under the age of 30
  • In some states, the assets of the ESA become the property of the beneficiary
  • 529 Plan
  • The limit for contributions is much higher and allows you to save more aggressively
  • No age limit for the beneficiary
  • Control of the account always stays with the contributor
  • Some states allow 529 plan contributions to be deducted on state taxes
  • Anyone with any salary can open and contribute to a 529 plan
  • Cons:
  • Qualified expenses are limited to tuition, room, board, and books
  • The distributions can only be used for post-secondary schooling
  • You are locked into the investments chosen by the plan administrator

Now, which one is better for you? That depends on your financial, lifestyle and education plans for yourself and your child. Erik explains further:

Who should open an ESA?
If you are thinking about sending your child to private school and you want more flexibility with how the funds are invested, I think the ESA is your best option. As long as you meet the income requirements, this would be the way to go. Plus, you can use the money to expensive items such as books, computers, graphing calculators, and other expensive items that college requires.

Who should open a 529 plan?
If you are starting out saving for your child’s college expenses later on in their life, then you should definitely open a 529 plan. You’ll be able to aggressively invest and catch up for the years you missed. Plus, if you live in a state where the contributions are tax deductible for your state taxes, you should look into a 529 plan over an ESA.

But Xavier does have an awesome logo
Is anyone else bored yet? Becoming an adult, sure has it's downfalls, huh? The University that I went to, Xavier University, has a tuition, room & board (plus meal plan) that will be over $40,000 per year!!! WTF?! Start saving now, do your research, then talk to your financial advisor for, well, advice! My belief is to educate yourself first, seek advice, then go with your gut feeling.

How have you decided to save for your child's education? Maybe you're not going to pay for it. Why or why not? Tell me! Tell us!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Raising Confident, Healthy Kids - Exploring Fitness Activity Options

Jungle gyms always gave me gas.
Let's be honest, nobody wants to raise an overweight child. All my life I've tried to live a relatively healthy lifestyle. My parents always gave me the opportunity to play multiple sports growing up. There was soccer, baseball, basketball, golf and football (a brief stint as kicker for my high school football team:), not to mention all of the daily activities in and around my neighborhood. It seems like I was always on the go. As an incredibly fortunate kid growing up in a neighborhood with a lot of kids my age (and a brother), there was always a pickup game to play, forts to build, hikes through the woods and of course my BMX bike got it's hefty share of use riding around causing trouble with the other neighborhood kids. Continue reading...

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