SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Jim Collins on Tuesday LIVE Show!!!

Jim Collins is being our guest this Tuesday, January 27th at 8:30PM EST on our LIVE show. We are going to talk about whether you should rent or buy your home. Don’t miss it!

Be sure to check out Jim’s blog:

http://jlcollinsnh.com/

And also his blog post about the rent vs. buy debate:

http://jlcollinsnh.com/2013/05/29/why-your-house-is-a-terrible-investment/

See you Tuesday!

DIY Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener Build | PART 3

It’s ALIVE!!! I finally got my DIY automatic chicken coop door working, and temporarily installed. I used a power antenna motor to drive the door on cabinet drawer slides. The whole unit is solar powered by a 12 volt battery.

I used a DC timer and DPDT relay to trigger the opening and closing of the door. In the video, I put all of the components in a nice plastic enclosure that hides most of the wires.

It worked perfectly, closing at sunset and opening at sunrise!

Here’s a link to the wiring diagram: http://goo.gl/hGL0GZ

Part 1 – http://goo.gl/b9Xscb
Part 2 – http://goo.gl/spz6CQ

Ultimate Home Seltzer Water Machine | SodaStream KILLER!

When we stopped drinking soda 5 years ago, we wanted to make seltzer water at home. This was before the SodaStream was popular, so I made my own carbonated water maker that connected a co2 tank to a 2 liter bottle.

When we moved back to florida, we never bought another co2 tank, but we dreamed about having club soda on tap. Today we made that dream a reality. We bought a used soda fountain carbonator and installed it under our sink. Now we have unlimited seltzer water whenever we want!

DIY Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener Build | PART 2

Part 2 in my experiment building a fully automatic chicken coop door. Although it seems like nothing got accomplished, figuring out the DPDT relay was a big step forward. Now all I need is a working light sensor or timer.

I should have everything working properly and installed next week. If you have any ideas as to why it kept opening and closing intermittently, please let me know in the comments.

Watch part 1 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6OhY3Bnh7c

What Do You Mean Retire Comfortably?

When people ask “how much I need to retire comfortably”, most of the time they imagine traveling the world, staying in fancy hotels and golfing at the most luxurious resorts.

The question we’re asking is, are you willing to trade your freedom for that level of comfort?

Rather than save 1-5 million dollars for a “comfortable retirement” we are shooting for financial freedom. From there we can decide what truly makes us happy instead of trading the next 50 years for a a little luxury.

Lessons Learned from the Great Depression w/ Grandma Billie!

UPDATES:

1. Grandma wanted to add that people without jobs during the Great Depression (like her dad) had a tough time receiving handouts. They felt that since they didn’t earn them through work, they didn’t deserve it.

She then explained it was recommended that she go on welfare when she was raising the kids alone, but she wanted to go back to work instead.

2. She wanted to stress how a strong work ethic is important for your well being, health, and self worth.

3. Try to be independent and not rely on others to do what you can do for yourself.

4. Most importantly she relied on her faith heavily to help her through good and bad times.

5. Someone asked how smoking had effected her health. She said that she smoked about a pack per week, because that’s all she could afford. What I didn’t know is that she quit because my dad asked her to stop when he was young. She said she would quit if he would never start. They both kept their promise.

As for long term effects, five years ago she was told she has the beginning stages of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), presumably from smoking. She didn’t mention if this has affected her quality of life.

Mike’s 87 year old grandma is on the show tonight to talk about life during and after the Great Depression. Topics include quality of life, frugal habits, and tips for longevity.

Be sure to tune in LIVE January 13th at 8:30PM EST.

Who Manages Your Finances?

Mike is still feeling under the weather today, so it’s my first solo video!

I wanted to talk about, well, that I don’t really know what I’m talking about.

Mike has always been financially minded… me, not so much. I’ve always trusted Mike completely, and that led me to not always ask about what was going on with our money.

When we started making our YouTube channel about finance, I was a little nervous since I didn’t know what I would be talking about. So I started researching and reading and asking Mike the questions I might have been too embarrassed to ask before.

This brought up the question of whether it’s OK for one spouse to be in control of the finances?

For us, Mike enjoys all the personal finance stuff, so why not let him take care of it?

I think it’s OK for one spouse to be in control, but it’s important for the other person to still know what’s going on. (We talked about this in our Joint vs. Separate Bank Accounts video)

I came up with a few questions to ask to get started:

How much money do we save a month?
Are we in debt?
Do we have an emergency fund?
Where are our bank accounts?

In the video I answer those questions, and throw in a few more in depth questions. Asking these helped me to know exactly how much we save and why.