7 Money Stumbles

Money TreeMy husband, Wayne, and I coordinate Financial Peace University (FPU) classes at our church. We completed our FPU class eight years ago, and to date we have coordinated eleven classes. By following Dave’s plan and leading these classes we have gained the knowledge and wisdom necessary to achieve financial freedom. Today we are debt free, including our home.

If you would like more information about Financial Peace University and classes offered near you, visit www.daveramsey.com and click on classes.

I came across an article in the February edition of Consumer Reports that gave me an idea for topics for Granny in the Green. Their writer, Karen Mendelsohn, writes about 7 Money Stumbles to Avoid – Here’s How to Steer Clear or change course.

These are topics particularly pertinent to those of us over sixty. Nobody is perfect. Everyone makes money mistakes, and some might be unavoidable when people are in financial distress. However, missteps or miscalculations can cost you a lot over the long term or inadvertently hurt your family when you are gone.

When Consumer Reports recently conducted a nationally representative survey about Americas’ money habits, they found several common and insidious blunders that could cause significant financial, and sometimes emotional, pain.

Here’s where they found American’s are tripping up:

  1. Not updating wills and beneficiaries.
  2. Not sharing information with family.
  3. Messing up on 401(k)s.
  4. Under-insuring.
  5. Not planning  for emergencies.
  6. Not checking credit reports.
  7. Mismanaging debt.

Every other Friday, over the next fourteen weeks, I will address each one of these problems individually.

If you have any comments or life experiences related to one of these issues, I would love to hear from you. Email me at linda@lindaabels.com.  I may use some of your stories in my blog. If you prefer I not use your name, just tell me.

Hamburger Pie

Many years ago, my mother-in-law shared this little secret with me of how to use leftovers to create a yummy meal I could feed my husband and get my kids to eat. You can use leftover veggies like potatoes or any kind of beans or tomatoes, or you can do like I do and create your own recipe using vegetables, fresh onions and hamburger.

Hamburger Pie 1

My ingredients:

1 can corn (drained)

1 can diced tomatoes (drained)

1 large onion (diced)

2# hamburger

1 package crescent rolls

1 can Campbells Tomato Basil Bisque


Sauté onion until translucent. Set aside.

Brown hamburger. Drain off any excess grease.

Spray a deep pie plate with non-stick spray.

Put hamburger mixture and vegetables in pie plate. Layered or mixed. It is your choice. I layer, but I am a bit OCD about some things.

Place crescent rolls on top of hamburger and vegetables.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until crescent rolls are golden brown. (Less than 30 minutes and your veggies will not be heated through.)

In microwave safe bowl, heat Tomato Bisque.

Serve individual portions with soup ladled over as a sauce.

Hamburger Pie 2

I have occasionally used leftover mashed potatoes as a layer.

Some folks prefer plain tomato soup to the tomato bisque.

If you do this, water down or cream the soup to a sauce consistency.

You do not want watery soup on top.

A.A.A.D.D – Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D – Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

 This is how it manifests:

  I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

  As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mailbox earlier.

  I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

  I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.

  So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

  But then I think, since I’m going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

  I take my checkbook off the table, and see that there is only 1 check left.

  My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke I’d been drinking.

  I’m going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don’t accidentally knock it over.

  The Coke is getting warm and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

  As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye–they need water.

  I put the Coke on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I’ve been searching for all morning.

  I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I’m going to water the flowers.

  I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

  I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I’ll be looking for the remote, but I won’t remember that it’s on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I’ll water the flowers.

  I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

  So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.

  Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

  At the end of the day:

  – the car isn’t washed,

  – the bills aren’t paid,

  – there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter,

  – the flowers don’t have enough water,

  – there is still only 1 check in my check book,

  – I can’t find the remote,

  – I can’t find my glasses,

  – and I don’t remember what I did with the car keys.

  Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I’m really baffled because I know I was busy all day, and I’m really tired.

  I realize this is a serious problem, and I’ll try to get some help for it, but first I’ll check my e-mail.

  Do me a favor. Forward this message to everyone you know, because I don’t remember who I’ve sent it to!

  Don’t laugh — if this isn’t you yet, your day is coming! Soon!!

Wrinkled Beauty

Grandmother  & Grandson

An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo. Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws.

“You’ve got so many freckles, there’s no place to paint!” a girl in the line said to the little fella.

Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head. His grandmother knelt down next to him. “I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles, she said, while tracing her finger across the child’s cheek. “Freckles are beautiful!”

The boy looked up, “Really?”

“Of course,” said the grandmother. “Why, just name me one thing that is prettier than freckles.”

The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma’s face, and softly whispered, “Wrinkles.”

Bless My Husband’s Sexuality

From: A Book of Prayers for Couples

By: Stormie Martin

Lord, bless my husband’s sexuality and make it an area of great fulfillment for him. Restore what needs restored, balance what needs to be balanced. Protect us from apathy, disappointment, criticism, busyness, unforgiveness, deadness, or disinterest.

I pray that we make time for one another, communicate our true feelings openly, and remain sensitive to what each other needs. Keep us sexually pure in mind and body, and close the door to anything lustful or illicit that seeks to encroach upon us.

Deliver us from the bondage of past mistakes. Remove completely the effect of any sexual experience—in thought or deed—that has ever happened to us outside of our relationship. Purify us by the power of Your Spirit.

In His Holy Name.


1 Corinthians 6:18-20

See my blog from Tuesday, Granny Gets It On