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Friday, June 1, 2007

James H. Dalton, an Introduction

Allow me to introduce myself to those of you who don't know me. I am the minister at the Northside church of Christ in Blytheville, AR. My beautiful wife's name is Stacey...and we just celebrated our first anniversary! Both Stacey and myself graduated from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, TN. I'm currently working on a master's degree in counseling at FHU, and Stacey is about to start working on a Master's in Social Work at UT Memphis. I don't by any means consider myself a financial expert...I see a financial adviser to help make investment decisions, and strongly recommend that you get professional advice on investment decisions. The four of us are simply sharing things we have learned, and probably more often sharing things as we learn them. I do have an interest in financial things, however. Additionally, while at FHU, I took a financial planning class, during which I learned that with the blessings God provides, we should be able to live financially responsible and retire comfortably.

We consider our current financial situation to be better than average. We have room to improve, but are pleased with where we are. We currently have a healthy student loan debt, and with both of us in graduate school, our student loan debt is growing. However, we've been blessed by God...and that's all the debt we have. We consider this to be 'good' debt, because education is truly an investment, since in general higher education leads to higher salaries. Additionally, we have been investing money towards retirement ever since obtaining full time jobs after graduating from college.

My responsibilities on the blog will consist mainly of discussing frugality in different ways. This means I will be discussing various methods of saving money, as well as pitfalls to avoid. I admit up front that I am not nearly as frugal as I wish I was. However, m
y family background helps me to write on issues of frugality. In my younger years we were doing mission work and often did without a lot of things. My parents' practices of being financially responsible have taught me a lot, and helped me keep out of some of the same trouble that others have. In my posts, I will sometimes suggest a method as one that we are trying or are going to begin trying. At other times, I may suggest something that I have heard suggested, even though I don't myself abide by it. I'll try to be honest about these shortcomings and honest about our participation in living frugally, or our failure to do so.

I look forward to growing through my participation in this blog. I hope you as a reader will greatly benefit from reading the posts by the other three writers and myself.