Category Archives: Life

The eleventh hour of our departure

Just a few months ago I was focused on selling furniture and whatnot on Craigslist and Facebook. Man, time has flown by! With our departure date getting closer and closer, each week flies by faster than the last. We’re about to spend the last night in our home of the last 6.5 years. Tomorrow the moving trailer arrives and all the stuff we’ve been feverishly packing the last couple of weeks will be loaded up and travel ahead of us to Pasadena, CA. I’m glad this packing phase of our journey is coming to an end. Continue reading The eleventh hour of our departure

Champ strikes a skater pose

Longboarding – a new hobby at age 41

After the Woolly Hollow camping trip which was filled with hours of my son riding Jacob’s longboard skateboard, I decided to buy him one. And right after his board came in the mail, a friend gave us another one so now both of us have one! Yup! I’m 41 years old and just started skateboarding again.

Continue reading Longboarding – a new hobby at age 41

Organize Your Finances with a Bill Pay Checklist

Mint OverviewFor the last 9 years I’ve used a Google Spreadsheet

called McBryde Bill Pay Checklist to keep track of our recurring bills and help manage our finances. Every time either my wife or I get paid, I open this spreadsheet, pay the bills that are due between that day and the next pay day, and mark it on this list. I also add those transactions to a free online tool from Intuit called Mint ( All of our financial accounts are connected to this tool so I can easily track checking account balances, remaining mortgage debt, retirement accounts, etc. as well as create goals and budgets. It’s very simple to use and available on any computer with an internet connection which is way better in my opinion than the old Quicken software I used to use that was only on one computer.

But back to the Bill Pay Checklist. Here’s how to use it.

  1. Download this Excel file: Bill Pay Checklist 2016
  2. If you like to use Google Drive, upload the file to your Drive and convert it to a Google Spreadsheet. This way you can access it from multiple computers.
  3. Add all of your recurring expenses to the spreadsheet sorted by due date.
  4. If you want to get fancy, color code the expenses by charitable giving, retirement, savings, utilities or whatnot.
  5. Use it every time you get paid.
  6. Each year start a new sheet and adjust as needed.

Practice this discipline over time and it becomes second nature.

This is not super complex and has been an essential tool in managing our finances. I hope it helps you, too!