This is a woeful tale of appliances that decided to strike out at their owners, causing grief and strife at the worst times! Thankfully these appliances at least had the presence of mind not to do this all at once. Today I write as the last of our pretty new appliances has decided to stop working correctly, in this case, the clothes dryer has stopped heating. Let me back this up a touch and paint the full story. When we got and moved into our current house, we completed a significant renovation and rebuilt the kitchen getting all new appliances. This was just over 7 years ago. Just to make sure it’s really clear these were brand new appliances. We specifically didn’t buy the lowest quality ones, we checked reviews and while the appliances weren’t top of the line, they were supposed to be pretty good. For the first three Continue Reading
As a child I always looked forward to summer vacation, it was two months of pure bliss. That bliss was largely because there was no school and we could hang out with friends and do a lot of nothing. As you get older this summer break holds true until you start working, though your choice of activities might change. Then as if by some cruel act of fate, summer breaks are cut short, pretty much at the knees. You have to squeeze them in, like fitting in pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The biggest challenge becomes convincing yourself to actually take the summer vacation. I look forward to my vacation, I plan for it months in advance but that’s because you need to book the best campsites early! My summer vacations are simple, we have an RV so we camp as a family most long weekends and if it’s possible Continue Reading
One of the things that you will discover is I really like numbers and data, more so as I’ve gotten older and presumably wiser. I trust the raw numbers because there is an absolute truth to them; they paint the real story. That gets us to the next and final part of my trilogy on expense tracking first we started with collecting the data then the analysis and now we’re onto the adjustment and continuous tracking. But first a word from our sponsor, common sense! This last step has the biggest chance of failure. I say that from experience because if I run into issues it’s probably because I tried to adjust too much and didn’t track enough. Proceed with some measure of caution and you should be fine. Remember if you fail or something doesn’t work reset and readjust. Now back to our regularly scheduled post: Adjustment and tracking. Continue Reading
There is a lot of truth in data, especially when it comes to expense tracking. Once you have the data the truth behind the numbers will start to emerge. In Part I, we covered entering data, and if you’ve entered everything you might start to see some unexpected realities. Some people will see exactly what they’re expecting, but most of us will have some surprises, I usually find one or two. This part can be a little scary. I know that we spend money on things we don’t NEED to but do anyway. Seeing the reality of that can be a little daunting, especially if you haven’t done an exercise like this. When I completed this exercise the first time, I really had no expectations though I figured I spent too much on eating out, smokes (I smoked back then), and booze. It was a little frightening to see the Continue Reading
Do you know where your money goes? Do you really know where your money goes? This isn’t a segue to dive into some asinine conspiracy theory, but I would say that a lot of people don’t actually know where their hard-earned money goes.
We’re not traveling as much as we used to, though I’m sure we all want to. Unfortunately, grocery stores aren’t always next door and if you’re buying for a week or two you still need that car. Probably more considering you want to get as much at once as possible. Naturally this is the perfect time for the car to breakdown, which is exactly what mine decided to do. This started a couple weeks ago when I went to the grocery store. I got our groceries and the way back out I noticed that one of the rear lights was on. As I got closer to the car it turned out it was just a rear blinker light. The car wasn’t on, none of the other lights were on just one lowly light. I was a little surprised but not shocked, as it had happened before in the winter in Continue Reading
To survive we have a series of ‘needs’ that, pardon the pun, need to be met. Once we have these basic needs met our wants can (but don’t have to) improve our lives. However, for most of us, our lives are spent beyond these basic requirements. We have access to food, water, shelter, and if you’re reading this you are probably relatively safe too. Thus, making the question of ‘wants’ versus ‘needs’ more interesting because I doubt many of us think in terms of true needs. Now more than ever this topic is incredibly important, and I think it needs to be revisited. We’re in a time of crisis when what we want and what we really need is clearer than it has been in years. Knowing what is essential and what we don’t need can be a very powerful tool; one that we can use to our advantage. There Continue Reading
My daughter and I were driving to swim practice a couple weeks ago and I was asked a very simple question: Is Santa real? Before I get to how I answered the question, I should make it clear that my daughter is at the age where she’s essentially figured out that Santa = mommy and daddy and the guy at the mall is just someone dressed up in a red suit. The answer to this question wasn’t really what she was looking for but more for some validation of her understanding of the world. While my daughter isn’t a tween yet she is a bright young lady. So how did I answer? Well being the furry green Grinch that I am, I actually told her the truth. No, I am not a monster! She didn’t react the way I was expecting, she wasn’t worried about the fact that Santa is Continue Reading