• Success,  Wardrobe

    The Difference a Shirt Can Make

    One of the hangups I have with my goal is the fact that I cannot conceive of possessing a lot of money. The thought of spending or gaining a lot of money makes me choke. That’s what happens when you’ve always been poor. And that’s okay. I’m aware of my limitation. The burning question is how do I overcome it?…

  • Frugality

    How to Revive Mascara

    I have never really been one to replace an item until it is completely used up. I see no point in spending money when one doesn’t have to. When my black mascara decided to dry up I remembered a post I’d seen on Facebook about a hack that could revive it. You place the mascara bottle in a cup of…

  • Decorating

    Honoring Memories

    My dad kept a magic box filled with memories from his life. He rarely opened it; I didn’t have a chance to really look through it until after his death. I’ve kept the contents undisturbed, looking through them whenever I felt myself missing him. The inner dialogue with my future self caused me to realize that his memory should be…

  • Finances,  Frugality

    Live Beneath Your Means

    The other day an acquaintance approached me for a loan to pay their overdue water bill. They knew that the bill had been due on the 10th of the previous month; instead of paying it then they decided to do some other things with the funds since their water wouldn’t be shut off until the first of this month and…

  • Productivity

    It is Okay to Guard Your Time

    I started wearing a ring on my wedding finger a few weeks back. I had become tired of being hit on by the numerous men who thought it was appropriate to distract me at my job. I am single for a reason; I’ve got something I want to accomplish. I’ll never be able to achieve my goals if I spend…

  • Life

    The Changing Circle of Friendship

    I unfollowed a few old friends last night on Facebook. I had known some of these people since I first moved to this area. I had laughed at their jokes, sat on their porches for chats…some of these people had been regular visitors to my home for years. But something has changed inside of me these past few months. I…

  • Finances,  Life

    The Necessity of Facing Reality

    Now that I’ve had time to breathe, it is time to face my current reality. I need to know what I’m facing in order to move forward. Facing our current reality is a necessity. Burying your head in the sand won’t help one bit. You must know exactly where you stand, regardless of how shaky the ground so that you know…

  • Business

    The Prom Pickle

    Earlier this year my beloved Katie excitedly prepared for the prom. She shopped and shopped for the perfect dress. One evening she emerged from her bedroom with a troubled look. “Mom, my prom dress is going to be way too long,” Katie announced. “Can you get someone to hem it?” I asked. She frowned. “If I get the seller to…

  • Future Me,  self-improvement

    Playing Pretend

    Ever since my successful experiment I’ve been playing a game with myself. At random times as I go through my day I ask myself “what would Future Me do?” The results have been fascinating. Future Me has slightly different tastes than I do. I have found myself selecting different outfits for work and digging through my small stash of costume…

  • Future Me,  self-improvement

    What Would Future Me Do?

    Yesterday as I began getting ready for work I noticed that several dishes had piled up in the sink. It wasn’t horrible but it was enough to make me sigh. I’d have something else to do once I returned home late that night. Something caused me to pause: What would future me do in that situation? I asked myself. Future…

  • Law of Attraction,  self-improvement

    An Experiment in Luxury

    It is amazing how quickly things can work out when you create an intention. Shortly after challenging myself to reverse the Diderot Effect in my personal life a friend came over to visit. Her granddaughter was moving in with her; did I happen to have any old children’s movies that I would consider selling on the cheap? I pulled out…

  • self-improvement

    The Art of Focusing on Who You Want to Be

    The simple act of saying “stop” has benefited me immensely. For the first time in months, I felt an internal peace that speaks volumes in the silence. The frantic chatter in my mind has ceased now that I have given myself permission to just wait. As I mulled over the changes in myself over the years the shock slowly eased. I…

  • Finances,  Frugality,  Happiness

    The Diderot Effect

    The Diderot Effect has been used as a lesson against mindless consumerism since the minimalist movement began. The moral of the lesson is always the same: buying something nice will lead to us buying other nice things until we’re broke and miserable. I was right on board with that thought from the beginning. Why should we strive to buy better…

  • Personal

    It is Time to Press Pause

    I’ve suffered from a bit of an existential crisis these past few days. My beloved daughter informed me that she plans to officially marry in November. By some time in December she should be gone. It’s all hitting me. This stage of my life is officially over. I started blogging as a form of cheap therapy. I needed to get…

  • Frugality,  Investments

    Unjustifiable Luxury

    I want a washing machine. I really do. I would like few things more than to be able to sit at home and do my laundry whenever I desire. With this in mind I pulled out my trusty ledger and checked to see just how much I spend each month at the laundromat in hopes that I could justify the…

  • Investments

    Two Hours Closer to Freedom

    Today was the day for my latest stock purchase. My transfers had arrived at my brokerage and I had a day off to savor the experience of growing a tiny bit closer to freedom. I targeted Blueknight Energy Partners (BKEP), a tiny company in the Energy Sector that I’d been eyeing for months. I’d researched them, noting several things I…

  • Finances,  Frugality

    Rock Bottom

    I do believe I have now officially hit rock bottom as far as expenses go. With my daughter as my official roommate, she splits half of the household expenses with me. Here is a breakdown: Rent: $250 a month Electric: $50 avg. in summer Water/Sewage/Trash: $39.88 Internet: $30.59 Total: $370.47 My Half: $185.24 As usual, I am not including the amount we spend on…

  • Finances,  Frugality

    Frugality is Not Enough

    As I write this my home looks like there was an explosion in a clothing factory. I’ve spent the past few days washing laundry in my bathtub to save a bit more money this month. It is times like this when I dream of owning a washer and a dryer; it would be absolute heaven not to have to drag…

  • Investments

    My Stock Market Investment Strategy

    After a lot of thought and research I finally settled upon a specific set of criteria to use while searching for stocks to invest in. While I do allow the occasional exception, for the most part this is how I locate stocks for purchase. My Stock Market Black List These are the reasons I pass up investing in a lot…

  • Inspiration,  Personal,  Recycling

    The Story of a Failure

    Back when I was in fourth grade we lived within walking distance to my grandparent’s house. Every time I would see one of my uncles or aunts arrive for a visit I would race there in excitement. I loved visiting with my relatives. One of those visits is indelibly imprinted on my brain. I can’t recall the exact details; I…