• 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Investments

    My Financial Freedom Game Plan

    Despite the fact that I spent more than I like last month I still managed to have money left over for investment. I took the $67 I received in royalties and added $63 from my paychecks to it in order to scrape up $130 to invest this month. I plan to stick every penny into a single stock I’ve targeted.…

  • Education

    Millionaire Women Next Door

    Every night before I go to sleep I snuggle into my bed and read on a book for inspiration and research. Some evenings I may only manage to read a small section but on other nights I can manage a couple of chapters. My progress seems incredibly slow but that’s okay. At least I’m making progress. You see, I have…

  • Finances

    Do You Dream of Financial Freedom?

    Imagine waking up whenever you want to, without the need of an alarm clock. You sit up, stretch, and ask yourself: What do I want to do today? This is the life of financial freedom. You don’t have to work; you have enough passive income to cover your needs. Your time is your own. You can rest, learn something new, visit…

  • Finances

    The Power of Priorities

    We don’t think much about priorities. We’re usually too busy putting out fires in our day-to-day existence that we shove them aside. This is a serious mistake. When we don’t set priorities, we set ourselves up for failure. My personal goal is to achieve complete financial freedom. In order to achieve that goal I set a series of smaller goals…

  • Finances

    Called on the Carpet

    The other day I was scanning a customer’s items at work when one of my managers approached me. “You’re due for your break now, aren’t you?” she asked. “Whenever!” I chirped. “Would you mind coming to the office before you clock out for it? We have something to discuss with you,” my manager asked. “Um, sure.” I watched her block…

  • Finances,  Investments

    The Fear of Being Wrong

    I ran my bank account a bit lower than I like at the end of August. It was a deliberate choice; not only did I want to give my daughter one last, really nice birthday in light of the fact it may be the last one I spend with her, it was the last time I would have free trading…

  • Finances,  Investments

    Investment Update

    The other day I closed out my books for the month of August. Here are the numbers: Beginning Balance: $1,340.61 Dividends received: $20.46 Personal Investment: $286.00 ———————————————— Total Invested in the stock market: $1,647.07 August was a tight month. I had to set aside some funds to celebrate my daughter’s 19th birthday. Since this very well might be the last…

  • Finances

    The Art of Definite Action

    As I mentioned in a previous post I am concerned about my finances for the upcoming winter. Rather than allow the fear to eat at me I decided to take some definite action and meet the concern head-on. Up the street from my home is a gas station that happens to be hiring, not only for cashiers but for management…

  • Finances,  Frugality,  Housing

    Winter Worries

    The kid will be moving out this winter. She plans to get married once her fiancée graduates BASIC training and move on base with him once he gets things sorted. Here’s a picture of him in training: The demon Fear has raised its ugly head since I’ve received this notice. She will probably move out mid-winter when the bills are…

  • Education,  Productivity

    Bedtime Routine

    Time is the one thing I never seem to have enough of. Between my public job, caring for my home, and writing I never seem to have enough time to pursue my self-education goals. While I read on my days off and on my breaks at work my progress was annoyingly slow. It took weeks to finish a single book…

  • Car-Free,  Finances,  Frugality,  Housing

    Frugality and the Pareto Principle

    According to the 80/20 Principle, 20 percent of actions will provide 80 percent of results. This is especially true when it comes to frugality. When you break it down the majority of money I personally save falls into two main categories: housing and auto. By renting a one-bedroom house in a less than ideal area, I saved $200 a month…