• Car-Free,  Finances,  Frugality,  Investments

    Desire and Frustration

    I underestimated just how heavily it was raining as I left work yesterday afternoon. By the time I realized that I should open my umbrella it was far too late. I was soaked to the bone. “I have got to increase my income,” I muttered as I sloshed my way home. If I acquired a full-time job making just $10…

  • Education,  Finances,  Investments,  self-improvement,  Success

    2019 Goal Update

    I received a call on my day off from work yesterday, asking if I would come work for a couple of hours. I wasn’t thrilled at first but then I realized that those hours worked would take me a tiny bit closer to my goal. I worked that short shift with a smile on my face. I’ve made quite a…

  • Finances,  Frugality,  Recycling

    The Art of Building Wealth

    The average person has been led to believe a lie. The average person has been taught that wealthy people can be identified by the clothes they wear, the foods they eat, the home they own, and the cars they drive. They have been taught that the ones with the most expensive wardrobes, homes, and wardrobes are the wealthiest. To quote…

  • Finances,  Food,  Investments

    Income Tax Refund Report

    I spent $296 at the grocery store the day before my birthday. The kid seemed nervous at our barren pantry so I sorted it. I’ll not have her skipping meals because she’s worried that I can’t afford it. Just because she can’t chip in towards the grocery expense right now doesn’t mean that I’ll let her starve. The food should…

  • Finances,  Investments

    2018 Financial Report

    After a huge amount of struggle I finally located an online tax service that would handle the K-1 statement that was giving me so much trouble. I spent $95 to use the service but I consider it money well-spent. They not only managed to increase my refund, they saved me the bother of having to track down someone locally to…

  • Business,  Productivity

    Headless Chicken

    Life has kept me super-busy these past few weeks. I’ve been slowly spring-cleaning my house by doing little things on top of helping Katie adjust to her current situation. At work, my official management training is underway so I stay busier than ever. In order to keep labor costs low, the end of the night has me paired with my…

  • Finances,  Investments

    Taxes are a Pain

    I have just discovered something the hard way: filing your taxes on investments can be a major pain in the butt. I’ve not only discovered that my usual online tax preparation service can’t handle the forms I need to file, but H&R Block wants to charge me an arm and a leg to file this stuff online. For now, I’m…

  • Finances,  self-improvement

    Operation: Katie

    Yesterday morning I was awakened at 8am by the phone. Katie had finished the train part of her journey and wanted to call while she awaited her first bus. She shared with me how she’d decided not to spend the money on a taxi in Chicago; she had gotten turned around and had to ask for help to reach the…

  • Finances,  Investments

    A Tale of Cowardice

    This is the very first year that I will file tax forms in relation to my investments. The very first time in my life that I’ve actually had real, Big Dog investment income to report. I’m having to fight the urge to turn tail and run. The other day I received the small package with the necessary tax forms to…

  • Investments

    (Not So) Light Reading

    You see that gigantic stack of papers in the photo? That’s the latest SEC filings for BlueKnight Energy Partners, one of the dividend companies I’ve invested in. That stack of papers is close to 300 pages of legalese, deliberately designed to be completely incomprehensible to the average person. I have to don a business suit just to get the words…

  • Business,  Investments,  Personal

    Three Jobs?

    Since yesterday was a maudlin day (as you could tell from my post), I called up my beloved Auntie early this morning for some much-needed encouragement. “Well, it’s no wonder you’re exhausted and feeling emotional!” Auntie declared once I’d shared, “You’re working three jobs, taking care of your house, and studying like you were in an actual college class besides!…

  • Cash register
    Business,  Finances

    Surprise Promotion

    While puttering around at work the other day I received a page to the office. “What’s up?” I asked as I stuck my head in. “Have a seat,” the main managers gestured to a chair positioned between them. When I got up from that chair, I had been promoted to management. I started my training the next day. I must…

  • Washing machine
    Finances

    Upgrading My Life

    Every year I try to invest in at least one thing that will improve my quality of life. In 2017 I invested in a refurbished desktop computer to make writing easier. In 2018 I invested in some shelves, a number of books to educate myself, and a larger monitor so that I could see the screen on my computer better.…

  • Empty Nest,  Finances

    First Month Without Katie

    I just finished paying the first round of bills without the kid sharing half of the expenses. I made it. I even had a bit to spare. I must confess that I was worried so I clamped down drastically on my spending. I’m not quite sure why I was worried (this isn’t my first rodeo, after all), but that old…

  • Finances,  Retirement

    Social Security is Not Enough

    A coworker is being forcefully retired at work. At over 70 years of age, he has worked for my bosses now for 40-plus years. Tears were shining in his eyes as he told me the news. He has one month’s notice before his last day. “But you’ve got Social Security, right?” I asked, casting about for a way to console…

  • Finances

    How to Start Saving Money

    Habits rule our daily lives. From what we do when we first awaken to the last thing we complete as we crawl into bed, we are controlled by habit. Habits allow our brain to take a break from the mundane, to power down for rest, or even to focus on other things. Tweak those habits, and you tweak your life.…

  • Finances,  Food,  Frugality

    Resisting Temptation

    It was early evening. I was on my way home from work, hungry after my shift because I’d not eaten since the day before. The aroma from a local pizza place called to me, enticing me with its flavorful aroma. My nose went on high alert. My stomach started growling. My eyes drifted to the restaurant as I began to…

  • Economy

    Is the Social Security System Becoming the New Welfare?

    I came across an interesting article from NPR that other day titled Unfit For Work: The Startling Rise of Disability in America. It’s definitely worth a read. While I cannot speak for the nation as a whole, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in my small area. I’ve noticed a rise in multi-generational Disability recipients. People I have known for years…

  • Finances

    Voting Every Day

    Every single penny you spend (or don’t) is a vote that tells the world a little bit about you. Every single penny you spend votes for the world you want to live in and the businesses you support. Do you drive past the stores on Main Street to shop at the Mega-Mart on the outskirts of town? Do you buy…