• 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Finances,  Frugality

    Why Bother Saving Money?

    A common question I receive from family and friends is “why bother to save money?” Their reasoning is that, if they can afford it, they should enjoy every penny they have to spend. There’s nothing wrong with this logic on the surface. We’ve been trained to believe that we no longer really need to save for retirement or for protection…

  • Finances,  Frugality,  Investments

    Frugality is Essential for Success

    Everywhere you turn these days one can find ads touting this investment or that business as the way to “get rich quick.” Just buy this course or whatever and money will flow into your life like a raging river. Bull crap. There’s no such thing as “get rich quick.” It’s all a scam to part us with our hard-earned money. …

  • Frugality

    I Hate Modern Furniture

    I detest modern furniture with a white-hot passion. I’d rather set my money on fire than to buy the worthless crap that they call modern furniture these days. When I was a kid, you bought a piece of furniture with the knowledge that it would outlast you. My parents bought used furniture back in the 1960’s and 1970’s that would…

  • stop button
    Finances,  Frugality,  Organization

    Moratorium

    Everyone’s needs change over time. You may slow down or stop using an item, or you may start to use something else instead. It’s just a part of life. For instance, I was a big fan of pencil and paper. I not only write copious lists, I also composed my book/blog drafts and kept a journal in paper format. To…

  • Food,  Frugality

    Living Large on a Shoestring

    I might live cheap but I do live well. I like to take advantage of sales in order to enjoy life as much as possible. One of the major ways I do this is on food. I am a huge fan of quality meat. I enjoy a nice steak as much as the next person but I rarely treat myself…

  • Finances,  Frugality

    How I Made an 82.82% Investment Return on $7.56

    One of the smartest decisions I have ever made was to take business classes in high school. I learned how businesses save a fortune simply by buying the items they use in larger quantities instead of as they use them. Unfortunately, this teaching runs counter to how many people manage their finances. They only have so much money until payday…

  • Car-Free,  Frugality

    The Luxury of a Vehicle

    A few weeks ago a friend asked for some help. He needed to locate a vehicle that would start and run for $1,000 or less–in two weeks. Considering that my days off rarely match up to the friend in question I considered this an almost impossible task. Not only can it take months to stumble on the perfect deal, the…

  • Finances,  Food,  Frugality

    Bargain Food

    One of the ways I stretch my dollars is by taking advantage of the fact that I work in a grocery store. Every single shift I look around for good deals and take advantage when I can. For instance, when my employer issued coupons for a free 24-pack of bottled water with a purchase a while back, I bought some…

  • Finances,  Frugality

    Evaluating my Decision to Stockpile

    I had a bit of a panic attack the other day while I was cleaning my house. As I was rearranging the stockpile of food and supplies I’ve acquired over the past few months I froze in shock over the sheer volume of what I had acquired. Oh, my goodness, I thought in dismay, have I become a mindless consumer?…

  • Finances,  Frugality

    Panic Attack

    Earlier this month after paying expenses I decided to get a jump on my new goal. Instead of absorbing my current round of royalties into my life I decided to transfer the amount into my brokerage account instead. While I had planned to start next month, I was anxious to begin. I sat down at the computer and logged into…

  • Finances,  Frugality

    Getting Serious About Finances

    While many of the so-called experts are crying, I’ve discovered that my decision to enter the stock market could not have come at a better time. The US Government has decided that inflation is out of control so they’ve started to raise interest rates to “cool off” the economy. According to my research, every single time the Fed raises rates,…

  • Frugality,  Life

    It Doesn’t Cost a Fortune to Look Nice

    The older I get the worse I look. My hair has started greying and things have started sagging that never sagged before. I’ve never really been self-conscious about the effects of aging but over time I noticed a difference; not in me, but in my customers. While some of my customers appear to be ageless, others appear considerably older than…

  • Finances,  Frugality

    Clearance and Coupons

    The other day my daughter and I decided to visit a local store and search for bargains. While many times we don’t find anything that we need, occasionally we come across a really good deal. This occasion we struck pay dirt. The store had clearanced four boxes of Alka Seltzer Night Time Cold Medicine for $3 a box. This is…

  • Finances,  Frugality,  Personal

    What I Really Want

    I’ve done a lot of thinking as my Katie’s graduation approached and even more now that I know she will leave the nest in a few short months. What next? What do I want to do now that I know I’ll be on my own? I honestly don’t know. I don’t know if I want to remain here, relocate, or…