• 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…

  • Finances,  Frugality,  Simplicity

    No Regrets

    Now that the kid has graduated from high school, what do I do now? My whole focus these past decades has been caring for her. So now that she’s engaged, that her life is heading in a direction different from mine, it is time to start thinking hard about my next step. Do I want to continue as I am?…

  • Finances,  Frugality

    How to Start Buying in Bulk

    It can be a challenge to switch from only purchasing what you need to buying in bulk. Not only do you have to figure out where to put the items you purchase you need to save up money so you can start buying. I enountered that issue when I resolved to return to my old stockpiling habits here. Money was…

  • Finances,  Frugality

    The Art of Buying in Bulk

    I was taught as a child that buying items in bulk not only saved money when you purchased the items on sale or at a discount, it made life considerably easier because you didn’t have to worry about running out of stuff constantly. I must confess that over the past few years I questioned that teaching. Minimalist gurus preach expansively…

  • Finances,  Food,  Frugality

    Grocery Savings

    One of the things I have never done is factor the cost of food into my budget. Our spending varies too much based on bargains, bulk buying, and available finances for us to set aside a certain amount every month. While some months we barely buy the basics like milk, other months we come across good deals to take advantage…

  • Freebies,  Frugality,  Recycling,  Simplicity

    The Beauty of Old Things

    Several months ago my daughter surprised me with an odd request. She had noted that many of her friends and family were giving away their collections of old vinyl albums; could I help her select a record player so that she could play them? While I am aware that vinyl is making a comeback, the last thing I expected was…

  • Cash register
    Finances,  Frugality

    It Pays to Use Cash

    How do you handle your money? Do you deposit your check every payday and then swipe your card when you want to buy something? Every time you swipe your card in public you place yourself in danger. Not only do you put yourself at risk of having your card information stolen by skimmers, you also run the risk of spending…

  • Frugality

    How I Budget for Bills

    No one enjoys paying bills. I for one hate them with a purple passion so I strive to have as few as possible. When I moved out on my own decades ago, I really struggled. It never seemed to fail; a bill would come due before payday arrived or my check would be short and I wouldn’t have enough. I…

  • Frugality

    Extra Paydays

    Several times a year I end up getting five paydays during a month instead of four. These are always good times; I have my finances budgeted for four paydays a month so the fifth is like getting extra cash. When these months roll around my co-workers are always excited. They regale me with the ways that they plan to spend…

  • Frugality

    Why I Cancelled Netflix

    It was the 1980’s. Dad and I were driving along when I spied a video rental store that had recently opened. “Why don’t we rent a movie sometime?” I suggested. “Makes no damn sense to pay to use something when you can spend a little bit more and actually own it,” Dad retorted. “But you can watch more things for…

  • Frugality,  Simplicity

    It Pays to Keep Your Stuff

    In this disposable age most of us don’t think about the value in using items until they are completely worn out. Rather than keep the old, they buy new even when the item they already own still works. It makes financial sense to keep things, however. The longer you use something the less it actually costs to own it. Here…

  • Frugality

    Monitoring Energy Usage

    Every month my electric company sends me a letter concerning my energy usage. They keep track of your usage over a 12-month period. This letter covers details about how you compare to similar homes in your area, how your usage changes from month to month, and even how your usage compares to that of the previous year. I must confess…

  • Frugality,  Simplicity

    The Art of Delayed Gratification

    There comes a time when even the biggest cheapskate decides that it is time to bite the bullet and spend some money. I needed a new writing computer whether I liked it or not. It isn’t easy to wait for something you need while you save up money for the purchase. Every time you see a sale pass you by…

  • Car-Free,  Frugality

    I Have Lived Three Years Without a Car

    It has been over three years since I sold my van. I wanted to go car-free for one year, write a book about the experience, and then move on with my life. I honestly believed that I would purchase another vehicle once the experiment was over. I enjoy traveling on occasion, have family to visit, and prefer buying some consumables…

  • Frugality,  Minimalism,  Personal,  Simplicity,  Success

    Is Your Life in the Black?

    I ran into an old friend the other day. We hadn’t seen each other for several years so we took a few moments to catch up. My friend announced proudly that he had recently purchased a house, showed me his car, and bragged about his high-paying job. He was a little worried about making the new house payment but his…

  • Frugality,  Personal,  Simplicity

    The Wisdom of Experience

    I can always tell when Daughter’s payday arrives. She rolls into the house, arms filled with purchases as she hands me her share of the bill money. I resist the urge to ask her if she opened up a savings account. While I know from experience how unpredictable the world can be I still remember what it was like to…

  • Frugality

    The Longevity Factor

    We don’t consider the longevity of purchases much in this disposeable age. For the most part we buy the best we can afford without a thought about how we intend to use the item. Once upon a time as a snot-nosed kid I stumbled upon an elderly couple quarreling about this in a grocery store. Wide-eyed, I watched the man…

  • Food,  Frugality

    Magic Bullet

    The other day my daughter saved one of those Magic Bullet mixer kits from being tossed. She brought it home and announced that we would once again be able to make smoothies. I had an even better idea. One of our favorite treats in the summer just happens to be milkshakes but due to the price we are rarely able…

  • Economy,  Frugality

    I Hate Planned Obsolescence

    The other day a friend stopped by and announced that he had a surprise in the back seat of his car. Curious, I stepped outside to see what it was. To my surprise, he had an ancient iMac sitting on his back seat. He explained with a grin that he had been visiting another friend when he saw their neighbors…