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Lists You Need

You may not actually need these lists at all.  You may not need a Diet Coke to survive every morning.  But I do.  And you just might find some of them useful. 


1. Home Inventory

Why it’s a good idea:

Well, mainly for insurance purposes.  Did you know that immediately following a fire or a meteor strike, most people are unable to remember what was on their nightstand, in the china cabinet, or even underneath the bathroom sink?  Unbelievable.  You can’t replace it if you don’t know that you had it. 

Bonus: Having this list will make calculating your net worth a piece of cake!

Free Tool: Know Your Stuff by the Insurance Information Institute.  This online tool saves you the trouble of finding a safe place to store your list (or you could just bury it in the backyard I suppose…).



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Article publié pour la première fois le 21/09/2010


Martha’s Guide to Success

I like Martha Stewart.

There, I said it.

That statement is usually wildly unpopular when I say it out loud.

Today I found a list from her book The Martha Rules: Martha’s 10 Essentials for Achieving Business Success.  It’s marvelous.

Here they are:

1. What’s passion got to do with it?  Everything.

2. Ask yourself: What’s the big idea?

3. Get a telescope, a wide-angle lens, and a microscope.

4. Teach so you can learn.

5. All dressed up and ready to go.

6. Quality every day.

7. Build an A-Team.

8. The pie isn’t perfect?  Cut it into Wedges.

9. Take risks, not chances.

10. Make it beautiful.

Notice how many of these can be applied to not only business success, but life success and financial success as well.

Article publié pour la première fois le 11/11/2010


What I Wouldn’t Do for Frugality

Because I write a blog with a focus on saving money, you might assume that I am a frugal EXTREMIST!  Not the case.  I consider myself more of a frugal reasonablist (no, it’s not a real word), and a imperfect reasonablist at that. 

I like to save and spend wisely because it improves our lives now as well as our prospects for the future.  The second, and I mean the second, it stopped doing that, I’d quit and blow all the money on hats (reference Hot Shots!).  But, unfortunately, saving is not going to stop making sense for us; so much for the hats. 

The question is, what wouldn’t I do for frugality’s sake?  And actually, there’s quite a bit.


I would not hit Macho Man Randy Savage in the face. 

I throw a notoriously weak punch, and am a slow runner.


I would not sacrifice a great amount of time for a relatively small reward.

Small savings do add up over time and are absolutely worthwhile.  That said, I’d drive myself crazy(er) if I agonized over every single little bit of savings.  It may be egotistical of me to say, but I picture myself going full-blown-crazy over something much much bigger than just a couple of bucks.


  • If when I get to the grocery store I realize that I accidenally left my coupons at home, I won’t drive all the way back just to get them.  Crazy, right?!  If I’m grocery shopping, it’s Sunday, if it’s Sunday, I have a lot to get done to prepare for my week in addition to spending quality time with Husband.
  • There’s a plane ticket for $50 cheaper that gets to my destination a day later.  If I’m flying somewhere, it’s to see family, if I’m seeing family, I want to spend as much time with them as possible.  I’ll spend the 50 bucks.

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Article publié pour la première fois le 23/09/2010


October 2010 Archives

I am a huge lazy bum. 

Article publié pour la première fois le 23/11/2010


It’s an Odd Job But Somebody’s Got to Do It– Part II

Odd jobs are a great way to up your income with minimal effort.  I think we have all at one time or another worked one of these jobs.  When I was a kid I spent many Saturdays and summer vacations picking up golf balls out on the local driving range.  Out there alone with my thoughts, I had plenty of time to make life plans and dreams, and I made enough dough to catch a movie or get a pizza with friends.  I hope you guys found some good ideas for making extra money on my first list of odd jobs.  If not, I’d like to present a few more for your consideration.

If you know proper techniques and have access to a pool, try teaching private swim lessons.

For those with an eye for packaging and presentation, you could put together and sell gift baskets, think of personalized Easter baskets in springtime or at-home spa packages for Mother’s Day.

Get certified to do personal training or teach exercise classes such as water aerobics or Zumba

If you are a friend to furry companions and have the space you could breed animals like puppies, rabbits, or parakeets.

There are proven health benefits to being a pet owner but so often people find they don’t have time enough to care for one alone and would love the services of a dog walker.  And besides getting paid, you get to cash in on some of those health benefits as well.

Nobody likes cleaning their house, but strangely, many people actually enjoy cleaning other people’s houses and you can choose to accept or reject different jobs as you please.  I would honestly get a kick out of organizing people’s closets, lining up shoes and color-coding their sweaters.  If you are looking for a little bit less personal and more sterile environment you can look into cleaning office buildings, churches, or schools.

Pick up a paper route.  There may be daily or weekly options in your area.

Grab a whistle and sign up to referee.  Find out about intramural, kids, and retiree leagues near you.  It may be a good weekends-only job or just for the summer.

Are you sitting on an unused musical talent?  Teach piano, voice, guitar, or harmonica lessons.  Or use those same talents to play small ambiance gigs at coffee shops, social gathering, or hotel lobbies.

Help coach, manage, or keep score for  local sports teams.  Many schools will hire outside people for their teams, not just teachers.

Bake and sell homemade treats around the holidays, even popsicles for 4th of July.

Be a car for hire.  Drive a carpool, grocery wagon, or run friends’ errands for them.  If you don’t mind driving and have the time it can be a great job and you can also get your errands done at the same time.

There is way too much of this going on to not mention it.  Try your hand at multi-level marketing type sales if you have an inner salesman.  Some of the most well-known and respected companies are Mary Kay, Amway, and Avon.

I hope some of these piqued your interest, I am thinking about trying some of them myself because you know it is never too early to start saving for Christmas, my kid’s education, or even retirement.  Every little bit helps. 

Have you made a career of odd jobs?  Are you thinking about diving into a new odd job?

Article publié pour la première fois le 07/05/2012


15 Little Budget Busters


Looking at your credit card statement 1 dollar here, 5 dollars there probably won’t jump out and grab your attention (unless it is at a questionable establishment; although, I don’t think you can use a credit card at those types of places).  Some of these little expenses you won’t even see on your bill because you’re simply paying extra.  Most financial blogs/gurus/experts/etc. agree that the little expenses are where budgets frequently get off track. 

Just so you don’t think I’m being smug here, this list consists primarily of mine and Husband’s own little budget busters.  I’m not sure why I’m continuing to write this magnificent introduction, considering most of you are already scanning the list below.  Hey!  My eyes are up here! 

Eh, whatever, without further ado, here’s the stinking list you animals. 


1. Music – $1/song is so much easier to let slip than the $19.99/CD of olden days.

2. Apps – probably the best marketing concept EVER; kudos to Apple.  Tell me, why is it that I am so inclined to spend $2.99 on a game that launches birds at pigs?  I don’t know either, but I am.

3. Chick Drinks – when McDonald’s introduced any drink for $1 I was just thrilled.  One Diet Coke per day was already in our budget (it’s important to me, don’t make a fuss).  However, with the price so low, I suddenly found myself justifying and extra one here, an extra one there.  It was no good for the budget.  

4. Man Drinks – I hate going to bars.  It’s not the smoke, the loud music, or the handsy dudes (maybe a little bit of the last one); it drives me crazy to see people paying $2, $3, $4 for a drink that comes in a 12 pack for half the cost per beer.  But I do do it occasionally for Husband; jeeze, I must really like that man.

5. Great Deals! – the great deal at Target.  The too good to pass up deal.  The deal that will never ever ever happen again.  Wow, that sounds like a good deal.  But was it something you already needed?  Do you really need it?  No?  Oh, well maybe its not such a great deal after all. 

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Article publié pour la première fois le 07/09/2010

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