No Spend Month: Week 3 Wrap Up and At-Home Coffee Analysis

Cost of Coffee at Home (3)

The giant canister of coffee beans we keep on the counter clinked empty early this week. Out. Of. Coffee. This is how most conversations before 10 am start in Seattle: “I’m not really up and moving yet. Haven’t had my coffee!” “Hey, do ya wanna go get a coffee?” “Um, could we talk about this…after [Continue Reading...]

Mini-Money Challenge: Occupy Your Brain (Why You Don’t Really Want What You Want)

What We Want From Our Purchases Chart

I had a dream the other night. I was working some corporate job and my boss lent me his car to run errands over the weekend. In the dream, I didn’t know what kind of car it was, and somehow Homebrew Husband ended up driving it to pick me up from this job. This was [Continue Reading...]

Dear Busy Person: An Open Letter To You

0199210896.treadmill.1

Dear Busy Person, I love you and I’m worried about you. I have noticed that you are spending a lot of time trying to keep up with things. It looks like you are working very hard all the time just to keep everything afloat. I can tell from all the way over here that you [Continue Reading...]

Mini-Money Challenge: Sell Some Books

Sell Your Used Books (2)

I’m of the Erasmus school of spending: When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes. As an example, these are some of – but not all of, you understand – my cookbooks: I have an equivalent number of gardening and house-maintenance books, quite a few big, heavy collections of [Continue Reading...]

Those Kooky Permaculture People: An Avocado Tree Grows in Seattle

Avocado seedling

Look, I’ll be honest: sometimes the Permaculture community makes claims that seem….well, kooky. Grow pineapples in Seattle? With enough heat-sink big rocks, we can do that! Plant invasive weeds all over your garden? Heck ya, that’s nature’s own deep mineral mining company, right there! Build weird snake-shaped ponds that act as giant solar reflectors to increase [Continue Reading...]

No Spend Month: Week 2 Wrap-Up

Labyrinth Board Game

Ready for the big No Spend Month disappointment? I totally succumbed to temptation at the thrift store this week. See, there was this mint condition, vintage, all-wood game of Labyrinth. Remember trying for hours to get that little metal ball past the fourth hole in the board? Or was I the only one dorky enough [Continue Reading...]

Mini-Money Challenge: Plugging Your Little Money Leaks and The Latte Factor

Latte Factor Money Leak Assessment

Everyone who talks about budgeting beats up on Starbucks and people who just want a damn cuppa coffee to help them get through their long, long day. Poor Starbucks. Poor Latte Drinkers. I get it. I live in Seattle, where we love coffee, we love Starbucks, and mostly we love to pretend to hate Starbucks [Continue Reading...]

My Big Fat Hippie Pantry: A Full Larder For Fall

Pantry Oct 2012 (16)

A friend of mine who’s known me for eight years or so was over a few days ago. She was checking out my pantry and said, “When we met, you had a total Costco pantry. And now it’s a total hippie pantry.” Excuse me while my heart swells with a little self-indulgent pride over my [Continue Reading...]

Mini-Money Challenge: Earn $1440 An Hour With A Phone Call

Internet Bill Before

When the hell did my internet bill become $80 a month? That’s not for some fancy bundled internet-TV-phone combo thing, you understand, although they would like me to do that (oh, yes they would!). No, that’s just for the internet service. We’ve been without cable TV and a home phone line for years. We have just have this one [Continue Reading...]

No Spend Community (Bloggers, Share Your Posts Here!) And Week 1 Wrap-Up

No Spend Month Dollars Count

First things first: have you done the Own Your Financial Numbers Challenge yet? That might be the most important thing you do for your financial health this whole month, so if you’ve put it off, go do it. No really, we’ll wait. It’s that important. Phew. Okay, now that that is done, how ya feeling? Pretty solid? Glad [Continue Reading...]

Is This The Most Attractive Veggie Garden Ever?

Livestock Tank Planters (5)

Looking for a gardening system that brings crops to you with little or no bending, reduces weeding to a bare minimum and is so cute it puts cat videos on YouTube to shame? Steven and Bea, readers from Williams, OR emailed me last month to share their “Pedestal Planter” technique for growing bumper crops of [Continue Reading...]

Mini-Money Challenge: Own Your Financial Numbers

My spreadsheet software came preinstalled with various financial planning templates like this. Yours might too.

As I recall, Oprah, in one of her less-svelte periods, talked about “owning her number.” As in, admitting publicly that she weighed 200 pounds. Owning Your Number is not being scared to really look at your starting point. It’s about getting past denial. I consistently find the philosophical fundamentals of financial fitness and physical fitness are the same. One deals in [Continue Reading...]