Eat From The Larder Challenge

Eat From The Larder Challenge

In February I wrote a post called Food Storage For People Who Don’t Hate Food. Most of the feedback I got on that post was very positive, but a few readers seemed skeptical of my claims that eating from the pantry for six months was reasonable, even if one had the food stored. This floored me [Continue Reading...]

Three Steps To Reduce Your Consumption

Consumption Reduction

I’m not here to shit on anyone’s Target habit, but I imagine most of my readers agree with me that lowing our overall consumption is a good idea. Consuming less lowers our environmental impact. Less consumption usually means less spending, and most folks like having more money or less debt. At a personal level, many [Continue Reading...]

Split Pea Soup with Bacon (or, How To Eat Well For Almost No Money)

Split Pea Soup with Bacon

“It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and [Continue Reading...]

Is Growing Your Own Food Worth It?

Front Bed: August

“Is growing your own food worth it?” When I get asked that question, people are talking about cash-in-hand not harvest-in-hand. They aren’t saying, “Is it worth it to have the very freshest sugar snap peas?” or, “Is it worth it to see your child poke a bean seed in the ground?” because there is, clearly, [Continue Reading...]

Dear Black Friday Shoppers: Knock It Off Already

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It is, somewhat shockingly, just a few days before Thanksgiving. I’m not sure how this happened. Perhaps because I’ve been even more of a homebody than usual this past 8 weeks, I’ve missed the traditional warning signs: Williams-Sonoma window-displays featuring festive, faux-gourd soup tureens and French porcelain turkey-shaped gravy boats. Pre-lit plastic Christmas Trees and [Continue Reading...]

No Spend Month: Final Numbers and Reader Feedback

Caveman Coffee Grinding

It’s time to come clean. It’s the big finale, the big reveal – did we make our No Spend budget or blow it? Did you make your budget? I’m happy to say that we did stay within $250, and we saved up a ton of money this month. In addition to the casual dollars we [Continue Reading...]

Mini-Money Challenge: How Handy Are You?

Scoping out the options at the Big Box Store.

My friend had a leak under her sink. Big puddle of water. They called the plumber, who quoted her $800 to pull and remove the leaking faucet and replace it with a new one. She related the story to me: “$800?! Are you kidding? That’s a lot of money! That’s almost a thousand dollars!” “So [Continue Reading...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]