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...]

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: What’s Important To You, Really?

What Are Your Values? Poster

Throughout this No Spend Month I’ve talked (and talked…and talked) about financial values. Well, now I have a confession to make. There really aren’t any financial values. There are just your values. Financial management and financial goals are big tools to help you live in accordance with your values, but they are not the same as values. If [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Mini-Money Challenge: Wrestle More Money Out Of Your Largest Appliances

2011House_3ALL_lg-1

Once I was visiting my in-laws in Central California. We were driving through what used to be Ag Land but is now, inexplicably, where people who work in San Francisco live. I say inexplicably because this area is about a 90 minute to two hour drive from San Francisco depending on traffic. People explain why [Continue Reading...]