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

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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...]

Stop Leaking Money and Start Valuing It with No Spend Month October

Is This Stopping You From Owning Your Home?

It’s time to whip your finances into shape. Money is the band-aid we place over up the gaping flesh wound that is thoughtless, unsustainable consumerism. The wound isn’t healed just because you smack a $20 on it every few days and absorb more blood. If your money is busy covering up some financial wounds, No [Continue Reading...]

Don’t Buy These 5 Williams-Sonoma Agrarian Products

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Last week Williams-Sonoma branched out from French dishwear, excellent knives and seasonal high-end cocoa mix into urban homesteading gear. With the launch of their Agrarian line, Williams-Sonoma now sells gardening gear, chicken and bee keeping supplies, seeds, edible plants, fruit trees and preserving supplies. Some people in the hardcore DIY community (you know who you [Continue Reading...]

February: Save Money Or Reduce Inflammation?

Bread and Jam

February is coming up, and I’ve been thinking about sponsoring another No Spend Month challenge. February is an easy month to go No Spend, because it’s short. Twenty-nine (hey look, Ma, a leap year!) breezy days of enforced frugality to re-set the savings budget and rebalance the treat spiral entitlement curve. Homebrew Husband and I have [Continue Reading...]

5 Solutions To The Kid Gift Problem

The problem: your kid has a lot of friends, and wants to give gifts to every single one of them. With your money. Of course, it is absolutely wonderful that your charming and thoughtful child is thinking of his or her peers over the holiday, and you want to encourage this independent spirit of generosity. You just don’t [Continue Reading...]