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Well, I offered & a question about the envelope system

February 14th, 2008 at 02:37 pm

I offered to get another retail job to help pay off debts or throw extra money at savings but DH doesn't want me to. I'm working only about 26 to 28 hours a week but he's afraid I'll wear myself out if I work too much. The business is picking up and he thinks that before long I'll have more hours at work and we'll be out of the tight spot we're in. I hope he's right but told him if he changes his mind, to just let me know.

I really am not opposed to working another job if it will benefit us and I think it would. Not that I really want to work more but 26 or so hours a week isn't many.

In other things, I spent several hours today playing with Clusty, a search engine I just found out about. I still prefer Google for general and overall results but if I need categorized or specific results Clusty is my new favorite. I imagine I'll use a combination of the two engines to maximize efficiency.

One of the terms I researched with both engines was 'envelope system'. Google turned up more results but Clusty's results were very neatly categorized and pointed me to specific things about the envelope system. That was handy.

In the process of reading the sites I was referred to one of the things I read over and over was that one shouldn't borrow from one envelope to put into another and one shouldn't use the debit card if one is out and about and needs/wants something that falls into an envelope category and one doesn't have the envelopes! Those are things we've done a little of here. And we know we need to stop. Most people, including Dave, suggest going back home and getting the envelopes or not getting the item at all but with gas costing around $3 a gallon, turning back for the envelopes isn't always the fiscally responsible thing to do and not getting the item isn't always the best option.

In light of that, why not use the debit card if you have one and either take that same amount from the envelope and deposit it in the bank or deduct it from the money for that envelope next time you fill it? It seems to me that either of those accomplishes the same basic thing without using excess gas and without deprivation. Yes, I understand the concept of 'if you don't have the money don't buy the item' but I don't carry the envelopes with me and sometimes need to stop for milk or bread or some such thing.

What do you do?

Financial talk for the rest of us....

January 27th, 2008 at 09:47 am

I love reading blogs, even the ones with content on things I know little to nothing about. I read blogs and sites on homeschooling (though I no longer have kids at home to homeschool) cooking, gardening, personal finance, and a myriad of other topics. The PF blogs can overwhelm me at times, though.

Of all the finance blogs I read, the ones I enjoy the most are the ones that are 'for the rest of us'. You know, those of us who don't have $200,000 in savings (or debt) and who live on lower incomes, stretching every dollar to help us get by.

Those blogs are generally loaded with information that's relevant to my life. There's some real humor in a lot of them and that's a show of human spirit. If you can find something humorous to write about in regard to feeding a family of seven on one chicken while fighting off the dogs begging for tidbits and the children clamoring for cookies, you'll be okay no matter what life throws at you. Said blogs also provide me with hints and tips that are helpful and often teach me something new. While I enjoy reading about someone's 401k and it gives me something new to consider and very often inspires me, those entries don't help me a lot in my day to day meanderings and that's what I need most.

So, here are some blogs I read regularly, mainly of the 'for the rest of us' genre though there are a few that are a good mix of advice for us all and a few that are a bit lofty for my life right now. They do give me something to work for, though, and that's always a good thing.

A Frugal Living Blog by a Frugal Guy - He offers some great practical suggestions on saving and frugality

Cash Tactics

Consumerism Commentary

Free Money Finance - Make sure to check out the 10 Commandments of Personal Finance series

Frugal Homemaker Plus

Frugal Village

Ideas for Saving Money

Money Blog

Money Hacks

Neville's Blog - The entrepreneurial adventures of a young man in Austin, Texas

Simply Thrifty

The Simple Dollar

Wise Bread

So there's a small sampling of blogs that I find to be most helpful and sometimes entertaining. There are many more I read and I keep my eyes open for others. So if you know of some, please share! My pocketbook and bank account will appreciate it.

I have the solution to the sluggish US economy!

January 24th, 2008 at 05:11 am

I'm not an economist. Damn, I can barely balance my own checkbook and saving, well, that's something with which I struggle.

But just a few minutes ago, as I was entering some bills at Where's George, I had a light bulb moment.



Since the point of registering bills at Where's George is to get said bills into circulation (read that as spend them rather than save them) and see where they go and a major help to the economic crisis right now is to get money circulating, ummm...why not combine the two? Heh...

Yep, that's right, folks! One way to help the economy is to register your bills at Where's George then go out and spend them rather than deposit them in the bank!

Okay, stop laughing! And don't throw rotten apples at me, either, Ima Saver! I told you I'm not an economist. Wink But it could work. And it wouldn't cost us or the government more money. Mwaaahahahaha!

Oh yeah, you Canadian brethren can join in, too! Just go to Where's Willy.

Superheroes - for those days when jeans and a tee just won't cut it

January 16th, 2008 at 05:40 pm

This entry definitely has something to do with personal finance. Admittedly its a stretch but I was driven to write about it.



My other half and I read an article this evening about ordinary folks donning costumes and bettering their corner of the world by commiting 'superhuman acts'. Some refer to themselves as "Reals" and others as "Superheroes". Yes, you read that right. In the United States alone there are 150 to 200 superheroes, according to Ward Rubrecht's CityPages article, Real Life Superheroes.

These heroes don't appear to have x-ray vision or the ability to leap tall buildings with a single bound but they do appear to have a love of comic books, compassion for their fellow man (or superhero), and a desire to help others. They also seem to have a real flair for fashion as evidenced by hero-gear.net.

Michael Brinatte, who pro wrestles using the name Jack T. Ripper, owns and operates the site. He spends a good deal of his time making costumes for superheroes and has built a nice business of it. I imagine it's also helped him hone his sewing skills!

So, if you have cash burning a hole in your pocket and know of a need in your community or if you just get bored with those jeans and a tee, you might want to check out Ward's article and Michael's website.

**Disclaimer** I don't know any superheroes nor do I receive monetary compensation in any way from the entities mentioned. I do, however, receive some chuckles and a few warm fuzzies from the concept!

Creative ways to save money

January 13th, 2008 at 07:06 pm

I was perusing the web for creative ways to save money and found some sites that have helpful information. To a lot of us, the suggestions given at these sites aren't news but here they are, in no particular order:

10 Easy ways to stash away thousands -
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney...

20 small ways to save big -
http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/2007/02/savebig.h...

20 ways to save on a shoestring -
http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Savinganddebt/Savemoney/...

101 Creative ways to save energy - http://www.powerhousetv.com/stellent2/groups/public/document...

Save big on a tiny income -
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney...

Spend wisely to save money -
http://www.earticlesubmit.com/64652_62_Spend+Wisely+to+Save+...

Creatively frugal ways to save -
http://www.countingthecost.com/cf/cf125.htm

Maybe the ideas you read at these sites will spark something in you to save even more! But even if you learn just one new trick and it saves you a few cents here and a few dollars there, add it to your challenge money or save it for a rainy day. Every little bit helps. Smile

When I think I'm poor...

October 6th, 2007 at 09:30 am

or get the inkling that I might be, I'm going to go back to this website and get a reminder of how rich I really am:

http://www.globalrichlist.com/

According to it, I'm the 708,428,706th richest person in the world. And to think I never knew. Wink

Funny thing is, even though I've been literally destitute in my life, I don't remember ever actually feeling poor. I wonder why...

Cleaning out the house..and the mind

January 13th, 2007 at 12:33 pm

I've been on a de-cluttering kick for awhile. It's slow going as we have a lot of stuff accumulated and my other half isn't into getting rid of stuff. In fact, he's into getting stuff - hence, all the stuff we have! He's one of those who sees some broken item somewhere, thinks he might be able to repair it and perhaps sell or use it so he throws it in the back of his truck and brings it home.

More often than not, he rarely touches it after that, although he might move it once or twice. It generally is just in the way though causing me to mutter under my breath and even lose my temper now and then.

Our front porch was littered with this stuff until recently when I went on a cleaning binge. Now it's fairly clean but in the three weeks since we cleaned it off, he's managed to put on it a broken ice maker, a broken freezer, several pieces of plywood and I don't know what else.

Lord knows I love him and I even love his ingenuity and creativity! But..I don't love the accumulation of stuff. I'm slowly trying to weed through it all but it's taking years. Literally.

Discardia is a site I read. I imagine most of you know about it but for those who don't, check it out. It's pretty interesting reading and I've gotten some different perspectives on some things there.

Financial calendar offer for Texas residents

January 3rd, 2007 at 02:37 pm

I got a financial calendar in the mail today and it looks like a good one! It has tax deadlines, budget helps, retirement info, credit tips, interest rate information, and a lot more.

If you're a Texas resident and would like this calendar free, just go to:

http://www.valueyourmoney.org/

There's also a version you can download.
It's a nice calendar and the tips and hints are informative.

Am I poor?

January 3rd, 2007 at 09:33 am


Am I Poor? is an article about a woman who lost her well paying job and now lives on $6.50 an hour. It's a nice article and there are some excellent suggestions for us all.