Category Archives: financial management

My Wife and I are having a “Discussion” about F-O-O-D

My wife, the woman I dearly love, wrote:

My hubby and I are embroiled in a “discussion”. ;-) Yep, discussion. On how much food I like to keep available at any one time vs the available space in the kitchen. The food has rather taken over the kitchen, and even taken over part of the garage. I’m not one of those end-of-the-world preppers! But I do believe in buying things when they’re on sale so that I don’t have to pay full price later. But there have been some good sales lately, so everything is rather overflowing with food. read more…

I like to walk though the house without stubbing my toe on something random left on the floor. Granted, that freedom will not be there on a regular basis when we have kids. But stubbing my toe on a can of green beans is not cool.

Stuffed: Food Hoarders
Our house is not this bad, but it is also not as clean as I want it to be. (PHOTO: Inside the Kitchen of a Food Hoarder, cookingchanneltv.com)

I like to walk into a house, sit at the table… and not have to clean the table. I do not feel like my wife is a hoarder… but I do feel like we have too much food (and too much other stuff). Part of our problem is that my wife and I moved from an 1800 square food house, into a 450 square foot house… so every inch of our home and garage are already maxed out.

We have plenty of canned food. And plenty of dried food. I would like the space for just emptiness actually. I am a minimalist. Less is more.

I feel like a safe amount of food is enough for a month (4 weeks) if there was no income to buy more food. We have at least 10 frozen chickens in our freezer. My wife and I easily have more than a month of food (except for milk and fresh foods). So how much food is too much? If you are brave enough to wade into this “discussion” then I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Budget Shopping: Challenges of Living in a Small Town

*I apologize, I had trouble publishing this post. Every time I published it, it appeared blank on wordpress.com and I had to completely redo it. I kept saving it as a I went, yet it still appeared blank. Even the saved revisions appeared as blank. Why? I have no idea. This fourth attempt is short… but at least it appeared!*

So I was frustrated today. I had to buy my first pair of new jeans in over 6 years. Why? Because living in a small town creates interesting budget challenges.

I once lived in Colorado Springs, which is one of the 50 largest cities in the United States. I had no trouble going to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or some other thrift shop to find a couple pairs of jeans which did not have heavy wear marks or holes. That is not true for me now living in a small college town. Here I found only a few pairs of jeans in my size… but they had holes in them. Maybe it is related to the economy being down. Maybe people simply cannot afford to donate good pairs of jeans. Maybe it had to do with the size of the town because there were more people in Colorado Springs who donated (but that seems to create a paradox because wouldn’t that mean there were also more people who needed clothing in Colorado Springs?)

Whatever the reason, today I was forced to buy new jeans.

Marathon training is great. But I was not expecting my legs to become too large for my pants. A nice problem. However, I did not realize how expensive it would be until I started to look for pants at the local thrift shops and failed to find a single pair. Today I spent more money on three pairs of new jeans than I have ever spent. Not cool… especially on the budget of a graduate student. Oh well…

Budget Shopping in a Small Town, http://www.ishism.com

PhilHealth and the OFWs health insurance doubles … Day 5 in the Philippines

This is a strange time to be traveling in the Philippines. Apparently two days ago a protest began. Hurray for my great timing?? It lasts from July 20th to July 25th.

The protest involves Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are facing a steep increase in the amount they pay for health insurance. The facebook page OFW Voices is trying to get over 1 million likes.

Being in a different country when a protest begins is a new experience. Because this is currently a social media protest I do not feel my wife and I are in any danger. But it is still awkward.

Because I am an outsider, I am not even sure of the amount of the increase… although I do understand it is ridiculously high. One source I found said 150-percent, and another source listed the increase as 167-percent. Either way that is a huge increase for a health insurance premium. For those who are not familiar, Overseas Filipino Workers already pay remittances to the Filipino government for any salary they earn in another country.

In America people are already upset about paying for Obamacare. I cannot imagine what people would do if it went up 150-percent!

Are too many young people going to college?

A college education was once regarded as a first-class ticket to a better life.

But the rising costs of higher education, the burden of student loans and a less-certain job market have left many wondering: Are too many young people going to college?” — SOURCE: Wall Street Journal

College education is very important, but with the current tuition rates it appears to be a financial liability that outweighs the financial benefits. What do you think?

Oregon College Education is Broken (and Broke)

Many students do not think about the loans they will be paying back, at least not until after they graduate. But tuition rates in Oregon are projected to go up again.

For Southern Oregon University the tuition increase is to offset a $2.5-million budget shortfall. For Portland State, the combination of tuition and fees is going down slightly… partly by allowing students who do not have health insurance to opt-out of health insurance if they do not want it. At the University of Oregon, the most expensive public university, tuition and fees are expected to exceed $9300.

According to the Gazette Times, “OSU’s anticipated tuition increase is still less than what it saw last year, when it rose 8.1 percent. The tuition increases are partially due to the decreasing share of state allocations. The Oregon University System received 16 percent less in state funds for the 2011-13 biennium compared to the last biennium, or $691 million compared to $824 million.”

How are professors supposed to assign a textbook to read for class when the student tuition and fees are already so high? Textbooks add to the problem because the cost of textbooks has risen at a pace of 4-times the rate of inflation.

When is enough ENOUGH? California has been devastated by the college tuition crisis, and it feels like Oregon is following the same model. People of Oregon… demand better from your state’s leaders. Demand better for your children.