Tag Archives: family finances

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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Go to College for Free – It’s Not a Dream

“Predatory Education” – Ish IsmAverage Student Loan Debt

Education is a money profit scheme,
But education is also a gift?

Education is a predatory lender’s dream,
But education is also a gift?

A good gift does not make the poor poorer.
A good gift does not profit by creating debt.
A good gift does not make broken dreams.
A good gift does not prey on hope.
A good gift does not breed failure.

A good gift brings inspiration.
A good gift creates dreams.
A good gift gives hope.

Education for many people is not a good gift…
… because good gifts are free.

Continue reading Go to College for Free – It’s Not a Dream

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

Marriage Before Cars

I miss my Honda Civic. It was a 2007 Honda Coupe, and when I took it for a test drive it only had 18 miles on it. The picture above is similar to the one I owned.

But now I am a graduate student, and my wife and I share a 1998 Oldsmobile.

My wife takes me to school in the 1998 Oldsmobile. We had to get rid of my Honda because it had a car payment, and we would not be able to afford it with me in grad school.

I can bike to school, but I live 5 miles from the campus… and there have been car to bike accidents in town which makes biking to school, especially five miles, feel unsafe. So my wife drives me. Most of the time I do not even think about the Honda Civic (aka, the best car I ever owned). It feels better to know the only debt we have is my college loans. And for our marriage it was financially responsible to get rid of the car payments, which I was falling behind on because they were so big.

Occasionally I got stuck on campus for a few extra hours, or had to go in early. But in general, I have not really thought about the Civic. And in general I have not thought as much about even having a second car.

So what prompted this sense of car loss? Last week, my wife and I went to Seattle for a bucket list event… we saw the Irish Rovers. She has wanted to see the Irish Rovers her entire life. Not only did we have front row center seats, we were able to get autographs and our pictures taken with them. It was amazing! And we rented a car for the drive because of the age of our car… and the car we rented was a Toyota Camry. It was similar to my Honda Civic, and I enjoyed driving it. That reminded me how much I miss my Honda Civic.

I am sure in a few days the sense of car loss will dissipate. But for now, I miss the independence of having my own vehicle, I miss how new the Honda Civic felt… and I miss how nice it felt to drive. Dear Honda Civic, whoever is driving you now… I hope they appreciate you as much as I did. Miss you!

Poverty 101 = excellent read

In America

Editor’s note: Donna Beegle is president and founder of Communication Across Barriers, a consulting firm that works to increase communication across poverty, race, gender and generational barriers, in part with “Poverty 101” workshops. She has a doctorate in education leadership from Portland State University.

Beegle is taking part in the CNN Dialogues event, “Today’s Other America: Living in Poverty,”at 7 p.m. tonight at the Rialto Center for the Arts in Atlanta.

By Donna Beegle, CNN

(CNN) — My dream is that a person will not be able to graduate from college without taking a Poverty 101 course. Poverty hurts all humanity and it’s the responsibility of everyone to bond together to eradicate it. Our ignorance about poverty perpetuates it and divides us as a nation.

I didn’t always know this. I was born into generational poverty; for many decades, most of my family members were uneducated, unskilled…

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