5 Things to Do Today Besides Buying a Mattress

WeekendI’m not entirely sure how it happened, but mattress sales on Memorial Day are ubiquitous across the United States. Then, there are the home good sales. And the linen sales. And the lawn furniture. And the list goes on. While I have nothing against scoring a bargain on something you actually need, no one should feel that shopping–or spending–is a requisite part of a three-day weekend. If you need a little inspiration, check out these no-spend ideas: Continue reading “5 Things to Do Today Besides Buying a Mattress”

5 Things to Do Today Besides Buying a Mattress

My Closet Netted Me Over $1K This Year

ClosetRetail therapy. Shopping addiction. Following in the footsteps of Cher Horotwiz*. I have a lot of stuff. Way too much stuff, in fact. While I’ve written about decluttering my office and the whole first floor of our house, I’ve stopped short of sharing the nitty gritty details of the upstairs. Because it’s kind of embarrassing.  Continue reading “My Closet Netted Me Over $1K This Year”

My Closet Netted Me Over $1K This Year

How I’m Hustling This Summer

 

Summer“You only work nine months out of the year.” “You get the entire summer off.” There’s a lot of misinformation floating around the universe in terms of what teachers do during their time off. So, I thought maybe I’d set the record straight, at least partially. 

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have any vacations planned. In fact, we’re dashing off to Vegas for a few short days right before summer school starts. Costa Rica is also on the horizon. In addition to travel, I’ll spend countless hours preparing for next school year. In the past, I’ve never clocked the hours, but this summer, I think I will. In addition to traveling and lesson planning, a big chunk of my summer will be spent hustling. Continue reading “How I’m Hustling This Summer”

How I’m Hustling This Summer

Frugally Awesome…or Awkward: Part 3

FrugallyAfter I ran my last post in this series, I thought surely I would run out of awkward moments to share. Then I remember that I’m me, and there’s no shortage of awkward moments in my life, finance related and otherwise. For instance, let’s flashback to two weeks ago in my classroom: 

I don’t normally eat or drink while I teach–out of respect for the school rules that my students follow and for fear of choking and having to rely on a 12-year-old to perform the Heimlich Maneuver or page the nurse–but I had a wicked sore throat, so I was sipping on plain green tea in an attempt to preserve my voice. I took one quick, inconspicuous sip. Minutes later, I followed it up with a second sip. This time, I managed to miss half my mouth and essentially drool down my shirt. Instead of laughing too loudly, one student promptly raised his hand and assured me that things could have been a lot worse. He promised, “You could have been the teacher who walked backwards and fell into the recycle bin last week!”

While I certainly can’t claim that level of awkwardness (yet), the people in my life have done a pretty outstanding job of making me blush when it comes to finances in the past month. I spend most of my days minding my own business, trying to do my frugal living thing. Yet these short encounters transform me from frugally awesome to awkward in no time flat. Continue reading “Frugally Awesome…or Awkward: Part 3”

Frugally Awesome…or Awkward: Part 3

I Know When I’ll Make 6 Figures

6 Figures (1)No, I don’t have a crystal ball or a super power. I have a salary schedule. In addition to revealing exactly how much money my coworkers make, a salary schedule also lets me predict the future in the sense that I know exactly when I’ll crack the six-figure salary mark.

I imagine there are a lot of people working in different sectors that would love to have this information at their fingertips. There’s no guessing. There’s no wishing. There are no bonuses, no commissions, no extra effort, no deal closings to be calculated or approximated. There’s just a 20×20 grid with time of service on one side and advanced degree hours on the other. And after almost a decade of staring at this chart, I’ve realized exactly one thing: it’s not good, it’s not bad, it just is. Continue reading “I Know When I’ll Make 6 Figures”

I Know When I’ll Make 6 Figures

Guest Post: 5 Signs You’re Spending Too Much on Your Car

CarWhile I’m studying diligently and calmly cramming in the exact fashion I tell my students not to for my National Board certification test tomorrow, I have a fun guest post from Giles Kirkland. Giles is a professional mechanic and dedicated money saver. Take it away, Giles!

For many people in today’s world, a car is a necessity. Often, it’s for getting to and from work, while at other times it serves to do school runs and family trips. In short, there are plenty of people who can’t afford to be without their car, even when the car offers nothing but large, regular expenses.

When you think about it, a car has plenty of expenses outside the initial selling price. Once you drive away with it, you’re looking at fuel costs, repairs, servicing, tests and car insurance. If you’re not careful these can easily catch up over the year. So how do you know if your expenses are too high? Here are 5 signs you’re spending too much on your car: Continue reading “Guest Post: 5 Signs You’re Spending Too Much on Your Car”

Guest Post: 5 Signs You’re Spending Too Much on Your Car

Reframing the Question About Celebrations

ReframingOver the past week, there’s been a lot of celebrating going on in my world: a milestone birthday followed by Mother’s Day celebrations with my mom and again with my mother-in-law. There have been laughter and sweets, photos and games. And yes, there have even been gifts.

One thing I’ve noticed post-celebration–even more than the tightness of my pants*–is the way we, as a society, tend to talk about celebrations. What’s become especially interesting to me is the way we seem to want to measure their success. “What did you get?” If I didn’t field that question twenty different ways in the day following my thirtieth birthday, I’d be shocked. I tried to talk about the surprise party my husband threw. I tried to mention how friends from high school, college, and work all went in on the surprise. But all anyone really seemed to care about is what I unwrapped. Continue reading “Reframing the Question About Celebrations”

Reframing the Question About Celebrations

You Don’t Need to Buy a House…or a Dog

DogsTwo weeks ago, our neighbors announced they were moving and proceeded to list a leather couch, some knickknacks, and their adult cat on our neighborhood social networking site. They wanted money for the furniture. The cat? They’d give that away for free. In the fourteen days that have passed, they’ve everything is taken…except the twelve-year-old cat.

When I see people post on Facebook that they have “puppy fever” or will “just die” if they don’t get a kitten, I can’t help but cringe. It has nothing to do with a dislike for animals. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. I love animals. I just can’t afford one – not because we don’t have the money, but because we don’t have the time. Continue reading “You Don’t Need to Buy a House…or a Dog”

You Don’t Need to Buy a House…or a Dog

Betterment, Wealthfront, or None of the Above

InvestingEarlier in the year, I set the goal of opening a taxable investment account by my birthday. I was spending a lot of time researching Betterment and Wealthfront. It seemed like robo-investors were a pretty painless way to up my fairly pathetic investment game. Now that thirty has come and gone, here’s where things stand in my little part of the investment world: Continue reading “Betterment, Wealthfront, or None of the Above”

Betterment, Wealthfront, or None of the Above

30 Wonderfully Ordinary Days Before 30

30 (2)Today marks the last day of my twenty-ninth year. Rather than spending my final weeks planning a skydiving adventure or jetting off to a tropical locale, I decided to see if I could make my idea of ordinary into something extraordinary. Every night before I went to bed, I chronicled some small moment that left an impression on me from that day. While I hope there are decades of grand escapades to be had and major milestones to achieve, this exercise left me feeling fairly confident that when I look back on my life, the small moments will matter just as much as the big ones. Continue reading “30 Wonderfully Ordinary Days Before 30”

30 Wonderfully Ordinary Days Before 30